Board of Directors
Michael Allison is a facilitator of positive change. He works with organizations in a wide variety of fields to help them achieve as much of their potential as possible. Presently, he consults with organizations and their leaders as part of La Piana’s Team. Previously, he had a solo consulting for 11 years and before that he was Director of Consulting and Research at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services for 15 years. Since 2006, Michael has been a member of the Haas Jr. Flexible Leaderships Awards Program consulting team and regularly partners with others on consulting initiatives and publishing projects. Through everything, Michael Allison is fulfilling his mission, purpose, goal to contribute to making the world a better place, more fair, more compassionate and more sustainable.
Collin Baker is a staff attorney with East Bay Children’s Law Offices (EBCLO), representing children and youth in dependency proceedings in Alameda County. Additionally, he serves as minors’ counsel in Family Drug Court and he is project leader for transitional age youth in EBCLO’s Community-based Advocacy for Resources and Education Program (CARE). Before joining EBCLO, he served on the Dependency Representation Panel in San Francisco. Collin’s passion for child advocacy began in law school as a member of the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Collin graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona and holds a law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He is a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children.
Jennifer Ling, Secretary
Jennifer Ling is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked extensively with children and families. She currently works for Alameda County Health Care Services as a Behavioral Health Clinician, providing mental health services to students in school-based programs. She received a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin before completed a Master of Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She has a background in Child Welfare from Alameda County Social Services Agency, where she provided services in Family Reunification, Step-Parent and Independent Adoptions, and Family Finding.
Diana Markley is the Director of Programs of SF-Marin Food Bank and holds extensive knowledge and experience within the SF Bay Area nonprofit sector. She currently oversees the development of the Food Bank’s new Home-Delivered Grocery initiative whose goal is to combat food insecurity within vulnerable populations. Prior to joining the food bank, she spent over 10 years at United Way of the Bay Area working on their 211 Information and Referral Program. Diana achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from The Ohio State University and is highly committed to helping young people realize their potential. In addition to working with Beyond Emancipation, she has committed time, resources and energy to the Oakland Unified School District, East Bay Agency for Children and Good Cents for Oakland. She is a mom to four amazing children and is proud to be a resident of Oakland.
Brigitte Marshall is an organizational effectiveness consultant who focuses on supporting organizations that are genuinely committed to positioning their employees to do their best work. She has over twenty-five years’ experience in growing individuals. She advocates for the development of healthy organizations that pave the way for people to excel and perform to their full potential. To achieve this goal, Brigitte has established intentional strategies designed to prevent unproductive conflict and implements restorative practices when conflict occurs. Most recently, Brigitte was Chief Talent Officer for the Oakland Unified School District where she led the development of a data-driven, decision-making culture and practice. She is a graduate of the University of Oxford with a joint Bachelor’s and Master’s Honors Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
Kent Schwartz is the CFO at Kearns & West. Previously Kent was the CFO at Allison & Partners. He has 30 years of experience in building meaningful analysis and processes to serve management, employees and clients. Kent graduated from California State University, Chico with a B.S. in Business Administration.
Lori Tannyhill, is the Campus Shared Services (CSS) Service Director for UC Berkeley Professional and Graduate Schools, responsible for managing delivery of CSS administrative services to the schools. Previously, she was the West Region Business Advisor with Deloitte Services in their National Meeting Services group. Lori has extensive background in operations management, service delivery, and process improvement. She brings her collaborative leadership style and consultative approach to serving on the board. Lori is a UC Berkley Alumni with a Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition and began her career as a Registered Dietician.
Sydney Thomas is an Investment Associate and Head of Operations at Precursor Ventures. Sydney gained experience working in technology startups in business development and product marketing. Prior to her work in tech, she managed public-private partnerships for the NYC Government’s Department of Education and Office of Financial Empowerment. Sydney graduated from Berkeley with her MBA and Duke with her BA. She received a B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University. Sydney later moved to California to pursue an MBA at UC Berkeley.
Michael Ward, Chair
Michael Ward is a Partner who practices management-side employment law with Donahue Fitzgerald LLP, one of Oakland’s largest law firms. The firm has 52 attorneys and provides a wide array of business-related legal services including business transactions, tax and estate planning, intellectual property, real estate, litigation, environment and land use, and employment law. Originally from the Boston area, Michael came to California to attend college at Stanford, and later completed his law degree at UC Berkeley.
Katherine is a Vice President of F&M Bank. She has over 20-years commercial lending experience and has provided financial solutions exclusively to businesses and entrepreneurs within the wine industry for the past 18 years. Prior to joining F&M Bank, Katherine held positions at Wells Fargo, Sanwa Bank/Bank of the West, City National Bank and Umpqua Bank. Katherine received her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.