Get to Know Our Ambassadors
Leasing and Investment Sales/Commercial Real Estate
HL Commercial Real Estate
For the past seven years Mark has closed over 50 transactions annually. He is a third generation real estate investor. His grandmother, Ava, was a general contractor in Los Angeles. In the 1950s, she bought buildings where the land in the path of freeways was taken by eminent domain, then moved the structures to vacant lots she purchased.
Mark started his real estate career leasing Multi-Family and Industrial properties in Marin and Sonoma Counties. He then worked as an associate with Bradley Commercial in San Rafael and KW Commercial in Oakland.
Mark sets himself apart from other agents with his marketing by leveraging social media (Yelp, Facebook and Craigslist), and saves time with digital document signatures and cloud technologies.
Mark is well known throughout the Bay Area for his continued involvement in various local Chambers of Commerce and community networking groups and organizations. Mark’s prior career was in Commercial Photography for Architecture, Annual Reports, Packaging, Billboards and Magazine Advertising.
Where are you from and what brought you to Marin:
Mark and his family have owned the same home in Tiburon since 1975. When Mark isnt riding his road bike he is is hiking Mt. Tam or Ring Mtn.
Mark is a backcountry snowboarder. With his beacon, probe and shovel he explores South Lake Tahoe over fifty days a year.
What Makes Marin Unique:
Marin is a Peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides and bordered by Sonoma County on the north. The majority, over 55% is protected by Parks and Open space (more than any other Bay Area county). This makes for some of the best outdoor recreation.
US Bancorp Wealth Management
Wealth Management Advisor
Experience: Reed has been working in financial services for over 6 years. He got his start working for a top advisor in Southern California during his college years. He started out working as a typical intern, but built up to working just about full time before branching out on his own. Reed is now in his 5th year of serving his clients. He loves to problem solve, which gets him excited about creating financial plans for his clients
Accomplishments/Community Service: Reed is currently serving as the Chair of the Ambassador Committee for the San Rafael Chamber. He’s also involved as a board member with Rotacare in San Rafael.
Where are you from and what brought you to Marin: My wife went to college in San Francisco. After graduation we decided to settle in the Bay Area, but weren’t sure where we’d end up. All it took was one drive from San Francisco to Novato to realize that we wanted to make Marin County our home.
Personal Information: Reed and his wife live in Novato with their dog Tex. They recently became licensed Foster parents through Marin County. Reed enjoys outdoor activies, being involved in sports, and cooking.
What makes Marin unique: What makes Marin unique is that we are centrally located and have access to places like San Francisco, Wine County, Silicon Valley, etc. Yet we still feel like we live off the beaten path from everywhere else.
Welcome Home Funding - An Affiliate of CMG Financial
Senior Loan Advisor
For nearly 40 years, Kevin has made his career in finance. He concentrated on home mortgage financing starting in 2001. Since that time, He has helped countless families and individuals in San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, and the greater Bay Area to achieve their homeownership goals. The philosophy he brings to his work is simple: to provide his clients with superior service at all times and give them the data necessary to make a wise decision.
Earlier in his professional life, Kevin founded and financed companies in marinas, wind energy, and gas-electricity production and distribution. This experience has given him the expertise needed to manage complex financial situations. He provides residential, commercial, business, private-money and reverse mortgage financing.
Originally from New York, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University.
Northern California has been his home for over 30 years, and he now lives in San Rafael. Kevin enjoys many outdoor activities in the Bay Area including golf, swimming, diving, biking and running. He treasures time spent with his two daughters and their families—four grandchildren.
CANTY REAL ESTATE GROUP INC
369B Third Street #172
San Rafael, CA 94901
Term: 2020 (1)
Business Name: CANTY REAL ESTATE GROUP INC
Professional Duties: Sale, lease and manage of residential real estate.
Professional Experience: For 30+ years, Jessica, local, raised in Marin, has sold, leased, managed, planned, developed, designed, and constructed, high-end residential and multi-family properties throughout Marin and Sonoma.
Jessica’s business model is unique as a One-Stop-Shop.
- Sales: Sold over $21 million dollars in residential and multi-family apartment buildings.
- Property Management: Leases and Manages single & multi-family properties in Marin/Sonoma.
- Design-Build Construction: Directs her team of 3 local General Contractors & an Architect, to design, remodel or expand residential, multi-family, or commercial properties, whether for resale, rental, or purely aesthetic reasons.
- Construction Project Management services: Resolves City or County Code violations, cleans up deteriorated properties & renovates rentals for quick turn-around.
- Land Use Planning services: Submits and follows up on 1) zoning change applications to Add a 2nd Unit to your property; 2) Additions or remodeling Construction Permit submittals; 3) Design-Review applications; 4) Coordination of applications/submittals to develop vacant land; 5) Research/Write Environmental Impact Reports.
Accomplishments/Community Service: Watching Marin change over the years from the carefree days of the 60’s and 70’s, prompted Jessica to get involved in her local community. Jessica is an officer at the Elks Club and co-Vice President of Membership for MRWF.
Other Volunteer Activities: Member of the Soroptimists.
Chamber of Commerce Role (Director, Committee work, etc.): Ambassador
Personal Information: Pre-Med, Bachelors Art History from Dominican, Masters Information Science & Juris Doctorate from San Francisco Law School. After college, Jessica ran her architect father’s 50-man architectural and interior design firm’s offices in San Francisco for 10 years. She also was a Purser in the Merchant Marines; Office Manager/Bookkeeper for an international VOIP software firm; Land Use Planner for an engineering firm; Researcher/Developer of Environmental Impact Reports; and Corporate Event Planner. Jessica and her husband have remodeled and built many homes in Marin from the ground-up for themselves, as well as clients. Her two boys were raised in Marin and her husband is a licensed Marin General Contractor of 35+ years.
JT Executive Protection
President & CEO
Troy worked 30+ years for the City & County of San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center before retiring August 2018. The positions he held were Counselor, Supervisor, Training Officer, and Hearing Officer. He started a security company, JT Executive Protection, in January 2000. His company continues to provide security within the 9 Bay Area Counties. He is a member of several business organizations.
Troy is a graduate of Novato High School, College of Marin, San Jose State University, and Oakland College of Law. He coached Sausalito Little League for 8 years, and won a County Championship. As a member of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce, he has been on The Ambassador Committee since 2016. On December 11, 2019, he was awarded San Rafael Chamber 2019 Ambassador of The Year.
Where are you from and what brought you to Marin?
Born at Marin General Hospital in Kentfield.
Troy lives in Sonoma County. He enjoys working out and attending professional sporting events.
What makes Marin unique in your opinion?
The people. It will always be home to me.
511 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Greenbrae, CA 94904
Title: VP of Mortgage Lending
Professional Duties: Currently VP of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate.It is my goal to assist home buyers and homeowners with all their mortgage financing needs utilizing best in class products, programs and pricing to deliver the results these people require on a daily basis. I am fortunate to be able to assist anyone looking at purchase or refinancing needs throughout the United States so if you have questions on purchasing, refinancing, Home Equity lines of credit – I look forward to an opportunity to be of further service!
Professional Experience: Guaranteed Rate 2018 - Present
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage - 9/2014 - 2018, RPM Mortgage – 3/2009 – 9/2014, Smart Home Loans – 7/2007 – 2/2009, Greenpoint Mortgage – 1/2004 – 6/2007
Accomplishments/Community Service: San Rafael Chamber of Commerce – Ambassador of the Year 2013, SRCC – Chair of Ambassador Committee 2012 – 2013, Women’s Council of Realtors – Marin Chapter-Affiliate of the Year 2011, Women’s Council of Realtors – Treasurer 2012 and 2013
Other Volunteer Activities:St. Anselm’s Parish CYO Board Member – 2010 – present, St. Anselm’s CYO Coach (Basketball and Volleyball), St. Anselm’s Church – Eucharistic Minister
Chamber of Commerce Role (Director, Committee work, etc.): Ambassador Committee, Membership Development, Golf, Business Showcase
Personal Information: Wife – Sharon, Kids – Colin and Erin. Native to Marin – Marin Catholic ’84 graduate, Santa Clara University ‘88
Public Relations Chairperson
San Rafael Elks Lodge 1108
1312 Mission Ave, San Rafael CA 94901
Title: Public Relations Chairperson
Professional Duties: For the past 4+ years, I’ve represented the San Rafael Elks Lodge #1108 at the SR Chamber as their Public Relations Chairperson.
Professional Experience: I’ve had an extensive and varied career and experience in Marketing, Sales and Business Development and have lived overseas in Paris, France for 12+ years. Currently I am working as a freelance Marketing and Business Development Consultant offering services in Marketing Communications & Strategy, Business Development, Content Writing & Development, Marketing Research, Fund Raising, Lead Generation & PR for growing companies and nonprofits.
The SR Elks are a dynamic community based non-profit fraternal organization, that are a part of the National Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. The San Rafael Elks Lodge has over 500 members and is in the beautiful Boyd Mansion on Mission Ave., next to the Falkirk Mansion, and is the site of many community fundraisers, benefit concerts, Scholarship Awards, Drug Awareness meetings & outreach as well as fun social events and a great wedding venue. My role there has been to do media and community outreach, be an event photographer, and place items in the Marin IJ Social Scene and other media, including TV coverage, as well as the Elks National and Regional Magazines. This PR has helped the Lodge to increase membership and event attendance, as well as awareness in the Marin community.
The Covid 19 shutdown has been especially challenging for Elks as with many local businesses and nonprofits. During this period, we have remained active in community outreach with the Elks Kitchen Cares project, where Elk volunteers have been cooking up delicious and nutritious to-go lunches in our kitchen for the St. Vincent de Paul Society free dining room, which had to close normal operations due to Covid 19 restrictions.
We are looking forward to re-opening our beautiful Lodge again as soon as possible for more activities and events, and welcome interest, participation, and new members!
Other Volunteer Activities:
Chamber of Commerce Role (Director, Committee work, etc.): Ambassador
Personal Information:I’m from New York City via Connecticut, and have lived in the SF Bay Area since my early 20’s, except for 12+ years in Europe, mainly in Paris, where I had a start-up and learned to speak fluent French. My ancestry is an American mix, English, French, Irish, German & Welsh. I’m a University of San Francisco alum, with a major in Applied Economics, and have also completed Marketing, Digital Marketing & Social Media Marketing certificates at the SF State University College of Extended Learning.
SVN Delta Group Commercial Real Estate
7599 Redwood Blvd, Suite 214
Novato, CA 94945
Title: Commercial Real Estate Advisor
Professional Duties: Michael serves as an associate advisor for SVN | Delta Group Realty Inc. in Novato, CA. Michael specializes in local leasing representing both landlords and tenants. He also represents clients in the purchasing and selling of commercial space throughout the country with transnational experience in multi-family, industrial and land.
Professional Experience: Prior to joining SVN, Michael spent 20 years in the Bay Area tech world helping clients navigate through large datasets in order to flesh out valuable business insight and analytics. He has worked with many of the Bay Area key industries including banking, mortgage origination, biotech, and software design.
Accomplishments/Community Service: Michael is a member of both the San Rafael and Novato Chambers of Commerce. In addition to that he has been a supporter and volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters for nearly three decades.
Chamber of Commerce Role (Director, Committee work, etc.): Ambassador Committee, RNG member
Personal Information: Michael lives in Greenbrae with his wife Annie, who is a Marriage and Family Therapist and his two daughters, Ella, 20 who attends the University of Colorado at Boulder and Jessie, 18 who attends Chapman University in Los Angeles. Michael enjoys playing music, mountain biking, yoga and reading.
Title: Video Coach / Co-Founder
Professional Duties: Mike is a storyteller, marketing guy and photographer - a skill set that allows him to help his clients shine, online, and use video marketing to grow their businesses.
Professional Experience: Beginning in New York rock and roll radio in the 80’s, Mike’s 25 years of marketing experience includes radio, print, television and has included stints as newbie, top seller, manager, trainer giving him a keen insight of what kind of marketing works best for which kind of businesses seeking specific results.
The most useful skill he’s developed over the years is the ability to discover and help craft a business story, capture it in a simple video and get it seen and shared online.
Accomplishments/Community Service: Mike has served on the Board of Directors of the Community Media Center of Marin since 2011 and produces an irregularly scheduled show about Marin Business and Politics. He hosted a cable television show about Social Media for Business that ran on Comcast in a dozen markets for 3 seasons and runs media training and video performance workshops for non-profits (and an online training academy for business).
Other Volunteer Activities:
Chamber of Commerce Role: Ambassador Committees, RNG member
Personal Information: He lives in Peacock Gap with his wife Vicki Randall, a corporate attorney, and their two dogs; Bree the Labradoodle and Little-Otter-Potter, the scrappy little rescue dog.
"I grew up in Brooklyn, in the 70’s and the San Francisco Bay has always held a legendary spot in my head and was always calling. After moving to San Francisco 15 years ago (first to work at Alice Radio / KCBS and then Monster .com) I still remember the first time I drove across the bridge and into the golden rolling hills of Marin, having lived in 4 states and a 7 cities, and I knew I had found home.”
CFE Certified Financial Educator
The Heartland Institute of Financial Education
Title: Instructor and Financial Professional
Professional Duties: Financial coach.
Professional Experience: John is a passionate leader providing Financial Literacy and Implementation to employees and clientele for over a decade. As a Certified Financial Educator, John teaches classes live in the local community and virtually around the country. He is passionate about making a big difference through the financial planning courses that cover the practical everyday financial concerns of working adults with hands-on behavior enhancing exercises, factual explanations, and straight forward education. As an investment advisor and insurance professional he takes the education to the next level with proper planning and implementation. He is excited about sharing and implementing ideas and strategies to keep our community healthy and wealthy.
John has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has attained the CFEd® designation as a Certified Financial Educator from The Heartland Institute of Financial Education.
Chamber of Commerce Role: John joined the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador and Education Committees
Professional Experience:Working in the print industry since the mid 80's in sales and marketing with businesses large and small of all kinds, food and beverage, hospitality, retail, sports and medical developing packaging such as food and beverage labels, folding cartons for retail and medical, postcards and sales flyers, large retail POS box wraps and signage.
Accomplishments/Community Service:Awarded from the Printing Industries of America "Certificate of Merit" for the launch of the Crystal Geyser Water Company Light Seltzer Beverage Products. Served as member on the Board of Directors Pacific City Chamber of Commerce Oregon Central Coast.
Other Volunteer Activities: Currently acting member of the Redwood High School Alumni Committee advising on planning and event coordination.
Chamber of Commerce Role (Director, Committee work, etc.):Currently serving as Ambassador for the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce for the last three years.
Personal Information: Third generation San Franciscan moved to Marin in 1958 Greenbrae, oldest of four brothers. Enjoy the the outdoors Marin has to offer especially the beach, like golf, skiing, wine tasting with friends, and part time bar tending and catering with Debbie Ghiringhelli Catering.
Sausalito, CA 94965
Title: Director of Marketing & Operations
Professional Duties: Jessica Carstens has built her career successfully growing small businesses through targeted marketing and using technology to improve operational efficiencies.
Professional Experience: Jessica is currently the Director of Marketing and Operations for Cartelligent – a new car buying service that helps clients buy or lease any make or model new car. At Cartelligent, she works to grow leads and brand awareness, manage the company’s technology stack. She leverages her expertise in marketing and technology to improve the client experience, and streamline internal processes.
Accomplishments/Community Service: Before joining Cartelligent, Jessica worked as Director of Sales and Marketing at gaytravel.com where she spearheaded the creation and execution of the nationwide social media search for the first Gay Travel Guru which resulted in 300% growth in website traffic and 500% growth in social media.
Chamber of Commerce Role (Director, Committee work, etc.): Ambassador's Committee.
Personal Information: Jessica received her MBA from the Rady School at UC San Diego and her BA from Williams College. She is married to Scott Wolfman; together they are raising two large, semi-behaved rescue dogs.
Title: Financial Advisor
Chamber of Commerce Role (Director, Committee work, etc.):
Umpqua Bank San Rafael
Chamber of Commerce Role (Director, Committee work, etc.):
Richard de Ramon
First Federal and Savings and Loans
Title: Business and Community Development
Professional Duties: Richard is employed by First Federal Savings of San Rafael, a 5-star Bauer rated banking institution developed in Marin. His position targets both Business and Community Development. Richard sees business development and community development as opposite sides of the same coin. First Federal offers locally underwritten term loans and lines of credit for stabilized income properties. They lend on multifamily properties with five or more units, selected mixed use and most commercial property types.
Professional Experience: Prior local banking experiences includes Bank of Marin and Redwood Credit Union. Richard first came to First Federal Savings of San Rafael in 2018 bringing with him over 30 years of financial services experience.
Accomplishments/Community Service:Richard currently serves on the Marin Education Committee, the Marin YMCA Board, and the San Rafael Chamber Ambassadors. Richard also partners with large businesses in Marin offering financial education as well as providing appreciation events for First Responders.
Chamber of Commerce Role (Director, Committee work, etc.):Richard serves on the Ambassador and Education Committees.
Get Libby Now and
Professional Duties: Organizing, move management, downsizing, and math tutoring: algebra through calculus
Professional Experience: Libby started Get Libby Now after retiring from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She started there as a software developer in 1979, and worked up to Vice President of Information Technology Services.
Accomplishments/Community Service: Active member of the Marin Section on Aging and the Marin Covenant Church.
Chamber of Commerce Role (Director, Committee work, etc.): San Rafael Chamber Board Chair, also on Ambassador Committee
Personal Information: Originally from Mendocino County, Libby grew up in Bakersfield. She received a degree in Mathematical Sciences from Stanford University in 1978. Libby married husband Todd Annell in 1980 and together they have three grown children: Eric, Karen, and Kirsten.
San Rafael Chamber
Membership and Leader Circle Director
Title: Membership and Leader Circle Director
Chamber of Commerce Role: After serving on the Board of Directors, this is Alan's first year serving on the Ambassadors Committee
Mick van Staveren
George Petersen Insurance Agency, Inc
HEAR WHAT MEMBERS ARE SAYING
"I joined the San Rafael Chamber to get better connected with local business leaders, and to contribute to improving the community where I live and do business. It’s been almost 3 years now for me, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Naturally I want my close business associates to join in this success, and the Member Referral Program has been a great incentive for me to call and invite them. In addition to the $50 bonus we both receive, my candidate gets a great hands-on introduction from Chamber staff. This ensures they understand and utilize the many benefits of Chamber membership, which helps make them a happy, long term contributing member of the Chamber. Everybody wins!"
- Bob Herbst, San Rafael Airport