Kate Sofis’ experience integrates a rich background in entrepreneurship and innovation, manufacturing, and urban economic development. As Chief Executive Officer of SFMade, Kate leads an organization founded in 2010 that is already viewed as a new national model for creating a more equitable and diverse local economy by growing local manufacturing. SFMade’s innovative programs – which help manufacturers to access expertise, capital, and real estate and help lower-income residents and youth find full-time employment and paid internships -currently support more than 500 San Francisco-based manufacturers, employing more than 4000 people. Prior to SFMade, Kate held senior positions at Pacific Community Ventures, ICF Consulting, and in Ernst and Young’s West Coast manufacturing practice. She has also held operating roles at manufacturers, spanning computer and medical devices, ceramic tile, furniture, and green building product manufacturing.
Kate is also co-founder of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, a national initiative which currently engages more than 50 other major US cities, all working on developing their own local manufacturing economies. The Urban Manufacturing Alliance works to connect major urban centers to each other and promotes the replication of successful urban manufacturing models across cities as diverse as New York, Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Portland, and Los Angeles.
Kate currently serves as a Mayoral Appointee to the Eastern Neighborhoods Citizens Advisory Committee in San Francisco, has participated as an invited member of the Clinton Global Initiative on the US Economy since its inception in 2011, and is an appointee to the Special Commission on Manufacturing at the Miller Center in Washington D.C. Kate speaks widely on the topic of manufacturing, urban economic development, and the intersection of cities, jobs, and the maker movement. Most recently, she has been a featured speaker at SxSW, CityLab/Aspen Institute, the Initiative for Inner City Competitiveness, Techonomy, and the US Conference of Mayors. Kate has been published in Forbes, the Atlantic, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Monocle Magazine as well as numerous local publications.
Kate holds an M.S. in City Design and Social Policy from the London School of Economics and an A.B. in Economics from Harvard University.
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Chief Program Officer
As Chief Program Officer, Janet Lees oversees all of SFMade’s programs and services and the organization’s marketing and communications strategy. Janet has been with SFMade since the very beginning, playing a major role in launching the organization and spearheading the innovative programming and unique brand platform that are now widely recognized as models for other urban centers around the country, and the world.
Janet leads SFMade’s groundbreaking retail partnerships, which have provided unique opportunities for SFMade companies to access new markets through temporary and permanent retail outlets including, Banana Republic, Westfield Shopping Center, Stonestown Galleria, San Francisco Travel Center, and two locations at the San Francisco Airport. Examples of these partnerships are featured in a comprehensive “How to Develop a Locally-Made Platform” toolkit that Janet authored for the Urban Manufacturing Alliance- a national community sharing best urban manufacturing practices. Janet provided consultative services to help PortlandMade, SeattleMade, PhiladelphiaMade and CopenhagenMade launch.
Janet serves as SFMade’s in-house apparel manufacturing expert, and is Chair of Mayor Ed Lee’s FashionSF Initiative, providing specialized training and support for fashion designers and sewn product manufacturers.
Janet has over 25 years experience working at the intersection of entrepreneurship, economic development and manufacturing. Prior to SFMade, Janet served as Program Director at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center for over 12 years, leading the organization to numerous national awards for innovation and program excellence, and notably created the first-ever industry specific programming for apparel manufacturers.
Janet is a regular speaker on urban economic development and manufacturing including engagements for Monocle Magazine, MakerCon the Creative Economy Summit and the Urban Manufacturing Alliance. She has been featured in numerous publications including Dwell Magazine, Apparel News, The San Francisco Business Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Janet is a native of the United Kingdom and studied English, History and Politics at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England.
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Chief Financial Officer
Brett Hazlett joined SFMade, Inc. as CFO in March 2017 where he oversees all financial and administrative functions. Prior to this, he served as the managing partner of LFH Consulting, a strategic and financial advisory services firm serving the education, nonprofit, healthcare, and retail sectors. In this capacity, Mr. Hazlett served as the interim CFO providing guidance for business strategies, financial management, and funding to start-up companies focused on the education and sustainability sectors. Additionally, he supported UC Berkeley in developing strategic planning processes and initiatives to improve its financial sustainability and better deliver on its mission. Previously, Mr. Hazlett was a financial executive for Fortune 500 companies in the pharmaceutical and retail industries, serving most recently as Vice President of Finance at Levi Strauss and Company. He is also an adjunct professor of corporate finance in the MBA in Design Strategy program at California College of the Arts.
Mr. Hazlett received an M.B.A. in Finance and a B.S. degree with distinction in Accounting from Purdue University.
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Director of Policy and Real Estate
Abbie serves as a Director of Policy & Real Estate at PlaceMade and SFMade. In that role, she leads efforts to secure long-term affordable industrial space to support a vibrant manufacturing sector. Through PlaceMade, she works on projects to create new and rehabilitated space tailored to the current needs of manufacturers. At SFMade, Abbie oversees the Places to Make program and policy efforts including the annual survey of local manufacturers.
Abbie has wide range of experience in real estate economics, public policy and urban planning. For five years, she worked at Seifel Consulting Inc., a San Francisco-based real estate economics consulting firm where she managed complex urban land use revitalization projects, such as the Hunters Point Shipyard redevelopment plan. Abbie currently serves as a Mayoral Appointee to the Eastern Neighborhoods Citizens Advisory Committee in San Francisco. The daughter of a gourmet food manufacturer, Abbie fondly remembers working at the family business where her real education took place. Formally, she holds a BBA in International Finance from Texas A&M University and was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in San Francisco.
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Gina Falsetto serves as Manager of Real Estate at SFMade. Gina assists manufacturers in finding space to make here in San Francisco, as well as working on SFMade’s industrial real estate initiative, PlaceMade.
Prior to SFMade, Gina worked as Senior Vice President and Director at Callan Associates, a financial consulting firm. Gina has experience in business development, project management, client service, and corporate communications. At Callan, she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of client educational services including programs and robust research offerings such as white papers, videos, periodicals, and surveys. Prior to Callan, Gina worked at ShareData, a software company in Silicon Valley, in the sales and marketing department.
Gina holds a BA in International Relations from the University of California at Davis.
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Manager of Advising and Education
As Advising and Education Manager, Pierre provides specialized and tailored technical assistance to our growing manufacturing companies. He oversees our comprehensive and evolving suite of industry-specific advising and educational offerings, providing SFMade member companies with support to help them scale profitably, and sustain and create new jobs for diverse local residents.
Prior to SFMade, Pierre co-founded Petit Pot, a dessert manufacturer based in South San Francisco. In addition to making delicious pots de crème, he lead business development, operations and marketing. This entrepreneurial experience gave him a practical understanding of key manufacturing practices, and complements his background in project management.
Pierre is a native of France where he studied food production and industrial performance management. He holds an engineering degree in Agronomy and Food Industry.
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Manufacturing Workforce and Hiring Manager
Claire manages SFMade’s Hiring Made Better Programs, including YouthMade and Inside Manufacturing—a youth internship program and school based program. She develops tools and education for hiring, surveys SFMade members about their workforce needs, partners with local workforce agencies, and provides assistance with workforce tax and training incentives. Claire has over five years of experience with managing effective, high performing programs and is passionate about the potential to make great connections between San Francisco manufacturers and San Francisco job seekers.
Prior to working at SFMade, Claire served as the Director of Workforce Services at Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC) in Brooklyn, NY. She managed a team that placed about 100 local residents with local industrial and manufacturing businesses in Brooklyn each year. She also led a coalition of business intermediaries that received a planning grant to explore the expansion of workforce screening and matching services through business services organizations in Brooklyn. Previously, she managed a savings and workforce program for the City of New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Section 8 Program.
Claire holds a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley.
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Manager – Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative
Martine Neider is the Manager of Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative at SFMade. She works with SFMade and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation to connect local advanced manufacturers with tools for expansion and engagement with the regional design and engineering communities.
Martine came to SFMade from Advanced Prototype Engineering where she designed and installed manufacturing facilities. Prior to building machine shops, Martine worked in fabrication and business development at several Bay Area hardware start-ups including Other Machine Co., Otherlab and Makani Power.
Martine holds a BA in Art History from Williams College.
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Linda Becker is the Development Manager for SFMade. Linda works to secure and grow SFMade’s funding base, enabling it to sustain and enhance its mission. She is overseeing the establishment of an annual giving campaign, as well as refining the organization’s infrastructure for fundraising and donor cultivation.
Prior to joining SFMade, Linda worked as the Program Manager for Sherwood Institute, a non-profit focused on advancing resilient energy, water and ecological infrastructure. Concurrently, she also worked as a Project Accountant for Sherwood Design Engineers, the Institute’s for-profit sister organization. Before joining the nonprofit world, Linda had a successful career as a project manager in the information technology industry, where she was responsible for running complex internal and client-facing development projects.
Linda holds a BA in Urban Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University.
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Marin Camille Hood serves as Program Analyst and Administrative Coordinator at SFMade, supporting manufacturers as they start and grow their businesses in San Francisco. She collects and analyzes data for program improvement and connects local manufacturing companies to the resources they need.
Marin came to SFMade from non-profit development in the arts, supporting Individual Giving at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and California College of the Arts. Marin holds a BA in Art History from Mills College in Oakland, and is co-founder and designer of Blackbird Underpinnings, a locally-manufactured intimate apparel and lounge wear brand.
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Workforce and Youth Programming Fellow
As the Workforce and Youth Programming Fellow, Valli assists with program development and delivery, and communications and marketing for the Inside Manufacturing and YouthMade programs. Valli also helps with business engagement, workforce partner engagement and story development.
Prior to joining SFMade, Valli interned with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he analyzed and managed permit renewals and paperwork provided by the department. Valli recently graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Engineering Science with a specialization in management.
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Places to Make Program Agent
Noah Snyder manages SFMade’s Places to Make industrial real estate program, helping established and new local manufacturers find and lease industrial space in San Francisco. A licensed real estate agent (LIC #0189776) Noah is a 4th generation member of an industrial property management, leasing, and development family with deep roots and experience in real estate management in the Bay Area. Noah lives and works in San Francisco and understands both the challenges and exciting opportunities that are faced by manufacturers in the City. Noah’s intimate knowledge of zoning, the building and permitting process, and lease negotiation helps SFMade companies make the most of one of their most valuable assets, their space. Noah enjoys surfing, golfing, and working with creative minded people. Noah holds a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from San Diego State University.