Gili Melamed-Lev | Piano

Ms. Melamed-Lev is the Artistic director and Co-founder of Jazz and Classics for Change, a music series in NY and MA, and a member of The Lev-Evans Duo with pianist Mark Evans. She was the founder and artistic director of The Concerts at Camphill Ghent from 2012-2019. Ms. Melamed-Lev performs extensively in Europe, Israel, and North America.


About Gili and Elizabeth:

When Elizabeth decided to leave for college at 15 years old she not only had to leave the familiarity and comfort of home but also had to leave all of her beloved teachers. Studying music and becoming good at her instruments was a great passion of hers, and she greatly valued the relationships she had with her teachers. Fortunately, Elizabeth was introduced to Gili in the winter of 2015 when she was preparing for her second solo violin recital at her college. Elizabeth proudly talked about Gili and her working relationship with Gili as her coach and piano accompanist in preparation for the recital. Elizabeth not only respected Gili for her tremendous talent, knowledge, and amazing performing skills, but also for her kindness and generosity. After successfully completing her second violin recital with Gili, Elizabeth continued studying piano with her. We are most fortunate to have her as a friend and keeping Elizabeth’s spirit alive.


Chen Zhao | Violin

A native of Shanghai, Chen Zhao has toured throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, and performed at Ravinia, La Jolla, Sun Valley, Round Top, Santa Fe, PMF, Evian, BBC Proms, and Lucerne festivals. He has most recently performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Chen has performed with Martin Lovett, Miriam Fried, Paul Neubauer, Robert Chen, Gilbert Kalish, Jorja Fleezanis, Geraldine Walther, and studied with members of the Amadeus, Guarneri, Vermeer, Juilliard, and Borodin Quartets. Chen has mentored young violinists since joining the San Francisco Symphony in 2000. He is a violin professor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and serves as the orchestral training coach for both the SF Conservatory Orchestra and the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra. His teachers include Camilla Wicks, Felix Galimir, and Heiichiro Ohyama.


About Chen and Elizabeth:

Elizabeth was about 10 years old and studied the violin for a few years already when she started with Chen. She had high hopes of growing as an accomplished violinist under Chen’s instruction. She also had an aspiration to be a part of an organization that had not only prestige but also an exclusive group of accomplished young musicians that possessed work ethic and discipline, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. Becoming a member of this youth orchestra meant that one had to have an enormous amount of determination in improving and growing their musical skills. Elizabeth decided that she was going to be a member of this orchestra one day. Although Elizabeth had amazing musical talent, her journey for achieving this dream was difficult and tumultuous at times. Through hard work, practice, and Chen’s dedicated instruction, Elizabeth was able to achieve her goal and earned her place in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra at age 14. Chen’s love for his students and concern for Elizabeth’s well-being and growth as a violinist were deeply apparent at every level. We are so thankful that we have Chen as a caring and loving friend who is supporting our dream of continuing with Elizabeth’s legacy.


Mayor Darrell Steinberg | Keynote Speaker

Darrell Steinberg is the Mayor of Sacramento and was the Senate President pro Tempore in the California Legislature. He is one of Sacramento’s most accomplished public servants, serving the Sacramento community for over 20 years. Steinberg represented California’s capital city in the California Legislature from 1998 - 2014, and was the first Sacramentan to serve as President of the Senate in over 125 years. Steinberg earned a reputation for confronting seemingly intractable problems and delivering results for California through consensus-building. Elected to the Senate in 2006, Steinberg became President pro Tempore in late 2008, at the deep end of the economic downturn when the state faced an unimaginable $42 billion deficit. Two years later, he was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award by the Kennedy Library Foundation in recognition of his leadership in bipartisan negotiations leading to the state’s fiscal recovery.

Throughout his entire career, Steinberg led the Legislature on numerous complex issues, including the 2009 and 2014 state water agreements, criminal justice reform, and reinvesting over a billion dollars in career technical education. He led the common-sense pension reform eliminating flagrant abuses of the system. He authored legislation to expedite the legal process for large-scale environmentally sustainable projects. Steinberg also teamed up with Republican lawmakers to eradicate frivolous lawsuits and improve the Americans with Disabilities Act while motivating businesses to accommodate disabled customers.

Steinberg has been a relentless advocate for mental healthcare, calling it “the under-attended issue in our time and in our society.” Heralded within the mental health community as the “most transformative figure mental health has ever seen,” Steinberg authored Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, creating a one billion-dollar system for dynamic mental healthcare in California. He continued his work by fighting to fund 2,000 new mental health crisis beds in the 2014-2015 state budget. He also passed legislation to mandate insurance companies to cover treatment of children with autism and related disorders. At the local level, Steinberg played a key role in Sacramento’s downtown revitalization, obtaining state funding for a new courthouse, which is expected to create 1,800 jobs for the city. Steinberg also fought for state monies for career pathways to connect high school students to 21st century jobs, delivering millions of dollars to Sacramento area schools in the first round of funding. Since assuming office in December 2016, Steinberg has made economic development, addressing homelessness and providing year-round paid internships to Sacramento’s high school students through a new initiative, Thousand Strong, the cornerstone of his administration. In his short time in office, Steinberg has already positioned Sacramento as potentially the first 5G city in the nation through a new public-private partnership with Verizon. Additionally, he has utilized his state experience and relationships to secure $64 million for homeless services and over $2 million to support Thousand Strong. He is just getting started. 

Steinberg graduated from University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned a BA in economics, then earned a Juris Doctorate from UC Davis Law School. He went on to serve as an employee rights attorney for the California State Employees Association for 10 years before his work as an Administrative Law Judge and mediator. Steinberg served on the Sacramento City Council from 1992 to 1998, and as an Assembly member from 1999 to 2004. Steinberg and his wife, Julie, have two children – a daughter, Jordana, and a son, Ari. steinberginstitute.org

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Tara Niendam, Ph.D. | Speaker

Dr. Niendam is a licensed clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry. She obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. As the Executive Director of the UC Davis Early Psychosis Programs (EDAPT and SacEDAPT Clinics), Dr. Niendam supervises clinic and training activities, and coordinates outreach and educational presentations within Sacramento and across California. She has developed 4 early psychosis programs in Northern California based on the coordinated specialty care model of early psychosis, sharing expertise on the course of early psychotic illness, evidenced based treatments for psychosis, and the use of standardized clinical assessments of early psychosis symptoms, functioning, and outcomes. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, California Mental Health Service Oversight and Accountability Commission, and National Institutes of Mental Health, Dr. Niendam’s research uses mobile health technology to enhance early identification and treatment of youth and young adults with serious mental illness with a focus on improving clinical and functional outcomes. The new EPI-CAL project, led by Dr. Niendam in partnership with UC San Francisco, UC San Diego, University of Calgary, The One Mind ASPIRe program, and multiple California counties, will bring client-level data to the clinician’s fingertips, allow early psychosis programs to learn from each other through a training and technical assistance collaborative, and position the state to participate in the development of a national network to inform and improve care for individuals with early psychosis across the US. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4mW6ScorEM