Tim Russell, Chair
Tim is the founder and owner of Valley Oak Wealth Management, an independent financial consulting firm specializing in retirement planning. Since 2002, Tim has been affiliated with LPL financial and provides access to independent financial planning services, investment advice and asset management services to over 225 clients throughout the country. Tim is an avid salmon fisherman and accomplish sailor. He has competed in countless sailing championships throughout the country. Giving back to the community has always been important to Tim. When asked to donate, sponsor, or attend a local charity event Tim and his wife Anne answer the call. Tim also serves on the Board of the Novato Chamber of Commerce.
Mike Smylie, Treasurer
Mike has worked as an environmental consultant for over 40 years. After retiring, Mike committed himself to community service and volunteer activities. Mike volunteers at The Marine Mammal Center, the world’s largest marine mammal rehabilitation and research center. He also works with MentorMe, an organization that empowers youth in need to achieve their highest potential by matching them with an adult mentor. Mike has also been mentoring a student at Novato High School for two years and helps coach the boys basketball team at Hamilton Middle School. In addition, Mike serves as the president and board chair of San Francisco Nature Education, which provides interactive environmental education programs that develop leadership and stewardship in underprivileged youth in San Francisco. Mike and his wife Beth have lived in Marin County for almost 35 years.
David R. Ambrose
David is a San Francisco native and with his wife Sherie, made Novato home 35 years ago. He has coached Novato Recreation League basketball, volunteered at local fund raising events, and is a parishioner at Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church. He retired as a San Francisco Police Inspector after serving at that agency for over 33 years. Currently employed by PG&E as an Executive Protection Security Investigator, he enjoys spending down time at his home away from home in Truckee where he likes to hike, golf and cook. David is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and has a JD from San Francisco Law School. He is Member of the Advisory Board of the International Institute of Criminal Justice Leadership at USF. David and Sherie have two adult children, Bryan and Monica.
Originally from England, Casey now resides in Novato with her husband of 20 years, her two daughters, three dogs and two horses. Casey was a long-haul purser for British Airways for several years before she met her husband and relocated. She has spent the last fifteen years volunteering at her daughters’ schools. During that time, she has successfully raised more than $250,000 for Our Lady of Loretto School in Novato where she became known for her school-wide, home-cooked lunches and her cooking elective classes.
Casey has a passion for cooking and is an accomplished chef with two local restaurants using her recipes. She makes a mean Spanish paella with which she loves to feed the masses. These days, Casey volunteers at Marin Catholic High School where her daughters attend school. In her free time, Casey loves to spend time with her family, work out, run, hike, and ride her two horses. Casey “stumbled” across Gilead House two years ago and has since been a mentor and involved with the planning of the past two Mothers Matter events.
Alison lives in Novato with her husband and three children and is a long-term resident of Marin, growing up in Tiburon and attending San Domenico High School. She currently works for LEAN Energy U.S., a non-profit organization that assists local governments develop long-term clean energy programs for their communities. Current clients include the counties of Alameda, Yolo, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Riverside. She also works with The Belvedere Cove Foundation, a non-profit that provides grants and scholarships to young Bay Area sailors. In addition, Alison teaches Spin classes several times a week at the Marin YMCA.
Alison has a B.A. in Communications from The University of Southern California and has experience in project management, advertising, website development, event coordination, and social media strategy. In her spare time, Alison loves hiking, sailing, baking, reading and keeping up with her three teenagers.
Keeley is a professional singer/songwriter, musician, and teacher as well as a proud Novato native. Before returning home ten years ago, she lived in Nashville and Los Angeles, where she attended Vanderbilt University and Musician’s Institute and released several independent records. Some highlights include performing at the Shoreline Amphitheater with the Zac Brown Band and seeing her original songs reach over 14 million listens on Spotify. Keeley is owner/operator of 101 North Music and teaches piano and guitar out of her studio space in downtown Novato. She also volunteers as a coordinator for Children of Strength, a non-profit that empowers orphans living in Kenya, and is an active board member for the Rossi Family Foundation. She is a member of the worship team at Hillside Church in Corte Madera and spends her days raising two beautiful kids, Henry (2.5) and Mary Lou (5 months), with her sweet husband Jeremy.
Theo is the forth generation of his Marin County family and has a sense of North Bay pride and culture. He graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Global Studies. In 2015, Theo was recognized for his efforts as Marin County’s Volunteer of the Year by the Marin County Board of Supervisors.
Theo began working for the Chamber of Commerce in 2015 and brings a strong sense of pride to his work. During his spare time, Theo and his family train service dogs with Guide Dogs for the Blind. He enjoys trips to the city, wine country, the coast and is often relaxing in Tahoe. Theo enjoys hiking, gardening, and photography.
Michelle is a Marin county native who is a business owner, volunteers in the community, and has a heart for the moms and kids of Gilead House. Youth ministry has been a passion for Michelle for over 25 years leading her in her college studies to North Park College in Chicago and getting a Master’s in Youth and Family ministry from Denver Seminary. She furthered her studies and earned a Master’s of Education at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Since returning to Marin, Michelle has remained involved in youth ministry, the local church community, and growing two small businesses. You can often find Michelle in the kitchen exploring her passion for food, cooking, and sharing a meal with family and friends. Enjoying time with her 3 nieces is always a highlight in Michelle’s week. As a former Family Advocate for Gilead House, Michelle brings a unique perspective to the board and shares her passion for moms and kids to find the Hope that changes lives at Gilead House.
Mike was born in Marin County to Thomas and Marion Schalich on January 18,1958 as the youngest of 8 children in 9 1/2 years. He attended Blessed Sacrament Grade School and Marin Catholic High School. He graduated from Chico State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and started working with two of his brothers in construction where he still works today. The company’s name is Schalich Brothers Construction Inc.
Mike married his high school sweetheart, Grace Barry, and has three wonderful children, Marion (Mimi) 30 years old, Austin 28 years old, and James 26 years old. As his children grew, he volunteered his time coaching each of them in various sports. Sometimes he had three teams during the same season. It was some of his most memorable times. During those years, he found time to be on the St. Isabella Parent Board and helped build the Baseball and Soccer Fields at St. Isabella’s. He also helped the Facilities Manager and continues to do so today on various projects for the church and school. As his children attended High School and College, he focused on spending time working with Habitat for Humanity. Mike feels it has been a great way to give back to the community and get to know the people that will be living in the neighborhood.