Board and Advisory Board

Board of Directors

Michael Howe, Board Chair, is the Vice President and Philanthropy Practice Leader at Olive Grove Consulting. He currently consults with foundations, corporations, and nonprofits domestically and internationally. From 1993 until the mid 2000s, Michael was President of the East Bay Community Foundation and led them through a period of unprecedented growth. His earlier experiences include leadership roles at the Marin Community Foundation, and professor and founding Dean of the College of Professional Studies at the University of San Francisco.

Candice Dickens-Russell, is Director of Environmental Education at TreePeople and California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Regional Coordinator for Los Angeles County. Formerly TreePeople’s Senior Manager of Environmental Education, Candice develops and manages high quality Environmental Education programs for Los Angeles area students and teachers. She chairs the 89 member CREEC-LA Environmental Education Leadership Board, and the Los Angeles Watershed Education Collaborative. Candice is a member of the Los Angeles Area Women’s Environmental Coalition, and serves on the Los Angeles Environmental Education Fair steering committee. She majored in Environmental Studies at San Francisco State University, with an emphasis in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice.

Andrea Lewis is Principal of Andrea Lewis Consulting since 2014, providing broad management consultation with a particular emphasis on nonprofit organizations. Andrea brings her interest and experience in environmental education, sustainability, and protection of the environment to the Ten Strands Board of Directors. Andrea is the former Executive Director of MEarth, a Carmel, California-based environmental education nonprofit, and is MEarth’s current board chair. She has worked for the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) as Assistant Secretary for Education and Quality Programs, co-managing the Education and Environment Initiative (EEI) until her formal retirement from the. Andrea is a formally trained facilitator and classroom trainer. She worked for the State of California from 1973–2011, holding various management positions in the Attorney General’s Office and California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

John Mergendoller works on special projects for the Buck Institute for Education. He joined BIE in 1989 as Research Director, and served as Executive Director from 2000 to 2015, guiding its growth and building its reputation for high-quality work. Before joining BIE, he was a Senior Program Director at the Far West Laboratory (now WestEd), a federally-funded regional educational laboratory, where he established and managed the At-Risk Student Program and the Secondary School Improvement Program. His publications span educational technology, science education, middle grades reform, and Project Based Learning.

Sheila Nahi has demonstrated a strength in advocacy and a passion for the environment throughout her 20 year career as a trial lawyer and renewable-energy proponent. She has successfully advocated for solar energy reform before the Public Utilities Commission, and is an Evangelist for Enphase Energy and its commitment to carbon offsetting. She has also participated in thought leadership workshops and sessions at two recent annual meetings of the World Economic Forum, Davos. Sheila is committed to education and youth, having served as advisor for the San Francisco Environmental Youth Council, taught at Raoul Wallenberg High School, and chaired numerous committees at Katherine Delmar Burke School and San Francisco University High School. She also currently sits on Advisory Councils for Narrative Magazine and GRID Alternatives.

Will Parish is a credentialed public high school science educator with a 30-year record of innovative accomplishments in the environmental and educational fields. He taught Environmental Science at Gateway High School in San Francisco, and now serves on the Board. He served on the California State Board of Education’s Curriculum Commission and then founded Ten Strands as a nonprofit organization to supplement California’s efforts to achieve statewide penetration of high-quality environment-based education into schools.

Kate Ridgway is an avid environmentalist who focuses on environmental education and global environmental issues. She is on the advisory board of the O’Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm, and has served on the advisory board of the Tuolumne River Trust. She has been a longtime supporter of the World Wildlife Fund, and was a founding member of National Resource Defense Council’s Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). She also serves on the Ambassador Circle of The Carter Center in Atlanta. Kate was an instructor for Colorado Outward Bound School for many years before receiving her Master’s Degree in Education from Stanford University. She resides in Woodside with her husband, Rick Holmstrom, and their three children.

Jake Schatz is Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Electronic Arts Inc., a global entertainment software company based in Redwood City. An avid outdoorsman, Jake equally enjoys the waters of Hawaii (where he grew up) and the Rocky Mountains (where his wife has roots). Jake received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center, and his BA from Pomona College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Jake lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children. In addition to serving Ten Strands, Jake also is on the California Advisory Board of The Trust for Public Land.

Advisory Board

Andrew Ach is a partner at Norcross Hill & Ach, a public finance advisory firm. He served for nine years on the Board of Trustees of The Urban School of San Francisco. He has also served on the boards of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic and the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at the University of San Francisco. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The Breakthrough Collaborative.

Jennifer Caldwell currently heads a family foundation furthering global solutions in education and environmental protection. As a trustee of the Exploratorium, she serves on the Committee on Directors, the Marketing Board Committee, and as Gala Co-Chair (2014-15). Jennifer is also an active board member of the Environmental Working Group, spearheading strategic initiatives, marketing and development. She serves on Ten Strands’ Advisory Council, as well as the Marketing and Communications Committee of Sarah Lawrence College. Jennifer completed a six-year engagement on the Katherine Delmar Burke School board, fulfilling multiple leadership roles on the Executive and Head Search Committees. While chairing Development there, Jennifer initiated and led the Annual Fund to a record $1million goal and steered the board’s highly successful “special project” to fundraise and secure a Head House. During her board tenure, she also led the adoption of environmental sustainability practices at the school. Previously, Jennifer served nine years on the San Francisco Ballet board and chaired Marketing.  Professionally, Jennifer headed marketing at The Nature Conservancy’s California program. In 2006, she founded and led Hope to Action, a nationwide non-profit focused on promoting sustainability practices among women, and initiated the Bay Area Green Schools Alliance, creating the first forum for regional schools to share sustainability best practices. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, her career spanned publishing, media communications and broadcasting in New York and Silicon Valley, including positions as executive producer at Paramount Pictures Interactive and senior producer at Hewlett Packard’s Media Technology Group. Jennifer lives in San Francisco with her husband and two daughters.

Paul Chapman is Executive Director of Inverness Associates, an educational consulting group that promotes green schools. He published several books and reports on environmental education, including Greening America’s Schools. Previously he was principal of Head-Royce School in Oakland, California. Currently, he is a board member of the California Environmental Literacy Task Force, the Chabot Space and Science Center, and Prospect Sierra School, and is part of the California Green Ribbon Schools Program.

Dr. Milton Chen is Senior Fellow and Executive Director, Emeritus at The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), a nonprofit foundation in the Bay Area that utilizes its multimedia website,, and documentary films to communicate a new vision for 21st century schools. Dr. Chen served as Executive Director of GLEF for 12 years, and was the founding director of the KQED Center for Education (PBS) in San Francisco, a director of research at Sesame Workshop in New York, and Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has been a trustee of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and was appointed by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to the National Park System Advisory Board to advance their role in STEM and humanities education. Dr. Chen also serves on the board of trustees for Sesame Workshop and is chairman of the Panasonic Foundation in New Jersey. Dr. Chen’s 2010 book, Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools, was selected as one of the 10 best education books that year by the American School Board Journal.

Dr. Hardin Coleman joined Boston University in 2008 as the Dean of the School of Education and Professor of Counseling Psychology. A graduate of Williams College, Dr. Coleman received his master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Vermont in 1980 and his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Stanford University in 1992. Prior to his arrival in Boston, he served as Professor, Department Chair, and Associate Dean for Outreach and Multicultural Initiatives in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Coleman has been interested in the mental health needs of adolescents and their families and in strategies for meeting those needs within educational settings and community mental health agencies. Dr. Coleman began his career in education as a high school teacher and counselor. Since arriving in Boston, he has served as the Co-Chair of the External Advisory Committee on School Assignment for the Boston Public School; on the Board of Advisors for EdVestors, Families United for Educational Leadership, and Axis of Hope; as the Co-Chair of the School Site Council for English High School; and he serves on the Boston School Committee and the Board of the Home for Little Wanderers. Since becoming Dean, the School of Education has significantly increased its involvement in the local public schools both through clinical engagement and through research that changes educational practice.

Diana Dehm is the CEO of Sustainable Business Partnerships, and is founder, producer, and host of Sustainability News & Entertainment Radio. Prior to founding Sustainable Business Partnerships, she was a Vice President/Partner with global environmental consulting firms Haley & Aldrich and ERM. She supported the first U.N./U.S. Global Water Scarcity Conference held at the University of California, Irvine, and has participated in national Water Policy discussions on Capitol Hill.

Randi Fisher is co-founder and trustee of the Pisces Foundation in San Francisco, which is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the environment. She is involved in the full range of the foundation’s work, with special emphasis on environmental education. Under her guidance, the Foundation has developed a range of environmental education projects designed to elevate the field and enhance the quality and delivery of environmental education to students and others in the Bay Area and throughout California. Randi was a trustee of the California Academy of Sciences for eight years and is a trustee of the Golden Gate Parks Conservancy. Randi recently teamed up with Education Outside, a new organization promoting a service corps of college graduates trained to work in green school yards in San Francisco Unified School District.

Dr. Mark Gold is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. Prior to that, he was the Interim Director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Before coming to UCLA, Mark was the President of the environmental group, Heal the Bay, for 18 years. While at Heal the Bay, Mark played a large role in helping to develop numerous environmental education programs and he worked closely with colleague, Leslie Tamminen, and Senator Fran Pavley to author and pass California’s Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI), and work on EEI implementation.

Dr. Gerald A. Lieberman is an internationally-recognized authority on school improvement using natural and community surroundings as interdisciplinary contexts. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Lieberman has created and conducted professional development programs for more than 9,000 educators and other professionals, working with formal education systems at local, state, national, and international levels. He has designed and coordinated curriculum development programs in the U.S., Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, and Argentina. In 1995, Dr. Lieberman founded and has since directed the State Education and Environment Roundtable (SEER). In 1997, he led the development of the EIC Model, an innovative educational strategy. From 2003 to 2010, Dr. Lieberman served as the principal consultant for the State of California’s Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI). Dr. Lieberman received his PhD and MA from Princeton University and his BA from UCLA. He served on the executive committee of the National Education and Environment Partnership, operated by the National Environmental Education Foundation, and is a past chair of the Commission on Education and Communication of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Kelly Chapman Meyer currently co-chairs the Leadership Council for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), sits on the Board of Southern California’s Heal the Bay, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment. She was recently appointed to the Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach.

Stephanie Rico is Vice President and Environmental Affairs Business Initiatives Manager for Wells Fargo & Co. She is responsible for engaging Wells Fargo’s customers on environmental issues and promoting company investments that strengthen communities from an environmental perspective. Under her leadership, Wells Fargo has led the industry on carbon disclosure reporting via the Carbon Disclosure Project. Stephanie has spent the majority of her career supporting social and community issues in the areas of resource management, healthcare, education, and the environment. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, she managed charitable-giving initiatives for Mitsubishi Motors N.A., media relations for Harris Bank, and several local political campaigns. Stephanie earned her BA in Social Science, Interdisciplinary Studies from San Francisco State University, and an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago.

Erin Schrode is a young ecoRenaissance woman. As the “face of the new green generation,” the co-founder of Teens Turning Green promotes global sustainability, youth leadership, environmental education, and conscious lifestyle choices. After working in disaster response in Haiti, she founded and launched The Schoolbag, a youth education project to provide tools for students, as well as initiate active citizenry and environmental stewardship. Erin has been featured in and tapped as an expert for the New York Times, Vanity Fair, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Post, Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue, National Geographic, ABC, NBC, BBC, CNN, FOX, MTV, PBS, E!, AOL, and other multimedia outlets. She hosts digital programs, leads events, and writes for The Huffington Post, her own ecoRenaissance blog, Twitter, and others. An award-winning ecopreneur, Erin is U.S. Ambassador to One Young World, spokeswoman for top organic and recycled brands, and as the White House said, “a dynamic, passionate, and ambitious young woman committed to creating big change everywhere she goes.”

Suzanne Schutte is an educator committed to improving the quality of public education. She started her career teaching at Denby High School in Detroit, and then served as a lead teacher for special education programs at Evanston Township High School in Illinois. When she returned to her hometown of San Francisco in 1993, Suzanne taught briefly within San Francisco Unified School District, served as the Associate Director of College Counseling at The Urban School, and was a co-founder of Gateway High School, where she served as Board Chair. Suzanne continues to serve on the board of trustees for Gateway High School, and on the advisory board for U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education. Previously, she served on the board of trustees for The Urban School and Marin Country Day School, as well as on the advisory board for Aim High and the Parent Education Network.

Leslie Mintz Tamminen is a consultant for Seventh Generation Advisors. In 2009, she was appointed to the California Ocean Science Trust Board of Trustees. Formerly, Leslie was a special advisor to Lt. Governor John Garamendi and the California Economic Development Commission. She served as Legislative Director and Staff Attorney for the environmental nonprofit organization Heal the Bay from 1997 to 2008.

Cora Yang is a technology and acquisitions attorney with a focus on international transactions. She is a graduate of Williams College and New York University School of Law. For more than 10 years, Cora has volunteered enthusiastically for several nonprofits focused on education and the environment. In July 2013, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.