The obligation that I think we all have to do community service should be paid up periodically, and that initially drove my interest to join the MSMVCD Board of Trustees. My experience thus far shows a board of like-minded people giving their time for no direct benefit. I grew up in Marin, not too far from where I now live.
At Drake High School, Gordon Chan—one of the finest educators Marin has seen—introduced us to the biology of Marin, especially the marine organisms of West Marin. He had a new word, ecology that described the relationships that all organisms share with their environment. I was hooked, and headed to Stanford where I earned a BS in biology, specializing in marine and population biology. After college, I worked a number of jobs, but one that has relevance today involved working as a licensed water and wastewater treatment plant operator in the sierras. In applying my knowledge of biological sciences and learning how a government agency worked, I realized that I needed the skills of an engineer. I went back to school to U.C. Berkeley where I earned an MS in mechanical engineering, specializing in control systems. I took and passed the professional engineering examination. Little did I know that after starting a company in the industrial controls world that I would be back to working in water in Marin and Sonoma Counties.
Since my days at Drake High, I have harbored an interest in how technology interfaces with our ecological systems. For example, there are harmful and invasive species that come to live with us and threaten to bring disease or species elimination. How do we as humans deal with this without doing harm to our environment? As a very young child, I remember hearing about the Marin Mosquito Abatement District. How did you abate a mosquito, I wondered. Fast forward a while, and I was presented with the opportunity to do some community service by joining the MSMVCD. I jumped!
What is your relevant expertise?
I think that I bring several strengths to this board. First, I have become a pretty good businessman, having run a company that had hundreds of millions of dollars of cumulative revenue and hired hundreds of people. I can read financial statements. I learned how to run a company and work with all kinds of people. Certainly, my technical background is very applicable to the questions of how to apply technology to optimize health and safety. Finally, I have a good understanding of Marin and how it has evolved since the days that my father rode the railroad down Mount Tam. My wife and I are happy to live in Marin and want to do our part to serve the community.
I earned a BS in Biology from Stanford and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley. I co-wrote an engineering textbook with my graduate advisor at Cal that went through two printings and was used at some of the top schools in the U.S. and Japan. I am a Registered Professional Engineer in California.