Board of Directors

Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson, Executive Chairman (via Embarcadero Media Management)

Bill was born and raised in the Palo Alto area, attended Stanford and started the Palo Alto Weekly at age 26. By then he had already served as press secretary to then-U.S. Rep. Pete McCloskey and consulted for the California Coastal Commission. He extended his role of publisher beyond Palo Alto, building Embarcadero Media into a local news network that included the Mountain View Voice, the Almanac, Redwood City Pulse, Pleasanton Weekly, Danville-SanRamon.com and the Livermore Vine. He has lived in Palo Alto with his wife Terri for more than 40 years and loves hiking, gardening, travel and just about any imaginable DIY project.

Lance Conn

Lance Conn

Lance is a businessman, investor and conservationist based in the Bay Area. He was previously the president of Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's family office. Lance was a senior executive with America Online and an attorney in private practice. He is on the board of Charter Communications and is co-founder of National Litigation Law Group and of Common Sense Networks. Lance's commitment to conservation issues includes serving as director and adviser with California Parks Forward Commission, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Save the Redwoods League, Truckee Donner Land Trust, Mountain Area Preservation, and The Fund for People in Parks.

Simone Otus Coxe

Simone Otus Coxe (via CalMatters Board)

Simone Coxe is longtime Palo Alto resident who put her kids through local schools and is a native Californian committed to journalism as a means to create a better world. She is the co-founder of CalMatters, a nonprofit, non-partisan media organization focusing on statewide policy. She is on the board of Internews, which focuses on building sustainable local media around the world. She serves on the advisory board of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Journalism, spent 11 years on the KQED board and was on the board of Palo Alto Partners in Education. Simone co-founded Blanc & Otus, a public relations firm serving the technology industry, and served as its CEO from 1985 to 2000.

Gina Dalma

Gina Dalma (via LinkedIn)

Gina has served for 16 years at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in America, where she's currently executive vice president of Community Action, Policy and Strategy. She also serves on the boards of two private foundations and provides strategic counsel to donors, ensuring their contributions align with values that transcend into lasting legacies. As a Mexican immigrant, Gina is committed to fostering a more just and equitable community. Recent honors include Top 50 Women Leaders of San Francisco, Women We Admire 2023, the Athena Leadership Award in 2022, and the Trailblazer Award in 2023 from the Chicana Latina Foundation. Gina has served on several boards, including Northern California Grantmakers, Joint Venture Silicon Valley and the Palo Alto Oshman Jewish Community Center.

Jeff Klein

Jeff Klein (via CalMatters Board)

Jeff has had a 40-year career in the media as a business executive, lawyer and writer. He co-founded 101communications, a multimedia business publisher and event producer that later became 1105 Media, which he served as executive chairman. He spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times as a senior executive and started his career as the newsroom lawyer there. He was also CEO of California Community Newspapers. Jeff wrote a regular consumer law column for the LA Times and a business column for Folio Magazine, which named him one of the 40 most influential people in the industry. He has taught graduate level media courses at USC and Columbia University School of Journalism and served as executive in residence at the Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. He was Chairman of MEND, an anti-poverty nonprofit, and now sits on the Board of Trustees of Claremont McKenna College, his alma mater. He serves on the board of CalMatters, a nonprofit news organization, and chairs its Strategic Planning Committee. Jeff has served on the board of Embarcadero Media Corp. for more than 12 years. While in law school at Stanford, he wrote film reviews for the Palo Alto Weekly.

Sherry Listgarten

Sherry Listgarten (via Palo Alto Online)

Sherry studied math and neurobiology on the East Coast before moving to the Bay Area in 1987 for graduate school in computer science. After working in the tech industry for about 25 years, Sherry retired to better align her time with her priorities. She is a well-read contributor to Embarcadero publications and currently writes the New Shade of Green blog that explores climate change and environmental issues from a personal perspective. She loves spending time outdoors, and feels deeply our responsibility to the planet that we call home.

Deborah McKeehan

Deborah McKeehan

Deborah's passion for civic engagement began at a junior high school work experience day. With interest piqued, she earned a bachelor's and master's degree in public policy and city management from USC. She was among the first female city managers in the United States, serving in California cities for more than 25 years. After that career, she became vice president of Embarcadero Media's East Bay Region for three years. She was chairwoman of the board of the Valley Care Hospital, which became Stanford Tri-Valley after a merger she helped to lead. She is currently on the board of Stanford Medicine, Stanford Hospital and Stanford Medicine Partners, which oversees the relationship between hundreds of doctors in the Bay area. She also has been deeply involved with numerous other nonprofits, including Rotary, First Tee Tri-Valley and Livermore Valley Winegrowers Group.

Carol Melamed

Carol Melamed

Carol worked as a lawyer at The Washington Post from 1979 to 2006. For the last 10 years of her tenure, she was vice president of government affairs. Her responsibilities included handling employment law, federal, state, and local legislative and regulatory matters affecting the business and editorial sides of the newspaper, as well as serving as the Post's representative to local press organizations. After retiring from the Post, Carol has served as president of the First Amendment Coalition and remains a devoted board member. For many years she served as a trustee and is a past president of the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Press Foundation. She is also on the board of the Council for Court Excellence. She graduated from Brown University and earned a master's degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a JD from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. Carol lives in Bethesda, Maryland and Palo Alto.

John Sensiba

John Sensiba (via Sensiba leadership)

John is a tax and accounting expert with more than 30 years experience in public accounting, now leading his own firm in Pleasanton. John was named Managing Partner Elite by Accounting Today and nominated in 2013 for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award. At home in Pleasanton, he won the prestigious Mayor's Award and was named Pleasanton's Man of the Year for his work as board chair during ValleyCare Health's merger with Stanford Health. He is former chair of the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group and the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce. He has served on the board of Las Positas College Foundation and the Pleasanton Unified School District. He also chairs the Three Valleys Community Foundation for Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore.

Chris Tucher

Chris Tucher (via LinkedIn)

Chris grew up in Palo Alto and has been passionate about journalism since college. He reported for Business Week (Bloomberg) and for the leading newspaper of South Africa. After getting an MBA at Harvard, he began his career in newspaper publishing at the East Bay Times, leaving in 1995 to join internet startup Netscape, where he led sales and marketing efforts and helped some of the world's largest news media companies launch their digital strategies. He later co-started an Internet search company then moved into healthcare and helped start Healthline, a leading provider of consumer health information. Chris was an adjunct professor of marketing at De Anza College. He returned to his hometown of Palo Alto in 1995 where he and his wife Sandra have put their three children through the local schools.

Kort van Bronkhorst

Kort van Bronkhorst

Kort was born in Palo Alto and 52 years on the peninsula before eventually moving to the Napa Valley. A graduate of the University of Oregon Journalism School, Kort built a 35-year career in advertising and marketing for several Silicon Valley companies. He also managed his own agency for 14 years. Since relocating, he has busied himself with wine writing and marketing consultant assignments. He also served two terms on the Napa County civil grand jury and is now president of the Napa Chapter of the California Civil Grand Jury Association. His mother, Rusty van Bronkhorst, was an original investor and board member of Embarcadero Media Corp. upon its founding in 1979. Kort was honored to take her seat on the board upon her passing in 2012.

Esther Wojcicki

Esther Wojcicki (via Wikipedia)

Esther is a journalist, educator and vice chair of the Creative Commons advisory council. She has studied education and technology and is the founder of the Palo Alto High School Media Arts program. Esther was the 1990 Northern California Journalism Teacher of the Year and was selected as the California Teacher of the Year in 2002 by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She served on the University of California Office of the President Curriculum Committee, helping to revise journalism curriculum for the state. Esther founded the Journalistic Learning Initiative at the University of Oregon School of Communications and School of Education and is also the founder of the Moonshots in Education Movement. In 2019 she published "How to Raise Successful People," a parenting book on the philosophy she used in raising her three daughters. Lovingly referred to as the "godmother of Silicon Valley," Esther holds an honorary doctorate from Palo Alto University and from Rhode Island School of Design.

Adam Dawes

Adam Dawes, CEO Embarcadero Media Foundation

Adam was born and raised in Palo Alto and had his first experience in journalism as editor-in-chief of the Campanile at Palo Alto High School. Aside from his four undergraduate years at Harvard, he has lived on the peninsula his entire life. He attended Stanford Business School in the 1990s and worked for tech firms in Silicon Valley for more than 20 years, including 14 years at Google. He has served on the board of directors at Embarcadero Media Corp. He lives with his wife and two kids in San Carlos and loves the outdoors and enjoying the vibrant culture of the Bay Area.