Executive Board and Board of Advisors

Below find the critical list of individuals entrusted with organizing and advising on TEDxMarin.

THE EXECUTIVE BOARD   Leads the effort to Shape, Produce and make final Speaker selections.

Bob Ayres (TEDxMarin Licensee/Executive Producer), until 2007 sat on the prestigious Board of Advisors for the TED Conference and served for two years as the inaugural Executive Director of The TED PRIZE. Currently he is the CEO of Comedic Ventures, a comedy showcase and development company born out of his infamous 80’s Haight-Ashbury comedy club, The Other Cafe which he owned for 18 years. Bob was the founder and Executive Producer of  The Next 20 years project and now runs its associated occasional private salon call TwoDegrees. More importantly, Bob leans, bats and throws left.

Tim Gnatek loves a good idea. As co-founder and Partner at the sustainability-focused communications agency Blue Practice, Tim leads marketing and public relations efforts for green companies and causes.  As a journalist, he’s enjoyed covering technology, culture, science and sustainability for media like The New York Times, Wired, Frontline/World, NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Technology Review. Tim spent the dotcom bubble as a PR flack for internet and consumer technology companies. He has also been a documentary film consultant and an editorial writer an for international humanitarian agency.

Maria Marchetti, is a top Producer at Sotheby’s Real Estate. Maria is also the treasurer of World Reads, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to improving literacy, Maria is able to share and support her passion for reading as a critical skill for success. Maria’s passion for creativity and belief in supporting the arts is expressed in sponsorship of local comedy, film and technology events. As the prior owner of Oraibi, an award winning international user interface design firm, Maria’s business experience allows her to optimize technological and social web opportunities for precise research and effective marketing strategies.

Deborah Masters is the founder of MasterSpeak, a company dedicated to helping Fortune 500 companies create influential leaders and high impact communicators.  For more than 20 years she has coached thousands of business professionals on how to influence and inspire others to action and positive change.  She is also a residential builder and developer and has brought more than 500 new homes to market.  Formerly, she managed and consulted for top restaurants in the bay area.  Her book, “The Magical Wisdom of Kids”, has spanned the globe bringing humor and wisdom to children and adults everywhere, including children’s hospitals and schools in third world countries. Deborah is an x triathlete who runs and bikes the beautiful hills of Marin County.

The BOARD OF ADVISORS

Our Board of Advisors are a prestigious, hand picked group of Bay Area entrepreneurs and thought leaders, entrusted with helping to attract top speakers, like-minded attendees, volunteers and sponsors. We encourage you to support these folks in their endeavors.

Kare Anderson (Board of Advisors) TED speaker on Be an Opportunity Maker, TEDx presenter on Redefine Your Life Around Mutuality, and Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal journalist. She is a public speaker and author of Mutuality Matters, Moving From Me to We and five other books.

Steve Astle (Board of Advisors) is Senior Vice President, Highly Regulated Markets for Text100, a global marketing consultancy. Previously he was vice president of corporate marketing at FICO, the analytics software company. Over the course of his career he has lived in the U.S. and Europe, devising and running programs on behalf of many clients in the technology industry. Steve holds graduate degrees in psychology, and early in his career taught at Tufts University. He is an alumnus of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Terry Barker,  (Board of Advisors) is a marketing communications consultant and art director at Barker&. His work spans 40 years and includes projects for dozens of America’s best known brands in high-tech, business services, and financial services. He is the founder and past chair of The Mid-Peninsula Holiday Project, an all-volunteer organization that each year visits thousands of people spending Christmas, Chanukah and other holidays confined to nursing homes and other institutions. Terry is a third generation San Franciscan, making Marin his home since 1990.

Liana Bender (Board of Advisors) is the Development Director of the California Film Institute, a media arts organization that programs the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, produces the annual Mill Valley Film Festival, and runs an innovative education program. She was trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and went on to study with the British Chartered Institute of Marketing. She has worked to grow financial strength of non-profits in the US and the UK, including the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Eric Edmeades (Board of Advisors) is a serial entrepreneur, author, high-end business consultant and venture capitalist. He owns a number of businesses including two in Marin county;  Kerner 3D Technologies, a manufacturer of 3D camera systems that were used in the production of Avatar, Transformers III and Pirates of the Caribbean IV, and KernerWorks , the developer and manufacturer of the award-winning and hyper-realistic Multiple Amputee Trauma Trainer (MATT) for the US Army. MATT is a life-saving training device that empowers the army to use humane training simulators rather than live animals. Eric is also an avid wildlife photographer and nutritional anthropologist. He founded TEDxMarin in early 2010.

Louise Glasgow (Board of Advisors) is the Producer of Maker Faire, O’Reilly Media’s award winning event developed by Make Magazine which focuses on education within the DIY movement, celebrating art, craft, sustainability, engineering, science & technology. With twenty six years of production experience, Louise has been integral to the success of a vast array of different types of projects such as the Int’l Conference on AIDS, 2002 Winter Olympic Games, YPO Bermuda, SunNetwork, Dwell on Design, ESPN’s MLBPA Player’s Choice Awards & Big League Challenge and Oracle’s 2000 iDevelop World Tour which represents a show 22 countries in 26 weeks. Louise has produced events in over 24 international and 32 domestic locations.

Karen Hawkes (Board of Advisors) has co-founded three companies in the ocean exploration field. Submarines, shipwrecks, sharks. She’s seen them all, up close and personal. She is currently VP Communications and Media Relations at DeepFlight, which designs, builds and operates the DeepFlight submarines, and she has recently co-launched DeepFlight Adventures, a company that offers submarine excursions at select resorts around the world. In her “spare” time, she is an independent college counselor, helping students navigate the college application process. Previously, Karen was an Associate Producer at American Adventure Productions in Aspen, Colorado, and an Associate at the Corporate PR firm, Kekst and Company in New York. Karen graduated from Colgate University and has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She is originally from Nantucket Island Massachusetts and has lived in Marin since 1995 with her two children, who sadly, are in college on the East Coast.

Paul Herrerias (Board of Advisors) is passionate about building teams that build businesses. He is the Managing Director of Stanton Chase – San Francisco and leads the Global CFO Practice Group with over 30 years of executive search and leadership consulting experience. Paul Herrerias has performed hundreds of searches from startups to Fortune 1000 companies and coached many executives on career planning and organizational development. Paul is currently on the Faculty of Dominican University of California; serves on the Board of the American Institute of Ethics; is Founder/Chair of the CEO Club of Marin; Chapter Director for the COO Forum, a national peer-to-peer mentoring group for #2 in-Commands; and Board Chair of DealPAVERS, a Private Equity networking group. When not working, Paul is raising three children, competes for Tamalpa Runners, serves on community boards, and is reading his newest book recommendation (readers are leaders, and leaders are readers!).

Rick Hirsch ( Board of Advisors ) has been a serial entrepreneur in the specialty food industry for 30 years. He started and sold a food distribution business, bought and then sold a food manufacturing company, and launched many familiar products into Costco as a broker. Rick has had a lifelong interest in environmental and energy issues. He wrote a column entitled “environment” in the Pacific Sun in the early 80’s, when little attention was paid to such heady topics. Rick is happy to do the dishes for anyone who will cook him a wonderful meal.

Cynthia Holladay (Board of Advisors) is founder and CEO of UpRight Marketing, an organization dedicated to bringing more humanity into technology, products and services. She helps entrepreneurs build sustainable companies and coaches Founder Institute startups in customer development and communications. Cynthia is Chairman, Nominations Committee of the Computer History Museum Fellow Awards.  She led the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association to earn the AMA’s highest leadership award. Cynthia studies neuroscience, philosophy and language and is a supporter of the Long Now Foundation, live performances and modern art. Previously she was a concert pianist and holds a post-graduate degree at the Boston Conservatory of Music.

Teri Hollowell (Board of Advisors)  founded One World Partners, a corporate event management company that specialized in creating memorable events around the globe. Her programs have covered the spectrum, from dinner for 300 on the Great Wall to hosting a private concert inside Notre Dame Cathedral. Having traveled to over 50 countries, Teri has a strong commitment to supporting the world community. While at One World, she created the “Footprints” program.  Its goal was simple: to leave every event destination visited a little better off than when they arrived.  Approximately $100,000 was donated over ten years. Teri sold One World Partners in 2009.

Kathy Johnson (Board of Advisors).  As a co-founder of the world’s first video search engine, Blinkx (LSE: BLNX), Kathy’s evangelism of disruptive mobile and search technologies garnered global media attention. Leveraging her experience being on the front line of publicity, she co-founded Consort Partners, a PR agency working with tech companies large and small including King (Candy Crush Saga), Pinterest, ​Guardant Health and ​FreedomPop, among others. Previously, she held business development and advisory roles at Firefly (acquired by Microsoft), online loyalty firm Netcentives (IPO in 2000), HP, Intel, Lockheed Martin, and Dentsu, Inc. ​​Kathy has served as a consultant to Japan’s 87th Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, and was closely involved with Japan’s first inbound tourism campaign, “Yokoso Japan,” as well as Japan’s FDI (foreign direct investment) strategies. ​Kathy has been​ ​recognized by the Stevie Awards for ​a “​Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award​,” has served on the board of the largest running group in Marin, Tamalpa Runners, has been a patient volunteer with Hospice by the Bay, and has been a foster parent ​through Alternative Family Services. Because she sits behind a computer so much, some days her fitness tracker says she’s walked only 32 steps. To (over)compensate, she runs marathons.

Jascha Kaykas-Wolff (Board of Advisors) leads Mozilla’s global marketing strategy and organization.Prior to joining Mozilla, Jascha most recently served as CMO for BitTorrent, CMO for Mindjet, senior vice president of marketing and customer success at Involver and he previously headed Global Marketing for Webtrends Jascha calls Marin County home with his wife Rebecca where they are the parents of 3 whip-smart children, 4 newly acquired hamsters, 2 frogs and 6 or 7 fish. You can find him online at @kaykas.

Ishara Kotagama (Board of Advisors) is the founder and CEO of Allerkids, an organization dedicated to creating an inclusive culture for children with food allergies. Ishara studied and worked in Australia, Europe and Asia, and has over 15 years of global marketing experience in industries including technology, health and consumer goods. In addition to her role at Allerkids, Ishara is also Chief Digital Officer at a physician recruitment firm in the bay, that recruits top medical practitioners for hospitals around the United States. She is an avid supporter of the arts, and has served on the board of San Francisco Ballet ENCORE!

Colleen Kemp (Board of Advisors) currently serves as Vice President of Operations and Outreach for Dr. Dean Ornish’s Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito where she has served in a variety of roles including Project Director of the Gene Expression Modulation in Nutrition and Lifestyle research study. Colleen is a Board Certified holistic nurse , founded TLC Works, a continuing education company where she developed a series of Integrative Health continuing education courses for nurses and has studied and practiced the use of intuition and other energetic healing modalities.  From 2007-2010 she taught professional role development at the Dominican University of California’s graduate nursing program.

Roger King (Board of Advisors) is “that start-up guy”  He’s been building and funding start-up companies for over 20 years.  He is the Founder of BayAngels  which he formed in 1998.  He is also the Founder & CEO of ChiefPeople  an executive search firm which specializes in staffing early stage technology companies.  Roger is interested in “the next new thing”, classic cars, photography and family travel.

Michael Leifer (Board of Advisors) is a Cultural Anthropologist, Serial Entrepreneur and Chairman of guerilla PR, a 12 year old award-winning firm that helps to build social movements and markets.    Leifer is also the Founder of Ecodads, a 3 year old private non-profit network of 200 sustainability stakeholders, who “behind the scenes” support initiatives and programs that subtly share with children how the world works.   Recently, Leifer Co-Founded PIXT with Chris Schmidt (Lego, Leapfrog) a new technology platform and presentation layer that allows a user to create, set permissions and share content from all their devices, social networks and sources on one infinitely-scrollable Wall.

Scott Liebman (Board of Advisors) is Founder and CEO of FORT Systems, a SaaS platform designed to optimize the logistics for sales and distribution in many industries including wine.  He believes deeply in community – local and global, sits on the board of the West Point Inn on Mt. Tamalpais and on the board of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, helping protect and preserve wildlife in Africa and other regions.  A native Californian, he has lived in Europe and Asia, speaks several foreign languages, makes his own wine, and enjoys photography, backpacking, bridge, biking, volleyball and the outdoors.  He, his wife and two kids live in a home made from a reclaimed wood bridge and have a mini farm right in the heart of Mill Valley.  He earned is MIA at Columbia University and his AB from Dartmouth College.

Michael Lipson (Board of Advisors) is VP BizDev at Exicon, a mobile services firm. He’s started-up companies for 25 years, subsequent to investment banking at GECC for 10 years. He’s worked alongside numerous founders in groundbreaking industries: CD-ROM, Internet, speech-tech, mobile, psychometrics, LOHAS.  He helped launch the first multiplayer online game company, interim CEO’d the first business to post music online, worked at Paul Allen’s Interval Research think-tank and has helped over 250 companies with strategy and deal making. But, Michael is more than business.  He’s passionate about living authentically and fully. He facilitates personal growth work, coaches, speaks and recently took his young family on a learning odyssey around the World.

Glenn Martinez (Board of Advisors) is Co-founder of Branditecture which provides award winning design and branding solutions to regional, national and global companies . For many years Glenn was Creative Director and Brand Ambassador for SUN. During this tenure, Glenn was responsible for creative direction of Sun’s brand, marketing, industrial design, user experience and packaging. Glenn helped orchestrate Sun philanthropic endeavors, including Sun’s support of the TED Prize. In the unlikely event of an unscheduled water landing, Glenn may also be used as a flotation device.

Elisabeth Manning (Board of Advisors ) is a writer and pioneer on the frontier of human development through what she calls the Fertile Living movement. A former personal assistant to Phil Knight of Nike and a consultant with a handful of high profile individuals for over 15 years, Elisabeth now satisfies her passion for what makes an individual truly successful on all levels by producing and developing self-development workshops. Elisabeth is currently practicing as a Master Certified Spirit Coach, speaker and author.

Robert May (Board of Advisors ) is a serial technology entrepreneur, inventor, teacher, and public speaker. He is an expert on “New TV”, intellectual property, and user experience. Conference presentations include World Economic Forum, Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum(HK), Digital Hollywood, MacWorld, CES; TV appearances include CNN, CNBC; interviews include The Huffington Post, Newsweek, Industry Standard magazines/blogs. Mr. MAY’s most recent venture, Ringz.TV, aims to invent the future of television.

Orna Meyer (Board of Advisors) lets her curiosity guide her life. After 10 years as an architect in San Francisco and the birth of her first child, she was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Following her curiosity about mind-body medicine, she studied and became certified in all forms of bodywork, studied with five qigong masters and became certified to teach qigong and tai chi, and continues to explore different forms of energy medicine using her own body as an experiment. What she has found is that the farther away she gets from what we think of as medicine, the closer she gets to a real cure. For fulfillment, Orna volunteers at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and at The Ross School, where her son is in 5th grade.

Victoria Miller (Board of Advisors) is a designer and creative director with 20 years of integrated brand marketing experience on projects ranging from corporate branding and package design to web strategy and interactive advertising. She has helped many brands carve their niche in the marketplace, designing for the likes of CBS, Cisco, Nestlé, Disney, Mattel, J. Paul Getty Museum, PBS, Restoration Hardware, Wells Fargo Bank, Oracle and Lexus. In her current role as Creative Director of SieckGrowth Branding and Design Victoria leads all creative and production for the firm and is responsible for Seed, an innovative brand development process for new products in sustainability and healthy food categories. In addition to her commercial work, Victoria is also a photographic artist. Victoria’s work has been awarded a Clio, is included in the Smithsonian Institute’s Permanent Collection of Design, and has been published in many industry publications and annuals.

Stephanie Anderson Pugash A “gentleman farmer” in Sonoma growing premium chardonnay grapes and olives, keeping bees, dealing with rats, bats and sudden Oak death, Stephanie has always enjoyed the outdoors. She grew up in NM, started an Arabian show horse business in her late teens and crewed many hours for hot air and helium balloons. She helped her father and brother launch their history making balloon flights. She is a Foundation Board member of the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. Moving to Marin in 1986, she started volunteering and raising funds for non-profits like the Junior League of San Francisco, Sunny Hills services, SFMOMA’s Modern Art Council and others. She transitioned “Hearthstone”, a real estate company, to new owners and co-founded, ran, and sadly had to close SonomaJazz+ a music festival. She loves her three children, her friends and life! www.sobrevistafarms.com

Peg Alford Pursell (Board of Advisors ) is the founder and producer of the Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series , founder of North Bay Writers , and an award-winning writer and educator. She is a fiction editor for Prick of the Spindle Literary Journal, serves on the advisory board of Litquake, and as a director on the board of California Writers Club-Marin. In previous lives, she was a science writer for a Southern Atlantic coastal research consortium, a volunteer coordinator for a large city’s homeless shelter, and began the writing program at the Charleston School of the Arts.

Tom Short (Board of Advisors) is a senior business consultant for BT Global Services, a division of British Telecom. Tom works with clients on enterprise collaboration, leveraging BT’s world-class network, computing infrastructure and partner eco-system. Over the last 25 years he has consulted to blue chip companies in a variety of industries, helping them operate in a leaner, more collaborative fashion. He has lived in Marin since 2006, and is an avid motorcyclist, hiker and skier.

Ron Sheridan (Board of Advisors )  is a co-founder of Pree Media of Sausalito. Ron Sheridan was a co-founder of, and the Director of Business Development for Oversee.net from 2001 to 2009. At Oversee.net Ron launched and managed DomainSponsor.com the largest third party domain parking platform, and created and managed the domain industry’s leading annual trade show, DomainFest.com, which is held every year. Since leaving Oversee Ron has become an advisor to and investor in several early stage dot com startups: Manage.com, Attensa.com, CitySourced.com

Rob Sidon (Board of Advisors) Owner/Publisher/Editor of Common Ground Magazine, Owner at High Ground Consulting.  Former Manager and Marketing honcho at Disney. Personal Interests: Spiritual philosophy combined with social service.

Amy Slater (Board of Advisors) has been in high-tech sales leadership for over 25 years and has had the privilege and honor of working for some of the greatest brands in technology like AT&T, Cable and Wireless, Cisco, Salesforce.com and TiVo. She has recently gone out on her own to run www.amyslaterconsulting.com to expand her sales strategy consulting, coaching and speaking practice. She is a recently published author of the best-selling book, Moments: Magic, Miracles, and Martinis. How to move Forward in Times of UncertaintyAmy lives in Marin and has one daughter at home, with two enjoying college life outside of California, and she is a Public Policy advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Jo Streit (Board of Advisors) is an award winning producer/director of compelling visual stories that promote social change. As founder & Executive Producer of Streit Productions: Visual Media for Social Change, she uses her journalism and broadcast skills to maximize clients’ educational goals through storytelling.  She has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, universities, nonprofit organizations and foundations. In addition, Jo is a working voiceover talent and actor represented by Tonry Talent in San Francisco.

Jessica Switzer (Board of Advisors) is a founding partner of the sustainability-centric communications agency Blue Practice. She specializes in product and company launches, integrated marketing campaigns, and public relations and crisis communications. She is an active member of the TED community and the Switzer Foundation, which is devoted to creating environmental leaders through academic and project leadership grants.  She formerly was Vice President of Marketing for Tesla Motors, and Managing Director of the global PR agency Ruder Finn.

Cassandra Vieten, PhD, (Board of Advisors ) is a licensed clinical psychologist, Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Scientist at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, and Co-President of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology. She is the co-author of Living Deeply: the Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life and author of Mindful Motherhood:  Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child’s First Year.

Wendy Wallbridge, (Board of Advisors ) founder of On Your Mark Corporate Coaching & Consulting, Inc. is a strategic advisor and coach to executives from Apple, McAfee, Genentech, Dolby, NetApp and VMware.Wendy has been a pioneer in the coaching field, her groundbreaking coaching techniques have gained her media attention from Fortune Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times, as well as numerous appearances for such organizations as WITI, PBWC, and UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. Her forthcoming book, “Spiral Up! Rising to Power in your Self, Work and Life” maps the journey women must take to access the inner authority, authenticity and conviction necessary to create a purposeful, passionate life.

Claudia Welss (Board of Advisors) has worked for 10 years at the intersection of business + sustainability and now another 10 at the intersection of sustainability + consciousness. She s a board member of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, focusing on social synergy and co-creating a “synergy engine,” and is on the Steering Committee of the Global Coherence Initiative (Institute of Heartmath) as director of Strategic Partnerships. She is also founder/executive director of NextNow Collaboratory, a lab for “cultivating connective intelligence for collective action.” Her main focus is using information-visualization technologies to raise awareness about the relationship between human activity, states of being, and Earth changes and is a co-producer of 3 consciousness-raising films.

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See the past TEDxMarin teams and volunteers