Tahoe Fund Board Members provide generous support, leadership and inspiration.
Board of Directors, Officers
Board of Directors
Katy Simon Holland
John B. Jones, Jr.
*Read full bio’s below by clicking the Board Member’s name above.
Board of Directors, Officers
Allen Biaggi – Chair
Allen Biaggi is a third generation Nevadan from Douglas County and is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with degrees in Hydrology and Architectural Engineering Design.
Mr. Biaggi served as the Director of Nevada’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (a cabinet level position) under governors Guinn and Gibbons and as the Administrator of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection under governors Miller and Guinn. During his tenure with the State of Nevada, Mr. Biaggi served on numerous boards and commissions including The Commission on Workplace Safety, the Governor’s Climate Change Committee and the State Petroleum Board. Most notably for the Lake Tahoe Basin, Mr. Biaggi served on the Bi-State Fire Commission in the wake of the Angora Fire and sat on the Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency for six years, including three years as its chairman.
He is the Principal of A. Biaggi & Associates, LLC, a natural resources consulting firm, and is an avid cyclist, skier and hiker. He resides in Douglas County with his wife Linda.
Cory Ritchie – Vice Chair
Cory Ritchie is an active supporter of environmental causes, bilingual education and equal access to youth sports at Lake Tahoe. In addition to being a founding board member of the Tahoe Fund, she has volunteered for numerous local organizations, including South Lake Tahoe’s Sustainable Rebuilding Expo, Youth Task Force, Boys and Girls Club, Girls on the Run Sierra, the Sports Connection, AYSO soccer, and the League to Save Lake Tahoe. Cory is also active with the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation and is a founding member of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation’s Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund.
Cory grew up coming to Tahoe as a “weekender” on the Squaw Valley Ski Team. After exploring the mountains of Colorado and Vermont, Cory made her way back to Tahoe with her husband, Ryan, whom she met on the UC Davis Ski Team. Over the last twenty-plus years, they have lived all around the lake, in Tahoe City, Stateline, and Incline Village. They enjoy all Lake Tahoe has to offer, especially skiing, mountain biking, and backpacking with their two daughters.
Julie Teel – Secretary
Julie Teel has deep roots in Lake Tahoe. She is a founding member of the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation. She has a long history of volunteerism and service to the Tahoe community, as a former member of the TRPA governing board, and philanthropic supporter of various causes.
Julie is currently a Trustee for Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, board member of the Crocker Art Museum, National Salvation Army Advisory Board, Make-A-Wish Board, Raley’s Board of Directors, Ozark Trucking Board of Directors, Food For Families Board of Directors, Sutter Hospitals Foundation Trustee and the Thomas P. Raley Foundation.
Verdi DiSesa is originally from Philadelphia and spent his early years on the East Coast, graduating from Harvard College in 2009. As a San Francisco resident, he and his wife frequent the Tahoe Basin on most weekends (and sometimes weekdays) to explore and take advantage of the natural beauty of this unique environment. Verdi spends most of that time recreating outdoors, whether that’s downhill or backcountry skiing, backpacking, fly fishing, cycling, snowshoeing or simply soaking in everything else Tahoe has to offer.
When not exploring the mountains, rivers and lakes around the Basin, Verdi is a Client Advisor and Executive Director for the Private Bank at J.P. Morgan. He works with clients in the Bay Area, greater Sacramento region and around Reno/Tahoe to deliver holistic financial advice, including asset allocation and portfolio solutions, banking and lending services, trust and estate planning, and philanthropic advice. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan in early 2013, Verdi worked at Goldman Sachs in as an analyst in their Private Wealth Management group until mid-2011 when he moved to San Francisco to join their Investment Grade Credit sales and trading team.
In addition to serving on the board and executive committee of the Tahoe Fund, Verdi was a board member for the Holy Family Day Home, an organization dedicated to providing affordable, high quality, early childhood education and family support services in a stable and nurturing environment to the children of working families. He also previously served on the Young Professionals Board of SquashDrive, an enrichment program for underserved Bay Area youth that helps students reach their academic, athletic, and personal potential through individualized educational support, squash instructions, and character development. Verdi recently stepped down as Commissioner of the Olympic Club Squash Program, and in that capacity oversaw both the Men’s and Women’s squash teams, coordinating competitive matches, and organizing social- and philanthropic-engagement events on behalf of the members.
Verdi is the oldest of four boys (men) who are scattered around the country and share his passion for skiing and the outdoors. His wife, Kelsey, is an attorney at Cooley LLP, a corporate law firm headquartered in San Francisco, but originally from the snowy woods outside Ottawa, Ontario. Verdi and Kelsey have a dog, Linus, who accompanies them on their sojourns around the Bay Area and Tahoe Basin, and also loves their explorations.
Board of Directors
Jim Boyd was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to a second five-year term on the California Energy Commission on February 2, 2007. He was first appointed to the commission on February 6, 2002, and he was appointed to the Vice Chair position on June 16, 2006.
Prior to his appointment, Boyd was Deputy Secretary and Chief of Staff of the California Resources Agency. He created and chaired the state’s first Joint Agency Climate Change Team and the state’s Natural Gas Working Group.
Boyd served for 15 years as the Chief Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), directing the nation’s largest state air pollution control program. During this period, CARB led the nation in establishing new pollution control programs for motor vehicles and fuels, toxic air contaminants, consumer products and industrial and area sources.
He currently presides over the Energy Commission Transportation Committee and currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the University of California Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. Boyd is the Energy Commission’s representative on the Steering Team of the California Fuel Cell Partnership and has served on the Governor’s Hydrogen Highway Network Implementation Advisory Panel. He led the commission’s efforts to develop the state alternative fuels plan, which was requested by the governor and California State Legislature. He oversees the implementation of Assembly Bill 118, which established an Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program at the commission.
Boyd chairs the Bio-energy Interagency Working Group that developed and is now implementing the Governor’s Bio-energy Action Plan and also serves as the state’s liaison to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and as California’s representative on the Border Governors’ Conference Energy Worktable. He presently serves on the Governor’s Climate Action Team.
A California native, Boyd received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.
Las Vegas native Tim Cashman currently serves on the boards of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Nevada Taxpayers Association. Following graduation from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, he joined his family’s heavy equipment business in Reno, eventually managing operations in Reno and Elko before being named Vice-President of Cashman Equipment. He is co-owner of the Harley-Davidson dealerships in Southern Nevada and Utah.
In addition to his business endeavors, Tim has also served on the Nevada Department of Transportation’s Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Nevada Electric Energy Policy Committee and the State of Nevada Commission on Ethics. Since 2004 he has served as a trustee of the Keyser Foundation.
Tim enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, and is active in fishing, riding and boating.
Bio coming soon.
Stacey Crowley is the Vice President of External and Customer Affairs for the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). She oversees all aspects of customer support, communications, government relations and external policy activities. She also manages coordination with the CAISO’s Board of Governors and its committees to facilitate quality engagement and dialogue with stakeholders on a variety of western energy issues.
Stacey’s strength in developing partnerships and fostering consensus grew in her previous role as the Director of the Nevada State Office of Energy and advisor to Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. There, she helped define important energy opportunities and challenges in the state. She managed Nevada’s federal grant programs and economic incentive regulations for clean energy projects. In that role she served as Chair of the Western Interstate Energy Board and served on the board of the National Association of State Energy Officials.
Earlier in Stacey’s career, she practiced as an architect with an emphasis on environmental sustainability. She managed and developed complex space design, land planning and design standards supporting all facets of sustainable community development.
Stacey is a LEED Accredited Professional and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan and Masters of Architecture from the University of New Mexico. She and her husband Tim love to bike, kayak, and spend time with wonderful friends and family.
Scott Gillespie is Principal of SANDBOX, an award-winning architectural design and engineering firm, founded in Tahoe City in 2001. Scott is also co-founder of Moxie, a Truckee-based interior design company.
Scott has designed several hundred custom homes in the Tahoe-Truckee region, including over 100 in Martis Camp, as well as Tahoe lakefronts and others in Montana, Utah, Colorado and Hawaii, garnering numerous design awards along the way. His aesthetic spans the full spectrum from rustic mountain architecture to contemporary work.
A 25-year resident of Lake Tahoe, Scott began his career on the East Coast working in the fields of architecture and construction. He followed his heart to the mountains, moving to Tahoe City in 1994, where he worked for a local architectural firm for several years while pursuing the US Freestyle Ski Team.
Scott received a Bachelor’s of Art in Architecture with honors from Middlebury College, Vermont in May 1993. He supplemented his education at Middlebury with studies at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, in New York City.
An avid outdoorsman, Scott enjoys spending time on the Lake, biking and skiing with his wife and two young children.
Cindy Gustafson is the Placer County Supervisor for District 5. Prior to her appointment to the Placer County Board of Supervisors, Cindy was the CEO of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and North Tahoe Chamber. Her passion for Tahoe brought her to the Lake 30 years ago and during that time she has served on numerous boards, committees and volunteer community efforts. Ms. Gustafson recently retired as General Manager of the Tahoe City PUD after a 19 year career. She successfully secured grant funding for and administered $30 million in a variety of capital projects including bike trails, sidewalks, water and sewer system upgrades, community buildings, public parks, beaches, and environmental restoration projects.
In addition to her professional career, Ms. Gustafson has served in a wide variety of appointed and elected positions requiring complex public policy strategies. She served four years as one of the State’s five Fish and Game Commissioners, appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Most recently she chaired the Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force, charged with developing recommendations for the protection of the State’s waters along the North Coast of California. She also served for two years on the Lake Tahoe Basin Federal Advisory Committee, five years on the Truckee Tahoe School Board of Trustees, two years on the Tahoe Baikal Institute Board, and six years on the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency Board of Directors.
Ms. Gustafson and her husband and sons enjoy Lake Tahoe’s many outdoor recreational activities.
Katy Simon Holland
Katy Simon Holland retired in 2013 after serving in local government for more than 25 years, most recently as the Washoe County (NV) Manager for 15 years. As County Manager, she oversaw a budget of $800 million and 3200 employees serving a population of 423,000 residents spanning from north Lake Tahoe to the Oregon border. During her administration, Washoe County helped to protect 80,000 acres of open space, was recognized as the #1 Digital County in the US, was awarded the Cashman Good Government award three times by the Nevada Taxpayers Association, and was three times named the #1 Local Government in the US for Waste Reduction.
Ms. Simon Holland has returned to consulting as President of Simon and Associates, and in that capacity has worked with local and state government clients throughout North America in Nevada, California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Alberta Canada, Maine, and Massachusetts, as well as non-profits and corporations such as Qualcomm, Baxter Healthcare, Sony, Mitsubishi, USWest technologies, and many others in leadership development, vision, strategy, and innovation.
Named one of Twenty People to Watch in the New Millenium by the Reno Gazette-Journal, she is a Credentialed Manager through the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and served on the faculty and as Innovation Mentor for the national local government Innovation Academy through the Alliance for Innovation based at Arizona State University. In 2016, she authored the Innovation Academy Playbook to encourage the expansion of innovative capacities in local government. She has also served as a guest lecturer and Manager in Residence for the USC (University of Southern California) Sol Price Graduate School of Public Policy, and as a senior advisor for ICMA and Peak Democracy. She currently serves as an elected School Board Trustee for the Washoe County School District, and was elected by her fellow Trustees to serve as President of the Board.
Her volunteer non-profit Board experience ranges from the Nevada Land Trust to the United Way, the Children’s Cabinet, and the Access to Healthcare Network, among many others. She has taught at the University and Community College levels, is a frequent public speaker, has been published in national publications, and was honored to be selected as an Olympic Torchbearer for the 1996 Olympics. She lives in Reno, Nevada where she and her husband enjoy kayaking, hiking, and all that Lake Tahoe and Lake Almanor have to offer, and she is a proud mother and grandmother.
Deb Howard is Pres., Broker and Owner of Deb Howard & Co., a CA and NV Real Estate firm located in So Shore Lake Tahoe. Deb moved out of Alaska, where she was raised, to South Lake Tahoe in 1978 with her husband, Tony, to raise their two children and to enjoy this beautiful alpine community. She began her career in real estate and her active participation in South Lake Tahoe community affairs shortly thereafter.
Deb and her real estate team are directly involved with many of the issues that confront Lake Tahoe and surrounding areas. She maintains an open dialog with the local, state, and federal agencies involved in these issues that impact her industry and community. Deb believes that being up to date on local and national issues that confront the Lake Tahoe region, along with the real estate industry, is of paramount importance. To say the very least, Deb “lives and breathes Lake Tahoe.”
John Jones, Jr.
John has had a home in the Lake Tahoe region for more than 40 years. He is an active outdoors person and very involved in the local Tahoe communities. He was a Board member of the Truckee Tahoe Airport District from 2010 to 2018 and served as its President in 2014 and 2015.
John is the President of the North Tahoe Commercial real estate corporation; North Tahoe Properties, real estate property management corporation and the President of his own investment management company, Triley Ventures.
Prior to retirement in 2004, John was a securities analyst on Wall Street for 20 years where he followed the high tech sector for Montgomery Securities, Salomon Brothers, Salomon Smith Barney and Citibank.
John began his technology pursuits at IBM in 1969. This led to his transition to Wall Street in 1985 as a technology analyst.
He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting & Statistics. Upon graduating, John went to work for Main LaFrentz & Co., the CPA firm that worked with Hewlett Packard at the time.
John has been married to his wife Glennis for 50 years. They have two adult children and three grandchildren who all spend much time in Tahoe.
Kevin and his wife Sherí moved to the Tahoe-Truckee region in 1998, during the first ‘dot com’ boom. Kevin helped establish and manage several web-based technology firms in Truckee. In 2001 he co-founded Clear Capital, a national real estate valuation, technology, and analytics firm. He then led the effort to establish Clear Capital’s headquarters and main operational centers in Truckee, becoming one of the area’s largest employers and creating the model for non-tourism, technology-based jobs in the Tahoe Truckee region.
Clear Capital, now headquartered in downtown Reno, NV, has offices and staff across the nation, with over 650 employees and tens of thousands of contractors. Marshall retired from Clear Capital in 2019 and now serves as a Board Member and Strategic Advisor.
Kevin and Sherí were both raised in Auburn, CA, where they enjoyed the proximity to Tahoe. After a lifetime coming to Tahoe to mountain bike, snowboard, ski, camp, rock climb, and backpack, it only made sense to move to Tahoe and raise their family in the mountains. The Marshalls currently live in Incline Village, NV. Their two teenage children attend Tahoe Expedition Academy in Truckee.
In addition to the Tahoe Fund, Marshall is deeply involved in causes focused on youth mentorship, environment, addressing economic and social disparity, and education. You can find the Marshall’s exploring many obscure parts of the globe, but always eager to return to their Tahoe home base exploring on foot, ski, board, boat, bike, kayak, SUP, motorcycle, or overland rig.
A Northern California native, Tom Mertens first visited Lake Tahoe with his family over 50 years ago. He was a founding board member of the Tahoe Fund in 2010.
He has also been a board member of the League to Save Lake Tahoe (Keep Tahoe Blue) since 1991. Tom has served as president and board chair of the League and has led or currently chairs committees on forest health, legislation and communications. In 2012, he was awarded Tahoe’s top environmental honor, the Dwight Steele Award.
He is a former chair of the board of the non-profit Tahoe Baikal Institute involving accomplished graduate students and young professionals from the U.S., Russia, and other nations who, until 2015, annually studied on-site environmental issues at Tahoe and Lake Baikal in Russia. Tom has been a guest lecturer on environmental nonprofit topics at Siberia’s Buryiat State University in Ulan Ude, Russia and at California State University-San Jose.
As a communications and media consultant, he has implemented communications plans for multiple technology, community choice, and municipal energy entities. He is also a former chairman of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and the San Jose Elections/Ethics Commission. Tom is an avid outdoorsman and ice hockey player, and enjoys family time at Rubicon Bay to hike, fish, backpack, snowshoe and ski in the Tahoe area.
Jim Porter is senior partner in the Porter Simon law firm with offices in Tahoe City and Truckee, California and Reno, Nevada. For over 45 years, he has practiced law in the Truckee/Tahoe and Reno areas, and is a licensed California real estate broker.
His weekly column, “The Law Review,” has appeared in the Sierra Sun for over 40 years. He pens a bi-monthly California Law column in the Washoe County Bar publication, The Writ. He has taught classes at various local colleges and is a member of several bar associations. In 1995, Jim was the first recipient of the “Attorney of the Year” award presented by the Tahoe-Truckee Bar Association. He was the Governor’s appointee to the Bipartisan McPherson Commission and the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
In 1998, Jim helped form and is Chairman Emeritus of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation – initiated with a $1 million donation from William Hewlett of the Hewlett-Packard Company. The Foundation is in its 22nd year and has an endowment totaling nearly $20 million. Jim has served on numerous local and regional boards.
Jim is a fourth generation Northern Californian and grew up visiting the Tahoe area for family vacations since he was in elementary school. In 1964, his family bought a vacation cabin in Crystal Bay, which they owned until 1994.
A University of California, Davis graduate, Jim received his law degree with honors from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Jim, his wife and two grown daughters, enjoy life in Truckee – mountain biking, cross-country skiing, hiking, camping, fishing and gardening.
Meg Sandman is a fourth generation Californian currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Meg’s Tahoe connection goes back almost a century to her great grandparents, who helped operate Kit Carson Lodge. Her family has been in Tahoe in one capacity or another ever since.
After graduating with distinction from Yale University, Meg went on to work in a variety of operationally focused roles primarily at startups. Most recently Meg was Vice President of Operations at UpCounsel, a legal marketplace based in San Francisco.
Meg left startups behind in 2018 in order to spend more time as a mom as well as to be able to focus on philanthropic endeavors. Her focus areas include stewardship and environmental conservation within the greater Tahoe region, STEM related initiatives, and programs benefiting children and young adults. Meg has been a volunteer with Year Up, worked on capital campaigns and other development projects in the Tahoe region, and participates on several non-profit boards.
Meg and her husband Blake live in Menlo Park, where they are raising their young son. They enjoy spending as much time as possible at their home in Myers, where they are active skiers, mountain bikers, and hikers.
Chuck Scharer has lived and worked in Lake Tahoe for 29 years and currently lives with his wife Susan in Zephyr Cove, Nevada. Mr. Scharer recently retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of Edgewood Companies, a closely held diversified real estate company, which has owned over 500 acres of land in Lake Tahoe since 1896 including the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. A veteran of the hotel/casino industry, prior to joining Edgewood Companies, Scharer completed an 18-year career with Harvey’s Casino Resorts based in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He served as President and CEO from 1995 to 2001 and Chief Financial Officer from 1988 to 1995. During his tenure, Scharer helped lead Harvey’s to become one of the most respected and successful companies in the hotel/casino industry.
In addition to his affiliation with the Tahoe Fund, Mr. Scharer is a member of the Board of Directors of Barton Healthcare System in South Lake Tahoe, California, the Tahoe Prosperity Center, and the South Tahoe Association of Resorts. He also served as a Commissioner on the Nevada Commission on Tourism from 1999 to 2008.
Stephanie Tyler, President of AT&T Pacific Northwest and Nevada, is a highly accomplished external affairs executive and former Nevada State Senator with nearly 30 years of multi-state experience in administering government relations programs, corporate communications, campaign management and public service.
Stephanie has been in External Affairs with AT&T for more than 15 years. After lobbying communications issues in the California Legislature for 6 years, she was asked by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to take a one-year leave of absence from AT&T to serve as the Political Director to his successful re-election campaign. She then returned to the company where she now maintains responsibility for a 5-state western region.
A native Nevadan, Stephanie spent the early years of her career in a variety of political jobs including staff to a U.S. senator, running political organizations and statewide election campaigns.
She has been an active member of numerous community boards and commissions in both Reno and Las Vegas including the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities Board of Directors, the National JAG Board of Directors and the Nevada affiliate of the International Women’s Forum.
Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno. She has homes in Carson City, Nevada and South Lake Tahoe, California.
Terry Watt brings a wealth of experience in planning and implementation efforts focused on projects that promote resource conservation and sustainable development patterns and practices. Prior to forming her own consulting firm, she was the staff planning expert with the environmental and land use law firm Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger. Terry is an expert in general and specific planning and zoning, open space and agricultural land conservation strategies and environmental compliance.
Facilitation, public outreach, project management and negotiation are among the skills Terry offers to a wide variety of California clients including non-profit organizations, government agencies and foundations.
Recent clients include the Marin Countywide Plan Update and its Environmental Impact Report; the California Attorney General’s Office on a project related to climate change, CEQA and general plans; an environmental coalition that secured an Agreement with the Tejon Ranch Company for the permanent protection of 240,000 acres of the ranch; and several coalitions and organizations studying infill methodology dedicated to sustainable development patterns as a key strategy to achieving California’s emissions reduction targets.
A graduate of Stanford and of the University of Southern California Graduate School of Urban and Regional Planning, Terry is a frequent presenter at regional, national and statewide workshops and symposiums on general plans and sustainability best practices and case studies. She has been honored with the California State Association of Counties Distinguished Service Award, the Environment Now Award, state and national American Planning Association awards and the Carla Bard Award for Individual Achievement.
Council of Special Advisors
Art Chapman is the Founder of JMA Ventures. Headquartered in San Francisco, JMA’s assets include but are not limited to The Fairmont Heritage Place Hotel at Ghirardelli Square, the Epic and Waterbar restaurants in San Francisco, Homewood Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe, The West Shore Café and Inn, ownership interests in the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts, and the Red Lodge ski resort in Red Lodge Montana. Other assets include commercial properties in the State of Washington and Austin, Texas.
Art is a former Director of Community Development and Redevelopment in a large California city and served as a part time instructor in Public Administration and Community Development at the Center for Public Policy and Administration at California State University at Long Beach. He was a founding member of the Tahoe Fund. He was also appointed to and served on the bi-state, California, Nevada consultation committee that guided the development of the recently adopted Tahoe Regional Plan which is administered by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Until recently, he also served on the Board of Trustees of Sierra Nevada College. In 2011, Art was recognized as the Citizen of the Year by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.
Mr. Merrill was born and raised in San Francisco and received a BA degree from Stanford University and an MBA degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967. Following graduation, he began his career in venture capital by joining BankAmerica Capital Corporation. In 1976 he became president of BankAmerica Capital Corporation and managed this very successful venture activity until 1980 when he formed and managed Merrill, Pickard, Anderson & Eyre (MPAE), a privately held venture capital partnership.
During his venture capital career, Mr. Merrill was involved in the start-up funding of Federal Express, Advanced Micro Devices, America Online, Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Aspect Telecommunications, Cypress Semiconductor, LSI Logic, Synopsys, Grand Junction and Kalpana (acquired by Cisco), Maxim Integrated Products, Palm Computing, and Rambus.
In 1996 MPAE stopped making new investments and Mr. Merrill helped form Benchmark Capital with several of the MPAE partners. He continues to be a special limited partner in that firm.
Mr. Merrill is presently devoting a significant amount of time to civic and non-profit activities as well as his private investments. He was chairman of the Board of Trustees of Town School for Boys, a member of the Committee to Restore the San Francisco Opera House, and is a past director of the Children’s Health Council and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Mr. Merrill currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Aspire Public Schools, the largest Charter School organization in California. He is also on the Board of the UCSF Foundation and the Haas Center at Stanford University, as well as an investment partner in New Schools Venture Fund.
Mr. Merrill is a past president of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists, a past director of the National Venture Capital Association, and was a director of numerous privately-held companies.
Mr. Merrill lives in San Francisco and is the father of two grown sons. He maintains a summer home near Tahoe City.
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Governor Brian Sandoval
Brian Sandoval first visited Lake Tahoe as a small boy at 4-H Camp at Stateline. It was there that he began his lifelong relationship with Lake Tahoe.
Governor Sandoval currently serves as the President of Global Gaming Development for MGM Resorts International, where he drives MGM Resorts’ global expansion efforts, most importantly in Japan, and focuses on state public policy efforts around sports gaming.
Previously, Sandoval served from 2011-2019 as Nevada’s first Hispanic Governor and as one of the nation’s most popular state leaders, and transformed Nevada with key accomplishments in economic development, water policy, state parks and recreation, public lands, veterans’ issues, health care expansion, workforce development, renewable energy policy, innovative gaming policy and modernizing Nevada’s public education system.
As Governor and Chairman of the Nevada Transportation Board, Sandoval played a key role in the development and construction of the newly opened Tahoe East Shore Trail between Incline Village and Sand Harbor. Sandoval also dedicated additional funding for Nevada’s state parks at Lake Tahoe. As Governor, Sandoval worked with Governor Jerry Brown at several Tahoe Summits, helping continue the legacy of then California and Nevada Governors Ronald Reagan and Paul Laxalt.
Sandoval also served as the Chairman of the National Governors Association, Western Governors Association, National Council of State Governments and the Education Commission of the States. As Chairman of the WGA, he made water policy the centerpiece of his Chairman’s initiative, and hosted the summer meeting of the WGA at Lake Tahoe.
Earlier in his career, Sandoval was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1994, serving two terms Natural Resource Committee, which dealt with Tahoe related issues. He also served on the TRPA Oversight Committee. After his service in the Nevada legislature, He was appointed to the Nevada Gaming Commission in 1998 and became the Commission’s youngest Chairman in state history the following year. At the same time, Sandoval served as the Nevada at-large member of the TRPA. Sandoval was thereafter elected Nevada Attorney General in 2002. Sandoval was nominated in 2005 by then-President George W. Bush to serve as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate, a position he held until resigning to run for Governor in 2009.
He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1986 and a Juris Doctorate degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 1989. Sandoval has received numerous recognitions and awards throughout his career. He is married to Lauralyn McCarthy Sandoval, a business executive and community leader.
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Advisory Council Members
Jim Lawrence is the Deputy Director for the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources. He previously served as Special Advisor to the Director and has also served as the Administrator of the Nevada Division of State Lands. Jim currently represents the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board.
Jim has over twenty years of resource protection and land use planning experience in Nevada. He has been responsible for coordination of Nevada’s environmental improvement efforts at Lake Tahoe, implementation of a multi-agency statewide conservation and natural resource protection grant program, efforts for the protection of Nevada’s sagebrush ecosystem, operations of the Nevada State Land Office, administration of the Conservation District program, and served as Executive Officer for the Nevada State Land Use Planning Agency.
Jim received a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon.
Joanne Marchetta is the Executive Director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, a bi-state Compact agency whose mission is to cooperatively lead the work to preserve, restore, and enhance the natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region. Since 2009, she has led the Agency and basin through transformational changes to strengthen the environment, economy, and communities of Lake Tahoe. She came to Tahoe in 2009 to serve as TRPA’s General Counsel before taking on the leadership role as Director.
Ms. Marchetta has always had a passion for combining environmental protection, land use planning, and real estate development in unique and responsible ways. Following graduation from the University of Michigan with a forestry degree and Catholic University with a law degree, she started her professional career in Washington DC as a litigator for the Department of Justice. She led environmental enforcement cases under many of the federal environmental statutes — clean air, clean water, and hazardous waste cleanup actions. She worked for US EPA during the Bush and Clinton administrations where she negotiated some of the largest hazardous waste cleanup agreements in the state of California. Later at the Presidio Trust in San Francisco, she helped to transform the Presidio from an Army base to a financially self-sustaining national park.
Joanne serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Tahoe Prosperity Center. And she enjoys spending time with her partner, walks with her dog, martial arts, hiking, cycling, reading and experiencing all the best of Tahoe’s out of doors.
Patrick Wright is Executive Director of the California Tahoe Conservancy, a state agency charged with leading California’s efforts to restore and enhance the extraordinary natural and recreational resources of the Lake Tahoe Basin. He was previously Director of the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, where he led a consortium of agencies and stakeholders in managing one of the nation’s largest collaborative water management programs.
Wright also served as Deputy and Assistant Secretary for the California Resources Agency in the administrations of former governor Gray Davis and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and served on the board of the California Coastal Conservancy.
Prior to these appointments, he was a senior policy advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Interior and the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.