Marin Economic Forum Announces New Board of Directors

San Rafael, CA (February 23, 2018) – Marin Economic Forum Chief Executive Officer Robin Sternberg announced today a slate of new directors for the economic advocacy organization’s non-executive board.

New Board Directors are:

  • Karah Parschauer, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Ultragenyx
  • Steve Fox, Chief Financial Officer of EO Products
  • Kevin Kearney, Real Estate Consultant, Vanguard Properties
  • Sherie Hickman, Administrator at Novato Community Hospital
  • Christian Thwaites, Chief Strategist at Brouwer & Janachowski

Marin Economic Forum (MEF) is a public-private partnership created in 2009 to enhance Marin County’s economic vitality and equity. Sternberg was appointed CEO in August 2017.

MEF focuses on key economic issues in the county and has recently provided advocacy for business expansion for Restoration Hardware, BioMarin/Whistlestop and for funding the Marin Narrows transit project. “I’m excited to strengthen the composition of Marin Economic Forum’s Board of Directors with the addition of these talented and dedicated professionals. I’m also confident that with the leadership we have on the 2018 board, we will be able to further our work that is important to our mission. We are aiming to increase our impact and make a meaningful difference in the lives of Marin County residents by helping business and work to solve issues related to workforce development, housing and equity,” said Robin Sternberg.

Returning board members are Dave Canny, a Senior Manager with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Charlie Clifford, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager with Bank of Marin, Damon Connolly, Marin County Supervisor (District 1), Mary Friedman, Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development at Marin General Hospital, Nina H. Gardner, J.D., a Partner and Executive Vice President at Filice Insurance Agency, Debi Geller, Business Development Manager with Nelson Staffing, Karen Hawley, VP, Retail Banking Manager with Opus Bank, David Hofele, President/Partner at International ProInsurance LLC, Tim Howard, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Novato-Marin/Sonoma, Justin Kudo, Deputy Director of Account Services with MCE Clean Energy, Zachary Kushel, Director and Head of Business Development at Glassdoor, Mary O’Mara, MBA, Executive Director, Marinlink & Co-Executive Director of Marin Arts, Elizabeth Pratt, ED.D., Dean of Career & Technical Education and Economic Workforce Development at the College of Marin, Jeff Scharosch, General Manager of Spinnaker Restaurant.

Haden Ongaro, a Senior Vice President with Newmark Cornish & Carey, is the Chairman of MEF’s board. Other executive board members include Marin County Supervisor (District 5) Judy Arnold (Vice Chair), Mill Valley City Council Member Garry Lion (Secretary), Strategic Financial Consultant with RSF Social Finance Chris Cook (Treasurer), Senior Commercial Relationship Manager with Exchange Bank Jacqueline F. Christensen, Director of Wealth Management with Sterling Wealth Management John F. Harty, AIF, Medical Group Administrator with Kaiser Permanente Pat Kendall, Senior Vice President Bank of America Merrill Lynch Carlo Serafini, CEO of Novato Chamber of Commerce Coy Smith and Winton Strauss Law Group Attorney Jay Strauss.

About Marin Economic Forum
The Marin Economic forum provides information and opportunities to collaborate for improving Marin County’s economic vitality and equity. Marin’s Economic Stakeholders include private sector companies, chambers of commerce, county and municipal governments, educational institutions, organizations supporting workforce employment, housing, and similar economic-related activities, consumer groups, and other organizations as designated by the MEF Board of Directors. Marin Economic Forum is a nonprofit organization. Learn more at

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