Executive Team

Toby Ewing portrait photo

Toby Ewing

Executive Director

Toby Ewing, Ph.D., joined the Mental Health Commission in 2015 after working for governance reform as a consultant to the California State Senate, research director at California Forward, and a project manager at the Little Hoover Commission. In addition, Ewing worked as the Director of the California Research Bureau and the California Cost Control Commission.

With the Commission, Toby launched California’s first Mental Health Innovation Summit and an Innovation Incubator to promote novel approaches to improving mental health systems in California. He has also steadfastly worked to increase public access to high-quality data on mental health funding, programs, and outcomes.

Toby has championed community engagement with more than $5 million in annual grants that support stakeholder advocacy, the launch of a youth leadership initiative, and creative ways of reaching the public, including through community engagement and filmmaking. The goal has always been the same: to elevate the voices of consumers, family members, and communities on mental health issues.

Toby did his undergraduate studies at Grinnell College and received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Syracuse University. He served as a Fulbright Scholar in Central America.

Norma Pate portrait photo

Norma Pate

Deputy Director for Program Operations and Administrative and Legislative Services

Norma Pate joined the Commission in 2010. After the Commission separated from the Department of Mental Health in 2012, Norma established the agency’s Human Resources, contracting, procurement, and budgeting divisions. Since then, Norma has focused on programs aimed at improving the wellbeing of children, increasing access to crisis services, and addressing disparities.

Norma oversees the Commission’s Innovation, Prevention and Early Intervention, Mental Health Wellness Act of 2013, Mental Health Student Services Act of 2018, Youth Drop-In Centers, and Early Psychosis Intervention programs. She is also one of the Commission’s main liaisons with the State Legislature, where she advocates for legislation to strengthen mental health services in California.

Before joining the Commission, Norma held leadership positions with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations’ Division of Addiction and Recovery Services, the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, and the Victim Compensation and Government Claim Board.

Kendra Zoller portrait photo

Kendra Zoller

Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs

Kendra joined the Commission in 2023 and is committed to leveraging her expertise in policy development and community engagement to elevate and advance the Commission's mission to ensure everyone who needs mental health care has access to and receives effective and culturally competent care. Prior to joining the Commission, Kendra spent 12 years at the Department of Insurance as Deputy Legislative Director where she focused her efforts on developing and implementing policies that strengthened consumer protections, regulated insurance markets, and ensured fair and transparent insurance practices. Her legislative accomplishments include expanding consumer protection laws to assist wildfire survivors, ensure community and public safety, and protect vulnerable communities. Kendra also previously worked at the California Air Resources Board where she assisted in developing and advocating for policy recommendations aimed at promoting and protecting the public health and ecological resources of California through effective reduction of air pollutants. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in agricultural business from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.

Geoff Margolis portrait photo

Geoffrey Margolis

Chief Counsel

Geoffrey Margolis, J.D., joined the Commission in 2022, and is committed to helping bring transformational change within our mental health system. He provides the Commissioners and the Executive Team with legal counsel and leads the delivery of legal services to the Commission including litigation, legislation, regulations, contracting, and governance. Geoff comes from the California Department of Insurance where he served as Deputy Commissioner & Special Counsel, providing direct legal advice to California’s Insurance Commissioner, directing the Department’s Rulemaking activities and overseeing complex litigation. Geoff has more than 30 years of public and private-sector legal experience, and his work history includes the California Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives. His career accomplishments include development and adoption of Regulations covering Mental Health Parity, Gender Non-Discrimination in Healthcare, and Gender Non-Discrimination in Automobile Insurance. He was also the national leader in expanding remedies in multi-state actions combating Racial Discrimination in Life Insurance. Previously he served as an attorney for the State Controller’s Office, and prior to that was Senior Partner of Margolis & De Kellis, where his practice emphasized healthcare, business, entertainment, and sports law. Geoff’s expertise includes the California’s Administrative Procedures Act – both rulemaking and adjudicatory proceedings – the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, the Political Reform Act of 1974, and California’s Public Records Act. Geoff earned a Juris Doctorate from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Andrea Anderson portrait photo

Andrea Everett Anderson

Chief of Communications

Andrea Anderson joined the Commission in 2019 and is leading efforts to increase the quality and quantity of messaging with a goal of expanding public understanding of mental health needs, the potential for recovery, and opportunities for improving mental health outcomes for all Californians.

Before coming to the Commission, Andrea was on the senior management team at PBS KVIE as the Director of Marketing, a position in which she creatively connected audiences of the venerable institution to new technologies.

Andrea previously worked as a senior product manager in tech and telecom, responsible for the success of marketing teams across the nation, and also for the Texas International Education Consortium during the initial phases of NAFTA.

Andrea graduated with her B.A. from the University of Oregon and her M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Andrea served on the Board of Directors for Saint John’s Program for Real Change, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team, and the Executive Board of The Sacramento Web Awards.