Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Hellman’

Nancy Hellman Bechtle Ascends – She’s Now Chair of the Presidio Trust’s Board of Directors

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Nancy Hellman Bechtle ‘s resume is now a little bit longer, as she’s just become the chair of the Presidio Trust‘s Board of Directors per today’s press release from spokesperson Dana Polk.

Here’s a partial resume – all the deets below.

Executive summary: President, San Francisco Symphony

    San Francisco Symphony President & CEO (1987-2001)
    San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors (1984-)
    Sugar Bowl Corporation CEO, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort (1998-)
    J. R. Bechtle & Co. CFO (1979-98)
    Member of the Board of Charles Schwab (1992-)
    Bush-Cheney ’04
    Sugar Bowl Ski Association (as Chairman 1998-)
    Charles and Helen Schwab Family Foundation Board of Directors
    George W. Bush for President
    National Park Foundation Board of Directors (2002-08)
    Northern California Health Center Board of Directors
    Presidio Trust Board of Directors (2008-)
    San Francisco Opera Association Board of Directors
    San Francisco Conservatory of Music Board of Directors

Here’s Nancy (camera right) on the job earlier this year at one of the Presidio Trust’s less-contentious public meetings:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12/22/2009                                 

 San Francisco Community Leader and Park Advocate Nancy Hellman Bechtle

Elected New Chair of Presidio Trust Board of Directors

Presidio of San Francisco (December 22, 2009) – The Presidio Trust Board of Directors has elected Nancy Hellman Bechtle as the new chair of the Trust board.  A community leader and long-time park advocate, Bechtle was appointed to the Presidio Trust Board of Directors by President George W. Bush in January 2008.

Nancy will make a wonderful board chair,” said Craig Middleton, Presidio Trust Executive Director. “Her experience in park advocacy will be extremely valuable as the Trust continues to make improvements that enhance the visitor experience of the park. Nancy’s business acumen will help ensure that the Trust continues to make prudent decisions as we meet our requirements for financial self-sufficiency.”

A fourthgeneration San Franciscan who has lived within five blocks of the Presidio since she was in grammar school, Bechtle comes from a family committed to philanthropy and civic involvement.  She served from 2002 to 2008 on the National Park Foundation Board of Directors and as Citizen Chair of that foundation from 2006-2008.  Bechtle was President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Symphony for 14 years, and has been on the Symphony Board of Governors since 1984. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Charles Schwab Corporation and is the chair of the board for the Sugar Bowl Corporation.  Bechtle and her daughter, Jessica Galloway, recently co-chaired the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s (Conservancy) Trails Forever dinner, which raised over $887,000 for trails and programs in the park. The amount raised was the highest of any Trails Forever dinner.

Bechtle is the third chair of the Trust board, and shares the previous chairs commitment to parks. David H. Grubb served as board chair from December 2003 until July 2008. Grubb served previously on the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Board of Trustees and he chaired the project committee for the Crissy Field restoration effort, completed in 2001. The first chair of the Trust board, Toby Rosenblatt, served for 8 years. Rosenblatt was a founding member of the Presidio Council, and he chaired the Conservancy board.

The Presidio Trust is governed by a seven-member board of directors. Six members are appointed by the President of the United States. The seventh is the U.S. Secretary of the Interior or his designee.

“I am honored and excited to be appointed chair of the board of the Presidio Trust,” said Bechtle. “David Grubb did a wonderful job as chair and he will be a hard act to follow.” William Wilson served as interim board chair after Grubb’s departure and will now resume his position as vice chair.

Bechtle has received several honors, including the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts from the California Arts Council and the Investment in Leadership Award from the Coro Foundation. She has also served on the boards of the San Francisco Opera Association and the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation.  She was Chief Financial Officer and Director for J.R. Bechtle & Company from 1979 to 1998.

The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio’s status as a National Historic Landmark District.

Nimbies Save Presidio’s Great Northern Parking Lot – Will Burger King Now Come Back?

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Boy, it was touch and go for a few years there, but news comes today that our beloved NIMBYs have managed to preserve the Great Northern Parking Lot of San Francisco.

See it? 700 spaces, free of charge. It’s historic, you know. When the U.S. Army wasn’t out there killing a million or so Filipinos it managed to create the GNPLoSF. Therefore, these parking spaces are sacrosanct:


Now that that pesky modern art has been gotten rid of, a question remains over what to do with the upper end of the Main Post. You know the Burger King corporation had an outlet that served as an Army Mess on the Presidio for so many years, it would be only fitting to give it the right of first refusal to get a chance to replace the famous itty bitty bowling alley that’s up there now.  

An artist’s conception, avec just one installation of evil modern art thrown in to see if the NIMBYs can tolerate it.  

museum-fisher copy

You see, that old, historic Presidio BK was a place “where a simple guy serving his country could get an inexpensive meal with a stunning view.” Wouldn’t it be nice to honor those memories with the biggest Burger King in the world? Put it right where the museum was supposed to go.

Either that, or a Jollibee. Your choice.

Presidio Update: Two More Open Houses Announced – Public Comment Ends June 1

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Your Presidio Trust has just announced another two Open House sessions concerning the Main Post. Make note of the location at Building 105, that Brokedown Palace (but I can assure you that parts of it are excellent). It’s sandwiched between Lincoln (no, not THAT Lincoln), Taylor (no, not THAT Taylor) and Montgomery (no, not THAT Montgomery). Just pop open the Google Map here. See? It’s right near where the Google Maps car got busted (or not, if you believe a certain U.S. Park Police Sargeant, who, really, oughta know).

Just get to the Building 104 Mouse House and then go downhill a skosh. There’s probably not going to be a program or anything – just drop by and yickety yack a bit… 

Main Post Open House with Presidio Trust Staff
Monday, May 18, 9 to 11 am
Wednesday, May 20, 6 to 8 pm
Main Post Information Center, 105 Montgomery Street

There’s always room for one more:

“Please join us for informal “open house” sessions at which Presidio Trust staff members will be available to respond to questions about proposed projects for the Main Post as well as questions about historic resources, transportation and parking, visitor use , and environmental sustainability. The public comment period for Main Post planning ends on June 1, 2009. Comments may be emailed to”

Mercedes-Driving NIMBYs Pack Presidio Trust Transportation Workshop

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

As promised, the Presidio Trust Main Post Planning Transportation Workshop went off on April 22, 2009. Look here later on to see when and if two more similar meetings will occur in the very merry month of May. (The first should deal with historic resources and the other is slated to be a kind of catch-all open-mike night.) 

122 souls sat through a presentation of answers to a dozen key questions that people have been asking about concerning transportation – signalization, fees for parking, traffic loads, etc. I vowed to leave as soon as the public speakers veered off-topic – that took about ten seconds, so oh well. Regardless, this appeared to be a more-productive-than-average public yammer session. Assemblymember Tom Ammiano sent a representative (the well-informed Noriko Shinzato) as did Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, so it appears that interest in the plans for the Main Post remains strong.

Click to expand

Fully eleven Mercedes-Benzeses were out front, or in the lot up the hill, or in the overflow lot even further up the hill near the chapel. BMW was also well-repped, and there were a least three Porsches, including two expensive Porsche Cayenne minivans and one hepped-up Neunelfer.A richer group of parking-hungry NIMBYs would be hard to find. One bicycle.

All this Powerpoint stuff should be online in the near future, or maybe it already is.

Presidi-Go is already up to 300,000 trips per year.

Should the NIMBY’s, the people of means, be given more votes on this matter than tourists from Tempe? Only Time Will Tell. 

So there you have it, To Be Continued.

Presidio Update: Main Post Planning Transportation Workshop Set for April 22nd

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

The Presidio Trust has replaced the cancelled April 16 meeting with a Transportation Workshop at 6:30 PM on April 22, 2009. There will be an overview of the transit issues being analyzed through the Main Post planning process, and staff will be on hand to answer questions about transportation issues. 

Main Post Planning Workshop: Transportation
Wednesday, April 22, 6:30 p.m.
Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop

Some drivers strongly oppose losing this gigantic, historic 700-car parking lot:

Oh well.

How will the NIMBYs get to this meeting about having too many cars in the Presidio?

A short, pleasant evening stroll? No.

Or perhaps a bike ride? No.

Guess again!

Presidio Update: April 16th Main Post Public Meeting Postponed

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Here’s the news of the morn regarding developments at the Presidio.

Please be advised that the Presidio Trust is cancelling the Main Post Public Meeting that was to be held on Thursday, April 16, at 6 pm at the Golden Gate Club. There will be no meeting on that date. Future meeting dates will be announced at as soon as the information becomes available.” 

Here’s what you’ll miss:

Word from Tia Lombardi, Director of Public Affairs at the Presidio Trust, is that this meeting will be rescheduled to a date yet to be determined.

On it goes…

500 People at Presidio Trust Board Meeting – Main Post Plans, Including CAMP Museum

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Well, there were a few surprises at last night’s Presidio Trust  Board of Directors meeting at the Palace of Fine Arts. Get up to speed on the issues here, and then take a look below to see what it was like. Here’s a take from John Upton over at the Examiner and here’s another from Curbed SF.

After Presidio Trust Director Craig Middleton gave the crowd an update, everyone got to see more-detailed plans on the controversial CAMP museum proposal via a Powerpoint slideshow. The architect from San Francisco-based WRNS Studio received sustained applause when he finished his presentation. That was a surprise, certainly.

In fact, the audience seemed just about evenly split, with half supporting the Main Post plans and the other “flamethrowing” half opposing. That was a surprise as well.

Click to expand:

What’s this? Pro-museum protesters or supporters, or whatever you want to call them? Never before have I seen this:

For those of you who like to see issues simplified into dramaturgical dyads, a portion of the happy CAMPers are on the left and a portion of the opposing NIMBY and preservationist groups are on the right, the site of the anti-CAMPers’ putative news conference. 

The mise-en-scene. Were more people here than at the last board meeting on December 9th? Yes. The Palace of Fine Arts Theatre (made famous by the appearance last Fall of ukulele-playing Jake Shimabukuro – 3 million astounded YouTube viewers can’t be wrong) was half-full or half-empty, depending on your point of view. So that’s about 500 souls motivated enough to show up:

This chart actually makes sense to me now. It shows how far we’re progressing to the end of the process and the beginning of the inevitable lawsuit designed to chuck all these plans out the window.

And here we are, the proposed Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio 2.0. (Learn about CAMP 1.0 here, via the New York Times.) The Gallery Building dominates but don’t forget about the quasi-subteranean Art Handling Building on the left and Building 101 in the upper right hand corner. There’s your “B”-as-in-boy, billion-dollar CAMP museum:

Here’s a 3D view:

The Pavillion level is up top…

…and the Courtyard Level is down below:

Sections, just like my grandmother’s MRI!

The Future is Now:

All of the Gallery Building is below the altitude of the eaves of the Presdio Theatre, seen in foreground:

Subteranean by design/ I wonder what I would find if I met you:

The Gallery is three buildings, three buildings in one. Historic Building 100 and the defunct Presidio Theatre rise above:

Oh no! It’s the kids from UC Berkeley Law School. They practically hijacked the meeting. And that was the final surprise of the evening, before I had to get home to some Java curry. Now it’s one thing to be a millionaire homeowner NIMBY living in the Marina or Cow Hollow, but there’s literally millions of millionaires out there. On the other hand there are only so many folks able to get into Berkeley Law. The nine or ten speakers from the law school contingent displayed far more intellectual candlepower than typical speakers at these kinds of public meetings. 

This didn’t make for good theater, because the college kids were basically speed-reading their ideas into the record, but diverse and novel viewpoints were expressed, and that’s a Good Thing, right? It will be interesting to see the transcript when it comes out, certainly.

Here’s how I left it:

Oh, and about that crowd size estimate. The Examiner is saying just 250 people? So if four times as many people showed up, almost everybody would have had a seat in the venue (one that can handle 1000 if you include the small number of people who prefer to stand on the sidelines)? No way, Jose. The proper count is about 500.

To Be Continued…

Check out the Presidio Main Post via Free Walking Tours this Summer

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Well, as promised, park officials over at the Presidio led a tour on Sunday describing new proposals for the area around the Main Post.

Yesterday, a good turnout of about 75 people went on a 1.5 hour tour of El Presidio and the Main Post. Tour participants inside the Presdio Officer’s Club, click to expand:


It’s your Presdio, of course, so feel free to attend other walking tours scheduled for this summer:

Come see for yourself what proposals for the Presidio are all about. On this easy-to-moderate 90-minute guided walk, Presidio Trust staff will describe the birthplace of San Francisco at the heart of the Presidio – the historic Main Post – and discuss ideas for revitalizing it as the heart of an urban national park. Learn about proposals for a heritage center, an archaeology lab, public uses in the iconic brick barracks, a park lodge, reuse of the historic theatre, and a museum of contemporary art. Get answers to your questions and find out how you can make your opinions heard in this public process.


July 14th will be the next big event in the process of Bringing Back the Heart of the Presidio, as they say.

See you there!

The SFChron’s John King Proposes Moving CAMP Museum, Louvre Pyramid

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Well, just kidding about the San Francisco Chronicle Urban Design Writer John King wanting to move La Pyramide du Louvre, but wouldn’t that big old museum in Paris be so much nicer if this modern glass pyramid were moved, say, just 150 yards to the south?

If you agree (or even if you don’t), head on over to Curbed SF and get your vote on about the siting of the soon-to-be fabulous Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio.


Juxtaposition! Sacrebleu! Quelle horreur! Caio Basillio via Flickr 

And while you’re at it, you might as well mark your calenders for the walking tour of the Main Post of the Presidio scheduled for 2:00 PM on Sunday, June 15th

Come see for yourself what proposals for the Presidio are all about. On this easy-to-moderate 90-minute guided walk, Presidio Trust staff will describe the birthplace of San Francisco at the heart of the Presidio – the historic Main Post – and discuss ideas for revitalizing it as the heart of an urban national park. Learn about proposals for a heritage center, an archaeology lab, public uses in the iconic brick barracks, a park lodge, reuse of the historic theatre, and a museum of contemporary art. Get answers to your questions and find out how you can make your opinions heard in this public process. Layered clothing and comfortable shoes are recommended.

Of course, comfortable shoes are always recommended. See you there, mon frère!

Fabulous New Contemporary Art Museum Coming to San Francisco’s Presidio

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Plans for fixing up the Presidio are afoot. You like modern art, right? Well then brace yourself for the Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio (CAMP) (or “Contemporary Art Museum Presidio” as the Chron refers to it).  

Will northern San Francisco be flooded with people like this on a daily basis? Well sure, but it’s only going to be a thousand or so extra folks per day, if you average it out.

Still afraid of the future? Then check out some of the stuff that will be finally be open to public access via a well-made video of Art Critic Kenneth Baker and famous GAP-per Don Fisher. Or take a look at related documents and see the schedule for the upcoming walking tours.

Oh, that’s right, you don’t mind art, but it’s that crazy new building that’s the issue? Here’s a photo of a photo illustration (which probably shouldn’t be labeled a “photo” but oh well) that shows one possible layout. Or check out this view below. That’s not so scary, is it?


Of course not. See? You were worried over nothing. Let’s take a few more views. Here’s Christmas present (click to expand):


And here is Christmas future (note the cut-and-cover tunnel where wobbly Doyle Drive used to be and an assortment of birds with 50-foot wingspans):


But before anything gets started, the people in charge of the Presidio will make sure that all voices are heard so everything is nice and legal. To wit, here’s the Presidio Trust Executive Director (and UC Santa Barbara alum) Craig Middleton accepting input from local residents just last week:


Plans for improving the Presidio have been brewing for a while and now things are approaching a full boil. Now’s your chance to get involved, if you want. Your choice.