ABOUT FRIENDS OF NO. 9
Friends of No. 9 Inc. is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit corporation formed in 2018 for the express purpose of displaying historical items related to the Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railway.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chairman and Executive Director
Fred has a love of old things. He is also the heart and soul of Friends of No. 9 and has taken on the mantle of historian for Mt. Tamalpais’s Scenic Railway. His work and research includes oral histories with surviving employees and passengers and being given the railroad’s core collection of artifacts by Ted Wurm, the railway’s original historian. He used these resources and his own research to author “Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway” and display panels at Mt. Tamalpais State Park’s Gravity Car Barn Museum. Fred is also a former board member and current historian of the West Point Inn, the only surviving building of the scenic railway. Fred has an AA degree in broadcast engineering that helps with his photo restoration efforts. His “day job” for over 35 years is as a motion picture sound mixer, recording the dialogue in many well-known movies (including Total Recall, Mrs. Doubtfire, Basic Instinct, Batman Begins and Sorry To Bother You) in addition to numerous commercials and documentaries. Fred spearheaded the drive to quickly raise the money for the winning bid to buy No. 9 and he coordinated the extraordinary effort to relocate it back down to the North Bay. He is also the public face of Friends as a willing and able public speaker.
Roger recently retired from a 30-year career as a commercial real estate broker in Marin County. He remains active in the real estate industry through his management and ownership responsibilities. As a fourth generation Marinite, Roger has a keen interest in preserving Marin’s heritage. Roger has served on a number of boards including the Rotary Club of San Rafael, Marin History Museum, Planned Parenthood of Marin, MarinSpace and the Business Improvement District for San Rafael. He has also served on numerous commissions in support of the City of San Rafael, including General Plan Steering Committees in 2010 and 2019. Roger lives in San Rafael with his wife and has two grown daughters and a stepson. He graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. degree and UC Berkeley with an MBA.
Jonathan is a corporate lawyer with more than 30 years of experience in the areas of corporate finance, private equity/venture capital investment and merger and acquisition transactions. A Mandarin and Japanese speaker, Jonathan spent many years studying and working in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taiwan. In addition to serving on the board of Friends of No. 9, Jonathan is a board member (and former board chair) of The Volunteer Center in San Francisco and also served on the board of the Asian Youth Orchestra. He regularly organizes volunteer nights at the SF Marin Food Bank and leads hikes on Mt. Tam. Jonathan graduated from the University of Chicago and Columbia Law School. He and his family have lived in Mill Valley since 2003.
CHRIS DI PASQUA
Chris is a CPA with over 20 years of experience in providing tax, accounting and management consulting services. He is the founder and managing partner of Paradigm Partners, LLP where he works with individuals and privately-owned businesses.
Chris’ extensive, practical business experience as a corporate controller, plus growing up with an entrepreneurial father, provides him with an understanding of what is important to a small organization like Friends of No. 9. His interest in trains began as a kid when he would follow the train schedules and walk down to the tracks near his parent’s house in time to watch the freight trains pass and crush just about any object he could put on the tracks, including lots of coins and army men. In addition to serving on the board of Friends of No. 9, he has served as a chairperson for the California Society of CPAs and as treasurer for the Marin County School Volunteers. Chris was raised in Novato and has lived in Marin his entire life. Chris attended Novato High School and has a Bachelor's of Science in Accounting from Sonoma State University.
Bruce was introduced to the Mt. Tamalpais Railway early. He was raised in Mill Valley just up the street from Volley Thoney, a long-time Crookedest Railroad locomotive engineer. Bruce also remembers the last freight steam engine arriving at the Mill Valley Train Depot in the mid-1950s. Bruce’s family has been in California since the early 1850's and his father and grandfather came to Mill Valley in 1938. Bruce attended Park School, Edna Maguire Middle School, Tamalpais High School and graduated from U.C. Berkeley, becoming a software engineer. He currently manages the product security group for Oracle Corporation. Bruce helped manage two successful school funding campaigns in Los Gatos, California and served for many years on the board of the California Youth Symphony, where he was board president. Bruce currently lives in Mill Valley near the Dipsea Trail and has two children and a grandchild.
Eric is a Mill Valley resident and native and attended Old Mill School, Mill Valley Middle School, and Tam High. He is also the founder of a clean technology startup company and has a deep interest in technology history. Prior to his startup career, he worked in the Clinton Administration White House as the lead financial analyst for science, technology, and environmental programs. He and his grandfather used to take walks along the path of the mountain railway, searching for railroad spikes and imagining steam locomotives passing by (although Eric finds that his daughter prefers to count Dipsea steps). In addition to serving on the Friends of No. 9 board, Eric is also President of the Mill Valley Historical Society. He has a B.S. in electrical engineering from UCLA and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University.
Rick works with aviation safety and educational non-profits after retiring from a career in high-tech innovation in Silicon Valley. He served as president or treasurer for several organizations and brings his non-profit experience to help the Friends of No. 9 directors effectively restore and display Engine 9. His advocacy for aviation safety resulted in a global reputation for promoting improved pilot decision-making, scenario-based emergency training and analyzing accident investigations that lead to further safety insights. He lives in Novato close to Gnoss Field Airport where he works with advanced simulators for pilot training. Rick has a PhD in Computer Graphics from the University of Waterloo in Canada and managed a research lab at Xerox PARC. For fun, Rick enjoys flying as a volunteer pilot for the Young Eagles and Girls in Aviation Days at local airports.
Joe has lived his life around Mount Tamalpais and has studied the mountain railway ever since receiving Ted Wurm’s “Crookedest Railway” book, as a 4th grader at Park School in Mill Valley. Shortly after graduating from Tam High in 1972, Joe took his first bike ride down Railroad Grade. In 1974 he became a bicycle framebuilder, and in 1977 he designed and built the first modern mountain bike, now in the Smithsonian. Mt. Tam's gravity helped birth a sport and a bike type that would reach around the globe. Joe continues his machine and design work on his Breezer bicycles. He is co-founder of Marin Museum of Bicycling in Fairfax, where he volunteers as curator. When Joe is not championing everyday bicycle transportation he volunteers many hours creating accurate drawings of Tam’s engine No. 9 and her future resting place.
Don is a S.F. Bay Area resident with a lifelong passion for industrial history and North American railroads. Over the years, he has participated in the activities of numerous railroad preservation organizations—conducting research, working hands-on, and connecting likeminded groups with one another to promote the success of common goals. Don has particularly deep experience using interpretive display spaces to convey the mission of preservation projects. Don’s latest position is as Curator for the Railroad Museum at Ardenwood in Fremont, California. That museum is dedicated to the preservation and operation of California narrow gauge railroad equipment, and Don’s expertise is a vital asset. Friends of Number 9 is extremely grateful for Don’s willingness to share his knowledge and experience. He has provided valuable guidance on how to best plan and organize the restoration process and concepts for visualizing how Number 9 can be displayed to the public. Don’s knowledge and contacts in the railroad historic community are a huge addition to our efforts.