Board Members & Staff

Board Members

Michael Sevy, Board President
Senior Engineering Manager, Quantum 

Michael Sevy“A friend asked if I’d be willing to take on a unique assignment photographing Rebuilding Together San Francisco projects in my neighborhood. That was eight Rebuilding Day projects ago; I’ve been helping with Rebuilding Day and photographing projects ever since. As a photographer-volunteer, I can go back to the images I’ve captured and revisit and relive the happiness, joy and smiles Rebuilding Together brings to the people they serve. I’m proud to be part of an organization whose vision is ‘a safe and healthy home for every person.'”

J.J. Panzer, Board Vice President
Real Management Company

JJ Panzer
“I first learned of RTSF when I was in high school and my class participated in a project here. I was struck by how much a group of hard-working volunteers could accomplish in a single day and the strongly positive outcome the project had for the homeowner. I have since participated in a number of projects, having served as House Captain in Berkeley once in 2001 and as Volunteer Captain in SF from 2010 to 2012. As a real estate professional and owner of a full-service property management company, RTSF helps me to apply my skills and resources to assist seniors to remain in their homes safely and comfortably as long as possible. I am honored to be a part of the RTSF Board of Directors and continue to serve our deserving homeowners and the community year round in addition to the traditional Rebuilding Days.”

Ryan Bjorkquist, Board Treasurer
VP Environmental Sustainability, Union Bank


Bio on the way!

Lucia Casaravilla, Board Secretary
Communications Manager

lucia-casaravilla“RTSF is one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences. We work in every community in the city and directly impact residents and neighborhoods. It’s a joy to be a part of RTSF.”

 

Terry McKellips, Board Member
Division Manager, Swinerton Builders

Terry McKellips of Swinerton BuildersI am blessed to be part of Rebuilding Together San Francisco (RTSF) – a wonderful organization that touches the lives of many deserving community members in a very special way. Our volunteers and dedicated staff work hand-in-hand with those in need to provide practical solutions to challenges homeowners face. As an employee of a San Francisco-based builder which constructs many multi-family housing units for Bay Area residents, I have seen the effects of rising housing costs. RTSF effectively assists San Francisco residents to stay in their homes by providing necessary safety upgrades and property maintenance. It is this organization that allows us the vehicle to give back to our wonderful community and keep the essential character in our diverse city.”

 

Jaclyn Carpenter, Board Member
Chief Executive Officer, Ideal Restoration

“Rebuilding Together San Francisco is focused on ensuring that, through minor and in some cases, major repairs, San Franciscans can stay in their homes as long as possible and to ensure a safe living environment on many levels.  With the strong support of the City and the continued support from volunteers and donations, RTSF has exciting projects underway to reach even more families and individuals in need.  As CEO of Ideal Restoration, I’m pleased to be in a position to serve on the Board with a group of amazing individuals who all have a shared passion for RTSF.” 

 

Ken Rakestraw, Board Member
Project Manager, Sares Regis Group of Northern California

kenrakestraw“Living in San Francisco Bay Area for just the past 10 years, I’ve seen the city change so much over time, making it more challenging for elderly and low income residents who embody the spirit of SF to keep up with the rising expenses to stay put. I feel fortunate to work with such passionate board members, volunteers, and staff who help protect the culture of San Francisco and make a significant impact. Everyone always has a smile on their face! “

Karen Frock, Board Member
Community Manager, Bank of the West

profile_sfsu_smaller“Nine years ago RTSF came into my life with an elementary school rebuild. I was inspired by the dedication of repeat volunteers and retail sponsors donating their time and resources to repaint, repair, and replant. A short time later, I volunteered to photograph RTSF’s annual fundraiser. That evening, RTSF honored a volunteer of 30 years and that’s when I knew RTSF was a special organization. RTSF touches the hearts and passions of so many people who give and who receive. Their impact is far-reaching. I am honored to be part of an organization that cares so deeply about people, about our community, and about the importance of a place to call home.”

Ellen Butler, Board Member
Corporate Communications Professional

ellen-butler

I’m proud to call San Francisco my home and I’d like to see it continue thrive and evolve, while not leaving long-time residents behind. Especially elderly, disabled, and low income homeowners who are struggling to keep a roof over their head. I was attracted to Rebuilding Together’s focus on preserving affordable housing by helping homeowners who no longer have the resources or physical ability to keep their homes safe and healthy. I’ve been impressed by the highly tangible results and lasting impact the organization has had on community members and their neighborhoods.  As a Board Member and volunteer, I can literally help change someone’s life — which for me is the ultimate reward.

Zoe Carter, Board Member
Uber Technologies

 

I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of Rebuilding Together San Francisco, an organization I’m so passionate about. I started volunteering with Rebuilding Together during NYC’s annual Block Build and saw the impact we made revitalizing our community and ensuring a vibrant and diverse city. When given the opportunity to serve on the Board of RTSF, with such an inspiring group of dedicated members, I jumped at the chance to get involved and to help bring those in the construction, real estate and tech community together for such an important local cause.

Staff

Karen Nemsick, Executive Director

Executive Director Karen Nemsick has been a Bay Area resident since 1988. Her long nonprofit career has focused primarily on moving families out of poverty. After working five years at Raphael House, a shelter for homeless families, Karen started her own nonprofit called Women In Action to fill a gap in job preparedness training at welfare-to-work programs. Women In Action activities taught teamwork and communication skills to women moving from welfare to work, and the activities also built confidence and challenged women to overcome self-defeating beliefs. She also provided leadership as the Executive Director of Healing Waters, a nonprofit that provides wilderness adventures to men, women, and children affected by HIV and AIDS. In addition to her direct service work, Karen has worked as a consultant to executive directors and small nonprofit organizations on program development, leadership, operations, grant writing, and fundraising. She joined RTSF in June 2009 and is thrilled to be here!

Rachel Fontenot, Development Manager

Rachel Fontenot, Development ManagerA recent Florida transplant, Rachel brings 20 years of experience managing and directing publicly funded programs supporting seniors and disabled adults in their homes. During her tenure with the Area Agency on Aging, Rachel saw a gap in the availability of affordable and trustworthy home modification and universal design providers in the community. In response, she and her spouse developed a plan and opened their own general contracting firm serving low income seniors and individuals with disabilities through government and private contracts. Her company’s other specialty of Lead-based paint abatement brought her family to California where she immediately began volunteering with home bound seniors and local non-profits. Rachel is “over the moon” to be able to combine her two passions in her position with RTSF. When she is not thinking about how RTSF can expand its impact on San Francisco neighborhoods, Rachel can be spotted completing her Executive Masters in Public Administration at Golden Gate University or enjoying the cool weather with her spouse and their 11 year old daughter.

Jen Leshnower, Rebuilding Days Program Manager

Jen Leshnower

Jennifer O. Leshnower recently relocated to the Bay Area from Washington, DC and is thrilled to continue her work in community building through hands on engagement and volunteerism. Prior to joining the RTSF team, Jen was a Project & Outreach Manager with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. By working alongside parents, neighbors, and youth leaders, Jen facilitated both the planning and playspace construction process for over 30 communities, nationwide. She truly enjoys helping others achieve their big picture goals, while also navigating the important details to see programs through from idea to completion. Jen is an avid traveler, just completing her first solo trip through parts of South East Asia, including a two week project volunteering at the Elephant Valley Project in the Mondulkiri Region of Cambodia. She grew up in Upstate New York; attending William Smith College and Columbia University for undergrad and graduate school, respectively. She brings her love for organization, travel, and playful energy to her new post as National Rebuilding Day Program Manager.

 Alex Colt, Safe at Home Program Manager

Alex Colt, Program ManagerAlex Colt was born and raised in New York City and moved to the bay area with his wife 20 years ago. Alex is a Rebuilding Together veteran, having volunteered with RT Oakland for almost ten years, as a job captain and certified lead abatement supervisor. Before joining the RTSF staff, Alex worked as the Construction Training Manager at an organization that provides job training to at risk youth, giving them hands on job experience to help them enter the workforce. Alex has also worked for a contractor and is a licensed general contractor himself. He has a daughter in college, a son in high school, and is the proud owner of 5 cats. When not in the office Alex likes to paint, cook, and perform with his improv group at Oakland’s Pan Theater.

Brenna Hull, Outreach Manager

brennaBrenna Hull has been living and working in the Bay Area since 2012. Prior to joining RTSF staff, her non-profit career has focused on supporting women, children, and families. She lived and worked in Ecuador for a year supporting sustainable development projects and ethical tourism. She worked as a project and outreach manager for a non-profit that facilitates volunteer built playgrounds throughout North America. Now, settled in the Bay Area she appreciates the opportunity to connect with individuals, local neighborhoods, and city government. In whatever she does, she is committed to helping individuals, non-profits and communities set and achieve their goals. Outside of work, Brenna loves to backpack near rivers, read in hammocks, and force home-cooked food on her friends.

 

  • "I am still admiring the work your staff did for us. I am still grateful." Mrs. C

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