As of July 1, 2020, Felton instituted new board officers. Sandra Smith is now Board Chair, succeeding Amy Solliday, who is now Board Chair Emeritus. Darren Skolnick, the new Vice-Chair, succeeds Gretchen Eichinger. Gretchen Eichinger is now serving as Board Secretary, in the position previously held by Elisabeth A. Madden.
Sandra Smith is a retired Administrative Law Judge, and an attorney with experience in civil litigation, general civil advice and consultation, employment law – litigation, prevention and investigations, health law compliance and administration. She has an extensive background with public entity litigation defense and is a former partner with a statewide private firm representing public and private entities.
Regarding her appointment as Board Chair, Sandra Smith shares,
“I was excited to join Felton’s Board of Directors almost two years ago, and most recently, I am honored to have been appointed as Chair of the Board.
“ Initially, I was drawn to Felton based on its values, mission, and goals and offer of a variety of programs and social services that ‘transform lives’. The demonstrated dedication to continuing the mission of providing services to families is in sync with my personal mission of offering and sharing my limited professional and life experience skills to assist with social justice and being socially responsible on a broader scale. Thus, I find working with the Felton Board a small contribution to the depth and wealth of services offered by Felton from addressing the needs of individuals and families from infancy to the elderly; to providing mental health, shelter, substance abuse, and re-entry services to those in need.
“In short, I am honored to offer my meager assistance in the highest and best way possible to the Felton Board as a Director, and now as the Board Chair, with hope I can assist with the advancement of Felton’s values, mission, and goals. I thank Felton, its employees, Board members, volunteers, and recipients of the offered services for allowing me to give a small part of myself.”
While working for the California Office of the Attorney General as a Deputy Attorney General, and as a Deputy Attorney for Caltrans, earning an award for excellence in litigation. Ms. Smith defended public entities in federal and state courts, mediations and arbitrations, and a variety of administrative forums.
Ms. Smith’s public sector legal work includes two years with the County of Alameda representing the county in juvenile dependency proceedings, civil litigation, employment and personnel, advice, consultation, and investigations for various Alameda County departments and the Alameda County Medical Center. She demonstrates judicial qualifications while employed as an administrative law judge with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.
In addition to her legal experience, Ms. Smith brings a broad array of life experiences and diverse personal history and background to her work. She previously volunteered for the State Bar sponsored “Volunteers in Parole Program” to mentor Youth Authority parolees and to help them become productive in the community, and she has served as an alumni mentor for Hastings students. Her current practice includes general civil advice and consultation, health law advice and consultation on compliance issues, education law, and employment law. Ms. Smith has served as a contributing author of legal publications on employment and labor law.
Ms. Smith graduated from University of California, Berkeley, and earned her Juris Doctor from University of California, Hastings College of Law.
Darren Skolnick is the new Vice-Chair of the Felton Institute Board. He has served with the Felton Board of Directors since 2017 and is a member of the Finance Committee.
Darren says, “Being chosen as Vice-Chair is an honor, and I will support the Chair in helping Felton fulfill its critical social mission and steer Felton towards a sustainable and thriving future during this unprecedented time.”
Mr. Skolnick offers over 30 years of progressive and diversified business experience with a proven track record of successfully leading internal audit functions and is currently the Vice President of Internal Audit for Verify Health System in Redwood City, CA. Previous experience includes work with Affinity Health Plan, Ioan College and KPMG.
Mr. Skolnick brings previous board experience, having served on the Board of Directors for The Bridge in New York City. Much like Felton Institute is for the San Francisco Bay Area, The Bridge is one of New York City’s premier social service agencies. The Bridge provides mental health and substance abuse treatment, housing, vocational training, job placement, healthcare, education and creative arts therapy to men and women in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. The Bridge’s programs and services have been replicated nationally and internationally.
Darren received his Master of Business degree from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the Brooklyn College at the City University of New York.
Gretchen Eichinger is the newly appointed Felton Board Secretary and immediate past Vice-Chair.
She is an experienced product leader and business strategist in computer vision, 3D graphics, digital media, cloud computing, and data analytics. During her career, Ms. Eichinger has held executive-level positions at such firms as Microsoft Corporation, Mattel Interactive, and Sony Computer Entertainment America. Currently, Ms. Eichinger is an independent consultant using her more than 20 years of experience providing vision and leadership to help clients with new product development, marketing initiatives, business performance, and profitability.
Ms. Eichinger has a Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, from the University of California, Berkeley.
Amy Solliday, now Board Chair Emeritus, served as Board Chair from 2017-2020. She joined Felton Institute’s Board in September of 2006. Ms. Solliday is the Vice-President of Store Operations for Gap Inc., where she has held numerous roles for over 30 years. She specializes in building work practices that optimize productivity and customer experience. Ms. Solliday’s key accomplishments include: business process and system implementations for store managers, store organizational structures, and numerous large-scale field conferences. She drives results through a focus on organizational effectiveness, talent development, and continuous improvement.
Ms. Solliday graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in English Language and Literature at the University of Maryland College Park. She is also a member of the Human Resources Committee and helped create the operating model for Felton Early Psychosis Programs. Amy believes in giving back to her community and joined the Felton Board of Directors as a way of making a difference in the lives of so many in need.
Marvin Davis continues as Felton Board Treasurer. He is a Senior Executive with more than 25 years of professional accounting, audit, tax, financial consulting and management experience in the nonprofit and small business sectors.
Mr. Davis joined Felton Institute in 2004 as a turnaround consultant tasked with restructuring the financial operations of the organization. Shortly thereafter, he accepted the position of Controller, and served in that role for seven years. In February 2013, he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO), with overall management and oversight of financial operations. In July 2017, Mr. Davis was promoted to Chief Financial and Operations Officer (CFOO), where he now additionally has management and oversight for the operations of Felton’s IT, Quality Assurance, Real Estate, Facilities, and Adult and Senior Service Divisions.
Prior to joining Felton Institute, Davis headed Marvin Davis Consulting, where he provided accounting and consulting services to various small businesses and nonprofits. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Davis earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from CSU Hayward. Outside of his work with Felton, Mr. Davis serves on the Board of Directors of Mt. Diablo Soccer Association. He currently resides in the Bay Area with his wife and their two children.
For more information about Felton’s 2020 board, please visit:
About Felton Institute: Founded in 1889, Felton Institute responds to human needs by providing cutting edge, evidence-based mental health and social services that transform lives. Felton Institute is a tax-exempt organization registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 94-1156530.
Offering more than 50 acclaimed and honored programs that address homelessness, mental health, prenatal, adolescent, adult and senior needs, Felton Institute provides services in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Marin, and Monterey counties.
Felton is named for its social services pioneer and executive director Dr. Katharine “Kitty” Felton who was called the ”conscience of San Francisco” and was committed to ensuring that children and families in crisis have access to social services and resources in order to help them build upon their inherent strengths and develop self-sufficiency. www.felton.org