Hemispheres' Board Members

Rob Fong - Chairman of the Board


Rob Fong is a proud third generation Sacramentan. He is a graduate of McClatchy High School and the University of California at Berkeley, where in 1981, he earned a degree in political science with Phi Beta Kappa distinction. Mr. Fong completed law school at U.C. Davis' Kind Hall and began to practice real estate and business law. He now has a lobbying business in downtown Sacramento.

Mr. Fong was elected to the Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Trustees in 1998 and served as Board President from 2003 through April 2004. In March 2004, he was elected to the Sacramento City Council to represent District 4, where he has lived his entire life. He assumed his duties as councilmember in November 2004. Mayor Fargo and the City Council elected him to serve as Vice Mayor for 2006. Mr. Fong was re-elected to serve a second term on the City Council in June 2008. Councilmember Fong serves as a representative of the City of Sacramento on the Waterfront Advisory Committee, the Sacramento Transportation Authority, and the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District. Additionally, Mr. Fong participates in many local community boards, including the Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board and the Partnership for Prosperity Clean Energy Action Team.

Julius Cherry - Vice Chair


Mr. Cherry is an attorney with the law firm of Ryan & Fong in Sacramento, California. He is also CEO of The Cherry Consulting Group, a local government consulting firm. Mr. Cherry has more than 30 years experience in the fire/emergency medical service. He served as
Chief of the Sacramento Fire Department from May of 2004 until his retirement in December, 2006. During that time, he was responsible for more than 600 employees and an annual budget of approximately $90 million. Prior to serving as Fire Chief, he was Deputy Fire Chief of Support Services, after successfully serving as the Assistant Fire Chief, Commander of Shift Operations. Mr. Cherry has extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of the fire service management, including but not limited to, emergency planning, homeland security, incident command, labor relations and human resources.

Mr. Cherry serves on the Community Advisory Board for Catholic Healthcare West. He is the past chair and current board member of Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley & Northern Nevada, Inc. He is a past board member of the Sacramento County Fair Board as a governor’s appointee. He is a former commissioner of the Sacramento County Project Planning Commission. He holds a Juris Doctorate from The University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in public administration from California State University, Sacramento.

Catherine Miller - Treasurer


Bio coming soon...

Lisa Nava - Secretary


Lisa Nava joined the City of Sacramento as the District Director for Councilmember Rob Fong on February 28, 2007. Lisa represents Councilmember Fong in working with City of Sacramento and Council District 4 constituents with various projects and issues. Prior to working with the City of Sacramento, she was an Associate with Downtown Resources dating back to 1999. Downtown Resources specializes in organizing owner collaborative’s such as Business Improvement Districts. Lisa worked on several Tenant based BID, Property based BID (PBID), and Tourism BID formation projects in small, medium and large communities including developing traditional “clean and safe” programs, economic development programs, and marketing programs. Lisa was involved in every aspect of PBID and BID formation. She has assisted in owner focus groups and understands the challenges associated with forming an owner collaborative.

Lisa is Immediate Past President on the Board of Directors of the Arts & Business Council of Sacramento and has served on the committee for the Council’s annual Prelude to the Season awards program and event for the past 6 years. Lisa participated on the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission’s Arts & Education Outreach Committee. She participated in the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Leadership Sacramento Class of 2002. She has also attended the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s annual Cap to Cap trip on the Arts & Culture Team and served as Co-Chair of the team in 2004.

Lisa graduated from San Diego State University with a Major in Telecommunications and Film and a Minor in both Art History and Applied Art. She currently resides in Land Park.

Michael Ault


Mr. Ault has both private and public sector experience in the downtown improvement and community revitalization field. He has extensive knowledge of local government, urban planning, economic development and redevelopment processes and has worked for both the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency and for the City of Sacramento in the City Manager’s Office where he managed city and redevelopment downtown improvement programs.

As Executive Director of the Partnership, Mr. Ault directs marketing and service programs which promote economic development in Downtown Sacramento. Specifically, he oversees the planning and implementation of downtown’s Community Service Guide and Clean Sweep Programs, downtown’s retail recruitment and retention programs, and destination marketing efforts, as well as Downtown special events such as the Friday Night Concerts and Holiday Ice Rink. Michael acts as the liaison between local, county and state government, downtown property owners, and retailers and other area planning and neighborhood associations. He also facilitates communication and cooperation among downtown stakeholder groups, and administers policies and programs to advance Downtown Sacramento’s leverage as a regional center.

Doug Elmets


Douglas Elmets, president of Elmets Communications, is a leading expert in the field of communications with an extensive background in public relations, government relations and political affairs. Having served in both the public and private sectors, Elmets specializes in communications counseling for Fortune 500 companies, major trade associations, political candidates, lawmakers, developers, and Native American Indian Tribes.

Prior to starting Elmets Communications in 1996, Elmets managed the government and public relations for oil giant ARCO. Before moving to California Elmets was the press secretary and chief spokesman for the U.S. Department of Energy during President Reagan’s second term in office. He also served as the deputy assistant secretary of energy for external affairs, with responsibility for public affairs, public liaison, intergovernmental affairs, consumer affairs and speechwriting. During the first four years of the Reagan Administration, Elmets held several key positions in the White House including White House spokesman for domestic issues and speechwriter in the White House Office of Political Affairs. In addition to his service in the executive branch of government, Elmets worked in the U.S. House of Representatives, the United States Senate and held the position of special assistant to the director of the 1984 Reagan-Bush presidential campaign.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Elmets received his B.A. degree with honors from the University of Iowa and attended the Graduate School of Business at the University of Southern California. He is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. Elmets was also recognized by the Los Angeles Times as “Who’s Who In California Tax Policy,” and has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS and National Public Radio.

Pat Fong Kushida


Patricia Fong Kushida is the President/CEO of the Sacramento Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce (SACC), Sacramento’s link to Asian businesses, partnering with community groups, other non-profit organizations and local government to promote economic growth for Asian businesses throughout the Sacramento and surrounding region. As the President/CEO, Pat created a separate Foundation to house the SACC’s economic and workforce development, and education programs. Pat has developed programs to help member businesses, formed collaborations with many community-based organizations on issues related to the Asian-Pacific Islander community, advocated on behalf of the chamber to local and state government, and developed successful ongoing fund development programs to ensure chamber viability.

Pat serves on the Advisory Committee to the California Community Colleges, Economic and Workforce Development Program. Recently, she joined the boards of LEED, Linking Education and Economic Development and Valley Vision, a regional action partnership fostering regional cooperation in the six-county region. Pat is currently serving as Chair of Community Benefits Committee for Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, and was recently appointed to the board of Sutter Hospitals, Sacramento region. She also serves on the Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board. Pat was appointed to the California Utilities Diversity Council for the California Public Utilities Commission. She is a senior fellow and board member with the American Leadership Forum, Mountain Valley Chapter, and serves as one of the two business liaisons for C.A.P.I.T.A.L, Council of Asian-Pacific Islanders Together for Advocacy and Leadership. Pat is a Governor’s appointee to the California Student Aid Commission, appointed in March of 2008. She is one of thirteen Commissioners that oversees $900 million in financial aid to California’s students.

Ken Leonardini


Ken Leonardini is Financial Planner for Lincoln Financial Advisors(LFA) in Sacramento, California and has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. He joined LFA in June 1990. Ken provides extensive and comprehensive financial planning for professionals, business owners, retirees and families. With his team of professionals Ken develops financial plans – comprehensive “blueprints” customized for each client – that help his clients achieve their personal financial goals.

Ken graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 1988 with a major in Business Marketing. He earned the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designations, and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 2004. Ken holds Series 7, Series 22 and Series 63 registrations and represents the country’s premier financial companies, offering a multitude of products and services to his clients. Ken is also a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Ken designs sophisticated financial planning strategies for transferring wealth to the next generation. He takes pride in building long-term business and personal relationships with his clients. Ken strives to simplify the financial planning process by translating technical information to his clients and being easily accessible. Ken has served on the Board of Directors for the Hemispheres Arts Academy for seven years. His hobbies include sports, playing golf and travel. Ken resides in Sacramento, California.

Paul Petrovich


Paul Petrovich has 27 successful years of experience in retail commercial real estate in the Sacramento region. His company handles all leasing, entitlement, construction, development and property management in house. His major focus has been locating, assembling and receiving entitlements to develop and/or re-develop urban "in-fill" projects. The company also has a deep understanding of remediating Brownfields and contaminated real estate, most notably the $200 million Curtis Park Village project just south of downtown Sacramento.

Petrovich Development Company has become the largest retail developer (Sacramento Business Journal) since 1998 and has built its reputation by building high quality, “build to hold”, retail projects that enhance the surrounding community. Many of PDC’s projects have received awards for innovation and design by setting new architectural standards in the Sacramento region. In its larger projects, Paul incorporates Veteran’s Memorials to honor those that have served the country, and his father a WWII D-Day survivor who was a master sergeant. Additionally, several of PDC’s projects feature what Paul calls “private art in public places” where dramatic art forms involving no public funds grace the entrance to the projects. Petrovich Development Company typically retains sole ownership of its projects to assure long-term quality management uncomplicated by conflicting interests. Paul graduated from the University of California at Davis in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Managerial and Agricultural Economics. He is married to his wife of 23 years and has three children ages 13, 15 and 17.

Tina Thomas


Tina is a founding partner at Remy, Thomas, Moose and Manley, LLP, she served as the managing partner for 28 years and is currently of counsel to the firm. She and late law partner Michael Remy founded the practice in 1982. She was named Sacramento County Bar Association’s “Distinguished Attorney” in 2005 and, with her partners, was a co-author of the 2006 “Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act.”

Tina’s clients include governmental agencies, developers and environmental organizations, and she focuses on environmental and entitlement process in both administrative and judicial forums.

She has served on a number of nonprofit boards – including Sacramento Food Bank Services, La Raza Galeria Posada and Conservancy International – and provided bro-bono representation to social-service organizations such as Francis House, Works in New Directions (WIND Center for Homeless Teens), Loaves & Fishes, WEAVE, Union Gospel Mission and The Moral Values Program. Tina received her BA from Missouri’s Stephens College and her law degree from the University of San Diego.

Ardie Zahedani


Ardie Zahedani is an Associate Principal at the RCH Group, specializing in governmental affairs with an emphasis in public policy and land use/development advocacy. Most recently, he served as a lobbyist and Political Director for the North State Building Industry Association, representing over 1,000 members of the development community in the greater Sacramento region. He has served as a principal advisor to elected officials and candidates at nearly all levels of local and state government. Zahedani’s campaign experience and relationships are wide and varied, including public safety unions, labor unions and business organizations.

Prior to representing the building industry, Zahedani served as Policy Director to the California Lieutenant Governor, overseeing the department’s policy staff and agenda. He is credited with crafting successful legislation under Governors with opposing affiliations. Ardie’s experience includes commercial development management, land acquisition, and private development agreement negotiation. He has represented a group of Southern California retail developers for a number years in successful, but often controversial, issues and projects.

Zahedani, by appointment of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, currently serves as the Chairman of the Sacramento County Employment Opportunity Commission. In addition, he serves on the Urban Land Institute and Sacramento Sheriff’s Children’s Advisory Board. In their spare time, Ardie and his wife Lauren, spend time at their home in Folsom, often frequenting local wineries. Ardie is a graduate of the University of California at Davis.

Download Grant Application Form