The Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District is governed by five unpaid board members elected into office by the community to serve staggered four year terms. Board meetings are held twice monthly, on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. (November and December meetings occur only on the second Thursday.) Each December, the Board elects one of its members to serve as Board President and one to serve as Board Vice President for the next calendar year. The President of the Board assigns each of the Board members to serve as Chairpersons for the various committees serving the Board.
Sylvia Hacaj, President
Ms. Hacaj has lived in Kensington since 2008. She has served on the Boards of the Kensington Property Owners Association and Kensington Education Foundation.
In a career spanning twenty-five years, Ms. Hacaj has been leading advocacy efforts and developing strategic priorities for nonprofits, foundations and progressive businesses. She has also served on a variety of national and local boards.
Her career began in Washington, DC as a legislative analyst for the U.S. Congress where she helped establish the AmeriCorps national service program. She was later appointed Deputy Director of Government Relations for the Corporation for National and Community Service.
In subsequent senior management roles at a public affairs firm and international nonprofit Save the Children, she improved advocacy efforts of organizations dedicated to the environment, public health, consumer protection and education; secured funding for children’s literacy and health programs; and worked to establish the National Commission on Children and Disasters.
She continued to work for Save the Children after moving to the San Francisco Bay area and then joined the World Affairs Council of Northern CA as a Vice President, spending 4 years co-curating and producing its annual Global Philanthropy Forum.
In 2014, Ms. Hacaj established a consultancy and coaching practice assisting organizations and individuals to identify and leverage core strengths, sharpen leadership and other professional skills, and achieve enterprise or personal goals.
Ms. Hacaj has a BA from The American University and certificates from Indiana University and San Francisco State University.
Eileen Nottoli, Vice-President
Ms. Nottoli has been a Kensington resident since 1990. She has a J.D. from the University of San Francisco as well as a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University and a B.Chemisty from the University of Minnesota. She has been in private practice as an environmental attorney for many years where she assisted companies in complying with a wide range of environmental laws. Prior to obtaining her law degree, she was a research chemist for Chevron Research Company and Chevron Chemical Company.
A volunteer with Guide Dogs for the Blind for many years, Eileen has fostered over 70 dogs in various stages of transition. She has also been an active volunteer with the California Section of the American Chemical Society. She has chaired the Section for two terms and has been active in helping to bring resources to K-12 science and high school chemistry teachers. She is responsible for the Section’s annual program to award $500 to an outstanding high school chemistry teacher as well as $500 to the school’s chemistry department.
She has participated in programs to enrich middle school students at Family Science Nights, girls at Expanding Your Horizons events, the public at Earth Day events held at the John Muir home, and more recently at Hilltop School. She is the coordinator of the Chemistry Olympiad for northern California and works with high school teachers to administer the local exam, coordinates the administration of the national exam, and prepares certificates and letters for all students taking the exam.
She has also made dozens of quilt tops and quilts for the East Bay Heritage Quilter’s Children’s Quilt Project which provides quilts for kids in need and to bring a little joy to them.
Rachelle Sherris-Watt, Director
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Rachelle Sherris-Watt moved to California in 1994 to spend a wintry summer working at Kensington Nursery School. A love of cardigans coupled with Kensington's significance to her future husband marked the community as special. She returned to the University of Oregon where she graduated with a degree in English Literature and Theater in 1996.
After a short career in professional theater, she moved to Berkeley and worked to secure medical equipment and services for the disabled. After the birth of her oldest child she joined AT&T, specializing in building communication systems for small businesses. She moved to Kensington permanently in 2003.
She has been a vestry member of St. Clement's Episcopal Church specializing in children's services and youth education. For the last 12 years, she has been a Sunday School teacher, a member of the Outreach Committee and organizer of food drives to benefit people and pets.
Serving on the Board of PINCC (Preventing Cervical Cancer), she was able to combine her passions of healthcare access for all women with political advocacy.
She ran for the Board in 2014 out of a concern over an escalation in community rancor. She chaired the Park Building Committee from 2015, securing a grant from Measure WW and executing an RFP that resulted in a contract with Glass and Associates, Inc., for implementing seismic and ADA upgrades to the Community Center. She was elected Vice President of the Board for 2016 and President for 2017.
She and her husband have 5 children and a high tolerance for noise.
Christopher Deppe, Director
Christopher Deppe is a software developer, entrepreneur, musician, and community volunteer. Originally from Sacramento, Christopher has lived in Kensington since 1996.
During the past 11 years, Christopher has worked at Microsoft and, more recently, at Apple. While at Microsoft, he led the development efforts to create the first version of Outlook for the Mac, overseeing teams in California and Beijing. At Apple, he worked on overall desktop system performance issues, coming up with innovative solutions to long-standing difficult problems. Currently, Christopher is a partner in a new venture that is developing apps for mobile devices designed to help musicians improve performance.
Earlier in his career, Christopher operated his own software company in Los Angeles, The Netherlands, and the Bay Area. His clients included Apple Computer, Dreamworks, SFMOMA, The Audubon Society, Sony Pictures, Hanna-Barbera, and Dutch Telecom.
Christopher has also studied classical music and worked professionally as a musician. He earned his BFA in Performance (Double Bass) from California Institute of the Arts. Specializing in the Early Music field, Christopher plays Baroque and Classical pieces on the original instruments of the time. He has performed and recorded with many of the top early music groups and artists in Europe and America, including John Eliot Gardiner, Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Ton Koopman, The Hanover Band, Musica Antiqua Köln, Sigiswald Kuijken, and the American Bach Soloists.
Christopher’s participation in local Kensington issues initially focused on addressing traffic concerns to improve safety and quality of life. He has worked with local and county officials to resolve traffic problems, leading to better road marking and signage, getting Supervisor John Gioia’s help with Kensington traffic calming efforts, and new speed signs around Kensington. He recently sat on the Ad Hoc committee as a member of the consolidation sub-committee.
Cyrus Modavi, Director
Photo and Bio coming soon.