About Us: Board
Gordon Yamate, President
Gordon Yamate currently serves on the boards of the Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange, which provides educational programs and networking opportunities for directors and senior executives of Silicon Valley public companies, and the Japanese American National Museum headquartered in Los Angeles, where he presided as chair of the Board of Trustees from 2010-15. He recently completed his tenure on the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, serving since 2008. He is also a former chair of the board of directors of Silicon Valley FACES, a human relations organization that operated the Silicon Valley regional office of the National Conference of Christians & Jews (NCCJ).
Gordon served as vice president and general counsel of newspaper publisher Knight Ridder until its acquisition by McClatchy in 2006 and prior to that Liberate Technologies, a Silicon Valley company that provided a software platform enabling Internet functionality through set-top boxes. Prior to Liberate, he was a corporate partner in the Silicon Valley offices of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen (later Bingham McCutchen). He received his law degree from Santa Clara University and his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis. He currently teaches a corporate governance seminar class as an adjunct lecturer in law at Santa Clara Law and the University of Augsburg in Germany.
Gordon’s interest in contemporary art and the ICA derives in part from his work as a former member of the City of San Jose’s Fine Arts Commission and as a former officer and board member of the San Jose Museum of Art, in addition to the Japanese American National Museum. He views artists as creative and critical problem solvers, often working with limited resources, to create work that explains what makes us uniquely human.
Mark Waxman, Vice President
Mark Waxman serves as the Chief Marketing Officer of CBIZ, Inc, an NYSE-listed professional services firm. Prior to CBIZ, Mark was a founding partner of SK Consulting and the CEO/Creative Director for Carter Waxman Advertising and P.R., one of Silicon Valley’s leading advertising agencies.
Mark is a well-known speaker and author, having written a featured column (“Street Smart Marketing”) for the Silicon Valley Business Journal and spoken at conferences nationwide. He advises many early stage Silicon Valley companies, and has received numerous honors and awards for his business, community and creative work, including being named Outstanding Alumni of the San Jose State University School of Journalism and Mass Communications, being honored with the San Jose/Silicon Valley Leadership Excellence Award, the Silicon Valley Economic Development Award, and the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal.
Mark has served as Chairman of the Board of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, the President of both The Silicon Valley Ad Club and The San Jose Repertory Theater, the Chair of both the KTEH-TV Auction and Artsopolis.com, the Program Director for the Community Leadership Program of Gilroy, CA., and currently serves (in addition to the ICA) on the boards of ChamberPAC, Silicon Valley Creates and the West Valley Mission Advancement Foundation. As a former musician and performer, he has been a supporter of the arts all his life.
Jon Thomas, Treasurer
Jon is a Managing Director with the investment-banking firm, Woodside Capital. Jon’s background includes over 15 years of investment banking, restructuring, and hedge fund portfolio management. At Woodside Capital Partners his focus is capital structure advisory, debt and equity capital raise, special situations M&A, and restructuring.
Prior to joining Woodside Capital Partners, Jon was a Senior Portfolio Manager at Ziegler Lotsoff Capital, a boutique asset management firm in Chicago, where he managed a credit opportunities hedge fund. Prior to Ziegler Lotsoff, he co-founded a high yield and distressed hedge fund, Simran Capital, where he was also a Senior Portfolio Manager. Jon published high yield and distressed debt research while he was at sell side broker firms Advest and RW Pressprich. He was also a restructuring advisor for Crossroads LLC, where he advised debtors and creditors on restructurings both in an out of bankruptcy. He began his career as an investment banker with JP Morgan Chase, where he focused on M&A, high yield new issues, and loan syndication. While at JP Morgan he held positions in New York, Hong Kong, and Thailand.
Jon received a BS in Finance and International Business from Babson College.
Catia Hagopian, Secretary
Alison Gass, Executive Director
Alison Gass is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of the ICA San José. Prior to joining the ICA, Gass served as the Dana Feitler Director of The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago where she secured a $5M gift to launch the Feitler Center for Academic Engagement, launched a fellowship for diversity in the curatorial field at the institution, and received a $1M grant from the MacArthur Foundation to curate a citywide activation by previous Genius grant recipients in the field of visual arts. Previously, she was the Chief Curator and Associate Director for Exhibitions and Collections at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Both at the University of Chicago and at Stanford, Gass led the development of a globally focused and community engaged exhibitions program, prioritizing diversifying the collections, exhibitions program, staff and visitorship of the university’s museum. Gass began her curatorial career at the Jewish Museum in New York City, then became an Assistant Curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. At SFMOMA Gass curated the SECA art award exhibitions, the New Work series, a platform for the work of emerging and mid-career artists. After leaving SFMOMA Gass served as Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, where she helped launch the new building and established a global contemporary program. She has commissioned projects and organized exhibitions of leading artists from around the world including Mika Rottenberg, Imran Qureshi, Hope Gangloff, Trevor Paglen, Amanda Williams, Samuel Levi Jones, and many others. She has taught at universities across the country and has been published in a number of journals and exhibitions catalogues. She holds degrees in Art History from Columbia University and the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU.
Doug Edwards was the first marketing director at Google, where he oversaw consumer marketing and brand management from 1999 to 2005. His book about the company’s history, “I’m Feeling Lucky, the Confessions of Google Employee #59” was published in 2012 and Doug joined the ICA board later that year.
Prior to joining Google, Doug managed marketing communications for the San Jose Mercury News and for KQED FM in San Francisco and spent six months as Novosibirsk correspondent for the public radio program Marketplace.
In addition to a passion for studying and making art, Doug is deeply interested in the political process and is currently co-chair of the board for Maplight.org, an organization focused on greater transparency about the role of money in our electoral system.
Doug holds an honors degree in English from Brown University and an MFA in Painting from Academy of Art University. Doug was a Rotary Fellow at Nanzan Daigaku in Nagoya, Japan. He and his wife Kristen live in Los Altos, CA.
Cathy Grape recently retired after 38 years with IBM where she held a variety of leadership and technical positions in software, hardware, and services. She led large global system integration projects with worldwide teams, developed relationships with IBM customers representing all industries, developed commercial software applications, and negotiated contracts with critical business partners. Career highlights include being part of the team that led IBM’s systems integration of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, building a call center in the Philippines, and developing and delivering software products used by 95% of the Fortune 500 companies.
Growing up, her parents took Cathy to museums and theatre which led to an abiding interest in the arts. She received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Vassar College and a MS in Computer Science from Syracuse University. While at Vassar she took advantage of their renowned Art History department and studied art from ancient to contemporary.
Cathy has been a supporter of the arts for many years here in the Bay Area and in New York City which she visits often. Cathy is honored to be on the board of the ICA to help promote the mission to bring greater awareness, understanding, and appreciation of contemporary art to the community.
CEO, Free Range Properties, Inc
After earning a Master’s degree in Interior Architecture, Dana became one of only 3 female partners at Rouse & Associates (now Liberty Property Trust), where she was Director of Leasing, Marketing and Asset Management of several major developments in. During the next twenty years, primarily as a REIT specialist, she gained extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate development, strategic planning, event launches, construction, complex negotiations, REITs, project and asset management, design and implementation of due diligence processes, national market and leasing analyses, facilities and relocation projects, land development, and investor relations.
Upon moving to the Silicon Valley in 2003, Dana obtained a California Real Estate Broker’s license and a Series 7 securities license, completed projects for clients in investment real estate and led due diligence for angel investor networks such as Keiretsu Forum, and bought, managed and sold numerous investment properties. Other projects included renovations, vacation property rental management, philanthropic work on behalf of homeless families and veterans, and coaching the state champion and nationally ranked Menlo School’s mock trial team.
To complement her interest in longevity and wellness, she became a Duke Medical trained Integrative Health and Wellness Coach and completed Seth Godin’s AltMBA.
Nicki Moffat graduated from Stanford University in 1971, with a degree in Psychology, and a nearly equal amount of coursework in English, Studio Art, and Art History, all of which have played important parts in her life. She was accepted into MFA programs in northern and southern California but opted for a PhD program in Clinical Psychology instead. Disillusioned with the state of clinical psychology at the time, she dropped out of the program and then worked as one of the initial teachers at the first Stanford Day Care Center. She also did free lance drawing for children’s textbooks, and worked as a teacher and counselor at Planned Parenthood. In her twenties, she became a teacher at Menlo School in Atherton, eventually becoming the first female administrator at the school when it went co-ed. As Dean of Students, she did counseling for students with emotional and academic problems, founded and ran its first Community Service Program, began and led the Big Sisters Program, the Peer Tutoring Program, and a class advisors Activity Program, among other projects. She taught American Literature to sophomores for a time, as well as Art and U.S. History in the Middle School. Eventually, she taught a senior elective, Modern World Literature, up until her retirement from the school. In recent years she started a landscape design business, Nicki Moffat Garden Design, but is now retired.
Art in all of its forms has been important to Nicki and a passion of hers since childhood. Whatever form it takes, whether it be painting, drawing, collage, the poetry she writes, landscape design, the design of her own home and garden, or her art collection with her husband, Pete, art is central to her life and gives her great joy. She feels that art represents the best part of humanity and that some relationship with it is part of being a complete person. She and Pete have been enthusiastic members of the ICA for many years, and Nicki is now very happy to be serving on the Board Of Directors. The ICA is, to her, a kind of second home, and its members, a family.
Elizabeth Twaddell has been a member of the ICA board since 2011. She now heads the governance committee and is vice-president of the board. Since leaving paid employment to raise her children, she has worked in many capacities at their schools — as a board member, in various leadership roles in parent associations, as a fundraising captain, and as a crack salesperson at countless bake sales.
Before that, Elizabeth was an attorney, clerking for a federal judge and working as a prosecutor. She received her law degree from the University of California at Berkeley and her undergraduate degree from Brown University.
Elizabeth has always been interested in contemporary art and appreciates that the ICA provides her with a community that shares her interest. In her spare time, Elizabeth walks her dog, paints badly and skis with her family.
Gilbert Vendryes is an executive specialized in Business Transformation with a focus on global partnerships. He currently works for Zoom Video Communications, an industry leader in Unified Communications, and heads the Global Partner Experience programs.
A native of France, Gilbert currently resides in California where he indulges himself in his passion for art in all its forms, and starts collecting contemporary visual art whenever he finds a piece that tells a memorable and emotionally resonant story. He actively participates in a series of non-profit organizations and serves on the Board of Directors of the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art since September 2016.
Having worked for large corporations with a strong brand identity, such as Apple, EMC and most recently VMware, Gilbert poised to provide directions to enhance relationships and to overhaul processes aiming at sustaining long-term partnership loyalty. Areas of expertise that are now leveraged at the ICA throughout some committees he sits in.