Joint Powers Authority Board

The JPA Board provides oversight to the general operations and governance of the Center, giving its approval to all major expenditures, appointments and strategic decisions.

The JPA Board may have a total of 23 Directors consisting of: 9 representatives appointed (3 each) by the three JPA Public Agency partners: City of OaklandOakland Unified School District, and East Bay Regional Park District; 2 appointees from the Eastbay Astronomical Society and 1 appointee from the Alameda County Office of Education. One seat on the board is also reserved for a representative of Chabot Space & Science Center Volunteers and the remaining seats are public.

Directors serve for a term of 3 years and there is no limitation to the number of terms a Director may serve.

Officers

Mary Ellen Tong (EBRPD), Chair
Business Consultant

 

Mary Ellen has been on numerous nonprofit boards and taken many community roles. Mary Ellen was a member of the Oakland Zoo Board and served as their president. At the Zoo, Mary Ellen helped initiate and fundraise for the zoo expansion and new veterinary hospital. She then served on their Foundation Board. Mary Ellen has also participated in other Oakland nonprofit boards including: Children’s Fairyland board, Elizabeth House board and as an appointed park commissioner for the City of Oakland.

Mary Ellen is a Certified Public Accountant with expertise in Finance and Management. She began her career working for Ernst and Ernst and Forbes CPA firms. After, she worked for 10 years at Wells Fargo Bank serving as Senior Vice President and divisional Chief Financial Officer for their commercial real estate lending, bank owned property, and leasing divisions and subsidiaries. Mary Ellen then worked in the business consulting industry with Robert Cliff and Associates and worked on numerous corporate projects throughout the bay area.

Mary Ellen lives with her husband Bryant in Oakland. She has two children. Mary Ellen enjoys playing golf with groups in Oakland, Santa Cruz and Berkeley.

Larry Langs, Vice Chair
Investor – Financial Operational and Legal Engineering of Technology Companies

 

Larry has split his work life between operations and advisory for leading edge technology companies for over 20 years. He has operations experience as a senior executive and board member of private and public technology companies, and advising companies as lawyer, investment banker, and corporate development consultant. He has extensive operations experience on the revenue side of small-cap to multi-billion dollar public growth companies and has substantially influenced revenue and balance sheet value prior to partial liquidation events such as financing, sales, public offerings, and sister listings on international public exchanges.

Internationally, Larry has worked in 49 countries. He also has been active in over 200 merger & acquisition deals and public offerings.

Larry has a broad background in operations and business management. Some public companies he was senior executive of include EVP at ACD Systems, EVP at Musician.com for Guitar Center, SVP of business development at MP3.com, and VP of business development for Sybase New Media and Telecom, Investment Banker for Chemical Bank in New York (now JP Morgan Chase), and Senior Consultant for Arthur D. Little in Boston.

He holds a Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law, and a Master’s Degree in Finance and Management of Technology from the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. He is a member of the New York Bar.

Fred Patton, Treasurer
Retired CFO

 

Fred is a retired CFO with a long career of financial management in a variety of technology, software development,  manufacturing, distribution and service companies.

He has worked with companies that are local, national and multinational entities; from development stage to turn-around to mature and profitable, and with operational staffs ranging from 3 to over 125. Fred’s experience has included working with private, venture backed, and non-profit (501.c.3) organizations, some of which have never raised outside capital, as well organizations that have raised significant amounts through equity and/or debt whether from the venture community, lending institutions, and/or grantors.

Fred holds an MBA, an MS and BS from Stanford University. He is an Oakland resident and a long time supporter and volunteer at Chabot.

Committee Chairs

Fred Patton, Finance
Retired CFO

 

Fred is a retired CFO with a long career of financial management in a variety of technology, software development,  manufacturing, distribution and service companies.

He has worked with companies that are local, national and multinational entities; from development stage to turn-around to mature and profitable, and with operational staffs ranging from 3 to over 125. Fred’s experience has included working with private, venture backed, and non-profit (501.c.3) organizations, some of which have never raised outside capital, as well organizations that have raised significant amounts through equity and/or debt whether from the venture community, lending institutions, and/or grantors.

Fred holds an MBA, an MS and BS from Stanford University. He is an Oakland resident and a long time supporter and volunteer at Chabot.

Paul Chapman (EBRPD), Nominating
Executive Director, Inverness Associates

 

Paul is the executive director of Inverness Associates, an educational consulting group that supports schools in sustainability, global education, strategic planning, and leadership development. He is especially interested in promoting “green” schools that embrace environmental sustainability in their facilities, operations and program. Since 2010 he has served as a visiting scholar at Stanford and UC Berkeley and published two books, Greening America’s Schools and Greening America’s Schools 2.0 (NAIS 2012, 2013). He is the author of Growing Connections: California Private Schools and Informal Environmental Education (2013). He also published Schools as Sorters: Lewis M. Terman, Applied Psychology, and the Intelligence Testing Movement, 1890-1930 (New York: NYU Press, 1988).

Previously, he served as Head of School at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA, and before that as Assistant Head at San Francisco University High School and Associate Director of Admissions at Reed College in Portland, OR. Raised near Chicago, he received a B.A. in history from Yale and an M.A. in American history and a Ph.D. in the history of education from Stanford.

He has served on a number of boards and is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from environmental sustainability to strategic planning.  He lives in Berkeley and enjoys reading, fishing, traveling and hiking with his Golden Retriever.

Directors

 

Hon. Sheng Thao (COO)
Councilmember, District 4

 

Sheng is Councilmember for District 4. Sheng has many years of experience on the Oakland City Council as a senior legislative staff member and as Council Chief of Staff. As Chief of Staff, she has managed multiple city budget cycles -focused on balancing a transparent and responsible budget.

Sheng also has extensive experience in staffing regional government Boards and Commissions where she has worked on ways to bring funding to Oakland for public safety, transit, and capital improvement projects. Sheng is also an active participant on the Alameda Labor Council’s Rapid Response working group, which aims to protect undocumented immigrants in Oakland and its neighboring cities. As a champion for the environment, Sheng has worked on policy solutions to provide cleaner air and water for Oakland residents.

Sheng is a lifelong public servant and currently serves as a board member on the Redwood Heights Association, she is also on the board for the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, and serves as the Vice President for the Asian American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her son, biking through Joaquin Miller Park, and camping in the Stanislaus and El Dorado forests with her family. Sheng lives in District 4 with her 11-year-old son, Benedict, who is a Joaquin Miller Elementary alum.

John Currie (EAS)
Retired Information Technology Specialist

 

John is a retired Information Technology specialist. He has 35 years of experience in computer systems management, networking systems, software development, back office server management and co-location facilities management.
Although he is originally from the East coast, John has lived in the Bay Area for more than 25 years. He has been a Chabot member since 2001 and Chabot volunteer since retiring in 2010. As a volunteer at Chabot, John has been trained on and operates all of the observatory deck telescopes. John is an avid amateur astronomer and is an active member of EAS. He participated with Chabot, EAS and Oakland Firefighters at the Random Acts of Science (RAS) events and, with his own telescope, he frequently participates in EAS Outreach events at local schools and organizations.

Michael Levi, Ph.D. (EBRPD)
Senior Lead Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

 

Michael serves on the CSSC JPA board and on the CSSC board Executive Committee as the previous JPA Chair. Michael is a practicing experimental astrophysicist and elementary particle physicist. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984 and his B.A. from Harvard College in 1977. Currently, he is a Senior Lead Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and a Senior Space Fellow at the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory. He is the director of the Department of Energy’s Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), a $56M experiment currently in fabrication to study the mystery and nature of dark energy. Michael was awarded Fellow of the American Physical Society for his work on electronic instrumentation for particle physics experiments. Michael has held positions in the past at Stanford University, CERN (the European accelerator laboratory), and the Naval Research Laboratory. For relaxation, Michael is an avid skier, plays tennis, kayaks, and enjoys backpacking in the Sierras. He and his wife (also an astrophysicist) live in Oakland.

Janet Macher (Public)
Retired Public Health Researcher

 

Janet serves on the CSCC board as the Chabot volunteer representative. She retired from the California Department of Public Health in 2015, but continues to conduct research there as a volunteer. Janet has a master ‘s degree from the University of California and doctorate from Harvard University with emphasis on environmental health, public health, and microbiology. Janet is a fellow of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate. She has studied engineering measures to control airborne infectious and hypersensitivity diseases, evaluated methods to collect and identify airborne particles of biological origin, and participated in epidemiological studies of children’s health in the state of California. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Janet has lived in Oakland for over 30 years.  She was married to David A. Freedman until his death in 2008 and enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Hon. Dick Spees (Public)
Retired-Councilmember, City of Oakland

 

Hon. Dick Spees was elected six times and served nearly 24 years on Oakland’s City Council, representing the Montclair and Laurel districts, before retiring in January 2003. He earned a reputation as a consummate consensus builder, someone who could be relied upon to broker compromises. In the private sector, Dick was with Kaiser Aluminum for 32 years, retiring as vice president of public affairs. Since then, he has worked as a government relations consultant, representing clients on education, economic, and environmental issues. He is a former chairman of the Alameda County Republican Party. Dick was a driving force in the creation of the new Chabot Space & Science Center and one of its founding board members.

Gerald McKeegan (EAS)
Space Systems Program Manager, Orcon Corporation

 

Gerald earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from California State University, Hayward, and he holds a Master of Science degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota. He has held management positions in the aerospace industry for more than 30 years, and is currently the Space Systems Program Manager for Orcon Corporation. During his career, Gerald has been involved with numerous spacecraft projects, including the Space Shuttle, Cassini, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Solar B, Juno and many others. He was awarded the NASA “Silver Snoopy” award by the Johnson Space Center Astronaut Office for his work in support of the Post-Challenger Space Shuttle Return to Flight program.

Gerald is a lifelong resident of the Bay Area. He has been an active Chabot volunteer since the year 2000, and a member of the Eastbay Astronomical Society since 2002. He is one of Chabot’s senior telescope operators, working every weekend to support the public observing program, as well as many Chabot special events.

Gerald also heads Chabot’s Asteroid Search Program, and has made more than a thousand asteroid observations using the 36-inch telescope. In addition, he serves as a Chabot contact for media inquiries, often doing broadcast interviews about space or astronomy events, especially those involving asteroids or meteors.

Hon. Jean Quan

Former Mayor, City of Oakland

 

Jean was the first Asian American woman to be elected to the Oakland City Council and the first female Mayor of Oakland. A champion of preserving and expanding education and after school programs, Jean was also one of the first Asian Americans to be elected to the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education where she served for 12 years and was a past President. She also serves on numerous boards and commissions including the California League of Cities, the Association of Bay Area Government, the Local Government Commission, and the Council of Urban Boards of Education of the National School Board Association. Jean was one of the founding members of Chabot Space & Science Center and currently serves as one of the City’s representatives.

Jean helped found Asian American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and studied Chinese at Yale University in China. She is a National Kellogg Foundation Fellow. She has been married to Dr. Floyd Huen for over 40 years and they have raised their family in Oakland for the last 30 years.

Sara Stone (OUSD),
Network Superintendent

 

Sara grew up in Oakland and attended Oakland Unified Schools. She has dedicated her life to creating a safe place where students can be successful and productive learners, while promoting equitable access to curriculum has been her number one goal as an educator. She has worked as an educator for the past 20 years, having taught in Redwood City, been the Design Team Leader and founding principal at RISE Community School in Oakland, the principal of Redwood Heights Elementary School, Network 1 Deputy Superintendent, and most recently the Network Superintendent for OUSD. She has worked to influence the creation of an environment where students of all socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, and ability levels are empowered to make informed decisions, are able to develop their own particular learning style, and are able to meet challenging academic content and performance goals. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, hiking and enjoying the natural world.