Advisory Board

Mark Buell

Mark Buell is a native San Franciscan, a graduate of the University of San Francisco and a decorated Vietnam veteran.  He has spent 35 years in both public and private real estate development.  Mark served as San Francisco’s first Director of Economic Development under Joseph Alioto and later served as the first Director of the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency from 1977 to 1985. 

He was a founding member and first President of CALED, the California Association for Local Economic Development and has served on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission under Dianne Feinstein.  Buell serves on the Boards of various non-profit organizations including the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Bolinas Museum and the Chez Panisse Foundation.  He is President of the SF Recreation and Park Commission and Chairman of the America’s Cup Organizing Committee.  Buell is married to the former Susie Russell Tompkins and has two children from a previous marriage:  Sabrina and Justin. 

Susie Tompkins Buell

Susie Tompkins Buell is the former co-founder and co-owner of Esprit de Corp, a global lifestyle company. She is a native San Franciscan who is often credited with introducing Northern California lifestyle to the world through Esprit’s product, groundbreaking marketing and progressive corporate culture.

Since selling Esprit in 1996, Susie has devoted herself to politics and the empowerment of women through activism. She is considered one of the top Democratic fundraisers in the nation and is a tireless supporter of those candidates who are true to her causes.

Her recent philanthropic ventures include bringing V-Day to San Francisco and chairing the first ever Global Fund for Women event. She has two daughters, Summer and Quincey, and five grandchildren.

Ann Moller Caen

Ann Moller Caen is President of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. She is also the President of her own company, Moller & Associates, a consulting firm. She also serves on the Board of Governors of the San Francisco Symphony, the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Board of Trustees of Golden Gate University, as well as the UCSF Foundation. She has served on Boards of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Fisherman’s Wharf Merchant’s Association. Caen was also a Director of Pier 39, Siwel, Inc, and Sico Inc. Additionally, she was President of the Nob Hill Capital and Publisher of the San Francisco Visitor News. She is also involved with the Audubon Canyon Ranch, the International Hospitality Center, KQED, the California Pacific Medical Center, the San Francisco Junior League, and the Northern California Cancer Center.

Commissioner Caen holds a BS in Biology and Education and an MBA in Finance. She is the widow of Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, Herb Caen. She was first appointed by Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. in March 1997, and reappointed for a second term in November 2001. Mayor Gavin Newsom reappointed her to a third term in January 2005. She served as President of the Commission from 2001-2002. Her term will expire in August 2012.

Dr. Marcia Dawkins

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Ph.D. is an award-winning author, speaker, and professor at USC Annenberg. She wrote the critically acclaimed books Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity, Eminem: The Real Slim Shady and Mixed Race 3.0 and served for two years as a Visiting Scholar at Brown University.  When she’s not delivering talks at organizations such as The Mayo Clinic, The Public Relations Society of America and UNESCO, she shares her insights with Google, NPR, WABC-TV, TIME Magazine, QZ, HuffPo Live and AOL Digital and contributes to Truthdig as a columnist. She earned a doctorate in communication at USC Annenberg, master’s degrees in humanities at USC and NYU and bachelor’s degrees in communication arts and honors at Villanova.

Andrew Fiore

Andrew T. Fiore is a data scientist at Facebook and a lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Information. He holds a Ph.D. from the Berkeley I School, where he studied computer-mediated communication with a focus on relationship formation via online dating and co-developed the graduate course on Computer-Mediated Communication. In 2006, he was named a Microsoft Research Fellow. Andrew also holds master’s degrees in Statistics from UC Berkeley and Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab as well as a B.A. from Cornell University.

Kelly McAskill-Petrich

Kelly is passionate about engaging companies and people to create positive social and environmental impacts while also creating financial value. Her work focuses on building and implementing CSR & corporate philanthropy and volunteerism strategies, engagements and communications. Kelly recently joined the SanDisk Foundation and Community Relations team as Manager. In this new position, she helps manage grant-making for the Foundation and organize employee volunteerism and engagement in focus areas such as K-12 and STEM education and children’s health and wellness.  Prior to SanDisk, Kelly worked with Saatchi and Saatchi Sustainability, a small consultancy housed within the larger advertising firm. At Saatchi S, Kelly led projects with Fortune 500 companies to design and launch CSR strategies, communications and employee engagements. Clients have included Walmart, WellPoint, Duke Energy, AT&T, NBCUniversal, Edeniq and T. Rowe Price. Kelly has also worked for the U.S. government and international non-profit organizations and has a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Outside of work, Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband, two small daughters, and their big goofy mutt named Murphy.

Eric Facas

Eric is the founder and CEO of Media Cause, a digital marketing agency that works exclusively with nonprofits and causes. Media Cause launched in 2010 and has worked with over 50 US nonprofits, global NGOs and local community foundations. Eric is also the founder and President of Social Good Labs, an incubator for new nonprofits and social good startups. As a social entrepreneur and advisor, Eric is passionate about developing scalable solutions to global issues by leveraging the power of the internet and technology.

In 2009, Eric was a co-founder of Tallwave, a startup/business accelerator and was responsible for building the companies second portfolio company, Ethology, a digital advertising agency. Prior to Tallwave, Eric spent five years at Google where he played a significant role in important program launches, built new teams, and ran Google’s SEM/Agency councils. Eric received an EMG/Founder’s award from Google’s Executive Management Group for his work on the creation and rollout of the multi-billion dollar AdWords API program in 2008. Before joining Google in 2004, Eric worked with several online media startups including America Online after receiving a degree in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Eric lives in Marin County, CA with wife, 1 year old daughter and 2 year old son. They can be found hiking or biking on the weekend or plotting their next international adventure. 

Pekka Parnanen

Pekka brings more than 20 years experience in international business in IT and Communications industries. He has been helping companies to establish or re-establish themselves in the international markets with especially deep experience in establishing companies and partnerships in North America, Japan, Europe and Asia. Pekka’s experience has enabled companies to go through accelerated learning curves in establishing successful business and technology strategies driving successful international market penetration. Pekka is currently the Head of Finpro Silicon Valley where he also was key in establishing the FinNode (Finnish Innovation Center in Silicon Valley) in 2007. Prior to Finpro, Pekka was Director for Global Business Development for Solid Information Technology. Prior to Solid, he was VP Global Marketing and Sales for Cybelius Software and also set up the company in the US and prior to Cybelius he was President for T.V.I – TEMET Vision Industry in Helsinki and Atlanta, GA, USA. Pekka holds Masters of Science in Material Science and Marketing from the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland.

Blake Ward, PhD

Blake currently holds the position of Principal Consultant at Animas Consulting Group, specializing in integrated web and mobile solutions for corporations.  Prior to Animas Consulting Group, Blake was VP of Product Development at Syndicom, Inc. where his responsibilities included general product planning and design, and management of IT and software development. Prior to Syndicom, Blake was CTO at Marketocracy, where he oversaw all software development, information management, and web site operations. He also designed many of Marketocracy’s underlying stock market analysis algorithms.  Blake has more than 30 years of computer science experience in high-tech industries. He has provided expertise in computer software engineering, architecture and infrastructure, prototype development and design and data analysis as well as corporate strategy, budgeting and fund raising for businesses ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.  Blake’s career also includes senior management and research positions at Apple, Xerox PARC, Gateway and Amiga.  Blake has a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Skye Van Raalte-Herzog

Skye is Founder and CEO of LA-based mobile app developer, Expanded Apps.  The company is a leading producer of high-end mobile apps for businesses, organizations and publishers. Expanded Apps has been at the forefront of interactive multimedia since its inception, producing more than 200 apps since 2008 for a worldwide client base. The majority of these apps feature medical, diet, and educational health-related content.  Expanded Apps’ clients include Springer Healthcare, a division of Springer Publishers, McGraw-Hill, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Participant Media and many more.  Skye also is a partner in, a medical informatics company that aims to revolutionize healthcare by standardizing tasks with medical algorithms. Skye applies decades of experience in content development to the applications she builds.  Having come from a background in video and book production, this expertise is utilized in the creation of multimedia apps that integrate content in an engaging and stimulating way.  Skye graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brown University and also attended the London School of Economics.

Hans Davidsson

Hans Davidsson is the CEO of My4 International AB, an international business innovation company focused on IT, Telecommunications and Medical Technology. Mr. Davidsson brings an extensive career and global experience as a senior executive at Ericsson, one of the world’s largest wireless infrastructure and services companies. During his career at Ericsson, Mr. Davidsson served in several senior technical and business roles, including: founder and President of Ericsson’s Wireless Internet group; Vice President of Sales & New Products for North and Latin America; Global R&D Director for Ericsson’s mobile phones group; and General Manager of a multi-billion dollar infrastructure unit in charge of Ericsson’s access products. As a managing partner of IdeaEDGE Ventures, a California-based venture development firm focused on the convergence of computing and communications, Mr. Davidsson led and/or participated in several early stage ventures. He remains an active Director and Advisory Board member in numerous companies around the world. Mr. Davidsson is also a Director of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of the Linköping University of Technology and Business Management in Sweden.

Tony Clapes

Tony is an international technology lawyer and a consultant on intellectual property management who has represented US mainland high-technology companies of all sizes, from the individual inventor to the largest high-tech enterprise in the world. In 1992, he was named one of America’s top 30 high-tech intellectual property lawyers in a National Law Journal peer survey. Before entering private practice in 1996, Tony was Assistant General Counsel at IBM, responsible for US litigation and dispute resolution. In that position, he managed large teams of inside and outside lawyers and paralegals. Tony has undertaken high-level negotiations, mediation, arbitration and litigation for his clients, and has advised on antitrust, employee relations, legal issues concerning Web-based businesses, intellectual property (particularly as regards software), commercial and securities law, and a broad range of other legal issues faced by operating businesses of all sizes.

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