Drew Becher has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Parks Alliance since 2017. In 2018 alone, Drew led the organization as it completed 20+ park projects, engaged 100,000+ residents in park programming, and helped raise $20M+ for capital projects.
Drew has executed transformational projects in support of parks and green spaces across the country, and comes to SF Parks Alliance with over 20 years of experience in national and regional park planning and advocacy. Previously, Drew was President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), Executive Director of the New York Restoration Project, and Chief of Staff at the Chicago Park District. While at PHS and the New York Restoration Project, Drew spearheaded the most innovative and successful tree planting program in the country, the Plant One Million campaign and Million Trees NYC. At PHS, he also created the pop-up garden phenomenon that has been copied in many U.S. cities. In Chicago, Drew forged an acclaimed environmental and beautification agenda, which included the creation of Millennium Park. In his free time, Drew tends to his home garden, and spends time with his three dogs and husband.
Director, External Affairs
Development & Marketing
Sonia Gonzalez Banks
Director of External Affairs, Development & Marketing
Sonia Gonzalez Banks manages the External Affairs department, leading the teams at SF Parks Alliance responsible for all of the organization’s fundraising, special events, marketing, and communication initiatives.
Prior to this role, Sonia founded Golden Banks Consulting, where she supported many nonprofits in interim directorship roles and as the Producer of the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society’s 75th anniversary Community Day. Previously, Sonia served as the Individual Giving and Special Events Director at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where she created and launched a season of new programming for the 50th anniversary that continues on today. Sonia also brought success to the development and marketing departments of Jazz at Lincoln Center and American Federation of the Arts in New York City; and the Austin Museum of Art and the Austin Children’s Museum in Austin, Texas.
When not at work, you can find Sonia building her indoor and outdoor gardens, thrift store shopping and spending time with her young children in San Francisco’s many parks and playgrounds.
Justin Probert leads the financial and administrative operations at SF Parks Alliance. Justin has over twenty five years of nonprofit experience, as well as an enthusiastic passion for the mission of the organization.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Justin is committed to social justice, equity and public spaces.
A graduate of Cal Poly, he has retained the “learn by doing” philosophy of his alma mater and remains focused on community service. In his spare time, Justin has enjoyed serving on various boards, commissions and task forces. He can also be found enjoying the outdoors, spending time with family or taking in an Oakland A’s game.
Director, Research & Development
Director, Research & Development
Kearstin lives with her family in San Francisco’s Mission District and brings over 15 years of experience in nonprofit management, civic work, and community engagement to SF Parks Alliance. She has served as Senior Director of Community Engagement at United Way Bay Area, an organizer for the 2016 Clinton Campaign, and Executive Director of SF Beautiful.For Kearstin, this is a homecoming of sorts as she previously served as the Director of Communications and Programming for SF Parks Trust almost 10 years ago, launching the Partner Program, Street Parks, and other signature programs. She is also the author of the report calling for the Citywide Public Space Initiative and has worked actively to realize that vision.
Her favorite park depends on her mood, but she’s almost always in the mood for Dolores Park.
Director, Parks & Place
Director, Parks & Place
Philip Winn joined SF Parks Alliance as Director of Parks and Place in April of 2020. Philip previously served as Vice President at Project for Public Spaces (PPS) where he developed, designed, managed, and implemented a broad variety of projects and programs. While at PPS, he helped lead the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community Program, an initiative that provided direct grants and technical assistance to public space activation projects in over 20 cities in the United States and Mexico.
Philip brings a special expertise in facilitating community-led public space activation projects, as well as his skills as a facilitator, project manager, and advisor to projects around the world, from Providence and Detroit to Kuala Lumpur and Mexico City. As a public speaker and session leader, Philip has facilitated workshops and presented at conferences for Walk/Bike/Places, Placemaking Week, the Placemaking Leadership Council, Net Impact, New Partners for Smart Growth, Future Cities Collaborative, and multiple municipal governments and community groups.
Prior to joining PPS, Philip worked as a project manager at OpenPlans where he coordinated a series of transportation advocacy projects in collaboration with founder Mark Gorton and the staff of Streetsblog and Streetfilms. Philip has also worked as an Art Director and Art Department Coordinator in the New York film production community.
Megan joined SF Parks Alliance in 2018. She currently oversees the organization’s membership and annual giving programs. Prior to joining SFPA, Megan was the Donor Services Officer at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. In this role, she managed the donor database, ran the year-end giving campaign, and generated all development and membership emails.
Megan is a Bay Area native and a certified yoga instructor. She enjoys biking around Golden Gate Park in her spare time.
Thaïs is the Grants Revenue Manager at SF Parks Alliance. In this role, she provides financial and administrative support for a wide variety of government grants. Prior to joining the organization, she managed the finances and operations of a public opinion research firm.
Thaïs grew up in the Bay Area and is thankful everyday for all of the outdoor spaces to enjoy here. Outside of work, she enjoys eating pizza, listening to podcasts, and walking all over the East Bay and San Francisco.
Associate, Research & Development
Research & Development Associate
Aimee joined SF Parks Alliance as an intern in early 2021 before transitioning to her full-time role as the Research & Development Associate.
Originally from the UK, Aimee worked as a teacher in London prior to beginning her Masters in Social & Public Policy at the University of York. Since moving to the Bay Area, she has worked with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and become increasingly passionate about working to foster a more livable, equitable city for all San Franciscans.
Outside of work, Aimee plays netball with the SF Stars, cruises around town on her bike, and is always on the search for the perfect sourdough pizza.
Favorite Park:Golden Gate Park (car-free JFK to Ocean Beach, specifically!)
Camilla joined the Finance & Administration team at SF Parks Alliance in 2021, and is responsible for all AP and payroll matters.
Prior to joining SF Parks Alliance, Camilla managed accounting and HR for an online travel company specializing in multi-stop international travel.
Camilla was born and raised in Sweden, and moved to the United States in 2002. Currently, she lives in the East Bay with her husband and daughter. Outside of work, Camilla enjoys traveling and watching the San Francisco Giants play at Oracle Park!
North Area Manager
North Area Manager, Parks & Place
Sara joined SF Parks Alliance as the North Area Manager in March 2021, and is responsible for supporting community partners and initiatives in the northern portion of San Francisco. Most recently, Sara served as Director of Philanthropic Partnerships at Global Fund for Women, where she built funding partnerships to benefit women’s rights organizations and movements for gender justice globally. She has over 15 years of experience working with organizations and coalitions to mobilize private and public funding to benefit youth, education, health, water and sanitation, and women’s rights. Her passion is grounded in her experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, where she learned the importance of locally-led, community development. She also saw the critical need for getting significantly more resources into the hands of local community organizations who hold the best solutions to the challenges that their communities face.
Sara loves to get her family out to a new park, trail, or open space whenever possible. She also enjoys neighborhood festivals, community work days and chatting with folks at local events! When she’s not out and about or hanging with her kids, you’ll find her seeking some quiet space for mindfulness and meditation, or working in the garden.
Senior Project Manager, Parks & Place
Project Manager, Parks & Place
Susanna joined SF Parks Alliance in 2019 as a Project Manager for the Parks & Place team, overseeing capital improvement projects including the Let’sPlaySF! initiative, the Golden Gate Park Tennis Center renovation, and the Moss Metamorphosis project to transform an alleyway in SOMA.
Susanna earned her Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and has an undergraduate degree in Art History from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Throughout her career, Susanna has worked on dozens of design and capital improvement projects across multiple realms including: parks and public spaces, education, residential, mixed-use, and campuses. With experience working in New York City, Philadelphia, India, and across the greater Bay Area, Susanna has a diversity of experiences in all stages of capital improvement projects from kick-off meetings and community workshops, to construction closeout, to overseeing the design process and construction administration.
Susanna enjoys collaborating with diverse stakeholders with a focused mission of turning uninspiring spaces into awe-inspiring places. Susanna loves the ebb and flowing nature of building projects, and will never tire from the thrill of seeing people enjoy a thoughtfully designed space. When she is not choreographing new places, Susanna can be found spending time outside with family and friends: playing with her son and dog, surfing, eating, observing and exploring.
Deputy Director, Development SteveF@sfparksalliance.org 415-830-5567
Deputy Director of Development
Steve Fredericks is the Deputy Director of Development for the San Francisco Parks Alliance. In this role, Steve leads corporate sponsorship and engagement for events and initiatives, co-leads major donor cultivations, coordinates the fundraising efforts for the LetsPlaySF! initiative, and supports the Director of External Affairs in setting and executing overall development strategy for the organization.Prior to working at SF Parks Alliance, Steve served as the Director of Development for Bay Area Wilderness Training, where he led the fundraising strategy to double the organization’s budget and staff in his six-year tenure. This work included securing the funding to launch a major initiative with Oakland Unified School District to bring every middle school student on an outdoor trip as part of their school curriculum. Steve continues to be an advocate for outdoor access for all people, and greatly enjoys backpacking, snowboarding, running and cooking.
Oscar joined SF Parks Alliance as a Development Associate in July of 2016. A native of San Francisco, he is always willing to field the “what is Hella?” question for those who grew up outside of the Bay Area. Oscar worked in a wide variety of industries and organizations before coming to the Parks Alliance. His previous employers include the Embassy of Jordan, Kiva Microfunds, Fenton Communications, as well as companies in the tech sector such as Zillow Group, Zenefits, and Cardpool.
Oscar received his graduate degree in International Affairs at American University’s School of International Service, completed his undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University, and takes Data Science courses for fun. In his spare time, he can be found playing flag football, brewing and bottling beers, and taking way too many photos of his food.
Senior Project Manager, Parks & Place
Senior Project Manager, Parks & Place
Mark Hennon is thrilled to be a part of the Parks & Place activation team working on Citywide events, including: repurposed streets, Sundown Cinema movies in the parks, Due South concert series and various other creative placemaking efforts to enhance the public realm. Mark has over 18 years of public space management experience in Los Angeles and Seattle, and he continues to work closely with business improvement districts, city agencies, non-profits, camps, and various green space management organizations to round out SF Parks Alliance’s portfolio of public space enhancement.
As a fearless planner with a passion for positive public space, Mark’s interests lie in thoughtful outreach work, innovative partnerships and inspired event programming. In his free time, Mark enjoys reading (and watching) too much science fiction, exploring new parks, riding his bicycle and attending festivals.
Manager, Development Operations
Development Operations Manager
Leigh joined SF Parks Alliance as their Development Operations Manager in March of 2020. She oversees all of External Affairs’ databases and assists the team in streamlining their procedures. She most recently worked at the San Francisco Botanical Garden as the Development Operations and Database Manager, where she migrated over 7 different databases and data sources to a single Salesforce-based platform. In her spare time, Leigh enjoys baking, yoga, and hiking. She is passionate about nature and making the outdoors accessible to everyone.
Madeline joined SF Parks Alliance as their External Affairs Associate in the spring of 2021, and within this role she supports the organization’s marketing and development efforts.
Madeline graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Business Management and Marketing in 2020. Throughout her studies and time spent interning in retail, she decided to use her degree to pursue mission-based work. As a native San Franciscan, she is proud to be of service to the communities that she grew up in.
Madeline is a certified yoga instructor and former D1 volleyball player, and enjoys doing anything active in her spare time.
Favorite Park:Golden Gate Park (Botanical Gardens)
Southwest Area Manager
Project Manager, Parks & Place
Sarah is the Southwest Area Manager, and is responsible for supporting community groups and initiatives within the Southwest corridor of the city. Sarah also supports the overall partner network and is responsible for planning the annual Public Space Summit. Prior to joining SF Parks Alliance, Sarah worked as the Visitor Engagement Specialist at the Presidio in San Francisco, undertaking logituditional visitor research, data management, systems creation, and event support. She has a background in public space research, community-centered education, outreach, and events and project management.
Sarah graduated from the University of Maryland with a dual-degree in Environmental Science and Broadcast Journalism. She moved to San Francisco in 2016 and loves to explore new neighborhoods, support local businesses, go to live music and theatre performances, and hike to the tallest hill and take in the views. You’ll often find her performing improv, petting dogs, or talking about Sister Act I & II (the greatest films ever set in San Francisco!).
Senior Associate, Marketing & Special Events
Senior Associate, Marketing & Specials Events
As the Marketing & Special Events Associate, Rachel provides a board range of marketing and communications support for the organization, and manages all aspects of major development events, including Party for the Parks.
Originally from Los Angeles, Rachel is now a proud Bay Area resident and graduate of UC Berkeley. Her previous work includes supporting sponsorship at National Public Radio in Washington DC, and leading events and operations at the Berkeley Student Food Collective.
Across all of her personal and professional pursuits, Rachel carries a strong belief in civic engagement, community-driven planning, and increased access to quality urban green spaces. She loves working on behalf of San Francisco’s incredible network of parks and public spaces, and when she’s not working, she can often be found running, biking and enjoying these spaces with friends.
Rebecca joined the Finance & Administration team in May of 2017. She is responsible for daily accounting tasks, including preparing financial reports and general ledger entries, reconciling bank statements, and providing various other accounting support for the organization.
Prior to joining SF Parks Alliance, Rebecca worked in two advertising agencies in San Francisco. She enjoys nature, and during her free time, she loves to go hiking, visit parks, and spend time at the beach.
Program Manager, Benches
Benches Program Manager
Paula manages the Commemorative Bench program at SF Parks Alliance. She comes to the organization with over 20 years of experience working in the non-profit sector. Although Paula’s first love is donor database administration, she also has years of experience writing direct mail appeals, producing special events, and cultivating donor relationships.
As a San Francisco native, working on the San Francisco Parks Alliance Commemorative Bench Program gives Paula the unique opportunity to be out and around in Golden Gate Park, as well as other amazing areas of the City.
Charlie joined SF Parks Alliance in March of 2016 and brings a strong background in advocacy, marketing and communications to the organization. Previously, Charlie worked as the Supervisor of Teams and Targeted Fundraising for the San Francisco AIDS Walk, where he successfully exceeded fundraising revenue and community participation goals for the first time in 5 years.
Charlie holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is a frequent biker through Golden Gate Park. In his spare time, he enjoys salsa dancing and photography. He currently resides in the Sunset district of San Francisco, and is proud to be working on behalf of the best park system in North America.
Southeast Area Manager ThomasN@sfparksalliance.org 415-906-6237
Southeast Area Manager
Born and raised in San Francisco, Thomas grew up in the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood with his mom, dad, and older sister. Thomas graduated Bowdoin College in May 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Government. At Bowdoin, he also participated in cross country running and track and field all four years. Still interested in pursuing city and regional planning, Thomas enrolled in UC Berkeley’s summer environmental design urban planning course and went on to work at City Hall in Supervisor Norman Yee’s office.
As someone who believes strongly in the impact of parks and public, Thomas is excited to serve as the Southeast Area Manager at SF Parks Alliance. As one of San Francisco’s most diverse neighborhoods, the southeast area of San Francisco has become the forefront of change. Some of the city’s biggest issues are on display in this region, but Thomas believes that SF Parks Alliance can have a profound and positive impact as the organization works to bring underserved communities the parks and public spaces that they deserve.
Favorite Park:Ocean Beach
Senior Project Manager, Parks & Place MayaR@sfparksalliance.org 415-906-6275
India Basin Project Manager
Maya Rodgers comes to SF Parks Alliance with over 10 years of park advocacy and community engagement experience.
Maya is a fierce community advocate who founded Parks 94124 in 2010, a parks advocacy group, as well as the Bayview Parks Collaborative. Throughout all of her work, she believes that collaboration is the key to developing and maintaining dynamic responsive parks and open spaces.
Maya holds a Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University, and is a proud San Francisco native and current resident.
Project Coordinator, Parks & Place LauraR@sfparksalliance.org 415-906-6235
Luke joined SF Parks Alliance in 2018 and serves as the Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships. He is a 12-year resident of San Francisco, and he received his degree in Urban Planning from San Francisco State University. Prior to joining the Parks Alliance, Luke worked in the Portola neighborhood, where he supported the Garden District’s small businesses and community groups with projects ranging from the creation of new gardens to the renovation of the historic Avenue Theater marquee.
Luke is excited about creating environments where people can thrive by harnessing the power of passionate neighbors to improve their communities. When he’s not thinking about the future of San Francisco’s public spaces, he can be found riding his bike, baking sourdough bread and hosting a morning radio show about falling in love with San Francisco.