Who We Are

Staff | Board of Directors | Advisory Council


Darlene Weide, M.P.H., M.S.W., Executive Director
Learn_More@communityboards.org, ATTN: Darlene

Darlene has worked in the nonprofit sector- primarily in HIV prevention, women’s health and youth community-based programs– for nearly twenty years. Her current work focuses on enhancing the effectiveness and impact of organizations. At Community Boards, she collaborates with the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers to build on Community Boards’ tremendous track record. Darlene is the author of Safe Schools for Everyone: Responding to Anti-LGBTQ Bias in the Classroom & on the Playground, as well as Conflict Resolution Skills for the Jossey-Bass textbook Foundations for Community Health Workers. She is an experienced mediator, trainer and teacher. She is also a faculty member at City College of San Francisco in the Health Education and Community Health Studies Department where she teaches public health courses and Conflict Resolution in the Workplace.

Chelsea Kaplan, Program Director
Learn_More@communityboards.org, ATTN: Chelsea

Chelsea Kaplan is the Program Director for Community Boards. She is a mediator, facilitator, conflict coach, and trainer. Her background focuses on how conflict and the resulting trauma affects people’s mental health and their ability to heal and reconcile. Chelsea got her Masters from Trinity College Dublin in Conflict Resolution and lived in post-conflict Belfast, Northern Ireland during her studies. Outside of work, Chelsea enjoys spending time in nature and hiking with her dog, Bowie.

Arnold “Mac” McGilbray, Case Development Manager
Learn_More@communityboards.org, ATTN: Mac

Mac, our Case Development Manager, joined our staff in 2005.  He comes to us with a background in law, marketing, contracting, negotiation and EEO compliance.  As Case Development Manager, Mac is responsible for all contact and coordination with the disputing parties following the initial intake. Mac also manages key components of our low-cost Professional Mediation services, working with a wide range of workplace and property disputes.

Margery Fairchild, Community Engagement Coordinator
Learn_More@communityboards.org, ATTN: Margery

Margery comes to Community Boards with 15+ years experience as an independent theater maker and fundraiser. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Montana before establishing Dark Porch Theatre in 2003. As a San Francisco-based Theatre Director, playwright, actor, and educator, Margery looks forward to serving San Francisco’s many communities as a representative of Community Boards and as a keen advocate of restorative justice.

Karen H. Lipney, Neighborhood Courts Coordinator & Consultant
Learn_More@communityboards.org, ATTN: Karen

Karen is a trainer, mediator, facilitator, conflict coach, and is a co-trainer of The Basics of Mediation and Beyond the Basics. She draws on years of experience working for a national labor union and before that, as an attorney. In a career transition, Karen focused on mediation to expand her skills and experience. In 2014, Karen began to volunteer her time for Community Boards as a Community Mediator, Conflict Coach, and Facilitator. In 2016 she joined the staff as the Outreach Coordinator. Karen then worked as our ADR Programs Director from 2016-21. She is currently the Neighborhood Courts Program Coordinator & Consultant with Community Boards, as well as a mediator, conflict coach and facilitator for The Brigham and Women’s Hospital located in Boston. Karen was raised in San Francisco and giving back to the community is part of her family heritage.

Jim Garrison, Communications Director
Learn_More@communityboards.org, ATTN: Jim

Jim has been associated with Community Boards in various capacities since 1988. His primary responsibilities are managing the website, general oversight of social media and e-communications, and the design and production of outreach, public education, and marketing collateral pieces. As in-house technical writer, he drafts, edits, and finalizes our training materials and grants. He is proud and pleased to see Community Boards continue serving the many diverse communities in San Francisco for over four decades.

Liliya Shilman, Finance Director
Learn_More@communityboards.org, ATTN: Liliya

Liliya has been with Community Boards since 2002.  Beyond managing Community Boards’ day-to-day financials, Liliya is responsible for maintaining all grants, contracts, and the multitude of recordkeeping pertinent to our nonprofit status. She has additional responsibilities for our membership program, critical parts of the organization’s regular audits, and human resource policies and records.

Now hiring! Click below to review the job descriptions.

You may email any staff member via our general mail at Learn_More@communityboards.org.  Please include the person’s name in the subject line.


Sierra DeSalvia, President
Sierra is a dynamic change maker dedicated to shifting interpersonal and political barriers to yield empowered individuals and equitable communities. She has experience in program management, organizational design and implementation, alternative dispute resolution, consulting, facilitation, and training. In Syracuse, Sierra facilitated community-wide dialogues focused on race and power, and ran the custody-dispute mediation office for the fourth largest courthouse in New York. While in Africa, she developed partnerships between the US Embassy and local schools. In Baltimore, Sierra served as a strategic partner and mediator for correctional facilities, public schools, the police department, public housing authority, and the state’s attorney office. Sierra is now focused on empowering a new generation of leaders, and promoting policies that support equitable, healthy communities.

Sultan Al-Shaman
Sultan is an experienced psychologist with a demonstrated history working in the mental health care industry. He was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up living between the United States and Saudi Arabia. He is a healthcare services professional with a Master’s degree focused in psychology from Lesley University with a focus on nonprofit organizations, mindfulness, crisis intervention, family therapy, and case management. Over the course of his professional career, Sultan has worked in a variety of settings across the globe ranging from a non-profit community health center in Los Angeles to private practice in Dubai. His provides services with a multicultural lens that is rooted in raising mental health awareness.

Virgil Bellini, Co-Vice President
Virgil was born in Benin, West Africa and grew up in a suburb of Boston. As an active community member in Watertown, Massachusetts, Virgil involved himself in a multitude of educational fundraising drives, neighborhood cleanups, and for 7 years volunteered at the local parish in a variety of roles. Following the devastating 2010 earthquake, Virgil supported Jewish Vocational Services in assisting Haitian refugees with job placement throughout Massachusetts. While living in San Diego, he volunteered at the San Diego Food Bank to help pack meal kits with local community members for shipment to impoverished families in Southern California. Virgil is a certified compliance and ethics professional who works to ensure a strong tone in the middle and at the top in his organization. Acting as corporate mediator for his company as issues arise, Virgil is committed to ensuring his employees maintain the highest legal, ethical, and professional standards of conduct in the workplace. In addition to Community Boards, Virgil serves on the board of Kidstock, a San Francisco based nonprofit that provides after school performing arts programs for children.

Evan Coller, Co-Vice President
Evan is a Certificated Mediator with Community Boards and joined the Board of Directors in 2019. He brings 8+ years of professional experience helping mission-driven businesses, social enterprises and nonprofits grow and thrive with deep expertise in marketing and communications. In addition to serving on the Board, Evan is the Senior Marketing Associate for ImpactAssets, a nonprofit financial services organization that’s accelerating the velocity of capital to impact investing. Prior to ImpactAssets, Evan served as the Marketing Manager for Guru Media Solutions, a marketing collective and creative agency based in San Francisco, and Social Venture Network (SVN), a pioneering network of innovative business leaders, impact investors and social entrepreneurs working to advance business as a force for good.

Karen Hagewood
Karen comes to Community Boards from the private sector with a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, New Jersey. She is the retired General Counsel for SquareTrade, the first online dispute resolution provider. Karen is a senior executive with a unique combination of skills and expertise in education, development, and management with a personal commitment for creating positive social change. She has worked in the computer, software, and medical device industries, plus architectural, retail, and real estate management. Directly out of the UC at Santa Barbara, Karen spent 2 years in Turkey with the Peace Corps. Travel Ishiguro on her list of favorite things along with her two cats and jazz.Her earliest recollection of being interested in the non profit world was sending all of her allowance to the Jerry Lewis telethon.Karen has also served on the boards of OpNet Ventures, Young Audiences of Northern California, and One World Children’s Fund.

Beth H. Hodess
Beth is a solo tax attorney and mediator working at the intersection of tax controversy and policy, having come to the practice of law at the age of 54 after twenty-five years as a self-employed management consultant. Weaving together a deep understanding of tax law with a commitment to social justice, comfort with ambiguity, fearless curiosity, and a talent for finding connections between seemingly disparate phenomena, she specializes in securing favorable rulings in complex tax controversies. Utilizing her ability to serve as a bridgebuilder for parties that at first glance are adversarial, she engages with a wide range of stakeholders to develop transparent and equitable tax policy. Collectively, she leverages these talents to counsel clients in achieving their goals of creating the future rather than reacting to it.

Rebekah Ramos
Rebekah is committed to helping leaders and teams push beyond their limitations and discover strengths they never knew they had, navigate change, and lead with compassion, empathy, and fearlessness. She comes to Community Boards with an extensive background in Learning and Organizational Development, working with leaders in corporate, government and non-profit organizations to create leadership and performance improvement programs, implement change initiatives, and coach executives and their teams. Rebekah is passionate about the environment and, after graduating from UC Berkeley, she spent 10 years with the National Park Service implementing community outreach programs and partnerships to bring environmental education programs to urban schools. She believes that climate change is a global threat to humanity and, to build resilience, we need to learn how to live better together by learning how to manage conflict and see each other as humans with a common interest and destiny.

 Debra Varner, Treasurer
Debra, a native San Franciscan, has served as volunteer mediator with Community Boards and the Department of Police Accountability since 2002. She believes in Community Boards’ mission and knows that the process can be transformational for the participants. She earned a B.S. in Organizational Development and M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Social Transformation. In 2012, she retired as Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SF State University. Having served on a number of boards and in volunteer positions, Debra was most recently the President of the Bethany Center Senior Housing Foundation Board. Currently, she facilitates workshops on Healthier Living and Diabetes Education and Empowerment through On Lok Senior Services. After years of studying with several spiritual healers throughout the world, Debra created Purple Medicine Woman, a spiritual healing and counseling practice.


Terry Amsler | Bob Bailey | Brittny Bottorff | Kathleen Coogan | Jon Eldan | Fred Lambright | Tracy Lemmon | Joseph Ragazzo | Gail Sadalla | Julia Salinas | Elizabeth Shwiff | Teri Sklar | Charles Spiegel | Marion Standish | Victoria Borrego Swepson | Michael Tobriner