Board of Directors

Rachel Michelin

California Retailers Association (CRA)

Board President

Rachel Michelin is President of the California Retailers Association (CRA). They are the most significant voice representing the retail industry in California’s public policy arena at the State Capitol, in City Halls and with regulatory bodies across the state. Michelin oversees a diverse board and membership representing retail throughout the state and nation from small brick and mortar, to franchises to national retailers and on-line merchants. 


Olwyn Brown

Board Vice President

Olwyn Brown is a 25-year member of Carpenters local #713 in Hayward California. She serves as a Board Member of both Retention Apprentice Mentoring Program (RAMP) and Tradeswomen, Inc. where she focuses on workers who need support to succeed in apprenticeship, mentor peer relationships, group dynamics and comprehensive retention support.

Kathleen Van Osten

MVM Strategy Group, LLC

Board Secretary

Kathleen (Kathy) Van Osten has worked successfully at the State level since 1985 and has provided advocacy services since 1998 before the Legislature, Governor’s Office and Administration and every Constitutional office.  She has successfully advocated on behalf of corporate, municipal and nonprofit clients, including United Airlines, Google, TechAmerica, SAP, AT&T, the L.A. Dodgers, the Cities of Beverly Hills, Fresno and Monrovia and many others, including nonprofits such as John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY), Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), American Association of University Women California (AAUWCA) and Sierra Family Services.


Chip Robertson

Warland Investments Company

Board Treasurer

Chip Robertson is Co-Managing Partner at Warland Investments Company. Mr. Robertson is Founder and Advisory Board Member for UC/CSU Collaborative for Neurodiversity and Learning as well as a Board Member for UC Law San Francisco.


Michael S. Bernick

DuaneMorris LLP

Michael S. Bernick is an American lawyer. He served as Director of California’s Labor Department, the Employment Development Department (EDD) from 1999 to 2004. He is a practitioner and theorist of job training and employment strategies. Today, he is also active in developing local training projects for workers with autism and other neurodiverse conditions.

William H. Duncan IV

Sierra College

William H. Duncan IV was selected as the sixth President of Sierra College in 2011. President Duncan revitalized the college’s facility master planning efforts resulting in a 20-year plan to accommodate the future growth and needs of the Rocklin campus, culminating in the passage of a $350 million bond measure in June 2018. 

Dr. Barbara Firestone

The Help Group

Dr. Barbara Firestone is the President, CEO and Founder of The Help Group. Widely recognized for her vision and innovative spirit, she has dedicated her life’s work to helping children with special needs realize their fullest potential. Under her leadership, The Help Group has become one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive nonprofits of its kind serving young people with autism and other special needs. 

Bob Giroux

Lang, Hansen, Giroux & Associates

Bob Giroux is a partner at Lang, Hansen, Giroux & Associates. With policy expertise based on decades of public service and political acumen forged in all aspects of political advocacy, Bob brings an unparalleled understanding of the legislative and political processes that drive California’s government.


Marjorie Solomon, Ph.D, M.B.A

UC Davis MIND Institute

Dr. Solomon is a Professor of clinical psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She is on the faculty of the MIND Institute and of the postdoctoral Autism Research Training Program.  Dr. Solomon is a licensed psychologist whose primary clinical work is focused on high functioning children, adolescents, and young adult with ASD. She studies and implements clinical intervention programs focused on the acquisition of social and life skills for these individuals.

Darin Lounds

Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB)

Darin Lounds is the Executive Director of the Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB), an Oakland-based nonprofit with a mission to create inclusive communities for people with developmental disabilities or other special needs through quality affordable housing. Darin brings 30 years of experience in various capacities within the field of supportive housing.

Don Perata

Senate President pro tem emeritus

Don Perata is a former Democratic politician, who was President pro tempore of the California State Senate from 2004 to 2008. Since retiring from political office, Don has remained active and an important leader in the California Democratic Party, as well as lending his time and efforts to a number of important issues affecting millions of Californians, including cancer research and adults  with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD).