Smart Growth California is led by an active steering committee comprised of representatives from 11 leading funding institutions including: S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, California Community Foundation, The California Endowment, NextGen Policy Center, Resources Legacy Fund, The San Diego Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, The Seed Fund, Sierra Health Foundation, the Water Foundation and an anonymous funder.
The steering committee sets the overall strategic direction in order to facilitate aligned grantmaking and action for the Smart Growth California funder community. Members work together to identify and address priorities at the local, regional, and state levels.
Kaying Hang (Co-Chair)
Kaying serves on the senior management team for Sierra Health Foundation and the Center for Health Program Management as the director of health programs. In this role, Kaying oversees programs including the Sacramento Region Health Care Partnership, the Healthy Sacramento Coalition, the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund, and the Steering Committee on Reduction of African American Child Deaths. Kaying had served as the interim director of health programs since February, and previously was a senior program officer when she joined the foundation in 2013.
Before joining Sierra Health Foundation, Kaying served as associate director for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, where she worked with foundations, affinity groups, public policy groups and immigrant rights organizations. Previously, she served as senior program officer at the Otto Bremer Foundation in Minnesota and a program officer and senior consultant with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation.
Before she began her career in philanthropy, Kaying worked in state government as the state coordinator of the Refugee Health Program for the Minnesota Department of Health, and as assistant regional coordinator for the Refugee and Immigrant Health Program for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She served as the first Co-Chair of the national board of National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) based in Washington DC, and served on the board of Asian Americans in Philanthropy (AAPIP).
A native Hmong speaker, Kaying received a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University and a Master in Public Health from Boston University. Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, she is the oldest of seven children and comes from a family dedicated to social justice. Kaying lives in Sacramento.
Craig Martinez (Co-Chair)
Craig Martinez joined The California Endowment in May 2012 as a program manager tasked with supporting policy and system change efforts to create healthier neighborhoods. He is based in The California Endowment’s Los Angeles office and began serving on the steering committee of Smart Growth California in 2013 and the board of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (TFN) in March of 2015.
Prior to joining The Endowment, Craig served as a health policy advisor in the Majority Health Policy Office of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee, first under the Chairmanship of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and subsequently under the Chairmanship of Senator Tom Harkin. His legislative portfolio on the HELP Committee included issues relating to public health, disease prevention, health disparities, mental health, HIV/AIDS, and public health preparedness.
Craig received his Bachelor of Science from Stanford University, and holds both a Master of Public Health and a Doctorate in Public Health in child and adolescent health and development from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has also worked in numerous community-based organizations addressing adolescent health concerns including HIV/AIDS, violence prevention, and environmental health.
Emma-Louise Anderson has been the executive director of the Seed Fund for almost ten years, prior to which she was the Deputy Head of Political, Press & Public Affairs and the Cultural Attache for the British Consulate General in San Francisco. Emma-Louise began her career in non profit Arts Management and has worked all over the Bay Area in organizations including Headlands Center for the Arts, the Mexican Museum and the Maritime Museum. She holds a BA Honours in English Literature, Music & Theatre from the University of Sussex, U.K. She is an avid road cyclist, having completed eight Climate Rides in the past five years and a bay swimmer- she recently swam from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge to raise funds and awareness for BayKeeper, a local Bay Area non-profit. She lives with her two children in San Geronimo, California.
Joya is a senior program officer at the Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. She leads the Foundation’s grant program that is designed to advance a more sustainable water system that meets the needs of people and nature with a primary focus on California and the American West. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was an attorney at Latham & Watkins and worked for the City of New York, first with the Mayor’s Office of Operations and later with the Economic Development Division of the Law Department. She currently serves on the board of 826 Valencia, an organization that works with San Francisco students to improve writing skills, develop confidence in their voice, and inspire wonder in the world around them.
Corey Brown serves as a strategic policy advisor and program officer on a diverse portfolio of issues, including climate change, land use, park protection, urban rivers, water policy, river restoration, and conservation funding at the Resources Legacy Fund.
Corey previously served as executive director of the Big Sur Land Trust, government affairs director for the Trust for Public Land (Western Region), general counsel for the Planning and Conservation League, legal counsel for Friends of the River, and Assembly Fellow with the California State Legislature. He also served as adjunct professor at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and as visiting lecturer at the University of California, Davis. He is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, School of Law.
Ray is a director on the California Endowment’s Healthy California statewide team. Ray is responsible for shaping and implementing The Endowment’s programmatic strategy to bring wellness and healthier school climate policies and practices to California schools, as well as establish health-promoting neighborhood policies across the state. He also co-leads the Heath Happens with all our Sons & Brothers efforts, which are aimed at improving the health of boys and young men of color—a key cross-cutting program priority of the 10-year Building Healthy Communities strategy.
Prior to joining The Endowment, Ray was an associate director at PolicyLink, where he conducted policy research, analysis, coalition building, communications, and advocacy on a range of issues including community health. Ray has also served as a senior research associate with The Rockefeller Foundation, executive director for the South of Market Problem Solving Council, and as a policy analyst for the San Francisco Department of Human Services.
Ray received a Bachelor of Science in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego, and a Master in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Ray is a resident of Albany, California, where he lives with his wife Fatima Angeles, daughter Isabela, and son Alessandro.
Jen Sokolove is Director of Programs and Strategy at the Water Foundation. She has been working on sustainability issues for more than two decades, with a focus on community-based conservation. Prior to joining the Water Foundation, she led strategy and grantmaking at the Compton Foundation around movement-building and narrative in climate change, reproductive justice, and peace and security. She joined Compton initially to advance its environmental programs on fresh water, climate, and rural conservation in the western United States, as well as sustainable food systems and art for social change. Before Compton, Jen worked on a variety of community-led conservation projects in California, Montana, and the Pacific Northwest. She serves on the board of EcoAdapt and advisory boards for the Healthy Headwaters project of Carpe Diem West and the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UC Santa Cruz. Jen received a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from UC Berkeley.
REFRAME IT CONSULTING
Mark Valentine is the founder and principal of ReFrame It Consulting, which works with foundations and individual donors on grantmaking program design, implementation, and evaluation. In parallel, ReFrame It offers nonprofit organizations a range of services that include strategic planning, organizational development, and executive coaching. Mark and his colleagues have advised groups working across a diverse array of issues, including: smart growth and sustainable land use, environmental health, energy and climate, marine and coastal conservation, and conservation finance. Amongst his clients is a private donor advisory service for which he manages a portfolio of grants focused on advancing sustainable land use policy in key regions of California. Mark served as a founding co-chair of Smart Growth California. See Mark’s reflections on Smart Growth California’s growth over 10 years.
Prior to founding ReFrame It, Mark was a program director with the Packard Foundation where he helped establish the nation’s largest conservation grantmaking program with initiatives across the western United States, Mexico, China, and the Western Pacific. In addition, he created an innovative interdisciplinary grantmaking initiative that highlighted the opportunities for strategic synergy between reproductive health, environment, and community development initiatives in select geographies within the Foundation’s global portfolio.
Mark has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (TFN) as well as on the Management Committee of the Environmental Grantmakers Association. He currently serves on the Boards of Director of the Center for the New American Dream, Resource Media, and EcoTrust Canada.
Lydia Van Note
Lydia oversees environmental programs and priorities of The San Diego Foundation, including the Opening the Outdoors Program and Climate Program. She works with a cross-section of donors, public officials, businesses and local leaders to build strategic partnerships that strengthen climate resilience for communities across the region, create more opportunities for San Diegans from underserved areas to experience the outdoors, and protect the natural environment San Diego County is known for.
Lydia brings more than 17 years of experience building demand for public policies at the local, state and federal levels. Throughout her career, Lydia has played an integral role in creating positive change for the environment, working families and public health. She has previously served as a nonprofit and campaign consultant, leading local environmental ballot initiatives and assisting candidates running for local office. Before moving to San Diego, Lydia was Nevada’s leading clean energy advocate for more than a decade, worked for U.S. Senator Harry Reid as his Energy Representative, and served as the Regional Representative of the Sierra Club.
Lydia volunteers as Board Chair of the San Diego League of Conservation Voters and is a Political Partner with the Truman National Security Project. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in liberal arts.
Ann Fowler Wallace
Ann is director of programs at the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (TFN). Based in Boston, Ann leads TFN’s responsive service work in the Northeast, staffs the GREEN! working group and Partners for Places (P4P) grant program, advises TFN’s Northeast Funders’ Network and Stormwater Funders Group, and manages the Network’s team of field contractors.
Before coming to TFN, Ann facilitated the planning and design of smart growth collaboratives in Vermont and Massachusetts. She has worked as a program consultant to the John Merck Fund (JMF), and consulted with other foundations and funder networks focusing on environmental, sustainable agriculture, and smart growth issues. She is a former partner at GMA Foundations, a philanthropic consulting firm serving charitable foundations and individual donors, where for 15 years she headed up GMA’s environmental grantmaking and consulting practice. Among her past clients, Ann worked for the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust, the Conservation, Food & Health Foundation, the Dolphin Trust, and The Elizabeth Ordway Dunn Foundation.
Ann is a past trustee of the Beldon Fund, and currently a trustee of the Environmental League of Massachusetts. She has a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Duke University and has a Master’s degree with a concentration in environmental policy from Tufts University.
As Initiative Officer for the Great Communities Collaborative, Elizabeth leads the programmatic work of the collaborative, working with grantees and partners to build a more equitable and sustainable Bay Area. Before coming to TSFF, Elizabeth worked for Reconnecting America where she was deeply engaged in transit and TOD-focused technical assistance projects at the regional and the corridor scale in the San Francisco Bay Area, Denver, Los Angeles and Twin Cities.
Elizabeth co-authored several publications including Are We There Yet? Creating Complete Communities for 21st Century America. Elizabeth created typologies as a tool for implementing TOD; developed strategies for housing preservation and production in transit-rich locations; and explored the connection between jobs, workforce development and transit.
Prior to Reconnecting America, Elizabeth worked on the southwest side of Chicago with local nonprofits on pressing community development issues. She attended the University of Chicago as an undergraduate, and received a Masters of City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.
David Weiskopf is Senior Policy Advisor at NextGen California. His work addresses climate change, clean energy, and ending our dependence on fossil fuels with policy solutions that prioritize both social equity and environmental integrity.
Prior to joining NextGen, David was a Schneider Clean Energy Fellow with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Midwest office in Chicago, where he advocated for clean energy and energy efficiency with Midwestern electric utilities and governments.
David is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and currently based in Sacramento, California. He holds a JD from Stanford Law School and an MS from Stanford School of Earth Sciences, and an MA in Philosophy from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is a member of the CA and IL State Bars.
Ben Winter oversees CCF’s housing initiatives and policy advocacy, helping to strengthen low-income communities, solve homelessness, and grow the region’s supply of housing in an equitable, just and sustainable way.
Prior to joining CCF, Ben was the Chief Housing Officer for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and a senior analyst for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the leadership of President Barack Obama. In these roles, Winter has led a variety of local and federal efforts to accelerate the development of affordable and permanent supportive housing, implement equitable land-use reforms, and allocate billions of dollars to state and local jurisdictions for community development and housing initiatives.
Winter received a master of urban planning from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and was a fellow at NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. In his earlier years, he worked long nights in the service-sector economy while securing a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, specializing in Spanish literature, international relations and global cultures. He also spent time as a paralegal, learning about law and defending the rights of immigrants.