Matt Lewis, Executive Director

Matt serves as executive director reporting to the VISIT RICHMOND CA Board of Directors. What he loves about Richmond is the fighting spirit of the people and taking his dog to the Ferry Loop Trail beach.


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Desiree Heveroh, Office Manager

Desiree is the office manager for VISIT RICHMOND CA. Born and raised in Richmond, what she loves the really amazing history of Richmond and really amazing future that is coming.


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Board of Directors, Officers

Rob Lightner, East Brother Beer Co.

Rob is one of the co-founders of East Brother Beer Company, and is responsible for Business Operations – financials, logistics, legal, sales and marketing. Rob has recently joined the board of Visit Richmond, and is excited about having chosen the city of Richmond for his brewery. With its industrial heritage aligning well with the mechanics of beer production, a strong sense of civic pride, and buzz of excitement around the future of the city, Richmond offers a wealth of opportunity for people who live and work there; and Rob is thrilled to be a part of this excitement.

Prior to founding East Brother Beer, Rob spent several years in the nonprofit sector establishing and maintaining revenue-generating corporate partnerships across the media and technology spectrum. He also spent 15 years at Sega of America in San Francisco in a variety of positions including research, business development and strategy. His early career began in Tokyo with an advertising agency. Rob was born and raised in Oakland and attended UC Berkeley where he earned a degree in Japanese.

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Rauly Butler, Mechanics Bank
Vice President

Rauly Butler is Executive Vice President in Retail Banking at Mechanics Bank. He serves on several boards besides Visit Richmond CA, including SAHA (Satellite Affordable Housing Associates), the Richmond Library Foundation and Kitchen@812 (WCCBDC), which is a group that supports food entrepreneurs. He is very involved in the Richmond community. “Why do I love Richmond?  My company started here a hundred years ago and still thrives here today.

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Brandon Evans

Brandon Evans is an Academic Coach at Richmond College Preparatory & David Rosenthal Middle School (a College Prep Elementary & Middle School ) located at 1014 Florida Ave. in Richmond. He is a community organizer and activist in Richmond as well as being an educator here.

“I am a proud product of this city and I am dedicated to seeing it transform for not only those coming here as a result of the lure of San Francisco, but for the existing community as well. I hope to leverage our community assets, innovation and shared experiences to transform this place we call home for generations to come. We have opportunities here for tourism, technology, and social innovation. I am excited to be apart of the team and look forward to getting to work. “

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Matt Lewis, Visit Richmond

Matt serves as executive director reporting to the VISIT RICHMOND CA Board of Directors. What he loves about Richmond is the fighting spirit of the people and taking his dog to the Ferry Loop Trail beach.

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Karen Buchannan

Karen Buchanan is a Risk Management Professional who manages Workers’ Compensation claims for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. She is a Richmond resident and a very active volunteer in the Richmond Community. She is involved with many local organizations, including the Point Richmond History Association, the Women’s Westside Improvement Club, the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council, the Richmond Main Street Initiative, and the Point Richmond Music Committee. She is a member of the Board of Directors of both the Richmond Museum Association and Visit Richmond CA. She is passionate about preserving and teaching local history, and promoting Richmond as a destination.

Ms. Buchanan enjoys connecting people and building community. She is also a natural born tour guide. As a child growing up in San Francisco, she had a hobby called “Adopt-a-Tourist,” in which she would offer impromptu City Tours to tourists at the downtown Cable Car Turnaround. She parlayed that into her current hobby of leading History Hikes, which combines three of her passions: meeting people, teaching history and hiking. What she loves most about Richmond is its strong sense of Community.

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Jeff Gagnon

Jeff is a Business Relationship Manager, providing banking services to privately held companies mostly located in the San Francisco East Bay Area.  What he loves about Richmond is the great diversity and the gorgeous Waterfront. Jeff enjoys jogging on the Bay Trail at 5:30am each weekday morning and believes in promoting the community where he lives and works.

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Joe Fisher, Fisher Realty

Joe is the Owner and Manager of Fisher Realtors for fifteen years, specializing in residential and commercial real estate. He is a Real Estate Broker and has been a licensed Real Estate Agent for thirty years. What he loves about living in Richmond is the beautiful vistas, the shoreline, views of the Richmond Bridge, San Francisco and Golden Gate Bridge. He also likes to go to the Marina and throw his line in the water hoping to catch a Bass or go to Parchester Village, where the names of the streets, most if not all, were named after African American Pastors.

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Rick Levy, Marketing Director, Columbia Sportswear

Rick has lived in the East Bay for 18 years and has worked in Richmond the past 5.

As the Marketing Manager for Columbia Sportswear Co. marketing the Columbia Sportswear Employee Store located in the Rosie the Riveter WWII Homefront National Historic Park, he spends a good deal of time advocating for the City of Richmond to the greater Bay Area community. “There is so much to Richmond that folks don’t yet know about, and I am privileged to be able to advocate for this city while speaking to its rich history and bright future.”

When not at work, you might find Rick recreating along the Bay Trail or refreshing at one of Richmond’s fantastic micro-brews.

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Advisory Board

Tom Leatherman, National Park Services

Tom is Superintendent of the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park. Tom loves working in Richmond because it’s a diverse urban community that provides him the opportunity to connect people in the community with their history and the WWII legacy that Park was set aside to protect. The Park, with sites located throughout the city, has become one of the go-to places in Richmond for both visitors and residents.

Janet Johnson, City of Richmond

Janet is the Economic Development Administrator for the City of Richmond. Some of her projects include the formation and certification of the Richmond Main Street Initiative, the Made in Richmond Gift Box, A Taste of Richmond community event and the design of the Macdonald Avenue Economic Revitalization Master Plan to revitalize 52 blocks of the historic commercial district in Richmond. What she loves about Richmond is the small town, close community feeling and its diversity. And of course, the 32 miles of shoreline, bike trails and Richmond’s geographical position in the SF Bay Area.

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Alex Knox, City of Richmond

Alex is Chief of Staff to the mayor’s office for the City of Richmond.

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