HERE, CURRENTLY AND strictly from my point of view, are 16 of Marin’s most accomplished and influential people.
In recent months, three of Marin’s political leaders took strong stands on the nationwide issue of gun violence. Gavin Newsom, California’s lieutenant governor and a Ross resident, got a gun (and bullet) control initiative placed on the November ballot; Marin Congressman Jared Huffman helped stage a congressional sit-in demanding commonsense gun control legislation; and Marin Assemblyman Marc Levine had a bill signed into law closing a loophole on assault weapon ownership in California.
Marin’s five county supervisors wield considerable influence in addition to overseeing the county’s unincorporated communities. Supervisor Steve Kinsey is also chairman of the powerful California Coastal Commission, which recently dismissed its executive director over concerns he was overly detail-focused and slow to make the coastline accessible to people of all income levels. Supervisors Judy Arnold and Kate Sears serve on the boards of SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit), set to begin service within 90 days; and the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which deals with bridge tolls, ferry routes and bus service. And Damon Connolly, in addition to being a county supervisor, is a voting member of Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), a ninecounty and 101-city regional planning board currently considering merging with the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC), a similar planning group concerned with transportation issues. Supervisor Katie Rice is Marin’s representative on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which sets Spare the Air days, when wood fires are prohibited and bus fares are free.
And here’s my alphabetical list of other notable Marin leaders:
• Jean-Jacques Bienaime, chairman and CEO at BioMarin Pharmaceuticals. BioMarin is a major and growing presence in downtown San Rafael; its operations now contribute more than half a billion dollars to the local economy.
• Mary Jane Burke, Marin’s superintendent of schools. Her office supports Marin’s more than 36,000 students. She’s also the force behind SchoolsRule Marin, a countywide organization that’s raised more than $2 million in auxiliary funding for local schools.
• Russ Colombo, president and CEO, Bank of Marin. Born in Marin, Colombo also chairs SMART’s citizens oversight committee. With the recent purchase of Bank of Alameda, his bank now has 21 branches, 10 in the county.
• Lee Domanico, CEO, Marin General Hospital. Last week, a $550 million project to rebuild and seismically retrofit MGH began construction and will take three years to complete, while the hospital remains open. Domanico is making this happen.
• Michael Krasny, host, Forum on KQED-FM. Krasny, a Ph.D., English professor and Greenbrae resident, has a daily Bay Area following of 85,000 (and a worldwide online audience) who listen to discussions of critical topics with influential people. His 2016 guests include former CIA chief Michael Hayden, author E.O. Wilson and actor/comic Billy Crystal.
• Farhad Mansourian, general manager, SMART. After others made a rocky start of it, Mansourian took over management of the 38-mile commuter line between Santa Rosa and San Rafael five years ago and will deliver it on time, this fall.
• Thomas Peters, president and CEO, Marin Community Foundation. Started in 1987, MCF manages $1.6 billion in assets — half from the Buck Family Trust and half from Bay Area individuals — and distributes $65 million annually to worthy causes, mostly in Marin County.
• Dawn Weisz, CEO, Marin Clean Energy. Created to deliver renewable energy to Marin at costs just above those of PG&E’s nonrenewable sources, MCE now serves Richmond, Napa County and East Bay cities. Weisz was CEO from the get-go.
If I overlooked (or overrated) someone, let me know. That’s my point of view. What’s yours?
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Marin Magazine and its staff.