Board of Directors
Laurie Rich, Executive Director
David Brower Center
DBA VICE PRESIDENT
David Shamszad, CEO
SG Real Estate
John Lineweaver, President
2000 Center Street LLC
Lu Tipping, Business & Property Owner
Tipping Structural Engineers
The Austin Group
ELS Architecture & Urban Design
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
City of Berkeley
Resources for Community Development (RCD)
Emily Marthinsen, Asst. Vice-Chancellor
Univ. of California, Berkeley
Harvest Properties, Inc.
Wangmo Dixey, Executive Director
California Jazz Conservatory
Downtown Berkeley YMCA
Rhodes Planning Group
Farm League Restaurant Group
Berkeley City College
John Caner, CEO
John has served as CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association for over 10 years and currently serves on the boards of the International Downtown Association and California Downtown Association. John brings over 35 years of business, non-profit, and community development experience to the DBA, including strategic planning, new business development, marketing, finance, project management, and general management. Before coming to the DBA, John served as 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 many management and strategy positions in the private sector, including Berkeley-based Loansoft and Nextel Communications. And during the thirty years, he has lived in Berkeley, he has served on the boards Berkeley Alliance, Berkeley Partners for Parks, Aurora Theatre, Willard Neighborhood Association, City of Berkeley Disaster and Fire Safety Commission; and served on fundraising committees for the South Branch Library and Berkeley City College. John currently serves on the boards of the Berkeley Public Schools Fund and Berkeley Chamber of Commerce. John has a long-time interest in education, having served as a volunteer teacher's assistant at Willard Middle School, a volunteer instructor with the Presidential Classroom, and entrepreneurship mentor with BUILD.org. John earned an M.B.A. from UCLA and an undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard.
Perty Grissett, Operations Manager
Perty Grissett has lived in and enjoyed the Bay Area for over 20 years and has made a remarkable impact everywhere he’s been. As a programmer and technical support manager, Perty helped to grow a fledgling startup into the #1 web development firm in Silicon Valley. While wearing many hats, he became intrigued with better methods of employee motivation. Later, while making strides as a database administrator at a Big-4 Accounting firm, he completed a degree in Organizational Behavior at the University of San Francisco.
Eager to put the new skills to work, Perty shifted gears again and began leading teams of various sizes at a specialty retailer known for its strong customer-centric values. Coaching a team of 14, he led an underperforming store to consistently win top spots corporately within his first 6 months. Perty’s next challenging role was as the operator of a small San Francisco garment care shop. Taking a failing business and returning it to profitability in just a few months, he spent the next several years providing a friendly place of employment and making strong ties within the neighborhood.
Perty is excited to have joined such a strong team at DBA and looks forward to help keep our downtown Spiffy!
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!”
Anthony Chiu, Marketing Assistant
At a young age, Anthony wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life until he saw the Nike ‘Just Do It’ 30th-anniversary commercial. It was at that moment he realized that marketing would be his passion. His dedication and ambition to the field landed a few internships, creating new roles, gaining valuable experience, and finally graduating with a degree in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University. Fast-forward to today and landing his first job experience, post-graduation at the Downtown Berkeley as the Marketing Assistant.
“I am so excited for this immense opportunity and to be a contributing member of this fantastic Downtown community!”