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Board of Directors

Board of Directors:

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Michael Bernick, Board Chair:  Mr. Bernick is the former director of the California labor department, the Employment Development Department, serving from 1999-2004. He currently is Counsel with the Sedgwick LLP law firm in San Francisco, and a Research Fellow in Employment with the Milken Institute. He is a graduate of Harvard College (BA), Oxford University (Balliol College, B. Phil), and the University of California Boalt Hall law school.  Mr. Bernick was one of the founders of the San Francisco Renaissance Center, the job creation/job training agency, for which he served as Executive Director from 1982-1986, and was on the Board of Directors of the BART regional rail system from 1988-1996.

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Bruno Peguese, Board Member:  A lawyer by trade, Mr. Peguese spent the last 17 years with the Bay Area Rapid Transit District dealing in Real Estate.  From 1995 to 2002 he was part of the team who acquired the land needed to expand the BART System to the San Francisco Airport (SFO).  Mr. Peguese was a key player in acquisition and relocations of residentiala nd commercial realty.  After 2003 to the present, he has become one of BART’s Principals in the implementation of transit oriented Development (Sustainable Transit Communities).  Has an extensive background in the Law and is a licensed Private Investigator.  he has had working experience with a number of corporate law firms including Morrisson & Forester; Arnelle & Hastie and Bronson, Bronson and McKinnon.  Recognized for experience in Real Property Law.  Educated at the University of San Francisco; BA in Political Science ’72 and Juris Doctor ’75.

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Martha Amram, Board Member:   Martha Amram is the Founder and CEO of WattzOn, a company she started to unleash the power of energy savings in households across the U.S.  Through WattzOn’s energy-saving programs offered in cities and military bases, Martha has developed expertise on the role of energy, green jobs and technology in the local economy, and is often asked to speak on their economic impact.  Previously, Martha was Director at Navigant Consulting (NYSE: NCI). She is also the author of two books published by the Harvard Business School Press (Value Sweep and Real Options), and a third book published by McGraw-Hill. Martha is a frequent speaker on residential energy efficiency and business strategy. She is a Senior Fellow of the Milken Institute, where she has written reports on financial innovations in the biotech and cleantech industries. Martha holds a PhD in Applied Economics from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

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Tracey C. Grose, Board Member:  Tracey advises business and public leaders on technology-driven economic change, global innovation systems, the energy transition and clean energy economy as well as on the benefits of growing global linkages as a regional economy, business or research center. Tracey consults nationally and internationally.

Tracey has a knack for framing complex ideas and relationships for broad audiences and busy people. She has designed innovative analytical studies which have helped business and public leaders better understand how our economy is transforming and where new opportunities are emerging.

She currently serves as Chair to State Controller Betty Yee’s Council of Economic Advisors.

Most recently, Tracey served as Vice President of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute where she directed research and managed operations. While there, she designed and led the Bay Area Regional Economic Strategy, an 18-month engagement process of private and public sector leaders that identified top opportunities and concrete strategies for positioning the region for success into the future. Other projects Tracey designed and led included the changing nature of work, advanced manufacturing in California, the Bay Area’s connections with Europe, and economic opportunities in the Northern California Megaregion. Prior to joining the Institute, Tracey served as a research director at Institute for the Future where she contributed to global and local foresight research and consulting.

Over her career, Tracey has explored new ways of explaining our changing economy. To this end, she has developed data analyses that shed new light on emerging and persistent issues. She has developed new methods for examining the intersection of the economy and the environment which illustrate that we can achieve gains simultaneously in both areas. Her path-breaking work includes the design of the Green Establishment Database on behalf of Next 10, which tracks businesses providing products and services which reduce or reverse negative environmental impacts. In a fresh take on global competition that highlights mutual gains over zero-sum thinking, Tracey’s developed new methods for tracking global flows of talent, ideas and capital. This work illustrates patterns of existing global collaboration and opportunities for growth.

Internationally, Tracey has been engaged in regional innovation strategies in France and Sweden and studied innovation policy in Germany. She serves as the Co-Chair for the Cleantech Industry Group of the German American Business Association. She also authors a blog on the Ford Foundation’s www.Urb.im platform on emerging technology and practices that support agile and low-emission development in cities in the developing world.

Tracey has a Masters degree in Political Science with minors in Economics and Sociology from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt, Germany. She is fluent in German and conversational in French.

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Jesse Martinez

Jesse Martinez is the co-founder and co-chair of the Latino Startup Alliance, a non-profit supporting global Latino tech entrepreneurs and startup ecosystems.  He is also the co-founder of AVION Ventures, the 1st pre-accelerator focused on Latina women working on a startup and based in San Francisco.

Martinez co-founded along with his brother in 1998 one of the first U.S. online bilingual Latino communities (picosito.com) which was recognized by a U.S. Congressional Record by the House of Representatives in 1999 for their efforts around technology in Latino community. He was also the co-founder of his 2nd startup – Giggo, a groupon-like venture delivering their messaging all in Spanish, and the co-founder/COO of his 3rd startup – Relevance, where he served as the country director under the Startup Brasil Program. 

Martinez is also an advisor to several startups, for Hackers/Founders Co-op, for #YesWeCode, for SXSW 2016 Accelerator, TechCrunch 9th Annual Crunchies Board Member, for the Global EIR Coalition Community Advisor Committee Member. In addition, a 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Attendee, a team leader for the U.S. White House on Tech Inclusion, and a previous Board Member for MEDA (Mission Economic Development Agency).

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessemartinez1