About the LightHouse Board
- Sharon Z. Sacks, Ph.D – Chair
- Jennison Mark Asuncion – 1st Vice Chair
- Laura Allen – 2nd Vice Chair
- Joseph K Chan – Treasurer
- Chancey Fleet – Secretary
- Janette Barrios
- Leon Bezdikian
- Jan Cohen
- Johnny K. Dadlani
- Michael Dellar
- Dana Hooper
- Eric Mah
- Michael Nuñez, Esq
- Dr. Julius Oatts
- Danise Olague
- Yue-Ting Siu, TVI, Ph.D.
- Kathryn Webster
- Chris Yoon
Sharon Z. Sacks, Ph.D. – Chair
California School for the Blind, Superintendent (retired)
Dr. Sacks is recently retired from her post as Superintendent of the California School for the Blind. During her tenure, Dr. Sacks led a staff of 150 and promoted education excellence for students served on campus and through outreach programs throughout the state. Prior to her role as superintendent, Dr. Sacks was the Director of Curriculum, Assessment, & Staff Development at CS. After receiving her doctorate, Sharon coordinated programs and was a university professor in moderate/severe disabilities at San Jose State University, and programs in visual impairments at California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Sacks worked as a TVI for eight years as a resource and itinerant teacher prior to assuming leadership positions.
She has conducted research, presented nationally and internationally, and published widely in the areas of social skills instruction for students with visual impairments, psycho-social implications of visual impairment, transition programming for students with visual impairments, and strategies to educate students with visual impairments and multiple disabilities. Dr. Sacks has provided consultation, assessment, and program evaluation services to schools and agencies serving children and adults with visual impairments.
Dr. Sacks is a strong advocate for ensuring quality services for children and adults who are blind or visually impaired through her direct work with families, consumer organizations, and professional organizations. She is the recipient of the Mary K. Bauman Award for Distinguished Service in Education and a past president of AERBVI.
Jennison Mark Asuncion – 1st Vice Chair
LinkedIn, Head of Accessibility Engineering Evangelism
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Jennison Asuncion joined LinkedIn in 2013, where he is currently their Head of Accessibility Engineering Evangelism. Previously, he spent almost seven years as a member of the Royal Bank of Canada’s IT Accessibility Team. Outside of his professional and scholarly pursuits, in 2012, Mr. Asuncion. co-founded the annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD ) to raise awareness of digital accessibility issues that people with disabilities face.
In 2012, Mr. Asuncion was recognized jointly by the Royal Bank of Canada and the Government of Canada with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the medal acknowledges significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
For over a dozen years, Mr. Asuncion volunteered with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). Mr. Asuncion also sat on the CNIB’s Winston Gordon Award for Technological Advancement in the Field of Blindness and Visual Impairment Selection Committee from 2005 to 2013, serving as its Chair in his final year. Mr. Asuncion served on the Board of Directors from 2006 to 2010 for Ski for Light (SFL) an organization that offers cross-country skiing for people who are blind. He obtained a B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science, and an M.A. in Educational Technology, both from Concordia University in Montreal.
Laura Allen – 2rd Vice Chair
Google, Head of Strategy, Accessibility & Disability Inclusion
Laura Allen is the Accessibility Program Manager for the Chrome and Chrome OS teams at Google. She collaborates with engineers, designers, product managers, and researchers to make the Chrome family of products accessible and usable across platforms, for people of all abilities. She also leads various accessibility workshops and training around the United States for teachers of the visually impaired, advocacy organizations, and special education classrooms. In addition, Laura manages Google’s presence at major accessibility conferences, as she believes that connecting with the community and gathering hands-on feedback is critical.
Laura also represents Google in the Teach Access organization, where various technology companies and higher education institutions come together to drive the inclusion of accessibility in core Computer Science, Design, and Human-Centered Interaction programs. Due to her personal experience with low vision since age 10, she believes that technology has more power now than ever to transform lives, and progressing accessibility has become her true passion.
Prior to her role in accessibility, Laura worked as an Account Manager in Google’s Large Customer Sales division where she advised business-to-business technology companies on their advertising and marketing strategies. For her undergraduate education, Laura studied International Business, Marketing, and Music at Georgetown University.
Joseph K. Chan – Treasurer
Association of Bay Area Governments, Chief Financial Officer (retired)
Mr. Chan rejoined the LightHouse Board in 2018 after serving as a Board member from 2005 to 2015. He also served as Board Treasurer from 2009 to 2015 and Chair of the Finance and Investment committees during this period. He retired in 2009 from the Association of Bay Area Governments after serving 26 years as Chief Financial Officer. Being visually impaired with Retinitis Pigmentosa, Mr. Chan wants to offer his expertise in fiscal management to benefit the blind and visually impaired community. He is a CPA and holds an MBA degree from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Chancey Fleet – Secretary
New York Public Library, Assistive Technology Coordinator
Chancey Fleet is a Brooklyn-based tech educator and activist who identifies as Blind. Chancey is the Assistive Technology Coordinator at the New York Public Library. In that role, she curates accessible technology in the branch, collaborates across the NYPL system to improve equity of access, and coordinates a diverse team of staff and volunteers who provide one-to-one tech coaching and group workshops, free of charge and open to all. Through a 2017 NYPL Innovation grant, she founded and maintains the Dimensions Project, a free open lab for the exploration and creation of accessible images, models and data representations through tactile graphics, 3d models and nonvisual approaches to coding, CAD and “visual” arts. Chancey is a 2018-19 Data & Society Fellow and current Affiliate-in-Residence whose writing, organizing and advocacy aim to catalyze critical inquiry into how cloud-connected accessibility tools benefit and harm, empower and expose communities of disability. Chancey was recognized as a 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker. She currently serves as present of the NFB’s Assistive Technology Trainers’ Division and is a member of New York State’s Regents’ Advisory Council on Libraries.
Apple, Senior Manager, Accessibility Marketing and Community
Countsy, Chief People Officer
Leon has over 30+ years of world-wide Human Resources experience with high-tech companies, currently working at Countsy as Chief People Officer. He has led the HR function in 19 countries and specializes in executive coaching, management training, organizational development, talent acquisition, total rewards, and team building. In addition to his work, he is an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz – Extension, since 2002. Leon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California at Davis.
Janet S. Cohen has been a consultant and trainer who has worked with more than 200 nonprofit organizations over more than 30 years. Her focus is customized work sessions and consulting services for nonprofit organizations throughout the country for diversification of revenue, earned income, and marketing planning processes. She also serves in Interim Executive positions in nonprofit organizations, especially those with an earned income focus, during periods of transition in leadership.
Ms. Cohen founded Project HIRED, an organization focused on job placement for individuals with disabilities across the spectrum of Silicon Valley industries and companies. Ms. Cohen and Project HIRED’s Board of Directors were chosen to receive the 1993 Distinguished Service Award from the President’s Committee for Employment of Persons with Disabilities, the 1992 Distinguished Service Award from the California Governor’s Committee for the Employment of Disabled Persons, and the 1989 Award for Excellence from the Management Center of San Francisco. These were awarded for innovative approaches to employment for individuals with disabilities, which also assist employers with their workforce needs, while generating revenues for the organization. Special recognition was given for HIRE TEMPS, the Corporate Training Partners Project, and the Corporate Services concept.
Ms. Cohen continues her commitment to serving on the Boards of, and volunteering for, local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations, especially those with a disability focused mission. She is a member of the Bay Area Interim Executive Director Group (BAIED) and the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s Executive Transition and Leadership Committee. She currently serves on the Board of Helpers Community.
Ms. Cohen was also involved in advocacy for and education of disabled persons in the Washington D.C. area. She was active on the Alexandria Commission for Disabled Persons. She taught disabled children in the public schools in Maryland and Virginia. She worked as a Speech Pathologist with neurologically impaired children and adults. She has degrees from the University of Massachusetts, the University of Maryland, and a Certificate in Marketing: New Products and Services from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Johnny K. Dadlani
Growing IQ, Managing Partner
Jd joined the board in 2020, after having his son Nikki be an active member as a youth with the Lighthouse for the Blind. He grew up in Japan, and spent most of his life in Japan, before moving to the US to give his blind son an opportunity to receive a better education. Mr.
Dadlani spent almost 20 years in the field of finance, spending time at various investment banks and hedge funds, but has been working on running his own education company that works with children in the field of math.
Mr. Dadlani enjoys vacationing with his wife and two sons, most notably at various beach resorts around the world. He loves to enjoy a glass of wine or Japanese whiskey and is humbled to be able to serve on the Board. He hopes he can bring some international flavor to the Lighthouse, and expand our reach across the Pacific as well.
Lark Creek Restaurant Group, Co-Founder, President & CEO
Michael Dellar joined the Board in 2015. He grew up in Los Angeles where his mother was a supporter of the Foundation for Junior Blind. He received his BS magna cum laude and his MBA from the University of Southern California. He joined the Clorox Company in 1970 and moved up through the ranks to manage Clorox Bleach, new products and to ultimately become Director of Marketing of the Company’s restaurant division (Emil Villa’s Hick’ry Pit). As Vice President of San Francisco’s Spectrum Foods restaurants, he helped develop and manage a collection of some of the Bay Area’s finest eateries. In 1989 Michael co-founded the award-winning Lark Creek Restaurant Group, and today is Principal of One Market Restaurant and neighboring Wine & Wall.
Over the years Michael has been active on a variety of for-profit and non-profit boards, including OpenTable, Gelato Classico, the California Film Institute (Mill Valley Film Festival), the Oakland Symphony, Copia (The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts), The California Restaurant Association, San Francisco Travel, The Smithsonian Institution Food Project and others. “Now,” notes Dellar “I enjoy helping LightHouse for the Blind expand its reach and provide even greater services to the blind and visually impaired.”
Life Services Alternatives, Executive Director
Dana Hooper has served as Executive Director of Life Services Alternatives, Inc. (LSA) since October 2007. LSA provides exceptional community living and programs for adults with disabilities. Prior to joining LSA Dana was a technology industry veteran with extensive sales and marketing experience. Mr. Hooper holds an MBA from the Simon School at the University of Rochester.
Dana is actively involved in the community and currently serves on the Board of the Santa Clara Chorale and the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He is a member of the State of California Developmental Services (DDS) Task Force. He has served, the San Andrea Regional Center Board and the Jay Nolan Community Services Board. Dana’s son, Brent, is developmentally disabled and receives services through the San Andreas Regional Center.
Financial Professional (on sabbatical)
Eric is originally from Stockton, California and now calls San Francisco home. He first came to the Bay Area for university, where he graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. From there, Eric began his career in finance, joining the investment banking division at Goldman Sachs where he advised corporate clients in the financial institution and technology industries. Eric then entered Silicon Valley by way of Google where he joined the treasury department to manage enterprise foreign currency risk. Most recently, Eric was at Uber Technologies where he built out and headed the treasury team focused on global payment acceptance, payment remittance, cash management and corporate finance risk management. Eric is currently on a professional sabbatical.
Aside from his professional life, Eric enjoys spending time with his wife, Jacalyn, and son, Weston, who are his biggest joys. He also is an active member of his church and is passionate about serving his community. Eric is both humbled and inspired to serve on the Board and hopes to contribute to the continuing growth, innovation and heart of the LightHouse.
Michael Nuñez, Esq.
Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, LLP, Attorney
Michael Nunez is an attorney at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, LLP. He works on complex litigation and prelitigation matters, including class actions, with a particular focus on ensuring that people with disabilities obtain equal access to government services, technology, transportation, and public accommodations. Mr. Nunez also has experience representing clients in employment discrimination and white-collar criminal defense matters.
Mr. Nunez is a graduate of Stanford Law School and earned his B.A. at Stanford University. Prior to joining RBGG, he was a Staff Attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, a national non-profit impact litigation center.
Mr. Nunez received a California Lawyer of the Year (“CLAY”) Award in 2018 and was named a Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
In his free time, Mr. Nunez enjoys distance running, ballroom dancing, cycling, and rowing crew. To learn more about Mr. Nunez’s practice, visit RBGG’s website.
Dr. Julius Oatts
UCSF Medical Center, Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
Dr. Julius Oatts is a pediatric ophthalmologist, pediatric glaucoma specialist, and assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco. He completed medical school at Yale School of Medicine, an ophthalmology residency at the University of California, San Francisco, a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital, and a fellowship in pediatric glaucoma at Moorfields Eye Hospital. He is involved in resident education as the associate residency program director for ophthalmology and does research focused on the diagnosis and management of glaucoma in children. He sees many patients with low vision who have benefitted from the services provided at Lighthouse for the Blind.
Danise Olague (she/her)
Google, Senior Program Manager, Central Accessibility Team
With over 12 years of experience in teaching, program management, and diversity and inclusion work, Danise brings her lived experience as a woman of color with low vision to her multifaceted career in education, nonprofit, and tech.
Danise is a Senior Program Manager on the Central Accessibility team at Google with the mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Danise holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University and a MA. in Policy, Organizational Change, and Leadership from Stanford University.
Yue-Ting Siu, TVI, Ph. D
San Francisco State University, Professor
Ting is a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and works with students aged birth to 65 with visual impairments, multiple disabilities, and deafblindness. She began teaching as an aide in the Deafblind Program at the Perkins School for the Blind. After receiving her master’s degree and dual credentials in deafblindness and visual impairments at the University of Arizona, Ting worked in NYC as a center and home-based early intervention provider, itinerant TVI, and assistive technology trainer. Currently, she is a part-time itinerant TVI in the Bay area and an assistant professor in the Visual Impairment program at San Francisco State University. Ting earned a Ph.D. in special education from UC Berkeley where her research focused on the use of communities of practice as informal professional development. Her expertise is in developing supports to aid TVIs’ implementation of technology with students. She also provides consulting support to bridge technology development with teachers’ adoption of tools in the classroom. (www.tplus.education)
Kathryn Webster is a strong thought leader across various communities. Kathryn attends Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts. At Harvard, she chairs the annual MBA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion summit and is involved in Women in Investing. She approaches each day with true authenticity, bringing difficult conversations to the table and engaging in a persistent challenge to be the best version of herself. In her personal life, she loves reading historical fiction, traveling the world with her guide dog Theo, and spending true quality time with friends and family.
Kathryn grew up in Connecticut, later receiving Bachelor of Science degrees in Statistics and Computer Science with high honors from Wake Forest University. Her scholastic achievements propelled Kathryn into a career with Deloitte & Touché, LLP., where she specialized in strategic transformation and business process reengineering. Kathryn recognizes the value in intertwining corporate prowess with civic engagement, thus jump-starting a transition program for blind and low vision youth in 2017, designed to ignite confidence and independence as participants transition from high school to college or employment. Kathryn devotes much of her time outside of work advocating for equality and access for the blind and low vision communities.
Uber, Product Manager, Product Equity
Chris Yoon is a product manager who brings his passion for accessibility, equity, and disability advocacy to the newly formed Product Equity team at Uber. He works closely with design, research, policy, engineering, and operations teams across the company to bring more inclusive experiences to the Uber platform. Chris loves to travel with his guide dog Sadie and is passionate about disability advocacy and disability representation in the workplace. He was recently selected as a regional US & Canada Co-Chair for Uber’s disability employee resource group (ERG). In this capacity, he plays a pivotal role in guiding the ERG’s initiatives and strategies, strengthening Uber’s commitment to disability inclusivity both internally and externally.
Prior to joining Uber, Chris was a product manager at Microsoft working on accessibility tools for voice forward experiences. And in 2019, Chris graduated from Stanford University with an undergraduate degree in music and masters in computer science. Outside his professional pursuits, Chris is actively involved in several disability nonprofit organizations. He serves on the Alumni Association Board for Guide Dogs for the Blind, where his advocacy for guide dog users contributes to the continuous improvement of services for the visually impaired community. Additionally, he holds the position of Vice Chair on Lime Connect’s NextGen Junior Board, working towards the organization’s mission to rebrand disability through achievement by empowering individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential in the professional world. In his free time, Chris enjoys traveling and playing music.