Board of Directors
Jim Larson is the retired CEO of Cal State Central Credit Union. He held this position for 35 years and is a recognized business leader in Sonoma County. Jim served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1970 in Tay Ninh Province, near the Cambodian Border, and received the Bronze Star in recognition of his service. Jim’s fiscal expertise contributes greatly to VRC. He is able to review and oversee the organization’s fiscal policies, as well as provide leadership in program development and planning.
Jim joined the Board of VRC more than 20 years ago because he wanted to become active with a non-profit organization serving veterans in his community, and he was impressed with what VRC was doing and attempting to do.
Jim and his wife, Anh, a Vietnamese native and a U.S. citizen-led VRC in sponsoring and funding medical outreach clinics in Vietnam’s impoverished Luong Son area. Jim and Anh visit Vietnam yearly as liaisons for VRC’s humanitarian projects, which in addition to the clinic include three primary schools, two of which were built by VRC in partnership with East Meets West. VRC also maintains a surgery fund for individuals with more serious medical conditions.
Chuck has represented Republic Services and their various predecessor companies for more than 20 years. Over that period of time, he has been actively engaged in waste sector public policy development and implementation at a local and state level.
In January 1991, Chuck formed Sector Strategies, a government affairs firm. As the firm’s President, he has developed extensive experience, in California and other western states, organizing government affairs strategies for public organizations and private corporations—representing their interests before legislative bodies, state agencies, and local governments. Through these experiences, he has built a strong network of public officials and community leaders throughout California, the Western U.S., and Washington, DC.
Chuck and his wife Mercy reside in Sacramento, California.
Jim Kuhl has 24 years of experience in the sales and use tax field. Jim joined VRC after serving as the Chief of Staff for the Chairwoman of the California State Board of Equalization, Fiona Ma. Prior to that, Jim was appointed by Governor Brown as the Tax Consultant Expert for the Office of Senator George Runner, Vice Chair of the Board of Equalization. A Marine Corps veteran, Jim obtained his accounting degree from Cal State University-San Marcos.
Jim started his career in sales tax as a tax auditor in the San Diego District office. Prior to serving the elected members of the Board of Equalization, Jim served on the Business Taxes Committee staff and was the Director of Sales and Use Tax Audit Policy, where he resolved emerging issues for both the agency management and taxpayers. Included within his section was the responsibility for reviewing voluntary disclosures and overseeing the computer audit specialist staff. Jim was also instrumental in revising the BOE audit manuals and procedures. Jim was the staff person responsible for the implementation of the legislative amendments to allow lender bad debts in California. In this capacity, Jim was the principal author of the extensive revision to Regulation 1642 and successfully negotiated the final regulatory language with all interested parties concurring with all proposed regulatory amendments.
Working with representatives from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Jim changed BOE policy to reflect the evolution of the software industry by providing clarity and change to longstanding BOE practices.
Jim was an active leader in the Border States Caucus and the Western States Association of Tax Administrators. Meeting with representatives of multiple states, Jim provided a forum to address common issues and pursue conformity for taxpayers.
Burt McChesney is a retired policy consultant and advocate. He previously served as Special Assistant to the Speaker of the California Assembly, as Chief Consultant to the Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, advisor to the Budget Conference Committee, chief consultant to the Assembly Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committee, and as chief consultant to the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee. After leaving the legislature, Burt worked for the California Association of Realtors and other business clients. The son of an Air Force officer, Burt served in the United States Army in Vietnam and Europe as a helicopter gunner and the NCOIC of flight operations.
Interspersed with his legislative career, Burt worked on numerous political and issue campaigns for clients as diverse as Corazon Aquino, former President of the Philippines, and a Bay Area waste management firm. Most recently, Burt led the campaign for Proposition 41, a $600 Million housing bond for homeless and at-risk veterans.
Burt and his wife, Jo-Ellen reside in Southern California.
Javier Tenorio is the Controller of a local Santa Rosa food manufacturer. He joined the US Army in 2001 and served four years on active duty as an Infantryman with the 1st Infantry Division in Schweinfurt, Germany. While with his unit, he completed a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and two tours in Iraq. Javier left active duty service with an honorable discharge and graduated from the U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business with a degree in Business Administration.
Javier has worked in the financial services industry and wine/food manufacturing industry. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Swords to Plowshares as both chair of the audit committee and a member of the resource development committee.
He currently resides in Santa Rosa with his wife, Christine, and two sons.
Larry, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, brings extensive experience working with Pacific Gas and Electric as an Employee Assistance Counselor, as a high school counselor, and in his own business in the vocational rehabilitation field. For several years Larry owned and operated his own gem mining business in Sri Lanka and Pakistan and traveled to over one hundred countries during the course of buying and selling gemstones. He also previously served on the boards of directors of several nonprofit organizations.
Larry served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969 and was assigned to the 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division; and also with the Combined Action Program with 3rd Combined Action Platoon near Hue and Dong Ha.
Larry previously served on the boards of directors of the East Meets West Foundation, as Treasurer; Consultants for Global Programs, as Chairman; Arcata Rotary Club, as President; Private Industry Council for Humboldt County; and the Mental Health Board of Directors for Trinity County. He currently serves as Board Chairman for Humboldt County Northcoast Standown Committee and is also the Vice-Director for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Legislative Committee for the State of California.
Larry is very involved in his community, and he was recognized by Rotary International with its highest honor, The Service Above Self Medal. This recognition was given to Larry for his work in Vietnam by bringing clean water to thousands of families as well as building homes and other humanitarian work.
Larry and his wife Ruth enjoy international travel, gardening around their home in McKinleyville, fishing, and visiting friends. They have two daughters, each from previous marriages, and three grandchildren.
Philip Williams grew up in Saudi Arabia and later served for over eight years as an Officer and Army Ranger, including two combat tours in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division. His military awards and medals include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster denoting a second award, and an Army Achievement Medal recommended by one of his squad leaders. Now a California water, environmental, and public agency attorney, he holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Utah and a J.D. and an LL.M from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.
Phil is a recipient of the U.C. Davis Police Department Citizen Appreciation Award and the Tim Naccarato Leadership Award. Prior to joining VRC, he organized and participated in numerous fundraisers for local non-profit organizations that treat the homeless veteran community. He has spoken at a variety of conferences and seminars on issues of water and resources law and policy, and guest-lectured on aspects of public agency and water law and on the philosophical and moral implications of modern warfare. Phil is also the author of birdmen, a novel based loosely on his experiences serving in, and returning home from, the war in Iraq.
His greatest joy and privilege lies in being a husband to his wife, Emily, and father to their two children.