Board & Staff
Meet the board and staff of the National AIDS Memorial Grove!
Board of Directors
Mike Shriver, Chair
Mike joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 2009 and serves on the Fund Development committee and co-chairs the Board Governance committee. Additionally, he served as co-chair of World AIDS Day in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Mike has been involved in HIV/AIDS advocacy, activism, program development, organizational development and public policy efforts for more than 25 years. His efforts have been at the local, statewide, national and international levels and have encompassed issues such as HIV+ primary prevention efforts, overall HIV prevention efforts, substance use/abuse interventions, HIV/AIDS care, community organizing and mobilization as well as HIV research.
Mike’s current affiliations in addition to the Grove include being an honorary trustee of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), a Board Member of the Castro Country Club as well as a Board Member of NorCal CMA. His past Board affiliations include amfAR, HIV Prevention Project, the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center, the Tenderloin AIDS Network and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. He has served as Health Commissioner for the City and County of San Francisco as well as Special Advisor to the Mayor on AIDS/HIV Policy, as well as served on the San Francisco Ryan White CARE Council (including being co-chair). For several years he was the Executive Director of Mobilization Against AIDS, California’s oldest HIV/AIDS advocacy organization as well as Deputy Director of Policy at the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA) in Washington, DC.
“I serve on the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove because I believe we have a responsibility to never forget what the epidemic was like, never forget those we lost and never forget how the community came together to become heroes in the most ordinary of ways to care for those affected and infected with HIV.”
Tom Raffin, Vice Chair
Tom joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 2015 and serves on the site and development committees. He co-chaired the “Light in the Grove” event in 2014. He is currently a senior partner and co-founder (2001) of the healthcare private equity firm Telegraph Hill Partners in San Francisco and worked closely with LDR Spine, PneumRx, AngioScore, Freedom Innovations, Vidacare and Estech. In 1999 he joined the Board of NewLink Genetics (NASDAQ: NLNK) a cancer immunotherapy and vaccine (Ebola) company and is currently the Lead Director. In 1996 he co-founded the biotech company Rigel Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RIGL).
After completing medical school at Stanford University, Tom began his medical career as an internal medicine resident at the Brigham & Women’s, a Harvard teaching hospital in Boston. He returned to Stanford for Fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine. Tom spent 28 years on the faculty at Stanford University Medical School as the Colleen and Robert Haas Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Ethics. He was Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine; and, co-founded and directed the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics. Tom was an active clinician, teacher and investigator. He was the Associate Director of the Intensive Care Units. He had over 300 publications and co-authored the book Intensive Care: Facing the Critical Choices. In 1982 Tom founded the Stanford University Asia-Medical Fund to bring outstanding fellows from the Pacific Rim to be trained in research at Stanford for at least one year, and to then return to their home institutions (75 fellows as of 2014). In 2014 Tom was presented with the Stanford Medical School Alumni of the Year Award.
“I am honored to be involved with the National AIDS Memorial Grove, a remarkable, spiritual, life celebrating, and beautiful part of Golden Gate Park, where some of my past loving friends now reside in the Circle of Friends. The Grove reminds me of caring for patients with AIDS at Stanford, writing about end of life decision-making in AIDS patients, and thinking about future approaches to enhance education and meaning.”
Ed Lamberger, Secretary
Ed joined the Board of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Spring 2016.
Originally from Oregon, Ed is a proud long-time San Francisco resident who has lived in Noe Valley and the Castro since the 1980’s.
Professionally, Ed comes to the Board with a strong background in Human Resources and non-profit agency support. He served as a VP of HR for Macy*s department stores before retiring from his retail career and transitioning to his new role as the Chief Human Resources Officer for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Ed’s non-profit experience includes volunteer work for a number of local SF organizations. His primary focus for many years has been Project Open Hand, where he served as both a Board member and Board Chair for that organization.
In addition to Open Hand, Ed provides support to a number of other organizations focused on health and human services.
“I have joined the National AIDS Memorial Grove to support this most important work. The AIDS epidemic has been a national tragedy and, to this day, continues to be an international issue. We love and respect the memory of those who have passed, and have a responsibility to educate those with us now and those that will follow so that the lessons learned transform and shape the future. I serve with honor and gratitude for my ability to do so.”
Blake Spears, Treasurer
Blake joined the Board of Directors in early 2015.
Although born and raised in Virginia, Blake has lived in the SF area for over 40 years. His professional experience includes 25 years as a market research consultant to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries for his own firm, InSight Healthcare Consulting. His career also includes working for the US Environmental Protection Agency.
He brings over 20 years of non-profit board experience, 14 of which have been with Matri Compassionate Care, an HIV hospice in San Francisco. He also sits on the Oakland City Commission on Aging, the board of the HIV Story Project and the board of The Second Opinion (free second opinions for cancer patients). His background includes degrees in chemical engineering and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 2013 he married Lanz Lowen, his partner of 39 years.
“I wanted to join the Board of the NAMG because it represents a living memorial to so many who have passed, and I want to see that their memories are sustained. I also feel that the Grove represents an excellent chance to provide education and HIV awareness for current and future generations.”
Dan joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 2014 and serves on the Communications and Governance Committees. Bernal’s involvement with the Grove started as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who led the passage of legislation designating the Grove as a National Memorial.
Dan worked at the White House and the U.S. Department of Education under President Clinton. He served as board president of AIDS & Breast Cancer Emergency Funds, and Board Member of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Bernal earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Northeastern University, and was awarded a David Bohnett Fellowship for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program. He is a veteran rider and top fundraiser in AIDS/LifeCycle.
“The Grove was established in the midst of the AIDS crisis, standing apart from other National Memorials that commemorate historical events. Today, the Grove honors those whose lives were cut tragically short, their loved ones and caregivers, as well as those have joined the fight against HIV/AIDS. Once the epidemic is history, the Grove will have the solemn responsibility to tell the story of HIV/AIDS and those it affected for generations to come.”
Eric C. Ciasullo
Eric joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 2011, and serves on the communications and governance committees. In addition, he is the project lead for the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship program.
Eric has been an AIDS activist and youth advocate for more than 25 years, working alongside and on behalf of homeless, queer and HIV positive youth as a mentor, counselor, program director and public health administrator focused on housing, mental health, and youth leadership development programs. In addition, while at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Eric directed a project maximizing employment and rehabilitation opportunities for people with HIV/AIDS entering/re-entering the workforce in the late ’90s and early ’00s.
Eric has been actively involved in service within the non-profit and public sectors since arriving in the Bay Area in 1989. He has held leadership positions on the San Francisco Delinquency Prevention Commission, the California State Rehabilitation Council, various HIV/AIDS advisory bodies, and the boards of directors of organizations such as STOP AIDS, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and the Lavender Youth and Recreation Center (LYRIC). Eric was a co-founder of the National Working Positive Coalition, and served as president of the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA). He holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.
“I serve on the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove because I believe that the AIDS pandemic was a profound and avoidable tragedy that must never be repeated. I want my friends remembered, and our history of everyday heroism told to future generations.”
Todd joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in June 2015, and serves on the site and development committees. Todd first learned about the Grove a few years ago when he was attending a luncheon in the Grove, and has volunteered on Saturday’s helping to maintain the grounds.
Originally from Wisconsin, Todd holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his professional career, he is a Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch, a Bank of America Corporation, where he has worked for over 20 years. Todd helps clients tailor wealth management strategies to fit each of his client’s needs and goals.
Todd has made San Francisco his home since 1996, and supports his community through non-profit organizations. He has previously served on the founding board of Groundwork Opportunities in San Francisco. Todd also helps to support several other charities.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Grove’s Board of Directors, as I believe we have an important story to share. The Grove is a heartfelt way to commemorate our brothers and sisters that have been lost to the AIDS epidemic.”
Richard joined the Board of Directors in 2013 and serves on the finance committee and the site committee.
Richard practiced corporate law in San Francisco and New York before leaving the practice to develop a destination resort in Southern California. That was a labor of love that lasted 11 years until he sold the business and returned to the Bay Area. Since then he has obtained a Masters in Accounting and currently is an audit manager with a public accounting firm in San Francisco where he splits his practice between non-profit and for-profit clients. Richard also holds a BA from Brown University and a JD from the University of San Francisco.
Richard has been active in LGBT advocacy and AIDS fundraising for over 20 years. He currently also serves as the President of the Board of the Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation, which has made grants to over 30 LGBT nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area.
“When I think of the Grove, I see it as both a loving testament to those we have lost and as a vibrant meeting place to celebrate all that we learned about our community as it met the crisis. We have an obligation to pass that powerful lesson to the next generation. I can think of nothing that would make the two partners that I lost to AIDS more proud than a place like this where they can be remembered while life is being celebrated.”
Seth joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 2013 and serves as co-chair on the volunteer committee. Additionally, he served at work day volunteer since 2006.
Seth discovered the Grove through Hands On Bay Area. Another community service organization that he has been a project leader since 2005. Seth’s connection to the AIDS pandemic is even more personal. His dad’s name, Wayne Hammac, was inscribed in the Circle of Friends after he passed away in 2004. Seth brings the perspective to the Board of someone whose life was touched by a parent who lived for 17 years with HIV.
When he isn’t pulling weeds or blackberries in the Grove, Seth can be found working a day job in sales in the technology and advertising space. He has worked for several start-ups and larger companies like Microsoft & Google.
“I discovered the Grove through my Dad’s name being inscribed in the Circle of Friends. I found an amazing community that is committed to helping people heal and grow through understanding. I am honored to help the Grove transform itself to meet the changing face of the AIDS Epidemic.”
Carlin Paige Holden
Carlin joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 2012 and serves on the communications and site committees, co-chairing the latter. She has been a workday volunteer since 1993, worked on the waterfall restoration project, and on the committee for the first Light in the Grove.
Before retirement, Carlin’s career ranged from teaching sociology at Oregon State University to running her own garden maintenance business in San Francisco.
In the late 1980s, Carlin volunteered with Shanti Project. In the early 1990s she volunteered with The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, most notably as Emotional Support Volunteer Coordinator for the 1993 display in Washington D.C. She is currently active with several public gardening and improvement projects and serves as treasurer of the Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association.
“I serve on the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove because I have been part of the transformation of the site from derelict eyesore to beautiful oasis. I want to bring the depth of that connection to the tasks of how we will step more fully into our national status and accomplish our mission of ‘making the story known to future generations.’”
Stephen joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 2012 and serves as Board of Directors co-chair, fund development committee chair, and member of the executive committee.
Stephen is Associate Director, Development – Corporate Accounts at Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and former Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Corporate Affairs and the Community Development Bank at Bank of America.
Stephen is well regarded for his commitment to community. In addition to the National AIDS Memorial Grove, he previously served as Board of Directors co-chair of the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, and the Board of Directors of LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center), and the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. He was named Employer Leadership Council chair of the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, and served as a member of the Citizens’ Committee on Community Development for the SF Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
“I serve on the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove because the Grove is a gift that provides a place of solace in times of distress and sadness, as well as a place to remember the lives of those we miss, those we love, and those who survive.”
Parris is a PBS Emmy Nominated Actress/Singer, an Author and Film Producer. As a professional singer and recording artist, she toured Europe and Asia performing for dignitaries, and at special events for groups and organizations including the HRC in Washington, DC. Parris has received numerous awards including a Governor’s Proclamation for producing and directing shows.
Majoring in Intermedia and Literary Arts for Early Childhood Education, she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mills College in Oakland California and currently enrolled in Goddard College’s MFA Program for Interdisciplinary Arts. Parris has served numerous years as a board member for the Maryland and Nevada chapters of Women in Film. She first became involved with the HIV/AIDS Community as a special guest performer debuting the song “Daughter of God,” written by the late award-winning playwright and lyricist Howard Ashman who died of AIDS in 1991. The tribute to Howard, which was also a fundraiser for the Baltimore, MD AIDS Organization “HERO,” introduced Parris to the close-knit LBGTQ Community, and gave her an overall awareness of the disease. Her participation and passion grew as she began losing many of her close friends within the Performing Arts Community.
The National AIDS Memorial Grove has given her like many others the opportunity to keep alive the memories of those whom she loved so dearly and lost during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Her mission is to bring awareness through the Arts so that an AIDS epidemic will never have the opportunity to resurface ever again.
Bob joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in January 2009 and serves on the Site and Volunteer Workday Committees. This is his second term as a Board Member and he is also a very important part in the implementation of the popular ‘Light in the Grove’ event held annual prior to World AIDS Day.
Bob has a BA degree in Economics from the University of California, Davis. His professional career includes time as a realtor, stock broker, and as the director of marketing at a financial services company. Today he helps manage a family business.
Although, an eager volunteer and always willing to do whatever needed to be done at various organizations, this is Bob’s first time in a leadership position of a non-profit/volunteer organization.
“I first came to the Grove as a workday volunteer and like so many others felt the spirit of all those that came before. I am drawn to the place and honored to be a part of it. I serve because I can; I serve for those who cannot.”
Kory joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 2015. After his first experience in 2012 volunteering at the Light in the Grove fundraising event, and subsequently celebrating World AIDS Day, he wanted to be more involved in the National AIDS Memorial Grove. He has since served the National AIDS Memorial Grove by documenting the monthly workdays photographically for use in the monthly newsletter.
Originally from the Midwest, Kory got his BFA in Dance Performance from Oklahoma City University and has traveled the world, performing in New York, the Mediterranean, and a Las Vegas Revue. He settled in San Francisco 7 years ago. Currently he volunteers for various organizations specializing in addiction recovery. He has been Chair of Hospitality for the Finding Fellowship retreat, worked on various fundraisers for the Castro Country Club, and is also currently Co-Chair of the Positively Fabulous Retreat, celebrating those who are both recovering from addiction and afflicted by AIDS.
Kory is excited to be joining such a distinguished and dynamic organization of people, hoping that he can lend a fresh and relevant voice to the ongoing mission of the National AIDS Memorial Grove.
“I joined the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove because I think it is important to remember the epidemic of HIV/AIDS as expressed through the National AIDS Memorial Grove so that when it is cured the stories of those that died and those that suffered with them can be learned from and honored by generations to come.”
Bacilio is a student at the Golden Gate University (GGU) School of Law and the Edward S. Ageno School of Business where he is pursuing a JD/MBA as part of the GGU Honors Lawyering Program.
Bacilio earned his Bachelor of Arts in Modern Dance from Oberlin College and his Master of Science from Pratt Institute’s School of Library and Information Science.
In addition to being a Grove board member, Bacilio proudly serves on the board of Folsom Street Events. Bacilio has previously been a PracticePro Diversity Scholar, a National Lawyers Guild (NLG) W. Haywood Burns Memorial Fellow for Social and Economic Justice, the 2013 NLG Legal Worker of the Year, a Law & Technology Fellow for the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York, and a Nathan R. Sobel Law Library Fellow for the Kings County (Brooklyn) Supreme Court.
In his spare time, Bacilio is a flanker for the San Francisco Fog Rugby Football Club and is a union actor with both the Actors’ Equity Association (stage) and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (film/TV/radio).
“The spiritual air of Light in the Grove is what called me to join the board; after seeing so many people gathered there to remember those they love, I knew that I had to join those doing the good work of preserving this sanctified space for future generations.”
Originally from a small town in western Maryland, Bryan has relocated many times, calling Seattle, Portland, Boston, and Palm Springs home. He returned to his beloved city of San Francisco for a third time in 2011.
Having earned a Master of Science degree in Marketing Communication & Advertising from Boston University, Bryan’s professional career has focused on digital brand strategy and marketing solutions for globally recognized companies spanning software and technology, financial services, pharmaceutical, real estate, and consumer product sectors. He’s currently with the Customer Experience team within Wells Fargo Virtual Channels, supporting internal sales and marketing partners in creating compelling and intuitive digital experiences for current and prospective Wells Fargo customers.
Bryan has volunteered for a diverse group of organizations including AIDS Emergency Fund & Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, Gay For Good, GRGR/West, PAWS, The Taproot Foundation, Desert Association for Retarded Citizens, Lambert House Seattle, Greater Boston Special Olympics, and AIDS Action Committee.
“The Grove, to me, tells a story. It’s a story not just about a horrific crisis that took so many precious lives. The story is also one of great courage and strength of character. It’s a story about our overwhelming capacity to love and comfort one another. I serve on the Board in order to share that story—all facets of the story—with my communities both locally and nationally.”
Ning Zhou joined the Board of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 2016. Ning is a resident physician in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He completed medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, where he explored his interests in global health. He traveled to Hyderabad, India, to study social networks and HIV prevention in men who have sex with men (MSM). In addition, he studied depression in medical students in China, and helped culturally adapt an internet-based depression prevention intervention for adolescents in Hong Kong.
Ning is interested in working with LGBT individuals, and is pursuing an Area of Distinction in LGBT Mental Health. He is fortunate to work with the LGBT community in several different settings, including Alliance Health Project, a community-based mental health clinic for LGBT and HIV-positive individuals. He also practices integrated care as a psychiatrist in the HIV clinic at UCSF 360 Wellness Center. He previously worked on the LGBT/HIV-focus team on the inpatient psychiatric unit at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG). In his free time, he is studying the impact of depression and loneliness in MSM in China. Moreover, he enjoys teaching and mentoring other residents and medical students. He hopes to pursue further specialty training in child and adolescent psychiatry and work with LGBT youth in the future. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, meditation, dancing, and photography.
“The AIDS Memorial Grove is a symbol of hope, a reminder to our community that there are no insurmountable obstacles if we face them together. I’m honored to join the Board, and hope to help preserve the inspiring stories of those who came before as well as teach the next generation about resiliency.”
John Cunningham, Executive Director
John joined the National AIDS Memorial Grove as Executive Director in 2009. John is a fifth generation Californian, having grown up in the East Bay before relocating to New England at the age of seven. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, he received a degree in political science and organizational behavior. John presently resides in Oakland with his husband Joel and their dog Billie.
John’s professional career has spanned over 25 years working for several Fortune 500 companies holding management positions in human resources, risk management and organizational development. In 1993 he founded and served as president of Golden Gate Granite Group, focusing on human capitol management and effectiveness. In 2004 he realigned his career, merging his passion for community activism with his relationship development skills, joining the non-profit Positive Resource Center as Director of Development. John has been the Executive Director of the National AIDS Memorial Grove since April of 2009.
John has held numerous non-profit board level positions, having served as President of the Castro Community Business Alliance, Board Chair of the New Hampshire AIDS Foundation, Vice President of Folsom Street Events, and Board Member of Positive Resource Center. John’s passion for improving his own quality of life through service to his community has long been his guiding principle.
“I came to the Grove because I feel strongly that the American story of the AIDS epidemic must be told and the National AIDS Memorial Grove should be the one to tell it.”
Joe Garrett, Deputy Director
Joe brings a wealth of experience in the philanthropic community to the National AIDS Memorial Grove. He has led organizations as Board Chairman, major donor, and fundraiser for many years.
Joe has been intimately involved with the AIDS pandemic since the 1980s. He served on the Board of the Contra Costa AIDS project when AZT was the principal line of defense against the disease. As Board Chairman at Project Inform, he received the organization’s Fundraiser Activist award, which was created to honor his work. He was an angel donor and board member at AIDS Relief Fund China, and traveled extensively in rural Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, helping perform due diligence on grassroots organizations seeking funding. And as Board Chairman at Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, he helped grow the organization to address the pandemic in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa simultaneously.
Joe’s for-profit work experience includes Director, Vice President and General Counsel of the European Telecom Companies, Counsel at Great Western Bank, and Associate at McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen. He is a member of the California State Bar, holds a J.D. from the University of San Francisco, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Joe brings a deep passion, love and commitment to our work.
“The National AIDS Memorial Grove since its founding has been a place of remembrance for all those who died of AIDS, and of remembrance, healing and hope for all those affected by the disease. It serves both as a memorial, and a rallying point, for those dedicated to ensuring that the arc of justice bends away from fear, stigma and discrimination and towards equal access, renewal and hope for a more just world. I am humbled and honored to be working with John and this extraordinary team, as we continue to preserve the Grove for all future generations, and implement the vision of the Board and Staff to expand the reach and scope of our work on the national and international stage.”
Steve Sagaser, Development Manager
Steve became a member of the National AIDS Memorial Grove staff in June of 2009, serving in the capacity of operations and development support, and manager of the Grove’s volunteer programs and opportunities. Prior to becoming a member of Grove staff, Steve served as development director and volunteer coordinator at Under One Roof, a twenty-three year San Francisco non-profit gift shop that raises money for AIDS service organizations in the Bay Area.
Steve graduated with a degree in legal studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991, and was paralegal to general counsel of a national IT solutions company for several years prior to becoming involved in the non-profit sector. Steve lives in San Francisco with his partner of nine years, Marcel Calma.
“I lost my late partner Sergio Anguiano to AIDS in 1993. Sergio was just shy of his twenty-second birthday when he died, and is the most courageous person I’ve ever known. My commitment to the mission of the Grove is inspired largely by my dedication to Sergio, who is memorialized at the Grove, surrounded by life, beauty and the very best in humanity. Through my work, I hope to ensure that that the story of AIDS and the lessons learned never be forgotten.”
Matt Kennedy, Operations Associate
Matt joined the National AIDS Memorial Grove in September, 2014. Having spent the previous 8 years as a print broker alongside his partner, he decided to return to the nonprofit world in hopes of reconnecting with the community found through HIV/AIDS service organizations.
Matt first became involved with the STOP AIDS Project twelve years ago as part of the Positive Force team and worked with passionate members of both staff and the community to create impactful programming and creative ways to engage those living with HIV/AIDS. Finding employment with the Grove helped to rekindle that drive and Matt remains grateful for the opportunity to participate as part of the NAMG administrative team.