Daniel Vasquez, Chair
Daniel Vasquez is a calm and confident leader who cares. Daniel has over 15 years experience in management within the business and nonprofit sectors. After 11 years in banking, Daniel shifted his energies to the finance and operations side of the social sector, holding leadership positions within Latino Issues Forum, Rockwood Leadership Institute and Legal Assistance for Seniors. Daniel has a great passion for youth work, expressed through his time as the Operations Manager at Beyond Emancipation, and through his volunteer service with Running for a Better Oakland and Puente. Daniel is currently the Executive Director of Brothers on the Rise, an Oakland based non-profit working with boys and young men of color, which he joined in 2016. A proud Oakland resident, Daniel holds his B.A. in Business Administration from San Jose State.
Tod Vedock, Board Vice Chair and co-Founder
Tod Vedock is the Founder of Running for a Better Oakland. He is also involved with several other Oakland non-profits which include Operation Hope, Red Cross, and Habitat for Humanity, among others. Life after selling two telecommunications businesses includes running his property business GIV LLC, local politics including a Mayoral Transition Council role, and recreation which resulted in assisting with the introduction of the Oakland Running Festival. Tod enjoys sharing his appreciation for volunteering, running and business with his two young daughters.
Martha Sellers, Treasurer
Martha Sellers teaches Finance at the Lokey Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College. She has an MBA in Finance from UC Berkeley’s Haas School and earned her BA in Economics at Mills College. Before returning to her alma mater to teach, Martha was the Managing Director of Credit Strategies for the Americas at Moody’s Analytics, an acquired subsidiary (formerly KMV), that focuses on quantitative credit portfolio management. Prior to working in credit, Martha worked with large endowments and corporate pension funds as a Portfolio Engineer at quantitative equity investment manager Rosenberg Institutional Equity Management.
Martha has been a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster youth for 5 years, working with children from age 6 to 21. The CASA program pairs trained adults with foster youth for long term mentoring and advocacy, including reports and recommendations to support the family court as it makes determinations on placement, sibling visitation and financial support. Her most recent work has been helping young adults plan for and begin college studies through the new California program AB 12, designed to support foster youth from age 18-21.
For 9 years, Martha served as a Trustee on the Head-Royce Board, finishing her tenure June 2017. In her years on the Board, she ran a task force on Financial Sustainability, headed a review of the Finance and Operations office, served as Treasurer and Secretary, served on the Head Search committee, the Trustee Committee, the Investments Committee, the Strategic Plan Committee and headed the Facilities Committee.
Martha is married to Luigi Semenzato and they have two daughters, a sophomore in high school and a college senior. Together they enjoy hiking and backpacking.
Christine Chapon is a former molecular biologist who was born and raised in France where she had an aversion to running as a child. Since then, Christine has formed a great love of running and is now devoted to contributing to the community and coaching youth. She is a certified USA-TF Level 2 and RRCA marathon coach and has coached Piedmont Middle School Track & Cross-Country since 2010 and Piedmont HS track since 2011; currently, she is also the coach for Run 365. Christine was previously the volunteer coordinator for Students Run Oakland from 2003 – 2010, and she now also serves as volunteer coordinator for the SF North Face Endurance Trail Challenge and Oakland Running Festival.
As a public interest lawyer, Andria has devoted her professional career to advocating for undeserved communities by offering them an experience built on trust and safety. She carries those skills over to RBO as a youth run mentor and Board member. Andria has been volunteering with RBO since she became an Oakland resident in 2016, and joined our Board in 2017. Not only is she an attorney and an RBO volunteer, she is also an accomplished trail runner. Andria has completed several long distance ultra runs, such as Scena’s Skyline 50K and Run Woodstock’s Peace, Love and 50 Miles. She is an avid runner who you can spot at times out building community with multiple groups in the East Bay, including the East Bay Beer Runners, November Project Oakland, and Nuun. Andria comes to us from the Midwest, where she continues to offer her family a strong female role model and is a mentor to her five nieces.
George Manning is a software developer and senior leader at technology companies such as Salesforce, IBM, and Kodak. Outside of work he enjoys training for and completing ultra-marathons, triathlons and bicycle events. He is passionate about mentoring, coaching and running with youth from Running for a Better Oakland, as well as running larger dogs from the Oakland SPCA, tutoring children and helping with after school homework, and teaching adult literacy at Alameda Reads. At a local school he has served as Vice President of the school board, Technology Council Lead, and Fundraising Coordinator.
Sarah Lavender Smith
Sarah Lavender Smith is a running coach, writer and mother of two teens who has lived in the East Bay for two decades. Her nonprofit board experience includes nine years as a trustee for an independent high school in Southern California, where she led the Development Committee and oversaw annual giving, capital campaigns and constituent relations. A competitive long-distance runner who has finished more than 75 marathons and ultramarathons, she is the author of the book, The Trail Runner’s Companion: A Step-by-Step Guide to Trail Running and Racing, from 5Ks to Ultras. For several years in the mid 2000s, Sarah volunteered for the group Students Run Oakland, and she also has been an assistant coach for the Piedmont Middle School cross country team.
Emily Van Loon
Emily is an affordable housing developer who works on the construction and financing of large scale rehab projects in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco - she’s committed her professional career to providing high quality housing to people with low incomes. Emily believes deeply in the ability of running to cultivate confidence, boost self-esteem, and build community. She moved to Oakland in 2011 from her hometown of Detroit, Michigan and has worked hard to put down roots in the East Bay; her communities consist of RBO, where she’s been volunteering as a K-5 coach since 2014, as well as the Downtown Oakland YMCA and Transports running group. Emily’s favorite kind of running is long distances on trails – she’s completed one 6-hour ultra-marathon and is looking forward to more!