Housing the Bay Summit 2019 Speakers

Housing the Bay Summit 2019 Speakers

Alicia Aguirre

Council Member, City of Redwood City

Alicia C. Aguirre is an elected member of the City Council in the City of Redwood City where she has served as both Vice Mayor and Mayor.  She is the first Latina Mayor in the history of Redwood City. She also served as a Trustee and the President of the Redwood City Elementary School Board prior to joining the City Council.

Professionally, Alicia is a professor at Cañada College, Coordinator of the ESL Dept. and teaches in the Spanish Department. She holds an M.A. from Eastern Michigan University. She was a Fulbright Exchange Professor in Argentina.

Alicia is a regional leader focused on issues of social equity and immigrant rights, affordable housing, transportation, and economic empowerment for all socio-economic residents of Redwood City, the region, and the state.

Lisa Bender

President, Minneapolis City Council

Lisa Bender is the President of the Minneapolis City Council. She led the recent City Council adoption of Minneapolis 2040 which will guide growth and public investment for the next several decades, prioritizing race equity and fighting climate change. First elected in 2013, President Bender has championed the City’s Complete Streets policy including a $400 million investment in complete streets, adoption of the midwest’s first $15 local minimum wage and community-led approaches to public safety. President Bender earned a Master’s Degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley and has over a decade of experience in shaping transportation and land use choices to make cities more equitable and sustainable. Lisa is also mom to two young children and is a champion for getting more change-makers, women and people of color into elected office.

Gloria Bruce

Executive Director, East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO)

Gloria is Executive Director at East Bay Housing Organizations, the leading advocacy coalition promoting affordable housing in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. She oversees all aspects of organizational development and leads several policy and coalition campaigns. Prior to joining EBHO in 2010, Gloria worked at The San Francisco Foundation, making grants to support affordable housing, safety net services, and neighborhood revitalization. Gloria has over 15 years of experience in social justice and community development in the Bay Area, Boston, and her native Washington, D.C. area. She has a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. from Harvard University. She serves on the boards of EveryOne Home and the California Reinvestment Coalition. She lives in Oakland with her wife and two young sons.

Karen Chapple

Professor of City and Regional Planning, UC Berkeley

Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is a Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she holds the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies. Chapple studies inequalities in the planning, development, and governance of regions in the U.S. and Latin America, with a focus on housing and economic development. Her recent books include Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development (Routledge 2015, and winner of the John Friedmann Book Award); and Transit-Oriented Displacement or Community Dividends? Understanding the Effects of Smarter Growth on Communities (with Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, MIT Press, 2019). In Fall 2015, she co-founded the Urban Displacement Project, a research portal examining patterns of residential, commercial, and industrial displacement, as well as policy solutions.

Micaela Connery

Founder, The Kelsey

Inspired by her cousin Kelsey, Micaela has worked on inclusion in communities her entire life. She has seen firsthand the housing shortage adults with developmental disabilities and their families face.  The Kelsey exists to turn the challenge of disability housing into the opportunity of an inclusive community.  They’re developing a fully inclusive mixed ability, mixed income community in San Jose with $11 million in city funding committed, are a finalist for a second site in San Francisco, and received seed funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to support its organizing, advocacy, and community building efforts across the Bay Area.

Micaela completed her MPP at Harvard Kennedy School and her MBA as a Mitchell Scholar at the Smurfit School at University College Dublin. She’s a proud University of Virginia Wahoo. Prior to The Kelsey, Micaela was the Founder and CEO of Unified Theater.

Karen Coppock

Director, Home Match SF

Karen Coppock is the Director of Home Match SF, an innovative home sharing program which meets three important goals: empowering aging community members to stay in their chosen homes, creating affordable places to live by leveraging existing housing stock, and combating social isolation. In addition to running the program in San Francisco, Karen oversees the strategic direction and operational alignment of Covia’s Home Match programs in Fremont and Marin and Contra Costa Counties. Ms. Coppock has 15+ years of experience in developing strategies, partnerships, and teams to expedite the sustainable growth of mission-oriented organizations. Ms. Coppock has a joint B.S. in Business Administration and Spanish from California State University and an MA and PhD in International Relations from Tufts University.

Leslye Corsiglia

Executive Director, SV@Home

Leslye is the Executive Director of Silicon Valley at Home (SV@Home), a policy and advocacy organization that works to increase housing opportunities for all in the South Bay.

Leslye began her professional career at the State Department of Housing and Community Development, where she held several positions before taking on the challenge of overseeing the day-to-day activities of the State’s housing loan and grant programs. In that capacity, she worked to pass and then implement the first affordable housing bond initiatives, which made $550 million available for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing throughout the State.

Leslye joined the City of San Jose as the Department of Housing’s first Assistant Director in 1991, and then served for 14 years as Director. While with the City, she oversaw a program that developed and improved 21,000 affordable housing units, leveraging the City’s funds with more than $2.7 billion from public and private sources.

Leslye has served on a number of federal, State, and regional boards and was the Co-Chair of CASA, a task force charged with developing a housing strategy for the nine- county Bay Area.

Kim Diamond

Managing Director, Trumark Urban

With 19 years experience in the multifamily development business, Kim is experienced in all phases and aspects of real estate development from land acquisition, project entitlement and community outreach, to project financing, customer care and warranty management. At Trumark, Kim oversees all aspects of the company’s operations and development, including project entitlement management and due diligence oversight, as well as customer care and warranty management. Kim led her project development team to successfully secure project approvals for five mixed-use residential projects in San Francisco for Trumark.

Before Trumark, Kim sourced and developed a wide array of mixed-use residential development projects, from brownfields development, student housing to large-scale master planned communities. Kim received her Master of Arts in Urban Planning at the University of California at Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, with a concentration in urban design and planning.

Kim currently serves as the Chair of the Board of the Urban Land Institute’s San Francisco District Council. She is also a member of Lambda Alpha International and the current Chair of the Board for Lao Family Services, a social services organization focused on immigrant communities.

Liam Dillon

Staff Writer, LA Times

Liam Dillon covers California state politics and policy for the Los Angeles Times and is based in Sacramento. He specializes in writing about the state’s housing affordability crisis, and regularly appears on panels, radio and television across California to discuss the issue. He’s also the co-host of Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast, which publishes every other week. Prior to joining The Times in 2016, Dillon covered local politics in San Diego and Southwest Florida.

Katie Ferrick

Sr. Director of Workplace, Community & Environment, LinkedIn

Katie Ferrick is the Senior Director of Community Affairs, Sustainability, and Workplace Programs at LinkedIn Corporation. In addition to navigating land use decisions on behalf of LinkedIn, she connects LinkedIn with the local communities in which we operate through partnerships with nonprofits and community groups in order to strengthen the health of the communities where LinkedIn operates.   Katie has lived in the Bay Area since 1992, and earned her master’s degree in Marriage & Family Counseling from San Francisco State University in 2001.  Her non-linear career path has provided her with a diverse range of experience in private and public sectors, campaign work, and school volunteerism.  Her civic volunteer work as a planning commissioner, policy work with Congresswoman Jackie Speier, and local education ballot measure leadership led her to her best career opportunity yet at LinkedIn, where she has been for five years.  She finds a great sense of purpose in operationalizing LinkedIn’s vision of creating economic opportunity by making a positive impact locally.

Michelle Malanca Frey

Executive Director, ULI San Francisco

Michelle Malanca Frey is the Executive Director of ULI San Francisco. She has two decades of built environment experience, from planning through construction, and has worked with organizations around the globe to drive the development of healthy, livable, and sustainable communities and buildings. She is a long-time member of ULI San Francisco and served as the Sustainability Committee Co-Chair for several years.

Michelle’s work has included the development of green building rating systems in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Abu Dhabi. As part of her own consultancy, she advised developers and investors on the integration of sustainability initiatives and performance requirements into large-scale development projects and real estate portfolios. As Vice President of the World Green Building Council, Michelle led collaborative, global projects, including the Business Case for Green Building report and the Sustainable Cities Initiative, a partnership with C40 Cities.

She has spoken on sustainable urban development at numerous events, including conferences in the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Jordan and throughout Latin America.

Calvin Gladney

President and CEO, Smart Growth America 

Calvin Gladney, LEED AP, is President and CEO of Smart Growth America (SGA) and is a nationally recognized thought leader on the equitable and sustainable revitalization of communities. Prior to SGA, he was Managing Partner of Mosaic Urban Partners, a real estate advisory services and development firm. Mr. Gladney has worked in more than 25 cities as a strategic advisor on neighborhood revitalization strategies in the last 10 years. Mr. Gladney through Mosaic was part of the team that developed a new 31-unit apartment building and a separate two-story restaurant in Washington, D.C. In 2017, Mr. Gladney was also the Urban Land Institute’s Senior Visiting Fellow for Equity. Before establishing Mosaic, he served as Vice President of the Anacostia Waterfront Corp. (AWC), a D.C. quasi-public real estate corporation, and he also served as the General Counsel and Transactions Manager of BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a private developer in San Francisco, CA.

Mr. Gladney graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, received his B.S. from Cornell University and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He is a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute and a Board member of the Center for Community Progress. He is also a member of ULI’s national Public/Private Partnership Council (Blue Flight). Mr. Gladney also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Masters in Real Estate Program where he teaches real estate entrepreneurship and a real estate market analysis class. In his spare time Mr. Gladney…Mr. Gladney doesn’t have any spare time. But he will make time for you. You can connect with Calvin on Twitter and on Instagram @SmartGrowthCEO.

Jason Laub 

COO, RAD Urban 

Jason Laub is Chief Operating Officer at RAD Urban, a fully integrated real estate development firm which performs all aspects of real estate development in house, from land acquisition to sales and leasing activities, including design, engineering and general contracting. RAD Urban also manufactures their own modular housing units at their manufacturing facility in Lathrop, CA to deliver transformative construction solutions to the building industry. Jason has developed and built $600MM of real estate in his 17-yr career. He is a Planning Commissioner for the City of Concord, CA and a graduate of California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, with a B.S. in Construction Management and a Business Minor.

Sam Liccardo

Mayor, City of San Jose

Mayor Sam Liccardo took office in January 2015, becoming the youngest mayor in San Jose’s modern history.

As the Mayor of the Silicon Valley’s capital, Sam has leveraged the region brightest minds to craft and implement his Smart City Vision, with the goal of making San Jose America’s most innovative city by 2020. Sam has also forged historic pension reform that will save the City 3 billion dollars over a decade, launched a bold housing plan to tackle the area’s housing crisis and reduce homelessness, expanded educational and job opportunities for thousands of low-income youth, helped spur the expansion of San Jose International – America’s fastest growing airport, and helped usher in subsidy-free growth of major tech titans like Apple, Google, and Adobe.

Prior to being elected Mayor, Sam served two terms on the City Council. He began his tenure in public service as a Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney.

Dr. Michael McAfee

President and CEO, PolicyLink

Michael McAfee, President and CEO, leads PolicyLink, a national research and action institute focused on advancing racial and economic equity: just and fair inclusion for everyone living in America. He brings over 20 years of experience as a leader who has partnered with organizations across the public, philanthropic, and private sectors to realize this vision. Michael came to PolicyLink in 2011 as the inaugural director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. Under his leadership, PolicyLink emerged as a national leader in building cradle-to-career systems that ensure children and youth in our nation’s most distressed communities have a pathway into the middle class. Michael earned his doctorate of education in human and organizational learning from George Washington University and completed Harvard University’s Executive Program in Public Management.

Molly McCabe

Co-Founder, The Lotus Campaign

Molly McCabe is the CEO and Founder of HaydenTanner, a strategic real estate advisory firm focused on accelerating impact investment & sustainability in the built environment.  She has spent her career cultivating practical solutions and strategies to accelerate the emergence of resilient buildings and vibrant, sustainable cities.  In 2018, Molly co-founded The Lotus Campaign, a non-profit firm, to bring a market based solution to increase the availability of homes for people experiencing homelessness by engaging the private, for-profit real estate community.   She is the immediate past Chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Responsible Property Investment Council, and sits on the Board of The Freshwater Trust.

Ben Metcalf

Director, California Department of Housing and Community Development 

Ben Metcalf serves as the Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) responsible for driving the state’s housing policy agenda. HCD has oversight of 1,000 multifamily affordable properties, 3,600 mobile home parks and review of local land use plans. Mr. Metcalf  has overseen implementation of voter enacted Proposition 1 and 2, which made available $6 billion dollars in new bond funding for affordable housing and was instrumental in helping to secure passage of the landmark 201715-bill  legislative housing package.  Prior to HCD, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Multifamily Housing.  His career included working with BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a California based real estate development company focused on affordable housing and public/private partnerships. He serves on board of directors of the state’s Housing Partnership Corporation, the California Housing Finance Agency, and as an honorary board member of the California Housing Consortium, and a nonvoting member of the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee and the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

Jeff Morrow

Program Manager, Timber & Innovations Group, Lendlease

Jeff Morrow is a Program Manager for Lend Lease specializing in construction. Prior to leading the construction of new Lend Lease hotels for the Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) program, he was a Senior Project Engineer at Fort Campbell, KY, where he pioneered new approaches to energy and resource conservation in Lend Lease’s groundbreaking Zero Energy Homes project. This project provided a creative and viable strategy for achieving real change in the environmental impact of Lend Lease buildings. Jeff earned a B.S. and M.S. in Building Construction Management from Purdue University. In 2013, he was recognized by Professional Builder Magazine’s “40 Under 40” awards.

Tomiquia Moss 

Chief Executive Officer, Hamilton Families

Tomiquia Moss joins Hamilton Families in February 2017 with more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership and management experience. Tomiquia is locally and nationally recognized as a dynamic nonprofit leader with expertise in public policy and community planning. From 2014 to 2017, she served directly under the mayors of both San Francisco and Oakland, most recently as Chief of Staff for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the HOPE SF Initiative, a public housing and neighborhood revitalization effort with San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee’s Office. Prior to that, Moss was SPUR’s Community Planning Policy Director. She was the founding project director of the San Francisco Community Justice Center of the Superior Court of California and served as director of the Community Organizing Department for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. Tomiquia has been a social worker and community activist working as an advocate for social justice and economic equality in many communities around the country. She holds a Masters’ Degree in public administration from Golden Gate University. Tomiquia and her family are proud to call Oakland home.

Adhi Nagraj 

Senior Vice President, McCormack Baron Salazar

Adhi Nagraj is Senior Vice President with McCormack Baron Salazar, in charge of the Bay Area Office.  Prior to that he was the San Francisco Director of SPUR, where he oversaw all policy formation and advocacy in the City. Adhi has spent most of his career in affordable housing development, serving as Director of Development at BRIDGE Housing where he oversaw the financing and development of over 1,600 units of affordable housing, including the largest affordable modular project in California. He also managed BRIDGE’s refinancing and rehabilitation of over 700 units of public housing in San Francisco as a part of the City’s visionary RAD initiative.

Adhi recently rolled off as the two-year Chair of the Oakland Planning Commission, and was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Board of CHPC, a statewide affordable housing finance and policy organization.  He is a licensed attorney, and a graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School.

Iliana Niculescu-Roman

Founder, Dens

Iliana is the cofounder of DENS, a platform for building communities. It’s a Baugruppen inspired model that aims to enable more missing middle housing through a user focused approach. Iliana is a real estate development professional with a background in architecture and urban planning, working mostly on housing for the past 10 years. She has extensive international experience- working, studying and living in Europe and the US. As a Bay Area resident, she believes the need for more housing also calls for more housing types and new approaches to the process and products. As a result, she left her PM position with Sares Regis to work full time on DENS – on a way to provide more options and access to homeownership.

Diane Olmstead

President, Fillmore Capital Affordable Housing

Ms. Olmstead has 33 years of direct experience in investing, corporate finance and capital-raising. During that time, she has originated and closed over $3 billion in loans, property acquisition, equity joint-ventures, and capital raising. She has executed the workout and restructuring of over $1.3 billion of real estate assets. Ms. Olmstead  is currently  Managing Partner or Haring Streeet Ventures, which provides clients with strategic planning, organizational development, and capital markets advisory services.Prior to HSV, Diane was Co-CEO of W3 Partners, a value add office acquisition company, which she co-founded in 2009 with Susan Sagy. Ms. Olmstead was responsible for W3’s acquisitions, financing activities, fundraising and client relations. Prior to co-founding W3, Ms. Olmstead was a principal at CIM Group, an EVP at iStar Financial, and held positions at USF&G, Aetna, Cigna and Pan American Properties.  Ms. Olmstead received an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University, and serves on the Board of Extra Space Storage (NYSE : EXR).

William F. Pickel

Executive Director, Brilliant Corners

William joined Brilliant Corners as CEO in 2007 and has overseen its growth from start-up to one of California’s leading supportive housing providers. Today, Brilliant Corners secures roughly 200 new apartment homes each month, and provides housing to 6,000 extremely low-income Californians through a range of innovative supportive housing models and strategies, including Los Angeles County’s Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool and the California Department of Developmental Services’ Community Placement Program.  William previously served as Director of Housing Development for California Community Housing.  He holds an M.A. in Religious Studies from Boston University, a B.A. in Literature from the College of New Jersey, and an Advanced Affordable Housing Development Training Institute Certificate from the Local Initiative Support Corporation.

Tyrone Poole

Founder and President, OneApp

Tyrone Poole is the President and Founder of OneApp, a movement designed to make applying for rental homes easier and more cost efficient for tenants while reducing the burden of paperwork for landlords. A powerhouse of energy and positivity, Tyrone’s journey has taken him from a motivated student, to EMT/Firefighter training, to injured and homeless, to housing advocate, to founder of OneApp.

Tyrone has won US and international innovation awards including the 1776 Challenge Cup Global Innovation Award: First Place People’s Choice Award and 5th Most Promising Tech Startup World-Wide, 2018 Business Journal Forty under Forty Award, 2018 Business Journal Executive of the Year, 2017 Fast Company United States Innovation Award, The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network 2016 Wyatt Starnes Award for most promising early-stage tech entrepreneur, and won the Pitch Black contest in 2015. Poole has been featured on TEDx, serves on several boards, including empowering future leaders through REAP, and is the father of five daughters.

Naomi Porat

Strategic Advisor, Factory_OS

Naomi Porat contributes 30 years of experience as a social entrepreneur with a portfolio of ventures throughout the U.S focusing on innovative construction technologies and regenerative urban development.  She is currently a Strategic Advisor for Factory_OS, a manufacturer of modular multifamily housing.  In her current work with Factory_OS, Naomi drives the strategy for scaling, intellectual property and an integrated software platform in partnership with Autodesk.  Naomi has been the founder of several social impact ventures in the built environment including Alpha, ZETA, and Global Homes International, in addition to contributing to the start-up of Factory_OS.  As CEO of ZETA, Naomi pioneered new methods for net zero energy (NZE) modular construction and delivered several landmark projects including SmartSpace micro units, NZE affordable housing, NZE El Cerrito Sustainability Center and the NZE Presidio Seed Lab.  She also served as the real estate and economic advisor for the National Park Service, and drove the planning/implementation for Fort Baker’s transformation, in addition to other military base conversion projects at Ellis Island, Boston Harbor Islands and Acadia National Parks. Naomi earned an MBA from Yale University, a Masters in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley, and a BA from Stanford.

Libby Schaaf

Mayor, City of Oakland

Mayor Libby Schaaf was inaugurated into office in January 2015 and launched an agenda to elevate one of America’s most diverse and progressive cities into an equitable and resilient city.
Born and raised in Oakland, Schaaf immediately led new initiatives to offset the cost of living crisis, reduce crime, improve transit and infrastructure, and expand educational and career opportunities for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

She developed Oakland’s “17K/17K Plan” to protect 17,000 low-income households from displacement while producing 17,000 new housing units by 2024.

She created the city’s first Department of Transportation, an urban design unit to connect safe streets with housing and transportation. She also championed Measure KK, a $600-million infrastructure and affordable housing bond, which Oakland voters passed with 82 percent approval.

Mayor Schaaf received national attention for launching the Oakland Promise, an education initiative that will triple the number of college graduates from Oakland by 2025. To date, the program has sent 1,000  high-schoolers to college with scholarships, and will soon provide every baby born into poverty in Oakland with a $500 college savings account.

Mayor Schaaf is an Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership, a diverse and bi-partisan group of “the nation’s most promising young political leaders.” She is a member of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative for mayors, and has worked with the Rockefeller Foundation to ensure Oakland is among the foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities.

Libby Seifel

Founder and President, Seifel Consulting 

Founder and President of Seifel Consulting, a strategic economic consulting firm that advises public agencies, developers and property owners on planning, development and financing of complex infill developments. Her professional career has been dedicated to catalyzing sustainable projects that meet financial objectives, respect the environment and create enduring value for communities. She combines insight into market trends with a technical foundation in financial modeling and development feasibility testing. She has helped accomplish projects ranging in size from small infill housing developments to large master planned communities, such as San Francisco’s Mission Bay and Hunters Point Shipyard. She has advised on funding and implementation strategies for more than 100 community revitalization projects that have utilized public private partnerships and a broad variety of innovative financing techniques to achieve success. Prior to her consulting career, she was the founding executive director of Tent City Corporation, developer of 270 units of mixed income housing in downtown Boston that won the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Award for Excellence. Libby actively promotes best practice in real estate development and urban revitalization through teaching and writing activities. She is the past Chair of the ULI Inner City Council and Co-Chair of the Regional Policy Committee for San Francisco’s Planning and Urban Research Association. She is an elected member of Lambda Alpha International, the Honorary Society of Land Economists, and a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Noni Session

Executive Director, East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative 

Noni is a 3rd generation West Oaklander and Cultural Anthropologist. Her research and organizing work spans national and global arenas. Under the umbrella of the UNDP in Nairobi, Kenya, Noni carried out her doctoral research in international humanitarian strategies and their on-the-ground consequences. After nearly gaining election to the Oakland City Council in 2016, she decided that her community’s best solution to rapid displacement is to develop an independent cooperative economy. Noni is closely engaged with Mandela Grocery Cooperative, a Black led worker-owned cooperative in West Oakland bringing organic produce and local economics to the community, as well as contributing her visionary energy to homeless advocacy groups across West and East Oakland who are building a movement of houseless and volunteers organizing for housing dignity through direct action and policy.

Joshua Simon

Executive Director, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC)

Joshua is the executive director of East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), where he has worked for 18 of the last 25 years. His work has focused on creating opportunities for low income people.  Examples include Swan’s Market, Lion Creek Crossings and Preservation Park.  He is focused on combining mixed-income rental apartments with retail space and community facilities that support building healthy, vibrant, and safe neighborhoods.

Prior to his return to EBALDC, Joshua was Director of Real Estate Consulting at the Northern California Community Loan Fund, where he worked with community organizations throughout Northern California to plan for their facility needs. Joshua was an elected member of the Emery Unified School District for 13 years.  He now serves on the board of Directors for the Northern California Nonprofit Housing Association (NPH), San Francisco Planning & Urban Research (SPUR) and the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST).

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Nancy Skinner

Senator, California State Senate

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, has been a proponent of dense housing in urban areas since the 1990s, when she launched an initiative to create greenhouse gas inventories for cities. Such inventories are commonplace today and show that the single-largest source of greenhouse gases in California come from the transportation sector — due in large part to policies that block housing near job centers.

In the California Legislature, Skinner has authored laws to create more housing for students (SB 1227) and prevent local governments from denying housing projects that conform to existing rules (SB 167). This year, she has introduced SB 330, which is designed to speed up housing construction, and SB 18, which would boost financial and legal assistance to Californians facing eviction. She is also a co-author of SB 50, which would increase housing near transit.

Darrell Steinberg

Mayor, City of Sacramento

Darrell Steinberg is one of Sacramento’s most accomplished public servants, having served as a City Councilman before being elected to the State Assembly and State Senate. As a state legislator, Steinberg championed economic development, education reform, building sustainable communities and major investments in healthcare and education. Darrell was the first Sacramentan to serve as President of the State Senate in more than 125 years and was elected the 57th mayor of Sacramento in 2016.

Lydia Tan

Managing Director, Real Estate, Oakland Athletics

Lydia Tan is Managing Director of Real Estate for the Oakland Athletics, where she is leading the organization’s efforts to create a new ballpark district at Howard Terminal and redevelopment of the Oakland Coliseum.

Prior to joining the A’s, Ms. Tan was SVP and U.S. Head of Development at Bentall Kennedy, one of North America’s largest real estate investment advisors.  During her tenure, the company invested in the development of over $3 billion of mixed-use commercial, multi-family, and logistics projects throughout the U.S.

Prior experience includes EVP and Director of Northern California Operations at Related California and EVP at BRIDGE Housing Corporation, where she led teams focused on all aspects of the development of mixed income and affordable housing communities, as well as large scale redevelopment efforts.  Combined, she oversaw the development of $5.5 billion of affordable and mixed income housing, pedestrian-oriented commercial space and community facilities.  Throughout her work and volunteer career, she has worked with non-profits and local organizations to effect positive change focused on raising the quality of life and increasing opportunity in lower income communities.

Ms. Tan is a member of the Board of Directors of the S.H. Cowell Foundation, SPUR, and Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.  She is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, and the Stanford Real Estate Council.  In addition, she and her husband are Resident Fellows at Stanford University, where they work to create an enriched residential experience for 270 undergraduate students.

Ms. Tan holds BA in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford University.  She is a Registered Architect in California.

Eric Tao

Managing Partner, L37 Partners

Eric Tao is a managing partner at L37 Partners and managing principal at AGI. He has 20-years of experience in the real estate industry and has led the acquisition, entitlement, financing, development and disposition of over 1,500 multifamily residential units in the San Francisco Bay Area with a focus on transit oriented urban infill projects. AGI Avant, LLC was formed in 2006 to manage multifamily development investments for CalPERS. At AGI, Tao has guided the development of nearly 1,000 new housing units in the emerging San Francisco SoMa, Dogpatch and Mid-Market districts. At L37, he is currently leading housing projects for 1,200+ new transit oriented infill projects in South SF and San Francisco.  Eric is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, CA and received his Juris Doctorate from UC Hastings College of Law.

Sonja Trauss

Executive Director, California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund

Sonja Trauss is one of the founders of the YIMBY ‘Yes In My Back Yard’ movement. In 2014, while she was working as a high school math teacher, she started organizing pro-housing renters to testify in favor of proposed housing developments at the Planning Commission in San Francisco, because the Bay Area is experiencing a housing shortage, and housing shortage is bad for renters. Currently, Sonja is co-ED of a legal non-profit that “sues the suburbs” to enforce state housing laws all over California. The goal of the YIMBY movement is to build more housing in opportunity rich, high demand areas in order to reduce displacement and promote economic integration.

V. Fei Tsen

Founder and Managing Partner, Windflower Properties

V. Fei Tsen is a community development expert and leader who, for more than three decades, has dedicated herself to the development of livable neighborhoods and vibrant public places. She is the President of Windflower Properties, a privately-owned development company that builds multifamily housing. She was the Director of Real Estate for the Port of San Francisco, the Director of Redevelopment for the City of Emeryville, and a Commissioner of the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. Appointed by the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors, she serves as the President of the Treasure Island Development Authority which oversees the design and construction of infrastructure, streetscape, parks, open space and art for the redevelopment of Treasure Island, a 500-acre former naval base.

Her expertise and leadership were critical in finalizing the design and financing for Yerba Buena Gardens and re-envisioning the San Francisco waterfront after the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway. Her most recent projects include reshaping a formerly industrial district of Union City, CA into an attractive, pedestrian oriented neighborhood next to transit and using modular technology for affordable housing production. She has served on numerous Boards of Directors for arts, education and civic organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Michael D. Tubbs

Mayor, City of Stockton

On November 8, 2016, Michael Tubbs was elected to serve as the mayor of the City of Stockton, California. Upon taking office in January 2017, Michael Tubbs became both Stockton’s youngest mayor and the City’s first African-American mayor. Michael Tubbs is also the youngest mayor in the history of the country representing a city with a population of over 100,000 residents. Recognized as one of Politico’s Top 50, Fortune’s 2018, Top “40 under 40,” Forbes’ 2018 list of the “30 Under 30”, Tubbs’ leadership paired with an ambitious progressive agenda has received national recognition. In his first year, Mayor Michael Tubbs secured $20,000,000 to launch the Stockton Scholars, a place-based scholarship that aims to triple the number of Stockton students entering and graduating from college. Tubbs also brought Advance Peace to Stockton, a data driven program that works to reduce gun violence in communities. With an innovative public-private partnership supported by a $1,000,000 grant, Tubbs launched the nation’s first ever municipal level basic income pilot.

Before becoming mayor, Michael Tubbs served as Stockton’s District 6 City Councilmember. Elected at age 22 in 2013, he became one of the youngest City Councilmembers in the country. As a councilmember, Tubbs created the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition, championed the creation of the City’s Office of Violence Prevention and was part of the council that led the city out of bankruptcy as Chair of the Audit and Legislative Committee. Mayor Tubbs graduated in 2012 from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree with honors. Mayor Tubbs is focused on poverty reduction, public safety, workforce development, community engagement and organizing, and collective impact strategies. Tubbs has been a college course instructor for Aspire Public Schools and a Fellow at the Stanford Institute of Design and the Emerson Collective.

John Vu

Vice President, Strategy, Kaiser Permanente 

John is the national vice president of strategy for Community Health at Kaiser Permanente responsible for the development and implementation of key strategies to ensure Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to improving the health of communities.

John has been with Kaiser Permanente for over 20 years, having previously been a director in national strategic planning.

He was a Fellow in America’s Health Insurance Plan’s Executive Leadership Program and was named a DiversityMBA Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leader in 2013. He graduated from executive leadership programs at Harvard Business School and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Scott Wiener

Senator, State of California 

Senator Scott Wiener represents San Francisco and northern San Mateo County in the California State Senate. Elected in 2016, Senator Wiener focuses extensively on housing, transportation, civil rights, criminal justice reform, clean energy, and alleviating poverty. He chairs the Senate Housing Committee. Before being elected to the Senate, Senator Wiener served as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representing the district previously represented by Harvey Milk, and chaired the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. Before being elected to office, Senator Wiener practiced law for 15 years, including nearly a decade as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. He also served in a number of community leadership roles, including co-chair of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center and on the national Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign. Senator Wiener has lived in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood since 1997. He received degrees from Duke University and Harvard Law School.

Bill Witte

Chairman and CEO, Related California

Mr. Witte, who founded Related California in 1989, oversees all of Related California’s multi-family and mixed-use development activity in California which includes a development portfolio of over 16,000 residential units completed or under construction, and more than 1,300 affordable and 3,500 market rate units in pre-development. As Deputy Mayor for Housing and Neighborhoods under Mayor Art Agnos, Mr. Witte oversaw all housing, development and redevelopment activities for the City of San Francisco. He was Director of Housing and Economic Development under Mayor Dianne Feinstein and served as an appointed Commissioner of the San Francisco Housing Authority. Mr. Witte graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and a Master in City Planning. Mr. Witte is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Graduate School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania and is Vice Chair of the Board of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at USC.

Cynthia Wong

Executive Director, Local initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

Cynthia Wong is a leading national voice on economic opportunity and community growth. She joined LISC in 2017 as the Executive Director of Bay Area LISC. Previously, Cynthia was a Vice President at Morgan Stanley. She helped launch the company’s Institute for Sustainable Investing—the first of its kind on Wall Street—and where she worked on issues ranging from health and housing to economic development and jobs.

Over the years, Cynthia has pioneered efforts to connect impact-driven capital to valuable programs and projects. Notably, she helped lead LISC’s bond offering to institutional and retail investors, the community development sector’s first-ever initial public offering. Cynthia previously advised Fortune 500 companies and leading foundations and nonprofits as a management consultant with Marakon Associates and The Bridgespan Group.

Cynthia is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She serves on the boards of the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, SPUR, and Kitchen Table Advisors and the housing committee of Chinatown Community Development Center.

Michael Yarne

Cofounder, Social Construct Company (SoCo)

Michael Yarne is cofounder of Social Construct (SoCo), a construction tech startup developing a prefab product system that will radically reduce multifamily construction costs.  SoCo will break ground on its first apartment project in Oakland in June.

Yarne joined SoCo in January 2018 after transitioning out of a 5-year partnership at San Francisco’s BUILD Inc., where he oversaw a 2,000-unit development pipeline.  Prior to BUILD, he served as development advisor to San Francisco Mayors Newsom and Lee, and practiced land use and real estate law at Farella Braun & Martel.

Yarne is an adjunct faculty member at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design and serves on the board of San Francisco Parks Alliance and the Eco Districts advisory board. His passion for mission-driven work began in the Peace Corps, West Africa.  He is a member of the Lambda Alpha Real Estate Economics Society and ULI’s Multifamily Local Product Council.