I first met Melinda while volunteering at our children’s school. We immediately clicked. I have always been in awe of her ability to throw herself wholeheartedly into her career, her family, and her work in the community. She’s not only a fantastic mother, but an astute business woman and a staunch advocate for children and parents. I am so excited to have Melinda as the chair of our board. I have no doubt that under her helm we’ll be better, stronger, and can make great strides toward our goal of ending child abuse in San Francisco. Meet Melinda.
What can I say about Natalie? She is unquestionably one of the most dedicated advocates for children and child abuse prevention that I have the privilege of knowing. From her time volunteering in the Playroom as a high schooler to her time as chair of our Board of Directors with children of her own, Natalie and the Prevention Center have grown up together. Natalie, thank you for your service, your passion, and your commitment. I have no doubt that you and your family will stay part of the Prevention Center for many years to come.
I met Joe by happenstance on the shore of the Eel River. As we discussed tubing and whether or not there were eels in the river, I came to learn that Joe is a Bay Area native who’s passionate about teaching San Francisco’s children. Since that first introduction, I have come to be inspired by Joe’s passion for children, for ensuring their education reaches beyond the books and believing that his job is to be their teacher and their advocate — making sure each student has that one caring adult. Here’s to the lucky youngsters who have Mr. Siedman this new school year.
At the Prevention Center, one of my favorite places is our Playroom. Most days it’s filled with uproarious laughter, with bangs and kerplunks, stories being told, and friendships being forged. But when it’s not chock-full of children, you will occasionally find a staffer on its back patio practicing hoops or big people sitting in tiny chairs in a makeshift meeting room. On Tuesday nights, it’s full of families and a whole lot of finger-licking food. The Playroom is home to the Holiday Toy Store and so much more. One thing is constant though, without a doubt, whatever is happening in the Playroom, Russell’s going to be there. He’s there creating, coaching, and cleaning — ensuring that San Francisco’s kids have a safe refuge to be just that — kids.
Richard has long been a fan and supporter of the Prevention Center. He makes my job easy. But what I love most about Richard is watching him take the stage at our Annual Blue Ribbon Luncheon. He’s one impressive auctioneer. In fact, he’s a man of many talents. I am happy to introduce you to Richard Pio Roda.
Q: Tell me about your life.
A: I was born and raised in Southern California and the Napa Valley. I received my B.S. in Accounting and International Economics from the University of San Francisco, and my J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. My first real job was as a Deputy General Counsel for the San Francisco Unified School District, where I met Katie Albright, our amazing Executive Director. I am currently a partner at the law firm of Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson, in Oakland. I specialize in Public Law, Public Contracting, Construction, and Education Law. I live in San Francisco, where I am proud to serve as a Commissioner on the City and County of San Francisco Human Rights Commission. I am also a professional auctioneer.