Appointed board members:
Chair, Operations Board
Larry Wilson graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English in 1977. For three years prior to that, he was the rock music critic for the Daily Cal, writing a weekly column, review or arts cover story. He has worked as a technical writer, a fact-checker at Rolling Stone Press and business manager of a startup weekly. For 12 years, he was the editor of the Pasadena Star-News and is now an editorial board member and columnist for the 11 dailies of the Southern California News Group.
Chair, Education Foundation Board
Linda Schacht graduated from UC Berkeley in 1966 and from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in 1974. She worked as an Emmy Award-winning reporter at Newsroom on KQED and then at KPIX, the CBS station in San Francisco, until 1995. She taught broadcast journalism and documentary film at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism until 2017. She continues to write scripts for documentary films on a freelance basis. Linda lives in Berkeley with her husband, John.
Darrin Bell graduated from UC Berkeley in 1997 with a degree in Political Science. During his time at Cal, Darrin served as the Daily Cal’s editorial cartoonist and created the long-running comic strip Lemont Brown. After graduation, Darrin launched two popular original strips, Rudy Park and Candorville, which provide social commentary on the experience of young inner city Latino and African American adults through a humorous lense. He is also an editorial cartoonist, first with the Washington Post Writers Group and now with King Features. In 2019, Darrin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.
Annette Doornbos recently retired from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, where she served as the assistant dean for external relations and development for 20 years. In that position, she built the external relations department and led efforts that included a $33 million capital campaign, major gifts and annual giving. Additionally, Doornbos recruited, cultivated and solicited a national board of 35 private and public sector leaders for the School of Public Policy. Prior to working at the Goldman School of Public Policy, she worked as the development director for Children Now, a senior account executive at Fern Tiger Associates and the associate director of Media Alliance. She is a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University.
Katie Dowd is the managing editor for SFGATE.com. Before being hired by SFGATE in 2011, Katie was the sports editor twice for the Daily Cal and covered just about every sport on campus.
Steve Falk graduated from Elizabethtown College in 1976 with a degree in Psychology. Before becoming publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle in 2000, Steve had extensive experience in the newspaper industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York. In 2005, he joined the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and served as its president and chief executive until 2012. Steve is currently the CEO of Sonoma Media Investments, LLC. In 2018, the staff of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, one of the papers in Steve’s portfolio, received the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News.
Gina Joseph, ‘08, worked at the Daily Cal as an advertising account executive and was the business manager during her senior year. A Harvard Business School graduate, Joseph is Vice President of strategic partnerships at VentureBeat and was previously at Hearst and Digital First Media/Media News Group, spearheading product innovation, revenue growth strategy, and leading digital transformation. Joseph is also a board member leading events and strategy for Alumnae-i Network for Harvard Women SF Bay Area. She is the first Afghan American to serve on a board for a publishing company. She and her husband, Dr. Shams Joseph, met at Cal and live in the East Bay.
Mike Lovas graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Physics in 1968. From 1966-68, he was the chief photographer for the Daily Californian. After graduation, he worked for NASA doing planetary geology studying the Moon and Mars. He worked for 15 years at ESL, Inc. doing classified government work mainly in image processing systems. He then worked 10 years at Sun Microsystems and nine years at Brocade Communications System as vice president of customer support and a distinguished engineer. He resides in Truckee with his wife, Donna.
Grant Marek graduated from UC Berkeley in 2005 with a bachelor of arts in English. He worked at the Daily Cal from his first day on campus to the day he graduated, covering six Cal sports in the process, serving as a two-term sports editor and penning his popular Bear Witness column for two years. Marek has been a journalist for more than two decades at Thrillist, Yahoo Sports, the San Francisco Examiner, The Desert Sun, The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Sports Illustrated and the Golden State Warriors radio department. Since 2019, he has served as the editor in chief of SFGATE, the largest media site in the San Francisco Bay Area. Marek is also the head of one of Hearst’s several diversity and inclusion initiatives focused on relationships with local colleges. He lives on the Peninsula with his wife, former Daily Cal staffer and Cal swimmer Gina Merlone Marek, and daughters Harper (11), Kennedy (9) and Sloane (2).
Steve Markowitz received a bachelor of arts from UC Berkeley in East Asian languages in 1992 and an MBA in 1996. As an undergraduate, he held numerous positions at the Daily Cal and was editor in chief in 1991-92. Prior to returning to UC Berkeley for his MBA, Markowitz worked as a foreign correspondent for AP-Dow Jones in Tokyo. He later co-founded MyPoints.com and, as chairman and CEO, led the company’s initial public offering on Nasdaq in 1999. For the past 20 years, Markowitz has been an investor, with an interest in and passion for startups. Markowitz is a lead mentor at Blue Startups, recognized by TechCrunch as one of the country’s top 20 accelerators. He serves as chairman of LifeDNA and iFirst Medical Technologies, two Honolulu-headquartered companies. He lives in Honolulu with his wife, Miyuki, and fifth grade daughter, Sara.
Allen Matthews realized that journalism was the career for him when he was a UC Berkeley freshman writing for the Daily Californian. After Cal, he worked as a reporter and editor at several publications before a 26-year career at The San Francisco Chronicle, where he was deputy managing editor. Presently, he is the director of editorial operations for the San Francisco Examiner and the Nob Hill Gazette. He has also been on the boards of the California News Publishers Association, the California Press Foundation and the Season of Sharing Fund.
Gary M. Pomerantz
Gary M. Pomerantz served as sports editor of the Daily Cal in 1980 and graduated in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He has written six nonfiction books on topics ranging from history to sports to civil rights, including Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn (1996), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and The Last Pass, an NYT bestseller in 2018. He spent 17 years as a daily journalist, first as a sportswriter at The Washington Post, and then at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution where he wrote profiles, special projects, columns, and served on the newspaper’s editorial board. For the past thirteen years, he has taught reporting and writing at Stanford’s Graduate Program in Journalism. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Carrie, a fellow Bear.
Jim Rainey graduated from UC Berkeley in 1981 with a degree in History while serving as the Sports Editor at The Daily Californian. For almost 30 years Jim has worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He has reported on multiple presidential elections, the foster care system, the war in Iraq, and the environment and was on teams awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of wildfires, the 1994 Northridge Earthquakes, and the 1997 North Hollywood Shootout. In 2015, he left the Times to work at Variety and NBC News. After 4 1/2 years he returned to the Times where he is currently a roving reporter in California.
David Thigpen graduated with a bachelor of arts in American history with honors from Brown University and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. Among his many credits, Thigpen is a former Time magazine reporter who wrote about politics, music and culture. His work has been published in Rolling Stone and The New York Times. Since 2015, Thigpen has been a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he is the creator, curriculum designer and director of UC Berkeley’s new undergraduate journalism program. Additionally, he is a public policy researcher and board member affiliated with Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California.
Ex officio board members:
2020-21 Editor in chief and President, The Daily Californian
2020-21 Managing publisher, The Daily Californian
Sera Nicole Smith
Fall/Spring Staff representative, The Daily Californian