Our Team of Passionate Change Makers

Our Board of Directors

Julie Cane

Board Chair

Julie Cane works at Wells Fargo Bank on Marketing Strategy for the Student Segment. In addition to financial services, her background includes management consulting, corporate venture capital and merger integration. She began her career as an SH-3 Sea King helicopter pilot in the US Navy where she managed flight operations and flew torpedo recovery and simulated combat search and rescue missions in the Philippines and San Diego. Julie’s father was a US Navy Surface Warfare Officer during Vietnam and her maternal grandfather was a P-38 pilot and POW during WWII. Julie holds an MBA from UCLA and a BA from the University of Virginia.

Michael Dekshenieks

Vice Chair

Michael Dekshenieks is a Managing Director and Digital Transformation Executive at Accenture with a focus on enterprise initiatives which deliver personalized experiences. He began his career as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy with service aboard a Guided Missile Destroyer and the Naval Surface Forces Staff. Michael received his bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and his MBA from The College of William & Mary.

Michael Fassler

Board Secretary

Michael Fassler is Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Syufy Enterprises where he is responsible for the corporate growth of their operating businesses, including VillaSport Athletic Club & Spa and Tomatina restaurants. Mike was previously the Associate Director of Real Estate for the Presidio Trust, a federal agency which owns and operates the historic Presidio of San Francisco, a former Army post. Mike holds a juris doctor from University of Virginia School of Law, a master’s degree in Human Rights from Sydney University, Australia, an executive wine MBA from Sonoma State University, and a bachelor’s in political science and economics from University of Puget Sound. He joined the Board of Directors of Swords to Plowshares in 2016 and chairs the Audit Committee.

Deleano “Del” Seymour

Founder, The Tenderloin Walking Tours

Originally from Chicago, Deleano was drafted to serve during the Vietnam War and served stateside to support injured troops returning from Vietnam. He served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969. Del, moved with his family to Los Angeles where he was a paramedic for the Los Angeles Fire Department for ten years while a single father to his two daughters. He later moved to the Bay Area to be closer to family but his life took a turn for the worse and his long journey of homeless and addiction began. He eventually became a client of Swords to Plowshares and overcame his addiction. Clean and sober for eight years now, Del founded The Tenderloin Walking Tours and was recently appointed to the Local Homeless Coordinating Board. He was honored in 2013 as a Profile of Courage and continues to serve the community.

Kate Richardson

Co-Executive Director of Legal Link

Kate Crowley Richardson is the Co-Executive Director of Legal Link, a nonprofit dedicated to removing legal barriers that prolong poverty by adding critically needed capacity to the legal ecosystem. Kate is the former Legal Director at Swords to Plowshares. She previously worked at Namati, the leading global legal empowerment organization. She has dedicated her legal career to supporting innovative models that work to close the access to justice gap for communities experiencing poverty. Kate received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. She is a member of the State Bar of California.

Rick Houlberg

Professor Emeritus of Broadcast and Electronic Media at San Francisco State University

Rick Houlberg is a professor emeritus of Broadcast and Electronic Media at San Francisco State University. Rick served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1967 as a JAG legal clerk. As a member of the Swords Board of Directors since 1992, Rick served four terms as board secretary. He currently serves on the Finance, Executive and Communications Committees.

John Marquez

National Chair for the Kaiser Permanente Veterans Association

John Marquez leads a team of Talent Acquisition Specialists for Kaiser Permanente National Functions group. He also currently serves as the National Chair for the Kaiser Permanente Veterans Association. John enlisted in the United States Navy after high school and served for 5 years on the Naval Air Station, Alameda. After leaving the Navy, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University East Bay. He has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs and his career includes financial services, IT and non-profit work, leading him to Kaiser Permanente.

Erik Edwards

Partner, Cooley LLP

Erik Edwards is a partner at Cooley’s Palo Alto office. He practices general securities and corporate law, with a focus on emerging growth companies, private financings, initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions. Erik represents companies and investors in a wide variety of areas, including software, hardware, Internet of Things, edtech, cleantech, life sciences, social impact, fashion, retail, unmanned vehicles, artificial intelligence, media, fintech and other areas of technology. He works with numerous incubators both nationally and internationally and speaks regularly on various corporate governance and financing topics. Erik has been active with Swords to Plowshares’ Pro Bono Advisory Board for several years and joined the Board of Directors in 2017.

Michael Thiel

Investor, Board Member, Advisor

Mike Thiel is a technology executive, investor, board member and veterans advocate. He served as an officer for five years active duty in the United States Navy, including two deployments to the Arabian Gulf. Mike has also held various leadership & management positions in the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industries. Mike holds a bachelor’s of science degree in physics from the U.S. Naval Academy and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. In addition serving on the Board of Swords to Plowshares, Mike serves on the Board of CORO Northern California.

Stephen Plath

Founder, Plath Company

Stephen Plath founded Plath Company, a general contracting firm for the San Francisco Bay Area in 1975. Steve did ROTC and earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo in June of 1967 and served two years in the U.S. Army as platoon leader, company executive officer and assistant battalion S-4 officer in Vietnam. Steve joined the Board of Swords to Plowshares in 2007. He was elected Vice Chair in 2009 and Board Chair in 2013 through 2016.

Robert “Bob” Trevorrow

Executive Director, San Francisco Senior Centers Services, Retired

Bob graduated with both bachelor’s and master’s interdisciplinary degrees with an emphasis on the business of social services from San Francisco State University and University of San Francisco Executive Management graduate. He also attended the University of Oregon. From 1967 to 1968, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 7th Marine Regiment in Vietnam. Bob has 30 years of executive non-profit management and joined the Board of Directors in 2009 and serves on the Resource Development Committee.

Paul Cox

President of Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute

Paul Cox is a civil engineer and associate principal of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates. He joined the USMC in 1968 and served in Vietnam. He attended the University of Oklahoma and holds an engineering degree from San Francisco State University. Paul is the president of Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute and is one of the founders of Veterans Speakers Alliance and the American Legion Robert Basker Post 315. He serves on the National Board for Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign. Mr. Cox has been on the Board of Swords to Plowshares since 2005 and served as Board Chair from 2009 to 2012.

Dottie Guy

Program Manager at Dropbox

Dottie Guy (she/her) is a Program Manager at Dropbox, where she runs onboarding for Engineering and Product. She is the founder and co-lead of her organization’s Employee Resource Group. Dottie is active in the veterans' community. While in Army National Guard, Dottie served as a guard in a detainment camp in Iraq in 2003. She has previously served as a Peer Mentor with the Wounded Warrior Project and the Alameda County Veterans Treatment Court. She also volunteers with Team Red White and Blue and the Stand Downs in the East Bay and in Antioch. Dottie was appointed to the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Commission from 2011 to 2017 and served as Commission Secretary from 2016-2017. She also sits on the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Veteran Homelessness.

Placido “Joe” Ordona

Senior Director of Physical Security at Pinterest

Placido “Joe” Ordona is a Senior Director of Physical Security at Pinterest. He has many years of experience providing security and program management for both global companies as well as government operations. Joe holds a B.A. in Political Science from The Citadel and an M.S. in Finance Management from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA. Joe is a retired USMC officer who is passionate about veteran advocacy and engagement.