Save The Bay Board Spotlight: Andy Williams

Andy Williams 4Meet Save The Bay board member, Andy Williams. Williams is an executive at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, overseeing the company’s environmental policies, including permitting, compliance, remediation and land stewardship management.

Do you have a favorite Bay site or experience?

I get to have my favorite Bay experience almost every morning, because my office overlooks the Ferry Market Building and the Bay Bridge: Taking in the view of just how special our Bay is.

How did you get involved with Save The Bay?

I’ve always been interested in environmental stewardship. PG&E and Save the Bay have done a lot of positive of work together, which opened up the opportunity to serve on the board. As a board member, I am eager to find new ways to advance Save The Bay’s mission in many ways, including through the growing partnership between these two organizations.

If you could be one Bay plant or animal, what would it be and why?

I love the California Sea Lion. They seem so good natured. They like to hang around together and they don’t miss a chance to take a nice nap.

Who is your environmental hero?

I am impressed with Tom Styer and his willingness to put his money behind his efforts to fight climate change.

What is one thing you do each day to protect the environment?

I am relentless about conserving water, reducing waste, and composting. It’s something I do personally and professionally, and I’m proud to lead PG&E’s strong commitments in this regard.

What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area?

I love the diversity of experiences Bay Area residents can enjoy. We can be in Napa one day and in Tahoe the next. We can get out on the water or go hiking in the beautiful open spaces from the shoreline to the hills. This is a very unique place.

Board Spotlight: Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson has been a member of Save the Bay’s Board of Directors since 2005.  Stephen lives in San Jose and is an executive recruiter for LinkedIn.   Stephen loves to go to the marsh land at Moffett Field and run along the Bay.

Why did you decide to get involved with Save The Bay?

I moved to the Bay Area in 1998 from Northern Nevada, where I was a member of the United Way’s “Project Blue Print.”   That organization focused on assisting leaders from the business community to join the boards of non-profit organizations. In 2001, I was invited to attend the BLUE event in San Francisco.  My wife and I attended the event and we were really impressed by the organization’s impact in the Bay Area.  We were moved by Save The Bay’s mission to conservation and pollution prevention of the Bay, coupled with a great staff and a large group of members/advocates.  I was surprised to learn how much of San Francisco Bay had been lost to in-fill before Save The Bay was formed and I really wanted to work with an organization that is dedicated to preserving and protecting our area’s top natural treasure.  Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to members of the board, as well as David and the staff and I knew that this was an organization that I wanted to help and serve.

What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area?

The Bay area is so rich with culture, food and a great diversity of people that it is hard to choose just one favorite thing.  However, I love the scenic views and the Bay has so much to do with the beauty of this place that those of us who live here, as well as the countless annual visitors, all enjoy.  

Do you have a favorite site along the Bay?

I love so many areas of the bay from the shoreline in Mountain View, the Berkeley Marina, San Rafeal  However, right now I am enjoying getting out on the water and boating around the Bay.  There are so many gems to experience and discover.

What is your first/fondest memory of San Francisco Bay?

My first memories were sailing on the bay with my good friend and his father from the Richmond Marina to the Pier in San Francisco.  It was a great day and a wonderful introduction to the Bay.

Anything else you want to tell us?

The Bay area is a very special place and the Bay and her beauty adds to that each and every day.  I hope we can preserve this treasure for years to come.

Father’s Day on the Bay

Dean out  on a restoration trip pictured here with his daughter Claire and one of her friends.
Board Member Dean Meniktas volunteering at a restoration event with his daughter Claire and one of her friends.

Meet Dean Meniktas, board member and Bay Area dad.

Like all fathers, you hope your children have the opportunity to see, experience and enjoy life.  Nothing compares to the natural beauty of our San Francisco Bay and the numerous opportunities it provides.  Whether you hike, bike, run, windsurf or sail, the SF bay is one of the most beautiful places in the world providing memories for young and old.

I recently became a Save The Bay board member because I wanted to get more involved in their efforts to preserve and restore the Bay for the benefit of my daughters and future generations to come.  Save The Bay has protected our Bay for over 50 years and we all benefit from their efforts.

Last month, my youngest daughter Claire, one of her friends and I volunteered to help restore the East Bay shoreline. Save The Bay restoration specialists, Nissa Kreidler and Bryan Derr, were very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the work they do and were willing to share that with us.  We learned about the restoration efforts being done and also enjoyed the comradery of the other volunteers.   These volunteer hours do make a difference helping to preserve the natural beauty of our Bay Area shorelines.

Dean's three daughters enjoying a day out on the Bay.
Dean’s three daughters enjoying a day out on the Bay.

As a father of three daughters and lifelong native of the Bay Area, we have spent countless hours on and around the Bay.   We had our first daughter while living in San Francisco and I can remember the many runs pushing the jogger stroller along Crissy Field taking in the breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands.  As our family grew, we often spent time at Crissy Field playing on the beach and sometimes the family tolerated my short “detours” to windsurf on the Bay.   Whether spending time at Crissy field, taking bike rides around Angel Island, or kayaking in Richardson Bay, we feel very fortunate to live in the Bay Area and experience our amazing SF Bay daily.

It is imperative that we preserve and restore the Bay for all its current and future inhabitants.  The Bay is truly a unique environment and is crucial to making the Bay Area a special place to live and raise our families.

So Dads — on Father’s Day, or any day, go out and enjoy the endless experiences our San Francisco Bay offers with your families and friends!

A financial advisor since 1994, Dean Meniktas holds a MBA in Finance and BS in Civil Engineering from the University of California Berkeley. Prior to joining UBS, he was a Senior V.P. of Investments with Merrill Lynch in Oakland. He has the designation of Certified Investment Management Analyst,(CIMA®) following course work and examination at the Wharton School of Business. He is also a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Investment Management Consultant Association. Dean enjoys windsurfing, auto racing and spending time with his wife and three daughters. He resides in Moraga.

Board Members Help Restore The Bay

Our Board members took some time before their June meeting to transplant native seedlings at our Palo Alto Baylands Nursery. They really loved getting their hands dirty and learning more about our restoration education programs!

Board Members transplanting
Board members Si White and Ron Gonzales and Executive Director David Lewis (center) transplant gumplant (Grindelia stricta). Photo: Betsy Cardis


Board members in nursery
Board members Sandy Linder, Michael Gallagher, Maureen Reilly, Michael Katz, and Christopher Richard transplant alkali heath (Frankenia Salina) with Habitat Restoration Director Donna Ball. Photo: Betsy Cardis

Join us this summer and help transplant native seedlings at one of our nursery programs in Palo Alto.

Board Profile | Sam Luoma

Sam Luoma
Save The Bay Board Member Sam Luoma has studied the Palo Alto wetlands since 1974.

Meet Save The Bay Board Member Sam Luoma, an Environmental Scientist originally from Great Falls, Montana.

When did you join Save The Bay’s Board of Directors?

March 2013

Do you have a favorite Bay site or experience?

Looking at the Bay from the research vessel Polaris and the Palo Alto wetlands. Since 1974, my colleagues and I have studied the Palo Alto wetlands, which is a wonderful example of where wetlands meet mudflats.

How did you get involved with Save The Bay?

I have known David Lewis a long time and loved the story of how Save The Bay began. Save The Bay is an organization of great integrity and as a scientist I admire the important issues it tackles. I also like the continued focus on wetland restoration and education, both are so important for the Bay’s future.

What do you look forward to most as a new board member at Save The Bay?

Further support of wetland restoration as flood control and sea level rise become prevalent in our lives. Also, preventing expansion of development on the shores of the Bay which is crucial to reducing our vulnerability to climate change and loss of biodiversity.

I recently signed up to be on the Host Committee for Save The Bay’s event Fall for the Bay on September 26th. I want to support this fantastic community event and have a chance to meet all of the members who have helped support the great work of the organization.

I also look forward to working with my fellow board members. I am impressed by the group and its dedication.

If you could be one Bay plant or animal, what would it be and why?

The mudflat clam Macoma balthica – I’ve worked with this species since I first started studying the Bay in 1974. They are hardy, flexible and a positive part of the Bay ecosystem; just like we should be.

Who is your environmental hero?

The amazing three women who founded Save The Bay – Kay Kerr, Sylvia McLaughlin and Esther Gulick. Also the people who were responsible for the California Water Accord in the 1980’s: former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit and his Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Bettsy Reike. The accord was a landmark achievement and an example of ways to begin solutions to complex environmental problems. Finally, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols who I worked for from 2000-2003.

What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area?

The people, culture, and the diversity of thoughts and ideas cannot be found elsewhere. Plus you cannot beat the wonderful climate.

What is one thing you do each day to protect the environment?

Recycle. I love that this is a habit for Bay Area residents. I hope this way of life and system catches everywhere in this country.