Who We Are
Meet the people who make Beyond Differences work. Our Board, National Advisory Board, staff, consultants, supporters, friends, volunteers, and partners are committed to our mission.
Financial Friends | Partner Schools | Spokesperson Jonathan Martin
Our Board & National Advisory Board
Board Chair, Jacqueline Neuwirth Swire
Jacqueline’s background includes over 25 years in fundraising and development. She has worked with a broad range of national and international clients in the political, corporate and nonprofit sectors in the areas of donor development, board development, fundraising, event planning and strategic planning. In recent years, Jacqueline has served on numerous boards and committees and in her board capacity, currently serves as a founding Board Member of Beyond Differences, NatureBridge at Golden Gate, and the Jewish Community High of the Bay. Jacqueline is the proud mother Sam and founding teen board member, Aislinn, a freshman at American University.
Dr. Ruth Mathis Bissell
Ruth is a Richmond, CA native who received her BA from University of California, Santa Cruz and a MA in education from University of California, Berkeley. She then received her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts. At the University of Massachusetts she collaborated on the archaeological analysis project focusing on the African Burial Ground Project in New York—particularly interested in issues of race and class. Ruth is the current Upper School Head of the San Francisco Day School.
Miguel joined the board of Beyond Differences with over 20 years of experience leveraging philanthropic resources across local, regional and national sectors toward achieving sustainable change in a broad cross-section of constituencies. He has worked for two mayors, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Vice-President and the President of the United States. These opportunities have gifted him the experience to know how to translate vision into policy; dreams into appropriations; and disparate voices into coalitions. Finally, he has broad experience in managing people and resources having overseen three not-for-profits and countless volunteers. Miguel knows the value of communication when it comes to achieving long and short-range goals and objectives.
Currently, Miguel serves as Senior Vice President of Community Relations and Outreach Regional Director, Northern and Central California, for Wells Fargo Bank. He is a proud life-long resident of San Francisco’s Mission District where he lives with his partner.
Jaclynn feels privileged to be working with teens in the landscape of community health, education, and social justice. She earned a Masters of Public Health and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan, where she worked in migrant health and community development, medical social work, and HIV prevention and treatment services. She then made her way to the Bay Area where she has been working with Huckleberry Youth Programs ever since, as an educator and trainer, a health counselor, and an advocate for teen health services. She carries with her a deep commitment to equity, youth development, and the power of young people to advocate for social change. Fun facts: She spent two summers catching rattlesnakes, has travelled extensively through Southeast Asia, Central America, Europe and New Zealand, and has a deep dedication to Sunday Brunch.
Kim Fullerton-Nelson, M.D.
Ken Gosliner, a life long resident of San Francisco and Marin Counties, is the grandfather of twin girls who have been involved in the Beyond Differences student leadership programs. Along with his wife, Joan, the Gosliners feel very strongly that Beyond Differences' mission, to change the culture of middle school, is the right way to eliminate social isolation and community violence. A successful businessman, Ken started and sold a number of well known Bay Area businesses specializing in furniture and food products. As a volunteer, Ken is a trained arbitrator with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a trained mediator and currently a volunteer with the Marin County District Attorney's Office in the Consumer Protection Division, and is currently on the Board of the Marin Theater Company and the Marin/Sonoma Concours d'Elegance Boards.
Betsy Hausman is an accomplished marketing professional who successfully parlayed years of corporate experience into committed volunteerism in the nonprofit sector.
She is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MBA from The Wharton School of Finance. She was the first female to join the long established Commodities Trading Program for Drexel Burnham in New York City. Her career in marketing, advertising and event planning spans the East and West Coasts: she worked for PaineWebber in NYC, Charles Schwab in San Francisco, and was the Director of Marketing and Event Planning for Huckleberry Youth Programs until her retirement in June of 2015.
She now serves on the Board of Directors for Huckleberry Youth Programs and has been a board member of The Bay Area Jewish Healing Center since 2004. Her involvement with American Jewish World Service brought her to Uganda in 2014, as part of their Global Justice Fellowship, where she met with grantees during the program.
As a working mother, she raised two sons and was a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for a foster child. Having now retired from her decades-long career, she enjoys creative pursuits. Most recently she began working with Anthem Home—San Francisco’s destination for high-end home furnishings and interior design.
Gale Mondry is a graduate of Brown University (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School (cum laude). She began her professional career as a health care attorney, working for 7 years as staff counsel for Stanford University and 11 years as Vice President for Legal Services at California Pacific Medical Center. She left the law in 1994 and became actively involved with various community organizations.
A long-time board member of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, Gale served as the Center's board president and then as co-chair of the capital campaign to construct the JCC's new facility. She is a co-founder and former board chair of Gateway High School, an award winning public charter high school. She has also been a board member of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
Gale's development experience includes working as the Director of Development for Gateway High School and as Director of Major Gifts for Huckleberry Youth Programs. More recently, she was the Chief Program Officer at the Koret Foundation.
Jay L. Paxton
Jay is a Shareholder in Buchalter Nemer 's Real Estate Practice Group in San Francisco and a former member of the Firm's Board of Directors. Mr. Paxton specializes in real estate transactions, leasing and land use planning. In addition to his transactional practice, Mr. Paxton has extensive experience in obtaining land use approvals and entitlements for major retailers, developers and landowners. His work in land use has included securing all approvals for the conversion of a former landfill at the shore of the Bay to a regional retail center, with Home Depot as the anchor tenant. That project was the most controversial land use matter to have received permits in the City where it was located.
Mr. Paxton is very active in civic and business life of the Bay Area community, currently serving as a Director of the Bay Area Council, a Trustee of the University of California Berkeley Foundation and a former Trustee of the Marin Community Foundation. He has served on the Board of Directors and as a member of the Executive Committee for the University's International House since 1974, and is Chair of the Nominations Committee of the Board. He is a member of the State Bar of California, American Bar Association (Real Property Section), the Bar Association of San Francisco and the Marin County Bar Association.
Wade Rakes graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Economics and a Certificate in Political Economy. He received his MBA from the University of Michigan.
From 2002 to 2006 he worked with Showtime Networks in New York City—serving as Marketing Manager for the network before moving to work as Business Analyst in the Office of the CFO, and eventually Special Assistant to Showtime’s Chairman and CEO. Following his work with Showtime, he became the Senior Advisor and Director of Public Liaison for former Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH). There he served as a member of the Governor’s Senior Executive Staff, responsible for policy formulation, budget planning, and legislative relations. His work in the administration centered on statewide public and local government affairs, as well as management of Veterans Affairs, Faith Based & Community Initiatives, 8 Regional Offices of the Governor, and the Governor’s Constituent Services Call Center.
Rakes is currently the Vice President of Business Development, Growth, and Expansion at the Centene Corporation. As Vice President, he helps the national leader in healthcare services deliver results to over 4 million members and stakeholders throughout the United States.
Helene Roos, Psy.D.
Helene Roos, the President of HDA Consulting, has been delivering coaching and consulting solutions to organizations for over 30 years. She began her career as an internal leader at Wang Laboratories, and has spent the last 25 years as an external consultant focused on Leadership Development. She is a sought after executive coach, a creative and thoughtful leadership team consultant, the designer and facilitator for corporate vision work and strategic transformation, andshe develops and facilitates leadership development programs at the Director and Executive levels. Her professional passion is igniting self-discovery, personal growth, and the generation of purpose and meaning into the workplace as a way to create extraordinary results.
Helene brings a pragmatic perspective with a bias toward practical solutions that truly create change. She is insightful, well versed in the corporate world, compassionate and open. Her coaching process improves leadership capability and enables her clients to live and lead more effectively. Furthermore, clients report that coaching has enabled them to feel a greater sense of enjoyment and meaning at work.
Joseph H. Salesky
With a visionary blend of technical and business skills, Joe is passionate about creating platforms that change the world, improving people’s daily lives with simple-solutions-to-hard-problems. He has been granted 21 patents on technologies now broadly in use by both consumers and the largest enterprises, including the original patent for web-conferencing.
Previously Joe was the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of FreeMonee Network, the world’s first gift network built on bank card data; Founder and CEO of ClairMail, the leading global provider of mobile banking and payments infrastructure; Founder & CEO of Skytron Corporation & PictureTalk, Inc.; CTO of AppStream and held key executive positions at nCUBE and Oracle.
Joe co-founded ustyme with his wife, Linda, and a remarkable team from EA, Pixar and Walmart.com. He is a father of 4 daughters from 15 to 28, has a 3 year old grandson that loves to ustyme.
Annie Sammis is a senior brand strategist and founder of brand marketing consultancy, 25 Beacon Street, where she helps mostly start-up companies clearly identify and articulate who they are, what they do, and why they matter to their most important audiences.
Annie has over 25 years of marketing and advertising experience with Bay Area Fortune 500 companies and start-ups in a variety of categories, including Yahoo!, CXO Communication, Chevron Energy Solutions, AAA, Real Music, NASCAR, Hal Riney & Partners and Chiat/Day. As a Director of Marketing at Yahoo!, Annie earned a bronze Effie Award and Ad Age gold Award for her work on the Yahoo! Personals brand campaign launch.
In 2014, Annie moved to San Rafael from Silicon Valley to enjoy a more relaxed and outdoorsy lifestyle. When she’s not chasing errant golf balls in her free time, she and her rescue dog, Julep, love hiking all over and discovering all the things fabulous Marin County has to offer.
Ace Smith is the co-founder of Beyond Differences. Over the years, he has built a firm which specializes in campaign management and communications. He lives in Kentfield with his wife, Laura.
Evie's niece, Lili Rachel Smith, is the inspiration for her commitment and devotion to Beyond Differences. That, and the fact that her sister, Laura Talmus, and brother-in-law, Ace Smith, are the founders of this compelling organization. Evie is both a jewelry designer and a psychotherapist for couples and individuals, in private practice in San Francisco's financial district. She created a cool line of jewelry especially for Beyond Differences, of which 100% of the profit goes to support the work of Beyond Differences.
Dr. Michael Watenpaugh, Ed.D.
Dr. Michael Watenpaugh is the Superintendent of Schools, San Rafael City Schools. He oversees all district leadership including Human Resources, Curriculum and Instruction, Food Service, Information Technology, Special Education, PR/Communication, Business Services and Maintenance /Operations.
Dr. Watenpaugh has been a classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, K-5 Principal, Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent. For the past five years, his courageous and strategic actions have raised expectations, closed the achievement gap and transformed San Rafael City Schools.
National Advisory Board Members
Joyce Aboussie (St. Louis)
Don Attore (Los Angeles)
Erin and Rob Becker (Marin County)
Steve Bileca (New York)
Julie Brandt (Los Angeles)
Elizabeth Brown (Sonoma County)
Marin County Superintendent Public Schools Mary Jane Burke
Wendy Coblentz (Marin County) Liz Darby (Mill Valley)
Barbara Dobkin (New York)
Former Attorney General and Governor Michael Easley (North Carolina)
Gina DeDomenico and Miguel Espinoza (Los Angeles)
Laurie and Ian Fenwick (San Luis Obispo)
Anthony Garrett (Washington, D.C.)
Marcia Goldman (Atherton)
Joan Gosliner (Marin County)
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris
Adam Hirschfelder (Marin County)
Ellen Rosen Kaplan (Chicago)
Leslie Kautz and Jack Weiss (Los Angeles)
Dan Newman (San Francisco)
Susan Lowenberg and Joyce Newstat (San Francisco)
Ann Mathieson (Marin County)
Carolyn Paxton (San Francisco)
Lee Pollak (San Francisco)
Jeanie Schram (San Francisco)
Elizabeth Share (Marin County)
Timothy Silard (San Francisco)
H. Marcia Smolens (Marin County)
Marjorie Swig (Aspen, Colorado)
Barbara and Scott Waxman (Marin County)
Buffy Wicks (Washington, D.C.)
Howard Zack (Marin County)
Financial Friends | Partner Schools | Spokesperson Jonathan Martin