Board of Director Bios


Professional: Worked for 30 years for U.S. Congress in the Oakland District offices of Congressman Ron Dellums and later Congresswoman Barbara Lee.  Since being retired, has served on a couple Boards including LifeLong Medical Care for 12 years where she chaired a capital campaign for the West Berkeley Clinic.  Serves as a docent at Rosie the Riveter National Park.  Active with IndivisibleBerkeley and other resistance groups.
Personal: Currently married to Billy McDonald and between them has four grown sons.  Two in Bay Area, one in Florida with grandson, and one in San Diego.  Long time resident of Berkeley.
Freight Connection: Attended many concerts at both old and new Freight.  Also, was part of Girlfriendz, a vocal group directed by Ellen Robinson.  Girlfriendz was the lead group at Open Mic on two occasions.
Music Connection: Loves to sing and has taken various singing classes from time to time. Listens to and appreciates all kinds of music.


Professional:  Real estate investor, consultant, teacher and top producing realtor for 30 years. City of Berkeley  Commissioner on the Loan Administration Board and the Land Preservation Commission. California Association of Realtors appointee as  liaison to California State Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks. Co-Chair of the Berkeley ADU Community Task Force.
Personal: Long time resident of Berkeley. Lives with her wife Lori and son Andrei, a recent Berkeley High grad on a gap year working full time for Lexus of Oakland and a professional photographer.
Freight Connection: Has performed on stage for student concerts. Board member since 2013.
Music Connection: Irish Fiddle student of Robin Flower. Great granddaughter of Chicago Symphony concertmaster, Delos Crandall whose Italian violin she plays today. On the Berkeley Symphony Advisory Board 2016-present.


Professional: Lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter in many styles including rock, acoustic, soul, jazz and funk. Performs live and a recording artist, as a band leader and side musician.  Co-creator, screenwriter and musical director of a feature film. Occasional guitar teacher.
Personal: Grew up in Berkeley and lives with her wife and 9-year-old son.
Freight Connection: Has performed at the Freight many times with the Shelley Doty X-tet, Skip the Needle, Sistas in the Pit, Cris Williamson, and in a duo with Vicki Randle. Board member since 2015.
Music Connection: See above.


Professional: Chief Financial Officer, Cal Performances, UC Berkeley
Personal: Lives in Berkeley with wife Deborah Sperber. Enjoys cycling, hiking, and photography. Both daughters attended Berkeley public schools.
Freight Connection: Board member since 2017.
Music Connection: Avid music listener with broadening musical interests. Former Board Member & Chair, Berkeley Public Schools Fund.


Professional: Associate Professor of Theater Dance and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  Professional director and playwright.
Personal: Lives in Emeryville.
Freight Connection: Board member since 2010.  Creator of Woody Guthrie’s American Song which was presented in concert at the Freight in 2012 and 2014.  Co-author and director of Heart of Spain: A Musical of the the Spanish Civil War which was performed at the Freight in 2015.
Music Connection: Writer and director of other dramatic and musical works, including Freedom Beat: Songs of Nation, Songs of Dissent, which premiered at the Freight in 2014, and collaborations with Celtic harpist and Freight regular Patrick Ball, and Chicago singer-songwriter Michael Smith. Peter’s father was folksinger and composer Tom Glazer.


Professional: Retired. Former COO/CFO in the hedge fund industry in the San Francisco area. Spent 13 years with an international public accounting firm in their San Francisco and New York City offices.
Personal: Has lived in the Bay Area since 1980 with wife Carol. Has two adult married children, a grandson, and a granddaughter.
Freight Connection: Performed at the last open mic at the previous Freight with his wife Carol and his music teacher at the time. Prior Freight board member and Treasurer from 2001 to 2012. Rejoined the board in 2016.
Music connection: Has been trying to learn guitar since 2001.


Professional: Renee Hayes served as the Associate Director of Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund (GFTA) for 22 years. She has been involved in arts philanthropy for more than 30 years and was co-chair of the Berkeley’s Civic Arts Commission. She is a nationally certified counselor and life coach specializing in artistic careers.
Personal: Lives in Berkeley with her husband Joseph Hicks and fur-daughter (cat) “Berklee.”
Freight Connection: Over the last 20 years, she has performed at the Freight with The Irrationals, Linda Waterfall, Susan Anders and Don Arbor.
Music Connection: Renee has a diverse musical background: performing in choruses, pop bands and musical theatre as well as recording commercial jingles, back-up vocals and two CD’s with the whimsical a cappella soul group–The Irrationals. Her latest CD “Renewable Soul,” is ‘a musical community garden with growing instructions.’


Professional: Composer, pianist, fiddler, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Has performed on more than 100 albums. Was the first female instrumentalist to compose and record for Windham Hill Records. Tours nationally and internationally. Grammy nominated and a Bammy Award winner.
Personal: Lives in Albany. Married with a high school-aged daughter.
Freight Connection: Long-time and frequent performer on the Freight stage. Was a board member from 2005 to 2014. Rejoined the board in 2016.
Music Connection: See above.


Professional: Corporate Research Librarian at private equity firm Hellman & Friedman.
Personal: Lives in Alameda with wife Linda Benson
Freight Connection:  Has attended concerts at Freight for 20+ years and is a Life Member. Board member since 2015.
Music Connection: Avid listener and festival attendee. Former folk music deejay.


Professional: Winery owner, professional dance caller (teacher), voice & theory teacher, singer. Volunteer reading coach at MLK Middle School, and writing coach at Richmond High through Writer-Coach Connection.
Personal: Lives with husband, Kent Rasmussen with whom she has two adult children.
Freight Connection: Has attended countless concerts, and performed at the Freight for two of her own CD releases, as a guest performer with Shay Black, Flower & McLaren, Holdstock & MacLeod, and the Chris Caswell Memorial Concert. Board member since 2015.
Music Connection: Lark Camp instructor; songwriter & recording artist.


Professional: Executive coach, consultant, facilitator, strategist with nonprofits, social enterprises, and foundations working on social change issues—work with leaders and teams on raising resources, developing people, communications and leadership.
Personal: Came to Oakland to direct Oakland Youth Chorus in 1985 and never left, lived in Mexico for two years prior to that, newly out of a 24-year relationship and trying out being on her own, with all its gifts and lessons.
Freight Connection: Board member since 2014. Have always loved and appreciated the Freight.
Music Connection: Long career in music in Bay Area as Founding Conductor of The Women’s Philharmonic and later Artistic Director of Redwood Records, worked with many musicians involved with the Freight over time.


Professional: Assistant Dean of the Arts & Humanities Division at UC Berkeley.
Personal: Has lived in Berkeley since attending Cal. Married to actor/clarinetist Charles Shaw Robinson. They have one son, Walker, a student and cellist attending UC Santa Barbara.
Freight Connection: Long-time audience member and Board member since 2017.
Music Connection: An avid listener who is blessed to be surrounded by musicians at home and at work and among her friends.


Professional: Reporter and producer for KALW Public Radio. Performing artist and musician.
Personal: Has lived in Berkeley since age 7. Attended Berkeley High and UC Berkeley.
Freight Connection: Grew up going to concerts and attending fiddlekids at the Freight. Youngest board member in the Freight’s history, probably. Board member since 2014.
Music Connection: Has played violin “as long as he can remember” as well as (more recently) guitar, mandolin, harmonica, bass, and piano. Known to sing. Known to bring music into theatrical events and vice versa.