Board of Directors
Grace serves as KIPP NorCal’s Board Chair. Grace also serves as a Director for Alder Graduate School of Education, a teacher training graduate school; the Advisory Council of the Stanford Graduate School of Education; and as a Director on the Silicon Schools Fund Board. Grace previously worked in venture capital and investment banking.
Abe M. Friedman
Abe is a Partner and Head of PJT Camberview, serves as co-director of the Stanford Institutional Investor Forum, and previously served as a member of the Board of Advisors of the NYU Law Institute for Corporate Governance & Finance. Abe was previously the mayor of Piedmont and served on the city council for 8 years. He currently serves as KIPP Norcal’s Vice-Chair and Governance Chair.
Sumari is a Project Coordinator for DCG Strategies, a commercial real estate firm with a mission to serve California’s community-benefit organizations. Sumari is a KIPP NorCal alumni, and previously attended KIPP Bridge Academy before pursuing her BA from Loyola Marymount University in African American Studies with a double minor in Political Science and Journalism.
Michael, co-founder, and Principal of Strada, is a member of the Investment Committee and helps lead Strada’s deal sourcing efforts. Michael was the City of San Francisco’s primary negotiator on many of the largest development projects over the last decade, including Naval Station Treasure Island, the Hunters Point Shipyard, and the Transbay Terminal. Michael serves as the chair of KIPP NorCal’s Facilities Advisory Council.
Getting her start at Hewlett Packard, Caretha has spent 40 years in the technology industry working with start-ups and early-stage ventures in the areas of organizational strategy development; and executive coaching and effectiveness. Her philanthropic interests center on work focused on underrepresented populations. Caretha is co-founder of the Black Directors Health Equity Agenda and member of the Board. She chairs the board of The Leverage Network (TLN), is a board member of Accion Opportunity Fund, KIPP Schools in Northern California, and member of the national board of Facing History and Ourselves. In addition, she serves on the advisory boards of the Black Economic Alliance and Culture Shift. She has been recognized as one of the Bay Area’s most Influential Women by the San Francisco Business Times; and Outstanding Director by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and was named a Visionary Leader by the SF Chronicle for her work in diversity.
D’Lonra C. Ellis is the Chief Legal Officer of the Oakland Athletics. D’Lonra is an Adjunct Professor at UC Hastings College of Law and sits on the board of Bay Area Legal Aid, which provides direct legal services to low income residents in seven Bay Area counties; and on the board of Seven Stories Institute, which runs a non-profit bookstore collective in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.
Laura Fisher is a therapist for youth and families in underserved populations. She had previously served on boards for health, education, and civic engagement such as Peer Health Exchange, Civil Society at Stanford University, and The San Francisco Day School.
Cheryl E. Frank
Cheryl E. Frank is an equity portfolio manager at Capital Group. Previously, as an equity investment analyst, she covered the health care services sector, drug retail industry, and software companies in the U.S. and Europe.
Jessica García-Kohl is the Executive Director of the Westly Foundation. For two decades, she has dedicated her career to nonprofit, government, and philanthropic sectors, strengthening communities and creating equitable opportunities for children, youth, and families. She serves as Vice President for the Board of MidPen Housing and is a Board of Director for Braven.
Heather has four students attending KIPP Schools, one student at KIPP King High School, and three students at KIPP Summit. Heather has 16 years of work experience in higher education and currently works as the Assistant Director of Student Life and Leadership at CSU East Bay. Heather is the former Board President and Treasurer of Tri-City Mothers of Multiples. Heather and her family reside in the East Bay.
Ron Gonzales is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley dedicated to improving the quality of life for Silicon Valley Latinx families and is President and CEO of Presencia, LLC, which provides marketing and sales consulting services. He served as Mayor of San José, California, and on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and the Sunnyvale City Council. He currently serves on the Silicon Valley Capital Club Board of Governors, and Board of Directors for SV@Home.
Gustavo has been a KIPP parent for nine years, with two children attending KIPP San Jose Collegiate, and KIPP Heartwood. Gustavo is a former Board of Trustee at Alum Rock School District, the former President of the Santa Clara Association of Realtors, and former Juvenile Justice Commissioner of Santa Clara County. Gustavo is a San Jose native and resides there with his family.
Haley Lopez is a software engineer at Amazon, where she builds education technology for the future. She has been involved with a variety of local organizations; City Youth Now, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, KIPP Foundation, and SMASH. Her passion stems from her own experience with community organizations and the support they provided her and her family.
Aubrey Merriman is the current CEO of LifeMoves. LifeMoves’ mission is to provide interim housing and supportive services for homeless families and individuals to rapidly return to stable housing and achieve long-term self-sufficiency. Aubrey is the former CEO of Boys & Girls Club of North San Mateo County, Executive Director of Summer Search Silicon Valley, and Senior VP of Special Olympics Northern California. Aubrey resides in San Jose, California.
Jenny Risk is the chair of the Nueva School’s Innovative Learning Conference Planning Committee. She was a KIPP board member in Nashville and served on the Springstone School’s board, a middle school serving students with Asperger’s Syndrome, and the Nashville Advisory board for Stand For Children.
Jose Rodriguez is the CEO of El Concilio in Stockton, California. One of the largest community-based, nonprofit social service providers in the Central Valley, El Concilio is dedicated to empowering California’s diverse low-income, minority, and marginalized communities by providing critically needed comprehensive and compassionate programs and services.
Emily Rummo is a founding Partner at Transcend, a nonprofit that leads innovation in school design in close partnership with schools across the country. Before joining Transcend, she was the founding Chief Operating Officer at KIPP Bay Area Schools
and served in that role from 2008 – 2014.
Sohi Sohn Chien
Sohi Sohn Chien currently serves as Board Vice-Chair of the Community School of Music and Arts, bringing art and music education to over 28,000 Bay Area students. She is a founding member of Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Donor Circle for Safety Net: Housing and My New Red Shoes, bringing new clothing and shoes to children in underserved communities to help them start the new school year.
Lisa Sobrato Sonsini
Lisa Sobrato Sonsini established the Sobrato Family Foundation in 1996 as a vehicle for multiple generations of the Sobrato family to unify their philanthropic giving for maximum impact. Lisa currently serves on the Boards of Directors for KQED, Silicon Schools, Silicon Valley Children’s Fund, and American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley. She has previously served as Board President for the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum, Child Advocates, The Good Tidings Foundation, and Today’s Youth Matter.
David Stinfil serves as Senior Vice President at Siebert Williams Shank, an investment bank. He also currently serves as Chair of the Finance Committee for the Board of the Alameda Health System Foundation and as Chair of the Finance Council for the Board of KIPP Public Schools Northern California.
Sandi Thompson is currently a volunteer immigration attorney practicing through Catholic Charities. She also serves on the Obama Foundation West Coast Advisory Board, the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, WorkLife Law Center, and Lawyers for America. Thompson previously served as a Planning Commissioner for the Town of Woodside, a Board Member of the University of California Hastings College of the Law and Peninsula Open Space Trust.
Blake Grossman is a Managing Member at ThirdStream Partners, focusing on venture and strategic opportunities in financial services and financial technologies. Blake has a twenty-eight-year career in the financial industry, notably serving as the CEO of Barclays Global Investors and the Vice Chairman of BlackRock.
Octavio Sandoval, CFA, CAIA, is currently the Director of Investments at Illumen Capital. He genuinely seeks innovative solutions to address social and economic injustice facing historically disadvantaged and underrepresented communities. He believes structural problems require structural solutions.
Prior to Illumen Capital, Octavio was a leader at MassMutual Life Insurance Company in building the emerging fund manager program, which allocated $50 million to a wide variety of BIPOC-led funds that invest in BIPOC-led startups. At MassMutual, Octavio also deployed over $500 million in allocations to various alternative investment strategies including private equity and private credit. Prior to MassMutual, Octavio held positions throughout traditional finance, including roles within investment banking, private wealth management and capital markets.
Octavio earned a B.S. in Applied Economic & Management at Cornell University and holds an M.B.A from MIT Sloan School of Management. Octavio is an active KIPP alum and serves as a board member of KIPP NorthCal.