Laura Schewel | Chair
Laura Schewel is the founder, board member, and Chief Executive Officer of StreetLight Data, a data analytics start-up dedicated to improving transportation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by applying data to transportation infrastructure problems. She’s an advocate and researcher in advanced transportation, with particular expertise in transportation systems, sustainability and safety, and vehicle/system modeling and analysis. After completing degrees in Environmental Engineering and Comparative Literature at Yale University, she worked at the Rocky Mountain Institute. Next, Laura joined the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to develop planning for regulatory strategy for electric vehicles and energy storage. Laura’s work at StreetLight is an extension of her graduate studies at UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in Energy Engineering, and the author of several publications about vehicle electrification and sustainable transportation. Laura also serves on the board of BANANAS, a child care resource and referral non-profit, and is a long-time volunteer at BOOST! West Oakland, an after-school program for elementary school students.
Mehdi El Hajoui | Treasurer
Mehdi El Hajoui works in Product Strategy at Facebook, where his team is tasked with shaping the company’s long-term commerce strategy. Prior to Facebook, Mehdi co-led Business Strategy at Dropbox, a global leader in cross-platform cloud storage, sharing and collaboration. For a decade before that, Mehdi spent nearly a decade as a management consultant, primarily at The Boston Consulting Group. Outside of work, Mehdi is an avid bibliophile who has built a collection around the Internationale Situationniste, a leading avant-garde artistic and political movement. A graduate of Harvard University in Romance Languages & Literatures (2006), Mehdi received his MBA from the Wharton School in 2010 and later completed the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS) in 2015. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Booklyn, a NYC-based non-profit that concentrates on documenting, exhibiting, and distributing artwork that deals with provocative subject matter including environmental, historical, linguistic and political issues. Born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco, Mehdi speaks fluent Moroccan Arabic, French, English and Spanish.
Nancy Gonchar | Board Member
Gonchar is the principal of Nancy Gonchar & Associates. Her practice offers the following services: arts project management; small business development and analysis; interim executive director; executive coaching; organizational change and transition coaching; strategic planning; non-profit finance, budget and operations; human resource management; fundraising including foundation, government and individual giving; facility planning and design; web and database development; retreat facilitation; and board development. She served as the Interim Director and Deputy Director for the Arts Commission for the City of San Francisco for fourteen years where she managed a staff of 35 and a budget of $10 million dollars. Among her many duties, she was responsible for the civic design review committee of architects and designers who reviewed all of the City of San Francisco’s building projects. Earlier in her career, she was the director of New Langton Arts and prior to moving to the Bay Area, she was the Associate Director and Curator at the University Art Museum of Binghamton University. A trained artist, Nancy holds degrees from the Visual Studies Workshop and the University of Buffalo and Ohio University. She has served on several boards including GroundSpeak, Mobilization Against Aids and Light Work. Gonchar is a Commissioner of the San Leandro Arts Commission.
Sara Ortloff Khoury | Board Member
SARA ORTLOFF KHOURY is a pioneer in design for internet software products and services. As Director of User Experience Design for Google Cloud, Sara leads research and design teams that deliver products and services to help people and businesses thrive. Her product development approach — human-centered design — builds empathy through directly observed insights and drives innovation through experimentation, iterative design, and testing. Before joining Google, Sara led high performance teams at Bay Area start-ups, agencies, global consumer retail, and in finance.
Sara holds an MFA from the Art Center College of Design, and a BFA in design from Pratt Institute. She comes from a long line of fine artists, notably, Carol Blanchard. Sara practices traditional Chinese brush painting and her husband Mike Khoury, a VR artist at Facebook, paints in oils.
Lordy Rodriguez | Board Member
Lordy Rodriguez was born in 1976, the Philippines, raised in Louisiana and Texas, and currently lives and works in Benicia, CA. He obtained his B.F.A. degree from School of Visual Arts, New York and his MFA at Stanford University. For several years he has been working on a series of ink drawings that critically look at the effect visual languages have on culture and identity through the use of mapping and cartography. His recent exhibitions include, “Tahoe: a Visual History”, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV (2015), “The Map at Art”, Kemper Museum, St. Louis, MO (2012), “Code Switch” and “The Map is Not the Territory”, Hosfelt Gallery New York, New York (2013 and 2011 respectively), “Surface Depths”, Nevada Art Museum (2009), “States of America”, Austin Museum of Art (2009), “Optimism in the Age of Global War”, 10th Annual Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey, (2007), “The California Biennial”, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2006), as well as public art projects with the San Francisco Arts Commission at San Francisco International Airport and the Federal General Services Administration.
Meg Shiffler | Board Member
Since 2005, Meg has been in the role of Galleries Director at the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), the arts agency of the City and County of San Francisco. The SFAC Galleries curates and produces exhibitions in four Civic center locations featuring the work of approximately 300 local, national and international artists annually. Meg has been a faculty member of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, working with students pursuing advanced degrees in Urban Studies, Exhibition and Museum Studies, and History and Theory of Contemporary Art. She has also worked as a columnist for SFMOMA’s Open Space blog, and she lectures regularly to students, artists and arts professionals on a variety of topics ranging from the business of art to art history to multidisciplinary curatorial practices.
Amy Ress | Board Member
Amy is at her best designing and implementing initiatives to empower and inspire environmental designers and allied professionals to expand the impact of their work in vulnerable communities. Most recently, she was the Program Director of Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge. Prior to this design challenge, Amy served as the Director of the internationally recognized 1+ program at Public Architecture, a nonprofit that engages architects and designers, nonprofits, and manufacturers to commit to design for the public good. Her professional history bridges design and the arts through her work as the curatorial coordinator in Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and additional board service at Pro Arts gallery in Oakland, CCA’s Center for Art and Public Life, and the San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries.
Gretchen Anderson | Board Member
Gretchen spent the first part of her career in design consulting for firms like frog, Cooper, and LUNAR. Currently, she is head of design at PG&E, California’s largest energy company. Previously, she led the design of the hardware and software of a next-generation surgical system and was VP of Product at GreatSchools.org.
Her past clients include Virgin Records, Samsung, Johnson & Johnson, and Intel. Gretchen is a Bay Area native who left only long enough to get a bachelor’s degree from Harvard in History & Literature. Contact via Twitter @gretared or gretchen @ gretchenanderson.com. More at LinkedIn.