Board of Directors

Gina Piper, Board Chair

Gina has spent her entire life in Pleasanton and is very passionate about her hometown. A Foothill High School graduate, she earned her degree in Nutritional Science at Cal Poly University. Upon returning home from San Luis Obispo, Gina embarked on her successful career in real estate. During her 21-year career she has assumed many leadership roles, including President of the Valley Marketing Association as well as President of the Women’s Council of Realtors, and she also served as Director of the Bay East Association of Realtors and the California Association of Realtors. Among her many accomplishments in real estate, Gina is most honored to have been voted the Best Realtor in Pleasanton from 2011 to the present by readers of the Pleasanton Weekly. Giving back to the community that has given her so much is very important to Gina. She is currently President-elect for Pleasanton North Rotary and authors the very popular local Facebook page “Living in Pleasanton,” which she developed in 2008 as a platform to help support and promote local businesses. Her love of animals began with her first boxer, Rico, and she now shares her home with two wonderful dogs: Kodiak the boxer, or Kodi, as his friends call him, and Frankie the Chihuahua/Italian Greyhound mix she rescued in 2011.

Sandy Gardiner, Executive Committee Officer

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 Cutera, Inc., a medical aesthetics company located in Brisbane, 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.

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.

Lori James Rice, Secretary

Well-known in the community from her prolific volunteer activities, Lori James Rice brings a wealth of volunteer management, fundraising, and event planning experience to VHS. A member of the VHS Board of Directors since 2006, Lori guided the organization through a capital campaign and the building of our long-awaited adoption center. She served as Board Chair in 2010. Additionally, Lori has co-chaired numerous VHS fundraising events, including Paws in the Park, Jazzed About Pets, and Villa del Sole. In 2014 she stepped down from her Board role to assist as interim Volunteer Program Manager, then rejoined the board in 2015. Among her achievements Lori lists: first woman President of Amador Valley High School’s Athletic Boosters Club and 2008 recipient of the City of Pleasanton’s Juanita Haugen Community of Character Award, service on the PTSA board and School Site Councils for Amador Valley High and Vintage Elementary schools, and service on the Executive Board for the Pleasanton PTA Council. She is also a 1997 graduate of the Leadership Pleasanton program. Lori’s family includes her daughter Catie, son Kevin, dogs Rocky, Izzy, and Walter, cat Julia Roberts, and grand-kitty Vinnie, joined by occasional foster animals.

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.

Debbie Christiano, 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 is Secretary for the Livermore Wine Growers Association and serves on the executive committee. She is a former 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. She and her husband, Joe (a fellow animal lover and past Valley Humane Society Board member) live with twin daughters who recently graduated from college. Debbie continues to work with dogs at BratPak Dog Kamp & Kafe in Livermore. She joined Valley Humane Society’s Board of Directors in 2011.

Dr. Marianna Juergens, Director

Dr. Marianna Juergens graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. After practicing in a traditional hospital environment for many years, Dr. J established Tri-Valley Mobile Veterinary Service in 2009 to offer a low-stress alternative for pet healthcare. She is passionate about practicing high-quality, comprehensive medicine, which she has provided in the Tri-Valley for over 13 years. In 2006, Dr. J completed a year-long course in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. Dr. J has been a long-time volunteer in Valley Humane Society’s Canine Comfort Pet Therapy program, participating in Paws to Read at the Pleasanton Library with her Italian Greyhound, Icy. She joined the Board of Directors in 2014. Dr. J currently shares her home with four beloved rescued pets: Icy, Chihuahuas Esme and Gia, and Daphne the talking cat.

Joi Pentin, Director

Joi was born and raised in Pleasanton, California. She attended the University of California, Berkeley and currently works in Business Operations at tech start-up by the name of GuideSpark. She was raised with the motto of ‘Service over Self’ and follows in the shoes of her father, Jerry Pentin, who has played an active role in giving back – whether it be on Pleasanton City Council, Rotary International, or numerous other organizations. Joi spent a large portion of her childhood and young adult life playing competitive golf, where she competed amongst the top players in the nation and at the collegiate level where she played on the Cal Women’s Golf Team. In partnership with that experience she spent a lot of time mentoring junior players in The First Tee and LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Organization. Now that she finds herself in the working world she wanted to become involved in helping to act as a voice for animal welfare. Valley Humane Society offered just that – a solid organization in her hometown. Joi joined the Board in 2014.

On the animal front – Joi does not personally own any animals in her small San Francisco apartment, but she considers her pets at her parents’ house to be her own. They have a dog by the name of Chester who is a quite a project but is improving daily. In addition they have two cats – Patrick and Vince. Vince is her favorite, a 22-pound ball of fur who demands full attention of everyone in the room. She looks forward to the day that she can walk into Valley Humane Society and get one of her own.

Joe Streng, Director

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 have rescued a number of dogs and cats, including their current senior pup, Penny, a dachshund-corgi mix.

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.

Lisa Hazelwood, HR Advisor

Lisa’s passion for animals and desire to help find long-term solutions to the homeless pet problem in her community has led her to join the VHS Board of Directors in 2012. As a young girl, Lisa was introduced to the harsh reality of pet overpopulation when a box of kittens was abandoned overnight in her parent’s driveway. Although her family adopted two of the kittens and found homes for the others, the experience left a lasting impression helping to shape Lisa’s views on the importance of responsible pet guardianship and the impact that spay/neuter and animal adoption programs have on bettering the lives of companion animals.

Lisa grew up in Pleasanton and moved to Southern California after high school to study music at CSU, Northridge.  She relocated to the Midwest where she continued her graduate studies receiving master’s degrees in Music Therapy and Health Services Administration from the University of Kansas. Lisa has worked as a Human Resources professional in the high-tech industry for nearly twenty years, including managing the employee benefits and retirement programs for Equinix, Inc. in Redwood City. Lisa and her daughter are fortunate to share their lives with three amazing rescue cats: Hailey, Twyla, and Lucky.