Embracing Change: Honoring Departing Board Members and Welcoming New Visionaries

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Located in the heart of San Francisco, YBCA has always been a place where creativity thrives, communities converge, and art offers transformative perspectives. As we bid farewell to some dear friends and welcome new faces into our YBCA family, we are taking a moment to reflect on the incredible journey we’ve shared and the exciting path that lies ahead.

Departing Board Members: A Grateful Farewell

First and foremost, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to our outgoing board members, Jeff Chang, Nancy Levinson, Laura Livoti, and Zak Williams. Their unwavering support through some of our most challenging moments, including the unprecedented closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been nothing short of remarkable. Their contributions will forever be etched in YBCA’s history and their impact will continue to resonate in our vibrant community.

Jeff Chang: A prolific writer, thinker and cultural organizer, Chang has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts and music and is currently a Lucas Artist Fellow. The host of the podcast Edge of Reason, Chang is currently finishing a cultural biography titled Water Mirror Echo: Bruce Lee and the Making of Asian America.

Nancy Levinson: Levin serves as editor and executive director of Places, the journal of the public scholarship on architecture, landscape, and urbanism.

Laura Livoti: As founder of Spark Lab: Wealth Coaching & Philanthropic Advising, Livoti has catalyzed visions and provided momentum to programs through her wealth coaching, philanthropic advising and non-profit consulting services.

Zak Williams: As CEO and founder of PYM, a neurotransmitter health company, Williams is a passionate advocate for innovation and awareness in the field of mental health, and his advocacy is felt globally through his involvement with organizations like Bring Change 2 Mind and Project Healthy Minds.

We extend our deepest appreciation for their lasting impact.

Meet Our New Board Members: A Fresh Perspective

As we bid farewell to these stalwarts,YBCA is proud to introduce our latest additions to the Board of Directors. These remarkable individuals come from diverse backgrounds, with each person bringing a wealth of experience and a unique perspective, infusing our board with fresh insights and dedication to our mission.

“We are thrilled to welcome Katie, Seve, Crystal, Robin, Alan, and Malia to the YBCA Board of Directors. As YBCA continues to tackle the challenges that so many arts organizations are facing, their deep experience and wisdom will serve as our compass,” said Renuka Kher, Board Chair of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Katie Colendich: A seasoned corporate attorney and Head of Corporate, Employment and Equity, Legal at Asana, Colendich is an experienced advisor to HR and Executive Compensation. She also brings broad non-profit experience having served in a variety of volunteer leadership and board roles, including most recently with the SF Ballet, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and La Cocina. 

Seve Ghose: As executive director for Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy, Ghose brings over 30 years of progressive and achievement-based work in public service. He is a Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE) and serves as a faculty member at the National Recreation and Park Association Directors School.

Crystal Mickles: With over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, Mickles’  corporate compliance experience at Chime adds a valuable layer to the YBCA board.

Robin Abad Ocubillo: A civic innovator of public space policy, design, activation, and evaluation, over the last decade, Abad Ocubillo led several San Francisco’s placemaking programs during periods of intensive growth, expanding partnerships to cultural and community institutions, and overseeing the development of an award-winning Parklet Manual. Ocubillo is also a producer and curator with the San Francisco Urban Film Festival (SFUFF) and a Senior Curator with the International Filipino Cine Festival (FACINE). Ocubillo currently serves on the board of Illuminate the Arts, is a board member emeritus with the Youth Arts Exchange, and served on committees for the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) and The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza..

Alan Seiffert: As head of global business development at TED, Seiffert is an innovative and strategic leader who leads business development, partnerships, licensing, and distribution for TED and its affiliated properties. Prior to TED, Seiffert served as Executive Director of Paisley Park where he oversaw the museum, production facility, recording studio and performance space and managed all operations and programming.. 

Malia Simonds: Managing corporate philanthropy for the Americas at Bloomberg Philanthropies, Simonds oversees a portfolio that includes engagement programs for employees and clients, collaborations with non-profit partners, and corporate giving across the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

These new board members bring their rich experiences, fresh insights, and a shared passion for nurturing YBCA’s mission. As our new board members take their seats at the table, and our outgoing members set off on new adventures, YBCA’s legacy of transformation and growth continues. Our best days are indeed ahead, and we’re excited to embrace them together.

In the spirit of change and growth, we invite you to join us on this exciting journey as YBCA continues to redefine the boundaries of art and community.

The YBCA Team