Our Board

Derek Barnes, Board Chair

Derek Barnes has over 15 years of executive leadership transforming organizations through all stages of a business’ lifecycle – startup, rapid growth, business turnarounds, and M&A. Derek’s expertise includes building strategy, global organizations, and new technologies in highly competitive markets. He has worked within high-tech, professional services, telecom, financial services, real estate, healthcare, and retail sectors.

Derek is a Co-founder at g-dii Enterprises and currently serves as the firm’s COO/CTO. He is also Senior Advisor at Ignition Point Consulting, supporting clients such as Fremont Bank, Homebridge, Microsoft, T-Mobile, and TeleNav. Previously, he’s held positions as COO at Executive Networks, Global Operations Director at Openwave, and VP of Technical Services and Operations at PlanetOut/Here! Media.

Derek also serves on the boards of Horizons Foundation and Homebridge. His previous board experience includes the following: Board Chair at Under One Roof; Victory Fund; The San Francisco LGBT Community Center. He attended Marymount University with a B.A.

Trisha Hue, PhD, MPH, Board Vice Chair

Dr. Hue received her MPH in public health nutrition and PhD in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. Dr. Hue is currently pursuing research on the mechanisms for increased risk of breast and colon cancer with excess body fat. Her interests also include the effects of micronutrients, angiogenic factors, and markers of inflammation. She has extensive experience in the design and conduct of numerous industry and NIH-funded clinical trials and longitudinal studies. Additional research interests include nutritional epidemiology, cancer prevention, and osteoporosis. Dr. Hue held the position of Board Secretary from 2011-17.

Nathan Baird, Secretary

Nathan is an Investment Associate in the Public Equity group at Hall Capital Partners LLC, a San Francisco-based investment firm focused on building customized, global, multi-asset class portfolios for families, endowments, and foundations. At Hall Capital, he is responsible for research, identification, due diligence, and monitoring of long-only public equity investments and long-short equity hedge funds.

Nathan graduated cum laude from Princeton University with an A.B. in economics, where he was also a Captain on the varsity baseball team. He is currently a resident of San Francisco, and in his free time enjoys activities such as hiking, scuba diving, windsurfing, and of course, exercising! Nathan assumed the role of Board Secretary for Sunflower Wellness in 2017.

Ann Thalman, Treasurer

Ann has been leading teams in tech and finance for over 20 years, and especially enjoys helping individuals and teams find their peak performance, while operating in the most efficient manner.  Ann was COO and Sr. Vice President of Infrastructure of Baker Street Advisors, a private wealth management firm in San Francisco, for 11 years,  where she was responsible for operations, reporting, HR, IT, facilities, compliance, finance and administration, during rapid growth.  In previous roles at Autodesk, Oacis Healthcare Systems and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Ann led teams that implemented and supported clinical systems, as well as technical writers.  Ann has a BBA in Finance from Kennesaw State University and a MBA in Strategic Leadership from Dominican University.

Ann is married with a son and daughter, and when not attending a Sunflower Wellness exercise class enjoys digging in her garden, cooking and hiking the hills of Lucas Valley.

Ann is a cancer survivor who believes that Sunflower Wellness' exercise programs restored her strength, confidence and dignity.  Her role as Treasurer started in the Fall of 2018 and she is delighted to giving back to an organization that helps its members living with cancer.

Carrie (Bonnet) Tichenor, Director

“This program was my magic pill,” says Carrie, who works in communications management as Media Relations & Marketing Director for the law firm of Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver, PC, and formerly served as controller in her role as human resource business partner for a multi-location retailer. A cancer survivor herself, she says: “Even if I’d been lying on the couch for days after treatment, I always made it to my planned exercise sessions because I knew I’d feel exponentially better afterward and until the next treatment. That helped me regain my sense of control.”

Carrie was thrilled to accept Sunflower’s invitation to become treasurer, a role that she held from 2009 to 2017. “Demand for our service is much greater than when I was a client and we’re growing rapidly to meet it. Cultivating income streams to support that growth may be our biggest challenge,” she says. “I want to make sure as many people as possible can benefit from our exercise program. Because my workouts improved my physical state, they boosted my attitude. When you’re sick and your prognosis is uncertain, a positive attitude can save you.”

An avid traveler (with a special fondness for India), Carrie was born and raised in Marin County. She received a B.A. in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California. As a graduate student, she examined the impact of professionals donating their skills to nonprofits (People Assisting the Homeless/PATH, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles) via virtual tools and teams. Carrie is also a mosaic artist.

Chris Brettingen, Director

A Minnesota native, Chris Brettingen came to San Francisco in 1986 to open and lead a branch office for one of the top U.S. market research firms, where she stayed for over 25 years working with Fortune 500 clients to measure, evaluate, and improve their customer satisfaction and loyalty. Her company, Custom Research Inc., was a 1996 winner of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, the nation’s most prestigious business award. At that time, her company was the first professional services firm, and also the smallest organization, to win the honor. Chris also served on the Board of Directors of To Celebrate Life from 2008 to 2011, including two years as Board President, six years on the Grants Review Board, and head of their Community Events. She also deliver meals for Ceres Community Project, one of To Celebrate Life’s grantees. Chris loves to travel, practice yoga, play bridge, study oil painting, and read, including as a member of two book clubs. Her son, Kristopher, is married and living in Boulder, Colorado, where he consults in the green energy industry.

Vir Sarin, Director

Vir Sarin is the head of Global Application Engineering and Operations for eBay. He is a technology executive and innovator with a varied career covering a range of sectors: software, eCommerce, SaaS and financial services. He possesses extensive full-stack experience with scaling global organizations with multi-billion dollar revenue streams, Fortune 100 regulations, security, massively distributed systems and building start-ups. Vir has led technology solutions that have been recognized by MFEA, Kasina, Ignites and Nova as some of the leading technology innovations for web and mobile, and chaired the world-wide launch of Agile methods in several organizations. He is an avid reader, travel enthusiast and speaker at technology forums.

Juliana Morgan, Director

Juliana Morgan has a professional background in business development, operations and human resources. She is currently the Business Manager for a private school in San Francisco.

Juliana heard about Sunflower Wellness almost two years before trying a class and immediately found strength and support through exercise. Sunflower was such a safe environment and positive experience that it didn't take long before she wanted to give back to the organization. Her personal experience with Sunflower validated that it is never too late to start exercising. After having to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system, Juliana is eager to support others facing the myriad of difficult decisions relating to treatment and living in recovery.

Juliana grew up in a large Italian family on the Monterey Peninsula and moved to the Bay Area in the 1980’s. She enjoys volunteering, especially for Sunflower and at her local downtown theatre. She is a single mother raising a teenage daughter who is the light of her life. They live in Larkspur with an assortment of pets.

Special Board Advisors

Bill Bain, Co-founder, Executive Director Emeritus

As co-founder and head of Sunflower Wellness for almost fourteen years, Bill brought a wealth of corporate executive management and consulting experience to Sunflower Wellness. His management and technological leadership skills developed in the role of Chief Technology Officer at PlanetOut, HomeGain, and earlier at MedChannel and at Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company, a banking unit of American Express. He also served as Chief Operating Officer at eRealtor.com, a subsidiary of Homestore (now move.com). Bill spent ten years in the financial services industry, as Senior Vice President and Director of Reengineering at PaineWebber, and head of Reengineering at Bankers Trust in New York. Bill earned a Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science from Yale University.

Bobbie Head, MD, PhD, Board Advisor

Dr. Bobbie Head has been a private practitioner of Hematology and Medical Oncology at California Cancer Care (now Marin Specialty Care) since 1987. Armed with college degrees in English, Anthropology and Chemistry, she received her PhD in Experimental Pathology from UCSF, and her MD from USC. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Head has taught at UCSF’s medical school, and served as Medical Director for Hospice of Marin from 1997 to 2008.

Dr. Head proudly proclaims her love of coming to work every day. Her joy is due in part to the personal interactions and the resulting richness of relationships that develop during a cancer journey. She provides her patients with as much support as possible and takes particular care to provide them with information in a context they can understand. She is actively engaged in clinical research and to date, has been involved in over 100 ongoing clinical phase I, II, III, and IV Pharmaceutical Oncology trials as a sub-investigator. Dr. Head unabashedly professes her love for horseback riding and also skis, jogs and hikes. She adores being a mom and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Bunny Rust, Board Advisor

Bunny began her nursing career in Philadelphia, graduating from Mercy Medical Center, after which she joined the US Navy, stationed in Pensacola. She has practiced nursing for over 45 years, including twenty years of operating room management, and has continued to work beyond her official “retirement” in 2007.

Bunny’s inclination to be a patient advocate stems from several cancer victories and losses among her own family members. Bunny joined the board in 2008, where she actively guides the team by maintaining a strong focus on our strategic vision, applying her years of medical experience to advocating for high-quality experiences for our clients, clarifying policies and procedures of healthcare systems, and aligning us with her network of healthcare leaders and practitioners. Her son, Christopher Goad, laid the foundation for what has since become Sunflower Wellness.

Sunflower Wellness has secured non-profit status under IRS Section 501(c)(3), as well as under California tax provisions, in order to solicit tax-free contributions from individuals and funding organizations. 

Thank you for your interest in Sunflower Wellness!

©2005-2020Sunflower Wellness Our thanks for Logo design: William Salit Design Sunflower Wellness is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation based in San Francisco, CA
Sunflower Wellness will be forever grateful to Kimberly Powell for designing our website, and for additional design direction from Jason Herrick and Cecelia Ottenweller.