Council Biography

Joe Coto - Chair

Joe Coto (born Miami, Arizona, United States) is an American educator, city council member, and a Democratic politician. He most recently served three terms as a member of the California State Assembly, leaving office late in 2010. He served as Chair of the Assembly's Insurance committee, and held positions on the Elections and Redistricting committee, Governmental Organization committee, and the Revenue and Taxation committee. He also served on the Special committee on Urban Education
Coto was elected to the California State Assembly to represent California's 23rd Assembly district in 2004.

Cruz Reynoso - Legal Counsel

Professor of Law Emeritus, UC Davis School of Law
Boochever and Bird Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality
Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
Former Associate Justice, California Supreme Court
Vice Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
American Bar Association Robert J. Kutak Award recipient
Director, California Rural Legal Assistance
UC Davis Medal of Honor recipient

JOHN C. GAMBOA - Vice-Chair

John C. Gamboa, the former Executive Director of the Greenlining Institute, has a diverse experience serving in academia, the private sector and the nonprofit sector.

Prior to the Greenlining Institute, he was Executive Director of Latino Issues Forum, Communications Manager at U.C. Berkeley, Executive Director of Project Participar, a citizenship program, and Marketing and Advertising Manager at Pacific Bell.

As Executive Director for the Greenlining Institute, Mr. Gamboa focuses on public policy issues that promote economic development in urban and low-income areas, and in developing future leaders within this country's minority youth.

Hyepin Christine Im, CPA, MBA - Council Member

Ms. Hyepin Im currently serves as the Founder and President of Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD) whose mission is to help churches build capacity to do economic development work on a greater scale. Among KCCD's successes include organizing and reaching out to the 3300 Korean American churches in the United States including two conferences with the White House bringing together a national delegation of Asian American faith leaders to learn about the faith-based economic development. In addition, KCCD also sponsored a historic faith-based conference held in conjunction with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Over 350 participants attended this first time conference with coverage from all major Korean media.

José Antonio Ramírez - Council Member

José Antonio Ramírez has been engaged in city management for 14 years and recently decided to open his own consulting firm specializing in Community Development. The name of the firm is Community Development, Inc.

IIn his previous capacity he served as Program Manager, International Affairs Coordinator and Security Engineer and Emergency Management Coordinator for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Sunne Wright McPeak - Council Member

Sunne Wright McPeak is the President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to close the Digital Divide by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband. She assumed the position as the CETF first chief executive in December 2006 after serving for three years as Secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. With McPeak’s vision and drive, CETF has positioned California as a national leader in closing the Digital Divide, initiating groundbreaking applications such as the California Telehealth Network, Digital Literacy, Smart Housing Policy, School2Home (to improve education), and Get Connected! (to drive adoption).

Herman Gallegos - Council Member

Herman Gallegos provided active leadership in a wide variety of community, corporate and philanthropic affairs spanning local, national and international interests. He is a graduate of California State University, San Jose, earned his MSW from U.C. Berkeley, and in 2002, received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of San Francisco.

Gallegos was born in the small mining town of Aguilar, Colorado, and moved to San Francisco at an early age. As a pioneer civil rights activist in the early 1950s, Gallegos was a leader in the formation of the Community Service Organization (CSO), a civil rights-advocacy group organized to promote the empowerment and well-being of Latinos in California.

George Dean - Council Member

As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Phoenix Urban League since mid-1992, George Dean has diligently and impressively brought a troubled affiliate back to community visibility, responsiveness and sound fiscal accountability. Mr. Dean, a former CEO of the Sacramento, California and Omaha, Nebraska affiliates boasts more than 25 years as an Urban League staff member. His leadership focuses on advocacy toward those issues affecting the African-American and minority community education, training, job placement and economic development. Mr. Dean annually raises more than 3 million dollars from major corporations, local municipalities and state agencies for the advancement of minority enterprises, individuals, families and non-profits. Mr. Dean is a nationally recognized figure in the field of minority issues and advancements, and affordable housing.

Selma Hepp - Council Member

Selma Hepp is Chief Economist & VP Business Intelligence at Pacific Union. In her role as Chief Economist, Selma analyzes real estate market and economic conditions in order to help real estate professionals thoroughly understand client demographics and empirical market dynamics on a hyperlocal basis.

Joey Quinto - Council Member

Mr. Quinto was born and educated in the Philippines, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from San Beda College in Manila, Philippines. He also graduated from the Minority Business Executive Programs of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire. Mr. Quinto now resides with his wife Carlyn and daughter Carlette in Palos Verdes, California.

Mr. Quinto's contributions to the advancement of the API community are many. He began his professional career in California in 1984 as a mortgage banker. As a publisher, his weekly newspaper advances the interests of the API community and appropriately addresses local, consumer and business news, and community events. He is also a member of several community organizations.

Don Perata - Council Member

Don began his career in public service as a schoolteacher. He went on to serve on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors (1986-1994) and the California State Assembly (1996-1998). In 1998, he was elected to the California State Senate. He served as president pro tem of the Senate from 2004-2008.

As president pro tem, Don oversaw the passage of AB 32, California’s cap and trade regulatory scheme to reduce greenhouse gases.

BRUCE QUAN, JR. - Council Member

Bruce Quan, Jr. is a fifth generation Californian whose family relocated to Oakland in 1906 after the Great San Francisco Earthquake. He was born in Sacramento in 1946, while his father was serving in the army.

His great grandfather, Lew Hing founded the Pacific Coast Canning Company in West Oakland in 1905. It was one of the largest employers in Oakland.

Bruce attended the Oakland schools – graduating from Skyline and then attended the University of California, Berkeley. He received undergraduate degrees in Zoology, Sociology, and Asian American Studies, and a law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law (now the Berkeley Law School) in 1975.

Robert J. Apodaca - Council Member

Robert J. Apodaca, Founder of ZeZeN Advisors, Inc., has a 45-year professional and civic career that spans both private and public sectors and several industries. ZeZeN is a boutique financial services firm that connects institutional capital with developers and real estate owners. Following his service as Chairman and Trustee of Alameda County Retirement Board (pension fund), he joined the investment industry as a Senior Vice President & Partner of Kennedy Associates, an institutional investor for pension funds. New and retained accounts credited to his leadership included CalPERS, Chicago Transit Authority, San Diego County Retirement Board, Dallas Police & Fire, Kansas City Public Schools, NYC Fire Fighters and International Glass Molders.

Ortensia Lopez - Council Member

Ortensia is a nationally recognized leader in creating coalitions, collaboratives and partnerships, which have resulted in innovative initiatives that have empowered and ensured participation for low-income communities. She has been working in the Non-Profit sector for over forty-one years in executive management positions serving as a change agent for disenfranchised communities.


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Suite 3C
Berkeley, CA 94704

Phone: 510.868.0991
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