After a successful 30-year advertising career working primarily for Sunset Magazine and the Smithsonian, Charles returned to teaching and coaching young people nine years ago. He now teaches social studies and coaches golf at Presentation High School in San Jose. In 2005, he joined with friend and neighbors to assist first-generation, financially needy students successfully navigate and graduate from college by offering scholarships to three deserving young women. Today, the organization they created has accelerated the success of 96 deserving scholars. Charles graduated from Santa Clara University where he is now a member of the Board of Fellows.
W. Scott Lohmann
Scott currently works for a start- up called Amava as the VP Business Development. Throughout his business career, Scott has held several executive positions in companies focused on advertising, financing and marketing for the SMB market. In addition, Scott was the President of SchoolPop, a Menlo Park-based school fundraising company. Before SchoolPop, he spent many years with Entertainment Publications, Inc., where he was in charge of a division that sold popular school and non-profit fund-raising products, such as The Entertainment Book and Sally Foster Gift-wrap. His volunteer activities include being a former Co-President for his local elementary education foundation (Menlo-Park Atherton Education Foundation), which annually grants over $3M to the local public school district, and Co-President of his local high school education foundation.(Foundation For The Future) Other volunteer service includes coaching AYSO, Menlo Atherton Little League, School/City Basketball, Menlo Atherton HS Sports Boosters and service on the Bicycle Commission in Menlo Park. Scott received a B.A. degree in Psychology and Sociology from McDaniel College. He lives in Menlo Park, with his wife and two young boys.
Eric was born and raised in Alameda, California and left the Bay Area to study English at UCLA during the height of the John Wooden era. Upon graduation, he returned to the Bay Area to earn a teaching credential at CSU Hayward and then began a lifelong career in public school education. After ten years of teaching high school students the joys of English literature and the conventions of effective writing, he enrolled at UC Berkeley to earn a master’s degree in education policy analysis and an administrative license to supervise schools. Eric toyed with a career in policy development and evaluation but ultimately decided to return to the community level where schools and parents and students work together. Eric has served as a vice principal (Capuchino High School in San Bruno), a principal (Menlo-Atherton High School), a district-level officer (Director of Curriculum in the Sequoia Union High School District), and as a superintendent (Las Lomitas Elementary School District in Menlo Park). He retired in 2011 but couldn't stand the quiet, and in 2015 un-retired to take an "interim" posting as superintendent of the Portola Valley School District. Four years later he retired for real.
Pat is a native Californian, having grown up in Fresno. After high school he attended San Francisco State University where he was a student athlete and received a BS in Accounting. Upon graduation from SFSU in the last century, he got his CPA and settled into a financial/accounting management career here in the Bay Area, focusing on the technology sector that has included stints at start-ups, large international entities and everything in-between. He is currently the VP Finance, Corporate Controller at Support.com in Sunnyvale. Pat and his wife, Paulette, have lived in San Carlos for over 30 years and remain actively involved in the local community. They have two daughters (and two granddaughters), who also live locally on the peninsula.
Karen Canty has been a community volunteer since she moved to the Bay Area with her family 35 years ago. Highlights include President of the PTA of both her children’s elementary and high schools; a 12 year member of the Board of Trustees of the Menlo Park City Elementary School District; a 10-year member of the Delegate Assembly of the California School Boards Association; a 6-year term on the board of Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) and a continuing member of the Friends of ACS. She also chaired fundraising events for Art in Action and ACS. When she was approached about becoming a mentor for a PCF student, she was excited about the opportunity because as an active parent at Menlo Atherton High School, she interacted with many students and families who fit the profile of a PCF scholar; she discovered how difficult it was for them to graduate from high school much less contemplate a college education. She has served as a reader, chair of the Awards Ceremony and chair of the most recent fundraising luncheon.
Bob Couch has spent over 30 years in senior marketing roles with big-brand, high-tech, start-up, and non-profit organizations. Most recently he was the Chief Marketing Officer with Selequity, and prior to that he was part of the founding team of Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School and served as its Chief Operating Officer. During his career, he has also been an SVP with Visa, Zilog, a VP with Embarcadero Technologies and Responselogic, and a Sr. Director with Anheuser-Busch Companies. In addition to Cristo Rey, Couch has served with other non-profits as a board member of the San Jose Symphony Orchestra, the World Bird Sanctuary, and the Metro Theatre Circus. He has also participated as the chair of the Bellarmine Parents Development Committee and a member of the International Conservation Committee of The Nature Conservancy. Couch’s professional organization affiliations include the Association of National Advertisers, the National Advertising Review Board, the Public Relations Vice President’s Roundtable, and the Semiconductor Industry Association. Bob and his wife Suzanne have three grown sons who all attended very expensive private colleges, which is why he worked so long and still consults.
Dani Gasparini has been involved in fundraising for nonprofit organizations for over 25 years. Most recently as Executive Vice President of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. Dani has raised over $60 million throughout her development career in support of nonprofits serving children, families, seniors, healthcare, schools, and arts and culture through managing annual campaigns and effective grant writing. As an active member of the community, Dani served on the City Council and as Mayor of the City of Redwood City. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Redwood City San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce and Pen TV where she also hosts Pen Voice interviewing key community leaders. Recognitions include induction to the San Mateo County Women's Hall of Fame, Redwood City Business Woman of the Year, and the Redwood City Sequoia Award Citizen of the Year.
Asha Guha has been a strong advocate for education and youth in the community for the past twenty years. Her work advances youth leadership, stem outreach, first generation college success programs and more recently mitigating the impact of basic food insecurity among children and youth. Asha leads Buddies4math, an organization dedicated to making math fun for elementary students. She started Ideas Inspire speaker series in partnership with The Commonwealth Club to expand access for youth to distinguished thought leaders. Asha has served in leadership positions in nonprofit boards, community initiatives, and local and international grantmaking. She has extensive experience with fundraising, strategic planning, and board and program development in the nonprofit sector. Currently, she serves on the Foothill Commission, PiE Advisory Council, and as the Chair of the SIP Advisory Council at UC Santa Cruz. Prior to that, Asha served on the board of directors of the Palo Alto Education Foundation in a variety of positions including President and Vice President.
Lydia is a Consultant at Bain & Company, where she works on teams to develop and deliver recommendations to Fortune 500 clients across a variety of industries, most recently in technology and financial services. Lydia holds a BA from Princeton University and a Masters in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Lydia previously worked in Strategic Operations at the Oakland Home Office of Aspire Charter Schools, which delivers college preparatory K-12 education to low income and minority communities in California and Tennessee. She has also worked as a volunteer with Catholic Charities of the East Bay and Global Village School. She is passionate about helping young people achieve their goals and thrilled to support PCF's great work of serving first generation college students.
Elisabeth is a PCF alumna. As a member of the second cohort of PCF scholars, she had the privilege of co-founding the alumni association and witnessing PCF’s impact and evolution over the years.
Growing up in a mixed immigration status household shaped her understanding of the insurmountable challenges faced by low-income and immigrant communities, and those experiences continue to inspire her today. As the first in her family to graduate from high school and go to college, PCF played an integral role in helping her graduate from UCLA with a B.A. in Chicana and Chicano Studies and an Education Studies minor.
Elisabeth is an Executive Assistant at Ascendis Pharma, where she supports a team developing a pipeline of oncology treatments. She recently pivoted to the Biotech sector after nine years in non-profit, where she worked as a college coach for first-generation, low-income, and underserved students and provided financial literacy classes to adults and youth in the Bay Area. Most recently, she ran a local Ronald McDonald House Charities chapter before the Bay Area merger and led the fundraising strategy for the region's 250+ McDonald’s restaurants post-merger.
Elisabeth understands firsthand that education and career readiness are the keys to opportunity, choice, and financial stability. She is honored to serve on the PCF board and is passionate about helping other students achieve their educational goals and ending the cycle of generational poverty.
Paul leads the Oak Knoll Group at Morgan Stanley, focused on ultra-high net worth wealth management and corporate services for successful entrepreneurs, executives, and families. Paul gained his experience by helping to manage the wealth creation cycle, from pre-liquidity events through retirement and estate planning strategies. He helps clients manage the intricacies and nuances of significant investment transitions by drawing on insight from industry thought leaders and applying nearly 20 years of investment experience. A native of New Jersey, Paul moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1991 to pursue his career in the financial services industry. He earned 10 years of experience at competitor firms before choosing Morgan Stanley in 2002, and becoming a producing Branch Manager in 2008. He is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he received a B.S. in accounting. Paul and his wife Cara live in Menlo Park with their 3 children Jack, Kate, and Elena.
Michael currently is a co-founder and senior partner of HealthLens, LLC, an online telemedicine platform that allows patients to receive diagnosis and treatment anytime, anywhere. Previously, he was Senior Partner at Olliance Group, strategic open-source consulting group, and held various senior director positions at Intel Corporation. He also served as Vice President and General Manager of Daisy Systems as a corporate officer and business line general manager. Mike graduated from Cornell University with a Masters and Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. He and his spouse Vicki have a long-standing commitment to community service. Mike has previously served on and chaired several non-profit boards, including Sacred Heart Community Service, HomeFirst of Santa Clara County, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, and the Intel Alumni Network.
Jamie is the Director of People and Culture at Excite Credit Union, responsible for bridging the gap between strategy and implementation of people's operations, engagement, and work experience leveraging technology to build innovative programs and practices. Jamie started his human resources career over a decade ago in public education with a brief stint in local government administration. He holds a BA from Menlo College, a Masters in Business Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University, and several human resource certifications. Jamie is an active member of the Bay Area Human Resources Executive Council and regularly volunteers to mentor and coach future human resources professionals. As a first-generation college student, Jamie is passionate about helping people become the best one can be.
Charley has held sales management positions at Apple, Microsoft, Cisco and other high-tech companies over the past 30 years. Before coming to California, Charley grew up in an Ohio community where only about 50% of high-school students went on to college. There he saw first-hand the positive difference that a college education can make in the lives of graduates, and is passionate about the power of education to transform lives and increase access to opportunities. In addition to the Peninsula College Fund, Charley teaches financial literacy to Bay-Area high-school students through the nonprofit AbleWorks. He has also served on the Board of the Menlo-Atherton High School Foundation. In addition, he has coached Alpine Little League Baseball and AYSO soccer. Charley received a B.A. degree in History/Political Science from Colorado College, and is now studying Spanish. He and his wife Cheryl have 2 children and live in Menlo Park.
Erica M. Torres
Erica currently works as a Director of Assurance at PwC, a public accounting firm that provides a variety of tax, audit and advisory services and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She currently provides audit services to clients in the software industry but has provided similar services to clients in the life science and venture capital industry. She is also a co-lead for the firm's BANW Latino Inclusion Network (“LIN”) and works closely with fellow Latinx colleagues to provide an environment that embraces diversity and inclusion through mentorship programs, community service and volunteer work. As a leader of LIN, Erica has assisted in a number of events including assisting in a spanish Blockchain presentation to the 2019 RobotiX Experience student winners from Mexico City. Erica has also worked closely with PCF in identifying individuals for the organizations mentorship program and leading a resume workshop. Erica is originally from Watsonville and moved to the Bay Area when she decided to attend Santa Clara University (“SCU”) as a transfer student and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. As a first-generation student her accessibility to higher education was through the community college pathway. Her time at Hartnell Community College paved the way to her interest in accounting. While attending Hartnell Community College, Erica worked at a local candy shop, as a candy maker. Throughout her 3 years working at the candy shop, she worked closely with the owner, a first-time business owner and witnessed the struggles, including finding an accountant that could manage her finances/books. During her time at the candy shop and attending community college, Erica realized her passion for business/accounting and for helping small businesses, which paved her interest in majoring in Accounting.
After nearly four decades in higher education administration at San Francisco State University, Jo Volkert brings to the PCF board of directors a strong commitment to helping students achieve their goal of a college education. As Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at SF State, she had responsibility for delivery of services that allowed students from schools throughout California to become admitted, receive sufficient financial aid, obtain needed classes and ultimately complete their undergraduate degrees. She forged partnerships with local school districts, community colleges and community organizations to assure that first generation, low-income students saw the University as a welcoming destination and then received the support they needed to persist to graduation. She served as board member and Vice Chair of the SF State Foundation for 30 years. A resident of San Carlos since 1993, Jo has devoted time since her retirement to a community organization that offers tutoring to local elementary students who need academic encouragement. She earned BA in English from Occidental College and holds a PhD in Administration and Policy Analysis from the School of Education at Stanford University.
Board Member Emeritus
Phil currently works as a Manager for Blended Learning at CFY, where he leads program implementation to increase student achievement in low-income schools in the Bay Area. Previously, he served as Executive Director of Peninsula College Fund and as Executive Director of The Peninsula Bridge Program, where he led all aspects of an organization serving over 250 middle school students from East Palo Alto, east Menlo Park, Redwood City and San Mateo. He also served as Director of Summer Programming at Crystal Springs Uplands School. He started his career teaching at an elementary school in San Mateo that was largely Latino and Pacific Islander. Phil graduated from Bucknell University with degrees in Education and Economics. He holds a multi-subject teaching credential, Montessori teaching credential, and a Masters in Public Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University.
Board Member Emeritus
Dr. Hernan Bucheli is the Provost and Senior Vice President of Notre Dame de Namur University. Previously, he served as vice provost at Saint Mary's College of California. He was formerly vice president for external affairs at Notre Dame de Namur University, and he also served as assistant vice chancellor for enrollment and student affairs at Chapman University. His distinguished career as a higher education administrator spans more than 20 years. He has a proven track record of achieving impressive results in administrative leadership, strategic enrollment management, new academic program development, government relations, community relations, raising the level of student centeredness, new business and partnership development, and building institutional brand awareness. Additionally, he has led efforts that have earned national recognition for excellence in institutional marketing, branding, and retention. Dr. Bucheli holds a doctorate from Northwestern University with a concentration in communications and organizational leadership, an MA in communication from Barry University, and a BA in international relations from San Francisco State University.