Staff

Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan, Executive Director
Ms. Ayerdi-Kaplan leads and manages the $4.5 billion Transbay Transit Center Project— “the Grand Central Station” of the West. The Transbay Project consists of a new multi-modal Transit Center on the site of the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco, the extension of rail service from 4th and King Streets to the new Terminal, and a redevelopment area surrounding the new Transit Center. Featuring intercity, regional, and local buses along with commuter and future High-Speed Rail, the Project will ultimately connect 11 different public transit systems. The Project will also create a 40-acre pedestrian friendly community of 2,600 new housing units, one-third of which will be affordable. By providing the public with safe, convenient, and inexpensive public transit options, and by creating a livable community near transit, employment, shopping, and other urban amenities, the Transbay Project is a national model for the integration of land use and transportation planning. The Project is more than a vision; it is the first High-Speed Rail project to break ground in the United States. Read more

Scott Boule, Legislative Affairs and Community Outreach Manager
Prior to joining TJPA in 2011, Mr. Boule served as Senior Appropriations Advisor in the Office of the Speaker throughout Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s tenure as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. In this role he was responsible for making recommendations to the Speaker regarding funding priorities in the annual federal appropriations bills and tracking her priorities throughout the budget process. This portfolio included both programmatic and special projects funding in most areas covered by the discretionary portion of the federal budget, including transportation and infrastructure spending. He previously worked for Pelosi as Appropriations Associate while she served on the Appropriations Committee, and then as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Democratic Leader. His previous experience also includes work as a Legislative Fellow for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a Presidential Management Intern with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and work as a VISTA Volunteer developing programs at the grassroots level.

Brian Dykes, Principal Engineer
Brian Dykes has worked for 43 years in construction and design of bridges, railroads, tunnels and port facilities. Prior to joining the TJPA in 2007, he was employed for 28 years at a California-based engineering corporation and served as the Project Manager on many major projects throughout the state including the Second Level Roadway at Los Angeles International Airport, the Euclid Line Extension for the San Diego Light Rail, the BART Daly City Turnback and Colma Yard, the I-280 Southern Freeway Retrofit in San Francisco, the BART Extension from North Concord to Highway 4, the Cypress Freeway Replacement 7th Street Interchange, the Elevated Circulation Roadway at San Francisco International Airport, the I-80 Carquinez Suspension Bridge, and the Alameda Corridor Design/Build Rail Trench in Los Angeles. Mr. Dykes has also worked on the Reno ReTRAC Design/Build Trench and the Messina Straits Suspension Bridge between Italy and Sicily.

Sara DeBord, Chief Financial Officer
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.

Araceli Fierro, Financial & Systems Accountant | HR Analyst
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
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. Ms. Gonzales is also an Officer of the TJPA and serves as Secretary to the Board of Directors.

Connie Li, Accountant
Connie Li’s most recent position before joining TJPA in December 2015 was with the Kraft Heinz Company, where she was Senior Financial Analyst for the San Leandro Manufacturing Facility supporting the plant in all finance-related activities.  Prior to this role, she held the position of Senior Accountant at the Controller’s Office with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory managed by the University of California).  In addition, she has held the positions of Accounting Analyst and Fund Accountant with McKesson Corporation and an international venture capital firm.

Eddie Phillips, Contracts Compliance Officer
Eddie Phillips joined the TJPA in June 2010 as the Contracts Compliance Officer.  For the past 25 years he has worked between the public and non-profit sectors as a senior community organizer, logistics manager, events manager as well as accounting/payroll/personnel manager and budget coordinator.  Mr. Phillips served as Deputy Director of Operations for Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. for the last five years of his administration.  In his position at the TJPA, Eddie has served as Chair of the Business Outreach Committee, which is an organization of Bay Area transit and transportation agencies with the goal of assisting Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and other small businesses through training, technical assistance, and relationship-building opportunities. 

Renu Sharma, Finance Coordinator
Bio coming soon…

Edmond Sum, Engineering Manager
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
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.

Mark Zabaneh, Senior Program Manager
Mark Zabaneh came to the TJPA in 2013 after a 26 year career with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Mr. Zabaneh worked in various capacities with Caltrans in the Bay Area, including as Hydraulics Engineer, Assistant Structure 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.

TJPA Officers

Sara Gigliotti 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.

Dennis Herrera, Legal Counsel
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera serves as Legal Counsel to the TJPA. Mr. Herrera was elected to the position of City Attorney in 2001, taking office in 2002. Mr. Herrera served in the Clinton Administration as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Maritime Administration where he was responsible for implementing key provisions of the Clinton economic plan. After his Washington tenure, he served as president of the San Francisco Police Commission and served on the San Francisco Public Transportation Commission, which at the time oversaw the city’s Municipal Railway.


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