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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Board Table Wind Power Man in Field Kid ‘n tree rings


Founders: Marcia Pagels & Ruth Peterson

Current Board
Board Chair: Afsoon Shahrdar
Vice Chair: Bryan Chen
Secretary: Beth Bhatnagar
Treasurer: Barbara McHugh
Board Members: David Crabbe, Kamal Hubbard, Seamus Murphy, Dan Peterson, William Schulte, Patrick Wooliever, Christopher Wu

Marcia Pagels, Founder
Marcia was Editor-in-Chief of the 2002 edition of the Indicators for a Sustainable San Mateo County; A Yearly Report of Our County’s Quality of Life. Marcia was a graduate of Stanford University and worked there as a Library Specialist for many years. Marcia also volunteered with the Foundation for Global Community. She was a bio-intensive gardener and landscape painter who donated many works to SSMC auctions. She passed away in 2010; a memorial gallery of her art may be seen here.

Ruth M. Peterson, Founder
Ruth was the owner and manager of Bovet Professional Center, a business that she started in 1981. The business is an executive suite designed primarily for attorneys and other professionals. She was involved with SSMC for 12 years and was Chair of the Business Task Force prior to becoming Chair of the Steering committee. She led the effort for SSMC to become a stand-alone nonprofit in the fall of 2002 and was the Chair of the Board until 2012. She has been recognized on many occasions for her community involvement which included six years on the Board of Shelter Network. In 2002 she was inducted into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame. Ruth attended USC for 3 years, moved to San Francisco and graduated from San Francisco State with a secondary teaching major. She decided to forego teaching when she decided she had an affinity for the business world.

Afsoon Shahrdar, Board Chair
Afsoon Shahrdar is an active and well respected Realtor in San Mateo County since 1988. She graduated from the School of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley with major in Architecture. Afsoon has been a board member in the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. She has also served at the local board of Realtors (SAMCAR) as Grievance Committee Chair, and currently is on the Professional Standard Committee and an Arbitrator. Afsoon has many designations from the National Association of Realtors. Among them is NAR GREEN council which enables her to educate her clients on how to take advantage of GREEN building design to add value and live in energy efficient homes. She has been involved with SSMC since 2011 and became Chair of the Board in Fall 2015.

Bryan Chen, Board Member
Bryan Chen has spent his professional career focused on air quality and human health issues. Bryan is currently the air quality and greenhouse gas lead in Northern California at ARCADIS, a multinational engineering company. Prior to that, he was the Director of air quality programs at the environmental planning firm Christopher A. Joseph and Associates. He has been a regular contributor to SSMC’s Annual Indicator Report since 2010 and currently serves as SSMC’s city and county survey coordinator. He joined the board in Summer 2014 and became Vice Chair in Fall 2015.

Bryan graduated with a B.A. at Pomona College and a M.S. in environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His interest in sustainability has led him to pursue and receive a sustainability professional certificate from the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate credential, and Environmental Sustainability Professional accreditation from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).

Beth Bhatnagar, Secretary 
Beth Bhatnagar has retired from practicing law and teaching law at College of San Mateo. She earned her B.A. at Duke University, and M.A. in Linguistics at Northwestern University and a J.D. at San Mateo Law School. Beth is an active member of the League of Woman Voters. She has participated in various League projects, including a trip to Russia to set up workshops on democracy for Russian women to advice them on working together to making their government more responsive to their needs. With the League she has organized community dialogues to encourage civic engagement and dialogues to focus on educating students with limited English proficiency. Beth has been a long time volunteer of SSMC.

Barbara McHugh, Treasurer 

David Crabbe, Board Member 
David Crabbe is an architect specializing in the design of affordable housing, custom homes and remodels. Among his current and former non-profit clients are Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco and the Human Investment Project in San Mateo. He is a founding member of SSMC and currently serves on the SSMC Board of Directors and is the Chair of the SSMC Indicators Report Committee. David lives and works in the city of San Carlos.

David is a member of the Sierra Club’s Sustainable Land Use Committee, a former mediator and facilitator for the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, and a member of the California Native Plant Society. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a B.A. degree in 1965.

Kamal Hubbard, Board Member
Kamal Hubbard is a Research Analyst with the San Francisco Airport Commission’s Office of Social Responsibility and Community Sustainability. In this position, Kamal monitors all construction and professional service contracts awarded by the Airport Commission; maintains compliance with City, Airport, State, and Federal regulations in relation to contract awards; produces reports on the demographics of the employees and contractors working at the airport; and conducts outreach to under-represented small business owners.

Prior to working for the San Francisco Airport Commission, Kamal was a content manager and legal analyst for the Rock Center for Corporate Governance, a joint collaboration between the Stanford Law School and the Graduate School of Business. Under the supervision of a former Securities and Exchange Commissioner, Kamal managed research focusing on global corruption under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and securities class action litigation.

Kamal is a Certified Fraud Examiner who obtained his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Florida A&M University and law degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

Seamus Murphy, Board Member 
Seamus Murphy is the Director of Government and Community Affairs for SamTrans, Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. Murphy has been recognized as a leader and rising star in the California transit industry. Recognized widely for his passionate advocacy on behalf of an industry that has been the victim of unprecedented state budget cuts, Murphy shows a savvy ability to weave through the legislative thicket of state and federal governments and to convert elected officials and the public into transit advocates.

Murphy’s primary responsibility is legislative advocacy on behalf of the three local agencies he serves, but he has become a key player on the California Transit Association Executive and Legislative Committees and a crucial strategist in the efforts of the San Francisco region and the state to go forward with plans to build a statewide high-speed rail network that has as its centerpiece the Caltrain right-of-way. In 2009, Murphy was named one of the industry’s “Top 40 Under 40” by Mass Transit Magazine.

At a time when public support for transit is more critical than ever and when the issues of land use and transit funding and public perception of the industry are inextricably interwoven, Murphy brings a broad range of political and policy-related experience that is ideal for the circumstances the industry faces. Murphy serves on the Board of Directors for several local non-profit organizations including the Service League of San Mateo County and the San Mateo County Union Community Alliance.

William Schulte, Board Member
Bill Schulte devoted 29 years to the California Public Utilities Commission, retiring in 2000 after heading its Consumer Services Division. After “retirement” he has been engaged as a regulatory and consumer affairs consultant for a number of public agencies and private industry. In addition to his own practice, he is a partner in Training Partners LLC, which provides consumer affairs and call center training to governmental agencies.

Bill has also conducted a number of poverty-reduction missions for the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Eastern Europe and West and South Africa. He is a member of the Board of Self Help for the Elderly, the Institute of Environmental Entrepreneurs (which created the Green MBA program at Dominican University), and a large private transportation company in California. He is also associated with the Center for Sustainability at Dominican. He holds a BS in Management Engineering from UOP and a MS in Civil Engineering from Stanford. Bill is a registered Civil Engineer in California. Bill served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for SSMC from 2009-2015.

Dan Peterson, Board Member
Dan heads up global technical operations for Aggregate Knowledge, Inc in San Mateo. He has nearly 20 years of technical operations experience from some of the world’s largest websites. Prior to AK, Dan led technical operations for hi5, one of the top 20 most trafficked websites. Before that, he was VP of technical operations at LookSmart, a premier search advertising network. He was previously director of operations for NextTag.com, a leading comparison shopping engine. Dan also spent five years at Wal-Mart.com as senior director of site operations and infrastructure. He started his career at Apple for 10 years, in various project management, developer support, and IT positions.

Dan has been a long-time supporter and volunteer for SSMC. He has served on the annual awards committee since 2010. An avid chef, Dan has raised funds for SSMC with his “Feast at the Farm” farm-to-table dinner annually since 2007.

Patrick Wooliever, Board Member
Patrick has worked as an environmental engineer for 20 years with small companies, multinational manufacturers, governments, and the United Nations helping organizations reduce their environmental impact, improve worker conditions and productivity, and reduce operating costs. He’s worked in California, across the United States, and internationally in Mexico, Japan, China, and Micronesia. Locally, he helped the City of San Francisco develop and implement policies for environmentally preferable purchasing, works with the U.S. EPA to advance sustainability initiatives, serves on the City of Half Moon Bay’s Sustainability Task Force, and advises the California Regional Progress Report in assessing sustainability issues across the state.

Patrick was born in Japan, grew up in the Bay Area, graduated from U.C. Davis, and has lived with his family on the San Mateo County Coastside for more than 15 years raising his children, traversing Montara Mountain and Tunitas Creek Road on various bicycles, and enjoying the natural beauty of the coastal region.

Christopher Wu, Board Member
Christopher Wu is the founder and CEO of Paper Culture, an e-commerce company that creates personalized products such as holiday cards, stationery and decor – all infused with sustainable, modern design. Paper Culture aims to actively make the planet better off by planting a tree with every order and has planted over 400,000 trees to date. Christopher is also an active angel and venture investor which he does both through his own investment vehicle, Zyzz, and as an LP at funds including 500 Startups and Mayfield Fund. Christopher’s investments focus on primarily on consumer software and services, especially those focused on innovation in mobile, sustainability and design.

Prior to Paper Culture, Christopher worked as a management consultant and in various business roles at Yahoo!, Snapfish and HP. Christopher holds both a BA and MBA from Harvard. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and lives in Hillsborough with his wife and two children. Christopher joined the SSMC Board of Directors in 2015.

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From the 2014 Indicators Report

12.3% of county adults lack health insurance

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