Board & Advisory Board

Board of Directors

Michael Howe

Michael Howe, Board Chair, is 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

Candice Dickens-Russell is Director of Environmental Education at TreePeople and a California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Regional Coordinator for Los Angeles County. She develops and manages high quality environmental education programs for Los Angeles area students and teachers. She chairs the 87 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

Andrea Lewis is Principal of Andrea Lewis Consulting, providing broad management consultation with an emphasis on nonprofit organizations. Andrea brings her interest and experience in environmental education, sustainability, and protection of the environment to the Ten Strands board. She is the former Executive Director of MEarth, a Carmel, California-based environmental education nonprofit, and is MEarth’s current board chair. She worked for the California Environmental Protection Agency as Assistant Secretary for Education and Quality Programs, co-managing the Education and Environment Initiative until her formal retirement. 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

John Mergendoller works on special projects for the Buck Institute for Education (BIE). 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 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

Sheila Nahi has demonstrated strength in advocacy and 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 has participated in sessions at two recent annual meetings of the World Economic Forum in 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

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 their 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

Kate Ridgway is an avid environmentalist focused 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 is a longtime supporter of the World Wildlife Fund, and was a founding member of the National Resource Defense Council’s Environmental Entrepreneurs. 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 and their three children.

Jake Schatz

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 a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and a B.A. 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 has served on the Board of Trustees of The Urban School of San Francisco, the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, and the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at the University of San Francisco.

Jennifer Caldwell heads a family foundation furthering global solutions in education and environmental protection. She initiated the Bay Area Green Schools Alliance, is a trustee of the Exploratorium, and serves on the board of the Environmental Working Group.

Paul Chapman is Executive Director of Inverness Associates, and is the author of several books and reports on environmental education. Paul is also part of the California Green Ribbon Schools program, served on the board of Chabot Space and Science Center, and served on the California Environmental Literacy Task Force.

Jayni Chase is the Founder of the Center for Environmental Education and the Founding Chair of the GREEN Community Schools initiative. She serves on the boards of Cool Globes, the USGBC Center for Green Schools, Friends of the Earth, the NY Harbor Foundation and is a member of Pleiades, a network of women working on sustainability.

Dr. Milton Chen is Senior Fellow and Executive Director Emeritus at the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Dr. Chen was founding director of the KQED Center for Education in San Francisco, a director of research at Sesame Workshop in New York, and an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Jack Chin is an independent strategy consultant who works with foundations and nonprofit programs to enhance their impact. Jack helped start the Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Education Outside, and has served on the governance bodies of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, Student Conservation Association, and Resource Media.

Dr. Hardin Coleman is professor of counseling and applied human development at Boston University where he serve as Dean of the School of Education (2008-2017). Dr. Coleman began his career in education as a high school teacher and counselor. He is current Vice Chair of the Boston Public School Committee and Editor of the Journal of Education.

Diana Dehm is the CEO of Sustainable Business Partnerships, and is founder, producer, and host of Sustainability News & Entertainment Radio. She supported the first UN–US 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. Randi was a trustee of the California Academy of Sciences for 8 years, and is a trustee of the Golden Gate Parks Conservancy.

Mark Gold is Associate Director and adjunct professor at UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability. He served as president of Heal the Bay, and was vice-chair of the California Ocean Science Trust. He is the recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, and the Aspen Institute Catto Fellowship.

Dr. Gerald A. Lieberman is founder and director of the State Education and Environment Roundtable, and is an internationally-recognized authority on school improvement. He served as the principal consultant for the State of California’s Education and the Environment Initiative, and is a past chair of the Commission on Education and Communication of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Kelly Chapman Meyer currently co-chairs the Leadership Council for the Natural Resources Defense Council, sits on the board of Heal the Bay, and serves on the advisory board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment.

Cannon Michael is the President & CEO of Bowles Farming Company. He is the 6th generation of his family to work in the family farming business. He is an advocate for California agriculture and intelligent water policy. Environmental stewardship, ethical treatment of workers, and sustainable production are core values for Cannon and the Bowles Farming Company team.

Stephanie Rico is Vice President and Environmental Affairs Business Initiatives Manager for Wells Fargo. Stephanie earned a B.A. in Social Science, Interdisciplinary Studies from San Francisco State University, and an M.B.A. from DePaul University in Chicago.

Erin Schrode is the co-founder of Teens Turning Green, promoting global sustainability, youth leadership, environmental education, and conscious lifestyle choices. She hosts digital programs, leads events, and writes for The Huffington Post and other online publications. Erin is U.S. Ambassador to One Young World.

Suzanne Schutte started her career teaching in Detroit, served as Associate Director of College Counseling at The Urban School, and was co-founder of Gateway High School in San Francisco. 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.

Robert Sheffield is the CA Director for the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd. He also serves as a consultant to emergent professional learning organizations, and teaches and supervises pre-service History–Social Science teachers at California State University, Long Beach. Robert started his career as a high school history teacher, and was a district curriculum specialist.

Leslie Mintz Tamminen is a consultant for Seventh Generation Advisors. Formerly, Leslie was a special advisor to Lt. Governor John Garamendi and the California Economic Development Commission, and was Legislative Director and Staff Attorney for Heal the Bay from 1997 to 2008.

Cora Yang has volunteered enthusiastically for several nonprofits focused on education and the environment for more that 10 years. She is a graduate of Williams College and New York University School of Law.