Filoli Appoints Eight Board Members


WOODSIDE, Calif., November 16, 2023 – Filoli announces the addition of eight new members to its 2024 Board of Directors today: Brian Byrd, Deborah M. Hussey Freeland, Di Gao, Pulin Sanghvi, Melissa Lopez, Michelle Taite, Barry Wellins, Matthew Worby, and Guillermo Viveros. Filoli is a vibrant landscape of the Bay Area and a non-profit community cultural center. The Board of Directors at Filoli is charting a strategic course aimed at fostering future growth while staying true to its mission to connect Filoli’s rich history with a vibrant future through beauty, nature, and shared stories. 

“It has been a continuing privilege to be a part of preserving such a significant cultural landmark as Filoli. As the new Board Chair, I am proud to present a new class of Board Members from throughout the Bay Area. Together, they bring a broad range of expertise, perspective, and valuable experience. With that, I am excited for the future of Filoli as it grows to meet the changing needs of the community,” said the new 2024 Board Chair, David Wessel.

The Filoli Board of Directors is composed of individuals committed to Filoli’s mission of connecting its rich history with a vibrant future through beauty, nature, and shared stories and is responsible for the governance and support of Filoli Center as a 501(c)(3) organization.  Filoli’s 2024 Board of Directors is led by David Wessel, an architectural conservator who oversees the repair and restoration of historic resources and has served as Vice Chair in 2023. Other Board Officers include Carol Moran, Past Chair; Sydney Si Ning Leung, Vice Chair; Sapna Marfatia, Secretary; and Bob Nibbi, Treasurer. 

“In 2023 we have experienced incredible success at Filoli with an approved Master Plan in hand, completion of nearly $3M in preservation and restoration projects, and are on track for record-breaking attendance, bringing in a more diverse audience than ever before,” said Filoli’s President & CEO, Kara Newport. “Filoli’s Board of Directors sets the foundation as we create a Bay Area experience that welcomes all in connection with beauty, nature, and shared stories. With their leadership, Filoli has both established a clear strategic direction and has become a successful and relevant organization.”

Welcome New & Returning Board Members

Brian Byrd

Brian Byrd is an archaeologist and a proud Tribal Citizen of the federally recognized Shawnee Tribe in Oklahoma. With a career that has combined academic research and cultural resources management, he is a strong advocate for heritage preservation through inclusive collaboration with descendant communities, particularly Indigenous Native Americans.

Melissa Lopez is an accomplished investment strategist and equity market analyst. Her 20‐year career spans investment banking, equity research, and investment management. Today, she leads the investment strategy for global equities at the James Irvine Foundation in San Francisco. Melissa’s investment selection and portfolio oversight enable the Foundation’s $200 million annual grantmaking capacity.   

Prior to joining the Foundation, she was a Senior Research Analyst with Wetherby Asset Management. Previously, Melissa served as an Investment Professional at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Equity Research Associate at Citigroup Smith Barney, and Financial Analyst at Robertson Stephens. She received a master’s in business administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. 

Melissa lives in San Francisco and enjoys experiencing the natural beauty and cultural amenities of the greater Bay Area.  

Pulin Sanghvi

Pulin Sanghvi is a speaker on purpose! He has led re-imaginings of career development at Princeton University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business and created and taught a model of hypothesis-driven exploration that has engaged thousands of members of the Princeton, Stanford, and Yale communities. Pulin was formerly a management consultant with McKinsey in Palo Alto and an investment banker with Morgan Stanley. He serves Yale in numerous capacities and also serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.

Michelle Taite

Michelle Taite is the Chief Marketing Officer of Intuit Mailchimp, helping businesses globally solve their biggest marketing challenges. Previously, Michelle was the VP of Global Marketing for QuickBooks where she was responsible for global communications, market research, and product marketing. Before joining Intuit, Michelle served in a variety of roles at Unilever, most notably, leading the iconic core Dove Global Body Wash business. Prior, Michelle worked at New Balance and also spent the early years of her career in the Israeli Intelligence Force. Michelle studied product design at Kingston University London and earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Management.

Barry Wellins

Guiding people toward a brighter financial tomorrow is a lifelong goal for Barry Wellins, Market Leader for U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management in Northern California. With a desire to do right by every client, Barry manages a team of financial professionals responsible for providing clients with personalized service and tailored financial solutions. Barry earned his bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. A big proponent of the arts, Barry has served on the board of directors for arts-focused boards in his community; for the past eight years, he has also served as a big brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Guillermo Viveros

Guillermo Viveros is a senior finance leader with experience in leading global finance and treasury teams. Guillermo has a track record of strengthening financial and operational processes and infrastructures to maximize business performance and profitability. Guillermo most recently led the Treasury and Financial Operations team at Infoblox for four years. Prior to Infoblox, Guillermo spent three years at TiVo as the finance business partner to the Business Unit General Managers and the Chief Revenue Officer and their leadership teams. Guillermo holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.

Deborah M. Hussey Freeland

Deborah M. Hussey Freeland is a San Francisco native for whom gorgeous days at Filoli are a family tradition spanning four generations. Deborah is an attorney, a scientist, and an academic with a varied career that includes teaching, research, and practice in fields ranging from environmental science and policy, to intellectual property, to immunology, to women’s studies, to legal ethics.  Deborah’s community service has focused primarily on supporting students from underserved communities as they explore careers in the scientific and legal professions, and on environmental restoration. Deborah began her career as a freelancer with the San Francisco Ballet.  She then earned her BA in Cognitive Science and Biochemistry from Vassar College, her PhD in Biophysics from Stanford University, and her JD from Stanford Law School. 

Matthew Worby

Matthew is a seasoned and accomplished HR leader, currently serving as Chief Human Resources Officer at Wish. With a wealth of experience in shaping and optimizing people strategies, Matthew also advises many global startups on Human Resources. Previously holding the role as the Vice President of People at Lyft, he also spent over a decade working as a leader in Human Resources at Google and Alphabet Inc. Matthew brings expertise in HR transformation and strategy, organizational design and development, and talent management to drive success and innovation in the ever-evolving world of human resources.

Di Gao

Di Gao serves as the Senior Director of Research & Development at the National Trust, leading a team that provides technical and analytical support to strategic initiatives across the organization. Di’s team specializes in geospatial analysis, and is charged with identifying and executing initiatives that focus on the intersection of preservation and equity, inclusion, and social justice. Di is responsible for developing new preservation initiatives including the America’s Chinatowns program, supporting project execution on major projects including Preserve Route 66 and the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund initiatives, helping to grow the organization’s geospatial analytics practice, and identifying future growth areas for the National Trust. Di has an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus in planning policy and real estate.

For more detailed information about the Filoli Leadership Team and 2024 Board of Directors, please visit:

About Filoli

Filoli is a vibrant landscape of the Bay Area. Filoli sits on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Lamchin, an independent tribe of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples, the original inhabitants and stewards of the San Francisco Peninsula. Lamchin families from the village of Supichom had an intimate relationship with this land. The estate boasts 654 acres of beauty nestled along the slopes of California’s coastal range. Originally built as a private residence in 1917, Filoli was opened to the public in 1975 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The property is considered one of the finest remaining country estates of the 20th century, featuring a 54,000+ square-foot Georgian revival-style mansion, 16 acres of exquisite English Renaissance gardens, a 6.8-acre Gentleman’s Orchard, and hundreds of acres of Natural Lands with 5 distinct ecosystems and a 1-mile Trail. Filoli is dedicated to connecting our rich history with a vibrant future through beauty, nature and shared stories, so that one day all people will honor nature, value unique experiences, and appreciate beauty in everyday life. For more information about Filoli, visit


Filoli Historic House & Garden
86 Cañada Road
Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 364-8300

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