John Caner, CEO

John brings over twenty years business, non-profit, and community development experience to the DBA, including strategic planning, new business development, marketing, finance, project management, and general management. Prior to coming to the DBA, John served for three and a half years as the Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Oakland where he significantly expanded programs and funding, serving low-income seniors and non-profit community facilities. Before entering the nonprofit world, he served in a number of management and strategy positions in the private sector, including Berkeley-based Loansoft Inc. and Nextel Communications. And during the twenty-two years he has lived in Berkeley, he has served on the boards Berkeley Partners for Parks, Willard Neighbourhood Association, City of Berkeley Pools Master Plan Task Force, City of Berkeley Disaster and Fire Safety Commission.  John currently serves on the board of the Aurora Theatre and Berkeley Alliance, as well as on the fundraising committees for the South Branch Library and Berkeley City College.  John also has a long-time interest in education, having served as a volunteer teacher's assistant at Willard Middle School, volunteer instructor with the Presidential Classroom, and entrepreneurship mentor with John earned an M.B.A. from UCLA and an undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard.

Matt Allen, Operations Manager

Matt Allen joins the DBA team as the new Operation Manager June 1st, though Matt is not new to Berkeley. He is a third generation Berkeley High School graduate with an extensive experience in managing and motivating large teams at Orchard Hardware Supply, CVS, and Manpower. Matt is an employee of Streetplus, our new services vendor,  operating similarly as prior and as part of a virtual Downtown Berkeley team. Matt is one heck of a nice guy, and totally gets and loves Berkeley!

Matthew Jervis, Director of Vitality

From punk rock musician to art director to college professor to experiential learning designer for Bay Area schools to human design thinker to Maker Faire presenter to author. Matthew brings a unique combination of skills and experience to the DBA, including 10 years of creative marketing experience. As the Director of Vitality, he is responsible for marketing, communications, public space activation, and stakeholder engagement.

For 20 years, Matthew has led creative strategy teams in advertising, the music industry, education, and the arts, providing design and brand direction to educational non-profits and for-profit organizations. Matthew has leveraged this experience to design a creativity curriculum for students and adults, including The MacGyver Class and Maker Club, after-school enrichment programs that has been implemented here in Berkeley and cities across the Bay Area. Most recently, Matthew has spent the past 5 years teaching branding and creative strategy at the Academy of Art University in addition to maintaining a consulting practice in creative thinking and brand strategy. Matthew is also the author of How to Entertain, Distract, and Unplug Your Kids. Matthew graduated with distinction from The California College of the Arts in 2004 with a BA in graphic design. Matthew has called Berkeley home for 17 years where he is also raising 2 kids.

“I’m very excited about my role as Vitality Director of the DBA and about all the exciting projects I get to be part of. Plus, I can ride my bike or even walk to work!”

Rion Manning, Marketing Manager

Rion is an avid cyclist from Seattle who's excited for the opportunity to cycle to Downtown Berkeley each day for work. Prior to coming to the DBA Rion was a Seattle based Graphic Designer and Web Designer specializing in user friendly interface design. More recently Rion worked at The Health Plan of San Mateo where he was responsible for implementing and tracking marketing and communications plans, programs and campaigns. Which included print and online advertising, visual media and internal/external events and activities. Rion was also responsible for maintaining the project management system by coordinating special projects, preparing reports, maintaining databases and website content and after all that he provided general department support. Rion attended Seattle Central College where he studied publishing arts, web and graphic design as well as photography. Rion also completed the Digital Marketing program at Cornell University.


Board of Directors




Bill Schrader, Owner
The Austin Group


Robert Hatheway, Assistant Vice-Chancellor
University of California, Berkeley


John Lineweaver, President
2000 Center Street LLC


Dorothée Mitrani, Owner
La Note Restaurant

Ingrid Chen, Owner
Joel DiGiorgio, Owner
Farm League Restaurant Group
Sharon Dolan, Executive Director
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
Chris Hudson, Co-Owner
Hudson McDonald
John Hyjer, Vice President
Equity Residential
Jordan Klein, Acting Director Econ. Dev.
City of Berkeley
Eric Knecht, COO
Resources for Community Development (RCD)
Emily Marthinsen, Asst. Vice-Chancellor
Univ. of California, Berkeley
Greg Mauldin, Business & General Manager
Hotel Shattuck Plaza
Scott Newman, Business & Property Owner
Beacon Group Ventures
John Paluska, Owner
Laurie Rich, Executive Director
The David Brower Center
Hae Won Rhow, Executive Director
Downtown Berkeley YMCA
Larry Rinder, Director
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
David Shamszad, CEO
SG Real Estate
Lu Tipping, Business & Property Owner
Tipping Structural Engineers
Geno Yun, Business & Principal
ELS Architecture & Urban Design