Charlie joined the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce as CEO in July 2019, having served previously on the Chamber Board of Directors, including as the Chair, and as the CEO of Abilities United from 2014 to 2019, and is a Senior Fellow of Leadership Palo Alto. He has a 35 year history as a successful nonprofit leader. As a senior executive, primarily with the YMCA, he has served across the country in a variety of communities, from the Bay Area to New York. He brings deep experience in leading boards and creating a collaborative organizational culture that drives results. His varied skills include financial management, fund development, program creation and staff development - all with the theme of "service to others."
Vice-Chair; Chair of the Government Action Committee
Jon is Co-President and Owner of Premier Property Management, the leading developer, property manager and broker of commercial property in downtown Palo Alto since 1982. He is a highly experienced Real Estate Broker with 10+ years of success in all phases of commercial real estate including development, leasing, sales, construction management, property management, financial analysis and expert witness testimony, and is a strategic advisor to a number of technology companies.
Jon is an active community volunteer, serving on the board of Racing Hearts, and a key supporter of Project Cornerstone (Redwood City schools), Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Men's Auxiliary Affiliate, and the City of Palo Alto Microenterprise Assistance Program. Jon is a Senior Fellow of the Chamber's Leadership Palo Alto program.
Judy, a former Mayor of Palo Alto, is a business law attorney with experience in startups, high tech, media, nonprofits and government relations.
Prior to joining the Chamber in 2014, she directed local grantmaking for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promoting civic innovation and social entrepreneurship. Previously she helped launch a Google.org-supported, mobile technology nonprofit for humanitarian response, was VP of Joint Venture Silicon Valley and an Exec. Director of TechAmerica.
An honors graduate of the Univ. of Michigan and UC Berkeley's School of Law where she was a member of the Law Review, Judy taught business law for over 10 years and was a legal and consumer affairs TV reporter. Among her multiple honors are being named a “Woman of the Year” by the California State Legislature and a “Woman of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Matt has been a General Manager of Homewood Suites by Hilton since 2007 and helped develop and open the Homewood Suites in Palo Alto, Hilton's upscale, all-suite, extended-stay hotel brand. With a degree in Business Administration from Wichita State University and currently a Masters candidate in International Business, Matt brings deep expertise in management to our Board of Directors, including operational and best practices to achieve established revenue, expense and service standard goals.
Matt is an active volunteer with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Abilities United, as well as being a member of the Rotary Club of Palo Alto.
Nikki James is a Personal Finance Advisor and Mortgage Advisor with Opes Advisors in Palo Alto. She has over 25 years of experience in Real Estate and Real Estate Finance, and excels in helping clients make smart, strategic real estate financing decisions, whether purchasing, refinancing, remodeling or building a new home. She has more than 25 years of experience in financial services and specializes in residential and new construction financing, and consistently ranks in the top 1% of mortgage loan professionals nationwide.
Previously she was a Private Mortgage Banker for a large national bank and a Branch Manager for a Fortune 500 mortgage company. Nikki brings her wealth of financial expertise to the Chamber as our Treasurer and is a member of our Executive Committee.
Shweta Bhatnagar is the Associate Director of Community Relations at Stanford University where she serves as a primary contact and liaison between Stanford and community organizations, government officials, and businesses in and around Stanford. She has held public affairs positions in government, and was a staff assistant to elected officials. She has a Masters in Public Administration from George Washington University and is an Honors College graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Waymo LLC,Local Policy & Community Manager, SF Bay Area
Sydnee Journel is the Local Policy & Community Manager at Waymo, formerly Google's self-driving car project, where she develops strategic plans for the Bay Area, including identifying key opportunities for engagement with government and the community. Previously she was an Assistant Director of Community Relations at Stanford University, and a Senior Associate for Strategic Coalition & Investor Relations at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Sydnee has a BS and MS in Earth Systems from Stanford University, and an MBA from Yale where she was the recipient of a Richard Robertson Fellowship and a Forte Foundation Fellowship. She is fluent in French and has served on the Board of the former Abilities United. She is one of many Chamber Board members who is a Senior Fellow of Leadership Palo Alto.