Advisory Council

The Council is comprised of representatives of consumers, public members, and representatives from the upholstered furniture, bedding and thermal insulation industries. The Council will serve as an invaluable resource to the Bureau in fulfilling its consumer protection mandate.

Council Membership

  • Pascal Benyamini (Public)
    Mr. Benyamini is an attorney and partner at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, a national and full-service law firm and is a resident in the firm's Los Angeles office. Since October 2009, Mr. Benyamini has served on the Board of Directors for the California Furniture Manufacturers Association, and since July 2015, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association. Mr. Benyamini received his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
  • James Garelli (Industry - Movers and Storage)
    Jamie Garelli is the President and CEO of BringPro Inc., which leverages a mobile app to make moving easier and less stressful. Jamie was previously a senior executive with Paul's TV & Appliances and Tweeter Home Entertainment Group. He was named to the top "40 under 40" in 2011 by Dealerscope magazine. Jamie has a BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • Burt Grimes (Industry - Manufacturer)
    Mr. Grimes started his company, Pacific West Furniture Manufacturing, in 1979 and continues to successfully grow his business, including acquisition of Royal Mattress Manufacturing in 2010. Mr. Grimes currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Furniture Manufacturers Association, and has also served as president. Mr. Grimes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Northern Colorado.
  • Chris Higdon (Industry - Movers and Storage)
    Mr. Higdon is President and CEO of California Moving Systems, and has served his company and the industry for over 40 years. He is active in the community serving on the boards of the Sacramento State Alumni Association, Northeastern California Better Business Bureau, California Moving and Storage Association, and the American Moving and Storage Association.
  • Donald Lucas (Public)
    Dr. Lucas currently works as a Combustion Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on combustion byproducts and has led to the development of diagnostic methods for the measuring of toxic combustion. Dr. Lucas holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Stephen McDaniel (Industry - Service Contractors)
    Mr. McDaniel focuses his practice on the areas of service contract, warranty, motor vehicle ancillary product, health care, and insurance industries. Mr. McDaniel serves as the Assistant Executive Director and Assistant General Counsel to the Service Contract Industry Council ("SCIC"), a national trade association representing the interests of the service contract industry. Stephen oversees SCIC's efforts to enact and monitor legislative, regulatory and administrative activity throughout the United States, and lobbies both state and federal legislators and regulators regarding various service contract and related issues. Mr. McDaniel received his Juris Doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law.
  • Dan Rhodes (Industry - Ignition Interlock Device)
    In his 20+ years in the DUI Industry, Dan Rhodes has launched, expanded, and co-founded a variety of successful ventures both in the US and Canada, primarily in the Ignition Interlock, Probationary Monitoring, and Evidentiary Testing industries, aimed at the effort of reducing DUIs.

    Mr. Rhodes is also a BAIID and DUI Policy Expert and was the Legislative and Public Policy Chair for the MADD Arizona Operations Council 06-12, assisting and guiding in the creation of some of the highest regarded and effective DUI Legislation in the Country today. Dan and Amy, his wife of 12 years currently reside in San Marcos, CA with their two children Dillan (9) and Lucianna (5).
  • Heidi Sanborn (Public)
    Mrs. Sanborn has been a leader in the solid waste industry for 30 years, focused on source reduction and implementation of cost-effective projects that support a circular economy. Heidi’s collaborative, tenacious problem-solving approach has delivered unprecedented success in developing recycling programs at national, state, and local levels including for products like carpet and mattresses. In 2020, Heidi was selected to serve on California’s Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling, and elected Chair by the 17 Commissioners. Also She was named a 2020 Women Who Mean Business Honoree by the Sacramento Business Journal.
  • Toby Taylor (Industry - Manufacturer Electronics)
    Mr. Taylor is the Vice President of Regulatory Compliance for Smart Start, a world-wide leader in breath alcohol testing and monitoring. His career began as a municipal police officer and he has spent the last 27 years in the breath alcohol testing/public safety field. He has worked in both the public and private sectors and created a national not for profit association providing sustained education and training programs to governmental entities who manage statewide breath alcohol testing programs. Mr. Taylor holds a Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Administration.
  • Steve Weitekamp (Industry - Movers and Storage)
    Mr. Weitekamp has been involved with the moving and storage industry since 1980. He has held several leadership positions and has served as President of the California Moving and Storage Association since 2006. He is also engaged with national and international moving and storage issues and serves as a member of the board of directors for the American Moving and Storage Association.

Council Responsibilities

The Council's primary responsibilities include:

  • Providing perspective and advice on consumer and market issues
  • Researching and recommending creative solutions to consumer and industry problems
  • Advising the Bureau on outreach efforts to consumers, the general public, licensees, and industry
  • Providing information and comments to the Bureau Chief on a broad range of policy issues including consumer education, industry outreach, and regulatory compliance.

Point of Contact

For questions regarding the advisory council, please contact (916) 999-2041.


Para asistencia en Español por favor llame al número siguiente (916) 999-2079