Laura Martinez (she/her), Chair, became the first Latina council member to serve the City of East Palo Alto in 2008. In 2011, at the age of 27, she was elected the youngest serving, and first Latina mayor, in East Palo Alto’s history. She was selected by Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal as one of the “Top 100 Women of Influence” in 2012 and “40 Under 40” in 2015. Laura was appointed to the Sequoia Union High School District and served as a Trustee from March to December 2015. Currently, she is the Assistant Director of Admission and Tuition Assistance at Castilleja School, supporting women’s education. Laura received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, with a minor in Spanish, from Whittier College. She currently resides in East Palo Alto and is a longtime Canopy volunteer.
Holly Pearson (she/her), Vice Chair, developed a love of the outdoors growing up in Minnesota, and her career has spanned environmental science, policy, and law. She holds a BA from Carleton College and a PhD from Stanford University, where her dissertation research focused on a native Hawaiian tree Acacia koa. After working on climate change policy at the Environmental Defense Fund, Holly attended New York University School of Law and practiced environmental law in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. She currently lives on the Stanford campus with her husband and two sons.
Shelley Ratay (she/her), Treasurer, is a director at Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences, where she oversees the new Change Leadership for Sustainability program. She previously served as executive director of Sempervirens Fund, a local land trust, and as project director at First Community Housing, where she orchestrated the development of hundreds of affordable apartments for low-income families. She has also held strategy development and project management roles at Beartooth Capital Partners, The Trust for Public Land and Conservation International. Shelley lives in Palo Alto with her husband and two children. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Stanford University.
Marilyn Keller (she/her), Secretary, was formerly a biologist working on health, environmental, and safety issues associated with utilities at PG&E. She holds a BS in Biology and in Applied Earth Sciences, and an MS in Environmental Earth Sciences, all from Stanford University. Marilyn now devotes much of her time to working in the community. In addition to joining the Canopy board in 2011, Marilyn served on the City of Palo Alto Utilities Advisory Commission from 2005 to 2012, and she is an active member of the Palo Alto Unified School District Sustainable Schools Committee. Marilyn lives in Palo Alto with her husband, Jeff, and her two wonderful daughters, and the entire family volunteers their time with Canopy!
Dave Armstrong (he/him) is president and CEO of Sakata America Holding Company, Inc., the North American subsidiary of a 106 year-old publicly traded Japanese company, a global leader in development of vegetable and flower genetics. Dave has established and developed businesses on three continents, while based in Chicago, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Amsterdam. He is active in national and California organizations focused in agriculture and horticulture. Dave has made his home in Palo Alto for the past ten years, along with his wife and daughter. He enjoys the natural beauty of the Bay Area while hiking, biking, and gardening.
Maria Chai (she/her) discovered the joy of tree care when she started gardening with her son. She’s a graduate of Canopy’s Community Forestry School and joined Canopy as a board member in 2020. A tech and marketing veteran, Maria led various marketing organizations for some of the biggest global brands, most recently at Google and YouTube. She has a BSE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and started her career in silicon valley as a semiconductor fabrication engineer. She still enjoys a lively chat on the latest in materials engineering. Maria lives in Mountain View with her husband and her son. She enjoys dreaming about the next renovation project for her Eichler, and when she’s not out walking her three dogs, you can find her watching her favorite classic films on repeat or playing the piano. Her favorite trees are southern magnolia and valley oak.
Mary Dateo (she/her) has worked as an engineer, quality instructor, programmer, and project manager. Combining a life-long love of design and gardening, she currently runs a landscape design business that specializes in sustainable residential landscapes. Originally from Ohio, Mary now lives in Mountain View with her husband, where they’ve planted enough fruit trees to harvest fruit year-round. She led the Transportation Working Group of Mountain View’s Environmental Sustainability Task Force in 2017-2018. She is currently a board member of Carbon Free Mountain View, and a founding member of Stewards of Our Common Home, an environmental group in the Diocese of San Jose. She holds a BME and an MBA from the University of Dayton, and an AS in Environmental Horticulture and Design from Foothill College.
Jonathan Herbach (he/him) is a product manager at Google, building infrastructure and products ensuring search users see relevant ads. He has degrees in Computer Science from Princeton University and Stanford University; prior to Google he was a product leader at Adobe, building enterprise and consumer services, including reimagining how PDFs can improve productivity in a cloud- and mobile-first world. Jonathan lives in Mountain View with his family. He served eight years on the Mountain View Parks and Recreation Commission, advising the city council on strategic initiatives, including expanding access to city programs; prioritizing open space, and increasing city trees by 30%.
Uriel Hernandez (he/him) grew up in East Palo Alto. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in rural Vermont, he returned home and began volunteering with Canopy planting trees at the same schools he once attended. From 2015 to 2018 he was a Canopy staff member leading and organizing East Palo Alto tree planting efforts. His work with Canopy has blossomed into a career in arboriculture; he is an ISA-certified arborist and now holds a Master of Natural Resources degree from Oregon State University with a focus in Urban Forestry. His work to support his hometown goes beyond the urban forest; he is a board member for Nuestra Casa and he served on the East Palo Alto Planning Commission from 2017-2021. Uriel’s hobbies include exploring the bay area in search of unique places, special parks, and public space treasures.
Rachel Knowles (she/her) has worked in higher education since 2011, currently in Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Her previous experience also includes working at Helios Healthcare where she worked alongside a talented horticulturist in spearheading a gardening program for residents and a local city farmer’s market booth for fundraising. Rachel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Menlo College, Atherton. She enjoys spending quality time with her family, cooking, dancing, and anything outdoors.
Kirsten Mouradian (she/her) is a hematology nurse practitioner at Stanford Children’s Hospital. She has roots in Wisconsin, Sweden, and Germany. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, discovering permaculture, and working with worms, wood, and wool.
Sally O’Neil (she/her) previously worked at Stanford University and now is a volunteer at Canopy and at Upward Scholars, a Latinx-led nonprofit that provides education and career development support to adult immigrants. A lawyer and former journalist, Sally holds a JD from Santa Clara University, an MJ from the University of California, Berkeley, and an BA from Oberlin College. A Palo Alto resident, Sally is a longtime Canopy volunteer and former board chair. Gardening, traveling, swimming, reading, and hanging out with her grandkids are her favorite activities.
Serving on the Canopy Board of Directors is an extraordinary opportunity for individuals who are passionate about trees and the quality of life they bring to the local urban environment. The Board is seeking new members with the vision and skills needed to address Canopy’s regional growth and long-term financial sustainability.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at [email protected].
“Canopy meshes strategic vision and planning, technical know-how, volunteer and community partnering, educational outreach, and STILL manages to plant and care for thousands of trees on our streets and neighborhoods.”
~ Susan Rosenberg,
Canopy Co-Founder and Former Board Chair