Spotlight Archive

Downtown Berkeley Spotlight Archives

Celebrating Our Community

 See below for a full list of all our spotlights and be sure to check out who is in our latest Spotlight

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Randeep and Karan Rekhi-Owners of Bobby G's

Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for us! Please introduce yourself! What’s your story? Where are you from and what brought you to Downtown Berkeley?

We are brothers from the South Bay who come from a retail family. Before moving to Berkeley and taking over Bobby G’s in May 2016, Karan was working at the family wine shop in Cupertino while Randeep was working as a financial analyst in a Denver. Both ready for a change and to branch out on their own, we started to look into opening a beer garden somewhere in the Bay Area. We quickly found that our lack of industry experience was a problem, so we decided to look for an existing business to learn the ropes. That’s when we found the Berkeley institution that is Bobby G’s Pizzeria and Draft House. Read more…

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David M. Mayeri Founder & CEO at Berkeley Music Group – The UC Theatre

Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for us! Let’s start with an introduction. Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what brought you to this point in your career?

In 1970, I had the good fortune of being at the right place at the right time. I was a 16-year-old Berkeley High School Student (BHS Class of ‘72) hired as intern to work Bill Graham Presents shows at the Berkeley Community Theatre. I was paid $10.00 cash for 16 hours of work (not per hour, per shift)… unloading trucks, setting up the stage, ushering the show, tearing down the stage equipment, and. and repacking the truck. I left BGP 35 years later as the COO of Clear Channel Entertainment (what is now the San Francisco Live Nation office) running all the music venues the company leased, owned, and operated. Bill Graham was a great teacher, mentor, and role model for how to run a business as well as how to give back to the community. My experience of running music venues and getting my start as an intern paved the way for what is now The UC TheatreRead more.

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Wangmo Dixey Executive Director at Dharma College

Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for us! Let’s start with an introduction. Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what brought you to Berkeley and your association with Dharma College?

I am the eldest daughter of Venerable Tarthang Tulku, who is the founder of Dharma College. My father came to Berkeley in 1969. He was the first Tibetan to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen in the State of California. Ever since the late 1960s, our family have considered Berkeley to be our home.

Last July, I was asked to become the new Executive Director of Dharma College, succeeding Robin Caton. The basic mission stays the same: to introduce new ways of understanding the mind to a secular Western audience. In taking on this new position, I’ve decided to develop a new… Read more.

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Studio KDA is a local architectural and design firm.

Getting to know Studio KDA is such a pleasure. After reading this interview with Marites Abueg & Keith Morris, you’ll recognize Studio KDA’s style as soon as you walk into a room of one of their design projects.

Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for us! Let’s start in the beginning. Why don’t you introduce yourselves, what you do, where you went to school, and how long you’ve been designing together? I’m Marites (mary-tess) Abueg and my architect/business partner and husband of 26 years is Keith Morris. We design restaurants and all things fun and food together. We met at the University of Cincinnati’s Architecture school in the mid 80’s (and started dating our very first year!) We’ve been working and designing together since our younger daughter was born, almost 15 years ago. Two years ago Keith and I merged our firm Abueg Morris Architects with Kahn Design Associates and we’re all now Studio KDA…. Read more.

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Madeleine Oldham is the Director of the Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep Theatre.

Madeleine Oldham is the Director of the Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep Theatre in Downtown Berkeley. This innovative program is the Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work and seeks to enhance and expand the way the Berkeley Rep makes theatre. Learn more about Madeleine and her theatre journey thus far!


First tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Where did you go to school? When did you first become interested in theatre?
Thanks for talking with me! I grew up in Pelham, New York, which was a 30 minute train ride to Grand Central Station. My parents took me to see Cats at the Winter Garden Theater when I was 9. I don’t think I ever forgave my mother for refusing to dance with the Rum Tum Tugger, because she had a chance to be part of that magic and turned it down. But for me, it was game over. The theater bug bit hard… Read more.

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Joshua Allen is a local Saxophonist

Joshua’s next big show is at Studio Grand in Oakland on February 5th. He’s playing with his quartet, The Deconstruction of What You Know with Henry Kaiser on guitar, and William Winant and Aaron Levin on drums! 

You’ve been a fixture in Downtown Berkeley for quite a few years now.  How did you get started and how would you describe your playing style? 
After I left San Diego State, where I was studying Jazz performance and composition and doing extensive studio work in LA, I ended up at Sonoma State. While I was there I began studying and playing with the saxophonist Marco Eneidi. He had come back to finish his degree after having spent 20 years in…. Read more.

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Nigel Sussman is a local Berkeley illustrator and muralist.

Nigel’s work can be seeing throughout Berkeley and most recently in his newly published portfolio out now.

Congratulations on doing so much work around Downtown Berkeley. What do you think it is about your work that people love so much?
I like working locally because it is a really good way to give back to my immediate community in the most impactful way I know how. I like to think that my work is relatable because it is bold, whimsical and deals with universal themes like food, music, and animals… Read more.

Be sure to check out our latest Spotlight, highlighting members of our community that make up this vibrant neighborhood!