Board and Staff


Barbara O'Connor - CETF Chair

Emeritus Professor
California State University, Sacramento
National Board of Directors AARP

Dr. O’Connor is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of political communication and telecommunications policy and applications. She is the author of numerous publications in both of these areas.

Her numerous appointments, boards and chairs, include the: California Educational Technology Committee; Washington, DC based Alliance for Public Technology; Alliance; California Public Broadcasting Commission; Network Reliability and Interoperability Council; Bellcore’s Advisory Board; ATT’s Consumer Advisory Panel; Verizon’s Consumer Collaborative Council; ETS international ICT literacy effort; National ICT Policy Council; and California Educational Technology Industry Task Force. Dr. O’Connor is an expert consultant and has served a wide array of business, media, telecommunications, federal and state clients and task forces.

Awards and honors include: an by 1990 California State University outstanding teaching award; 1994 California State University Alumni Distinguished Professor Award; 1996 Technology Leadership award; 1998 Technology Pioneer Award.

Recent research grants and projects, include: Ten California Public Utilities Commission Telecommunications Graduate Fellowships; and the Sacramento County Communications Audit and Web Portal development project.

Dr. O’Connor received her Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Southern California in 1974. She was featured in Newsweek’s 1995 “50 for the Future” a feature on the fifty people who will set policy and direction for global communications.

Dr. O’Connor has always blended her teaching, research and community service into a consistent commitment to explain the role of media in society and its impact on citizens, institutions and the democratic process and continues to teach a full load.

Carol Whiteside - CETF Vice Chair

California Strategies , LLC

Carol Whiteside is a Partner of California Strategies’ with a focus toward good governance, she utilizes her extensive knowledge in government relations, land use and community development to ensure win/win situations for clients and Californians.

Whiteside’s reputation as an influential policy expert for the Central Valley was recognized in her work as Founder and President of Great Valley Center in Modesto, where she and her staff worked to improve the quality of life for Central Californians. During her nearly 10 years at the helm of the Center, she successfully raised more than $40 million to promote good public policy and meet the growing challenges in the region, while leading efforts to improve transportation and internet connectivity. After successfully establishing the Center as a permanent part of the University of California at Merced, Whiteside came to California Strategies as the head of its new Central Valley office.

Whiteside was selected by Governor Pete Wilson to serve as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, one of the most important policy positions in the state, as she was responsible for policy analysis for standing committees, task forces and work groups. Additionally, she initiated the Executive Forum to strengthen intergovernmental communications during difficult budget years, and authored the Rural Development Handbook, which provided insight to various stakeholders into rural development and resource conservation.

Her expertise in natural-resource and environmental issues grew out of her service as Governor Wilson’s appointee as Assistant Secretary of the California Resources Agency. In this role, she was responsible for representing the Resources Agency in numerous statewide issues of community development and resource management. She also focused heavily on the development and coordination of large-scale conservation projects, including habitat conservation for the Department for the Resources Agency and Salton Sea restoration.

Whiteside was elected Mayor of Modesto and served a four-year term from 1987 to 1991, following terms as a City Council member and Modesto City Schools Trustee President. As Mayor, she was intimately involved in the smart growth of the region. She realized the impact of growth in the Bay Area and its effect on growth in Modesto, and worked to increase the level of cooperation between the Bay Area and the Central Valley, frequently addressing Bay Area leaders in the Bay Vision 2020 forum.

Whiteside currently is an Executive Committee Chair for the Public Policy Institute of California and has previously served on the California Center for Regional Leadership and The Lincoln Institute for Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Whiteside graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. She lives in Modesto with her husband and has two grown sons.

Richard Motta - CETF Treasurer & Founding CFO

Vice President
AT&T (retired)

Rich retired in 2004 after a 34 year management career with Pacific Telephone/AT&T, Pacific Bell/Telesis, and SBC. He was a senior manager for over 20 years holding line and staff positions in Information Systems, Network Operations, Service Quality, Process Management, Human Resources, and Corporate Planning. He also served as Vice president-Chief of Staff for three different Presidents. In the latter part of his career he led several quality improvement teams focused on the deployment and operation of DSL technology in California. Since his retirement Rich has worked as a Consultant in the Telecommunications Industry.

Throughout his business career Rich was very active in the community. He was involved in fundraising for the Boy Scouts of America Councils in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties. Of note is his involvement with Las Trampas in Lafayette, an organization providing residential and vocational support to developmentally disabled adults in Contra Costa County. Rich has been on the Las Trampas board for over 20 years and has served as the board president on three occasions for over 8 years. He led the Las Trampas organization in its pioneering efforts to move the adults out of an institutional setting into community based housing.

Rich holds a bachelors degree in Engineering from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. He has also studied at Columbia University (Business) and Harvard University (Information Systems). Rich grew up in Richmond and has lived in Contra Costa County with his wife Sherry for over 44 years.

Reneé D. Martinez - CETF Secretary

President Emeritus
Los Angeles City College

Renee Martinez has worked in the field of community college education for over 42.5 years. Throughout her career a top priority has been to serve as a role model to all students and staff members, demonstrating what can be attained through setting positive goals and working hard. She supports her staff members by encouraging them to be independent in their work environment, to further their education and to provide good customer service to all needing their assistance and support.

In her spare time, Renee enjoys walking with friends, reading for pleasure and most importantly, spending time with family including her four grandchildren.

In August of 2012, Renee was appointed as interim President at Los Angeles City College (LACC) and in June of 2013, she became permanent president by the Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District. Her responsibilities include managing all college departments, faculty, and staff as well as overseeing the college budget, student success, student support services and overseeing the bond supported building projects taking place on campus. Her principle responsibility is to provide the vision, leadership, and strategic direction to ensure that LACC achieves goals set forth by the Los Angeles Community College District. She continues to put students and those most in need at the forefront, and enjoys the challenges of developing and sustaining programs and policies that will continue the more-than-80-year tradition of education excellence in the Los Angeles Community College District. Her career, at every level, has been a reflection of the college mission of an inclusive and effective learning and working environment for all. The district goal of student success influences every decision she makes.

Jeff Campbell

Vice President, The Americas
Global Government Affairs
Cisco Systems, Inc.

Jeffrey A. Campbell is Director, Technology and Trade Policy of Global Policy and Government Affairs for Cisco Systems, Inc., the global leader for networking for the Internet. Since 2001, he has been responsible for developing and implementing Cisco’s public policy agenda with respect to telecommunications, trade, security and technology issues. In addition to his expertise in telecommunications regulation, Mr. Campbell has been involved in public policy with respect to intellectual property law, Intenet regulation, international trade and information technology regulation. Prior to this position at Cisco, Mr. Campbell headed the Washington government affairs office of Compaq Computer. Mr. Campbell began his career as a telecommunications regulatory attorney with the Washington, D.C. office of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. Mr. Campbell received his B.A. in History from Yale University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

The Honorable Martha M. Escutia

Former Senator, State of California
Vice President
University of Southern California

Martha M. Escutia, former California State Senator, was appointed vice president for USC Government Relations, effective May 1, 2013. Ms. Escutia oversees the university’s federal, state and local government relations.

Immediately prior to joining USC, Ms. Escutia was a partner at The Senators, a law and consulting firm she co-founded, that provides strategic, legal, legislative, regulatory, and policy advice to a wide array of clients. She was also a partner at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips from 2007 to 2010.

Ms. Escutia was a member of the California State Senate from 1998 to 2006 and a member of the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1998. She was the first woman Chair of both the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees.

In January, 2014, she was appointed to the State Bar of California’s Council on Access and Fairness. She also serves on the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and the Board of the California Emerging Technology Fund, a $100 million fund aimed at bridging the digital divide.

Beginning in fall, 2014, she will be teaching Legislative Procedure at the USC Gould School of Law. She has also served as a guest lecturer at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and as an adjunct professor in the political science department at East Los Angeles Community College.

Ms. Escutia received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University and her Bachelor of Science from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Barb Johnston

HealthLinkNow Inc.

Barb, former California Telemedicine and eHealth Center Executive Director, has been working in eHealth since 1995, and has undertaken both program development and research regarding clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness. Barb’s current work at CTEC is focused on expanding healthcare access for rural and underserved populations by fostering the utilization of telemedicine technologies, telecommunications resources development, and direct funding for eHealth networks expansion throughout California.

Previously, Barb developed eMental Health programs in the United States and in Australia, where she served as an advisor to its Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. Most recently, Barb was the Chief Operations Officer for HealthShare, an internet-based virtual private network in Australia allowing rural communities to access otherwise unavailable mental health services. Prior to that position, Barb worked within Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research as an eHealth Manager, where she played a key role in developing an online program designed to treat patients with depression and bi-polar disorders. Additionally, she was the Research Manager for Kaiser Permanente’s benchmark study on the effectiveness of Telehomecare.

Barb is a frequent speaker on the tangible benefits of eHealth as a key component of comprehensive healthcare delivery services, and has presented papers on eHealth to the International community including the USA, Australia, Singapore, Canada, India, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She has also served on the Norwegian Telemedicine Counsel.

A published author, Barb’s most recent work is a chapter in the book, Telepsychiatry and e-Mental Health, published by the Royal Society of Medicine in January 2003. Finally, Barb is an active member of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), where she chaired the committee that developed the first Telehomecare clinical guidelines for the ATA.

Barb has a Master of Nursing Science, Management and Leadership.

Jim Kirkland

General Counsel
Trimble Inc

Jim Kirkland is General Counsel of Trimble, a leading technology company that delivers products and services that connect the physical and digital worlds. Core technologies in positioning, modeling, connectivity and data analytics enable customers to improve productivity, quality, safety and sustainability in a broad range of industries, including agriculture, construction, geospatial and transportation and logistics.

Kirkland previously oversaw strategic development and legal, regulatory and legislative affairs for Covad, a competitive telecommunications service provider, and at
Clearwire Technologies, Inc., a privately held broadband wireless Internet service provider based in Dallas, Texas.

Before joining Clearwire, Kirkland spent 17 years with Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C. in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in communications law and worked with emerging-growth Internet, wireless and telecommunications companies.

Mr. Kirkland brings a wealth of knowledge of the business and regulatory environments affecting broadband and related technologies.

Kirkland holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Timothy J. McCallion

Adjunct Professor
California State University – Los Angeles
Retired President – West Region, Verizon

Darrell J. Stewart

Business Development Manager Public Sector, SLED
Intel Corporation

Darrell J. Stewart is a Business Development Manager Public Sector, in the SLED (State, Local and Education) group at Intel Corporation. SLED’s charter is to directly engage public sector leaders, visionaries, advocates, and industry partners. Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of citizens by harnessing Intel technologies and solutions to solve serious public sector problems and to find the intersection between Intel’s business interests, the major public sector challenges, and Intel’s expertise and resources.

Before assuming his current position, Darrell spent several years working in Intel’s Reseller Channel Organization, where he worked with school districts to leverage E-Rate funding strategies. Before joining Intel, Darrell worked in sales for Anixter, Lucent Technologies and was the Regional Sales Manager for Brite Voice Systems, which developed a sold a number of interactive voice response products and services.

Darrell and his wife Dalys have been married for 25 years and they have three adult sons and their dog Dixie. Darrell resides in Long Beach, California.

Darrell majored in Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dorian Traube, PhD

Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs
Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
University of Southern California (USC)

Dorian Traube is an associate professor in the Suzanne Dworak Peck School of Social Work, Department of Children, Youth, and Families. She is also the director of Parents as Teachers @ USC Telehealth (, the first partnership of its kind between a national home visitation model and a university based telehealth clinic. Her research agenda focuses on the utilization of technological solutions to provide early childhood health, education, and parent support services. She has expertise in children’s mental health, child maltreatment prevention, family support interventions, and youth substance abuse prevention and intervention. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Parsons Foundation, and the Overdeck Foundation. Dr. Traube sits on the board of directors of Child 360, the California Emerging Technology Fund, and Project ABC.

Dr. Traube teaches the classes “Social Work Practice with Children and Families in Early and Middle Childhood” and “Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups.” In 2006, she was awarded the University of Southern California’s Mellon Mentoring Award in recognition of her efforts to build a supportive environment for graduate student mentoring.

Dr. Traube received her doctorate and master’s degree in social work from Columbia University, where she was awarded the National Institute of Mental Health pre-doctoral fellowship in mental health services research. Before pursuing her doctorate degree, she was a clinical social worker in a pediatric HIV clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a research analyst at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Division of Health Services Research. Dr. Traube is a licensed clinical social worker in California and New York.

Melinda M. White

Transit Wireless
Retired Region President – Frontier Communications

Melinda White is a C-suite leader who thrives on challenges-she embraces responsibility, accountability and innovation in her stewardship of change. Ms. White is a former Region President accountable for $3B P&L, across a competitive, multi-State landscape.  Melinda White leads Transit Wireless with more than 20 years of experience in the wireless and telecommunications industry. Most recently, Ms. White served as the CEO of Black Walnut Ventures where she advised companies on strategy and operations. Prior to joining Black Walnut Ventures, Ms. White worked at Frontier Communications for more than 12 years and most recently served as president of the West region. Ms. White has also held senior leadership roles at Wink Communications, Cox Communications and Cellular One.

Turning the ship is what Melinda White does. She brings a fresh perspective; she understands what drives growth, where leadership is paramount and alignment of human and financial resources to the bottom line is required. Her management style is collaborative and inclusive, and with her financial acumen, market understanding and organizational capability, she’s prepared to make the tough calls. Widely recognized as a charismatic, exceptional strategist with an intuitive touch, White understands her audience and interacts seamlessly with all stakeholders: external partners, officials, staff, customers, employees and board members to attain the desired results.

As an established senior executive with more than 20 years of experience, Melinda has a strong background in operations, finance, marketing, online and video content strategy, consumer/commercial sales and business development; expertise that underpins her customer-focused, personal approach. Industrywide, Melinda has a stellar reputation. She attracts and builds A-teams, communicates the key strategies effectively, acknowledges performance in others and mentors up-and-coming leaders. She sets the example of accountability and excellence across the organization.

Melinda White’s most recent role as Area President of Frontier Communications’ West Region included a $3B P&L, the oversight of 7,000 employees across 3 States, thousands of facilities and employee hubs, and millions of consumer and commercial customers. Through extensive networking, coalition-building, strategic planning and working through significant hurdles, White spearheaded the California regulatory approval of Frontier’s $10.6B acquisition of Verizon assets. For 3 consecutive years, White was Frontier’s top-performer in market share growth and EBITDA performance.

Melinda began a 12 year tenure at Frontier as the Vice President and General Manager of Electric Lightwave, Inc. (a subsidiary of Frontier) in 2005. Despite the company’s failure to sell the asset just 18 months prior, White planned and executed a turnaround that resulted in the successful divestiture of the company for 8X earnings and $100M more than the previous price. Melinda was promoted several times at Frontier, as Senior and Executive Vice President (marketing, product, content, business development, wireless), and ultimately Region Area President. She drove revenue improvements and EBITDA growth year over year, expanded consumer and business product offerings and negotiated pivotal content, distribution, and product agreements with operational and strategic partners.

Prior to Frontier, Melinda was Executive Vice President of Distribution, Advertising, Content for Wink Commun-ications, and held senior leadership roles at Cox Communications and Cellular One.

Ms. White was a Board Advisor, representing Frontier investments, with Juice Wireless and Zipwhip. She currently serves as a Board Director of Transform Digital (Enterprise SaaS) and Chair of Look What SHE Did! (non-profit).

In 2012, the NYC chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) honored Melinda as a “Woman of Power and Influence.” Melinda was named a Fierce Telecom “2014 Women in Wireline to Watch”, a 2015 “Orchid Influential Woman Leader” by the Portland Business Journal; a Catalyst 2016 (1 of 7 women selected) Women on Board awardee as the mentee of Colgate/Palmolive CEO Ian Cook; and received the 2016 National Asian American Consortium Community and Engagement Leadership Award.

Melinda earned a Master of Business Administration from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard Payne University in Texas. Residing in Los Angeles, Melinda is an accomplished pianist and composer, and enjoys road biking, scuba diving and gardening.

Sunne Wright McPeak

President and CEO
California Emerging Technology Fund

Sunne Wright McPeak is the President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to close the Digital Divide by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband. She assumed the position as the CETF first chief executive in December 2006 after serving for three years as Secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. With McPeak’s vision and drive, CETF has positioned California as a national leader in closing the Digital Divide, initiating groundbreaking applications such as the California Telehealth Network, Digital Literacy, Smart Housing Policy, School2Home (to improve education), and Get Connected! (to drive adoption).

As Secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, McPeak oversaw the largest state Agency, including the Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Department of Motor Vehicles, California Highway Patrol, Office of Traffic Safety, Department of Housing and Community Development, California Housing Finance Agency, Department of Real Estate, Office of Real Estate Appraisers, Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Corporations, Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control, Department of Managed Health Care, Office of Patient Advocate, Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank, California Travel and Tourism Commission, California Film Commission, Small Business Guarantee Program, Office of Military and Aerospace Support, International Trade Promotion Program, and New Motor Vehicle Board. She was responsible for more than 42,000 employees and a budget in excess of $11 billion. Under McPeak’s leadership, performance and productivity in all departments of the Agency improved significantly-cutting average wait times at the DMV from over an hour to 21 minutes, reducing by two-thirds the time to issue real estate licenses, and generating more than $180 million in savings. She also provided key policy leadership in support of the Governor to develop and implement major investments in infrastructure and to foster groundbreaking regional “smart growth” planning.

Before being recruited to the Governor’s Cabinet, McPeak served for seven years as President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, a major employer-led policy organization addressing regional economic prosperity issues. For three years prior, she served as the President and CEO of the Bay Area Economic Forum, a public-private partnership between the Bay Area Council and the Association of Bay Area Governments. In that position she pioneered the development and deployment of regional economic performance metrics to drive public policy.

Sunne McPeak served for more than fifteen years as a member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, having been first elected at age 30. When she left public office her colleagues renamed the Board Chambers in her honor. She has led numerous statewide initiatives on a variety of issues ranging from water, to housing, to child care, and served as President of the California State Association of Counties in 1984. She was named by the San Francisco League of Women Voters as “A Woman Who Could Be President.” She also served on the Boards of Directors of First Nationwide Bank and Simpson Manufacturing Company.

Sunne (whose first name is her Norwegian grandmother’s family last name) grew up on a small dairy farm in the San Joaquin Valley. She earned a B.A. in an Individual Major (International Medicine) from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a MPH in Health Education and Medical Care Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been awarded two honorary doctorates from California State University East Bay and John F. Kennedy University. She and John McPeak have been married for 48 years and have two adult sons, a daughter-in-law and four grandsons in their family (and Breezy, the 5th Norwegian Elkhound).


Agustin Urgiles is Executive Manager of School2Home. He has extensive experience delivering educational programs to students and parents in underserved communities, and has long worked in collaboration with non-profit and community based-partner organizations to advocate for improved educational outcomes for low-income, minority students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.  As a first-generation college graduate, with degrees from University of California, Berkeley and University of Southern California, he firmly believes that a quality education can improve the lives of low-income students.

Dino Nartea is the Program Assistant for California Emerging Technology Fund and for School2Home.  He makes sure things run smoothly and prevents distraction from the goals of closing the Digital Divide and the Achievement Gap.

Ann Kruze is Program Manager of School2Home. She has served as an educator for more than three decades—as a classroom teacher, principal, and district level administrator.  Her primary classroom experience has been in middle school science, math, and technology.  Her goal has been to disrupt patterns of moribund education and create new paradigms for working with students, families, and teachers to build more equitable, humanistic, and effective schools.

Rosa Guerrero is Senior Program Manager of School2Home, serving the Los Angeles Region.  She has served as an educator for more than 10 years – as a classroom teacher, math specialist, and principal.  She believes in equity and works every day to provide transformative learning experiences for the students in Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Long Beach.

Seth Hubbard is Executive Director of Tech Exchange and dedicates a portion of this time to support School2Home partner schools.  Seth is dedicated to building a community of digitally proficient Bay Area residents who can access online education, employment, health, financial, and civic services.

Elaine Carpenter is a consultant to School2Home and has been instrumental in development of the Logic Model, the evaluation process, and all modules for parent workshops and teacher professional learning.  She has always been dedicated to digital equity.

Sunne Wright McPeak is the President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to close the Digital Divide by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband. She assumed the position as the CETF first chief executive in December 2006 after serving for three years as Secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. Under McPeak’s leadership, CETF has positioned California as a national leader in closing the Digital Divide, initiating groundbreaking applications such as the California Telehealth Network, Digital Literacy, Smart Housing Policy, School2Home (to improve education), and Get Connected! (to drive adoption).

Renee Hill is Senior Program Advisor for School2Home, serving the Inland Empire.  Her passions are equity, education, technology, and service to which she brings to bear her 27 years of public school experience and seven years of cell site deployment.

Raquel Cinat is Associate Vice President for California Emerging Technology Fund. She supports School2Home in every way she can. She has a deep admiration for people who have dedicated their lives to educating the nation’s children.

Nadine Hugg is Communications Associate for California Emerging Technology Fund.

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