Board of Directors

Sarah Adeel

Sarah is an entrepreneur, an architect, and an impact strategist, who believes that public trust is crucial in planning an equitable future and that intelligent design & technology can foster that trust.

Born and raised in Pakistan, Sarah came to the US as a Fulbright scholar and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her research on how prosperous and sustainable social structures take physical form through design, dialogue, and tech, won an Award of Excellence.

That research became the foundation of Pakistan’s first environmentally and financially sustainable social enterprise, called ‘LettuceBee Kids’ which supported refugee children and their mothers. After successfully running her company for 5 years, Sarah joined Standford to gain business acumen in scalable social innovations.

Sarah is an expert in identifying and implementing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing social issues. From founding a social enterprise, scaling the world’s largest non-profit Kiva to 45 cities, to building connected communities for Tech at Twilio, Sarah’s career has revolved around solving problems and fostering human connection.

Through her human-centered efforts, Sarah has created an ecosystem for multiple stakeholders, including governments, tech companies, community leaders, foundations, and students to collaborate for a collective good. Her work towards entrepreneurship, empowerment, and community building has been recognized as an Acumen fellow, iCats fellow, Tedx speaker, and Silicon Valley Businesses Journal’s 40 under 40 award recipient.

Sarah also loves going on hikes with her dog, Prof. Dumbledore, and bringing people together over food and dialogue through her new venture, Mayz, Driveway Dinners.

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Richard Ajluni

Richard Ajluni joined JW House on January 2nd, 2020 as Executive Director. Richard has served in leadership roles with local and international nonprofit organizations, including Catholic Charities, Gardner Family Health, and World Vision.

A long time community volunteer Richard has served on the San Jose Arts Commission, the boards of MACLA, and Loaves & Fishes.

He has lived in San Jose’s Historic Naglee Park neighborhood for 22 years. Richard’s spouse Karen works at Stanford University and they have 3 children at different phases of education.
Richard loves to cook for friends and is always up for a bike ride or a good book on politics or religion, hobbies also include piano and golf however, both at a second grade level.

Richard is a graduate of Bellarmine College Prep., and San Jose State University.

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Steve Borkenhagen

Steve Borkenhagen has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Silicon Valley since 1975. He opened Camera One Theater, the first repertory cinema in San Jose, along with partners in 1975. During the years since, Steve has founded and operated multiple bars and restaurants in the South Bay Area including Eulipia Restaurant from 1977 to 2012.

He studied Classics at San Jose State University after attending Santa Clara University and New College of California in San Francisco. Steve worked in the energy management field for two years as an energy auditor and is a certified LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional). He was also the project manager and part of the founding team of the San Pedro Square Market, a public market built in the tradition of Pike Place Market and other public markets. He worked with his family to found and operate Cafe Stritch, the Bay Area’s pre-eminent jazz club from 2013 until 2018.

In 2017 Thomas Wohlmut, Jon Ball, and Steve started the San Jose Light Tower Corporation, a non-profit organization working to build an iconic world-class landmark in downtown San Jose. Steve has been on numerous non-profit boards over the past 30 years including Notre Dame High School, the San Jose Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Santa Clara University Department of Pastoral Ministries, the San Jose Downtown Association, Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen, JW House, and Music for Minors. He has been an active member of the Rotary Club of San Jose for over 25 years, participating in numerous philanthropic domestic and international programs.

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Lina Broydo

Lina Broydo is an award-winning writer, columnist, and blogger and an expert public relations professional.

She was born in Ufa in the Ural Mountains region of the Soviet Union and grew up in Vilnius, then the capital of the Lithuanian Republic of the Soviet Union. An only child, Lina immigrated at the age of 15 with her parents to Poland and moved to Israel following a year living in Warsaw.

After graduating from college with a degree in chemistry, she married Sasha Broydo and moved to Birmingham, England, where they both studied and worked at the world-renowned Birmingham University.

Invited by the prestigious Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, Dr. Sasha Broydo, Lina, and son Mark (who was born in Birmingham), moved to Westfield, New Jersey. Daughter Leora was born in New Jersey. After 14 years living in New Jersey, they found their way to Los Altos Hills in Silicon Valley, California.

Lina speaks English, Russian, Polish, and Hebrew and lives in Los Altos Hills, California.


Lina's professional career included successful work doing the following:
• Producer and on-air personality at Cross Country Cable TV in New Jersey
• Co-owner and metal sculpture artist at the ArtMakers Gallery in New Jersey
• Associate producer at KRON TV, the NBC TV affiliate in San Francisco
• President of "Executive Sports" management company in Los Altos Hills
• Director of Public Relations and Promotions at the 5-star luxury Fairmont Hotel in San Jose
• Associate producer of "Fresh Dialogues", an award-winning on-line TV show
• Public Relations Executive for the Taube International Foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area

Affiliations:
• Los Altos Rotary Club
• ORT International Professional School
• Bay Area Travel Writers
• Commonwealth Club of San Francisco
• Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame








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Jaime Chavez

Jaime G. Chavez has been in the Dream Fulfillment business for 30yrs. Currently working as Director of Client Development at SVB Private Bank. His specialty is collaborating with growing privately held companies and high net worth individuals to plan and achieve their dreams. Works and lives in San Jose, primarily managing client relationships locally but does extend coast to coast and places in between. In his new role at SVB Private he is responsible for growing SVB market share along with increasing brand awareness for SVB Private while demonstrating the capabilities of the new combined organization after acquiring Boston Private Bank. Prior to joining Silicon Valley Bank through Boston Private acquisition, he held leadership positions with City National Bank, GE Capital, and Bank of America.

When Jaime is not doing his day job, he’s committed to volunteer work in San Jose community and abroad. He continues his volunteer work with Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, Parisi House on the Hill and, Rotary Club of San Jose where he’s served on various committees, Foundation Board and Club Board. Rotary is where he was introduced to Rotaplast International, where he has traveled to South America on various medical missions (life changing for him) to provide surgical treatments we take for granted in USA but are so desperately needed across the globe.

If it sounds like Jaime works and volunteers a lot, this is true. He does make time for things he truly enjoys. Such as, spending time with friends and family. He’s a trained chef and sommelier and enjoys everything about both. Go ahead and test your culinary and wine knowledge on him. Chances are, if he has a glass of wine in one hand and foie gras in the other he may not shut up about it.

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Bill Ekern

Presently serves as the President of the Avenida de Espana Housing Board (under the auspices of the Santa Clara County Housing Authority) and as a member of the San Jose Arena Authority Board.

 

Served as the City of San Jose’s Diridon Project Manager, leading the City's efforts to assure implementation and development of a world class transportation center as the catalyst for economic and cultural growth for the City and Bay Area.  Projects involved coordination of transportation agencies and the City of San Jose to create the rules and structure that will be necessary to integrate a new intermodal transportation center with private development to assure the success of both the transportation systems and the private investment in this expansion of the City's downtown.  Also was a member of the City’s negotiating team working with Google on its Downtown West development project.  Led the coordination with economic and development consultants as part of the negotiation, and led the team creating the Diridon Infrastructure Fee plan to assure development within the Diridon Station Area. (2016-2021)

 

As the Interim Planning Director for the City of Milpitas, was responsible for the implementation of the City's Transit Area Specific Plan designed to support the new BART station and linkage to the VTA light rail system.  More than 3,000 housing units were permitted along with a new hotel and several hundred thousand square feet of commercial retail during this one year effort.(2015-2016)

 

As the Assistant City Manager for Development, following on the role as Community Development Director, was responsible for the implementation of the City's Downtown Precise Plan, bringing to the city more than 2,500 housing units and nearly one million square feet of new office to establish Redwood City as a significant player in transit oriented development and design.  Also negotiated the Development Agreement with Stanford University to bring its plans for new office development and campus support with the first community benefit program for the City. (2011-2015)

 

From 1998 to 2011, and the demise of redevelopment in the state, served as the Director of Project Management/Special Projects for the City of San Jose's Redevelopment Agency.  During this tenure led the design and implementation of significant projects such as the MLK Library (the first joint public and university library in the United States), the Tech Museum of Innovation, the Mexican Heritage Plaza, Horace Mann Elementary School, the transformation of the California-Fox Theatre into the home of San Jose Opera, and the reconstruction of the Civic Auditorium, and modernization projects at Municipal Stadium.  Also served as City liaison to the Arena Authority during this period.

 

For the City of Albany, California, served as the city's first Community Development Director.  Although the primary focus of this work was administrative and organizational development, led the design and implementation of the redesign and reconstruction of the City's main shopping street, Solano Avenue.  Also negotiated agreements with Caltrans to improve the connection of the city's sole redevelopment area with Interstate 880. (1994-1998)

 

Served as the Senior Development Officer for the San Jose Redevelopment Agency and the Director of Public Works for the Town of Los Altos Hills.  (1985-1994)

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Ray Hashimoto

With over 37 years of land use planning experience including over four years with the City of Palo Alto and nearly ten years with the San Jose Department of City Planning, Building & Code Enforcement, Ray provides the lead expertise in land use and entitlement for land development projects. He has been involved with the management and planning of a wide range of projects from inception through construction including multi-use and industrial/commercial projects, large-scale residential projects, and specialized projects such as operating and post-operation landfill sites.

Ray’s main projects include the highly anticipated Downtown West near Diridon Station, medical institution Samaritan Medical Center, mixed-use developments Japantown Corporate Yard, The Pruneyard Shopping Center, Meridian at Midtown, The Verve and Santa Clara Square, and agricultural urban development Agrihood. More projects are pending under his land planning and development guidance, solidifying him as a first-rate resource in the field. Ray also has extensive experience working with the cities and other governmental agencies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Ray was also a BIA rep to the VTA Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) from 2000-2018. Learn more here.

 

Outside of work, he spends as much time with his granddaughter as he can, loves traveling, attending sports events, playing golf and basketball as well as road biking.

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Sean O'Kane

Winner of 3 film and video awards for acting and voice talent. President of Big Kahuna Video Productions he brings his experience as writer, director and voice-talent for corporate videos in Silicon Valley for companies such as Samsung Foundry, KLA-Tencor, Cadence Design Systems, Arm, Disney, Apple, TSMC, and many more.


In addition to Sean’s behind the camera experience, he has also worked as a standup comic, actor and voice-actor and performed with notable A-listers that include Jay Leno, Dennis Miller, Dana Carvey and Howie Mandel. His credits include numerous made for TV movies for NBC and CBS along with a series of feature films with Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta, Alan Alda, Ted Danson and Whoopi Goldberg. Sean was directly involved as a writer and voice talent for radio and television commercials along with the video game industry for Sony, Nintendo, Atari, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and DC Comics video game and virtual reality divisions.


Sean comes with an extensive background in the world of high tech specifically (IoT) Internet of Things, Virtual & Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing.


Former board-member and Secretary of History San Jose Past President, San Jose -Dublin Ireland Sister City Program Current Board-member San Jose Police Foundation. Studied at San Jose State University and UC Berkeley, Radio-TV Broadcasting and Business Communications.


His wife Ann is a retired 6th grade language arts teacher at Buchser Middle School and son Colin is a graduate of Sonoma State University.


What is important in Sean’s life are his family, friends and creating new possibilities everyday for himself and others in his life.


“When I’m not working you can find me at the beach, hunting down Miles Davis mono vinyl or out getting gigs for my video production company and as a voice-actor.”

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Michael Willis

I founded MWA Architects Inc. in 1988 and served as President and a Principal until 2016 when I retired from MWA. I taught graduate studios in 2015, 2017, 2020, and the 2021 Fall semesters at my alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis [BA1973/M Arch 1976/MSW 1976]. I am a 2013 Distinguished Alumni of the University, the School of Architecture, the Brown School of Social Work; and a holder of a National Black Achievement award of the Black Alumni Council (1996). I gave the Commencement Address to the Brown School graduates in 2007.

My firm created master plans and designs for mixed income affordable housing projects and neighborhood revitalization projects in San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Detroit, St. Louis, Memphis, and post-Katrina New Orleans Faubourg Lafitte in New Orleans; We have created urban infrastructure projects in municipal power, transportation, and especially water, in communities from Washington state, Portland, to Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. I have advised cities including San Francisco, St. Louis, Oakland, and San Jose for public and non-profit institutions and clients. I love cities around the world, and I try to bring back the lessons they offer to all the other cities I work with.

I served as Director, and President of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIASF) in 1995 and was elevated to Fellowship in 1996. I was the local president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). I have served on many committees and presented papers at national AIA conventions; the Green Building Council, American Water Works Association, the WateReuse Association; and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. I was a 2015 recipient of the AIA California Chapter Norma Sklarek Award.

 

 

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