Board of Directors
Nixon Peabody LLP
Hillary Baca is a lawyer at Nixon Peabody LLP, a global law firm with more than 600 attorneys collaborating across major practice areas in cities across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Hillary is a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment group. She advises employers on complex employment and traditional labor matters and works with clients across a broad range of industries. Hillary focuses her practice on two areas: defending clients in employment litigation and providing advice and counseling to clients with both union and non-union workforces. She advises on wage and hour compliance, workplace investigations, personnel decisions and terminations, disability accommodations, and leaves of absence management. Prior to joining Nixon Peabody, Hillary was in-house labor and employment counsel for a California hospital system.
Hillary holds a J.D. from University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from University of California, Berkeley. She lives in the Mission District in San Francisco and enjoys biking around the city with her husband.
Veronica Bell – Board Secretary
Lighthouse Public Affairs
Veronica Bell is a Partner with Lighthouse Public Affairs, the preeminent public affairs consultancy in the San Francisco Bay Area. In this role, she provides strategic guidance to clients facing regulatory, community, governmental and communications challenges in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Prior to joining Lighthouse Public Affairs, Veronica led Google’s Community and Public Policy efforts in the Bay Area from August 2009 to April 2014 through a period of enormous growth. While at Google, Veronica worked with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, community groups, environmentalists, and elected officials on a variety of efforts, including public-private partnerships, transportation planning, land use, and corporate philanthropy.
In addition to Veronica’s experience in a broad array of business areas, she has also been involved in many philanthropic and civic projects. She was a board member with the Center for Early Intervention on Deafness (CEID) and spent four years as a Director on the board of SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research). She currently serves as a Board Member of the San Francisco Zoo.
Veronica Bell is a native San Franciscan and is raising her three children in San Francisco.
Tracy Burton – Board Treasury
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.
Alicia Esterkamp Allbin
A Space Development
Alicia Esterkamp Allbin is the founder and Principal of A Space Development, a Bay Area focused real estate development firm focused on lifestyle projects in the areas of hospitality, restaurants, retail and historic rehabilitation.
Prior to A Space 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 SFMade, PlaceMade, Greenbelt Alliance and the San Francisco Heritage. She also served 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.
San Francisco Giants
Jon Knorpp currently serves as Senior Managing Director of San Francisco Giants where he oversees renovation and development of the team’s MLB spring training and MILB facilities as well as ongoing annual improvements to Oracle Park. Previously Jon oversaw entitlement and development of Seawall Lot 337/Pier 48 (Mission Rock), a 28-acre mixed-use master plan at the northern end of Mission Bay. 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 entitlement, 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 Urban Land Institute Executive Board member, full member of SPUR, Board member for Place Made, 150 Hooper and SFMade, Lambda Alpha and Larkspur Heritage Preservation. Jon contributes much time to bettering San Francisco and his hometown of Larkspur.
Rosemarie Ovian – Board Chair
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.
Port of San Francisco; Retired
Originally from North Carolina, Greg spent nearly 30 years practicing architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area and now resides in Chicago. Greg has extensive experience in a wide range of project types, high-rise residential, K-8 schools, light industrial, and building renovation and adaptive reuse projects. Past projects of interest are The Battery social club, the Oakland Arena renovation, the Cathedral School for Boys expansion, The Rafael Film Center Art Deco theater renovation, and The Seven Stills Brewery and Distillery. Greg became involved with PlaceMade while serving as the head architect of 100 Hooper and PlaceMade’s The Manufacturing Foundry at 150 Hooper. Greg strives to strike a balance between creative design solutions and solid technical know-how.
Greg is a Registered Architect licensed in California. He received his Bachelor of Arts of Architecture from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He recently became an adjunct professor in Architecture at the University of San Francisco.
Outside of work, Greg’s passion is most anything related to motorcycles and, of course, his family.
Wenli Wang – Board Vice Chair
Wenli Wang is the partner in charge of the San Francisco and Walnut Creek locations of Moss Adams. As partner in charge, she is responsible for the locations’ brand building, culture, and the team’s growth and development.
Wenli was born and raised in China and immigrated to the United States after college. She leads the China team at Moss Adams and has built a vibrant practice in the cross-border space. Wenli serves as the cultural ambassador and business advisor for inbound China investors, and has built many long-term relationships over the years.
Since starting her public accounting career at Moss Adams over 20 years ago, Wenli has grown from a traditional tax advisor to a seasoned business consultant. She has taken various leadership positions within the firm and in the community. Wenli has served on the firm’s Tax Committee and Forum W Advisory Board, and currently sits on the firm’s Partner Admission Committee.
Wenli has been recognized on the San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women (2015 and 2016), Working Mother’s Working Mother of the Year (2013), the Diversity Journal’s Women Worth Watching (2011) lists. Wenli currently serves on the boards for Bay Area Council, Peking University Education Foundation – North America, and SFMade. She received her bachelor degree in English Language and Literature from Peking University, China and MBA in Taxation from California State University.
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.