Steve Hoffman is Vice President and Chief of Staff at TIBCO Software, a privately held $1B global software company. As a member of the executive leadership team, he’s responsible for strategic planning, staff operations, and executive communications. Prior to TIBCO, Steve had a 25-year career at Hewlett-Packard Company, where he held leadership roles across a range of functions including strategy, product management, business operations, branding, marketing communications and executive communications. His diverse experience, working with multiple stakeholders, has reinforced his belief that effective leadership is built on clear thinking and clear communications. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing from Stanford University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. An avid cyclist, he logs over 2,000 miles a year on his bike. For the past two years, he’s been a member of Bad Cookies, a Palo Alto-based improvisational acting troupe.
Arlene Chan is an Audit Partner at Moss Adams LLP. Arlene has practiced public accounting since 1993 and she is a member of Moss Adams’ Technology, Communications, and Life Sciences Practice. Arlene primarily works with computer hardware, biotechnology, pharmaceutical drug discovery, and medical device companies. She consults clients in the application and implementation of new accounting policies and technical guidance in compliance with SEC, SOX 404, and US GAAP requirements. In addition, she has led numerous initial and subsequent public offerings and merger and acquisition activities including due diligence, and related accounting and SEC reporting. Before joining Moss Adams, Arlene spent 14 years with Ernst & Young in the San Francisco Bay Area, including a global rotation of two years with Ernst & Young in Singapore. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, and has a BA in political economy of industrial societies from the University of California at Berkeley.
Debbie Crouse brings a wealth of business experience to Child Advocates. She has been driving change within technology, service and manufacturing businesses for over 20 years. She has provided facilitation, training and hands on delivery of projects for clients and former employers. In more recent years, she has spent her time raising her children, leading fundraising projects for non-profits and working with technology startups to improve execution as they grow. She formerly served on the Board of Directors for Family & Children Serves of Silicon Valley and Montclaire Educational Foundation. She also currently serves on the Advisory Board for Animal Assisted Happiness. Debbie prides herself on her ability to work across diverse teams and personalities and looks forward to applying these skills to further the mission of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley.
Penny Blake is a retired Supervising Attorney from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Penny has represented foster children in the dependency court for many years and has been a supporter of Child Advocates from our inception nearly 30 years ago.
Shirley Cantu is a retired Deputy Chief Probation Officer with 32 years of service. As a volunteer Shirley Cantu has been actively involved with programs that provide services to youth in our community. This includes volunteering with Eastfield Ming Quong, The United Way of Silicon Valley, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bay Area. In 2006, she was the recipient of the Crystal Bowl Award presented by the Junior League of San Jose at their 37th annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.
Lisa Clark is the Human Resources Director of the Packard Foundation. As a strategic leader with strong inter-personal skills and a keen sense for resolving difficult business issues, Lisa’s career has focused on program management and the leadership of multiple, high-visibility projects. Prior to Packard, Lisa served at Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies for 20+ years in managerial positions in Business Analysis, Financial Operations, Program Management, Management Consultancy and Human Relations. Her most recent HRresponsibilities included consulting, decision support and coaching to Officers and Executives to build a high performance workforce. She has also managed programs aimed at organizational effectiveness and leadership development. And supported Business HR operations, including talent acquisition; rewards programs and performance management. Lisa says, “I have always had a special place in my heart for children, and it’s why I became a CASA volunteer in Arizona and California.” Lisa has also volunteered with several other non-profit organizations including the InnVision Board of Directors.
Yaron Drucker is Staffing Lead at Google Cloud of Google Inc. With a former engineering and HR management background, Yaron gravitated towards marketing and business, working with people and as many clients as possible. He has worked as a Competitive Market Intelligence Analyst with SAP, where he was involved with various very interesting projects within the Marketing and Customer Operations organization. Following SAP, Yaron worked in Media Analytics Solutions, within the advertising business at Microsoft. He worked in several roles ranging from Search Media analyst, Lead Analytics Manager, and Global Analytics Manager. Yaron started Google as a Manager of Platform Solution Consultants for Networks and DSPs on the west coast, and then as Manager of Brand Specialists covering the YouTube suite of ad products. Yaron’s specialties include Analytics, competitive analysis, big data, operations, coaching and mentoring, digital advertising, and advanced computer proficiency in Office suite as well as Google Docs, Spreadsheets and basic understanding of SQL. Yaron is an avid traveler who has visited over 30 countries, lived in 4, and he speaks 4 languages (Hebrew, English, Portuguese and German).
Vik Ghai is Co-Founder, CTO, Board Member at Quantum Secure (now part of HID Global). Vik is an entrepreneur, adviser, investor in technology, security, consumer focused companies as well as GP in a venture fund. Vik led Quantum Secure’s rapid growth from a concept to a global company creating a new product category in physical security industry, generated year-over-year revenue growth while securing some of the most important places on earth. Quantum Secure was acquired by Assa Abloy (STO: ASSA-B) in 2015 and merged in with HID Global. Earlier, Vik Co-founded Mokume Software (acquired by Versant), Co-founded RapidReceipt, built technology solutions at BDM International (now part of Northrop Grumman), Checkpoint Systems, Smithkline Beecham (now part of GSK). Vik has authored numerous technical papers, articles on cross section between security, business, technology and people. Vik holds patents for inventions in these areas. Vik earned MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University at Evanston, IL and Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University at Philadelphia, PA.
Jeannette Guinn currently leads the Demand Generation Marketing team at Cadence Design Systems. As a member of the marketing leadership team, Jeannette is responsible for driving global field marketing, events, lead generation, account based marketing and customer experience. Jeannette’s experience includes a 20 year career in B2B tech marketing, owning a floral business, and performing with various cover bands across the Bay Area. She also volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to a foster child for five years. Jeannette earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology from the University of California, Davis.
Denise Lombard is Cisco’s Director of Supplier Diversity, responsible for the overall strategy and architecture for Cisco’s Supplier Diversity Program and execution of Global Procurement services program. She has a track record of building and leading high performing global teams. Her expertise in solving complex business problems and providing outstanding service to internal and external customers sets her apart in transforming operations. Denise started in the Cisco Services Organization leading the Sales Operations Team over 10 years ago. She then joined the Sales organization where she managed approximately $100 M spend for the Inside Sales Vendor Management Organization, deploying approximately 1000 contingent workers. This experience more than prepared her for leading the Procurement Relationship Management team, known as the “trusted advisors” to the internal business functions, capturing their demand and optimizing their supplier landscape. Prior to Cisco, she was with Sun Microsystems where she led their Technical Support Organization and various Sales Operations teams. In her current role, Denise is able to apply her passion to diversity and inclusion and her goal of making a significant difference within Cisco and the community. Denise also Co-Leads the San Jose Connected Women’s Community Outreach pillar, which is focused on increasing young women’s excitement and awareness around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers. She received the Teacher of the Year award from Citizen Schools 2013 and one of the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence for 2017. Denise is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate for 2 foster children. She graduated from San Jose State University with a BS degree in Business Management.
Alicia Partee has a background that spans industries and continents. Her most recent role is Executive Pastor at Maranatha Christian Center in San Jose. She has over twenty years of experience leading projects and teams at Fortune 500, startup, and non-profit. Her experience encompasses designing and building organizations and infrastructure to support the purpose and vision. She has an entrepreneurial approach to creating, organizing and implementing ideas, new organizations and major projects on time and within budget. Alicia has been recognized for her keen business insight and expertise in translating concepts into action. Before returning to the USA her work focused on employee engagement, specifically of those on overseas assignment and how she can help increase retention and assignment completion rates. She also led the development of women through her work at the Professional Women’s Network, Norway. There she designed and implemented international mentoring programs. After the launch of the mentoring workshops, she moved into the role of the president where she leads and coordinates the strategies for the continued growth of the network. In addition to this work in women in leadership, Alicia is also focused on positions as Director, Project Manager, Corporate Trainer, and Non-Profit Board Member. Alicia has a background in Information Systems and holds a Bachelor of Science in Leadership from the William Jessup University, USA. She has also completed a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, from the Western Seminary.
Tony Rangel is Sr. Strategic Marketing Director at Celestica, a global electronics manufacturing services company with $6 billion in annual revenue. In this role he helps develop plans for targeting new markets and customers, delivering commercial insights to improve their business and create competitive advantage. Tony’s experience spans 30+ years working in various Marketing roles in the electronics industry. He is driven by a keen sense of curiosity, the excitement of growing a business, and working with amazing people who aspire to do great things. Outside of Celestica, Tony strives to be of service in his community, where he’s particularly interested in helping underserved people overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Tony and his husband are adoptive parents of former foster children, twin boys, who are now young, productive adults. Tony holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of San Francisco and an MBA from Saint Mary’s of California. He is also a member of the American Marketing Association and San Jose – Silicon Valley Leadership Council.
Neta Retter is a hardware design engineer with over ten years of technical experience designing cutting edge technology. Currently Neta is a FIRST LEGO League partner for Northern California, managing the program at the local non-profit Playing At Learning. Neta is passionate about STEM education and outreach, especially in underrepresented communities.
Denise Robinson is the founder of Spinnaker Consulting which specializes in helping small companies develop and execute growth strategies. She has 15 years of experience in the areas of corporate strategy, business development, marketing and operations first in Coopers & Lybrand’s financial consulting practice then at AirTouch Communications. She also brings non-profit Board experience in fundraising, program management and strategic planning. Denise holds a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Leslie Rodriguez is a partner at California Strategies, LLC and is based in the Silicon Valley. She is a veteran in public policy having served in both the public and private sector over her 20-year career. She worked in State Government as Governor Schwarzenegger’s Deputy Director of External Affairs and Communications, and prior to that she served as the Chief of Staff to the Superintendent of the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District. She has extensive experience across the legislative, executive, and regulatory branches of government at multiple levels of government. Since joining California Strategies as a partner, she has focused her public affairs work on advancing education, housing access and public welfare in her community. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in social policy research from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Economics.
Moe Rubenzahl is a marketing consultant with 35 years of experience in marketing management, strategic marketing, marketing communication, product marketing, and web and search marketing for business-to-business and consumer high-tech companies. Prior positions included business development and marketing management roles at a consumer electronics company; and engineering, management, and marketing roles at Hewlett-Packard. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
Michael Schlemmer is a partner of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. He counsels businesses on all aspects of their employment law needs. Mr. Schlemmer also defends clients in US federal and state courts and arbitration on class, collective, representative, and single-plaintiff employment litigation matters. His practice includes wage and hour class and collective actions, and discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, breach of contract, and leave issues. In addition, he handles employment-related aspects of mergers and acquisitions, and provides training on employment law compliance. Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Michael served as an associate in the labor and employment practice of Wilson Sonsini, where he delivered litigation, counseling, transactional, and training services to high-tech and life science companies. While at Wilson Sonsini, Michael served as Child Advocates pro bono legal attorney. Michael has a BA from UC Santa Cruz and JD from UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law. Before law school, he spent five years as a social worker helping foster youth through the emancipation process.
Wayne Smith is the Western US Finance Director for LSG Sky Chefs, a global catering company serving the Airline and Rail industry with over $1.5 Billion in annual revenue. In this role he supports both the Operations and Finance organization of the company. Wayne’s experience spans 30+ years working in various Finance roles primarily in the Food Manufacturing industry. He is seen as an innovative leader with a proven record of bridging Finance and Operations, and advancing the business environment through progressive challenges and creating an environment of growth. Outside of work he is an active member of his community with years of creative fundraising experience. He has served as Board Treasurer for the San Francisco Gay Softball League with over 800 members. Wayne is also an adoptive parent of four boys all from the foster system in the San Jose area, has worked with Child Advocates for his own children so understands the value the organization brings to the youth of Silicon Valley.
Chief Executive Officer
Frederick J. Ferrer
Frederick J. Ferrer
Frederick J. Ferrer has over three decades of nonprofit leadership in Silicon Valley, having led numerous groundbreaking program, public policy and systems reform initiatives. As CEO of Child Advocates, Ferrer leads the organization’s efforts to support foster children, primarily though the operation of the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program in Santa Clara County.
Ferrer currently chairs the Santa Clara University’s College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Advisory Board where he’s also a Dean’s Executive Professor of Public Health. He previously chaired: The University’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity and Inclusion; the Rocketship Public Schools Board; and the FIRST 5 Santa Clara County Commission. He is also a member of the Children’s Discovery Museum LGBTQ Advisory Board.
Previously, Ferrer served as CEO of the Health Trust, a $100 million public charity foundation. Ferrer also had a consulting practice, Manzanita Solutions, where he helped design the Universal Access to Preschool initiative with Alum Rock and Franklin McKinley School districts. He is also the former Executive Director of Estrella Family Services.
Among numerous awards, Ferrer has received: The John Gardner Leadership Award from ALF-SV; the Human Relations Award from the Santa Clara County Commission on Human Relations; and PACT’s Community Builder Award.
Ferrer has been on the adjunct child development faculty at De Anza College and an instructor in the Special Education credential EPIC program at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. He has completed two distinguished programs at Harvard University, the Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations and Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management. He also completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Ferrer holds a B.S. degree from Santa Clara University, an M.S. degree from San Jose State University, and an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Santa Clara University.