Meet the Team
Stan has been a resident of Telegraph Hill since 1995. Along with his wife, Monica, he lives just off the Filbert Steps, amidst the flowers, trees, and parrots of the neighboring Grace Marchant Garden. A long- time member of THD and its Board of Directors, this is his fifth one-year term as THD President, spread over the last decade. A former 16-year planning commissioner in a town in Marin County, he is particularly interested in planning and land use. He has served multiple terms as Co-Chair of THD’s Planning & Zoning Committee, and he has represented THD on planning issues before such bodies as San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the Board of Appeals. He is a member of the SF Port’s Northern Advisory Committee. He was a member and former chair of the scientific advisory council of the Bay Area’s air pollution control agency. Formerly a principal of a large global environmental consulting firm, he is now retired.
Bio to come shortly
Nancy has lived in North Beach and been a member of THD for over 30 years. She now lives on the Filbert Steps in the Telegraph Hill Historic District. As a member of THD’s Board of Directors and its current Vice President, her interests and contributions are primarily in the areas of planning and zoning and historic preservation. Nancy also serves as the President of the Northeast San Francisco Conservancy established as a tax-exempt organization in 2021 to preserve and protect the unique scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational resources of the neighborhoods in the northeast part of the City. Outside of her THD and Conservancy volunteer activities, Nancy is an attorney serving as legal counsel to a nonprofit conservation organization that works with Native American Tribes to acquire land and water to benefit of fish and wildlife.
Al Fontes has been a resident of Telegraph Hill since 1994, and a member of THD most of that time. His San Francisco roots date back to the 1930's, his mother having grown up in North Beach and the Marina, his father raised in Cow Hollow. After a long career as a software engineer he is now retired.
Greg Giachino is a long-time resident of Telegraph Hill whose family’s legacy spans over 115 years in the neighborhood. Born in San Francisco, Greg moved to Telegraph Hill on June 10, 1986, and never left. Greg is also a business owner in the district, operating a successful business consulting company located on Green St. As a member of the Telegraph Hill community, Greg is passionate about our neighborhood. Greg joined the THD board in 2021. He has been active in several committees during his tenure, including Planning & Zoning, Social, Waterfront, and Transportation. Greg strongly believes a neighborhood group should champion equity, character, and community. When he is not challenging political stakeholders on Twitter, you can find him walking the length of the waterfront; from Telegraph Hill to Pier 70, back to Fort Mason, and through North Beach. If you see him, don’t be shy! Greg is honored to be a THD board member and looks forward to serving his neighbors by undertaking important initiatives crucial to the betterment of our community.
Nick was born and raised in North Beach. He went to Sts Peter & Paul School on Washington Square Park, grew up at the Salesian Boys & Girls Club, and then went to Sacred Heart for high school. Some of his favorite childhood memories are playing capture the flag and having water gun battles all over Telegraph Hill. After spending 10 years on the east coast (Boston for school and then NYC for fun and some work) he moved back home with the hope of getting involved and strengthening his community for the next generation. In addition to the board of THD, he serves as Vice President of the North Beach Citizens (a hyper-local and innovative nonprofit addressing homelessness,) co-founder of the North Beach Farmers Market, and advisory board member for Sts Peter & Paul School. If you see him around the neighborhood, please say hello. Favorite topics include restaurants, wine, building community, and all things North Beach, literally.
I have been a part of Telegraph Hill Dwellers (THD) most of my life. I grew up in the North Beach and Telegraph Hill neighborhoods and my parents, Robert and Nancy Katz, were among the original founding members of THD in the 1950s. They helped fight to establish the 40 foot height limit on the waterfront and to protect the uniqueness and small scale of our neighborhoods. I hold these same community based values very strongly. Since joining the Board of Directors, I have served in different positions including Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and now Financial Secretary/ Membership. I also sell advertising for our quarterly publication,The Semaphore. Although I work in property management, my passion lies in my lifelong practice of photography and the joy of exploration and travel with my family.
Mary Lipian has been a member of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers for many years and currently serves on the Board of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers as the Recording Secretary. She has lived on Montgomery Street on Telegraph Hill since 1997 and has enjoyed the family stories of when her aunt lived on Montgomery Street and Union Street during the 1960’s. She also serves on the Boards of the Northeast San Francisco Conservancy as Secretary and Yale Club of San Francisco as Vice President, and has served on San Francisco's Park, Recreation, and Open Space Advisory Committee. Mary works full time as Lead Director of Network Management for Aetna in Northern California and enjoys oil painting.
Kristen Foley has lived in San Francisco for 21 years and been a resident of Telegraph Hill for 13 of those. She works as an Executive Assistant for Hudson Pacific Properties and is currently pursuing a Juris Doctor degree of Law at Golden Gate University. She is involved in numerous charitable initiatives and serves on her company’s Social Impact Council tasked with pursuing philanthropic endeavors in the SF Bay Area. Kristen has a great passion for social equity. She believes people and small businesses create the cultural identity of a neighborhood and should be protected when considering re-vitalization and policy initiatives. Kristen has an immense fondness for Telegraph Hill/North Beach and looks forward to serving her neighbors in advocating towards a thriving community. If you see her on the hill, come say hi!
Nanci Gaglio left Greenwich Village for San Francisco in 1996 and finally landed on Telegraph Hill twenty-four years later during the pandemic winter of December, 2020. She’s incredibly thrilled to be here. Nanci serves to further open the art and social scene by discovering different ways to keep the neighborhood continuously curious and vibrant. She is a writer / director of indie films, and live events executive in a global agency by day. By night she loves performance and fine art, live music, wine, pizza, coffee, cannoli and walking up the hill for exercise at least 4 times per day with her little dog.
Nadya Williams is a native of the Bay Area and a lover of the beauty and culture of The City. She is retired from an international peace and human rights non-profit based in San Francisco, and has been an active associate member of San Francisco Veterans For Peace since the U.S. wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. She lived in the Haight Ashbury in the early '60s, then homesteaded in the redwood country of the Mendocino Coast, where she raised her three children, returning to North Beach 30 years ago. She has six grandchildren. She has a degree in journalism, but activism on local, state, national and international issues leaves little time for writing. She received a Certificate of Honor during Women's History month, March 2020 from the SF Board of Supervisors. The legacy of the American war in Viet Nam is a life-long focus, namely the plight of the victims of the war. The forces of wealth and power internationally and locally - the macro and the micro - are parallel obstacles to the beauty, community and human-scale that we treasure in North Beach.
Katie Hopkins has lived on Telegraph Hill since 1998, when her job as a creative in advertising led her to San Francisco. Being from the midwest, when she landed on the Hill she immediately fell in love with the small town feel of the neighborhood. She joined THD to help preserve the integrity of the history and the community that makes our district unique. She has been serving on the board as needed since 2008. She currently is Corresponding Secretary and on the Communication Committee. When she's not tending the garden, she can be seen walking various dogs around the hood.
Bio to come shortly
I grew up in San Francisco and have lived in North Beach since 2017. I am a small business owner and enjoy the outdoors and exploring the city in my free time. I love living in this neighborhood because it feels small and locally supported with interesting characters to meet along the way! As the Parks and Trees committee chair, I am committed to safeguarding our parks and growing our urban tree canopy as much as possible.
Chair, Transportation Committee
Howard Wong is an architect, transit advocate and native of North Beach. He has been a past THD Vice-President, board member, committee chair and originator of the Pioneer Park Project. He is a founding member of SaveMuni, and serves on the MTC Policy Advisory Council, TJPA CAC and Sierra Club’s SF Executive Committee. He is active in civic and community organizations, like the District 3 Democratic Club, NEXT Village, North Beach Neighborhood Court, SF Tomorrow and Southern Waterfront Advisory Group--focusing on architecture, urban design, transportation and neighborhoods. Past board memberships include the Chinese Historical Society of America, Civil Grand Jury, Neighborhood Parks Council, SF Heritage and SPUR. Howard stays active with THD because it’s one of the most effective neighborhood organizations---a steady incubator of ideas, leaders and policies.
Fran has lived on the quiet backside of Telegraph Hill since 1976 looking out at the Bay Bridge, the historical warehouse district, and the famous parrots in greenery across Vallejo Street. She immediately joined THD, and now, having retired, is able to pursue her interest in preserving our historic neighborhood.
Fran also serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Working America Education Fund, a nonprofit. WA, with over 4 million members across the country, is the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, uniting working people who don’t have a union on the job. From its start in 2003, it has fought nationally and at state and local levels for good jobs, a fair economy, and a democracy that represents all of us.
She is a retired attorney who provided pro bono services to workers and unions focusing on worker health and safety. As well, she has and continues to work on elections, canvassing around the country with Working America; she began her election work in 1948 when her mom cast a ballot in the 1948 Presidential election having handed off Fran to the poll workers (photo proof in an old Cincinnati Enquirer!).
Her daughter Rachael and son-in-law Blake and her 2 darling grandchildren Rose and Renzo live close by in SF.