Amy Arnold, President Amy has worked in public affairs, marketing, and strategic planning at Stanford University, Hewlett-Packard, and McKinsey & Company. Most recently she has been working to improve Ravenswood school library programs with the goal of helping every child experience the rewards of reading. She also serves on the board of the Church of the Pioneers Foundation, volunteers at her three children’s schools, and has served on the boards of Trinity School and Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. She earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Stanford.
Laird Simons, Vice President Laird is a partner at Fenwick & West LLP, a 300-attorney law firm with offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Seattle and Boise. Laird specializes in securities law, particularly public stock offerings such as IPOs. Laird has been with the firm for more than 30 years and, in the past, has had multiple terms as Managing Partner and a member of the Executive Committee. Laird is married with one daughter in the eleventh grade and live in the Sharon Heights area of Menlo Park.
Ann Carter, Vice President Ann Carter is a Founder of All Students Matter, a nonprofit that recruits and schedules over 100 volunteers per week to assist K-5 teachers in the Ravenswood District. She is also involved with City Impact in San Francisco, Roggie Village in Ethiopia and Victory School in Uganda. Her background is in political fundraising. Ann holds a Bachelors Degree in Journalism from the University of Texas, Austin. She lives in Atherton with her husband and three children.
Brenda Woodson, Treasurer Brenda Woodson received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1983. Formerly she led the Oracle Legal Operations Department as Vice President and Associate General Counsel, overseeing litigation internationally on behalf of Oracle. Before that, she clerked for the Minnesota Supreme Court and was a litigation associate with the law firm of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown and Enersen. Brenda’s volunteer efforts are focused on education and on improving opportunities for our youth. She has served on a number of nonprofit boards, and currently serves on the board of her college, St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as other local nonprofit boards focusing on youth and education. She and her husband, Wade, reside in Atherton and are the parents of three boys: Wyatt, Connor, and Riley.
Annette Shelby, Secretary Annette has worked in a variety of marketing, financial and administrative positions. She was associative director of Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program, which offers business and liberal arts courses to adult students. Annette also worked in both marketing and production capacities for a local advertising and PR agency. Presently, she is the co-owner of an online sports photography database. She obtained her B.S. and M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Carolyn Bowsher Carolyn has lived in the Bay Area most of her life. While a student at Stanford University, she tutored at Brentwood School and joined the Big Sisters, Little Sisters Program and was matched with a little sister who lived in East Palo Alto and attended the Brentwood School. They were officially part of the program for 8 years and have been lifelong friends. After college, Carolyn had a career in retail, working for Macy’s as a buyer and Old Navy as a senior director of the women’s division. She has volunteered with YES Reading, now Reading Partners, serving on the board and as a tutor at the Belle Haven site. Carolyn has served in leadership roles on the boards of her children’s preschool, elementary school, middle and upper school and school foundations. She is passionate about issues of education equality. She lives in Menlo Park with her husband and two children.
Steve Geiser Steve has worked as a financial executive in the Bay Area for more than 20 years. Most recently, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for PMC-Sierra, Inc., which was acquired by Microsemi Corporation in January 2016. He lives in Menlo Park with his wife and 3 children, two in high school and 1 in middle school. He obtained his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles and his M.B.A from the University of Southern California.
Scott Hinshaw Scott is currently Senior Vice President, Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley. He graduated from Santa Clara University and has worked in finance for much of his career. He has volunteered in a variety of non-profits, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He served as a Board Member for the nonprofit organization BizWorld, which helps teach kids (particularly the underserved) about entrepreneurship and finance, and was a Board Member with the Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation including two years as Co-President. Most recently, he served as a Board Member for the Menlo Park City School District. Scott lives in Atherton with his wife Kim and their three daughters Isabel (12), Grace (11), and Lily (7). He enjoys tennis, snowboarding and coaching his girls in soccer.
Steve Miller Steve is Managing Editor in Technology Investment Banking at BofA Merrill Lynch where he is responsible for client coverage of Enterprise and Communications Technology clients. In this role Steve originates and executes a variety of financing and/or merger and acquisition transactions for clients. Steve started with Merrill Lynch in 1995 after receiving his MBA from University of Chicago. He received his undergraduate degree in business from the University of Southern California. Steve also serves on the Board of the non-profit Riekes Center in Menlo Park. He is a native of the Bay Area and currently lives in Atherton with his wife, Jennifer, and four children Lindsay (15), Jack (13), Megan (11), and Paige (7).
Ellen Mouchawar Ellen grew up attending Palo Alto public high schools. She graduated from Stanford University in 1987 and went on to get her law degree at Hastings College of Law. After practicing corporate litigation and commercial real estate for almost a decade, Ellen retired to spend more time with her children, and volunteered in various capacities in the Menlo Park City elementary schools. About five years ago, Ellen joined the San Francisco 49ers Academy as their volunteer librarian after working to create a library where there had been none. Since that time, Ellen has worked closely with the San Francisco 49ers Academy teachers and staff and Ravenswood Disctrict librarians. In recent years Ellen’s focus has become high school transition. As a parent of high school students, Ellen is painfully aware of the discrepancies between her children’s likelihood for success versus Ravenswood students. There is so much work to be done here and she welcomes the opportunity to work with REF to improve the future success of these children.
Avani Patel Avani joined the Peery Foundation as Local Portfolio Director in November 2013. Her career in education started through Teach for America as a teacher in East Palo Alto. She has worked in both traditional and charter school systems and has served as a school site and district administrator in the Ravenswood City School District. She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Sociology and African & African American studies. In addition, she pursued her Masters in Education and received her doctorate in Educational Leadership. Avani serves as a board member of the 49ers Academy, and as an advisory member of the 49ers Museum and Palo Alto Unified's “Minority Achievement & Talent Development” Committee.
Sharon Purcell Sharon grew up in the bay area, attended St. Francis High School and obtained a B.S. in English with a Business Emphasis from University of California, Los Angeles. Out of college, Sharon worked for the Stanford Football Department for six years and left in 2000 to become an Assistant Athletic Director at Santa Clara University. Currently, Sharon is a coach at Sacred Heart Middle School and is involved with All Students Matter, Fit Kids Foundation and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. For the last 3 years, Sharon has also been a part of the REF Gala team. She lives in Menlo Park with her husband and two children, both at Hillview Middle School. She is passionate about helping students and families in the Ravenswood School District.
Charley Scandlyn Charley recently returned to Menlo Park Presbyterian Church as the Healing team leader, overseeing the recovery and care ministries, spiritual formation and “repair the world” initiatives. Charley has a Master’s degree in Theology and often speaks on subjects such as adolescent development, social justice, parenting and personal growth. Charley was the founding executive director for the Ravenswood Education Foundation where he worked for four years. He has four boys in age from 12-22 years old and resides in Menlo Park.
Michele Sharkey Michele is the Executive Director of the 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in Social Sciences. She is a Bay Area native and was instrumental in the development and opening of the Academy. Michele has also been actively involved with the East Palo Alto community for over 15 years. Her background includes grant writing, fundraising, project management and collaboration development. Michele is also the mother of two young daughters.
Olatunde Sobomehin Tunde has a lifelong commitment to youth and social entrepreneurship. Tunde is the Founding Director of StreetCode Academy, a community-based hacker space for innovation and technology, providing coding instruction, personal and professional development, and other 21st century skills to East Palo Alto youth. He also teaches public speaking at LPFI’s Summer Math And Science Honors Academy at Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Olatunde earned a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Stanford University in 2003. He lives in East Palo Alto with his wife Tamara and their four children.
Renu Nanda Renu has over 12 years of experience in the non-profit world, working with foundations, government agencies, and the field of early childcare and education. She consults in San Francisco on policy development and program design to support young children and their families. She developed and managed the San Francisco Child Care Facilities Fund, which provides grants, loans and technical assistance to child care programs serving low-income children. She holds a J.D. from Boston University and a B.A. from Duke University. Renu lives in Menlo Park with her husband and three children.
Dr. Gloria Hernández-Goff Dr. Hernández-Goff has served in a variety of capacities during her distinguished career in education, including as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, Title I resource teacher, staff development trainer, school administrator, school district assistant superintendent, and lecturer at Sacramento State University, where she taught for over nine years in the Bilingual Multicultural Education Department. Before joining Ravenswood City School District in 2013, Dr. Hernández-Goff served as Assistant Superintendent for the Sacramento City Unified School District, where she was instrumental in bringing together community stakeholders, employee unions, and management to find common ground for district wide education reform efforts.
Dr. Hernández-Goff is a leading voice in the field of education, where she has worked tirelessly as an advocate for effective education reforms and for the advancement of initiatives to improve access to bilingual education. Through her former position as an organizer and executive director of the Sacramento chapter of PICO, a faith-based community organization, Dr. Hernández-Goff also has a rich background and expertise in community building and capacity development. She led the development and implementation of the Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project, a nationally recognized model for encouraging parent involvement, and conducted workshops throughout California and in states across the country exposing educators to the proven outcomes of the project and sharing best practices.