Board of Directors
Alicia Esterkamp Allbin
Pacific Waterfront Partners
Alicia Esterkamp Allbin is the founder and Principal of AEA Development, LLC, a Bay Area focused real estate development firm focused on lifestyle projects in the areas of hospitality, restaurants, retail and historic rehabilitation. Alicia is a Partner in The Barlow, a 200,000 square foot manufacturing complex and marketplace, home to 40 artisans, manufacturers and restauranteurs in Sonoma County.
Prior to AEA Development, Alicia served for 14 years as a Principal and Partner at Pacific Waterfront Partners, a local development firm specializing in real estate investment, entitlements and development. Alicia managed a team of development professionals, including project managers, property managers, architects and consultants. Her responsibilities include acquisitions, investment management, asset management, entitlements, marketing, leasing, public relations and community outreach.
Alicia has her M.B.A. from the University of San Francisco and serves on the Board of Directors for SF Made, PlaceMade, Greenbelt Alliance and the San Francisco Heritage. She also serves as the Co-Chair for the Embarcadero Business Improvement District. Alicia was named one of the Business Time’s Forever Influential Women of the Bay Area.
Pacific Gas and Electric
Rob Black is the Senior Director for Community Relations at Pacific Gas and Electric where he is responsible for leading the development and execution of community relations policies and strategies throughout Pacific Gas & Electric’s service area. Black oversees the company’s community partnerships, employee volunteer efforts, and charitable initiatives.
Prior to joining PG&E, Black served as the Executive Director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA), the 1,000 member non-profit trade association that works to promote, protect and enhance the Bay Area restaurant industry through innovation, education and advocacy.
Prior to the GGRA, Black was Vice President for Public Policy with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce where he worked on the Chamber’s federal, state and local public policy agenda. While at the Chamber, Black helped found Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, a national network of local chambers of commerce supporting sustainable energy policy.
Prior to the Chamber, Black served as Legislative Aide to San Francisco Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, and worked throughout Asia and Africa, conducting democracy development and civil society development programs for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and President Jimmy Carter’s The Carter Center. Black practiced as a campaign and government attorney with Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP, and also served as the National Director for Special Projects for the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles.
Black currently serves on the board of directors for SF Made, a non-profit organization that works to build and support a vibrant manufacturing sector in San Francisco, that sustains companies producing locally-made products, encourages entrepreneurship and innovation, and creates employment opportunities for a diverse local workforce
Black holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of New Mexico, and a juris doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment
Tracy Burton is a Vice President and the West Region Deal Team Manager for the Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment (CLI) group where she originates, underwrites, and manages a portfolio of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investments. Tracy joined Wells Fargo in 2000, since that time has held positions in a range of departments including Capital Markets, Commercial Banking, and several positions within CLI including Low Income Housing Tax Credits investments, private equity, and equity-equivalent investments to non-profit organizations. She is a graduate of Wells Fargo’s Wholesale Banking Credit Management Training Program and a recipient of the Wells Fargo Golden Spoke award.
Tracy holds a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley. She received a Bachelor of Science in International Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at the University of Denver. Tracy is actively involved in her local community on the Board of Directors of Compass Family Services and Black Rock Arts Foundation. She is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership San Francisco program. She lives in San Francisco where she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and friends.
Kurt Dammermann spent the past 20 years designing, engineering and shipping iconic products for some of the world’s best-known brands. His experience in consumer electronics includes core technology development on the iPod and first iPhone, launching Astro Gaming’s line of high end gaming accessories, and developing digital photo sharing tools at Control Group, his first product-engineering consultancy. Kurt also developed furniture for Design Within Reach and Coalesse, a Steelcase company, and athletic gear at IDEO.
Kurt founded PCH Lime Lab, his second design-engineering firm, in 2010 to bring high-quality, design-focused products to market, and to support innovative startups.
Currently, as Vice President of Highway1, Kurt’s mission is to help startups prove their technology and team while identifying a significant market for their product.
Kurt has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University and a Master of Science degree in product design from Stanford University.
Gary Groff – Board Chair
New Resource Bank
In addition to having more than 12 years of banking experience, Gary has a commitment to socially responsible banking and community service. Gary believes a diverse community and economy is the key to keeping San Francisco an amazing place. He currently serves as Board Chair of SFMade and also serves on the board of directors for San Francisco Baykeeper, and he is an advisor for Pacific Community Ventures and Sustainable Surf. An active outdoorsman, Gary enjoys surfing the cold waters of Northern California. Gary lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.
Citi Community Development
Shawnee Keck is a Vice President and Community Development Officer for Citi Community Development overseeing investments into Oakland and the East Bay. She has worked with organizations in six countries and across the public, private and non-profit sectors. An American in London for over a decade, her research and policy focus is regional economic growth, business and government, and inequality.
As a Project Manager and Economic Policy Advisor for the London Borough of Hackney in east London, Shawnee developed a local economic assessment program incorporating employment, business and property data to inform policy and strategy in Hackney and Greater London. Special topics reporting included an EU funded business development project with the London College of Fashion and the Mayor of London’s Opportunity Area Planning Framework for Tech City and creative businesses and an east London regional economic assessment for the 2012 Olympic Host Boroughs Unit.
As a Regeneration Consultant for URS, Shawnee oversaw a local economic development strategy for the renovation of Battersea Power Station, a public service co-location estate plan for Glasgow’s health and social care teams and the development of a strategic plan for a three city Local Enterprise Growth Initiative. While at the UK think tank Demos, Shawnee specialized in user-led public service design and improvement developing new public service assessments and plans for unemployed youth, enterprise education and training and change management materials for a nationwide secondary school redevelopment program.
Shawnee holds a Masters of Public and Economic Policy from the London School of Economics.
San Francisco Giants
Jon Knorpp currently serves as the Managing Director of Giants Development Services where he oversees entitlement and development of Seawall Lot 337/Pier 48 (Mission Rock), a 27 acre mixed-use master plan at the northern end of Mission Bay as well the San Francisco Giants South American facility improvements. Jon has over 35 years of real estate investment and development experience with urban residential, mixed-use and master plan properties nationwide. Prior to joining the Giants, Jon was a founding/senior partner with Wilson Meany Sullivan (WMS) where he oversaw design, development and construction for several of the firm’s signature assets as well as third party asset repositioning for some of the Nation’s foremost banking institutions and private equity clients.
A full member of the Urban Land Institute, SPUR, Lambda Alpha, and active board member for SFMade, Place Made, Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy and Larkspur Heritage Preservation Board, Jon contributes much time to bettering the San Francisco and Larkspur communities. Knorpp attended University of Nevada, Reno and resides in Larkspur with his wife Carol and two sons Jack and Griffin.
Rosemarie Ovian is Co-Owner of Cut Loose, a women’s clothing company based in San Francisco. Her interest in apparel and textiles started at an early age from both a family background and as a native New Englander. Three of her grandparents worked in the apparel trades when they immigrated to the US; both grandmothers as seamstresses and a grandfather as a Master Tailor. They instilled a love of sewing, handwork and a sense of pride in making a tangible product. Growing up in New England gave her exposure to the old mills and traditions of domestic manufacturing. Fortunately her parents nurtured these interests and helped her to find a school that specialized in educating students for the textile and apparel industries: Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, currently known as Philadelphia University. She received a B.S, in Textile Technology and minored in Apparel Production. An opportunity with Koret of California brought her to San Francisco and after a brief training period was promoted to the former manufacturing facility at 375 Alabama Street. At that time, there was close to 500 employees in the building; cutting, sewing, and pressing clothing. Her responsibilities included formulating piece work wages for the Union employees, setting up the floor plan for 100+ sewing machines and establishing an efficient flow through the factory. In 1989, she began her 25+ year tenure at Cut Loose as General Manager, overseeing the day to day running of the business. As the company grew, her involvement expanded to include overseeing an independent sales force and design. In her role as a business owner, the responsibilities have further diversified her skills by getting into the real nuts and bolts of maintaining and growing a viable business.
Cut Loose remains committed to manufacturing in the Bay Area, selling primarily to specialty/independent stores throughout the US, Canada and UK, and maintaining a niche product of very diverse garment-dyed clothing.
Nana Joes Granola
Michelle Pusateri is the owner of Nana Joes, a granola company that she launched in 2010 after years working as a pastry chef at the Four Seasons, the Fairmont and Nopalito. She starting selling her granola at three stores; now her line of seven granolas and three granola bars is stocked at more than 170 stores throughout the Bay Area.
Moss Adams, LLP
Wenli Wang started her public accounting career with Moss Adams in 1995. As a tax professional, Wenli is committed to providing effective tax planning and consulting services to closely held businesses and their owners in the Distribution and Manufacturing industries and high net worth individuals. She has a solid technical understanding of tax laws, procedures and compliance related issues and is capable of providing a wide range of tax services, including tax compliance, state and local tax planning including California enterprise zone credits, tax entity selection, tax accounting method consultation, and individual income tax planning. Wenli believes in providing proactive services to her clients. She keeps her clients up to date with abreast of the issues facing them. Through frequent and regular interactions with her clients, she has been able to build and maintain many solid long-term professional relationships.
Rickshaw Bagworks – Board Chair Emeritus and Founder
SFMade was conceived by Mark Dwight, a San Francisco entrepreneur, business owner and resident. Mark is the founder and owner of Rickshaw Bagworks, which he started in 2007. The company designs and manufactures its own branded products in its own San Francisco factory located in the historic Dogpatch neighborhood. Rickshaw sells directly to consumers via its own web site, and select specialty retailers. Prior to founding Rickshaw, Dwight was CEO of Timbuk2 Designs, another San Francisco-based bag manufacturing company.
Dwight is a Bay Area native, with 20 years experience in high-technology and consumer marketing, product development, and manufacturing operations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and as a Commissioner on the San Francisco Small Business Commission. Dwight has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (’82) and an MBA (’89), both from Stanford University.