Meet Our Statewide Steering Committee
Smart Growth California is led by an active steering committee that 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.
- Sally Greenspan
Enterprise Community Partners
- Ricardo G. Huerta Niño
San Francisco Foundation
- Jennee Kuang
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
- Jamie Schenker
California Wellness Foundation
- Jennifer Sokolove
- Mark Valentine
ReFrame It Consulting
- Ann Fowler Wallace
The Funders Network
- David Weiskopf
NextGen Policy Center
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.
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.
Maria Cabildo leads CCF’s Housing and Economic Opportunity initiatives, including its discretionary grantmaking activities and Program Related Investments. She oversees project management, community engagement, and convening activities related to CCF’s housing and economic opportunity program areas.
Prior to CCF, Cabildo was a Senior Advisor at Advancement Project California (APCA), leading their strategic initiatives, including RACE COUNTS, its racial disparity policy, and data platform. Before APCA, she was a 2019 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. Cabildo has a long career in public service. She has held positions in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors, including over fifteen years as the CEO of a nonprofit she co-founded. She has served as an appointee on state and local boards, including Los Angeles’ City Planning Commission, LAUSD’s Construction Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee, and the California Housing Partnership.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Columbia University, a master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a Certificate in Advanced Environmental Studies from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
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.
Christiana DeBenedict serves as Director of Environmental Initiatives, leading programs and directing resources to build a more equitable and resilient San Diego. She has built her career locally, developing capacity, resources, programs and networks in support of our regional and binational environment and community.
As the Director of Environment Leadership Initiatives at The Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego, Christiana managed The Equinox Project and the Outdoor Leaders Initiative. She also directed the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative, a network of cities and public agencies working to advance local climate solutions. Previously, Christiana served as Assistant Director of Climate Education Partners, a $5 million National Science Foundation funded project that engaged and informed government, business and community leaders on local climate impacts. As Director of Member Services and Operations at the US-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership, Christiana supported a network of 21 community foundations working to strengthen philanthropy, leadership and collaboration in the US-Mexico border region.
Christiana graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Languages and Bilingual Issues and holds an International MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.
Ricardo G. Huerta Niño
Ricardo G. Huerta Niño is the Senior Initiative Officer, Great Communities Collaborative at the San Francisco Foundation. Ricardo leads the GCC in strategy development and partnership to move the region towards a more equitable and sustainable Bay Area where low-income and communities of color can stay in place and thrive. He works together with funders, non-profits, and public sector partners to identify, implement, and leverage policy and financing strategies in the region. In addition, Ricardo leads GCC’s fundraising and development strategy, manages convenings and funder network meetings and works to build greater alignment across partners.
Before coming to GCC, Ricardo was working as a consultant to nonprofits, local governments, regional agencies, and philanthropic foundations. His most recent work was as a consultant for city planning and community engagement focused on racial equity, housing, transportation, workforce development, and pandemic response efforts. Ricardo served as Policy Director for Collective Impact in the Mayor’s Office in Oakland, leading multi-sector collaborative projects focused on education and youth development. His earlier experience includes working in philanthropy as a program officer and consultant focused on a range of issues including immigrant and refugee rights, environmental justice, leadership development, and criminal justice reform.
Sally Greenspan is a senior program director at Enterprise Community Partners, where she leads Enterprise’s Statewide Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Technical Assistance (AHSC TA) practice. In this role, Sally works to advance dozens of innovative projects around the state that are combining affordable housing with sustainable transportation infrastructure investments to create sustainable, thriving, connected communities. Sally joined Enterprise in 2009 as a project manager working on housing redevelopment projects involving close collaboration with numerous public and private partners. Sally also previously lead Enterprise’s New York based Vulnerable Populations program, which is devoted to leveraging affordable housing tools to create opportunity for people with special needs, especially seniors and those experiencing homelessness.
Sally’s background includes positions in private real estate, architecture, public policy and research, and urban planning. She holds an undergraduate degree in urban studies from Stanford University and a master’s in urban planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.
Jennee Kuang is a Program Fellow in Environment at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She is leading the development of a grantmaking portfolio focused on wildfire resilience in the western United States. In this role, she is supporting partners working collaboratively to inform state and federal policy solutions for wildfire.
Previously, she consulted for the Natural Resources Defense Council on the American Cities Climate Challenge, contributing to a toolkit of city-level building and transportation decarbonization policy resources. She also consulted for the Oakland Firesafe Council, completing an analysis of defensible space programs in California. Additionally, Jennee worked as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Innovation Team on citizen science and crowdsourcing, advanced air and water monitoring technologies, and innovation competitions.
Jennee holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from Cornell University and a master’s degree in public policy from U.C. Berkeley’s Goldman School.
Jamie N. Schenker is a program officer for Cal Wellness’ Community Well-being portfolio. In her role, she reviews letters of interest, evaluates grant proposals, conducts site visits, and makes funding recommendations. She brings over 15 years’ experience in grantmaking, evaluation and organizational learning. She is passionate about supporting social change and racial justice efforts to ensure all people are safe and healthy.
Schenker was appointed to her current position after serving as evaluation officer at Cal Wellness for over six years. During her tenure, she developed evaluation and organizational tools, designed trainings for staff, and designed internal processes to evaluate grantmaking. Additionally, she led efforts to support learning and documentation through grants data.
Prior to joining Cal Wellness in September 2013, she was a program specialist for collaborative philanthropy at Northern California Grantmakers (NCG), where she managed two loan programs for nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area. Before her time at NCG, she was a program assistant at Cal Wellness working on organizational learning and evaluation. She also served as a project manager at Abundantia Consulting, where she led evaluation projects for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.
Schenker previously served as cochair for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy’s Bay Area chapter. She earned her master’s degree in public administration, with a concentration in nonprofit administration, and her bachelor’s degree in sociology from San Francisco State University.
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.
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.
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.