Art Award Ambassador
A primarily self taught artist, Renee Koijane has been exploring the use of oils in her art on and off since the late 90's. She gained some foundation through various continuing education classes taken at the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State and Chicago's Lill Street School. Her current body of work embraces color, simplicity of form and thought. Born and raised in a small town in upstate New York, Koijane moved to California after high school to attend UC Santa Barbara and is now deeply rooted in Lake Tahoe where she has been raising her boys with her wonderfully supportive husband. To view Renee's work, visit www.reneekoijaneart.com.
Music Award Ambassador
Brian Hess has been a musician since he was a child, growing up playing the piano and clarinet, then later the saxophone, vocals and turntables. On stage, he loves to keep things fresh, while honoring the roots of music, by improvising and playing a variety of instruments and styles. He has the privilege of working with professional musicians, who are also friends, and he loves writing, recording and teaching music. A creative, professional, spontaneous, energetic, and driven person, Brian is dedicated to bringing music to community, and community to music. When he is not playing music, Brian is working on the family farm, recreating in the mountains with his boys, hosting bingo, and managing Bespoke + Atelier, the boutique he and his partner own, which features handmade art from independent artisans.
Community Impact Award Ambassador
Meganne Houghton-Berry is an angel investor, board director and start-up mentor and was the 2017/18 UK Business Angel Association Angel of the Year. She has over 25 years’ experience in tech and consumer marketing and has a portfolio of investments in over 30 companies across wide range of industries from intelligent textiles to waterless toilets, med-tech products to surplus farm produce and craft brewing. Meganne is a keen supporter of female founders (with over half of her portfolio companies having a female on the founding team), and has been profiled in UK media for her work in social impact investing. She has been a board member of several UK start-ups and is currently on the Advisory Board of Angel Academe. Meganne is an active member of several UK and US based angel networks.
Originally from New York, she holds an honours degree in Economics from Colgate University, and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business in California
Trades Award Ambassador
Matt is a second-generation roofing contractor born and raised in the Truckee Tahoe area. After finishing college with a degree in Business Economics Matt moved back to Truckee to succeed his father at the helm of the family business. Matt learned early on the value of working in the trades. The hands-on skills required to construct a working component of a structure provided a source of income and confidence. Matt hopes to inspire a younger generation to consider a career in the trades to meet the inexhaustible demand now and in the future.
Winter Olympics Award Ambassador
The Ambassador for this award prefers to play their pivotal role anonymously.
Medical Care Award Ambassador
Else Uglum, M.D.
Else was born in Sweden to Norwegian parents. She moved to Vancouver, Canada in her early teens and then on to Portland, Oregon. She studied biology at Oregon State University where she completed her Bachelors’s degree then went on to complete a Master’s Degree at UC Santa Barbara. She worked in genetics research at UC San Francisco before attending medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.
After finishing a residency in Pediatrics at Lucille Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford she moved to Truckee in 1995 to start practicing pediatrics. She has been a part of the medical community in Truckee since then as a member of the medical staff at Tahoe Forest Hospital and practicing pediatrics at North Lake Pediatrics and currently at the Tahoe Forest Multispecialty Clinics.
Having been a member of the medical community for so long, she has seen the need for medical staff and services evolve over time. She has thoroughly enjoyed caring for the children in the Lake Tahoe area for the last 28 years.
When not working, she enjoys being outside in the mountains and taking part in all the activities the area has to offer.
Fund Advisor & Community Lead
Jeff was my dear friend and business partner. It is my honor and pleasure to be a part of his legacy.