Board of Directors & Staff

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  • Jolieba Blount – Chairperson of the Board

    joliebaJolieba is a UCLA graduate with a B.A. in World Arts & Cultures. She was an Arts Bridge recipient at UCLA, which involved writing, developing, and teaching interactive curriculum on academic content standards for Visual and Performing Arts that was adopted by the California State Board of Education. Jolieba has worked with non-profits and schools in various capacities. She has also traveled abroad to work with students in Brazil, Cuba, and Senegal, broadening her perspective and capacity of understanding people and their needs. Jolieba is passionate about physical fitness, education, and helping youth develop their potential. She is the mother of two boys.


    Mark D’Esposito – Vice President of the Board

    DEspositoMark D’Esposito earned his medical degree in 1987 at the SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse and then completed seven years of training in Neurology at Boston University Medical Center and Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital. In 1993, he joined the faculty in Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In 2000, he was recruited to the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley to become Professor of Neuroscience, and the Director of the newly created Henry H. Wheeler, Jr. Brain Imaging Center. Dr. D’Esposito’s research investigates how the brain supports high-level cognitive processing, how the brain recovers from injury and potential treatments for the injured brain. He also practices Neurology at the Northern California VA Medical Center where he is the Chief of the NeuroRehabilitation Unit. Mark has been very active in youth baseball with both local organizations and travel teams. Mark is a member of the Senate Athletic Council, which is a committee charged with overseeing all matters related to athletics at UC Berkeley.


    Hilary Somorjai – Fundraising Director

    Hilary Caplan Somorjai is an Admissions Board Member for Harvard Business School at Harvard’s California Research Center located in Menlo Park. Prior to working for HBS, she worked at Oracle Corporation in the education line of business focusing on strategy and marketing.

    Hilary has spent many years working in retail management as well. She currently serves on the Silicon Valley Advisory Council for Common Sense Media. She attended Stanford University and Harvard Business School.


    Ryan Burke – Board Secretary

    Ryan Burke played for the California Warriors for 4 years. He then interned as an Assistant Coach for 2 years, became a Head Coach, and ultimately was hired as the Director of Baseball Operations for the California Warriors-First Base Foundation. Ryan was instrumental in creating the Coach Development Program, and has had experience training many of the California Warriors coaches. He is currently the Volunteer Assistant Coach for University of San Francisco’s baseball program. He played at College of Marin for two years where in 2013 he was an All-Conference player before transferring to and graduating from San Francisco State University where he was an All-Conference player his senior year. After his college graduation, Ryan worked at Mendocino College as the Assistant Baseball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for a year. He then worked as the Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at College of Marin for one year.


    Gabriel Haneford – Chief Financial Officer

    Gabriel Haneford was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He moved to Marin County in 1974, and has had a successful and thriving tax practice in Marin since 1977. Gabriel has been involved in several non-profit organizations, including the Jewish Family Services and The Praxis Peace Institute, and welcomes the opportunity to be of service to the First Base Foundation. Gabriel has been actively involved in sports throughout his life, and has a keen understanding of how youth athletics serves to bolster an athlete’s physical & athletic skills, and to enhance their self-esteem. Gabriel is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the First Base Foundation, and respects their commitment to student-athletes. He looks forward to raising awareness and funding for this great foundation.


    Anne Thornton – Governance Chair

    Anne Thornton As a resident of San Francisco since 1970, Anne Thornton has served on numerous Bay Area boards including Enterprise for High School Students, San Francisco University High School, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and California Pacific Medical Center where she chaired the Board of Trustees of the hospital from 1995 to 2000. She is interested in helping non profit boards identify and develop board members and leaders and advising on governance issues. She is also involved currently with First Base Foundation’s efforts to write and secure grants to advance the important work of the organization. Anne Thornton is a graduate of Harvard College and received her JD and MBA from Stanford University.

  • Marilyn Jackson – Executive Director

    Marilyn is an accomplished educator and entrepreneur who co-founded the First Base Foundation with her son Noah, and she is the Executive Director. As Executive Director, she operates as the Board Liaison and the Parent Liaison, oversees the foundation’s budgets and fundraising campaigns, and provides insights and visionary ideas that steer the First Base Foundation in a positive direction, ensuring it continues to grow while staying true to the foundation’s mission. In 1993, Marilyn founded MJackson Computers, a highly successful, cutting-edge, technology-consulting firm that works with non-profits, senior citizens, and small businesses. In conjunction with 15 years spent working with urban youth and teaching math and computers, her 20+ years of experience as a small business owner make her an invaluable asset to the First Base Foundation’s continued success.


    Colin Cotter – Vice President of the Board

    Colin Cotter is a longtime member of the First Base Foundation and California Warriors community, having played on the California Warriors teams during his high school summers, coached during his college summers, and worked in the FBF office since graduating from Columbia University in 2011 with a BA in International Politics. Colin’s roles and responsibilities with FBF and CW have included coaching, website development and maintenance, graphic design, copywriting, grant writing, overseeing summer interns, helping manage budgets, and fundraising. When he isn’t working with FBF, Colin runs a freelance digital marketing business and is a professional touring folk musician.


    Joe Jimenez – Director of Baseball Operations

    Joe is a former California Warriors student athlete and FBF intern who has been a member of the California Warriors coaching staff for several years. He will be rejoining the organization as the Director of Baseball Operations in the fall of 2018 and beyond. Joe played two seasons on the Warriors Gold team while he attended Saint Ignatius College Prep where he received WCAL All-League Honors. He is entering his junior year at Chapman University where he is majoring in Business Administration while serving as the starting catcher for the Chapman Baseball team.


    Jolieba Blount – Director of Development and Grant Writing

    Jolieba is from the San Francisco Bay Area and resides in Los Angeles where she works as a professional Actress and Educator. In 2006, Jolieba graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in World Arts & Cultures. She was an Arts Bridge recipient at UCLA, which involved writing, developing, and teaching interactive curriculum on academic content standards for Visual and Performing Arts in grades six through twelve, adopted by the California State Board of Education. Jolieba has worked diligently with non-profits and schools all across the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. She has also traveled abroad to work with underprivileged students in Brazil, Cuba, and Senegal, broadening her perspective and capacity of understanding people and their needs. Jolieba is passionate about physical fitness, education, and helping youth develop their potential.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The First Base Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, creed, nationality, language, religion, socioeconomic background, disability, medical condition, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, and age.