Staff

Mark Zabaneh, Executive Director

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On November 10, 2016, the TJPA Board of Directors unanimously appointed former TJPA Senior Program Manager and Interim Executive Director Mark Zabaneh as the new Executive Director. Mr. Zabaneh came to the TJPA in 2013 after a 26 year career with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). He worked in various capacities with Caltrans in the Bay Area, including as Hydraulics Engineer, Assistant Structures Representative on the Cypress Reconstruction Project, and Project Manager on the San Mateo/Hayward Bridge East Approach Widening Project and the State Route 92/I-880 Interchange Project. Mr. Zabaneh also oversaw the project management activities of several projects including the Caldecott Tunnel 4th Bore Project. Mr. Zabaneh’s most recent assignment with Caltrans was as the Deputy District Director for Program/Project Management in charge of the Capital Program for the nine Bay Area counties. He is a licensed civil engineer in the State of California and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.

 

Sara DeBord, Chief Financial Officer

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Sara (Gigliotti) DeBord originally joined the TJPA in 2004 as Office Manager, before leaving in 2005 to spend a year and a half as a business development volunteer and grants manager at a marine protected area in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. She returned to TJPA as the Contracts Compliance Manager in 2007 and became CFO in 2011. Prior to working for the TJPA, she worked for the City and County of San Francisco, initially in the Mayor’s Office and later at the Department of Parking & Traffic. In addition to her financial management responsibilities, Ms. DeBord manages contract compliance and also serves as the TJPA’s Liaison Officer for Disadvantaged and Small Business Enterprises. She has Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from the University of San Francisco.

 

Araceli Fierro, Financial & Systems Accountant | HR Analyst

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Araceli Fierro joined TJPA in September 2008 following a long career with Redwood City, where she started as an account clerk and was successively promoted ultimately to senior accountant.  Ms. Fierro also served briefly as Assistant Controller at the Presidio Trust.  Originally hired as TJPA’s Financial & Systems Accountant, Ms. Fierro took on the additional role of HR Analyst in 2015.

 

Nila Gonzales, Chief of Staff

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Nila Gonzales joined the TJPA in 2005 as the Office Manager and became the Chief of Staff in 2010. Prior to working for the TJPA, Ms. Gonzales worked for the City and County of San Francisco as the Mayor’s Director of Scheduling and later at the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families. Prior to her years with the City and County of San Francisco, Ms. Gonzales had a successful career with the San Francisco Chronicle. She is a San Francisco native that is personally involved in the community for the betterment of the City. Ms. Gonzales is also an Officer of the TJPA and serves as Secretary to the Board of Directors.

 

Lori House, Financial Reporting Accountant

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Lori House joined TJPA in January 2017. She came from the City of Vallejo where she was an Accountant focused on their Housing Authority funds and related grant reporting. Prior to that Ms. House served as the Interim Chief Financial Officer and Controller for LookSmart, Ltd in San Francisco and as Controller for Senetek PLC in Napa, both publically traded companies. She was also the Controller for several small companies in the San Francisco area; beginning her professional career with Ernst & Young. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of California and a graduate of St. Mary’s College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.

 

Sidonie Sansom, Chief Security Officer

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Sidonie Sansom joined the TJPA as Chief Security Officer in April 2017.  Her responsibilities include development, implementation and oversight of comprehensive security and emergency management programs at the Transbay Center and ancillary TJPA properties.  Prior to joining TJPA, Ms. Sansom served as the Director of Homeland Security at the Port of San Francisco.  At the Port, her responsibilities included Homeland Security, and design and management of the Port’s emergency planning, response and physical security programs.  Through her leadership, the Port received over $30 million in federal and state port security grant funds to further the Port’s goals of increasing security, improving all-hazards response and building port resiliency.  Ms. Sansom previously served as an active duty Coast Guard officer for 20 years, spending the majority of her career as a helicopter pilot, flying a variety of missions including search and rescue, law enforcement, pollution response and high-latitude science.  Her assignments included the Polar Operations Division and the Pacific Area Command Center. In 2003, during the 100th anniversary of flight celebration in Kitty Hawk, NC, she was honored as one of the “100 Heroes of Aviation”.  In 2012, she received the Rhodes College Distinguished Alumnus award.

 

E.R. “Skip” Sowko, Senior Design & Engineering Manager

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Skip Sowko joined TJPA in March 2017 and brings more than 38 years of engineering experience gained while at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Before joining TJPA, his extensive work in the San Francisco Bay Area included serving as a Principal Transportation Engineer (Division Chief for the Division of Design South – Caltrans, District 4) for 14 years. This experience included leadership roles as Project Director on the Presidio Parkway and Project Manager on the Tom Lantos Tunnels at Devil’s Slide. Throughout his career, Mr. Sowko has held managerial and supervisory positions in Design, Project Management, Construction, Geotechnical, and Materials. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of California, Irvine and is licensed as both a Civil Engineer and Geotechnical Engineer in the State of California.

 

Edmond Sum, Engineering Manager

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Edmond Sum came to the TJPA in 2006 from EPC Consultants, Inc., a San Francisco-based program/construction management firm where he practiced as a professional engineer. Mr. Sum has provided technical expertise on major projects for the City and County of San Francisco (DPW’s Bureau of Construction Management and SF International Airport), Bay Area Rapid Transit and the San Diego County Water Authority, among others.

 

Dennis Turchon, Senior Construction Manager

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Dennis Turchon joined the TJPA in 2013 after working for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for 25 years. Mr. Turchon worked in various different Caltrans districts throughout the State, with 24 of those years in their construction division. Noteworthy projects in San Francisco that he handled as construction manager are the SFOBB West Approach replacement, the SFOBB West Span superstructure seismic retrofit, the SFOBB South/South detour and most recently the Doyle Drive Replacement (Phase 1). He is a licensed civil engineer in the State of California and is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.

 

Martha Velez, Facility Manager

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Martha Velez joined the TJPA in April 2017 to coordinate opening activities and oversee operations. Prior to joining the TJPA, Ms. Velez was with Stanford Health Care for ten years as Director of the Property Services Program, creating and managing the department that provided facilities and property management support to all non-main hospital locations for both the adult and children’s hospitals. During her tenure, the non-main hospital business grew from approximately 450 thousand square feet to over 2 million square feet representing in excess of 150 sites. Previously, Ms. Velez worked for Oracle for six years, providing facilities and property management services for the corporate headquarters campus in Redwood Shores after having worked on opening the campus as an employee of the developer, William Wilson & Associates. She is a native San Franciscan.

 

TJPA Officers

Sara DeBord, Chief Financial Officer
TJPA Chief Financial Officer Sara (Gigliotti) DeBord began coordinating TJPA financial activities in 2008 and was appointed CFO in 2011. As TJPA’s Contracts Compliance Manager/Finance Coordinator she was progressively involved in all aspects of TJPA’s financial management, and as CFO is now responsible for all financial management activities including contracts compliance, internal controls, financial reporting, cash-flow management and investing, external audits, and debt management. Ms. DeBord is a Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO).

Nila Gonzales, Board Secretary
Nila Gonzales serves as Secretary to the TJPA Board of Directors. Ms. Gonzales joined the TJPA in 2005 as the Office Manager and became the Chief of Staff in 2010. Ms. Gonzales was appointed Secretary by the TJPA Board of Directors on November 16, 2006. She serves as both Board Secretary and Chief of Staff for the TJPA. Prior to joining the TJPA, she served as Director of Scheduling for Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., Event Coordinator/Contract Compliance for the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth and their Families and Financial Advertising Supervisor for the San Francisco Chronicle.

 


In compliance with California Assembly Bill 2040, you may visit http://publicpay.ca.gov/ for compensation information.