The Graphic Distillery
Emily is the founder of The Graphic Distillery. She partners with change consultants, strategists, and innovators, creating clear, colorful visuals to help people get ideas out of their heads and onto a shared “platform”. This accelerates the ability of groups to understand complex concepts, see new connections between ideas, and make better decisions. Her work allows clients to become fully engaged and energized when working together on critical issues.
Vice President for Administration & Finance / CFO
Sonoma State University
Joyce Lopes joined Sonoma State University as the Vice President of Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer in August 2017. Ms. Lopes comes to SSU from Humboldt State University where she was the Vice President of Administrative Affairs. Along with being a certified public accountant, Ms. Lopes holds a Master's in Business Administration and a certificate from the Chief Business Officer Leadership Institute sponsored by the California Association of School Business Officers.
Head of Scientific Affairs
German Consulate General in San Francisco
Sabine Blankenship is responsible for scientific affairs at the German Consulate General in San Francisco since April 2016. Before that she served as Science Liaison Officer at the Consulate, fostering scientific collaboration and exchange between the U.S.’s Pacific Northwest and Germany.
Chair, Professor of Ceramics
Art & Art History
In 1992, Gregory Roberts was the first artist to utilize honeycomb ceramics to create art, bringing a completely unique material to the clay and glass world, which was first shown at Dorothy Weiss Gallery in San Francisco. He went on to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts at Mills College and was offered a San Francisco Art Dealers Association Introductions Exhibition at Dorothy Weiss for his MFA thesis exhibition titled Working Late.https://studioc2.squarespace.com
Assistant Professor of Ecology and Environmental Studies
Hutchins School of Liberal Studies
Dr. Law is a human-environment geographer, and her research focuses on the ecological management practices of rural communities that live in and around North American forests. Her other research and teaching interests include: political ecology, climate change, conservation, novel ecology, and science studies.
Christopher Leith Evans was born in 1954 in Bremerton, Washington. His grade school years were spent in Brightwaters, on Long Island, in the suburbs of New York City. As a child and teenager Chris often visited the city’s great museums, giving him a deep appreciation of art history. In 1972, at age seventeen, he moved with his family to Santa Monica, California. In the autumn of 1973 Christopher began attending the University of California, Los Angeles. The UCLA Art department of the 1970s was a crossroads of Post-Modern “pluralism” and celebrated artists such as William Brice, James Valerio, James Doolin, Tom Wudl, and David Hockney were among the faculty that Evans studied with. Christopher was one of a handful of young painters interested in exploring a more naturalistic approach to representation than Pop-Art and Photo-Realism afforded, and in using long disregarded techniques of traditional oil painting. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1980.
Provost, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chief Academic Officer
Dr. Lisa Vollendorf is Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at Sonoma State University. A passionate educator who believes in the value of education as a public good, Dr. Vollendorf is proud to provide academic leadership to a university that serves nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. A Spanish professor by training, she is a strong proponent of inclusive excellence, collaboration, and innovative teaching and learning. Dr. Vollendorf has more than 22 years of experience in public higher education as a teacher, researcher, and academic leader. You can follow her on Twitter @lisavol.
Early Education Program serving SSU student, staff and faculty families
Sonoma State University Associated Students
The Associated Students Children’s School: Schooling for Sustainability for ages 1-5. The philosophy of education at the Children’s School is based on child development research, which finds that children form most of their attitudes about self and learning during the first five years of life. Our goal is for children to develop ecological literacy, an understanding that all living things are interrelated and interdependent. From the age of one year, children develop the dispositions of respect, responsibility and resourcefulness. We call our curriculum for the whole school “A Living Systems Curriculum”: We plant seeds and grow food. We harvest food. We let some plants go to seed and plant the seeds. We feed plants that feed us. We learn about plants and season’s cycles. We recycle our waste through composting and vermiculture. We hope to instill in children a lifelong passion for taking care of ourselves and our earth.
Professor of Leadership & Strategy
Dr. William Silver is a Professor of Leadership and Strategy at Sonoma State University. From 2008-2017 he served as the Dean of the School of Business and Economics and the Wine Business Institute. Dr. Silver is the co-author of the book, Way of Zing – A Guide to Aligning Work and Life, written with Mark Gregory Nelson. The Way of Zing is a story about living a life of purpose and relevance, where what the world needs from you is in congruence with who you are.
Lecturer and Master Teacher, Early Childhood Education Curriculum especially Exploring the Natural World with Children
Early Childhood Studies and Sonoma State University Children's School
I have been in early childhood education since 1980. I have a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and found that I did not want to be inside a classroom most of the day. I believe children learn the "three r's" outdoors as well as indoors. Luckily, I was able to teach in Early Education Programs for children 2 to 5 years of age and be outside for most of the day. Since 2006, I have worked at Sonoma State University Children's School helping to create rich and opportunity filled outdoor environments for children to explore and grow. I have taught adults since 1989 at Santa Rosa Junior College and at Sonoma State Univeristy focusing on curriculum development. I am passionate about gardening and botanical art.
Technical Director, Tech 3
A&H/School of performing Arts
Theo Bridant has worked at Sonoma State University since August of 2007 as the Technical Director for the School of Performing Arts. His duties include overseeing the construction and realization of stage scenery, properties, lighting, video, and sound designs for the departments of Theater Arts and Dance, and Musical Theater; Theo is often invited to perform the duties of Lighting Designer and Sound Designer for many of these productions as well. Theo is joined in the Scene Shop by John Connole and Russell Wigglesworth, and he often works on productions concurrent with Martha Clarke, the Costume Director for the School of Performing Arts. The best part of Theo's job is that he gets to work closely with the advanced technical theater students each semester, which gives him the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience with them.
Assistant City Manager and Director of Planning and Economic Development
City of Santa Rosa
Mr. Guhin has over 15 years of experience in the public sector, and is currently the Assistant City Manager and Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Santa Rosa. In addition to the Assistant City Manager duties, Mr. Guhin’s responsibilities include the City’s Planning, Building, Engineering and Economic Development functions.
Tennis Wick has served as Permit Sonoma Director since November 2013. The agency balances environmental protection and sustainable development of Sonoma County’s natural resources through the agency’s planning, engineering, building, well and septic, code enforcement and customer service sections. Before joining the County of Sonoma, Wick worked as a principal at Berg Holdings responsible for government affairs, site acquisition, design and entitlement.
Center for Sustainable Communities
Tom Jacobson is a graduate of the University of California Hastings College of Law and received a Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley. He is Professor of Geography, Environment, and Planning and Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities at Sonoma State University.
Programs Coordinator & Director
Daily Acts & Farmster
Dustin DeMatteo is a Programs Coordinator who works with students, residents, and sustainability experts to uncover needs to kick-start community and culture transformation in Sonoma County. Dustin believes that your daily acts to grow food, save water, conserve energy, reduce waste or build community generates local resilience and beneficial connections in your community. He has worked at Daily Acts for two years and converted thousands of square feet of lawn into drought-tolerant and edible landscapes, as well as, installed greywater and rainwater systems throughout the region.
Principal Environmental Specialist- Urban Stream Management
Sonoma County Water Agency
Keenan M. Foster Principal Environmental Specialist (Botanist-Ecologist) Experience Mr. Foster has more than 20 years experience providing technical expertise as a biologist and environmental scientist managing construction and remedial natural resource projects. He has worked in the environmental section of the Sonoma County Water Agency as a Senior Environmental Specialist since 2000 and been in a management position (Principal Environmental Specialist) since 2013.
Suzi Grady is the Program Director of Petaluma Bounty. Previously the Bounty Farm Manager, she has 13 years of experience in building community around food access, gardening and food system collaboration.
Manager for Workers' Compensation, ADA and Leave Administration
Human Resources - Payroll & Benefits
As chair of the Employee Wellness Committee, Renee Senander pulls together resources across campus and the community to bring a range of wellness activities to campus for employees. From partnering with Redwood Credit Union on financial wellness, to Kaiser Permanente on flu shots and educational classes, there is opportunity available to employees to improve upon all areas of wellness in their life.
Sonoma State University/School of Business and Economics and Sustainable North Bay
Dr. Judith Ford defended her PhD dissertation: 'Climate Change as Metaphor and Catalyst', a transdisciplinary case study of climate change, which illustrated how the dominant worldview shapes our understanding and attempts to solve the wicked problem of our age. Her research concluded that solutions to climate change lie not within the same narrow worldview from which it emerged but from an older, yet perhaps most universal, worldview, which sees humankind as an inextricable component of an enigmatic natural world where communities are defined by naturally-occurring bio-regions entwining food, economy, health, and society.
Sustainable North Bay
As a community organizer Oren connects talent, resources, and capital for a sustainable future. He promotes ideas, policies, companies and products that prosper from sustainable value cycles and support equitable communities. As a contractor Oren implements web technology solutions to improve organizational communication and support brand messaging. Recent clients include organizations focused on food safety, organic agriculture, herbal supplements, fair trade, biodiversity and healthy lifestyles. Oren is a certified LEED® Green Associate and serves on the US Green Building Council - Redwood Empire Chapter Leadership Board as the Vice-Chair.
Isabel Lopez is the Executive Director Raizes Collective. Isabel Lopez is a mother, advocate, activist, Executive Director, neighbor, daughter, and first-generation woman of color born in Morelos, Mexico. Her parents migrated to Sonoma County to support the family doing field work picking grapes. So at 7 years old, Isabel and her 6 siblings, live with their parents in a one bedroom home. She did not speak English and life was very different from the conditions she experienced in Mexico. She noticed the inequities and unfairness in the Immigration system when she became a citizen in 1994; was fortunate to benefit from the Amnesty Program that gave her citizenship just 6 months after her father became a US citizen under this program.
Sonoma Clean Power
As Program Specialist, Nelson supports the Sonoma Clean Power program team with design, management, and implementation of customer-facing programs. Nelson has worked on the Drive EverGreen program iterations, SCP’s solar programs, and the demand-response/management program, GridSavvy. Nelson previously worked with the Sonoma County Water Agency’s Energy Resources Group working on outreach and communication efforts for the early stages of Sonoma Clean Power’s development. Nelson holds a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies & Planning with an emphasis in Energy Management & Design from Sonoma State University, and is fluent in Spanish.
Professor of Sociology and Human Geography
University of Oslo
Karen O’Brien is a professor in the Department of sociology and human geography at the University of Oslo, Norway. She works on issues related to global environmental change, globalization, vulnerability, climate change adaptation, and human security. She is particularly interested in how societies both create and respond to change.
League Cycling Instructor and Safe Routes to School Program Manager
Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition
Interested in bike commuting or just riding your bike more often? Attend our Bike Commuting Workshop with expert League of American Bicycling Certified Instructor Sarah Hadler from the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition. Sarah is an avid bike commuter and educator who has ridden her bike up and down the coast of California, through Mexico, and all around the streets of Sonoma County. She is a wealth of information about everything bike-related - come to the class to learn and be inspired!
University Diversity Officer
California State University East Bay
Dr. Rush Woods has the distinction of being appointed as the first Diversity Officer for California State University, East Bay, as of July 1, 2013. In her role as Diversity Officer, Dr. Woods coordinates efforts to foster and support diversity, equity and inclusion as core values throughout all aspects of the University community.
Ecologist and Data Scientist
Vibrant Data Labs
Dr. Eric Berlow is an ecologist, network scientist, and data scientist who specializes in not specializing. He was the Co-Founder and President of Vibrant Data, which was acquired by Rakuten, Inc. Eric is internationally recognized for his research on ecological complexity – with articles in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that have received ISI’s Most Highly Cited Papers awards. His talks on TED.com on finding hidden patterns in complex data have together received over 2 million views. Prior to Vibrant Data, Eric was the founding director of the University of California’s first science institute inside Yosemite National Park, which focused on guiding data-driven decisions for protecting natural ecosystems. Eric has received a TED Senior Fellowship, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and GE’s “Architects of Innovation” award. He was named one of the Top 100 Creatives by Origin Magazine. Dr. Berlow holds a B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Oregon State University. https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-berlow-9865194/
Director of Sustainability
Cal State East Bay
Jillian Buckholz is the first Director of Sustainability at the California State University, East Bay campus where she is responsible for managing campus sustainability efforts including an annual greenhouse gas inventory; 5-year climate action plan; comprehensive campus sustainability assessment and plan; project-based student internship program; campus sustainability committee and associated task forces; and educational programming.
Academic Programs, CCE, Social Media Coordinator
Sonoma State University Center for Community Engagement
Since 2007, Merith Weisman has served as the coordinator of the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) at Sonoma State University (SSU). She works with faculty and community organizations to help them develop collaborative partnerships to construct and strengthen service-learning courses, community-based participatory research and other engaged pedagogies for the common good, particularly around areas of diversity and sustainability. Previously, Merith was the coordinator of the Feinstein Center for Service Learning at the University of Rhode Island and developed an understanding of community organizations as Program Director of the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island. She has also served as a consultant to Latino community organizations in Providence to assist them with connecting with the mainstream community. Merith’s academic background is in applied cultural anthropology so she has traveled extensively and now lives on a boat in the San Francisco Bay.