Board of Directors

Sandy Gardiner, Board Chair

Sandy is a California native, calling Pleasanton her home since 1991 – raising two Amador Valley graduates with her husband, Doug. Sandy has been an avid animal lover all her life. She rescued her first of three 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. Her 30 year career in the life sciences has been focused in the medical devices. Sandy also serves on the Board of Directors of Lucira Health in Emeryville, a medical technology company developing infectious disease test kits for at home use.

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 and began serving as Executive Committee Officer in January 2019 before becoming Board Chair.

No longer raising children, Sandy and Doug share their household with dogs Cadán, an Irish Terrier, and Ripley, a black Labrador Retriever, adopted from Valley Humane Society. Both dogs are road warriors making frequent trips to “their” vacation home in Sunriver, Oregon.

 

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, and his beloved dogs Taffy, and Lexi. Paul has lived in Pleasanton for nearly 11 years where he and his wife Molly raised their two adored sons, and their Westie Theo, or Theodore, aka Theodorable. He previously served as a board member for the Silicon Valley March of Dimes. Paul 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 master’s in business administration. Early in his career, Paul held various sales and leadership positions at 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. He 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.

Lori James Rice, Director

Well known in the community for her prolific volunteer activities, Lori James Rice brings a wealth of volunteer management, fundraising, and event planning experience to Valley Humane Society. A member of the Board of Directors since 2006, Lori guided the organization through a capital campaign and the building of our long-awaited adoption center, serving as Board Chair in 2010. In 2014, Lori stepped down from her Board role to assist as interim Volunteer Program Manager, then rejoined the board in 2015. Her term ended in 2020, and after a short break, Lori began a new term in 2021. She also volunteers in the front office and sits on the Gala committee. 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. Lori’s family includes her daughter Catie, son Kevin, dogs Walter and Penny, cats Julia Roberts and Gandalf, and is joined by occasional foster animals.

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.

Heidi White, Director

Heidi has had a special bond with animals her entire life, having grown up with dogs from the day she was born. A Pleasanton resident since the late ‘90s, Heidi is mom to several fur babies (Murphy, Sheldon, Savvy) along with two sons who have grown up in the Pleasanton School District. She was first introduced to Valley Humane Society (VHS) when her sons were involved in the Paws to Read program and later adopted a kitten from VHS along with a dog from another Bay Area rescue organization. For the past several years, Heidi and her therapy dog Murphy, have served as a Canine Comfort team bringing stress relief to K-12 students at schools throughout the Tri-Valley.

Heidi brings more than 25 years of strategic marketing communications, issues/reputation/crisis management and CSR/social impact experience to Valley Humane Society. She currently serves as Senior Vice President for Fineman PR, a Bay Area public relations and marketing agency, and has worked with national and regional consumer brands on marketing communications campaigns, product launches, events, and social impact and cause related programming. She is particularly proud of her work directing mutually beneficial public, private, NGO partnerships to address key social issues including hunger, education, economic development, animal welfare and sustainability. Heidi joined the board of directors in 2021 and serves in an advisory capacity to other non-profit organizations.

Julie Wolfe, Director

Julie is very happy to call Livermore, California, home. She and her husband, Nathan, two children, and rescued dog and cats relocated to California from Columbus, Ohio, in 2012. Julie loves to meet new people (and their dogs) and over the last decade has built a strong network in the Bay Area. She is an alto with the Valley Concert Chorale, has been the Gala Coordinator for a number of years with the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, and enjoyed being the manager of her son’s indoor soccer team. Julie has two children, Clayton and Parker. She grew up in Jamestown, New York, and graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a B.A. in Journalism and minors in Public Relations and English.

Julie is currently the Director of Market Development for McGraw Hill Education, where she manages a team that drives business development and customer engagement. Her career has been focused on sales and marketing in the Northwest and includes roles at Kaplan Education, and The Ohio State University.

Julie is passionate about animal welfare, particularly connecting animals and people. She and her rescued black lab, Toby, were members of Therapy Dogs International and visited nursing homes together with her daughter. The family’s current dog, Henry, is a rescued blue Doberman who lives to fetch and is Julie’s daily walking partner. Much like Julie, Jasper, their stray Bombay cat, has never met a stranger and loves the sunshine. Julie was thrilled to join the Board at Valley Humane Society and be part of the organization’s mission.