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James Hancock – President & Founder



Jim Hancock holds a master’s degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from MIT, together with a concentration in Economics and Entrepreneurship fulfilled at MIT’s Sloan School. His career experience spans early work as a marine engineer in the oil industry, to commercial software development in the Windows utilities market, and later as the general manager and school director of one of the West Coast’s largest sailing schools. Twice in his working life, Jim has started and successfully run his own businesses as a sole proprietor, first in the 1980s as a computer consultant, and more recently as a 100-ton captain serving clients in the Bay Area. From late 1999 through late 2005, Jim and his wife cruised their 39-foot sailboat from California through Mexico, the South Pacific, New Zealand, and Australia.

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Jeffery Owens – Secretary


Jeff Owens is a professional fundraiser and is the Salvation Army's West Coast Territorial Direct Marketing Director. He describes himself as a passionate organizational capacity building champion. He has consulted for over 25 years with leading international, national and local organizations to implement long-term sustainable development programs in socially responsible program areas (Education, Social Service, Arts/Culture/Humanities, Health/Science, Environment, Emergency Relief, Civil Society and Human Rights).

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Mike Beller – Treasurer

Mike Beller is a seasoned businessman with an educational background in engineering and business experience in consulting and venture capital. Mike earned his bachelor of science degree in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering at Cornell University. Out of school he went into management consulting for Arthur Andersen, which later became Accenture. Later in his career he was in a position to raise venture capital for Diamond Technology Partners, ultimately taking it public. In 2013, Mike and 3 partners, founded CoVenture, a venture capital firm they grew to include VC funds, cryptocurrency funds, and credit opportunity funds. He now works day-to-day as an advisor to early stage startups and is a mentor in the UC Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator.

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Victoria Marcus – Board Member

Victoria Marcus has nearly a decade of experience in the asset management industry, primarily working on mergers and acquisitions and strategic corporate initiatives for Franklin Templeton. She has a passion for helping shape a company's direction and making an impact. During her time on the team, Franklin made the transformational $4.5 billion acquisition of Legg Mason in 2020, making Franklin Templeton one of the largest asset managers. Victoria is currently pursuing her MBA at UC Berkeley, Haas and has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Relations from UC Davis, with honors.

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Philip (Pip) Ziman – Board Member

Philip (Pip) Ziman comes to the SSC following a 30-year career as a Human Resources professional in global high tech. He most recently held the position of VP Global Human Resources at Nanometrics. His previous senior level HR positions were at Bazaarvoice, Taleo, and Cypress Semiconductor. Pip earned a double major in Economics and Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in Business Administration from San Jose State University. He also attended Stanford University’s Executive Development Program. In addition to his academic credentials, Pip holds a US Coast Guard Master's license and actively supports local youth, sailing and religious non-profit organizations.

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Preston Thomas – Board Member

Preston Thomas is an attorney with over a decade of firm and in-house experience in the telecommunications and technology industry. Preston earned a degree in Psychology from UC Davis, and a law degree with a concentration in telecommunications from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Preston is an avid sailor, racing on boats throughout the Bay Area, as well as instructing youth and adults through the Cal Sailing Club and Pegasus Project. Preston’s love of science communication and teaching has included serving on the board of The Open Organization Of Lockpickers, organizing the Synapse Synopsis science salon in San Francisco, and being a regular speaker at Nerd Nite.

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Lars Anderson - Exhibits Team Leader

Dr. Lars Anderson leads the SSC Exhibits Team to create the innovative, interactive exhibits we share with the world. Lars is a lifelong sailor, beginning on Sabots in his early childhood, graduating to Thistles, and now sailing his Ranger 26 out of Benicia. Dr. Anderson retired in 2013 after a 37-year career with the USDA, where he led research on invasive aquatic species across the US and globally. Dr. Anderson has served as a leader in various professional research societies and co-founded the Western Aquatic Plant Management Society. His passion for science education led him to contribute to the Explorit Science Center in Davis, serving on its board for three decades and as its volunteer Executive Director for two years. He continues his primary work through consulting, including a major, ongoing, invasive species project at Lake Tahoe.

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Sailing Science Center Advisory Committee

John Arndt - Publisher, Latitude 38 Magazine

Andrew Roberts - Former COO Northwest Airlines

Ana Blanco - Executive Director, International Ocean Film Festival

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