Board of Directors

Sandy Gardiner, Board Chair

Sandy is a California native, calling Pleasanton her home since 1991 – raising two Amador Valley graduates. Sandy has been an avid animal lover all her life. She rescued her first of two dogs at the age of 19 while attending the University of California, Davis where she graduated with a degree in Management Economics. After college, Sandy returned to the Bay Area to begin her career in the life sciences.

Sandy currently holds the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with Pulse Biosciences, Inc., a bioelectric medicine company located in Hayward, CA. Although much of her 30 year career has been focused in medical devices, Sandy has also worked in biotechnology, diagnostics and specialty pharmaceuticals. She has been Chief Financial Officer of three publicly traded entities and four privately held companies.

Over the years, Sandy has focused her spare time volunteering in a variety of community or special needs programs related to animals. Whether mucking stalls and cleaning hooves of rescued horses to prepare them for troubled youths to ride, or providing business knowledge to organizations in support their mission, Sandy finds this time fulfilling in her walk in life. Sandy joined Valley Humane Society’s Board in August 2018, an organization she is honored to be a part of.

No longer raising children, Sandy enjoys spending time with her husband and dog Cadán, an Irish terrier, who goes just about everywhere with them.

Brian Joyce, Executive Committee Officer

Brian is a California native, having moved from Southern California to the Bay Area in 1995. He relocated from San Jose to Pleasanton in 2007 and currently enjoys the walk to downtown from his home. Brian currently has three cats and two dogs. He and his wife Kim have three children in Pleasanton schools and one off at college studying accounting.

Brian is a Certified Public Accountant with a degree in Accounting from California State University, Long Beach and a Masters degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He is currently the Vice President of Tax and the Treasury at Net App in Sunnyvale. Brian formerly served as the Vice President of Tax and Treasury at Blackhawk Network in Pleasanton and Vice President of Tax at Informatica Corp in Redwood city and is a former International Tax Partner of Ernst & Young LLP. He is a member of the AICPA and Cal CPA as well as an active participant at the Tax Executives Institute, The North Bay Tax Directors group, NeuGroup and LeanUp.

Brian coached baseball for Pleasanton Little League and football for Pleasanton Junior Football League for many years as his kids grew up. He formerly served as the Chairman of Tri Valley Animal Rescue and has years of experience in animal rescue here in the Tri Valley Area. Brian has always been impressed with the work done at Valley Humane Society and was excited to join the board in 2020.

Clyde Ogata, Treasurer

Growing up in Honolulu, Clyde began a lifelong journey with pets that included a dog, rabbit, mouse, as well as tropical fish, frogs, chickens, and homing pigeons. He has lived in San Ramon for nearly 20 years with his wife and three children, and they share the house with three cats from Valley Humane Society and other rescue organizations. Clyde began volunteering in VHS’s cat isolation unit in 2011, and joined the Board in November 2016.

Clyde is currently Managing Tax Counsel at Chevron Corporation’s headquarters in San Ramon, and loves his short commute time. Prior to that role, he was a Tax Planning Coordinator for Chevron’s exploration and development operations in Australia, Southern Africa, and the Middle East. He became a CPA in Hawaii and California and received his law degrees from Santa Clara University and New York University. Clyde served on the Steering Committee of Chevron’s Asian Employee Network and was Chairperson of the State Bar of California’s Corporate Tax Committee.

Joe Streng, Secretary

Joe Streng has been a Pleasanton resident since 1980. He and his wife, Liz, are both graduates from Amador Valley High School and California State University, Sacramento. Joe spent nearly 10 years in radio and television news before switching to a public relations career. His clients included a number of major national brands and he provided communications support for animal rescue organizations on a pro-bono basis. He currently is director of employee communications at Robert Half in San Ramon.

Joe actively served the City of Pleasanton for more than 12 years, starting with the Bike, Pedestrian and Trails Subcommittee, followed by two terms as a Parks & Recreation Commissioner. Animals have always held a special place in Joe’s heart, starting with his first dog, Cricket, a pug his family adopted when Joe was 10 years old. Joe and Liz currently share their home with Frank and Trixie, two cats who they adopted from Valley Humane Society.

Paul Bommarito, Director

Growing up in Michigan, Paul began a lifelong journey of loving animals that included goldfish, tropical fish, gerbils, a Flemish Giant rabbit, his beloved dog Taffy, and now his beloved dog Lexi. Paul has lived in Pleasanton for nearly 8 years where he and his wife raised their two adored sons. Paul previously served as a board member for the Silicon Valley March of Dimes. Paul recently joined Valley Humane Society’s Board in August 2017.

Paul is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in electrical engineering. He attended the University of Michigan where he received a masters in business administration. Early in his career, Paul held various sales and leadership positions at Johnson Controls, AT&T, Sun Micro Systems and spent the majority of his career at Cisco Systems in leadership roles. Paul currently is Vice President Americas Enterprise Sales for Nvidia in Santa Clara, CA.

Paul is passionate and his love of animals runs deep. Paul became acquainted with Valley Humane Society during the Clear the Shelters program. Paul was so impressed with both the staff and the facility he wanted to support the mission both financially and with his services. Paul is thrilled to both represent and be a part of Valley Humane Society.

Susan Capello, Director

Susan grew up in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry/Biology and Business Administration, and worked in scientific research capacities with Hoffman-LaRoche, Inc. and the Rorer Group, Inc. Susan received her Juris Doctor from Pace University School of Law in 1989 and admitted to practice in New York in 1990.  She spent several years in private practice before becoming an in-house Intellectual Property attorney. Currently Susan is a Senior Intellectual Property Counsel for Intel Corporation, with responsibilities focused on supporting HealthCare Life Science Group, Intel’s University engagements and New Technology Group, including New Device business, New Business Initiatives, Intel Labs and Perceptual Computing. As in-house counsel she has worked for Becton, Dickinson and Company; Lipid Sciences, Inc., and Connetics Corporation before joining Intel Corporation.

In 1999, Susan moved to California with her partner and their two dogs, embarking on a great, fun-filled, cross-country drive, taking photos of the dogs in all the places they stopped to sightsee. Susan has always had dogs and cats in her life. Her volunteer work began with Wildlife Education & Research Center in Morgan Hill, where she served for a few years as a member of the board of directors and ultimately as President. More recently, Susan’s volunteer work has focused on providing legal support services for veterans, assisting women-owned businesses, and assisting people through portions of the immigration process. She joined Valley Humane Society’s Board of Directors in 2019.

Debbie Cristiano, Director

Debbie has always had at least one dog in her home. After graduating from Cal Poly, she worked with seniors, sharing her love of animals by starting a pet therapy program. A California Wine Appellation Specialist (CASW), Debbie is Sales Manager and part owner of Page Mill Winery, where she runs the tasting room and manages the wine club in addition to handling marketing and events. Debbie served two terms as secretary for the Livermore Wine Growers Association and continues to serve on the executive committee. She is chair of the group’s Wine & Wags and the Interwinery Tasting event.

Debbie grew up on the Peninsula, but has spent the past 25 years in Livermore where she raised her now adult twin daughters with her husband Joe (a fellow animal lover and past Valley Humane Society Board member). She joined Valley Humane Society’s Board of Directors in March of 2019.

Penelope Tamm, Director

Penelope is a native of California, growing up in San Jose and moving to Pleasanton in 1987. Penelope has a BA in Psychology from CSU Fresno and a MA in Psychology from Santa Clara University and she is a licensed MFT. She recently retired from the City of Pleasanton after serving her community for over 30 years. In her position with the city, she was fortunate to work, in cooperation, with organizations such as PUSD and Pleasanton Downtown Association to support a variety of community events.

Penelope has had animals since childhood varying from dogs, cats, rabbits and a chicken. Currently, she has two rescue dogs, Zack and Calli. Her love for animals stems from her belief that animals enhance our lives and complete our families. Penelope spends her time reading, traveling, and taking photos everywhere she goes.

Phillip Vermont, Director

Phillip has been a partner at the law firm of Randick O’Dea & Tooliatos, LLP in Pleasanton since June of 1995, practicing as a litigator in the real estate, business, and construction areas. His practice includes complex landlord-tenant disputes primarily on behalf of property owners and property managers. Phillip was awarded the Bay East Association of REALTORS 2011 Affiliate of the Year.

He has lived with pets his entire life and currently lives with two Maine Coon cats, Trooper and Mr. Buddy, who were adopted in 2009 from VHS. Phillip served on the VHS Board for six years and termed out in 2010 as the new VHS building was nearly complete. After one year as an active volunteer and the VHS General Counsel, he is again serving on the Board as of January 2012.