Board of Directors

Adam Gazzaley

Dr. Adam Gazzaley obtained an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, completed clinical residency in Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, and postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience at UC Berkeley. He is the founding director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at the UC San Francisco, an Associate Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry, and Principal Investigator of a cognitive neuroscience laboratory. His laboratory studies neural mechanisms of perception, attention and memory, with an emphasis on the impact of distraction and multitasking on these abilities. His unique research approach utilizes a powerful combination of human neurophysiological tools, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and transcranial stimulation (tCS). A major accomplishment of his research has been to expand our understanding of alterations in the aging brain that lead to cognitive decline. His most recent studies explore how we may enhance our cognitive abilities, and/or prevent them from declining in various neuropsychiatric conditions, via engagement with custom designed video games, neurofeedback and tCS. Dr. Gazzaley has authored over 70 scientific articles, delivered almost 300 invited presentations around the world, and his research and perspectives have been consistently profiled in high-impact media, such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Discover, Wired, PBS, NPR, CNN and NBC Nightly News. Recently, he wrote and hosted the nationally televised, PBS-sponsored special “The Distracted Mind with Dr. Adam Gazzaley”. Awards and honors for his research include the Pfizer/AFAR Innovations in Aging Award, the Ellison Foundation New Scholar Award in Aging, and the Harold Brenner Pepinsky Early Career Award in Neurobehavioral Science.

Nancy Lazark
Nancy Lazark

Nancy has lived and worked in Sonoma County for over 35 years.  She is an accomplished businesswoman with affiliations to many professional associations. Nancy has been active with children all of her life, with her own three and now five grandchildren. She has taught horseback riding to children and been active in organizing horse shows for kids.

Nancy has been part of a mentoring program for high school children and was on the board of directors of Social Advocates For Youth.  Nancy is very excited to be a part of DirectionFive Health.

Dan O'Connell
Dan O’Connell

Dan O’Connell started his career as chief exec of a food dehydration company that serviced
national and international customers. Dan’s love of detail led him into the legal world of info
management and analysis, founding O’Connell & Associates in 1987, a San Francisco-based firm
specializing in complex litigation cases, document and record management solutions, and
forensic electronic data capture and analysis.

Dan has maintained his connection to the soil as the third generation in his family to own and
operate orchards and now vineyards in Sonoma County, dividing his time between San Francisco
and Sebastopol as owner of O’Connell Vineyards and its estate event facility, Vine Hill House.
Located in the Russian River Valley , O’Connell Vineyards produces award winning small lots of
estate grown Pinot Noir wines. Vine Hill House was recently voted the 2010 Best of North Bay
event facility.

Steve Freitas
Steve Freitas

Sheriff-Coroner Steve Freitas is a 26-year veteran of Law Enforcement. He has worked a myriad of assignments including Detention, Courts, Patrol, Investigations and Administration. In July of 2005, he was selected as the Windsor Chief of Police until his appointment to Law Enforcement Division Assistant Sheriff in July of 2010. He was elected Sheriff-Coroner for the County of Sonoma and assumed the position on January 3, 2011.

Steve is very involved in the community and serves on the Verity Advisory Board and the Work Force Investment Board Youth Council. He looks to continue these relationships as well as build new ones throughout his tenure as Sheriff of Sonoma County.

Steve was born and raised in San Jose, California, moving to Sonoma County in 1988. He and his wife are the proud parents of two young sons. The family is active in their church and avid campers, always looking forward to spending time in the great outdoors.

Steve believes that the DirectionFive Health™ Kids’ Culinary and Nutrition Program will help to keep kids off the streets and out of jail. He is writing letters to support our grant and fundraising efforts – giving the D5 Program Sonoma County Law Enforcement’s approval!