Big Wave Group Appoints Five New Board Members and Elects New Board Leadership for Bay Area Housing Project for Adults with Disabilities

New members strengthen expertise in construction, finance, legal, non-profit and communications

HALF MOON BAY, Calif., Aug. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Big Wave Group non-profit is pleased to announce five new board members: Leslie Nordin, John P. Hinton, Jack Easterbrook, Bill Carlson and Julie Shenkman, who will replace retiring members for a total of nine board members. With the organization poised to complete the development of a $30 million housing project for Bay Area adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), the new board members will take charge at a particularly consequential time to help deliver on this mission. 

Leslie Nordin who has practiced law for over 22 years and served on boards of various non-profit organizations was elected board president.  Her perspective on parenting a child with special needs has been featured in radio and print after she ran the Boston Marathon blindfolded to inspire her son (blind and autistic) and raise awareness of the abilities of people who are blind or visually impaired.   

John P. Hinton will oversee construction efforts for Big Wave, bringing 45 years of experience in construction, operations, finance and non-profit management to the project. As the retired CFO of DeMattei Construction, his vast knowledge of construction contracting and financial management best practices will enable him to work closely with key third parties involved in the project.

Jack Easterbrook is an attorney and founding partner in Strategy Law, LLP in San Jose, CA, with a focus on secured debt financing and real estate.  He was previously a loan officer and group manager with a major national bank in San Francisco, is a board director for several Bay Area non-profits, and is on the Big Wave Group finance committee.

Bill Carlson is now treasurer for Big Wave Group.  As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and founding partner of a Bay Area financial advisory firm, he is also an enrolled agent, authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS.  He holds a California Real Estate Broker’s license with extensive knowledge of real estate transactions and investments, and has an educational background in psychology.

Julie Shenkman will lead marketing communications, having spent over 30 years in consumer and business marketing in both technology and the restaurant industry. Today she is co-owner of the coastal restaurant Sam’s Chowder House.  Julie is passionate about using her background in communications, branding, product marketing and community engagement to bring the Big Wave story to life.

“Our Board of Directors includes a dedicated team of both parents and community leaders that will provide strong board governance, solid financial and operational controls and objective perspective when needed,” said newly appointed Board President Leslie Nordin. “I am excited to lead a group with such personal commitment, individual talents and diverse expertise in areas that are critical to our project.”

New board members join founder Jeff Peck, who transitions from CEO to board director and continues to deliver on his founding mission; Stephen St. Marie, an economist and policy advisor with expertise in energy, water and environmental issues, who is now board secretary; Dayton Nordin, a senior partner for Ernst & Young where he focuses on corporate finance and transformation of the largest global organizations and chairs the Big Wave Group finance committee; and Kim Gainza, who has helped grow the local Special Olympics team and now chairs the farm committee.


The Big Wave Group is a Bay Area non-profit dedicated to providing housing, a sense of community, and a place to belong for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The Big Wave campus is located on the San Francisco peninsula in Half Moon Bay, CA and will include a two-story residence with a commercial kitchen operated by the non-profit One Step Beyond, Inc. including a culinary academy for Bay Area adults with IDD; an outdoor courtyard for recreation and socialization; and the Big Wave Farm, where residents can grow food and learn gardening and nutrition skills. Mailing:  PO Box 1901, El Granada, CA 94018.  Facebook, Instagram @bigwaveproject

MEDIA CONTACT:  Julie Shenkman
  (650) 726-1005

SOURCE Big Wave Group