Laurie, a northern California native, is managing partner of Clark‐Claudon Vineyards with her husband.
After graduating from California Polytechnic State University with a BA in English, she joined the Peace Corps and served in Colombia. When she returned to the US, she made the Napa Valley home.
It was while teaching at the Napa Adult High School that Laurie developed a deep interest in the mental health of her students. She returned to school to earn her MA in Counseling and her Marriage and Family Therapy license. Laurie maintained a private practice in St. Helena specializing in youth and women’s issues until 2001. Laurie also developed and facilitated a nonprofit student enrichment program, designed to mentor, educate and support its high school members and their parents.
Laurie’s children, their spouses and her five grandchildren are all members of our community.
“A passion for healthy children and families inspired my professional life as a teacher, psychotherapist and adolescent program director. That same passion led me to the UpValley Family Centers board, whose mission is a perfect fit with my values.”
Mitch has over 34 years of law enforcement experience. His first 31 years were at the UC Berkeley Police Department where he was promoted up the ranks and spent the last 3 years as the Chief of Police.
In 2013, Mitch became the Chief of Police for the City of Calistoga. From the start, Mitch engaged the community and developed partnerships with other local and state agencies. He implemented his philosophy of “Mission First, People Always”, a simple guiding philosophy that drives the department to deliver services in a professional, compassionate, and fair manner. Mitch has a BS from Long Beach State University in Police Science and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy for Police Executives. He is a member of the Calistoga Rotary, the St. Helena and Calistoga Boys & Girls Club Emeritus Board, the Napa County Gang & Youth Violence Prevention Commission, and serves on other local and county committees and initiatives.
“I am driven to help the youth in our community reach their full potential through education and mentoring.”
Christine Hayne has had over 25 years of banking experience in Commercial Lending and Private Banking for Union Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and First Republic Bank. She moved to St Helena in 2007 to accept a position with Wells Fargo’s Private Bank. She holds a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley’s Business School with emphases in finance and marketing.
Christine previously served on the board of the St Helena Family Center Board and joined the UVFC board after the merger in 2014. She also serves as the Foundation Director for the St Helena Rotary Club and is on the Board of St Helena Rotary.
Christine has two grown daughters in Los Angeles and lives in St. Helena.
“I am passionate about helping those in my community less fortunate than I to gain the skills to achieve a better life—and the UpValley Family Centers provides access to services that develop those skills to promote healthy families.”
Elaine has made her home in Calistoga since 1998 after living in San Francisco for over 20 years. She retired from Wells Fargo Bank as senior organizational development and human resources executive, where she specialized in the HR aspects of bank acquisition and integration management, executive development, succession planning, and recruitment strategy.
Elaine joined the Calistoga Family Center in 2008 and served on the merger and integration strategy team which created the UpValley Family Centers. Elaine also currently serves on the Executive Committee as Secretary of the Foundation Board of the St. Helena Hospital, and is Chair of the Community Outreach Committee. She and her husband are active in the vintner community.
She holds a BA and MA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Elaine and her husband reside in Calistoga on the Jones Family Vineyards property.
“Insuring the well-being of the community in which I live is at the core of my personal values. Since my earliest days in college, I have been committed to bringing a quality educational experience to others, to develop their full potential. Serving on the board of the UpValley Family Centers is a perfect way for me to continue to support my community and our students.”
After 18 years at Cakebread Cellars in International Marketing and Corporate Hospitality and sales, Karen founded her own small production wine brand, ZIATA, named in honor of her mother Mary Annunziata, in 2008.
Karen is a strong supporter of her community and enjoys volunteering and serving on local boards and committees. Karen currently serves on the Board of Directors of the St. Helena Hospital Foundation and is past president of the Calistoga Winegrowers and Calistoga Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. ZIATA is a member of the Napa Valley Vintners, where Karen previously served on their Board. For her compassionate work with victims of the Valley Fire in 2015, Karen was named Calistoga Citizen of the Year in 2016.
As much as Karen enjoyed exploring the world, her roots are now firmly planted in Calistoga, where she, her lovable Labrador, Neela, and her Sauvignon Blanc vines live.
“Senior citizens are some of the most vulnerable members of a community. I want to ensure that our seniors have advocates and access to resources to meet their basic needs. The UVFC believes that healthy families are the foundation of a strong community and the organization helps people help themselves. I value the opportunity to give back to my community.”
Michael grew up in San Francisco, and began his career as a research attorney for the California State Court of Appeal, handling appeals in both civil and criminal cases.
In 1995 Michael and his wife moved to St. Helena, and retired in 2013, after 30 years with the Court. Since then, he has been able to pursue his diverse interests, full-time, which include traveling, performing in community theatre, singing in the local choir, umpiring little league, reading to children in the primary school, playing tennis, and sewing. In addition, Michael is an on-call chef at a local winery when he isn’t wearing his toque at home.
Michael received a BA in English from Columbia University and a JD from Hastings College of the Law.
“The measure of who I am as a person is in large part what I am able to do for others.”
Nelson Cortez was born and raised in Napa, attended McPherson Elementary, Redwood Middle School, and graduated from Vintage High School. His parents, immigrants from Michoacán, moved to Napa in the early 80s. Nelson’s widowed Mother is poised to retire after 15 years working as a custodian for Vintage High School.
Nelson joined Napa County as a Staff Assistant to the Board of Supervisors in July 2015. Nelson works closely with Supervisors Brad Wagenknecht, Diane Dillon and Alfredo Pedroza, assisting them with constituent matters, communications, and organizing community meetings to address specific community concerns. Nelson’s prior experience working in government includes employment as a Senate Fellow and later as a Legislative Aide to California State Senator Marty Block where he was the primary policy consultant on public safety, elder issues, human services, among others. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American and Latina/o Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
“Now more than ever we must work together to empower our community to be more civically engaged in order to improve our daily lives and combat inequities and injustices that surround underserved communities. I am pleased to serve on the Up Valley Family Centers’ board to advance its mission by engaging with decision makers and holding them accountable for people that often times are left out without a voice.”
Susan is a proud 4th generation San Franciscan and 5th generation native Californian and has happily called St. Helena her home for the past 14 years.
At the St Helena Chamber of Commerce, Susan produces Chamber Events, compiles the Weekly Newsletters and conducts Member Outreach. She is also on the Board of the White Barn music and live theatre organization. Simultaneously, she has been a project manager for Wine Women & Shoes, executing events throughout the US and Canada.
For 12 years, Susan was the Director of Creative Services for ASE Group, a boutique event and branding company with a satellite office in St Helena. Prior to that, she ran Duryea Floral Designs & Events where clients included The San Francisco Opera Ball, the San Francisco Spinster’s Ball, Gucci’s Grand Opening on Union Square, and the De Young Museum’s “Bouquets to Art”.
Susan earned a BA from San Francisco State University in Theatre Arts.
“I believe that family health and wellness programs and education programs for children are an essential foundation for the well-being of the community. The UpValley Family Centers promotes and offers access to these types of programs allowing me to participate in some small way.”
Randy Gnagy, CPA, works with the firm of Brotemarkle, Davis & Co, located in St. Helena, as the firm’s senior tax specialist. His areas of special expertise are in the tax and accounting issues of tax exempt organizations, multi-state taxation, and taxation of wineries and vineyards. Since moving to the Napa Valley in 1995, he has been active in Junior Achievement, Arts Council Napa Valley, and the Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival, and has done volunteer work at local schools. He is currently treasurer of the board of Napa Emergency Women’s Services.
Randy holds a BA in History from California State University, Fresno, and has three adult children and two grandchildren. His other interests include hiking, bicycling, swimming and meditation.
“Of the values I hold most dear, community service is near the top. I believe that families are the core of our community and healthy families make a healthy community…and the UpValley Family Centers promote that in so many ways. Serving on this board is the perfect way for me to give back.”
Prior to founding Inflection Point Consulting in 2012, Rob spent 40 years working in Finance and secondary education for such venerable institutions as Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Merrill Lynch, Table Rock Capital and the Woodberry Forest School. Those diverse experiences took Rob and his wife around the world, but he is now firmly rooted in Calistoga.
Rob holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a graduate of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management, the Harvard Business School Program for Managerial Development and the Columbia Business School Program for Coaching Certiﬁcation. Prior board / trustee involvements include the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Asian Art Museum, Chanticleer, Calistoga Family Center and Woodberry Forest School.
“Finding an effective way to contribute tangibly to one’s community is not always easy. I have long believed that helping others improve their lives is a responsibility we all share. The UpValley Family Centers board provides a wonderful opportunity for me to look beyond my own situation and reach out to our broader community.”
Mary grew up in Napa and made her home in St. Helena after retiring from Charles Schwab & Co., where she held senior leadership positions in organizational development and human resources. More recently, she was an independent consultant in a SF based consulting firm whose focus was driving strong business results through collaborative leadership and teamwork. Local clients included the Napa Valley Museum, Cakebread Cellars, and the Napa Valley Vintners. Today, Mary also volunteers time at St. Helena’s Rianda House, where she is frequently the smiling face greeting visitors.
Mary has a BA in Psychology and an MA in Counseling from San Francisco State University. Her personal interests include travel, fly fishing, and enjoying her friends, family, and her dog Max.
“My commitment to helping women build better lives for themselves and their families began while I was working on my MA in Counseling. Helping unemployed women find new jobs and my internships with troubled young girls has led me to a lifelong commitment to empowering others through individual development and collaborative action.”
Genevieve Welsh moved to Calistoga with her family in 1978. After graduating from Calistoga High School, she went on to Chico State. Upon returning to the valley, Genevieve entered the family business, Forni-Brown-Welsh Gardens, purveyors of organic produce, working alongside her father and his two partners. During this time she also taught and coached basketball at both St. Helena Catholic and Calistoga High Schools.
Genevieve gives generously of her time to a variety of causes benefitting children: she is the past president of the St. Helena Co-Op Nursery, head of fundraising for the Calistoga Education Foundation and on the Capital Campaign Committee for the Boys and Girls Club of St. Helena and Calistoga. She was named Calistoga Citizen of the Year in 2012. She is co-proprietor, with Thomas Rivers Brown, of Rivers-Marie Wines and the proud mother of two.
“The UpValley Family Centers are an integral part of the infrastructure that makes my community strong – a compassionate and safe anchor in the community where I grew up and where I now raise my children.”