Advisory Board

Pastor Paul Bains

Annette Bialson

Brian Chancellor

Juanita Croft

Ann DeBusk

Nitesh Dullabh

Carol C. Friedman

Susie Hwang

Mark Johnsen

Mandy Lowell

Wissy Ludwick

Beth Martin

Steve Player

Lynne Russell

Anne Taylor

Cammie Vail

Directors Emeriti

Marti deBenedetti

Betsy Gifford

Bill Reller

Roger Smith

Maddy Stein

Past Presidents

Charles Schulz

Leonard Ely Jr.

John Northway

Bill Reller

Julie Jerome

Kathy Torgersen

Maddy Stein

Ellen Turbow

Cathy Kroymann

Terry Conner

Anne Taylor

Beth Martin

Barbara Carlitz

Amy Renalds

Kathy Schniedwind

Mike Trigg

Karen Ross

David Mitchell

Anne Dauer

Mandy Lowell

Karen Nierenberg

Peter Gifford

Missy Reller

Bruce Gee

Sigrid Pinsky

Meet our team

Members of the PACF board and its advisors have extensive knowledge of the local nonprofit community.  Our past and present members have a record of active, engaged volunteer service to hundreds of local nonprofits. As a result of these experiences, we have developed a rigorous process for making and monitoring grants to ensure positive outcomes.

  • PACF Staff
    PACF Staff
  • Lisa Van Dusen
    Lisa Van Dusen
    Executive Director
    Palo Alto
  • Suzanne Attenborough
    Suzanne Attenborough
    Director of Communications & Operations
    Palo Alto
  • Palo Alto

    Lisa Van Dusen’s life’s work as a community builder and social entrepreneur emerges as both a foundation and template for moving forward. Combining passions for social impact, civic engagement, climate solutions, media, and collaborative art, Lisa emphasizes the connections that build strong communities, and offers innovative models to bolster them—through leadership, proximity, connection, engagement, and giving.

    Lisa joined the Palo Alto Community Fund (PACF) as Executive Director in July of 2020.  Prior to that she was an SV2 Partner and Chief Relationship Officer for Silicon Valley Social Venture fund (SV2).  Lisa launched two pioneering local media ventures: Cable Communications Cooperative of Palo Alto and Palo Alto Online, which made Palo Alto Weekly the first newspaper to host its entire contents on the Web (1994). 

    A graduate of Brown University, Lisa also holds a certificate in innovation leadership from California College of the Arts (Leading by Design), has been recognized as a Silicon Valley Woman of Influence (2016), and held numerous civic leadership positions, including co-leading the relaunch of Leadership Palo Alto.  

    Lisa is a practicing artist, community gardener and hiker. She and her husband live in Palo Alto where they raised two sons, who have now made her a grandmother!

    Palo Alto

    Suzanne has been involved in Marketing and Operations for a variety of companies and nonprofit organizations including Lever Brothers, Citibank, a hyperconverged infrastructure start up, the Boise Art Museum and The Girls’ Middle School.  Prior to joining the PACF team in 2021, Suzanne served on the Board for seven years.

    Suzanne has a BA from Wellesley College and an MSIA from Carnegie Mellon University.

    In her spare time, Suzanne enjoys needlepointing and sharing that joy with others, raising service dog puppies, walking her three Golden Retrievers, cooking and reading.  Fun fact – Suzanne told her business school roommate at graduation that she wanted to finish her career working at a nonprofit.  Suzanne and her husband live in Palo Alto where they raised their daughter

  • Vicky Diaz
    Vicky Diaz
    Director of Finance
  • Palak Joshi
    Palak Joshi
    Director of Development
    Palo Alto
  • Victoria Lau
    Victoria Lau
    Administrative Associate
    South San Francisco
  • Palo Alto

    Palak Joshi is a seasoned nonprofit leader, with over 15 years of expertise in the sector. Currently serving as the Director of Development for the Palo Alto Community Fund since July 2023, Palak is focused on enhancing fundraising infrastructure and implementing creative strategies for sustainable growth. Before her current role, Palak was an independent consultant,evaluating needs, crafting stewardship plans, and designing strategic fundraising calendars.

    Palak’s journey includes a stint as the Director of Philanthropy at the Computer History Museum, where she managed major and annual giving. Her leadership roles at Stanford PACS, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and Silicon Valley Community Foundation included program design, donor engagement, and strategic fundraising

    Passionate about social causes, Palak has spearheaded initiatives including  the “Donor Circle for Safety Net: Housing” addressing housing crises, led successful online fundraising projects such as SVGives, and conducted research on effective philanthropy.

    She lives in Palo Alto with her husband and daughter.

    South San Francisco

    Victoria joined the staff at the Palo Alto Community Fund in July 2023. She assists with administration, including supporting fundraising and events.

    Victoria has worked in the nonprofit sector for over a decade. In the past, she has worked for two arts-focused nonprofits serving the Midpeninsula. She has a passion for equality in education, music and art. Victoria’s professional background is in music performance. She sings opera and loves sharing her enthusiasm through teaching. She volunteers with local schools to support and build their music programs.

    Victoria is a Canadian native, who now lives on the Peninsula with her husband, teenaged son, and two adorable cats. She enjoys paper arts and crafting.

  • PACF Board of Directors
    PACF Board of Directors
  • Mike Alcheck
    Mike Alcheck
    Real Estate and Land Use Attorney, Palo Alto
  • Susan Fields Bailey
    Susan Fields Bailey
    Vice President
    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto
  • Real Estate and Land Use Attorney, Palo Alto

    Mike Alcheck is a California real estate and land use attorney who is particularly interested in promoting solutions to the housing crisis in the Bay Area. 

    He currently serves as the COO for a small privately owned real estate investment and management firm that owns and operates residential, commercial, industrial and retail properties in Northern and Southern California. Prior to that he worked in the real estate groups of both Cooley LLP and Goodwin Procter LLP and completed a judicial externship for Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst of the California Courts of Appeal in Los Angeles. After moving to Palo Alto, he volunteered to serve on the Palo Alto Planning & Transportation Commission for nearly a decade, serving as Chair and Vice Chair of the Commission during that period of time. He earned his BA at Emory University and both an MBA and JD at UC Davis. During graduate school, Mike and four fellow UC Davis students proudly earned the Grand Prize in the Bank of America Affordable Housing Challenge, an annual graduate school level competition in which teams of students develop and present proposals for affordable housing development in their local community or region; and ever since, he has been an outspoken proponent of affordable housing projects both locally and across the state. 

    Mike was born in Santa Clara, grew up in Los Altos and has lived with his wife and three children in Palo Alto for the past 13 years. Mike is thrilled to get more involved in the Palo Alto Community Fund in order to promote greater awareness of the challenges facing our community and to help give back to the community that he and his family call home.

    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto

    Susan is currently the Development Director for GeoHazards International. She worked at Lockheed Martin for 15 years.  She is an aerospace engineer with degrees from MIT and Stanford. 

    Susan has been an active Palo Alto community volunteer since 2000.  She was the first President for Palo Alto Partners in Education (2004-2008) rejoining the board from 2013-2016 as Vice President of Leadership Circle Development. She has been a PTA President at Addison Elementary and Palo Alto High and has also served on the site councils for Addison, Jordan and Paly. In addition to fundraising efforts, she also enjoys volunteer activities that involve youth and science including Addison Computer Lab, Addison Noon Science, Jordan Science Fair, and Focus on Success. 

    Susan is the Vice President of the Palo Alto Community Fund Board and is chair of their Grants Committee and ongoing strategic planning efforts and also serves on the Audit Committee. Susan was previously chair of the Development committee. Susan also serves on the Zohar Dance Board of Directors and has previously been a board member for Palo Alto High School Theatre Boosters and Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. 

    Susan enjoys taking dance classes, trying to outpace her 20-something children for new passport stamps and the many diverse restaurant offerings in Palo Alto. 

  • Becky Beacom
    Becky Beacom
    Health Educator and community volunteer, Palo Alto, CA
  • Matt Caspari
    Matt Caspari
    Managing Partner, Strawberry Creek Ventures - an Alumni Venture Fund, Menlo Park
  • Diane Downend
    Diane Downend
    CFO, Eden Bridge Homes, Palo Alto, CA
  • Health Educator and community volunteer, Palo Alto, CA

    Becky is a Consultant with HEARD Alliance/Stanford School of Medicine and the former Manager of Health Education/Community Engagement at Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

    Through 25 years of working with the greater community on emerging health issues, Becky got to know many local nonprofits, schools and community groups. At PAMF her responsibilities included supporting community benefit and physician endowment grant review. She is a former childbirth and Parent Educator and PTA Council Parent Education leader.

    “I’m so proud to be on the amazing PACF Board and help shepherd the generous donations of our donors to the solid and critical work of our grantees. I lead the Community Engagement Committee.” Becky joined the Palo Alto Community Fund board in 2021.

    Becky grew up in Menlo Park and attended Ravenswood Schools.  She and her husband Jamie live in Palo Alto and feel lucky to have both adult children and grandchildren close.  Becky loves music and concerts – and bringing folks together in groups to enjoy them; gardening; and bringing friends together.

    Managing Partner, Strawberry Creek Ventures - an Alumni Venture Fund, Menlo Park

    Matt is an entrepreneur and investor with a passion for driving sustainable innovation. As a Managing Partner at Alumni Ventures, the most active venture capital firm in the US and #3 globally in 2022, he focuses on mission-driven founders and frontier technologies that can reshape our world.

    He joined the Palo Alto Community Fund Board in 2022 and serves as Secretary.  Matt lives with his wife and daughters in Palo Alto.

    CFO, Eden Bridge Homes, Palo Alto, CA

    Diane is a financial executive with broad experience in all aspects of accounting, auditing, treasury and risk management. A career that began at Deloitte & Touche led to positions with privately-held companies whose common thread is real estate investment activities. Most recently, she co-founded and serves as CFO for a residential real estate development company.

    Diane loves to work with organizations that have a direct local impact, especially those working to address affordable housing issues.  While her children were in school Diane served on Palo Alto PTA council and unit PTAs.  She served on the board of Mid-Pen Housing for 20 years including as President. Diane joined the PACF board in 2021 and currently serves as Treasurer.

    Diane and her husband currently live in and raised their three grown children in Los Altos Hills.  “My zen place is sitting with my sewing machine making clothing or quilting and appliqueing. My first job was in the food and beverage department of a South Lake Tahoe casino at the age of fourteen.”

  • Steve Emslie
    Steve Emslie
    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto
  • Kristine S. Erving
    Kristine S. Erving
    Community Advocate, Palo Alto
  • Georgia Farooq
    Georgia Farooq
    Executive Director, Thrive Alliance of Nonprofits in San Mateo County, Redwood City
  • Community Volunteer, Palo Alto

    Steve is a seasoned public affairs executive and city planning leader with three decades of experience in land use planning and urban development in Peninsula, South and East Bay cities. He served most recently as the City of Palo Alto’s Director of Community Environment and Deputy City Manager, until his retirement in 2013. Since then, he continues to advise the Palo Alto office of Lighthouse Public Affairs on land use and City policies. He remains active in the community through volunteering with several service and non profit organizations. He joined the Palo Alto Community Fund board in 2019. 

    Steve and his wife have lived in Palo Alto since 1988, where they raised their son Alex.

    Community Advocate, Palo Alto

    Kristine has contributed to the community volunteering with Bring Me a Book, Vista Center, YMCA Mid-Peninsula, Avenidas and Peninsula Habitat for Humanity.  She joined the Palo Alto Community Fund Board to learn a broader view of our local community and be able to evaluate and support all the nonprofit efforts in this amazing community.  Currently Kristine serves PACF as head of the Planned Giving effort. 

    Kristine and her husband raised 3 children in Palo Alto.  They are grateful that all 3 plus 8 grandchildren live on the west coast.  In their retirement, Kristine and John spend 4 months of the summer and fall in the mountains of Central Oregon providing a total change of pace from life in Silicon Valley plus a perfect gathering place for their extended families.

    Executive Director, Thrive Alliance of Nonprofits in San Mateo County, Redwood City

    Georgia is a passionate nonprofit executive with 20+ years experience leading bold change throughout all life cycles of an organization. She is the Executive Director of Thrive Alliance of Nonprofits for San Mateo County.  Georgia is a founding board member for Leadership Council San Mateo County. She is on the Advisory Council for AbilityPath, an advisor for the SF Urban Film Festival, and a graduate of Leadership San Mateo. Georgia is an American Leadership Forum (ALF) Senior Fellow and a graduate of ALF Class XLI.

    Georgia’s previous roles include CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the Coastside, Director of Education & Training and Senior Consultant for the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership, and Director of the Center for Nonprofit Management at Stonehill College. Georgia joined the Palo Alto Community Fund  board in 2022.

    Georgia has her M.B.A. from Boston University and a B.A. from Wellesley College.  She and her family live in Redwood City.

  • Masha Korsunsky Fisch
    Masha Korsunsky Fisch
    MKF Advisory, CEO, Palo Alto
  • Anne Frahn
    Anne Frahn
    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto, CA
  • Yael Goshen
    Yael Goshen
    Community Volunteer, Menlo Park
  • MKF Advisory, CEO, Palo Alto

    Masha is Founder and CEO of MKF Advisory, a digital transformation consultancy.  Prior to this she was the Global Head of Digital Transformation and Brand Marketing at Google.  Masha serves on the Boards of Travelshift and RIVET.

    Locally, Masha has been involved with Walter Hays Elementary School PTA, Bing Nursery School and Stanford Graduate School of Business.  She joined the Palo Alto Community Fund Board in 2020.

    Masha and her family live in Palo Alto.

    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto, CA

    Anne has a background in international development.  She co-founded and leads Swing Left Peninsula.  While her children attended Palo Alto schools, Anne volunteered at Addison Elementary School, Greene Middle School and Paly (Palo Alto High School.)  Anne and her sister founded a teacher support program in rural Belize.  Anne and her husband are foster parents with Refugee Foster Care.  In addition to serving on the Palo Alto Community Fund board since 2021, Anne is on the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Palo Alto and is involved in Human Rights Watch Silicon Valley.

    Anne and her husband live in Palo Alto where they raised their children.

    Community Volunteer, Menlo Park

    Yael is a Community Volunteer who has lived in the Bay Area for 29 years, ever since her parents moved their family to Palo Alto when she was 10. Yael’s background is in program management and operations from her seven years working on Google Maps. 

    She discovered a passion for grant making while on the board of the Community Foundation of San Carlos, where she co-led the inaugural Grants Committee from 2019-2021 before moving to Menlo Park. She founded and co-led Social Good Circle, a local community volunteer group for families with young kids, and is currently involved in local philanthropy and volunteering in local public schools. Yael joined the Palo Alto Community Fund board in 2023.

    Yael lives in Menlo Park with her husband, two young children, and two small dogs. 

  • Sally Hewlett
    Sally Hewlett
    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto
  • Sejal Kamani
    Sejal Kamani
    Telecommunications and Security Industry Executive, Palo Alto
  • Barbara Sih Klausner
    Barbara Sih Klausner
    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto
  • Community Volunteer, Palo Alto

    Sally is a community volunteer in Palo Alto.  She joined the Palo Alto Community Fund Board in 2022.

    Telecommunications and Security Industry Executive, Palo Alto

    Sejal has an extensive 25-year career in the high-tech industry spanning across a range of fast-growing startups and established technology companies including expat work assignments in France, UK and India. She has held various roles in telecom and software security.

    She has long harbored a passion for working in the nonprofit sector and giving back to the local community. “I am thrilled to join the board of the Palo Alto Community Fund during this critical time of rapid expansion, as it aligns perfectly with my technical background in fostering growth and scale-up in fast paced startups.” 

    In her free time Sejal enjoys spending time with my family, traveling, reading and hiking. She lives with her family in Palo Alto. 

    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto

    Barbara has been committed to quality education in the greater Palo Alto community since moving to Stanford with her family from New York in 1997. She began as a Palo Alto classroom teacher and was invited to serve as a district-wide math specialist. She developed programs targeted for students above and below grade level, in both math and reading, with notable success in improved test scores and student engagement. 

    In 2007, Barbara was elected to the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) board of trustees. She spearheaded an awards committee that identified the top replicable, sustainable best practices in public education in Santa Clara County. Her efforts began to turn primarily towards closing the longstanding achievement gap between students from low versus mid/high-income households in PAUSD, as reflected in dramatically poor achievement levels among students identified as from low-income, Hispanic households. 

    In 2014, Barbara stepped in as the Executive Director of the nonprofit DreamCatchers, transforming the organization from a Stanford student-led volunteer after-school tutoring program for PAUSD middle school students from low-income households to a community-based, fully funded program led by education professionals with close ties to the Palo Alto schools and overall community. 

    Barbara has a B.S. from Cornell University, a J.D. from Yale Law School and an M.A. in Elementary Education from New York University. Her personal passion is playing tennis.

  • Sheryl Klein
    Sheryl Klein
    COO, Alta Housing, Palo Alto, CA
  • Kully Kooner
    Kully Kooner
    Lemmata, Inc - CEO, Palo Alto, CA
  • Fred Mondragon
    Fred Mondragon
    Rev, Inc - Chief Revenue Officer, Palo Alto
  • COO, Alta Housing, Palo Alto, CA

    Sheryl is the Chief Operating Officer for Alta Housing, an independent nonprofit agency that builds, develops, acquires, and manages low- and moderate-income housing in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.  With over fifteen years of experience in real estate finance, investing in and managing multi-family housing, Sheryl is a passionate advocate for affordable housing and a community builder. In addition to serving on the board of the Downtown Palo Alto Farmers’ Market, Sheryl has served on the board of Palo Alto Community Fund since 2021.

    Sheryl has a BA from Barnard College and an MBA from Santa Clara University.  She and her family live in Palo Alto.

    Lemmata, Inc - CEO, Palo Alto, CA

    Kully is founder and CEO of Lemmata, Inc.  He has over 25  years of experience in the technology industry including Salesforce and Cisco.  He grew up in England, graduated from The University of Manchester and received an MBA from the University of Wolverhampton. Kully joined the Palo Alto Community Fund board in 2021.

    Kully and his family live in Palo Alto.

    Rev, Inc - Chief Revenue Officer, Palo Alto

    Fred is a senior sales and business development executive with extensive experience managing strategic alliances and channel sales programs at successful SaaS software companies. He is currently Chief Revenue Officer for Rev, Inc.  

    Inspired by his parents’ commitment to the community and volunteerism, Fred serves as Board Chairman of the Ravenswood Family Health Network. Fred joined the PACF board in 2019.

    In his free time, Fred enjoys playing the guitar, going to concerts, reading and sports.

    Fred and his wife live in Palo Alto with their three children, all of whom attend Palo Alto Schools.

  • Peter O’Riordan
    Peter O’Riordan
    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto
  • Sigrid Pinsky
    Sigrid Pinsky
    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto
  • Jane Rytina
    Jane Rytina
    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto
  • Community Volunteer, Palo Alto

    Peter is Executive Fellow and Mentor at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University.  He worked in Telecommunications/IT for 30 years. On leaving Tech, he pursued his interest in nonprofits as an Encore Fellow at Breakthrough Silicon Valley for 2 years, including a year as interim CEO.   

    In his role as a Palo Alto Community Fund Board Member, Peter brings his database, general technology, and process related skills to help with PACF’s overall technology strategy and migration. 

    Peter is originally from Ireland.  He and his wife live in Palo Alto where they raised their two college-aged daughters.  An occasional game of golf rounds out his free time.

    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto

    Sigrid and her husband Jim are the parents of three grown children, Stina, Fraser and David. Jim and Sigrid have lived in the Greenmeadow neighborhood since 1991. 

    Professionally, Sigrid has sixteen years of experience in law firm administration, including positions as Legal Assistant Administrator, Director of Human Resources and Legal Support, Acting Director of Administration and, most recently, Director of Office Operations. Sigrid holds a BA degree in Philosophy from Sweet Briar College. 

    Sigrid’s volunteer activities include service on many nonprofit organizations, including serving as Board President of the following: League of Women Voters of Palo Alto, Palo Alto PTA Council, Greenmeadow Community Association and Gunn High School PTSA. Sigrid served on the board of Adolescent Counseling Services and chaired its major Fundraiser, Spring Sounds, for three years. Sigrid served recently on the ACS Strategic Planning Task Force.Sigrid is currently active in the Palo Alto League of Women Voters.

    Sigrid is in her ninth and final year as a member of the Palo Alto Community Fund Board of Directors. She is serving in her second year as Board President.

    Community Volunteer, Palo Alto

    Jane believes that local solutions to uplift everyone work. With the underlying theme of striving for equity, Jane brings her marketing and fundraising talents to local organizations.  She served on the Boards of Directors of the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo and Palo Alto Partners in Education.  Additionally, she volunteered with the PTAs for her children’s schools in Palo Alto.  She joined the Palo Alto Community Fund board in 2018. Jane loves to travel and share her interest with others writing for

    Jane grew up in England where she graduated from the University of Essex.  She received an MBA from San Jose State.  She and her family live in Palo Alto.

  • Lauren Williams
    Lauren Williams
    Community Volunteer , Palo Alto
  • Anna Waring
    Anna Waring
    Retired Executive Director, Foundation for a College Education, East Palo Alto, CA
  • Miriam Yupanqui
    Miriam Yupanqui
    Executive Director, Nuestra Casa de East Palo Alto, East Palo Alto
  • Community Volunteer , Palo Alto

    Lauren has a passion for marketing.  She is on the Board of DreamCatchers and served as interim Executive Director in 2022.  Volunteer involvement includes Addison Elementary School and Greene Middle School PTAs, Palo Alto Little League, Palo Alto Girls Softball, AYSO and the March of Dimes.  Lauren joined the Palo Alto Community Fund Board in 2017. She and her family live in Palo Alto. 


    Retired Executive Director, Foundation for a College Education, East Palo Alto, CA

    Anna worked in educational institutions and nonprofit organizations for more than forty years. Her experience ranges from national to community-based organizations as well as in higher education teaching undergraduate and graduate students. She has extensive nonprofit board experience having served on the boards of more than 10 community-based organizations, independent school boards, and a local community foundation. Anna served as executive director of Foundation for a College Education (FCE) in East Palo Alto, California from 2007 until her retirement in 2018.  

    Currently, Anna is consulting with nonprofit organizations in the areas of program and board development, executive coaching, and strategic planning. Most recently she has served as Interim Executive Director for the Environmental Leadership Program. Deeply committed to the nonprofit sector, Anna serves on the board of the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits, which provides leadership training and support to nonprofit executive staff and board members. In addition, she serves on the boards of Mid-Peninsula High School, the Palo Alto Community Fund, and the Global Advisory Board for the Distinguished Careers Institute at Stanford University. 

    She is an avid reader and a nascent writer focusing on memoir and creative nonfiction. Anna has a BA in psychology from Williams College (1978) and received her PhD in education from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University (1995). In 2006, she received the Bicentennial Medal from Williams College, the College’s highest honor, for her work in education. During the 2018-19 academic year, Anna was a Fellow in the Distinguished Careers Institute at Stanford University.  Anna is a long time resident of East Palo Alto.

    Executive Director, Nuestra Casa de East Palo Alto, East Palo Alto

    Miriam drives strategy, operations, finances, people, and programs at Nuestra Casa. She has over 15 years of diverse experience in the non-profit, public, and private sectors. She holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley and an M.P.A. from the University of southern California. With prior experience as Nuestra Casa Board Chair, her familiarity with southern San Mateo County communities contributes to her impactful leadership. Her extensive background includes Program Manager at Family Connections in Redwood City, where she spearheaded their Young Scholars Program and various research and evaluation positions. 

    “As a grantee of PACF, I learned about the Fund’s grant making strategy;  the Board’s commitment drew me to serve on the Community Engagement and Strategic Direction Committees.”  Miriam joined the Palo Alto Community Fund Board in 2023.

    Miriam lives in Milpitas and works in East Palo Alto.  She loves traveling and exploring new cultures.