Board of Directors

The AMBayArea Board of Directors is comprised of executives from a variety of manufacturing industries, sub-regions, and non-manufacturing support organizations who are dedicated to ensure the Bay Area is a leader in the industry.

Krishna Rajagopal

Krishna Rajagopal

LUSA Dynamics Inc., Dba Production Robotics – Hayward
Board Chair

Krishna Rajagopal is a shareholder and board member for Production Robotics in Hayward. He is also the Chief Facilitator of Great Outcomes for Narish, a consulting company focused on harnessing the people resources within an organization. He is an entrepreneur, mentor, and guide who brings strong operational, sales, and systems expertise in building winning cultures and organizations. Prior to Narish, he was the Managing Partner and Owner of a manufacturing company in Illinois for over 15 years. Krishna serves on several boards and acts as an advisor and confidante to C-level executives in the Bay Area and the midwest. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, an MBA, and a Master’s degree in Information Systems Management.

Karen Burns

Karen Burns

Assurance Partner, Sensiba San Filippo LLP – Pleasanton
Vice Chair

Karen Burns, CPA, is an Assurance Partner with Sensiba San Filippo LLP, a leading regional CPA and business advisory firm. She has nearly 30 years of experience providing financial and business consulting services to companies in a variety of industries, with a particular passion for the manufacturing and food and beverage sectors. She has great depth of experience working with rapidly growing manufacturing companies, from start-ups to multigenerational family businesses, helping them to identify opportunities, challenges, and trends. Burns also founded the East Bay Manufacturing Group in 2011 (which later merged to become AMBayArea).

Gene Russell

Gene Russell

President and CEO, The Corporation for Manufacturing Excellence – San Ramon
Secretary

Gene Russell is President and CEO of Manex and has over 30 years of senior executive strategic planning, operational management, and consulting experience in the manufacturing and technology sector. With his extensive knowledge of manufacturing operations, he has developed and implemented key strategic initiatives for companies, allowing them to improve performance and achieve profitable growth. He has a strong background in sales and business development and a keen understanding of manufacturing strategies in the global environment.

Stephen Tessler

Stephen Tessler

Executive Vice President and Director of Sales, California Bank of Commerce – Oakland
Treasurer

Stephen Tessler is an Executive Vice President and Director of Sales, California Bank of Commerce, a leading regional bank. Tessler has more than twenty-five years of banking experience and ten years of public accounting experience.

Tamia Brown

Tamia Brown

Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County – Concord
Board Member

Tamia Brown is the Executive Director of the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County (WDB). She has more than 20 years of workforce development experience and a depth of understanding about business and job seeker needs, having led a wide range of workforce initiatives across the Bay Area. Tamia holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration/Organizational Leadership from National University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Organization/Management from San Jose State University.

Eric Duoss, Ph.D.

Eric Duoss, Ph.D.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – Livermore
Board Member

Dr. Eric B. Duoss is the Director of the Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing (CEMM) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where he directs research activities and maps strategic directions in the areas of advanced materials and manufacturing. At LLNL, Dr. Duoss leads teams that invent novel materials and manufacturing technologies, with focus on creating designer architectures for chemical, mechanical, thermal, and functional properties for applications in the fields of defense, climate, transportation, energy, aerospace, human health, and others. Dr. Duoss has been awarded over 50 U.S. patents. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and dual B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics from St. Norbert College.

Pallavi Joyappa

Pallavi Joyappa

Chief Operating Officer, Emerald Packaging – Union City
Board Member

Pallavi Joyappa serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Emerald Packaging, one of the largest flexible packaging manufacturers on the West Coast and the largest supplier of produce packaging in the country. Joyappa joined Emerald Packaging in 2005 as a Process Control Engineer and has risen within the company, serving as Quality Control Manager and Director of Operations before becoming COO. Joyappa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Bangalore University and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from University of Wisconsin-Stout. She is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt (ASQ). As Emerald’s COO, Joyappa is responsible for top-line strategic initiatives as well as the optimization of the company’s daily operations.

Mark Martin

Mark Martin

Regional Director, Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development – Bay Area
Board Member

Mark Martin, Ph.D., is the Bay Area Regional Director for Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development for the California Community Colleges. Dr. Martin has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing and engineering, including product development, manufacturing and design research, teaching and workforce development. 

Linda Renteria

Linda Renteria

Casa Sanchez Foods – Hayward
Board Member

Linda Renteria is the Chief Operating Officer at Casa Sanchez Foods, makers of the top Northern California selling tortilla chips and fresh salsas. She is responsible for human resources, facility leases, insurance and overall operations. Linda received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara and an M.S. in Engineering & Construction Management from the University of California, Berkeley. Linda is also very involved in promoting STEM & manufacturing careers in the community.

Bruno Zagonel

Bruno Zagonel

Bodycote – Fremont
Board Member

Bruno Zagonel is the General Manager for Bodycote’s Fremont plant. With 20 years of experience in manufacturing, materials engineering, and special processes, he has worked in North and South America as well as in Europe. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from UFPR in Brazil and an MBA from UNCC. He has a passion for continuous improvement and team building and is trained in Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Being a recent transplant to California and the region, Bruno enjoys participating in activities that enable and facilitate manufacturing in the Bay Area.