In 2022, we welcomed new members to our team of changemakers as well as saw progressive transitions that lead us towards expanding our work. We welcome two new members on our Board of Directors, Barbara Saavedra and Diane Williamson, and thank outgoing Board Chair, Julie Cane, for her passionate commitment to our mission.
Introducing Board Chair, Michael Thiel: Michael Thiel is a technology executive, investor, board member and veterans’ advocate. He served as an officer for five years active duty in the U.S. Navy, including two deployments to the Arabian Gulf. Michael has also held various leadership & management positions in the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industries. He has served on the Board of Directors for seven years, and we look forward to his first term as Board Chair.
Barbara Saavedra joins the Board of Directors to continue her work advocating on behalf of veterans. She has had a prolific relationship with Swords to Plowshares, serving as a senior staff attorney in the Swords Legal department and as Interim Legal Director. She is currently a permanent clerk for Justice Kruger on the California Supreme Court.
Diane Williamson is a veteran rights advocate, nonprofit leader, and former client of Swords to Plowshares who worked hard to get back on her feet. Now, Diane is passionate about assisting fellow veterans currently facing the challenges she did. Diane serves as chair of the Alameda County Veterans Affairs Commission and leads the Veterans Community Media Network, a nonprofit focused on helping veterans access benefits.