Leadership Vallejo Board of Directors
Leadership Vallejo is a 501(c)3 Non-profit that is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, assisted by a Program Coordinator and Curriculum Committee.
Chair - Andrea Garcia, Touro University California
Andrea Garcia is Associate Vice President of University Advancement at Touro University California, where she oversees alumni relations, communications and fund development. Prior to her role at Touro, she was a reporter at the Daily Republic newspaper in Fairfield, where she covered Health and Social Services, Lifestyle, and Arts & Entertainment. While at the paper, she earned a fellowship at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, as well as an array of prestigious writing awards, including from the Associated Press and California Newspaper Publishers Association. She is a Distinguished Alum of Solano College; recipient of the “Community Leader of the Year” award; Immediate Past President of the Solano Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and former Honorary Commander at Travis Air Force Base. Andrea’s passion for the wellbeing of the community keeps her on various organizations in Solano County. She currently serves as a member of the Travis Credit Union’s Hispanic Advisory Committee, and is Board of Director for the Solano Community College Education Foundation and Leadership Vallejo. She is also an Executive Board of Director for the Fairfield Suisun Chamber of Commerce, and serves as Chair of its Advocacy Council.
chair elect - Michael Coan, law firm of Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell
Michael Coan is the Law Firm Manager for local law firm of Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell. He has been with the firm since 2000 and was born and raised in Vallejo. He is a product of St. Patrick- St. Vincent’s High School in Vallejo. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Sonoma State University and his J.D from Empire Law School in Santa Rosa. In addition to his role with Leadership Vallejo Michael currently sits as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Fairfield, Board of Director for The Hamann Foundation (benefiting those suffering from cancer), Touro University Advisory Board, Kids on Course, and the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Council. Michaels past involvement includes Past President of the Vallejo Chamber Commerce, Past Chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee, Past President of Cordelia Tri-Valley Little League and Board of Trustees for Sutter Solano Hospital Charitable Foundation. Michael is also past recipient of the Vallejo Chamber Man of the Year award.
CHIEF Andrew Bidou, VALLEJO Police DEPARTMENT
Chief Andrew Bidou served 26 years in policing before becoming Chief of the Vallejo Police Department in 2014. He rose from the ranks of Officer to Captain with the Newark Police Department prior to serving as Chief with the Benicia Police Department.
Since becoming VPD Chief, Bidou established:
A 23-member Chief’s Advisory Board who provide input regarding police services;
Community Engagement Section to foster police-community interactions;
Close partnership with the local school district to bring two School Resource Officers back into schools;
Monthly Coffee with the Cops and annual dinner for residents to engage with officers;
Youth engagement activities;
Open source data on use of force, officer and citizen injuries, internal investigations, and citizen complaints;
Mandatory police officer training, including annual bias and de-escalation;
Fitness program where employees can substitute meal break to workout on duty, reducing workman’s compensation claims by over 25%.
Chief Bidou hold s Bachelor of Arts in Management from Saint Mary's College and a Master of Public Administration from Golden Gate University. He belongs to International Association of Chiefs of Police, the California Police Chiefs Association, and serves an Executive Fellow for the Police Foundation.
Dr. Adam Clark, Vallejo City Unified School District
With over 20 years in education, Adam Clark began his career as an elementary teacher in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. After becoming an administrator in Contra Costa County, he served as a middle school vice principal, elementary school principal, middle school principal, and high school principal. Once he transitioned into the District office, he served as the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative/Student Services in the Liberty Union High School District and most recently as the Associate Superintendent of Educational Services in the Antioch Unified School District.
Dr. Clark is honored to serve the students, families, and employees of the Vallejo City Unified School District. He has promised to lead the District in ensuring equity and access for all students.
Rear Admiral Thomas Cropper, California Maritime Academy
Thomas A. Cropper is the 14th president of The California Maritime Academy. He began his presidency on July 1, 2012 after a 31-year career in the United States Navy.
Cropper graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in engineering operations and an NROTC commission. He served as the commanding officer of an F/A-18 strikefighter squadron and as commander of the air wing aboard USS NIMITZ. Shore assignments included service as military assistant in the Office of Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and as the Navy Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He also led “Strike University” at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, served as chief of staff, U.S. 3rd Fleet, headed the Joint Chiefs of Staff Working Group developing national level security strategy, and led 24,000 people in combat operations as deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command. Most recently, Cropper directed education and at-sea training for Navy ships and aviation squadrons deploying to the western Pacific and the Middle East.
Cropper holds master’s degrees from the U.S. Naval War College (National Security and Strategic Studies), the University of Tennessee (Aviation Systems) and the Catholic University of America (World Politics).
Cropper lives on the Cal Maritime campus in Vallejo, California with his wife Heather. Their two daughters attended CSU campuses and their son is a Class of 2012 alumnus of Cal Maritime.
Josette Lacey, Leadership Vallejo Alumni Chair
Josette Lacey was born and raised in Vallejo and is a product of our local public schools graduating from Hogan Senior High School in 1987. Josette’s road to community service leadership was not traditional. There was no traditional college experience to find herself, or any traditional role model to mentor her. However, what she may have lacked in formal education, or privileged opportunity, was made up for her by her strong personality, dogged determination, unwavering values, and insatiable desire and commitment to put the greater good and others before her.
Josette has established a vast network in our Vallejo and Solano County. Her love of children and her desire to improve our greater community has been a motivating force throughout her career. As Director of the St. Basil’s Elementary School before and after school program, “Extended Care”, she instilled values of respect, pride in community and personal responsibility in every experience with the young people entrusted to her care and many former students continue to thank her for those life-lessons to this day.
Josette and her husband, Jason were established in 1990 and have two adult sons, Andrew and Justin, and their youngest, Sophia, their adopted daughter who captured all their hearts. Her love of children, combined with her desire to improve conditions for them in our community has been a motivating force throughout her journey. Because of the passion she and Jason share, they were honored, on behalf of the state of the California and California’s fifth congressional district as 2017 “Angels in Adoption.” They continue to work diligently to make Vallejo a healthy community for families.
carol larson, Georgia House Graphics
San Francisco-born Carol Larson has chosen Vallejo to be her home. For over 30 years she’s raised her family in Vallejo, and is owner of Georgia House Graphics. She is a past president of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce and over the years she’s also served as president and board member for countless other community organizations in Vallejo and beyond. Carol has dedicated her life to making Vallejo, and Solano County, a better place. She is married to Vallejo native Brad Larson and has two children; a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Sierra.
Don McCoy, Northern California Six Flags’ properties
Don McCoy serves as Park President for the Northern California Six Flags’ properties – Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, the Thrill Capital of Northern California, and Waterworld Concord, Northern California’s biggest water park.
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company with $1.3 billion in revenue and 20 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 57 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom brings a diversity of offerings, as one of only two Six Flags parks that is also a wildlife park, connecting and inspiring guests of all ages with animals from land and sea.
As Discovery Kingdom’s park president, he has overseen the park’s successful roll-out of new ride, event and entertainment attractions, modernization of the park’s animal facilities and move to year-round operations.
As a long-time veteran in the theme park business, Mr. McCoy has enjoyed a distinguished career with Six Flags since 1995. He has managed Six Flags Discovery Kingdom since 2013, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to lead one of the company’s most unique and successful parks.
Previously, he served as park president of The Great Escape Theme Park and Lodge properties in Lake George, NY and managed multiple properties as park director of White Water and American Adventures in Atlanta. He also held various positions with Six Flags in Georgia and Texas.
Tom Phillips, Recology
Tom started at Vallejo Garbage (now Recology) in 1989 as a cart washer and delivery guy after finishing his stint in the Marine Corp. He left his union position at Recology to become the Operations Manager in 2000. When the General Manager position opened up in 2011, Tom was the perfect fit as the new General Manager for Recology Vallejo and American Canyon.
He was also on the first Board of Directors of Leadership Vallejo. Tom has always been an active volunteer in the community. As he states “I have volunteered for more events that I can remember!” To name a few of the groups that Tom proudly shares his time with are: Fishing in the City, Rebuilding Together Solano County, Relay for Life, Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, Board member of the Solano County Library Foundation, and Rotarian.
Helen Pierson, Medic Ambulance
Bio coming soon
Ken Ross, former vallejo business owner
Born and raised in Sacramento, started in the car business as a salesman to earn some money while going to school, the money was really good for back then, they gave you a brand new car to use and I fell in love with talking to people. Quickly found if you worked hard and were honest this was a business anyone could move up in. I got into some trouble in my early years, but after getting through that with help from above I started to advance and decided I wanted to own my own store someday. My mother and her family are all from Vallejo (she graduated Vallejo High Class of '45) I found a dealership that was struggling as Mare Island was closing. This gave me an avenue to buy in without having to have millions of dollars and this was in 1994. Along the way I had gathered a "TEAM" of people who I felt were the best of the best and truly cared about people- these people are still at Team today.
In 2000 we decided to expand and started looking at how we could create an "auto mall" in Vallejo. The only available land at that time was Columbus Parkway so the plan started to form to purchase land, change the name of the streets so there could be freeway knowledge of us and construct one of the highest electronic signs in California for what is now the Vallejo Auto Mall. The recession brought challenges that almost wiped us out, and did wipe out many colleagues but thanks to Lowes and some help from the city we were able to put together a "lifeline" to help us make it through.
In 2016 I was approached by a large group asking to purchase Team with a promise they would keep and tenure our people so "a deal to good to refuse" and an opportunity to have some family time after a 39 year career. This was completed just recently in 2017.
I feel very fortunate and grateful- Vallejo has been good to me.