2019 Great Decisions

Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek Executive Board Slate 2019-2020
President – Deborah Wechsler
Deborah first became involved with AAUW helping with the Expanding Your Horizons program, as a docent for the Holiday Home Tour and the Garden Tour fundraisers, and a Tech Trek interviewer.

She was Tech Trek co-chair for 2016-17 and Tech Trek Chair 2017-18. Currently she is serving on
the Board as President. Her passion for AAUW lies in the mission for equal education and opportunity for women, especially in Science, Math and engineering fields. Deborah earned a BS in Geology from Colorado State University and MS in Geophysics from the University of Utah, after which she worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory on nuclear blast discrimination and seismicity of northern New Mexico. She joined Chevron at the research lab in La Habra, California and spent the next 26 years in various technical and management positions, moving from California to Denver, Oklahoma City,

California Bay Area, Houston, Bakersfield, and eventually back to the Bay Area. While in Denver she earned an MBA from Regis University. She and her husband Bruce were transferred with Chevron to Sumatra, Indonesia, where they and their two daughters lived and worked for four years. Deborah retired when they returned to the Bay Area in 2007. Since then she has been Treasurer and then President of the Board for her synagogue and continues to serve on that Board. She also volunteers for Save Mount Diablo, a local land trust organization, and is a coach for the San Ramon Valley Mountain Bike Club.

President Elect – Chris Ritter
Chris is a native Californian, born in Berkeley, and now lives in Alamo. She has been a member of AAUW since 2015 and recently retired from her career as a marketing executive. Chris spent most of her over 40-year working life in the medical equipment industry leading product development strategy and marketing. She took two short breaks from industry to work in non-profit organizations including teaching 8th grade science in San Ramon Valley Unified School District and serving as the VP of Membership and Marketing at the American Academy of Ophthalmology in San Francisco. Chris credits her teachers and family who supported and encouraged her early interest STEM as key enablers of her subsequent career successes. She holds a BS in biology from Stanford, an MS in bioengineering from University of California in San Diego and an MBA from St. Mary’s College. Chris has served as our branch Treasurer for the last two years. In addition to her AAUW role, Chris enjoys spending time with her two adult sons and grandchild, playing Pickleball, and continuing her study of classical piano music.

Program Vice President – Bette Felton
Bette has been our branch Co-Program Vice President the last year.

Membership Vice President – Marsha Anderson Landau
Marsha has been a member of AAUW since 2013. She assumed VP Membership Duties January
2018. She has been involved in the Holiday Home Tour writing home narratives, Garden Tour
Membership duties, and will assume branch Advertising endeavors with Chris Ritter this coming
summer. She enjoys the contact with interested potential and new AAUW Members. The Membership brunch, September, is a major activity. Oakland born, she has lived in Danville and Alamo since 1971. Several generations of family volunteerism devoted to charitable causes played a big part in her upbringing. Her family were activists in Oakland Schools, local charities, fighting early immigrant discrimination and grass roots efforts in Chinatown and Oakland at large.
She holds a BBA, 1972, Armstrong College, Berkeley. 1981 she received her MAM from University of Redlands -Finance and Business. Her professional background includes IT language data extraction development for the health and diversified utility business. In 1986 she made the decision to be part of the burgeoning growth in the San Ramon Valley because she believes in local economy participation. She received her Broker’s License, owning two Better Homes offices in San Ramon and Danville. She and her husband Robert own the RHL Group specializing in local properties and is also a participating Broker – ReMax, Danville.
She has two children, two grandchildren, is a Gardenista in two local Garden clubs, since 1972 is a Scottish Terrier affectionato, contributes daily to two websites, and dabbles in watercolors when there’s time! She lives in Alamo.

Funds Co-Vice President – Liz Williams
Liz Williams joined AAUW in 2010 after electing an early retirement option from Cisco Systems where she worked as a Human Resources Executive. Liz has over 30 years of experience in her field and has worked with a variety of high tech companies across Silicon Valley. Liz completed a BA in Public Relations and an MA in Instructional Technology from the University of Arizona and San Jose State University. Currently, Liz is consulting part-time with Lee Hecht Harrison in Walnut Creek. Liz and her husband, Tom Thomas, live in Danville and enjoy travel and all the wonderful outdoor activities available in Northern California. Liz has one daughter, Laura, who recently completed her Masters Degree in Urban Planning at San Jose State University and is now working as a Sales Executive at Insight Corporation. Liz has served as a Co-VP Membership, Co-Chair Programs and as Co President.

Funds Co-Vice President – Kathy McKnight
Kathy was born in Los Angeles and after a 4 year stint in Dallas moved to Northern California with her parents. She attended CAL and earned a BA in English with a history minor. She received a teaching credential from Cal State East Bay. After her husband’s graduation, she and Steve spent two years in the Peace Corps in Thailand teaching English in the Secondary Schools. After their return, they settled in Fresno. Their daughter, Diane, was born in 1967. During this time Kathy sponsored a YTeen group of at risk girls. Subsequently, the family moved to Phoenix so Steve could earn his Master’s degree. After a return to the Bay Area, Kathy began working as a part-time teller at Bank of America to earn a down payment on a house. This morphed into a 30 year career during which time she became a vice-president and traveled around the US setting up loan centers and standardizing procedures. She is currently retired and volunteers teaching English to adults through the Project Second Chance program sponsored by the Library. She also visits and reads to seniors in a residential care home in Walnut Creek. Kathy was Co-Chair for the Garden Tour in 2013 and 2014.
She served as Board Co-President in 2014-2015. She is currently the Secretary and participates in a movie group and interviews for Tech Trek.

Secretary – Holly Sauer
Holly has a BS in Agriculture and Journalism. She is a Past President of our Branch and has been
involved in many other capacities. She is currently on the 50th Anniversary Committee.

Treasurer – Claudia Schwarz
Claudia is a new member. She received her BS in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University and MPH from UC Berkeley. She has managed programs and budgets for UC Berkeley and is thoroughly familiar with Excel and accounting/budgeting software and principles. She is excited to serve on the Board of DAW-AAUW.