Past Events

Ayers and Carlberg

MONDAY, December 6, Noon


In our holiday fantasy world, every customer gets what they wished for on-time and free. But the harsh reality is that the supply chain can sometimes fail and become quite expensive. Unfortunately, that is what is happening in the winter holiday season of 2021. What happened and when it will be fixed is the focus of the discussion with our two GGU experts as we explore the past development of supply chains, the present situation, and the future expectations.

GGU adjunct professors Celeste Ayers and Doug Carlberg join moderator Dr. Richard Dawe, a GGU alumnus and director of the graduate and the award-winning undergraduate supply chain management program at GGU.

Marijke Smit

TUESDAY, October 26, 12:30 p.m.

Workplace Space Planning in a Pandemic World

The pandemic and working from home has brought into stark relief the evolving dynamics of the workplace, including changes around how space is built and utilized and the importance of creating collaborative working environments that maintain the conscience and mission of an organization. Marijke A. Smit, Principal at San Francisco architecture strategy firm MKThink, talks about why intelligent space planning is so important, particularly now, for the user experience and meeting organizational goals.

Marijke Smit leads MKThink’s work in human performance, helping clients like GGU solve complex problems about their built environment while optimizing learning outcomes in the education and workplace spheres. Trained in history and urban planning at Columbia University, her 25 year careers has focused on uncovering the nexus between people, place, and programs using data-driven insights to inform better decision making. For the past year and a half, Marijke’s work has focused around leveraging the seismic shifts caused by the pandemic towards achieving long-termer term organizational goals and objectives. She has been working with GGU specifically to help optimize space on campus in support of student and staff experience within a post-pandemic paradigm.

Christopher Lynch

TUESDAY, June 8, Noon

Christopher Lynch and Cross-cultural Negotiations

Back to the Baysics with School of Undergraduate Studies Dean Marc Singer is excited to welcome GGU Adjunct Instructor Christopher Lynch for a fascinating and informative conversation on cross-cultural negotiations and how to avoid miscommunications. Join us to learn about cultural considerations for body language, hierarchy, food, social events, gender roles, and dealing with stereotypes. Takeaways will include tips on adapting your own negotiating style as well as reliable resources you can use for your next cross-cultural exchange.

Christopher Lynch currently heads the Community Vitalization Council (Civic 180) which has developed programs to launch small and medium- sized companies into global markets. Civic 180 works with companies in the US, Latin America, Africa, Middle East and East Asia to expand export markets as well as foreign direct investment. He was vice-president of the Irvine Chamber and executive vice-president of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. He is a retired U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer and international economist, specializing in helping U.S. businesses with trade and investment issues overseas.

Amy Kweskin

MONDAY, May 17, Noon

Marc Singer and Amy Kweskin: Art and Business

What is the link between business and art? Marc Singer talks with adjunct instructor Amy Kweskin, of Artsightful and Intersection for the Arts, about that connection. They will discuss how artists can engage in strategic planning as they navigate rising costs in the changing Bay Area arts community, the need for artists to adapt and reach audiences in new ways, and the surprising role GGU has played in the Bay Area arts ecosystem.

Amy Kweskin is the Principal of Artsightful, through which she shares insights into the business of art. She specializes in developing inspiring and accomplishable strategic plans with artists and arts organizations. Amy uses tools developed as an adjunct faculty member at Golden Gate University, St. Mary’s College, and previously as a full-time faculty member at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco. Her approach is captured in the Center for Cultural Innovation Business of Art publication.

Ron Glait

THURSDAY, May 6, Noon

Marc Singer and Ron Glait of Contemporary Jewish Museum

During the pandemic, arts institutions have faced challenges in engaging with the community, and many have come up with creative ways to fulfill their missions and stay relevant and connected. Marc Singer talks with Ron Glait, Educator and Museum Technology Manager at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco (located two blocks from GGU), about the challenges the museum has faced this past year, and the role museums play in shaping communities’ sense of identity and connection in the Bay Area.

Ron Glait is the Museum Technology Manager and Educator at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, where he shares his love of art and deep knowledge of Jewish culture and history with visitors of all ages and walks of life. Born and raised in Israel, Ron started his journey in education volunteering as a youth leader in the Israeli Scouts and later working for the Municipality of Shoham (Israel) as the Youth Cultural and Leisure Coordinator, creating and coordinating cultural and educational activities. He has spent most of his career working for non-profits in education and the arts. In 2017 he graduated and received his M.Ed. (Master of Education) in Visual Literacy Studies and a Curator Diploma from the Kibbutzim College of Education (Tel Aviv, Israel). In 2018 he immigrated to the US and lives today in San Francisco.

Janiece Evans-Page

TUESDAY, April 27, Noon

GGU alumna and new CEO of Tides Janiece Evans-Page on Social Change

Join us for our next Back to the Baysics episode with GGU alum and new CEO of Tides, Janiece Evans-Page. We’ll discuss Janiece’s transition from helming corporate philanthropy and diversity initiatives for major companies to her new role heading up a global social impact nonprofit.

Janiece Evans-Page is the Chief Executive Officer of Tides, leading the organization as it seeks to broaden the reach of its impact and deepen its commitment to social change with dynamic tools, deep expertise, novel collaborations and innovative ideas. Ms. Evans-Page previously served as the inaugural Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer at Fossil Group and Head of Fossil Foundation. During her 20-plus year tenure at Hewlett-Packard Co., Ms. Evans-Page served as vice president and general manager of HP’s Imaging and Printing Attach Organization, which she launched and grew into a $600 million+ global enterprise. In 2018, she was honored by Ebony Magazine as one of its Power 100 awardees in the “Women Up” category.

Jeffrey D. Yergler

THURSDAY, April 1, Noon

Shaping and Building Culture within Organizations

Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D.

As part one of our Leading and Managing During Turbulent Times series, Dr. Jeff Yergler discusses with Marc Singer how leaders shape and build culture within organizations. Leadership is more than management: good leaders create an atmosphere, a climate, and a sense of purpose within an organization. Among the topics they will cover are the importance of culture in an organization, how a strong positive culture can support team members and employees, and how lack of attention to culture and climate can hurt morale and affect productivity and retention.

Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D. is Professor of Management and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, San Francisco. As an instructor in higher education, Jeffrey specializes in local, national, and global leadership, management, diversity in organizations, emotional intelligence and agility, coaching and mentoring, and human skills development. Alongside his work as a professor, Jeffrey has served as Principal for Integer Leadership Consulting since 2004.

Gregory Hodge


GGU Black History Month: GGU Law Alum Gregory Hodge and Law Students Discuss Working for Racial Equity: Moving from Talk to Action with an Equity Agenda

Gregory Hodge

Join us for a conversation with social change activist, organizational development consultant and GGU law alumnus, Gregory Hodge. Student leaders Marthea Alley-Caliz, representing the university’s Race and Justice Task Force, and Amye Osakue, President of the Black Law School Association (BLSA) will host Gregory for a discussion on his education and career path; working for racial equity, and key personal and organizational considerations for moving from talk to action with an equity agenda; racial disparities in health outcomes related to COVID-19; and more.

Gregory Hodge is a social change activist and organizational development consultant with Khepera Consulting. Working as a strategist, meeting designer, racial equity trainer, facilitator and coach, Gregory works with a range of groups from small non-profits and foundations to public agencies, particularly school districts and foundations. He works as the Chief Network Officer for the Oakland-based Brotherhood of Elders Network and is a coordinating partner in designing the Healing Generations Institute with the National Compadres Network. As a leader in his community, Gregory served two four-year terms as a member of the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education beginning in January 2000, including a year as president of the board. Gregory is a Fulbright-Hayes Fellow, recipient of the Gerbode Fellowship and board chair of the Rockwood Leadership Institute.

Jeffrey D. Yergler


How to Build and Sustain Employee Engagement and Morale in the Pandemic

Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D.

In the latest Back to the Baysics, Marc Singer talks with Jeffrey Yergler, PhD, about his work on organizational leadership and human skills development in the workplace. Despite the limitations and constraints imposed by the pandemic, requiring many people to work virtually, managers have the opportunity to use new tools and insights that can build and sustain engagement and morale. Management approaches that worked in the past will not work moving forward: what employees need to thrive in this environment must inform how managers connect with their employees. As recent research suggests, this will require ongoing changes in the way managers lead and connect with their employees and teams to keep connections strong and ensure that employees feel engaged, supported, and valued.

Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Management and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, San Francisco. As an instructor in higher education, Jeffrey specializes in local, national, and global leadership, management, diversity in organizations, emotional intelligence and agility, coaching and mentoring, and human skills development. Alongside his work as a professor, Jeffrey has served as Principal for Integer Leadership Consulting since 2004.

John Martin

WEDNESDAY, January 27, Noon

John Martin, former CEO of Gilead Sciences

Join us as Robert Shoffner, GGU's Director of MBA Programs and Entrepreneurship, speaks with John Martin about his journey from scientist to CEO, including earning his MBA from GGU at night. John will discuss his vision for education and how having GGU's MBA program offered at Gilead has impacted the company. Gilead's groundbreaking work, including the company's recent efforts to find a vaccine for COVID-19, will be discussed along with your questions.

John Martin served as CEO of leading biotech company, Gilead Sciences for 20 years. Under John's leadership, Gilead cemented its position as an industry leader, developed many breakthrough therapies, and began a long relationship with GGU's Ageno School of Business. For years, Gilead has offered employees an opportunity to earn their GGU MBA degree on site.

McCarthy Institute panelists

WEDNESDAY, December 2, 9 a.m.

The McCarthy Institute Series: Competing for Consumers in the Digital Era

The digital marketing ecosystem is rapidly changing with technological innovation and regulation, requiring firms to rethink long-held assumptions and answer new strategic questions.

Join the McCarthy Institute and session sponsor Keystone Strategy for this 75-minute session. Our panelists explore market dynamics and inefficiencies, the promise and pitfalls of relying on big data, and the implications of new barriers to accessing consumers, and consumer data across platforms.

  • Anja Lambrecht, Professor of Marketing at London Business School
  • Kenneth C. Wilbur, Professor of Marketing and Analytics at the University of California, San Diego
  • Sachin Puri, Vice President of Marketing at McAfee.
  • David Franklyn, Director McCarthy Institute
  • David Hyman, Professor of Health Law and Policy at Georgetown Law
  • Moderator: Paresh Dave, Reuters
Larry Ebert and Marc Singer

THURSDAY, November 19, Noon

Spread the love and the Vegan Butter – Miyoko Schinner's Fight for Innovation, Sustainability, Animal Rights

Join Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko’s Creamery and GGU Visiting Associate Professor of Law Lucas Williams in a discussion of her company’s beginnings, challenges, and victories along the way. Her recent win against the California Department of Food and Agriculture is a victory not only for her product label, but also animal rights, plant-based products, and women- and minority-owned businesses.

Miyoko Schinner is founder and CEO of Miyoko’s Creamery, the leading organic plant-dairy creamery that is reinventing the dairy industry. Schinner pioneered the plant-based dairy revolution by leveraging her vast experience as a chef, former restaurateur, best-selling cookbook author, and a founding board member of the Plant Based Foods Association. An animal rights advocate, Schinner co-founded Rancho Compasión, a nonprofit animal sanctuary in California that provides home to over 70 rescued farm animals.

Lucas Williams is GGU Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Staff Attorney, Environmental Law and Justice Clinic (ELJC). He has been litigating environmental cases since he graduated from GGU in 2008. Lucas worked at ELJC as a student, and upon graduation became ELJC’s graduate fellow. When his fellowship ended, Lucas joined Lexington Law Group (LLG). At LLG, he has litigated cases addressing toxic exposures and class action cases involving corporate greenwashing.

Larry Ebert and Marc Singer

WEDNESDAY, November 18, 1:30 p.m.

Back to the Baysics with Marc Singer: Storytelling for Leaders and Influencers

Marc Singer talks with management consultant and GGU Adjunct Professor Larry Ebert about why storytelling is an incredibly powerful, but underused, form of communication for leaders in business and how we can mine our internal stories to clarify values and move and shape teams and the world.

Larry Ebert delivers workshops and coaching on Storytelling for Leaders and other management skills as part of a consulting practice focused on management strategy and communications. Larry is a senior adjunct instructor of leadership and communications at GGU. He holds an MBA and Systems Engineering degree, and is also a musician.

About Storytelling for Leaders: When leaders tell great stories they connect, inspire, and galvanize teams towards a greater vision. Stories engage in a special and powerful way. Compared to reports, data and statistics, and flat Powerpoint presentations, stories are more memorable, more engaging and more connective. Well-told stories engage the head and heart.

Heinerman and Mutch

THURSDAY, November 12, Noon

Marvin Mutch and How the GGU Innocence Project Helped Save Him

Nate Hinerman, GGU associate professor of psychology, sits with Marvin Mutch, co-founder of the Humane Prison Project. Mutch was wrongly convicted of murder and eventually released from San Quentin Prison in 2016 with the help of the GGU Innocence Project. Marvin will share his amazing personal story of more than 40 years in prison, how it led him to advocacy work, and how we can find resiliency amid difficult times.

Marvin Mutch was released from prison February 17, 2016 after serving 41 years on a wrongful conviction in 1975. In 2008, Marvin was injured and sent to California Medical Facility for treatment. While there he became a fervent supporter of California’s only full-service prison hospice program. Marvin was released through the combined efforts of USC’s Post Conviction Justice Project, and Golden Gate University's Innocence Project. He is co-founder of the Humane Prison Hospice Project.

Nate Hinerman, PhD, LMFT is Chair of Psychology, School of Undergraduate Studies, GGU.

Adam Foss

THURSDAY, October 29, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Adam Foss, Founder and Executive Director, Prosecutor Impact

The Golden Gate University Race and Justice Task Force welcomes Adam Foss, the founder and executive director of Prosecutor Impact for this engaging online talk and Q&A. PI is a nonprofit organization that develops innovative curriculum & experiential training for prosecutors across the country. PI's goal is to reduce the use of incarceration by training criminal prosecutors to employ data-informed, sustainable & safety-focused interventions that are aimed at fostering more equitable outcomes for the communities they serve.

Adam Foss is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Adam believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for a reinvention that requires better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won.” This led him to create Prosecutor Impact, a nonprofit that develops training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system. Most recently, Mr. Foss appeared in the critically-acclaimed CNN feature-length documentary “American Jail.”

  • Welcoming Remarks: GGU Law Dean Eric Christiansen
  • Speaker Introduction: Law Professor Jyoti Nanda

Following Q&A led by:

  • Amye Osakue, President, BLSA, Co-Chair of RJTF Subcommittee
  • Alexis Pickins, BLSA Member, Co-Chair of RJTF Subcommittee
Raj Gupta and Stuart Hicks

WEDNESDAY, October 28, 11:30 a.m.

Back to the Baysics with Marc Singer: Raj Gupta and Stuart Hicks

Marc Singer talks with Raj Gupta of Moss Adams and Stuart Hicks of Krohn Watters and Hicks LLP about tax consulting and how recent changes have affected their industry.

Stuart Hicks is a partner at Krohn, Watters and Hicks, LLP (KWH) and provides tax consulting, planning and compliance services to high-net worth individuals and families as well as business entities. Industry focus includes real estate, technology, and hospitality. Prior to KWH, Stuart worked as a tax manager at Moss Adams LLP in the corporate tax group.

Raj Gupta has practiced public accounting since 2009. He specializes in partnership taxation, including complex partner allocations resulting from property and partnership interest transfers. He has extensive fund experience including private equity funds, fund of funds, and other types of alternative investments, and he advises on matters related to taxations and organizational structure. He has substantial experience managing large compliance engagements involving multistate filings for corporate and pass-through entities, consulting with clients on a broad spectrum of tax matters.

illustration of people with masks

TUESDAY, October 13, Noon

Rebellious Lawyering in Immigrant Communities During COVID-19

This panel will discuss the importance of Rebellious Lawyering in advocating for immigrant clients during a global pandemic. COVID-19 has endangered and further marginalized the immigrant and undocumented communities in devastating ways. In this session, panelists will discuss their holistic approaches in providing legal services from a rebellious lawyering lens, as it relates to deportation defense, racial injustice, prolonged detention, homelessness, and domestic violence.

  • Moderator: Adjunct Law Professor Monica Valencia, Supervising Attorney for the Immigrant Rights’ team at Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland
  • Bill Ong Hing, Professor and Director of the USF School of Law Immigration Clinic and Policy Clinic
  • Aidin Castillo, Directing Attorney, Centro Legal de la Raza
  • Sabrina Farrell, Alameda Assistant District Attorney and Executive Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center
  • Sylvie Karina , Co-Founder and Director of CALMA, formerly Border Angels Bay Area Chapter

TUESDAY, September 15, 9 a.m

The McCarthy Institute Series: In Conversation with Uber - Brand Values That Move Us

A conversation with the global director of brand and product marketing and head of trademarks and domains. This fascinating conversation, hosted by McCarthy Institute Director David Franklyn, will explore how Uber's values have played a huge role in navigating the different challenges that have emerged in 2020. Meg Donovan and Rafa Gutierrez from Uber will discuss topics ranging from brand values in action, taking an active stance on mask-wearing, and Uber's role in racial injustice in the US.

Meg Donovan, Global Director, Brand and Product Marketing, joined Uber in 2014 as one of the first marketers. At the time, Uber was known mostly known as a black car service that had launched in ~50 cities worldwide. Since then, Meg has helped grow the business, global marketing organization, and brand into what it is today. Currently, Meg is responsible for leading Uber’s robust consumer product portfolio and the global masterbrand.

Rafa Gutiérrez, Legal Director at Uber, is the head of its global trademark, copyright, and domains practice groups. Rafa was Uber’s first in-house trademark attorney and has had the opportunity to develop and build Uber’s in-house trademark and domain systems and policies from the ground up. Rafa and his team manage Uber’s global trademark portfolio, handling matters relating to clearance, prosecution and enforcement (including anti-phishing and anti-counterfeiting). Rafa and his team are also responsible for establishing strategies, policies and procedures for the acquisition, transfer and use of the domains.


TUESDAY, September 1, Noon

Back to the Baysics with Marc Singer: In conversation with Van Ton-Quinlivan on education-to-work

Marc Singer, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, talks with Van Ton-Quinlivan, the CEO of Futuro Health, whose new education-to-work model supports candidates through career exploration and coaching, education financing, and determining the best pathway toward credential or licensure attainment. Futuro Health was established through a partnership between Kaiser Permanente and SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West to grow the largest network of credentialed allied healthcare workers. Van is a national thought-leader in workforce development, and a member of GGU's Board of Trustees. Learn about the future of education and its role in shaping the workforce of tomorrow.

Van Ton-Quinlivan is CEO of Futuro Health. She is a nationally recognized thought leader in workforce development and her distinguished career spans the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Most recently, Van served as the executive vice chancellor of Workforce and Digital Futures of the California Community Colleges, the largest higher education system in the nation with 115 institutions. As an appointee of Governor Brown, she grew public investments from $100 million to more than $1 billion during her tenure by establishing workforce as a state policy priority.


WEDNESDAY, August 26, Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Privacy During the Pandemic

Are you curious why no one is using the contract tracing apps to help guard against COVID? Wonder how state and local police are using federal surveillance resources lately? Join GGU Professor Adam Sand, privacy law; Shannon Yavorsky, Partner, Orrick; and John Banghard, Senior Director, Cybersecurity, Veneble to learn more about the state of your privacy rights during the pandemic.

Shannon K. Yavorsky is a leading authority on U.S. and European data privacy and security issues. She is uniquely qualified in California, England and Wales and Ireland, bringing a deep understanding of the increasingly complex global privacy and data security regulatory landscape.

John Banghart leverages his significant federal government and private sector experience in cybersecurity to navigate issues related to risk management, government policy, standards and regulatory compliance, and incident management. He has successfully led efforts to address significant and high-profile cybersecurity issues within major government programs and institutions while facing complex legal, technical, and political circumstances.

Adam Sand is an adjunct professor of law at GGU and director of the privacy program. He is general counsel at Ciitizen, a consumer health tech company that is building a platform to help patients collect, organize, and share their medical records digitally.

This event is part of a fall survey course. GGU Law is hosting four related public lunchtime talks that explore the legal and policy responses to COVID-19 and its aftermath.

Future Sessions:

  • September 30 from 12-1:30 –- Rideshare Drivers, Employee Status, and Pandemic Mayhem, moderated by Professor Anna Kirsch
  • October 28 from 12-1:30 — IP/Technology Law, moderated by Professor David Franklyn
  • November 18, from 12-1:30 — Juvenile Justice and Decarceration, moderated by Professor Jyoti Nanda
IPS flyer

TUESDAY, August 25, 11 a.m.

Minority-Owned Business and Government: Navigating to Survive and Thrive

In the time of COVID-19, this panel discussion will guide small business owners on how to navigate available grants, loans, and resources.

COVID-19 has wreaked unprecedented havoc on all small businesses. The meltdown in marginalized minority-owned businesses has been especially devastating. Between February and April, 41 percent of Black businesses and 32 percent of Latino businesses closed as a result of the pandemic.

At this panel discussion, you will learn how to:

  • Leverage government partnerships, resources, and information
  • Find advisory/consultative resources available for small businesses
  • Find underutilized grants, loans, and general assistance for small businesses
  • Access capital resources
  • Make connections with decision makers
  • Understand the new 'PPP' due this fall

Please join our panelists:

  • The Honorable Fiona Ma, CPA, California State Treasurer
  • Julie Clowes, District Director, SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration)
  • Chris Dombrowski, Acting Director, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go Biz)
  • John Kabateck, State Director, NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business)
  • Jeff Bellisario, Executive Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
  • Angel Cardoz, Director, San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SFSBDC)
  • Robert Shoffner, Moderator, Program Director MBA and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program, Golden Gate University
Lee Lambert

TUESDAY, August 25, 7:30 a.m.

Strategic Design and Project Delivery - Bridging the Gap

Lee Lambert and Marie Sparks

Lee Lambert will examine the critical relationship between organizational strategy and the execution of projects. The potential value of maintaining strategy/project connection will be illustrated, as well as ways to achieve and maintain that vital connection.

Lee R. Lambert, PMP, PMI Fellow CEO Lambert Consulting Group Lee R. Lambert has logged 50+ years of project management experience and is considered one of the world’s thought leaders on project management methods and how they can be utilized to create and sustain value-added leadership and collaboration capabilities. He is one of only 70 in the world to receive the honor of PMI Fellow. Lee is a Past President of the Central Ohio PMI and was one of the Founders of the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP) credential. His book, Project Management-The CommonSense Approach, is a best seller in the field.

Robert Patterson

THURSDAY, August 20, 11 a.m.

Marcia Ruben in Conversation with Alumnus Robert Patterson

Director and Worldwide Tax & Trade Controller, Microsoft

Marcia Ruben, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Graduate Management Program, speaks with Robert Patterson, an MS Taxation alumnus, about his life and career.

Robert Patterson, MST 2004, has enjoyed a storied career as a tax practitioner. Currently, he serves as a Microsoft director, ensuring internal control over financial reporting across all functional tax and trade areas. Previously, Robert worked on initiatives related to global and domestic tax compliance and policies with the Big Four accounting firms, multinational companies Walmart and American Express, and the state of Kansas where he helped draft tax legislation. Throughout his career, Robert has taken bold risks—that sometimes raised eyebrows—and carved a unique path. He takes inspiration from his parents who moved their family from post-segregation Alabama to Alaska following his mother’s participation in the Selma, Alabama Bloody Sunday protest and enrollment in an Alabama community college amid aggressive discrimination. Their values of determination, diligence, and preparation have served him well.

Robert earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Pacific Lutheran University and over the course of his career he earned an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Morehead State University, Master of Science in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Master of Science in Taxation from Golden Gate University, Graduate Certificate in State & Local Taxation from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and he completed coursework in law at Washburn University’s School of Law.


FRIDAY, July 31, Noon

Back to the Baysics with Marc Singer: In conversation with Amelia Linde of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

Marc Singer talks with Amelia Linde, Small Business Policy and Engagement Manager at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, about the effects of the pandemic on small businesses in San Francisco, how these businesses can pivot and become more resilient as they face the future, and what the Chamber of Commerce is doing to help them navigate this new terrain.

Amelia Linde, originally from Belmont, California, currently lives in the South Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. As the Small Business Policy and Engagement Manager for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Amelia works to support small businesses as they navigate the complicated nuances of doing business in San Francisco. From supporting B2B business development, to connecting businesses with resources and helping them understand potential impacts of new legislation, she strives to be a subject matter expert and resource to help small businesses in a comprehensive way. Growing up working for her family’s small businesses drove her passion for supporting other small business owners, and work to keep the neighborhoods of San Francisco vibrant.

Marie Spark

THURSDAY, July 30, 11 a.m.

Marie Spark: Project Management for Attorneys

Are you an attorney, and feel that your work is managing you, instead of the other way around? There is a better way! Learn from an experienced project manager about how project management is taking off in the legal field. Make order out of chaos, with tools and techniques you can use to be more effective.

Marie Spark, MBA, PMP, is the director of the project management graduate program at GGU and is an active leader for the local chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI San Francisco). She came to academics following a career in project and quality management in banking, technology and nonprofits. Her passion is to empower adult learners to their careers.

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 9 a.m.

U.S.P.T.O. v. What the Recent SCOTUS Ruling Means for Trademark Law

In this third episode of the McCarthy Series, we tackle the question, when is a domain name like or simply a web address, and when can it be registered as a trademark?

In a U.S. Supreme Court case noteworthy as the first ever argued virtually, the Court ruled last month that, because consumers do not understand “” to be a reference to travel reservation websites generally, the term is not generic and is eligible for trademark protection and registration. To reach that conclusion, the Court rejected the U.S.P.T.O.’s proposed per se rule that a generic term, when combined with the .com top level domain, must automatically be deemed generic and therefore ineligible for trademark protection.

In the latest episode of the McCarthy Institute video podcast series, Director David Franklyn hosts a provocative roundtable discussion with key players in the case including the survey expert whose survey played a prominent role in the briefing, the oral argument, the Court’s decision, and Justice Breyer’s dissent, amici who submitted briefs on both sides of the case, and co-counsel for

They’ll discuss the ramifications of the case – what does it mean for survey and other consumer perception evidence in the future, what is the applicability of the case beyond domain names (and is there anything left to the Supreme Court’s 1888 case finding that a generic term combined with the generic corporate descriptor Company cannot serve as a trademark), and how can brand owners, competitors and consumers navigate the anti-competitive concerns raised by the USPTO and Justice Breyer in the world.

David Bernstein, Patner, Debevoise and Plimpton LLP
Rebecca Tushnet, Professor of First Amendment Law, Harvard Law School
Peter Golder, Marketing Professor, Tuck Dartmouth
Hal Poret, Survey Research and Survey Consulting
David Franklyn, Director McCarthy Institute

Jana Pastena

THURSDAY, July 23, Noon

Back to the Baysics with Marc Singer: Restaurateur and GGU Law Alumna Jana Pastena

Marc Singer, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, talks with Jana Pastena, a GGU Law School alumna who is a restaurateur in Oakland. We will talk about how the restaurant business has been affected by the pandemic and the recent protests, the need for community involvement and activism, and the unique challenges that face black-owned businesses, 41 percent of which have closed permanently since February, compared with 17 percent of white-owned businesses.

Jana Pastena is a passionate Oakland resident. Her family moved to Oakland in 1980 when she was 2 years old. They fell in love with Oakland and the Bay Area immediately—-a welcome change for her interracial family from the segregated Midwest. She is a graduate of Oakland’s Mills College where she earned a degree in Ethnic Studies. She graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law in 2012. She met her husband, Chris, in 2004 and he too was soon enamored with Oakland. The two used their culinary and social justice backgrounds to give back to Oakland and decided Oakland was the place to open their restaurants Chop Bar (2009), Calavera (2015), Tribune Tavern (2013 and 2019), and Lungomare (2013), which they sold in 2019. Jana is most proud of creating places of community and creating good jobs for Oakland’s diverse residents. Jana has helped Oakland grow to be a leading culinary destination. She currently sits on the boards of directors of Children’s Fairyland and The Crucible. She and Chris use their influence in Oakland to support charitable causes that support children, music, the arts, and the homeless.

Sia Zadeh

TUESDAY, July 14, 2:30 p.m.

The Role and Utility of Big Data and AI for Tracking and Monitoring COVID-19

Dr. Siamak Zadeh, Ph.D.

Big data and artificial intelligence are increasingly being utilized in healthcare for tracking, monitoring and containment of infectious diseases. In this webinar, we review the roles they play for tracking, monitoring, and containment of COVID-19.

Dr. Siamak Zadeh is an associate professor and data scientist at Golden Gate University. He has over 30 years of academic and IT industry experience. He has worked in a variety of organizations, such as IBM Research and Oracle, developing business strategies and product specifications for the use and application of digital transformation and analytics to business problems and challenges. He has done research in the application of scientific techniques to many IT and business problems and has participated in several industry focus groups and standard bodies, articulating the emerging needs for digital transformation. Dr. Zadeh earned an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York.


WEDNESDAY, June 17, 10 a.m.

In conversation with Dr. Sarah Kagan, PhD, JD - Biotech patenting around COVID-19

Join the McCarthy Institute and episode sponsor Banner and Witcoff, Ltd. for a discussion with Dr. Sarah Kagan on Biotech Patenting Around COVID-19. This session will explore patentability of therapeutics and vaccines related to COVID, ethical and social justice implications of patenting in this arena, and a review of what can be done now to counsel biotech clients with regard to patentability issues related to COVID.

When clients have new technologies they would like to protect, Dr. Sarah Kagan, PhD, JD helps them brainstorm and anticipate future uses and applications of the technology in alternative fields. Recognizing how crucial these explorations are to obtaining appropriate protection for the technology as it is currently practiced and as it may develop over the course of the life of a patent, Sarah works to protect her clients’ technologies so they will be successful in the marketplace. Capitalizing on her many years in practice, Sarah practices with an eye to the future, looking ahead to the full life cycle of a patent. Is a swift allowance of a patent application desirable? What will result in a swift allowance? Having been involved in a variety of adversarial proceedings, she constructs the foundational documents focused on future attacks, and how they can be avoided and/or rebutted. What will result in a strong patent?

THURSDAY, June 18, 11 a.m.

Back to the Baysics with Marc Singer: In conversation with Westin Thatcher and Robbie Sintich, Jr. on legal cannabis

Marc Singer, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, talks with Robbie Sintich, Jr., and Westin Thatcher of Supreme Oak, entrepreneurs in the legal cannabis industry. Learn about all of the challenges and opportunities presented by the burgeoning cannabis industry, and all of the ways in which this sector of the economy differs from other businesses: finance and banking, supply chain and distribution, quality control, and conflicting laws and regulations across jurisdictions. The industry is evolving rapidly--learn where things stand now.

Westin Thatcher has been working in the cannabis industry since 2014, before the days of legal recreation sales. His experience ranges from small “mom and pop” shops operating in the legal grey zone created by Proposition 215, to large multi-state retailers and distribution operations. He specializes in the fields of inventory control, retail management, and track and trace operations. Currently, Westin is the VP of Operations for Supreme Oak Ventures, which holds a distribution and Yype 6 manufacturing license located in the Bay Area. He oversees the compliant transfer, storage, and GMPs of cannabis products within the facilities the company operates.

Robert Sintich, Jr. is Chief Operations Officer for Supreme Oak Ventures, the parent company for Tellus Distribution, Mary and Joe Delivery, and holder of a Type 6 manufacturing license. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and receiving a degree in Criminal Justice, he relocated from the Northeast to the Bay Area to explore opportunities in the cannabis industry. He started as a brand representative for Indus Holdings, and has worked in several capacities with Harborside Health Center including Transfer Agent Sales Lead, Inventory, Merchandising, Cash Handling and in the Safety and Security Area. Robbie has worked closely with owners, regulators, and city officials in order to carry out compliance and licensing requirements, and he is also a consultant for individuals or companies interested in entering or expanding in the cannabis industry.


THURSDAY, June 11, 11 a.m.

Impermanence and Inheritance: Trust and Estate Planning in Unsettling Times

The current pandemic illuminates the uncomfortable nature of our impermanent and unsettling lives, although it also provides a perfect time to face such uncertainty with effective legal and financial planning. Tax law is always in flux, so what is reliable? Our world will always continue to change, everyone will face dynamic circumstances throughout their lives, and this presentation will provide an eagle eye's view of many things we can meaningfully control. Impermanence, Inheritance, Trust and Estate Planning, and Unsettling Times. What should we do to face such an impermanent and unsettling future? Ideally, we should plan as much as possible, as doing so ultimately provides a relieving peace of mind, a valuable legal and financial roadmap for those you care about, and a nimble mindset to embrace an unpredictable future as the most authentic choice we really have.

J.P. Harbour is a practicing attorney at the Law Office of JP Harbour in San Francisco, focusing on trusts, estates, probate, tax, and nonprofit law. He earned his LL.M. (Tax) from GGU, J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, and he is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law (State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization). He previously served as President of the GGU Alumni Association and as a member of the GGU Board of Trustees, and he is currently active in a myriad of nonprofit organizations around the Bay.


TUESDAY, June 9, Noon

Back to the Baysics with Marc Singer: In conversation with Jelena Kelleher

Marc Singer will talk with Jelena Kelleher, Associate Professor and Chair of the Undergraduate Experience program at Golden Gate University, about the working adult learner and the unique challenges (and rewards) of coming back to school as an adult. Jelena was an adult learner at GGU herself, and this experience is reflected in her work both as an administrator and in the classroom. We will discuss whether adults learn differently, how education can be integrated with students' "real life" experiences, and how the pandemic has posed unique challenges for these students.

Jelena Kelleher is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the Undergraduate Experience program at Golden Gate University. Jelena’s experience as an administrator in student services and as an academic administrator at Golden Gate University, and as an alumna of GGU, make her the ideal faculty member to be responsible for the Undergraduate Gateway and Associate Capstone courses. Jelena has always found joy in helping students achieve success in their academic pursuits and life goals and her work has always been in service to that goal, whether crafting technology solutions to provide enrollment self-service, running advising and student success programs, or in the classroom. Jelena’s research and curricular interests include the intentional design of meta-learning opportunities and the integration of curriculum and student services. Jelena is a graduate of the Golden Gate University School of Law and is currently pursuing an LLM degree.


WEDNESDAY, June 3, 10 a.m.

US Supreme Court Rules “Willfulness” Not Required To Obtain Money Damages in Trademark Suits

In this first episode of the McCarthy Institute Series video podcast, David Franklyn hosts Mark Puzella and Sheryl Garko from episode sponsor Orrick for an in-depth look at the Romag Fasteners case. They will explore what “willfulness” really means, discuss the impact of the Romag ruling on damages awards in U.S. trademark litigation, and answer the question “How should trademark lawyers counsel their clients in light of this new ruling?”

As a trial lawyer, Mark Puzella excels at handling accelerated, complex cases. For example, as lead counsel for New Balance, Mark won a swift six-month International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation concerning claims of trade dress infringement. The ITC ruled in favor of his client, finding that the plaintiff had no rights in the claimed design. And, as lead plaintiff counsel for Explorica in a trademark case, he won a jury verdict just ten weeks after filing the complaint. Clients routinely ask him to take over matters at the close of discovery or prior to trial, which presents unique challenges and time constraints.

For almost 15 years, Sheryl Garko has represented clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies to start-ups in high stakes litigation and at trial. She has worked with leading technology companies and some of the most recognizable brands in the world, including New Balance, Samsung, and Microsoft. She has tried cases to both judges and juries in federal courts across the United States and is experienced practicing before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and 美国国际贸易委员会.


FRIDAY, May 29th, 11:45 a.m.

Back to the Baysics with Marc Singer: In conversation with Michele Neitz on Blockchain

Marc Singer will talk with GGU Professor of Law Michele Neitz about her work on blockchain technology. What is blockchain? Blockchain technology powers and supports the digital currency space using secure code over a distributed network, but many believe that it has the potential for many other applications and uses beyond cryptocurrencies. Michelle will help us make sense of this. We will discuss blockchain's implications for the state economy and government operations, challenges for regulators, and the ethical questions it raises (and possibly resolves). No need to be an expert on the subject (Marc is not), but this conversation should give you a better sense of what all of us will need to know.

Michele Neitz is Professor of Law at GGU, and an expert on blockchain. She is a member of the California Blockchain Working Group, which was created to research and document the developing technology’s potential uses, risks and benefits to state government and California-based businesses in a report to the Legislature by July 1, 2020. Professor Neitz teaches Blockchain and the Law, Business Associations, Poverty Law, Professional Responsibility, and Corporate Compliance. She has been voted “Most Outstanding Professor” by the graduating class of GGU Law four times.


WEDNESDAY, May 20th, noon

Back to the Baysics with Marc Singer: In conversation with Nina Coveney, Project Manager with Biederman Redevelopment Ventures

Marc Singer will talk with Nina Coveney, Project Manager with Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, about the idea of placemaking, particularly in San Francisco around GGU. How does public space affect daily life in a city? How does a park or a common area affect economic development and a sense of community? What kinds of event programming can enhance the use of public space? And how will the pandemic and shelter-in-place policies affect us and the way we think about places like Salesforce Park and Bryant Park?

Nina Coveney is a Project Manager on park and urban redevelopment projects for Biederman Redevelopment Ventures. She is primarily responsible for large events, operations, and revenue generation at Salesforce Park. Previously she was Events Manager at Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership in New York City. She also worked for the Town of Ithaca Planning Department in Ithaca, New York and as a researcher for a nonprofit organization that provides supportive housing for the homeless.


THURSDAY, May 14th, 10:30 a.m.

Back to the Baysics with Marc Singer: In conversation with Sahaar Rezaie, Executive Director, Genesys Works Bay Area

In the debut show of Back to the Baysics, Marc Singer, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, talks with Sahaar Rezaie about the work of Genesys Works and how it serves students and the Bay Area business community through its innovative programs. They discuss the goals of the program, how the people they serve have been affected by the shelter-in-place orders, and what they are learning about their programs and what the future might look like. They also talk about a unique partnership between GWBA and GGU.

Sahaar Rezaie is Executive Director of Genesys Works Bay Area, part of a national college access and workforce development program that empowers high school seniors through classroom training and a year-long paid internship. Students utilize their program experience as a springboard into college and career success. Genesys Works continues working with students as they progress through college by providing support in applying for scholarships, additional internship opportunities, financial literacy resources, and more. Genesys Works Bay Area currently serves 500 students locally (and more than 4,000 nationally), and program participants are graduating from college at a rate 3.5 times higher than that of their peers. Additionally, 40% of program graduates go on to pursue degrees in STEM education. The goal of Genesys Works is to break the cycle of poverty through access to the economic mainstream, all while building a more diverse workforce.

Lori Silverman

TUESDAY May 12th, 11-12pm

There’s No Going Back to Normal After COVID: Why Strategic Thinking is Needed Now!

Lori Silverman

Let’s face reality: Life as we know it has been altered forever. According to McKinsey, we’re headed toward a “next normal.” No matter where you live or work in the world, when the coronavirus made itself known, life as we once knew it went on pause. For some businesses, it quieted them forever. Yet, there were people and enterprises that anticipated this situation. The US Military, for example. Public health agencies. Large healthcare systems. Even so, they underestimated the virus’s profound and far-reaching impact. There are other organizations that are quietly acquiring others, that are growing beyond their wildest projections, and individuals and firms that have pivoted 为那些有需要的人服务. Changes that may have seemed unlikely in a company, like remote work, no longer became optional. What makes us think life will go back to normal in a few weeks or months? Where’s your focus right now? On today, the “now?” On the next step? 或者下下个步骤? Learn why it’s absolutely critical for you and whatever organizations you’re a part of to begin thinking strategically now!

Awarded Adjunct Professor of the Year in 2019 at GGU, Lori teaching the only graduate course in the world on strategic thinking in an industrial and Organizational Psychology Master’s Program. As the founder of Partners for Progress®, Lori helps enterprises strategize about their future; navigate messy, complex changes; make smarter decisions using data, and influence through story. Since 1991, she’s worked in 25 industries, with enterprises like Chevron, American Family Insurance, McDonalds, Target, GE, and Phillips North America. She’s authored five books, including the bestseller, Business Storytelling for Dummies and is an international keynote speaker.

Joe Zarate-Sanderlin MA, LMFT

THURSDAY, May 7th, 11-12pm

Gender Inclusive Language

Joe Zarate-Sanderlin MA, LMFT

While not a new concept, gender variance has become a more common conversation at work and in schools at all levels. In this session, we will have a brief overview of the conversation regarding gender and learn some best practices for gender inclusive language in the various settings where we interact.

Joe Zarate-Sanderlin has a psychotherapy private practice in San Francisco where they specialize in working with relationships, specifically in the LGBT community and alternative sexuality communities. They teach PSYCH 320, Therapeutic Communication and Counseling Skills, and PSYCH 331, Human Sexuality, at GGU as well as presenting trainings to therapists about Talking to Clients about Sex, Gender in Psychotherapy, Open Relationships, and BDSM Relationships and they provides consultation on these and other topics.

Joe Zarate-Sanderlin MA, LMFT


Empathic Communication

Joe Zarate-Sanderlin MA, LMFT

Are you understanding your peers, your partners, and your children well? In the best of times, it can be hard to communicate well, particularly to convey effective listening, and in these challenging times, it is all the harder as our patience and resilience are tested. In this session, we will talk about Evocative Empathy and I will offer some tips and tricks to help level up your communication.

Joe Zarate-Sanderlin has a psychotherapy private practice in San Francisco where they specialize in working with relationships, specifically in the LGBT community and alternative sexuality communities. They teach PSYCH 320, Therapeutic Communication and Counseling Skills, and PSYCH 331, Human Sexuality, at GGU as well as presenting trainings to therapists about Talking to Clients about Sex, Gender in Psychotherapy, Open Relationships, and BDSM Relationships and they provides consultation on these and other topics.


Tax Ramifications of Staying Home

Kathleen K. Wright

Shelter-in-place is the equivalent of "telecommuting." Telecommuting wreaks havoc with respect to state income tax. Issues relate to taxation of the employee in multiple states, and potential double tax. Issues related to the employer include "doing business" in the state where employee lives (not always same state as location of employee) and withholding of state income tax and payment of state payroll taxes. These rules are frequently different in different states. Learn all about these issues in this webinar.

Kathleen Wright is the Director of the State and Local Tax Program at Golden Gate University School of Taxation. She has a BS (Accounting) from Florida State University, a JD from Fordham Law School, an MBA (Taxation) from New York University, and an LLM (Taxation) from Golden Gate University School of Law. She is also a CPA licensed in California and New York and admitted to practice law in New York. She has a private tax practice focusing on representation and small business tax planning and consulting.

Jeffrey D. Yergler

THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 10 A.M.-11 A.M.

Leadership and Self-Management in a Season of Disruption

Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D.

This is clearly a season of disruption that is changing the way we take of ourselves and the way we lead and manage others. This webinar will explore how change of this magnitude can have on our own sense of stability and well being. We will also take a look a how we can help others navigate the impact of this experience in their organizations.

Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Management and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, San Francisco. As an instructor in higher education, Jeffrey specializes in local, national, and global leadership, management, diversity in organizations, emotional intelligence and agility, coaching and mentoring, and human skills development. Alongside his work as a professor, Jeffrey has served as Principal for Integer Leadership Consulting since 2004.

Marcia Ruben


The Neuroscience of Leading Amid the Volatility of COVID-19

Marcia Ruben and Nola Masterson

Learn the basics about your brain and the biology of COVID 19 in order to keep yourself calm and focused so you can be an effective leader during these volatile times. Lifting into the present moment is a skill set you can achieve which can impact your effectiveness in times of stress.

Dr. Marcia Ruben is an Associate Professor and Program Director for Golden Gate University's MS Leadership program. She was the 2016-2018 Russell T. Sharpe Research Professor, focusing on neuroscience, leadership, and complexity. Dr. Ruben also maintains a private executive leadership development practice.

Nola Elizabeth Masterson, MSc. is a biotechnology industry leader and forward thinker with more than 45 years of business experience in the life sciences industry and in venture capital investment.

Walt Stevenson


How to engage students: a demonstration using Lego bricks

Walt Stevenson

Using Lego bricks as an educational artifact tool, this session will discuss and demonstrate how content can be more engaging and the reasons engagement contribute to long-term knowledge retention.

Walt Stevenson is a GGU Professor of Management and Communications, who in addition to his academic discipline of management, devotes research and application study time into theory about how to make classroom (Zoom and online too) sessions more engaging for student learning. He is a Distinguished Leader at the annual Creative Education Foundation's Creative Problem Solving Institute.

Marcia Ruben

FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 8:30-9:30 A.M.

Volatile Times for Leaders: Here's Your Action Plan

Marcia Ruben

During these volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) times, leaders are being called on to make quick decisions with often far-reaching impact. Learn how to pivot in these volatile times.

Dr. Marcia Ruben is an Associate Professor and Program Director for Golden Gate University's MS Leadership program. She was the 2016-2018 Russell T. Sharpe Research Professor, focusing on neuroscience, leadership, and complexity. Dr. Ruben also maintains a private executive leadership development practice.

Jeffrey D. Yergler

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 11 A.M.-12 P.M.

Leadership and Self-Management in a Season of Disruption

Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D.

This is clearly a season of disruption that is changing the way we take of ourselves and the way we lead and manage others. This webinar will explore how change of this magnitude can have on our own sense of stability and well being. We will also take a look a how we can help others navigate the impact of this experience in their organizations.

Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Management and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, San Francisco. As an instructor in higher education, Jeffrey specializes in local, national, and global leadership, management, diversity in organizations, emotional intelligence and agility, coaching and mentoring, and human skills development. Alongside his work as a professor, Jeffrey has served as Principal for Integer Leadership Consulting since 2004.

TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM PDT

Mathematics is Everywhere - Virtual Edition (Webinar)

Mathematics is Everywhere - Celebrate the International Day of Mathematics (exactly one month late!) with a lively panel discussion on zoom. Our panelists will discuss the applications of mathematics in their professional life. Attend from anywhere via Zoom! Register for free to receive Zoom link. GGU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and all others who are interested are welcome.

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 11 A.M.-1 P.M.-ISH

Do You Have 5 Minutes?

GGU’s Innovation in Practice series takes a whimsical turn this spring with a mini-marathon of five-minute PowerPoint presentations on an eclectic range of topics. From informative to fun, or combinations of both. Join in with your own submission, or just delight in the work of others. Either way, don’t miss this creative and unique event. It’s April 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.-ish.

Learn More >