Board of Directors

Richard Gross

Richard Gross

Board Chair

Richard is a C-suite executive with extensive experience in business development, strategy, marketing and operations. An investor and advisor to numerous startups, he has also co-founded and led software, fintech, social engagement, and data analytics companies. He has also been a management consultant, economist and analyst at KPMG, Standard & Poor’s, ICF and Reuters. Richard has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations.

Bob Daw

Bob Daw

Bob brings many years of global senior leadership experience in technology sales and operations for large and small technology companies including Medallia, Oracle, BEA Systems, Apple, and IBM. He and his family have been residents of Santa Clara County for over 20 years after relocating from Toronto, Canada.

With over two decades of international senior leadership experience in enterprise sales and sales operations in technology companies, Bob consistently delivers strong results through customer focus, personal integrity, strategic planning, urgency of execution, stakeholder collaboration and transparency, and developing and leveraging talent.

Brian Friss

Brian Friss

Co-founder, DIGISTOR

Brian co-founded DIGISTOR a Secure Data Storage firm in 2001. As the Sales Leader for DIGISTOR Brian led his team to over $100mm in sales. He was responsible for brand management, marketing, and overall board-level accountability for investor return. Brian led his team through a successful acquisition to a competing firm in 2020. Prior to founding DIGISTOR, Brian was responsible for helping to build FusionStorm a large IT Services company focusing on secure database management and scalability. Brian holds several advisor and board roles including Managing Director of LFCF and a Board of Director seat with CDSG. Brian resides in Silicon Valley with his wife of 20 years and two teenage boys.

Linda Sullivan

Linda Sullivan, NCIDQ, ASID

Principal, Sullivan Design Studio

Linda holds a BS in Interior Design and an NCIDQ license. She is a bay area native and founder of Sullivan Design Studio in Menlo Park. She has been referred by the Huffington Post as “Silicon Valley’s Client Whisperer” and was named “Best Interior Designer” by Silicon Valley Magazine. Her firm has been the recipient of over 20 interior design awards, including the coveted Luxe Magazine Gold List multiple times. Linda leads her team in the design of new construction luxury custom homes and boutique commercial/hospitality projects in Silicon Valley, Lake Tahoe, Napa, and Hawaii.

Tarrah Hennie

Tarrah Henrie

Manager of Water Quality, California Water Service

Ms. Henrie has an extensive background in water utility capital planning and project management. She also has strong leadership experience, having led several grant-funded research and treatment projects for water systems that are economically disadvantaged. She holds a Master’s Degree from UC Davis.

Tom Wasow

Tom Wasow

Professor of Linguistics & Philosophy Emeritus, Stanford University

Mr. Wasow is the academic secretary of Stanford University, where he was a professor of linguistics and philosophy for 43 years. He has been active on issues related to affordable housing on the Peninsula since the mid-1990s, when he was appointed to a City of Palo Alto task force on homelessness. He has served on the board of the Community Working Group since its founding, and currently serves on the board of Peninsula Healthcare Connection.

Honoring Our Founder and Former Board Chairman

In Memoriam

Ray Piontek

Ray Piontek

Ray Piontek founded the Bay Area Furniture Bank in 2015. His motivation for doing so was his philosophy to promote hope, dignity, and stability for veterans and families in need across our community. Over the last several years, BAFB has grown to be able to provide a full complement of household furniture for thousands of individuals and families transitioning from homelessness.

Before BAFB, Ray had retired after a successful career in which he worked more than 25 years as a marketing and business development executive whose responsibilities included growth, strategy, and P&L. Ray worked at Xerox and Apple for 13 years each, and also held senior sales management positions with Autodesk, Diversified Software, and Hilti.

Ray was a proud alum of Boston College where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. In addition to his business career, Ray served 27 years in the U.S. Navy as an aviator while also holding senior positions of command.

We are grateful to Ray for his tireless efforts to create and build BAFB. He leaves a legacy we are all deeply proud of, including improving the lives of many people in need. He will be dearly missed.