speakers 2015


Housing in North County: Success Stories
Moderator & Panelist Bios:

Joshua Hugg, Program Manager, Housing Leadership Council; Moderator

Josh joined HLC following a nearly 20-year career in semiconductor engineering. He decided to make a transition to public service, and obtained a master’s degree in public administration from San Jose State University graduating with honors in 2009. During his time at HLC Josh has overseen HLC’s community education and outreach efforts including the staging of its annual Housing Leadership Day conference. He has pushed for housing positive policies including the countywide effort to re-allocate former RDA funds back to its original use for affordable housing creation, which ultimately recommitted over $17 million. Josh is an active community volunteer and has served on several commissions for the City of San Mateo and is on the Board of Directors for Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC). He holds an undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Don Bowcutt, President, South San Francisco Rotary; Panelist

Don Bowcutt graduated from San Jose University and went to work for an envelope manufacturer. For the past 30 years he has been operating his own printing business. A member and current President of the Rotary Club of South San Francisco, Don has been very involved in the Club’s senior citizen’s home in South San Francisco, called Rotary Plaza. Don and the Club have a keen interest in low income housing for seniors. The planning process is underway to build another senior home of about 92 units on Miller in downtown South San Francisco.

Ron Galatolo, Chancellor, San Mateo County Community College District; Panelist

Ron Galatolo has served as Chancellor of the San Mateo County Community College District since his appointment in May 2001. He joined the District in 1999 as Executive Vice Chancellor (Chief Financial and Operating Officer) following eleven years as Controller for the Foothill-DeAnza Community College. Mr. Galatolo also served as a Certified Public Accountant with KPMG Peat Marwick in San Jose. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, concentration in Accounting, from San Jose State University and an MBA from San Francisco State University.

Chancellor Galatolo serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Community College League of California.

A San Carlos native and lifelong resident of the Bay Area, Mr. Galatolo and his family reside in Menlo Park.

Kate Comfort Harr, Executive Director, HIP Housing; Panelist

Kate has Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Communication Studies from UCSB and holds a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. Before joining HIP Housing, Kate was Director of Development and Marketing for Rebuilding Together Peninsula, and prior to this, she served as the Executive Director at Music for Minors. In her tenure with HIP Housing, Kate has been very involved in property development and program expansion and has been a frequent speaker on a wide range of affordable housing topics. HIP Housing specializes in providing creative affordable housing solutions throughout San Mateo County which house 1400 people each year. She has called San Mateo County her home for over 20-years and takes great pride in her community.

Betsy ZoBell, Housing and Community Development Supervisor, City of Daly City; Panelist

Betsy ZoBell is the Housing and Community Development Supervisor for the City of Daly City. In this position, Betsy has been involved in the entitlement, funding and preservation of rental and ownership housing for seniors and families. She also oversees administration of the city’s housing rehabilitation program as well as funding for nonprofit organizations that provide social services in Daly City.

In 2014, Betsy worked with the City Council to draft and adopt an affordable housing ordinance that requires all new residential development in the city to provide a portion of units that are aff ordable to lower income households. Most recently, Betsy coordinated the city’s efforts to provide $3.9 million for development of 52 affordable rental units by Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition at 6800 Mission Street.

Betsy is a former board member for Rebuilding Together Peninsula and the Daly City Partnership. She currently serves on the board of the Franciscan Housing Corporation in Daly City and as board treasurer for Spindrift School of the Performing Arts in Pacifica.

Betsy has a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley.


Traversing North San Mateo County
Moderator & Panelist Bios:

Jim Harnett, GM/CEO, San Mateo County Transit District; Moderator

Jim Hartnett is General Manager/CEO of the San Mateo County Transit District, a post that includes General Manager of the bus and transit agency SamTrans, Executive Director of the commuter rail system Caltrain, and Executive Director of the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, which administers the proceeds of a half-cent sales tax for transportation projects. Prior to joining Caltrain, Mr. Hartnett was on the Redwood City City Council for 15 years. He served more than 10 years on the Caltrain and SamTrans boards of directors and the past four years on the California High Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors.

John Ford, Executive Director, Commute.org; Panelist

John Ford has been the Executive Director of Commute.org since 2012. Prior to joining Commute.org, John was the President & CEO of the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce. His time at the Chamber was preceded by a career in the software industry where he was in charge of Business Strategy and Finance for an international software development and consulting company.

John received his BA in Economics from U.C. Davis and his MBA from Pepperdine University. In his spare time, John can be found sailing on San Francisco Bay, refereeing youth soccer games, and serving on the board of directors of several local non-profit organizations.

Mike Futrell, City Manager, South San Francisco; Panelist

Mike Futrell has broad executive experience in local, state and federal government. He was the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, served on staff in the United States Senate and was an elected member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and of the Baton Rouge City Council.

He has served as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy and rose to the rank of Navy Captain in the Navy Reserves. He previously practiced law with a private firm and was the Executive Vice President of a public utility company in Hawaii. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business / Public Administration and a Juris Doctorate degree from Louisiana State University, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Ernest Sanchez, Manager, Public Information & Marketing, San Francisco Bay Ferry; Panelist

Ernest Sanchez is Manager of Public Information and Marketing for the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA). He began his career in public ferry transportation in March 1990 in the aftermath of the October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Ernest managed the Alameda/Oakland and Alameda Harbor Bay ferries for the City of Alameda for 21 years until their transfer to WETA in 2011. Ernest is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley.

Mark Simon, Executive Officer, Public Affairs, SamTrans; Panelist

Mark Simon is Executive Officer for Public Affairs at the San Mateo County Transit District, which runs SamTrans, the bus and paratransit services agency for San Mateo County, manages the operations of Caltrain in partnership with transit agencies from San Francisco and Santa Clara County and manages the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, established to expend revenues from a transit-dedicated half-cent sales tax in San Mateo County.

In his position, Simon oversees the Communications and Government and Community Affairs departments of the agency. As such, he is responsible for all internal and external strategic communications on behalf of all three agencies, their respective boards of directors and the executive management of the agencies.

Simon joined SamTrans in 2004 as the Special Assistant to the CEO. Prior to joining SamTrans, he was a political reporter and columnist for Bay Area newspapers for more than three decades.

Simon graduated with honors and distinction from San Jose State University in 1973, obtaining a B.A. in Journalism. He graduated with honors from Skyline College in 1971. A fourth-generation San Franciscan, whose family came to the area in the 1850s, Simon lives in Redwood City. He has two sons and two granddaughters.


City Manager Roundtable
Moderator & Panelist Bios:

Kevin Mullin, California State Assemblymember; Moderator

Assemblymember Kevin Mullin was re-elected in November 2014 to represent the 22nd Assembly District.

The 22nd Assembly District includes the cities of Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Foster City, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Pacifica, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, portions of South San Francisco and the Coastside communities of Montara and Moss Beach.

On December 1, 2014 Assemblymember Mullin was sworn in as the Speaker pro Tempore. His legislative priorities focus on a balanced budget with a healthy rainy day fund, election reform, clean energy and strengthening our innovation economy.

Assemblymember Mullin serves on the following committees: Budget, Budget Subcommittee #4 on State Administration, Business and Professions, Revenue and Taxation, Elections and Redistricting and Housing and Community Development.

He served on the South San Francisco City Council and was Mayor in 2011. He was district director for then-State Senator Jackie Speier (now Congresswoman) and was political director for his father, former State Assemblymember Gene Mullin. He was first elected to the Assembly in November 2012.

Kevin was born and raised in San Mateo County and is a 4th generation Californian. He lives in South San Francisco with his wife, Jessica Stanfill Mullin, and their Kerry Beagle, Sunshine.

Clay Holstine, City Manager, Brisbane; Panelist

Clayton Holstine received a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1977 and continued on to Portland State University for a Master’s in Public Administration. He began his career in public service in the City Manager’s Office for the City of Medford, Oregon, working his way up to Assistant to the City Manager. In 1987, Mr. Holstine took the position of Assistant City Manager with the City of Reno, Nevada and was promoted to City Manager in 1991 serving in that capacity until 1996. In 1998, he took his current position as City Manager of Brisbane, California.

The City of Brisbane is a full-service city located in the northern part of San Mateo County. The City’s small size and autonomy, within the large economy of the Bay Area, makes it a ripe location for businesses and families to thrive. Over the past thirty years, much of Mr. Holstine’s efforts have been focused on citizen participation and financial and organizational development

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Connie Jackson, City Manager, San Bruno; Panelist

Connie Jackson has served as the City Manager for the City of San Bruno since 2003. Connie graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology, and also completed her MBA program coursework there at the Haas School of Business.

She joined the City of Hercules as an Administrative Analyst in 1986. Over the next 13½ years, Connie has held progressively responsible positions including 8 years as Deputy and Assistant City Manager. In January, 2000 Connie accepted the position of City Manager for the City of Fort Bragg, serving nearly 4 years before returning to the Bay Area and joining the City of San Bruno in 2003.

On September 9, 2010 a high-pressure gas transmission line exploded in one of San Bruno’s residential neighborhoods. Connie and her team continue to confront the challenges of response, restoration and recovery while maintaining the community’s regular high standard of public service delivery.

Connie has spoken before numerous organizations throughout the country on the experience, disaster response and pipeline safety and was recently recognized by the League of California Cities City Manager’s Department for career achievement as the recipient of the 2012 City Manager of Distinction award.

Marcia L. Raines, City Manager, City of Millbrae; Panelist

Marcia Raines is the City of Millbrae’s City Manager. She was appointed by the City Council in 2008 as only the second City Manager of the City. The City Manager appoints and supervises all department heads and approximately 150 employees and is responsible for the preparation and administration of the City’s $60 million dollar budget. Millbrae is a full service city of 25,000 people.

Prior to her appointment as City Manager in Millbrae, Ms. Raines served as City Manager for the City of Half Moon Bay, and more than six years as Environmental Services Agency Director for San Mateo County with responsibility for many of the municipal-like services provided by the County.

Ms. Raines serves on the League of California Cities, City Manager’s Department Executive Committee as President and has represented Northern California cities under 100,000 population, is on the International City Managers Association (ICMA) Awards Panel, is a Board member of the California City Management Foundation Board and the California Chapter of the International City Managers Association.

Marcia Raines is originally from Southern California. She received a degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cal Poly, Pomona.