Six high achievers on our radar this month, from Bay Area heavyweights to the next generation shaking things up.
One of SF’s leading landscape architects just landed the job of a lifetime. As CEO and founder of the firm Zeterre, Baumann and his team will be designing the iconic Legion of Honor museum grounds — a gig that comes after helming a range of high-profile projects in the Bay Area and beyond. Baumann has exciting plans for a labyrinth, sculpture garden and a major expansion at the rear of the building. “We approached [the Legion of Honor] with the idea after getting the backing of some of their biggest donors, who happen to be some of our biggest clients,” Baumann tells the Gazette. “It’s so obvious that something amazing needs to be done with the garden next to one of the most beautiful museums in the U.S. Just wait!”
The in-demand interior designer has another reason to celebrate! Rachman has just been crowned king of HGTV’s Faces of Design Big City Digs contest for a Pacific Heights home design that oozes understated elegance. Drenched in cool earth tones while effortlessly melding design eras, it’s easy to see why the project won the Rachman team the gold. “Jonathan always believes in designing from the heart and this award is a reaffirmation of that belief,” Rachman’s team said
The Italian soprano has staked her claim in the most prestigious opera houses across the globe and has finally made her long-anticipated debut at the San Francisco Opera as Floria Tosca in Puccini’s Tosca. “It’s a prima donna role, and to achieve it, you have to be a prima donna,” Giannattasio told the Chronicle. “You have to have command of the stage. You have to be a master of repertoire and music. So I think it was worth the wait.” Giannattasio has already made a name for herself on the SF social scene as a fashion risk taker, and with talent like that, we can’t wait to see what’s next.
The beloved SF pianist is fresh off the Monterey Jazz Festival stage, where she commanded the audience alongside vocalist Kim Nalley. This isn’t Hall’s first rodeo. The musician has performed at the San Jose and San Francisco Jazz Festivals along with representing the Bay Area in world-renowned venues like the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, just to name a few. She has worked extensively with award-winning musicians like the late Etta Jones, Mary Wilson and Connie Champagne. From the looks of it, Hall has no intention of slowing down anytime soon and we are here for it!
In an attempt to fight the slew of parking tickets he was getting as a teenager, the recent Stanford grad and son of famous financier (and acclaimed human rights activist) Bill Browder, developed DoNotPay, a chatbot that allows its users to “sue anyone” with the touch of a button. The AI-powered legal counsel is now available as a free iOS app, which seems somehow preferable to the hefty retainer fees and big hourly rates charged by human attorneys. At its core, DoNotPay attempts to educate people on their rights, but it’s not afraid of guiding people through the process of suing someone if need be. Cheers to Mr. Browder, and woe to lawyers everywhere — the robots are coming.
Square’s longtime CFO is moving on up, taking on the role of CEO at the SF-based neighborhood social network Nextdoor. The company bids adieu to current CEO Nirav Tolia, who said in a statement that he was waiting for the right person to take the company to the next level before he stepped down, and it looks like they’ve found her. Aside from being Jack Dorsey’s right hand at Square, Friar sits on the boards of the team-collaboration company Slack and e-commerce giant Walmart. Here’s to the new title, Sarah!