Cheri Pies, President
Cheri Pies is a Clinical Professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health with the Maternal and Child Health, DrPH and the MSW MPH Dual/Concurrent Degree Programs. She is also the Principal Investigator on the Best Babies Zone Initiative, a W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded project focused on improving birth outcomes by increasing resident power in neighborhoods and addressing the social determinants of health. Cheri received her MSW from Boston University and her MPH in Maternal and Child Health and DrPH in Community Health Education from U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health. She is an avid traveler, loves to ride her bike and hike around the Bay Area and is proud to be a member of the HPP Board of Directors.
Mary E. Johnson, Secretary
Mary E. Johnson is a Bay Area native who earned a BS Business Administration in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University, SLO. Mary has worked in Media/Publishing for 17 years and is currently an Account Manager at The New York Times. Mary has been actively committed to volunteerism since grade school dedicating time in recent years to Reading Partners, Hands on Bay Area and Grace Cathedral Family Ministries, and has been active on both the Our House and Luncheon Event Committees. Mary lives in San Francisco with husband Brent and son Moses.
Rick Matcovich, Treasurer
Rick Matcovich works with management teams to create, map, and achieve both strategic and financial objectives. With a background in management consulting, Rick has recently worked with two startups to launch and grow their businesses: AquaBella Organic Solutions, which sells microbial solutions to the agricultural industry, and TrustedPeer, a business expertise network. Rick values and has been involved with efforts to stem poverty, including those of Katalysis Bootstrap Fund. Rick earned a BA in economics from Stanford University, and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Rick lives in San Francisco with his family.
Ashish Agarwal is currently Director of Corporate Development at Symantec Corporation. Prior to his current role, Ashish has worked at a software start-up and in investment banking. Ashish received his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and he lives with his wife and two children in San Francisco.
Ramona Benson is the Coordinator of the Black Infant Health Program for the City of Berkeley. A former HPP client and one of the first Community Health Worker graduates, Ramona became the Coordinator of the Community Health Worker Training Program and helped grow the program into what it is today. She continued her career of service at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, and is now a renowned advocate for African American community health. In addition to her service to HPP, Ramona is a board member of the San Francisco Local Homeless Coordinating Board, Project Homeward Bound and Healthy Black Family Inc. Ramona holds an undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts and Health Education from San Francisco State University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Administration from California State University, East Bay. She lives in Oakland with her family.
Charmaine Curtis is a residential real estate developer whose 25+ year career encompasses a diverse portfolio of work; one that speaks to her unique perspective as an African-American woman who values providing housing for individuals and families at all income levels and developing pioneering, vibrant, mixed-use urban infill projects. Before starting her own company in 2004, she was the President of A. F. Evans Development where she oversaw the development of 4,000 units of housing. Earlier in her career, she was the Director of Housing Development for Mercy Housing California and a project manager for the first lofts in San Francisco’s South of Market. She is currently co-developing a 162-unit apartment project in Oakland and providing development consulting services to non-profit housing developers. Charmaine spends her free time with her husband and seven year old twin girls, volunteering on the board of SPUR, being an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist church in San Francisco, gardening, and knitting. She has a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.
Linda Griffith is a Vice President at the YMCA of San Francisco, where she serves as the risk manager and in-house counsel for this 14 branch association of YMCAs. Earlier in her career, she worked in insurance brokerage, consulting, and at private law firms. Linda received her law degree from the University of Kansas and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland. She is married with one child.
Donna James is Strategic Partnership Coordinator at Young Minds Advocacy, a strategic advocacy and communications non-profit created in 2012 with a mission to improve the youth mental health system so that it is more responsive to needs and challenges of at–risk children and families. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in Michigan, Donna worked for two decades striving to empower young people to reach their maximum potential. Donna was Director of In-Patient Ancillary Mental Health Services at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, and after moving to the Bay Area, worked as an independent occupational therapy clinician. Donna has a strong interest in alleviating homelessness and hunger has worked with community-based organizations for many years as a volunteer. Donna has two children and lives with her husband in Portola Valley.
John Koeppel is an attorney and mediator, who has lived and practiced in San Francisco his entire career. He has regularly worked as pro bono counsel on cases assigned from the Bar Association of San Francisco. John served on the Board of the SF-Marin Food Bank, where he was Board Chair during the expansion of its food distribution pantries throughout the City and lead the Board to the successful merger of the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks. John has volunteered internationally with a children’s advocacy group in Pursat, Cambodia and a civil rights group in Ahmedabad, India, and also travelled to Eastern Europe and back to India with a group promoting mediation in civil courts. He is a proud alum of UC Hastings, where he currently sits on the Board of Trustees. Before law school, he studied government at the University of Notre Dame. John is married to Susan Rothstein. They have two children and a brand new grandson.
Lambright is currently the VP, Community Development Manager/CRA Officer at Mechanics Bank. Prior to joining Mechanics Bank, Fred
was the Principal at F Lambright Consulting supporting community based organizations and banks with developing and funding of affordable housing projects. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Economics, from the University of San Francisco. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Fred
now lives in Oakland and has one son.
Debbie Landres is currently a senior manager in the financial services risk management practice at Ernst & Young, focusing on change management initiatives related to finance, operations and technology. Prior to this, Debbie pursued a master degree in International Finance from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. She also holds a bachelor degree from the University of Pennsylvania. A native Californian, she was thrilled to relocate to San Francisco in 2010. Debbie is married to Ethan Smith and has two sons, Lawson and Julian.
Rita Louh is an independent consultant who partners with nonprofit organizations and foundations to achieve greater social impact. Rita works primarily with groups seeking to reduce the damaging effects of poverty, providing support in the areas of strategy and organizational development, leadership coaching and change management. Rita has worked for over a decade in the nonprofit sector, starting as a consultant with The Bridgespan Group and serving most recently as the Chief Strategy and Impact Officer for Tipping Point Community. Rita has an undergraduate degree in Social Studies from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Rita lives in San Francisco with her family.
Margaret Lynch is an attorney who formerly had her own practice in San Francisco representing parents and children in the dependency courts, and children in the family law courts. Margaret received her J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago, where she was a three-year fellow with the Civitas ChildLaw Center. She also holds an M.A. from the Draper Program at New York University. Prior to attending law school, Margaret was a Peace Corps Volunteer in St. Lucia, West Indies, where she worked with a resource center for families in crisis. Originally from St. Paul, MN, Margaret currently resides in San Francisco with her husband, Kevin, and twin sons.
Lorie Rice recently retired from the UCSF School of Pharmacy, where she served for 23 years as the Associate Dean for External Affairs. In that capacity she had administrative, fun raising, government relations and teaching responsibilities. Prior to UCSF, Lorie was the Executive Officer of the State Board of Pharmacy. Lorie earned her undergraduate degree(Sociology)and master’s degree (Public Health) at the California State University , Northridge. Lorie has been a volunteer at HPP for the last 3 years preparing CHW’s with job interviewing skills. She is married to Baxter Rice, who is also engaged in community activities; they live in San Francisco.