SUNFLOWER HILL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ms. Houghton more than 25 years experience in public affairs, government relations, corporate and crisis communications, educational communications and philanthropy. A Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), she’s worked for the University of California at Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Safeway, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, among others. Ms. Houghton has been on the founding board of directors for two other non-profit organizations devoted to autism and special needs (Exceptional Needs Network and Kern Autism Network). She has a BS in Journalism from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, an MS in Nonprofit Administration from Louisiana State University and began her career as television journalist. In addition to her responsibilities at Sunflower Hill, she serves on the Cal Poly SLO President’s Journalism Advisory Board. Ms. Houghton has a 25-year-old son with moderate autism.
Ms. Layman has managed implementation of large software systems for over 25 years in retail, consumer products and healthcare industries for such companies as Mervyns, Target, Williams Sonoma, Clorox and Kaiser Permanente. She has a BS degree in Business Administration from Indiana State University and is PMI certified with the Project Management Institute. A resident of Pleasanton, she has a special needs grandson who keeps her very busy in his love of all types of sports.
Ms. Zentner has been a Pleasanton resident for 20 years. She was one of the founders of the Ruby Hill Charity Committee and the Pleasanton branch of Adopt an Angel. Her brother, Bruce, is very involved in Special Olympics and she was his coach for 11 years. She was also involved in Pleasanton Partnership in Education and she was the co-Finance Chairman for Proposition B School Bond while her two adult daughters were students. Debi has been married for 37 years, has a Paralegal Degree from University of Santa Clara and has been a mortgage broker for the past 23 years. She has a brother with special needs.
Mr. Torralba, retired, has 35+ years of work experience in Finance, primarily financial analysis, internal audit and controls, cost accounting, and installation of systems and procedures. He worked for Chevron Corporation and BRJ, a conglomerate construction company overseas. He graduated from Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce. A resident of Dublin since 2004, he and his wife Paula have been married for 45 years. They have three children, including a son with autism.
Ms. Monica has more than 30 years of executive management experience in mobile/digital product, marketing and development. She is currently a independent digital marketing/product consultant and previously has held executive level operations and product management positions leading the development of mobile/digital applications at a variety of companies including EVEO, HandsOn Mobile, Neilson, Openwave and Motorola. Ms. Monica is also an independent filmmaker and served as the Founder and Festival Director of the Livermore Valley Film Festival. She was a Board Member of the SF Museum of Craft & Folk Art Museum. Lynn is a step-mother to two, including a 23-year-old special needs son. Lynn has a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of New Hampshire and an Executive MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Ms. Ludden has been a resident of Pleasanton for the last 22 years and has been directly involved in children advocacy issues at the community, state and national level. Her affiliations include the Parent Teachers Association, where she served as the local, county and District President – overseeing 167 schools within Alameda County. In addition to the education component, she has served as a board member for large community organizations including Northern California Alzheimer Association and Valley Care Health Foundation. Her compassion for community involvement has led to successfully running nine political campaigns in the Tri-Valley. She is currently an elected delegate on the California State Democratic Committee. Tanya has been married for 37 years and is a grandmother and the parent of three adult children – Lisa, a tenured teacher in the Pleasanton Unified School District, John who is actively serving our country within the Navy’s EOD Special Forces and Michael who is a social worker for the State of California.
Mr. Muller has held executive/financial management positions within the telecom and IT industry over the past 30 years, and currently is a partner for a leading global technology research and advisory firm. He and his family have lived in Pleasanton, CA for more than 20 years, volunteering and supporting multiple local charities and school organizations. Dave is the father of a 17-year-old son with autism. Dave has a BS in Business Administration, Finance from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is the father of a son with special needs.
Mr. Baker has 30+ years of experience in computer manufacturing and instruction. His years with ICL, Tandem, Compaq and HP enabled him to travel the world and finish in Cupertino, California as a manager responsible for developing and implementing a distance learning facility. His second career was devoted to the nonprofit sector – and working with individuals with disabilities in a supportive living services environment. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Brighton University U.K. Married with two children and two grandchildren, Mr. Baxter lives just a few blocks from Sunflower Hill Gardens in Livermore.
Ms. Bogert is a recent retiree of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Sunnyvale, where she worked for ~25 years, primarily as a Systems Engineer in Advanced Programs Development. She also has extensive volunteer experience in the autism community, including ten years with Parents Helping Parents and four years serving on the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s School Site Council. A resident of San Jose, Ms. Bogert is the mother of three sons, including a 21–year-old with moderate-severe autism. She has a BS degree in Manufacturing Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Ms. Rubino Brumm is the Community Outreach Chair and Social Media Manager for Sunflower Hill. She is also the owner of a small social media firm, The JRB Group. Ms. Brumm serves as an ambassador for the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Leadership Pleasanton Steering Committee.
Prior to having children, she was an HP Medical Equipment Sales Specialist for many years. She and her husband Dan have lived in Pleasanton for more than 25 years and have two sons, ages 19 & 21. Her older son Andrew has a rare chromosome variation called 48xxyy, as well as high-functioning autism and her younger son Robbie is an engineering student at Gonzaga University. She has a BA in Advertising from San Jose State University and a MS in Exercise Physiology from California University East Bay.
Dr. Glen Petersen is a physician who has been practicing internal medicine and the subspecialties of pulmonary and critical care medicine for 43 years, the last 35 of which were in Berkeley and Oakland. He previously served on the board of the Housing Consortium of the East Bay. He has two sons, the younger of whom, Aaron, is 28 years old and has autism.
SUNFLOWER HILL STAFF
Ms. Nehls has more than 24 years of experience in the non-profit sector working on both the operations and fundraising side of organizations. As an innovator of ideas for institutional change, she developed new departments and business models to increase revenue, created strategic plans, produced a myriad of events and brought fiscal stability to many community-based organizations. Ms. Nehls has successfully led production and events, marketing and visitor services and fundraising departments. Ms. Nehls has been honored to work for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Lincoln Center Institute, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and most recently, the National Ag Science Center.
Sarah Renton – Administrative Assistant
Lina Valenzuela – Lead Farmer
Rebecca Langstaff – Lead Teacher
Teresa Fernandez – Garden Intern
Abbas Masjedi – Project Consultant