Chamber Staff, from left to right: Jesse Taylor-Vermont, Frontdesk Associate; Laurie Vermont, SRLI Coordinator; Joanne Webster, President & CEO; Emily Maloney, Marketing & Program Manager; Jeanne Friedel, Event Consultant; Leonard Weingarten, Director of Business Development; Sarah Franz, Bookkeeper; Evan Williams, Management Strategy Analyst
President and CEO
Phone ext. 101
Born and raised in Massachusetts. Lived in California since 1985.
Joanne was appointed President and CEO and took office on May 1, 2014. Prior to her appointment, Joanne was the Director of Marketing and Community Promotion for three years. Since 2011 she has involved the Chamber is a wide variety of activities including Economic Vitality, Business Retention and Expansion, Education and Workforce Readiness, Member Support, Marketing and Communications, Social Media, Signature Events and Special Programs, Community Relations and Civic Engagement. Over the past two years, Joanne has helped the Chamber build meaningful and engaging partnerships with other business organizations including the Business Improvement District, the Marin Economic Forum, the City of San Rafael and the Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau.
She has over 20 years experience in small business as the sole proprietor of Double Rainbow Cafe, San Rafael and 10 years experience in downtown business management as the former Director of the San Rafael Business Improvement District.
Joanne has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College; majoring in math and computer science. Joanne worked as a software programmer for Design Options in Boston, MA before moving to California in 1985 to open her first small business. She worked for Double Rainbow Gourmet Inc. as Franchise Marketing Director from 1989-1990.
Joanne is a current member of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, Western Association of Commerce Executives, the San Rafael Downtown Streets Team Business Advisory Council and the membership chair of the Marin Forum. She is a graduate of the San Rafael Leadership Institute 2011-2012 and served as a Board member of the Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau from 2006-2009 and is a past Board member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the City of San Rafael. For over 20 years Joanne has been an active member of the San Rafael and Marin business community, winning Small Business of the Year and the Spirit of Marin Award in 1998 and 2008.
Director of Business Development
Phone ext. 108
Leonard Weingarten has a rich track record in developing, marketing and managing successful business, nonprofit and civic partnerships, high profile events and economic and workforce development programs.
Prior to coming to the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce in 2010, Leonard was a Business Advisor with the Small Business Development Center, a national federally funded program that provides free and low cost services to current and future business owners. He directed various Marin and Sonoma Counties marketing activities and managed a two county youth entrepreneurial program that exceeded its goal by more than 700%.
At Enterprise for High School Students, a San Francisco youth employment nonprofit, Leonard created a new department spearheading the agency's partnerships with the business sector. During his six year tenure, Enterprise was nationally honored by the United States Department of Labor.
Earlier in his career, some of his sports and entertainment achievements included managing marketing and public relations projects for two Summer Olympic Games, working with the Oakland Raiders and on fund raisers featuring Ray Charles. Leonard also designed a sports marketing/event management course which he taught at U.C. Berkeley for five years to an international audience.
Leonard has a B.A. from California State University, Chico and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of San Francisco. A graduate of the San Rafael Leadership Institute and Leadership San Francisco, Leonard is involved with the Marin Economic Forum and serves on the Advisory Council for the Barowsky School of Business at Dominican University of California, Renaissance Center Marin and Working Solutions.
Emily is from Albany, New York and relocated to Marin in 2011. She was hired by the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce as Administrative Assistant in August 2011. She is happy to join the staff at the Chamber and looks forward to helping our members.
Emily has previously worked at a language translation company and for two New York State agencies. She received a Bachelor's Degree in History from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Emily enjoys hiking, reading and playing the violin.
Phone ext. 102
Jesse was born and raised in the North Bay Area and was hired in June 2014 as a Frontdesk Associate with the Chamber. He has always been keen on his involvement with his community in a number of ways including volunteering in Youth In Art’s Italian Street Painting Festival and Street Painting Marin, interning with California Assemblymember Marc Levine and most recently joining San Rafael Evening Rotary.
Prior to coming to the Chamber, Jesse attended the College of Marin while simultaneously working at San Rafael’s own Roots of Peace. Most recently, he graduated from The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA with a B.A. in Politics and Government. Throughout his college career he founded, and presided over the schools Model United Nations Club which engaged students in international affairs, debate, and leadership training with students from the country’s top universities. Jesse enjoys hiking in Marin’s open space, skiing, cinema, and exploring new cuisines while cooking and adventuring to new restaurants.
Phone ext. 103
Born and raised here in the Bay Area, Evan was hired by the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce in September 2013 as an Intern. Evan recently graduated from Sonoma State University in December 2013, where he earned a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Business Administration, both with Honors. He is also a member of two National Honors Societies for Business & Economics and Leadership.
Prior to coming aboard at the Chamber, Evan leveraged his coursework to gain experience in marketing, project and event management, and economic analysis for a variety of companies and non-profit NGO's across different industries. These opportunities have given him a robust background in the culture of business, and have served to fuel his deep interest in all facets of business, as well as the increasingly important field of economics. Additionally, Evan took a year off from his studies to work for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Evan lives in Rohnert Park where he enjoys a healthy and active lifestyle replete with tennis, wine tasting, mountain biking, golfing, and volunteer work. With his other free time, Evan likes to read up on law & the judicial system, as well as current issues in Economics and the environment. Evan is also an avid San Francisco 49ers and Oakland A’s fan.
Our Independent Contractors
San Rafael Leadership Institute Coordinator
As a long time resident of San Anselmo, and over ten years working events in San Rafael, Laurie brings a wide range of event production experience managing all phases of event production for a large number of organizations.
Among many activities, Laurie works as an independent contractor managing the San Rafael Chamber’s Leadership Institute.
Laurie was also the Director of the Youth in Arts Italian Street Painting Festival for the past 3 years. This Festival is one of the largest chalk art festivals in the world attracting 60,000 visitors to the City of San Rafael each year.
For seven years prior to that, she was events coordinator for the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce, where she was responsible for approximately 50 business, social and networking events each year, including the business showcase, business lunches and breakfasts, mixers, food and wine events, economic conferences, speaking engagements, and the Leadership Institute.
Laurie also spent eight years as a Production Manager/Coordinator for Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects company founded by filmmaker George Lucas, where she worked on such films as The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Cocoon, Raiders of the Lost Arc, E.T. and more.
Laurie is most proud of her son Jesse, and enjoys home improvement projects, gardening, cooking, friendships and of course, going to local events and festivals.
Membership Retention Specialist
Phone: 818 416-6078
Tinalyn was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Woodland Hills, California.
Tinalyn has 25+ years of professional Chamber experience in all facets of operations and administrative management, with strong membership building, community involvement and retention skills, as well as sponsorship programs. Tinalyn is a graduate from the US Chamber Institute of Organizational Management and has vast experience in membership Sales. Tina has won national membership sales awards from NAMD.
She spends time with her nieces, nephews, brothers, father and friends. Tina loves to cook, have family and friends over, golf, wine taste, work out and play with her kittens.
HEAR WHAT MEMBERS ARE SAYING-
"Being a part of the San Rafael Chamber has already helped to galvanize support for a thriving arts hub downtown. I'm excited to see what emerges as local arts and business organizations continue to work together to create jobs and invigorate community engagement."
Sara Pearson, Mountain Play