Board of Directors meetingS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
The Jack London Improvement District Board is working on making the district cleaner, safer, and more thriving. The Jack London Improvement District Board meets on the 2nd Monday of the month at the Jack London Square Management Office Conference Room, 472 Water Street at 5:00 pm, unless otherwise posted. Please let us know if you're coming with a RSVP. It's not required, but it lets us conserve paper by knowing how many agenda packets to print.
Agendas are posted here and with the City of Oakland 72 hours prior to the regular meeting, or 48 hours prior to a special meeting. Approval of minutes occurs at the following meeting. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request draft minutes.
our Board of Directors
President & CEO of Visit Oakland
President of the Board
Prior to his role as CEO, Everton had been serving as Interim President & CEO of Visit Oakland after the departure of Alison Best. He brings along over 30 years of experience in hotel and hospitality management. Most recently, he served as the Area Managing Director at Commune Hotels & Resorts for their Silicon Valley and San Francisco hotels and the General Manager of the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square. Mark has managed three of Oakland‘s full service hotels during his tenure in the industry.
Everton is an established community leader in Oakland. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Visit Oakland Board of Directors, most recently holding the title of CFO. Mark’s involvement with Oakland’s hospitality and business communities is multi-faceted as he also co-founded the Oakland Restaurant Association. Visit Oakland has been a valuable marketing partner for Jack London Improvement District through our initial branding development as well as a number of marketing campaigns including the Urban Wine Trail and Ale Trail; as well as a key advocacy partner in tackling challenging small business and economic development issues in Oakland, and Jack London in particular.
Secretary of the Board
Paul Thyssen has lived in Oakland since 2007 and the Jack London District since 2010. Paul is the Director of Sales for Gallery Systems, Inc., a company that specializes in developing database software solutions for museums, private and corporate collectors, artists, foundations, universities, governments and other international cultural institutions. Paul has his BS in Mechanical and Network Engineering and has been instrumental in obtaining some of the most prestigious museums and cultural institutions as clients for his company. Paul is active in The Ellington Community Association and was previously Vice-President of the Board of Directors. Paul previously served on the Jack London District Association Board of Directors, where he was Co-Chair of the Land Use and Transportation Committee. Paul and his partner enjoy walks along the Jack London waterfront, the Farmer’s Market and the growing dining and entertainment scene in the district.
Business Owner, Minimo Wine Shop
Treasurer of the Board
Erin is co-owner of minimo, a natural wine shop in Jack London which she opened in 2015. Erin previously had a 20-year career in museums, spending the bulk of that time working at the Getty in Los Angeles before moving to New York to run
the Met’s Digital Media Department. Throughout her time in New York’s art world, her roots in California were ever-present, and Erin knew she wanted to open a wine shop. Minimo is community-focused and Erin’s intent is that it serve as a model for retail in a diverse, changing neighborhood. Erin has worked collaboratively to build commercial community in Jack London through her business. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for two terms, Erin has been a dedicated volunteer focused on District projects of particular interest to Jack London merchants including branding, beautification, and development.
Peter has lived and raised his family in Oakland for over 30 years, and has been an owner and resident in the Jack London District for over 5 years. He has been a Board member of JLID for 3 years, and has served on the Executive Committee as Secretary and led the Train Quiet Zone Initiative during his tenure.
Peter has over 30 years of experience in the development, design and program management of transportation infrastructure and rail projects. He has held various leadership positions in major US based engineering consulting firms, global technology firms and with the Bay Area Transit District (BART). Currently he is a Senior Vice President for strategic sales and advisory services at HNTB, and previously was a Director of their High Speed, and Rail and Transit Practice. Peter leads strategic program business development and practice building in the transportation infrastructure market and serves as a subject matter expert on rail programs. HNTB is a national leader in transportation and rail projects and is currently leading major sections on the California High Speed Rail Program and other projects and program in the US.
Business Owner, Z Hotel
Sam W. Nassif is a Managing Principal at the Z Hotel, a remodeled and rebranded boutique hotel in Jack London. Sam currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Visit Oakland, is the Co- founder and past Chairman of the Oakland Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and has been a member of the Jack London Improvement District Board since 2015.
Sam is a hospitality veteran who spent 22 years with Hilton Hotels Corporation. He came to Oakland in 1987 as General Manager for the Hilton Oakland Airport, and in 1991, he left Hilton to pursue an independent hospitality career. He joined the Waterfront Plaza Hotel in 1993 as General Manager and became partner shortly after. In 1997, he founded Creative Hospitality Corporation, a hospitality consulting firm, and took the management contracts for the Waterfront Plaza Hotel, the historic Hotel Durant and the Park Plaza Hotel before selling the hotels prior to the economic recession. Sam is also a licensed California Real Estate Broker with a degree in Business Administration.
Representative of Property Owner
Sara May is an Oakland Resident, California native and alumnus of San Francisco State University. In August she joined the board of the Downtown Oakland Association. Sara is currently Director of Operations at Metrovation, an Oakland-based specialty real estate company that conceptualizes, creates, markets and manages unique properties that bring new possibilities and new life to places. Metrovation creates compelling, energetic properties that stimulate growth while remaining true to the character of the communities in which they are located. Metrovation develops, owns, and manages six commercial properties located throughout the District totaling approximately 200,000 square feet, including majority ownership of the residential condo project at 200 Second Street. Metrovation has been a major property owner/operator in the District since the early 1980s.
Business Owner and Property Owner
Vivian Kahn, FAICP, is a 40+ year resident of Oakland who has lived in the Phoenix Lofts at far-western end of the District for more than three years. She is an Associate Principal with Dyett & Bhatia, city and regional planning consultants, in San Francisco and is also a partner with her husband Larry Mortimer, AIA, in Kahn/Mortimer/Associates, a planning and architecture consulting firm based in Oakland. Vivian’s long involvement in Bay Area and Oakland civic activities includes serving on the Boards of the Greenbelt Alliance, Jubilee West, West Oakland Housing Corporation, and Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity and as president of the Metropolitan Greater Oakland Democratic Club. Vivian, Larry, and their bully dog Hennessy particularly enjoy Jack London’s many great drinking and dining spots including Bocanova, Heinhold’s, The Fat Lady, Urban Legend, Campovida and Venga Paella.
Property Owner & Business Owner of Chop Bar, Lungomare and Calavera Restaurants
Chris Pastena has been in the restaurant industry for 28 plus years . Over the many years of living and working in Oakland, Chris and his wife, Jana Pastena, have developed deep ties in the East Bay's hospitality community. A central tenet of their work is to actively support local growers and artisans of all types. Coupled with Chris’ passion for a wide variety of restaurant projects, this unwavering focus has resulted in Chris creating vibrant and welcoming restaurants that offer thoughtful menus highlighting the best ingredients the Bay Area has to offer. In 2009, Chris opened Chop Bar restaurant in Oakland, which quickly became wildly popular, receiving national acclaim for its food, cocktails, wine program, and décor. Lungomare opened in February 2013 with coastal Italian-inspired fare and a prime waterfront location in Oakland's Jack London Square . In 2015, Chris opened Calavera, a beautiful and stylish restaurant serving regional Mexican - inspired fare and the Bay Area’s largest selection of tequilas and mezcals. Chris and his wife, Jana, continue to actively give back to the community through special events and support of a variety of local organizations.
Director of Development, Carmel Partners
Greg has a degree in Architecture from Yale University and is currently Director of Development with Carmel Partners, leading entitlement and execution of multiple large-scale multifamily projects in the East Bay. In the entitlement and development of 4th Street East, Greg and his team worked with staff to engage the community. In Jack London he has worked closely with the Improvement District to advocate for over $300K of impact fees allocated towards façade improvement funds and the Waterfront Warehouse District Signage program. Greg also is working to address the condition of the I-880 underpass gateways to the District, having advocated for the change of a council ordinance to allow the project’s 1% for Art funds to be implemented for an installation at the Madison Street Underpass. Greg also advocates for better access to the District through attendance at the Oakland Alameda Access Project and Downtown Specific Plan project meetings.
VP External Affairs, Oakland Athletics
Taj is VP of External Affairs, Office of the President of the Oakland Athletics. Prior to his role with the A’s, Taj has had leadership experience in global brand engagement, strategy, and external affairs with Toyota, Hilton Hotels, and Hyundai. Taj began community outreach to the District starting in 2017, before the A’s Headquarters moved to Jack London Square. Since bringing over 200 employees to Jack London Square, Taj has been collaborating with District staff to connect the A’s office to local businesses and organizations, and patronize Jack London merchants. Additionally Taj is leading the community outreach about a potential downtown baseball stadium at Howard Terminal.