2019  BTHA Board of Directors


Richard Hill - President
Brigitte Churnin - Vice-President
Arlene Doyle - Secretary
Bill Thomen - Treasurer

Gerald Bernstein
Tom Cator
Robert Mann
Bob Switzer
Emily Tam


Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct was adopted by the BTHA Board of Directors in December, 2017 to foster greater courtesy, civility and decorum at meetings of the Board of Directors, and to ensure a more professional process for the proposals, contracts and decisions that appear before the Board, or on its agenda.  Sometime referred to as a Board’s “ethics policy,” behavior in line with the Code ensures greater transparency, accountability and professionalism to better serve our residents.

Board of Director Bios


Gerald W. Bernstein - San Fernando Way
I’ve lived in Balboa Terrace since 1985; my wife Kathy and I raised our two boys here.  I founded a management consulting business then worked at City College.  I’ve been on the Board numerous terms, including President FY 2015-2016. In 2005 I created the process and chaired the committee that led to our first design guidelines for resolving neighbor disputes locally without forcing parties to run to the City.  We again face management challenges that require a process of engaging neighbors to understand the issues and possible solutions. 

Tom Cator - Santa Ana Ave
My wife and I moved to Balboa Terrace 3 1/2 years ago from Washington DC where I had my own government relations firm. We lived in Washington DC for 35 years but grew up on the peninsula in Portola Valley and Redwood City. I was appointed to the HOA board this last spring. As a board member my top priority is to increase Balboa Terrace home values. This can partially be done through major steps like repairing and sealing the alleys, improving pedestrian safety, repairing common area sidewalks, and replanting the flower boxes on the south easement. It can also be done through small steps like getting fire hydrants and red curbing repainted. However it is the adoption of new association governing documents which will set homeowner agreed upon standards for the development and bring us into compliance with state law. Adoption of these document will likely have the most significant impact on home values.

Arlene Doyle - San Benito Way
I have lived in Balboa Terrace for over thirty years and love this neighborhood.  I have served on the board in the past and found it to be very gratifying.  I would like to bring an air of civility back to the board which has been lacking in recent years and has resulted in difficulties in accomplishing the work of the association. I believe that the most important goals of the board should be to bring the CC&Rs into legal compliance, work to maintain the architectural integrity of the neighborhood and increase the connections between neighbors.

Richard Hill - San Aleso Ave.
My wife and I have lived in Balboa Terrace at 135 San Aleso Avenue since 1984.  In my professional life, I am a labor and employment lawyer representing management, which means that my work is focused on negotiation and conflict resolution. For the past 9 years, I have served on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization called A Home Within which provides pro bono psychotherapy and other services to foster children throughout the United States.

Emily Tam - San Leandro Way
My name is Emily Tam and I have lived in Balboa Terrace for over a decade.  I am currently the BTHA Secretary.  I am a Real Estate Broker and a Real Estate Attorney.  For two decades, I volunteered at several different nonprofit organizations and I have always been very dedicated to community service.  I would like to continue to contribute my time to the BTHA community.  With my past experience for several years as Secretary.

Brigitte Churnin - Aptos Ave.
It has been my pleasure to serve on the Board for several years.  During this time, I have helped set up safe pick-up and drop-offs for students at Aptos Middle School, helped remove ubiquitous utility poles, helped place strategic Stop signs and timed crosswalks across Portola, worked with concerned neighbors in partnership with the Christian Science Church and Alpha Pre-School, acted as a critical liaison for neighborhood crime and safety concerns, worked with the city to resurface the Aptos Upland intersection and helped facilitate grants for District 7 projects.

Robert Mann - Darien Way
17-year resident and neighborhood volunteer, board member, board president, officer and board member of private and public companies, not for profits organizations and enthusiastic supporter of the Community. My key focus is protecting and increasing the value of our homes in Balboa Terrace by preserving and enhancing the family friendly character and livability for all residents. 1) Preserve and protect the security, safety and character of the neighborhood 2) Continue to enhance our common areas 3) Bring our by-laws and articles of incorporation up to current legal standards 4) Apply best practices to our homeowner’s association management

Bob Switzer - Aptos Ave.
As a resident since 1994 and incumbent director, I look forward to helping my neighbors – representing you on our Board. I have served on non-profit boards, staffed elected city councils, county boards, commissions, etc., and I know HOA governing laws, planning practices, and dynamics. I initiated coalitions to improve Aptos Park ($3M+) and Ocean Avenue for which I received a S.F. Beautiful award. I am proud of their visual impact, but this year we must take steps to protect and enhance our architectural character and our unique “sense of community” and to access City resources that create value in our homes. 

Bill Thomen - San Aleso Ave.
My name is Bill Thomen and I am the Treasurer of the BTHA.  I was attracted to Balboa Terrace by the historical appearance of the houses and the consistency of the beautiful landscaping.  All this is the result of a strong HOA.  I am a CPA by training and fiscally conservative.  I feel that I can help the association by insuring that our money is well spent while also maximizing the appearance and value of our neighborhood.