We're recruiting for our Board. If you'd like more information, please contact Chantel Cain.
Board Chair: Dan Luscher – Principal, Lassen Consulting
Secretary: Rick Theis – Founder, Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy; Executive Committee Member, Accountable Development Coalition; Sonoma County Housing Coalition, Consensus Council
Treasurer: Brian Raymond – MPH, Senior Health Policy Consultant, Kaiser Permanente
Vice Chair, Board Excellence Committee: Jame Ervin – Marketing Operations Manager, Optimizely
Co-Vice Chair, Fundraising: Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz – Business Program Manager, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
Immediate Past Chair: Jennifer Jeffers – Environmental Attorney, Morrison & Foerster LLP
Alice Chen – AICP, Principal Planner, Kittelson & Associates
Wayne Chen – Director of Policy & Planning, City of San Jose Department of Housing
Barnali Ghosh – Landscape Architect; Co-founder, AviationJustice
Curt Johansen – Board President, Council of Infill Builders; Managing Partner, Sustainable Communities Partners LLC
Earl Kaing – Transportation Planner, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
Fanta Kamakaté – Chief Program Officer, International Council on Clean Transportation
Vi Lam – Project Manager, AECOM
Shireen Malekafzali – Senior Manager for Policy, Planning, & Equity, San Mateo County Health System
Daniel Parolek – AIA, Principal, Opticos Design
Jeff Tiell – Program Officer, Jim Joseph Foundation
Dan Luscher, who joined the board in December 2012, is a passionate believer in TransForm’s work to promote vibrant and healthful communities through smart transportation and land use decisions. He is a finance and operations executive with 20 years of experience helping small, purpose-driven organizations grow in scope, impact, and geographic reach. Dan is currently Principal at Lassen Consulting and founder of Lassen Investments, a boutique impact investing firm. Previously, Dan was Chief Operating Officer of Water.org and CFO of BSR (Business for Social Responsibility). Earlier in his career, Dan worked as an environmental consultant on transportation, land use, and air quality issues; clients included the U.S. EPA, the Sacramento and South Coast Air Quality Management Districts, and the California Air Resources Board. Dan has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, where his master’s thesis evaluated transit-oriented development in the Bay Area. Dan, who lives in San Francisco with his wife and three kids, is a trail runner who can occasionally be found in local music clubs playing drums with his rock band.
Alice Chen joined the board in February 2014. Alice is a Principal Planner with Kittelson & Associates. She brings her expertise as a transportation planner having worked with several cities in the Bay Area on the circulation elements of their General Plans, bicycle master plans, and pedestrian plans. More recently her work has been addressing the Complete Streets requirements of AB 1358, incorporation of Caltrans’ Smart Mobility Framework into transportation planning practices, and engaging in the most recent efforts to reform the CEQA guidelines for transportation analysis. Originally from small rural towns in New England, she has a degree in Urban Studies from Brown University. She came to the Bay Area for her master’s degree in Transportation Engineering from the University of California Berkeley. She is a certified planner (AICP) with the American Planning Association. Alice lives in the walkable, transit-oriented Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland with her husband, who is a transit planner with San Francisco Muni, and two children, Karl and Annika. On weekends, Alice can be found on the sidelines of soccer field rooting for the kids or running around the neighborhood with her whippet, Zephyr.
Seated December 2014. Wayne Chen is the Director of Policy & Planning with the City of San Jose Department of Housing, where he works on legislation, policy analyses, the development of local and regional housing and land use plans, and creating great places. Wayne has also taught housing policy and urban growth management courses at San Jose State University’s Department of Urban & Regional Planning. One of the most important opportunities in San Jose and in the Bay Area is the creation of more urban, walkable, equitable, and resilient built environments. Transform is in a position to continue facilitating this shift through systems-thinking and action-oriented leadership, and Wayne is excited to be part of this dynamic and holistic organization. Wayne has a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Intellectual History from UC San Diego, a Master in Public Policy from UC Berkeley, and a Master in Urban Planning from Harvard University. Wayne enjoys reading The New Yorker, cooking classic comfort food, discovering Northern California’s beautiful trails, exploring the nooks and crannies of cities, and following the stock market.
Seated December 2014. Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz is the Outreach and Communications Manager at Bay Area Bike Share and brings extensive experience in planning and community development. Paolo directed the planning and outreach for an award-winning street and public space plan in downtown San Francisco in 2011 and has years of experience working with businesses to create better neighborhoods. He spearheaded the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's land use and planning programs while managing major multi-modal corridor campaigns and citywide business engagement. Paolo is also a member of the 2014-15 class of Leadership San Francisco. A Berkeley native, Paolo grew up with an AC Transit pass in his wallet and Cheeseboard Collective pizza and later graduated from Occidental College with honors in Urban and Environmental Policy. Paolo lives next to the Pacific Ocean in the Sunset district of San Francisco and spends much of his free time surfing Ocean Beach.
Jame Ervin is looking forward to using her marketing expertise to help connect and outreach to our communities on the need for smarter development and mobility to support our region's growth and maintain its diversity. After attending city meetings and planning sessions over the past couple of years, Jame realized that our government agencies (and governing bodies) do not always hear from constituents who most need and desire more inclusive communities and improved transit. She joined the Transform Board in January 2014. Jame works in Marketing Operations where she is responsible for marketing systems, integration, process and analytics. She formerly worked as a sales and marketing consultant focusing on helping organizations connect marketing and sales by implementing tools and processes to and help marketers provide better ROI for marketing campaigns. Jame studied American Studies at UC Berkeley. She bikes around town and is anxiously awaiting the day we have efficient transit options across the whole region. Jame lives in Oakland and stays Oaklandish by checking out the latest developments, restaurants and eateries around the Town; her unofficial nickname is "walking Yelp."
Barnali joined the TransForm Board in 2011 and is currently the board's fundraising co-vice Chair. She has been car-free for over twelve years, relying on bikes, public transit, walking, and car-sharing. She is excited to serve on the board of an organization that has had a direct impact on her life and whose work allows her to live according to her values. Barnali is a LEED-certified California landscape architect with over a decade of experience in planning, design, sustainability, and community outreach. She specializes in the design of public parks, schoolyards, and streetscapes, with an emphasis on sustainability and universal design. She has worked on projects in the United States, Japan, and India. Barnali's passion for sustainable transportation and deep concern about the impacts of climate change led her to spend 2009-2010 doing a year-long green citizen journalism project, writing on issues related to global transportation and climate justice, as she and her husband attempted to travel around the world aviation-free. She conducted over 60 interviews with climate justice activists, NGO workers, and climate-impacted community members, while traveling to 60 cities in 14 countries by cargo ship, ferry, express bus, and train. Her reporting can be found at Year Of No Flying (www.yearofnoflying.com). She is also founding member of the Aviation Justice coalition (www.aviationjustice.org), formed in 2010 to raise awareness about the impacts of aviation related to climate change, noise, pollution, and civil rights, while advocating for alternatives to an unsustainable system. Barnali enjoys long walks, good food, movies, and nurturing her newfound love of performing on stage.
Jennifer Jeffers joined TransForm’s Board of Directors in December 2011 and serves as the Board Chair. Jennifer’s roots in the environmental sector run deep. With a B.A. in environmental biology from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and an M.S. in environmental science and policy and J.D. in law from the University of California-Berkeley, Jennifer’s first career focused on international marine conservation, an issue still very near and dear to her. Jennifer is currently an environmental attorney at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco and, as part of her work, she advises clients regarding compliance with state and local agency regulations regarding commercial, mixed-use, and renewable energy project development and permitting. Jennifer also has a particular interest in the implementation of AB 32 and SB 375. Growing up in the car-centric suburbs of Colorado, Jennifer appreciates the need for and benefit of smart growth principals and strategic land use planning, and is passionate about TransForm’s focus on improving access to affordable, accessible, reliable, and extensive transit service. She is a daily user of transbay bus and Bart services and resides in a highly walkable neighborhood in Alameda with her husband and son. Jennifer is an avid gardener, traveler, scuba diver and photographer whenever a free moment presents itself.
Seated December 2014. Curt Johansen’s professional career as an infill community developer spans thirty years. His recent mixed use conservation communities emphasize high degrees of sustainability. In California he has entitled/built thousands of residential units including significant commercial space. Curt is also a recognized leader in the pursuit of best development practice.
In addition to his service with TransForm, Curt is a founding Board Member and President of the Council of Infill Builders, on ULI’s Socially Responsible Investment Council, and he participates on numerous other regional boards and committees promoting sustainable communities. Curt is a former Planning Commission Chair for the City of Petaluma, CA. He is a frequent speaker on S.B. 375 compliance issues and market-driven sustainable communities.
Curt began his career developing planned communities. Early on he founded his own custom residential construction company. He became Development Director and Executive Vice President for Triad Communities, where for many years he managed the award-winning California portfolio for that highly successful Seattle-based company. His 2006 downtown Vallejo project was awarded Best Specific Plan in California by the American Planning Association. Curt’s most recent venture is a transit-oriented community in the San Joaquin Valley.
Seated December 2015. Earl Kaing brings years of experience as a transportation planner and management consultant to help TransForm expand transportation choice for all Californians. He is a transit planner at San Francisco Muni by day, where he communicates, implements, and evaluates projects designed to improve the walking, waiting, and riding experience for customers. He currently supports Muni Forward: a package of “Complete Streets” proposals and service changes that together represent the first major redesign of San Francisco’s transit system in over thirty years. By night, Earl advocates for taxitransit integration: a tactical alternative to conventional transit projects that acknowledges our carcentric reality, helps keep more riders riding even after they have the choice not to, and recruits the car service industry in the fight for a more sustainable future. His awardwinning ideas earned him a place in NextCity’s 2015 Vanguard class, and a spot on the TEDx circuit. Earl studied engineering at UC Berkeley (2006) and urban planning at UCLA (2012). In a former life, he helped Fortune 500 companies build the organizational and technological capacity to more effectively achieve their goals. Earl is a closeted writer who enjoys Star Trek reruns and petsitting in his free time.
Seated December 2014. Fanta Kamakaté is an expert on clean vehicle and fuel policy. She has worked with governments and international institutions to develop and implement strategies to mitigate the climate and air quality impacts of cars, trucks, ships and aircraft and their fuels. She currently serves as the Chief Program Officer for the International Council on Clean Transportation, an independent nonprofit research organization where she provides strategic leadership and day-to day management of the ICCT’s research programs. Over the last fifteen years, she has led projects to overcome the technical, political and economic barriers to progress on clean fuel and vehicle policies in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Fanta holds an M.S. in Energy and Resources, with a focus on air quality and transportation, from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. In her travels, Fanta has discovered that walking or taking public transportation is her favorite way to get to experience a city’s sights and sounds and get a glimpse of its soul. She is inspired by TransForm’s dedication to equity and inclusion and vision for transportation in the Bay Area, California and beyond.
Vi Lam joined TransForm’s Board of Directors in December 2016, and brings close to a decade of environmental consulting experience to the table. She is passionate about making the world an inclusive and better place for all, and has dedicated her studies and career towards this mission. As a professionally licensed chemical engineer and a certified Project Manager from the Project Management Institute, she has consulted on the management of water, air, and energy for cities including Toronto, San Francisco, San Jose, and Honolulu. Vi moved to San Francisco from Toronto in 2013 and has left her car behind to adopt a much more walkable lifestyle. She currently works as a Project Manager for AECOM, and devotes her time on San Francisco’s Sewer System Improvement Program. She has presented her engineering work at local and international conferences, and in trade journals, print, and digital magazines. Vi studied chemical engineering at the University of Toronto, and is also a formally trained artist and graphic designer. She has always been passionate about being engaged in the community, and in the past, spent 7 years with the City of Toronto leading art programs for children and young adults as well as working at public libraries. She currently volunteers with local organizations in the Bay Area including Lava Mae, which provides mobile hygiene services to those moving through homelessness.
Shireen Malekafzali is Senior Manager for Policy, Planning and Equity at the San Mateo County Health System leading the Health Policy and Planning Program (HPP), Epidemiology Unit, and the Get Healthy San Mateo County Initiative. HPP focuses on building healthy, equitable communities by supporting the conditions that enable everyone in San Mateo County to reach their full potential. HPP's work includes an emphasis on a healthy local economy, stable and affordable housing, safe and complete neighborhoods, and healthy schools with strong educational opportunities. Shireen has over 15 years of experience advancing health and equity through community partnerships, policy, research, advocacy, grantmaking and technical assistance. She is currently appointed to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Policy Advisory Committee representing the interests of low-income people in San Mateo County in regional transportation planning and policy decisions. Previous to her position in San Mateo County Health System, she was an associate director at PolicyLink, a national policy and research institute advancing economic and social equity. She has a master’s degree in public health, an undergraduate degree in environmental science and a passion for a just democracy.
Seated December 2014. Daniel Parolek is a nationally recognized thought leader in architecture and urban planning related to creating walkable communities. Daniel has led the field in rethinking the way land development is regulated to encourage more sustainable, urban development by utilizing the practice of Form-Based Coding (FBC): He co-authored the first comprehensive book on the topic and founded the Form-Based Code Institute to educate about FBC best practices. Daniel’s recent work also has focused on implementing Missing Middle Housing in order to address shifting demographics and a growing demand for walkable urban living.
Recent projects include a strategy to revitalize and encourage investment in Cincinnati, OH’s urban neighborhoods, which won the 2015 CNU Charter Award Grand Prize; an affordable, green courtyard housing project in Santa Fe, NM; and a sustainable growth strategy for Libreville in Gabon, Africa. He is also currently working on CodeNext, the citywide Land Development Code update for Austin, TX.
Daniel founded Opticos Design, Inc. in 2000, a founding B Corporation and California Benefit Corporation committed to a triple bottom line. Daniel grew up in a small town in Nebraska with a vibrant main street where he developed his passion for walkable urban communities and now lives in Berkeley’s Westbrae neighborhood. He enjoys exploring urban places on foot and bike, cooking, traveling, and supporting local businesses.
Brian Raymond is excited to bring his passion about the intersections of transportation and health to the TransForm board, where he has served since January 2012. Having worked in the health care industry for nearly three decades, Brian views healthy transportation options as a key health concern, in terms of air quality, injury risk, physical activity, and access to necessities of life. In his capacity as Senior Health Policy Consultant at the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy, Brian analyzes emerging policy issues and supports the health policy decisionmaking process within Kaiser Permanente. At the Institute for Health Policy, his current areas of focus include policy strategies to promote healthy eating, active living, and health equity. Brian received a bachelor's degree in community health administration from the University of California, Davis, and a master's degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. A native of the Bay Area, Brian currently resides in Berkeley where he is an avid, even compulsive, walker.
It may seem a curious route that brought Rick Theis, once the executive director of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association, to ardently support progressive transportation and land-use policy. In 1985 he realized that to protect the County’s prized vineyard land required stopping urban sprawl, so he helped organize a campaign with Greenbelt Alliance to create voter-approved urban growth boundaries. The campaign committee affectionately called him the “drum major.” Then he realized that to make UGBs permanent required that cities and towns become more desirous places to live—affordable, walkable, bikeable, and pedestrian and transit oriented. He was appointed to the Santa Rosa Planning Commission in 1989 but was kicked off in 1993 for opposing big-box development. After that he served on the board of Urban Ecology for 8 years where he helped found what is now TransForm and co-founded the Sonoma County Transportation/Land Use Coalition. In 2000 he founded the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy (www.ecoleader.org), based in Santa Rosa, which trains leaders to create public policy for a sustainable future; it has graduated 400 fellows in 12 years. He joined the TransForm Board in December 2011.
Jeff Tiell joined the board in December 2016. Jeff provides support and guidance to a portfolio of grantees within the Jewish education sector as a Program Officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation, one of the leading Jewish funders in the United States. He serves on the regional board of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and was a Global Justice Fellow with American Jewish World Service and a Jeremiah Fellow with Bend the Arc. From 2013-15, Jeff worked at Encore.org, a social change organization focusing on utilizing the skills and experience of those in mid-life and beyond to improve communities. In his role at Encore, he was responsible for providing strategic and operational advice to grantees and organizations. Previously, Jeff was on an academic track where he was working towards a Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Planning with a specialty in Community Development & Engagement, Health Disparities, and Education. His research chiefly focus on how schools serve as agents of institutional and neighborhood change. He has also written on issues of social equity and policy for the Washington, D.C. social policy tank, the Center for the Study of Social Policy. He received his MCP from the University of Pennsylvania and an A.B. in History from Brown. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Jeff lives in Oakland and loves travel (especially to National Parks), going to see old film noir cinema, breakfast foods, music and comedy.
Elizabeth Deakin, Univ. of California, Berkeley and Univ. of California Transportation Center
Philip Erickson, Community Design + Architecture
Doug Linney, The Next Generation
Jeremy Nelson, Nelson\Nygaard
Victor Rubin, PolicyLink
Sharon Sprowls, Housing California