Five residents of the District are the policy making, governing Board of GVRD. Each Board member is appointed to a 4 year term. The city of Vallejo appoints three members and the Solano County Board of Supervisors two members. The terms are staggered to ensure that a majority of the members do not term out at the same time. To contact the board email BoardofDirectors@gvrd.org
Board of Directors
Karen J. Sims - Director
Karen J. Sims believes in public service. She was deeply interested in planning, zoning and regional cooperation and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Urban Planning. In her first job in Atlanta, Georgia, she worked to help delinquent boys assigned by the courts to a residential program. In this job she discovered a passion for working with people and building community. She also learned about policy making, navigating the world of institutional rules, laws and regulations, drafting and proposing legislation. After leaving Georgia, she began working on media campaigns for the Peace Corps in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma. She came to California and worked for the Social Security Administration for 38 years in San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Richmond, Oakland and San Mateo.
Throughout her career/working years she continued to be involved with setting policies, working with institutions and building community. She taught technical classes and helped develop skill training. With a team of managers, she became a certified mediator as well as a certified instructor in communication, listening skills, labor-management collaboration and even developed curriculum in ethics and workplace skills.
After retiring, she spent five months traveling around the country talking with people and visiting new areas, searching for the perfect city or town in which to retire. Ultimately, she fell in love with Vallejo and moved here. Since moving to Vallejo, she has been involved with Better Vallejo, Participatory Budgeting, hosting Cal Maritime students and other community organizations and initiatives.
Ron C Bowen - Director
Ron C. Bowen has lived in Vallejo since 2005. Mr. Bowen is an Affordable Housing Professional and works with VA clients, seniors, and disabled residents to ensure housing retention. He is the current Treasurer of the Glen Cove Community Association, which serves over 3,000 homes. He served as a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force and is a graduate of the Air Force Leadership School. He and his wife are the proud parents of two children ages 11 and 13. My experience in fiscal management and strategic planning will help to ensure the future of GVRD to continue to serve the citizens and children of Vallejo. My particular interest is in programming for children. I intend to advocate for continued and expanded programming, particularly low and moderate cost after school and summer programs.
Gary Salvadori - Secretary
Gary Salvadori was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and graduated from Western New England College as an Electrical Engineer. Gary and his wife, Judi, have two grown children. He was employed by General Electric Company for 15 years and then with other technology companies. In 1991, he founded their business, Minuteman Press, here in Vallejo. Since that time, he has served as President of the Vallejo Rotary Club, Chair of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce and the Sutter Solano Charitable Foundation, the Benicia historical Museum and the St. Patrick / St. Vincent Board of Regents. Gary has also served two terms on the Vallejo Planning Commission. Prior to coming to Vallejo, he served on the Economics Development Board and the General Plan Update Committee in Benicia. Gary and Judi reside in a 100+ year old Victorian in downtown Vallejo.
Sheryl Pannell Lea - Chairperson
Sheryl Pannell Lea has been a resident of Vallejo for 27 years. Sheryl Pannell Lea graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S. in Administrative of Justice and later with a Masters in Public Administration. She has served as the National Junior Basketball Coach for 3rd and 4th grade and was the Co-founder and Track Coach of the Four Star Athletic Club. She spent 10 years as the Head Track Coach at St. Patrick- St. Vincent High School in Vallejo. Sheryl Pannell Lea is the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Lea Pannell Realty and property Management.The winner of the 2003 West America Bank Spirit of Solano Award and 2013 Athena award, Mrs. Lea is in deeply involved in the community through her active membership in the Mount Calvary Gems Mentoring Program, Delta Sigma Theta, Solano County Links, Solano Sunset Rotary Club, and the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce.
Robert Briseno - Vice Chairperson
Robert Briseno was born, raised and attended school in Vallejo. He went on to attend and graduate from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Mr. Briseno, while in college, joined the Army Reserves and earned a commission as an officer. He served in the Army Reserves over 11 years in Finance, Military Police and Adjutant General units, as well as becoming Airborne qualified.
Private sector Jobs and the military took him to several cities across the United States. He returned to Vallejo in 2002, where he partnered with his sister, Deanna Troupe, in the creation of their own firm, BB&B Business Group. BB&B Business Group is a business consultancy practice focused on marketing and financial advice for other businesses. His firm also created and publishes Local Happenings Magazine which serves Solano, Contra Costa and Napa county.
Mr. Briseno is active in the community, having served on the board and as President of Vallejo Rotary, Vallejo’s Main Street Organization and the Vallejo Parade Association (which puts on the Vallejo 4th of July Parade annually). He currently serves on the board of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce and his Homeowners Association as well.
When not working he enjoys spending time with his wife and their three young children (who all attend school in Vallejo), as well as his parents and 5 siblings that live nearby. His children are all active participants in GVRD programs including after-school care, summer camps and other events and programs put on by the district.
Mr. Briseno is focused on improving the quality of life in Vallejo for him, his family and all residents. He believes that the parks, facilities and programs that GVRD oversees are an important part of that. He advocates for the best use of resources to enable the district to improve and evolve to meet the needs of the community this year and for generations to come.
GVRD holds board meetings at 6:30pm on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at GVRD’s main office; 395 Amador St. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information call (707) 648-4604