Jill Ratner, President
Program Director; Co-Founder
Ms. Ratner was trained as an attorney and specialized in civic engagement, and environmental and financial law. She serves as the President and Program Director of the Rose Foundation and directs New Voices Are Rising, the Foundation’s youth leadership development program. Before co-founding the Foundation in 1992, Ms. Ratner organized a multi-cultural recycling advocacy coalition in the Los Angeles area, effectively moving the City of Los Angeles to implement a curbside recycling program, and previously was an associate at the Los Angeles law firm Irell & Manella. She is a member of the Six Wins Coalition, Oakland Climate Action Coalition, and Ditching Dirty Diesel. Former appointments include the Los Angeles City Environmental Quality Commission, LA City Solid Waste Advisory Board, and the Boards of Communities for a Better Environment, Californians Against Waste and Foundation Partnership on Corporate Responsibility. She chairs the Foundation’s Executive Committee, and is a member of the Development, Governance and Finance committees.
Kevin Hendrick, Vice President
Mr. Hendrick is an expert in municipal waste management and recycling, and served as the Director of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority for 20 years until his retirement in 2013. During this period Mr. Hendrick also represented Del Norte County on the Board of Directors of the Rural Counties’ Environmental Service JPA and on the Board of Directors of the California Product Stewardship Council. In addition to his service as the Rose Foundation’s Vice President, Mr. Hendrick manages some of the Foundation’s Pacific NW grant funds, and has represented the Foundation as the project manager for the Coast to Crest Trail project, restoring the historic Kelsey Trail to create a 50 mile, world class hiking trail from the coast in Crescent City to crest of Harrington Mountain in the Siskiyou wilderness. Prior to working in Del Norte County, Mr. Hendrick worked as the Environmental Program Manager for the City of West Hollywood, and was the Los Angeles Director for Citizens for a Better Environment. He is a member of the Foundation’s Executive and Personnel committees.
Amy Lyons, Treasurer
Executive Director, John & Marcia Goldman Foundation
Ms. Lyons is the Executive Director of the John & Marcia Goldman Foundation. She was previously the Executive Director of the Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund and the Goldman Environmental Foundation, which administers the Goldman Environmental Prize. Through her past 25 years service in the field of philanthropy, she has developed a broad understanding of numerous not-for-profit sectors including the environment, reproductive rights, civil society and Jewish affairs. She chairs the Foundation’s Finance Committee, and is a member of the Governance Committee.
Volunteer, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association
Willard Brown served as the Director of Housing and Environmental Programs at Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA), where he worked for 6 years after retiring from Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), where he worked for just over 34 years. Willard was a key employee and for the last ten years at SHA, served as Property Management Administrator for Redevelopment. He has served on the Advisory Council for African American Elders and currently serves on the Board of the Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) as he continues to fight for investments in Delridge’s infrastructure. Though Willard is retired from the DNDA, he continues to support environmental projects within the Delridge community and Longfellow Creek watershed and has been championing the restoration and protection of the Delridge wetland and Roxhill Bog. He is working closely with community members, local governments, and organizations to gain their support for these projects, increase community awareness of the environmental importance of the wetlands within the watershed, and significantly reduce area flooding and stormwater pollution entering Longfellow Creek. Willard is also actively involved in updating the 2035 Delridge Neighborhood Plan, is a Emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition, and has worked closely with City Council members to gain support for community-based organizations being able to own surplus properties and re-purpose them for community benefit.
Laura is an Oakland resident with roots in the Andes mountains of Colombia. Previous lack of binding climate change policy in the United States led her to participate as a youth delegate at UN climate negotiations and get involved with community organizing around sustainable development. With lived and work experience in the non-profit sector and philanthropic field, Laura has focused her career on supporting grassroots communities and the environment. She served for 5+ years as Program Officer for the Rose Foundation, helping invest millions in watershed protection in California and the Pacific Northwest. Now she is a Program Manager at the Goldman Environmental Prize, and practices participatory grantmaking as a Giving Circle Network member at the Latino Community Foundation. Laura received two B.As, in Geography and International Relations, from Florida International University, and studied a M.A in Development Studies at the Geneva Graduate Institute. Whether playing soccer in the East Bay, enjoying local brews, or using a bicycle as her main means of transportation, she strives to be an active advocate for her broader Latinx community and social justice.
Partner, Iarussi, Gelhaus & Hauskens, CPAMs.
Ms. Hauskens is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. She has acted as a Special Master to help run a variety of family businesses during dissolution proceedings, and is recognized as an expert witness in her field by the Superior Courts of both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Along with the Treasurer, she helps lead the Foundation’s Finance Committee.
Mr. Michelfelder’s career spanned over 20 years of service as a labor representative for unions representing California’s health care, service workers, and public sector employees, as well as more than a decade with community-based environmental nonprofits in California and Wisconsin. He chairs the Foundation’s Personnel Committee.
Emeritus Dean and Professor
Professor Alan Ramo is an Emeritus Dean and Professor of Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, where he directed its environmental law program and for many years its Environmental Law and Justice Clinic. Under his leadership, the Clinic won awards from the American Bar Association’s Section on Environmental Law, US EPA Region IX, the Environmental Law Foundation and the Clinical Legal Education Association, as well as a commendation from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Before becoming a professor and founding the GGU environmental justice clinic, he was the legal director for Communities for a Better Environment; prior to that he co-founded the Western States Legal Foundation addressing nuclear issues. Mr. Ramo received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and his law degree from U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. He also has a master’s degree from U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. He has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including San Francisco Baykeeper, the San Francisco Estuary Institute, the Impact Fund and the Jewish Film Festival, and the Los Angeles based Environment Now Foundation has awarded Mr. Ramo the Wells Family Award in the area of Urban Renewal.
Cindy Tsai Schultz
Program Development Consultant
Ms. Tsai is a program development consultant and was active in public health and social justice for 20 years, including working as the Project Coordinator at Organic Exchange where she implemented strategies to expand rural economic opportunities, develop sustainable agricultural practices, reduce rural poverty, and protect the environment in India. She was also the Associate Director of Community Health Works where she developed college curriculum on health disparities, used films and documentaries to examine inequalities in health, and helped develop a pediatric asthma program. She was Co-Founder of the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project in the early 1990’s. She chairs the Foundation’s Development Committee.
Marybelle Nzegwu Tobias
Environmental Justice Solutions, San Francisco Bay Area
After graduating from U.C. Hastings College of the Law, Marybelle began her legal career at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, co-leading the organization’s civil rights work alongside her mentor, founder Luke W. Cole. She successfully represented community groups in California and across the country using environmental and civil rights litigation and administrative complaints. Following Cole’s tragic death, Marybelle traveled to Italy to join the faculty of the International University College of Torino where she taught environmental justice to international students. Marybelle joined Public Advocates in 2013. There she co-led the Bay Area 6 Wins Coalition and served on the Steering Committee of the California Climate Equity Coalition (formerly the SB 535 Coalition). In 2017, Marybelle founded a consulting firm, Environmental Justice Solutions, where she is the principal consultant. She also joined U.C. Berkeley Law’s faculty as an adjunct professor of environmental justice.
Program Associate, Friends of the River
Carlos Zambrano was the New Voices Are Rising Coordinator and Co-Director for four years. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, he moved to the Bay Area for school and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Geography and a minor in Ethnic Studies. He began working on environmental justice issues in Oakland, and through that experience, he found his voice. He is excited to continue to shape the New Voices program as a member of the Advisory Board, because he wants to spark creativity and confidence in youth and help foster a new generation of environmental justice leaders.