David Gordon served as Associate Dean for External Relations and Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences at Stanford University. Following his retirement from Stanford, he continued to serve as Executive Administrator and on the Executive Committee for a specifically invested endowment fund benefitting the school. He previously held positions at Stanford as Associate Director, Foundation and Corporate Relations, Director of Asian Operations, and Assistant Dean for Development and Research in the Graduate School of Business. He was also Vice President of C.W. Shaver & Co., a national management consulting firm specializing in strategic planning and fundraising counsel to arts and educational organizations. He is a past Chairman of the Board of the YMCA of the Mid-Peninsula Association, before that was Board Chair of the Palo Alto Branch, and received the Association’s Red Triangle Award. He is a current member of the Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto. He has an AB in Psychology from Dartmouth College and MBA from Stanford University.
Chuck Kissner is Chairman of the Board of Rambus, a semiconductor and security technology company. He previously was Chairman of ShoreTel Inc., a telecommunications company, and was on the boards of SonicWall, a network security company, Meru Networks, a wireless networking company, Spectrian, a wireless infrastructure company, and Quickturn Design Systems, a semiconductor design company. He previously served as Chairman and CEO of Aviat Networks, Stratex Networks, Digital Microwave Corp. and Aristacom International. He held leadership positions at M/A-COM, Inc, Fujitsu Network Switching, and AT&T. As a volunteer, he served as Chairman of KQED Public Media and was on the boards of the NPR Foundation and American Medical Flight Support, Inc. He holds several aviation records. He holds a BS from California State Polytechnic University and an MBA from Santa Clara University.
John C. Couch
John is retired after 56 years of general management experience in the investment management, real estate development, agribusiness, ocean transportation, and shipbuilding industries. For the past 20 years he has been associated with C.M. Capital Corporation in Palo Alto and Hong Kong, a private investment company where he served as President and CEO before retiring in 2011. He remains on the company’s Board where he serves as its non-executive Vice Chairman.
John has served on the Boards of the University Hawaii Foundation, Aloha United Way, The Bishop Museum, the Boy Scouts, the Business Roundtable, and The Maui Economic Development Board, among others. He is currently an Advisor to the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering and is a Trustee and Chairman of the Investment Committee of Webb Institute, a private engineering college in New York. He has also served on the Avenidas Village Advisory Committee and on the Avenidas Finance Committee.
John earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Engineering from Michigan and a Master’s degree from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Ellen Turbow is a retired estate planning attorney and former partner in the Palo Alto law firm of Ritchey Fisher Whitman and Klein. She graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Teaching. After teaching English at the high school level and serving as an administrator in the Federal Poverty Program, she studied law and graduated with a J.D. from Santa Clara University. While practicing law and raising two sons, one of whom had special needs, she nevertheless recognized the importance of community engagement, with an emphasis on children with disabilities and environmental protection.
Her community service has included board membership and chairmanship of the Environmental Volunteers and the Palo Alto Community Fund; board membership of Abilities United and the Children’s Health Council; Capital Campaign Committees for Abilities United and the Environmental Volunteers; the Public Issues Committee of Jewish Family and Children’s Services; and membership on various advisory boards. She is a 2019 Lifetimes of Achievement honoree.
Donald Barr is Professor of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Education, and Human Biology at Stanford. He is author of the book: Introduction to US Health Policy: The Organization, Financing, and Delivery of Health Care in America. He was the founder of the local Community Working Group, Inc and developed the Opportunity Center. He received the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education and the Roland Prize of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford, Human Relations Award for Santa Clara, and Tall Tree Award from the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce. He received his BA from Oberlin College, MD from UCSF, MS in Health Services Research and PhD in Sociology from Stanford.
Andrew Chang retired after 26 years in research and development, product engineering, technology consulting and assessment, project and program management in defense research and development, food machinery and processing, oil field instrumentation and control, material handling, artificial intelligence and robotics, electric vehicles, automotive service equipment, sensor developments, and instrumentation and controls for electron-positron accelerator.
He has six patents; authored and presented numerous technical papers and publications; and won competitive multimillion dollar research and development contracts from US Army Tank-automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Some of his prior experiences with nonprofit organizations include serving as Principal & Board Chair, Board Member, Advisor, and Teacher at the West Valley Chinese Language School; Board Member at the Sunnyvale Tennis Club; and, since 2018, Teacher in Chinese culture and Baduanjin exercise at the Avenidas Chinese Community Center.
During a 55-year real estate career Mike served as CEO of Sutter Hill Ltd, Bren Properties, M&T Properties, Couch Properties and currently Couch Investments.
His extensive nonprofits board experience spans 85 years of services. His board services include 14 organizations serving as Board Chair on 10 of them. The organization including Palo Alto Rotary, Channing House, Avenidas, YMCA Mid-Peninsula, East Palo Alto YMCA, YMCA of Silicon Valley, Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, Mountain View Day Workers Center, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Peninsula, California Business Properties, University of Oregon Foundation and Investments Committee, UO Alumni Association and Executive Committee, UO CAS Advisory Board, Santa Clara University Business School Real Estate Advisory Board.
Mike lives Los Altos Hills and has been married to his wife Jean over 50 years. They have two grown children and four grandchildren.
Meena Elliott, a C-suite executive, leader, and strategist across various industries, brings over 25 years of domestic and international legal and business management experience in the private and public sector. With a track record of transforming companies in the Sciences, AI/data analytics/cloud, wireless communications, consumer goods, and media industries, Meena has led strategic planning, operational, brand marketing initiatives, and cross-functional teams. She is the President of Kiverdi, Inc., a biotech startup and serves as an Advisory Board Member of Entefy, an AI start up, and Golden Poppy, a STEM-learning app. In addition, she serves as the Vice Chair of Legal Momentum, a national nonprofit focused on ensuring economic and social equality for women and girls.
Meena completed her BS degree in Classics at Northwestern University, and her JD and MBA, both at Washington University in St. Louis. Washington University awarded her the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Bill Friedman was trained as a lawyer, spent some time with the SEC, then as General Counsel to ROLM Corporation before going into management running Western U.S. operations for five years. Bill served on the board of Castilleja School for 15 years, chairing the Development Committee for 12 years and the Trustee and Governance Committee for two years. He was also on the Board of the International School of the Peninsula and on the Board of Stanbridge Academy. He is serving his third term on the Avenidas board. Bill is President of NetFlow Logic Corporation, a cybersecurity company.
Judy Kleinberg is a business attorney and senior executive, and former mayor of Palo Alto. Prior to her current focus on legal consulting with small and startup businesses, corporate boards and nonprofit organizations, she served for nearly seven years as President and CEO of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, following over four years as Program Director for Silicon Valley for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where she was responsible for over $31M in grants and program-related investments to a widely diverse group of nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurs, from arts and social services groups to new media enterprises and internet start-ups. Prior to her work with Knight, she was the first employee of Google-created InSTEDD where she created the organization’s business infrastructure, strategic planning and financial systems. As the COO, CFO and General Counsel, she built the legal, financial and human resources structure, both domestic and international, by which InSTEDD became a dispersed workforce with multiple work sites and a major presence in SE Asia. She had previously been the Executive Director of TechAmerica, Vice President of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the first full-time executive at the Global Fund for Women and the first full-time executive director of Kids in Common. She has also worked as a legal affairs television reporter for commercial TV in the Bay Area and was a law professor for over a decade at Mills College.
Judy is a native of Rhode Island and received her BA from the University of Michigan Honors College and a JD from Berkeley Law where she was a member of the Law Review.
Julie Yu Lau
Julie Yu Lau has been marketing real estate in California associated with Coldwell Banker since 1989. She is committed as a full-time professional to her career in real estate and loves what she does. Julie serves her clients with honesty, integrity, knowledge and enthusiasm. It is her goal to make each transaction as enjoyable as possible and to approach all problems solving with competence and creativity so to ultimately provide her clients with the best possible service to their fullest satisfaction. Julie has a BS degree in Accounting from Indiana State University and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Notre Dame de Namur University.
Diane Morris is the Chief Financial & Operations Officer at Silicon Valley International School. She earned her CPA in 1985 and spent her first 25 years working in multiple industries, including: the real estate industry with Trammell Crow Company and other real estate development firms; the gaming industry with Nintendo of America; and the technology industry with Expedia and other tech firms prior to landing in the private school industry for the last 15 years.
She has served on not-for-profit boards serving women in real estate at Commercial Real Estate Women-Northwest, chairing the Board for one year; and disabled and terminally ill children in Washington State at Camp Primetime.
Margo Rich Ogus
Margo Rich Ogus is an economic consultant and expert witness, through her company, Economic Solutions, Inc. She is a graduate of Cornell and Stanford Universities and a long-time resident of Palo Alto. She has served on the board, and as chair, of Palo Alto Community Child Care and other local organizations.
Lars Osterberg is Professor of Medicine at Stanford, directs the Educators-4-CARE program, co-directs the Stanford Teaching and Mentoring Academy, and manages an Internal Medicine clinic at the VA Hospital Palo Alto with a primarily geriatric population and currently directs the Hypertension Clinic. He was past director of General Internal Medicine, VA Hospital Palo Alto. He is past Co-Medical Director of the Arbor Free Clinic and one of the founders of the Opportunity Center. He received a Certificate, from University of Lund, Sweden, Bioengineering, BS in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley, MD from UC Davis, and MPH from UC Berkeley.
Steve Player, spent much of his time assisting startup nonprofits while he was a young lawyer after graduating from Stanford University and University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Player was among those who helped form the Senior Coordinating Council of Palo Alto, which later became Avenidas. After practicing law, he joined Stanford University as a planned giving officer. He has maintained a close association with Stanford as a volunteer where he has served on various boards over the years, including the Buck/Cardinal Club and the Stanford Historical Society. Player has been the recipient of several community awards, including the Stanford Associates Award, the Tall Tree Award from the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce and Red Triangle Award from the YMCA.
Mike Rantz was responsible for Global Government Bond Trading at Goldman Sachs & Co. in London from 1995 to his retirement in 1999. During this time, Mr. Rantz was the Founding Chairman of Brokertec Global LLC, an electronic inter-dealer broker in the government bond markets. Prior to that, Mr. Rantz was responsible for the Goldman Sachs & Co. United States Government Primary Dealership based out of New York. Mr. Rantz joined Goldman Sachs in 1983 and became a Partner in 1992. In addition, he was responsible for Municipal Bond Sales, Trading and Underwriting from 1991 to 1993.
Mr. Rantz currently serves on the Investment Committee of Castilleja School. He previously served on the Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council from 2000 to 2008 and the Cornell University Council from 2002 to 2008. Mr. Rantz was a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Center for the Disabled in New York City where he was a member of the Finance and Audit Committees from 2003 to 2008, the Board of Trustees of the Phillips Brooks School in Menlo Park, where he was Chairman of the Finance and Investment Committees and a member of the Executive, Audit, and Development Committees from 2007 to 2012. Mr. Rantz holds a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Ally Richter is a retired Senior Scientist and Engineer in Missiles and Space for Lockheed Martin. During her two decade tenure she became the first woman to receive the National Women in Technology Award. She has served on numerous local nonprofit boards which includes past Treasurer of the Peninsula Conservation Center Foundation (now Acterra), Vice President of East Palo Alto Kiwanis Bayshore Board and the Palo Alto YWCA Board. During her retirement she pursues encaustic art as a local artist. She served as the National Vice President of the National Women Caucus for Art Board and Chair of the Palo Alto Art Commission. Serving in numerous leadership roles for a public service sorority she focuses on women and children projects. She received a double A.B. degree from Stanford University, M.C.P. from Texas Southern University, and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.
Rick Stern founded Palo Alto-based Stern Mortgage Company in 1982 and retired from it in 2010. His educational background includes a B.S. in Marketing from Bradley University and a degree in Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Management from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. In 2010, Rick and Stern Mortgage received the “Outstanding Business” Tall Tree Award by the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce in honor of the company’s commitment to a “community-minded business ethic that serves to enhance the richness of Palo Alto.” Rick has contributed many hours of volunteer work to local organizations including serving as president of the Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto, chair of the YMCA board of managers and chair of the board of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce. Rick has served as a driver for Avenidas’ Door to Door program since 2013.
Carl Thomsen started his career as an auditor with Arthur Andersen in San Francisco. He worked at Ampex in various finance and accounting positions and then at Measurex (now part of Honeywell) as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Next, Carl joined Digital Microwave Corporation/Stratex Networks (now Aviat) in 1995, where he was Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Corporate Secretary, responsible for worldwide financial reporting, treasury, tax, information technology, legal, human resources, and investor relations. He served on the Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Audit Committee at PCTel, a provider of wireless technology and test and measurement solutions.
He currently volunteers as the Chief Financial Officer for HeartFit for Life, a Palo Alto nonprofit which provides cardiac rehabilitation through medically supervised exercise classes, educational classes, and nutritional guidance. Carl received a BS in Accounting from Valparaiso University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
After 20 years of defining and delivering system software and networking products at Cisco and Juniper Networks, Hsien-Chung Woo now assists startups, nonprofits, and charities focused on science and human rights. As an angel investor, he has advised Netflow Logic, ShiftRight, and SiFive, and AiCare. He is also active with the Damon Runyon Cancer Research, which funds promising young scientists in early-stage cancer research.
Hsien-Chung earned his BS in Computer Science and MS in Data Networking and Distributed Systems from University College London.