Hot Topics in Charitable Planning

10th Annual Hot Topics SeminarPanelist Bios

Cynthia R. Rowland, Esq.
Partner, Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Cynthia Rowland is a business and tax lawyer who helps philanthropists, including private individuals as well as for-profit and non-profit organizations, who wish to make the world a better place. As a business attorney and strategist, she helps her clients achieve personal, family, business, charitable, philanthropic, and community objectives. Cynthia’s expertise in this regard is broad, and includes entity formation, business transactions and grant agreements, regulatory compliance matters, partnerships and joint ventures, and mergers and dissolutions. In short, she’s well-attuned to the legal needs of philanthropic families, all forms of nonprofit organizations, and business enterprises with a corporate social responsibility directive.

She also advises trustees and directors of charitable organizations on fiduciary and tax issues, including those raised by actual and potential conflicts of interest, regulatory investigations and audits, debt financing of capital projects, including tax exempt bonds, as well as issues raised by settlement of complex litigation involving the fiduciaries and charitable organizations.

Mark T. Weaver, Esq.
Partner, Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Mark Weaver is the Chair of the Commercial Department at Farella Braun + Martel and Past Chair of the Family Wealth Group. He assists individuals and families with their estate and business succession planning, and guides family members through the trust and estate administration process. He regularly leverages sophisticated wealth preservation techniques, including the formation and administration of irrevocable trusts, business entities, sole purpose entities and charitable vehicles.

A key aspect of his practice is counseling clients on cross-border issues, providing estate planning advice for clients with beneficiaries and/or assets in multiple countries, and for individuals planning to enter or leave the U.S. Mark also advises clients on reporting requirements in connection with foreign trusts, bank accounts, and other foreign assets, including the benefits and risks associated with the offshore voluntary disclosure and streamline programs.

Greg LeSaint, Esq.
Partner, Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Greg LeSaint has extensive experience advising founders, entrepreneurs, operating companies, private funds, lenders, investors, and multi-generational businesses in complex transactions, corporate governance matters, and succession planning. He prioritizes thoughtful risk assessment, focused advice, careful drafting, collaboration, and targeted negotiation to help his clients navigate uncertainty and maximize transactional value.

Greg’s practice spans multiple disciplines and industries, and his clients call on him to solve common and unique business and legal issues thoroughly and efficiently. He frequently represents acquirers and targets in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions; advises private fund principals and real estate developers on investment vehicle formation and capital deployment; advises founders and entrepreneurs on critical company issues; advises borrowers and lenders on secured financing; and serves as outside general counsel to emerging and mature companies, including family-owned and closely held businesses. Greg works across multiple industries, including technology and software, wine, real estate, apparel, and professional services.

For more information about how to leave the Regional Parks Foundation a bequest or charitable remainder trust in your estate plan, please contact Regional Parks Foundation, P.O Box 2527, Castro Valley, CA 94546, or (510) 544-2202, or

  • Join us in celebrating the East Bay Regional Park District’s 90 years of milestones and history of environmental conservation and positive experiences in nature!

  • I notice how the hill has many dragonflies on it and how the crisp sunlight melts over the bugs, blending them in with cool shadows while the soft flowers come out from the damp forest floor. -Isla, Camper at Redwood Reinhardt Regional Park

  • East Bay Regional Parks are one of the best things about the Bay, I want everyone to be able to experience them. - Matt C., Member & Donor

  • This was the first field trip my students ever went on. The self-esteem, the joy and the fulfillment of being part of this special event supported growth and community life skills for each of my students! – Teacher at Turner Elementary in Antioch, Disability Fishing Derby Participant