Over 100 needy children are on our wait list for an Advocate
Board of Directors
Our board, staff and volunteer committees spearhead our efforts to provide stability and hope to abused and neglected children in Santa Clara County.
We have a diverse, active board representing a range of professional expertise in education, economic development, law, business planning, accounting and fundraising.
James Otieno (Chair) has over 20 years of experience in Compensation, Benefits, and Human Resources. He recently retired from Hewlett-Packard where he was the Vice President of Executive Compensation and Services. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, a member of the Conference Board Council on Executive Compensation, and serves on the board of World at Work.
Sridhar Ramanathan (Vice Chair) is General Partner and co-founder of Aventi Group, a consulting firm that specializes in accelerating revenue for technology companies. Sridhar is a 20-year veteran of enterprise technology companies with a long tenure at Hewlett-Packard where his last role was the Marketing executive and services portfolio manager for HP's Managed Services business. Sridhar holds a BS Engineering Physics from U.C. Berkeley and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. He and his wife, Gina, have four children and live in Livermore, California.
Howard Slayen (Treasurer) has over 35 years of experience in tax, merger and acquisition, and financial advisory services. He was a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers for 23 years, prior to being CFO of a number of start-up enterprises. He is both a CPA (inactive) and an attorney (inactive). He now spends his time as a professional board member for a variety of nonprofit and publicly and privately held corporations.
Shirley Cantu (Secretary) 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.
Lenny Alugas is senior vice president of Worldwide eCommerce at Symantec Corporation. He has over 25 years of experience in high-technology companies including several senior level management positions at Multitude, Excite@Home and Hewlett-Packard. Lenny is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and holds a degree in Physics and Mechanical engineering.
Mike Byrd is a certified public accountant with more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience at high-tech companies, such as Ernst & Young and Maxim Integrated Products. Most recently, he was president and COO of Brocade Communications, responsible for operations, sales, services, and marketing.
Joe Cousins is Vice President of Storage Marketing for Avnet Inc. and currently presides over a billion dollar storage business for Avnet. Joe has held a variety of senior channel marketing management positions at Quantum, Maxtor Seagate, and now Avnet. Joe lives in Livermore with his partner Leslie Whitney. They have six kids ranging in age from 14 to 20. Joe is from the Chicago area and graduated with a BA degree from Northwestern University.
David Enemark is a partner of The Hall Walsworth Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and has been in the financial services industry for six years. His primary focus is creating wealth analysis and planning strategies for the team's clients. David graduated with All Ivy Honors for Brown University with B.A. degrees in Economics and Sociology. To earn his certified financial planner™ designation, David completed two years worth of educational requirements and passed a 10-hour certification examination. As part of his career-long commitment to meet the ever-changing needs of his clients, David spends 30 hours every two years in continuing education classes. David abides by the CFP® Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and the Financial Planning Practice Standards. David rows competitively around the country and holds the Brown University school record for the individual 20,000 meter time. David is an active Child Advocate volunteer and he serves on the El Camino Hospital Planned Giving Council. David lives with his wife in Palo Alto.
Terence Fox is President of M.E. Fox & Company; a family owned and operated beer and beverage distributorship. He has over 15 years of sales and marketing experience having worked as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for M.E. Fox & Company and Sales Manager for the Gordon Biersch Brewing Company. He received a BA degree in Political Science from the University of San Diego.
Kevin Gardner is a marketing consultant with 25 years of experience in product marketing and marketing communications in semiconductors, networking and computing services. He was a Child Advocate volunteer for two teenage boys and has served on the Child Advocates board for ten years, including two years as it Chair. Kevin is also Board President of the California CASA Association, and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Outlet Program in Mountain View.
Claire Hayes has over 20 years of experience in accounting and auditing. She currently serves as managing director with PwC in the Emerging Company Services Practice. She has extensive experience assisting clients in the initial public offering process and also serving private and public clients in technology and life sciences. She is a CPA and a Chartered Accountant. Claire is an active Child Advocate volunteer and is an active community leader participating on a variety of non-profit Boards/Committees in Silicon Valley.
Mala Jairam is the co-founder and CEO of One Haystack, an information management technology and services start up. She is in the process of relocating to the Bay Area. Prior to founding this, she has been involved in consulting for a start-up on business strategy. Mala spent almost 20 years at AT&T and Bell Labs where she held various positions in Systems Engineering, Product Management, Program Management and Strategy. Being one of a very small number of women in R&D in the mid ‘80s, Mala was very active in diversity programs, hiring and mentoring women. She continues to mentor high school and college age girls. She has volunteered at several events and organizations including Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club, Peace for Kids and the National Assistance League. She has been involved in the Children’s Program at Rainbow Services and is certified in Domestic Violence Training. Whether it is in working with children of abuse victims, or teaching critical skills to teenage girls or creating a positive environment for seniors, Mala is eager to make a difference. Mala holds an MBA from UMASS, Amherst and an M.S in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Jane Oglesby has been an advocate for the past four years. She has over 11 years experience in the high-tech industry as both a process engineer and a program manager across several business units including manufacturing, research, and product development first at AMD and then Intel. She is pursuing her MBA at Santa Clara University and is on the United Way Silicon Valley Young Leaders United Steering Committee.
Michael O’Leary is a consultant with over 25 years experience in senior level management positions at high-technology companies. For the past 12 years Michael has been involved with At-Risk youth as a foster parent, a CASA advocate, a board member for a domestic violence shelter, a board member at Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the funder of a partial college scholarship through the Boys & Girls Club.
Moe Rubenzahl is the Executive Director of Internet Marketing for Maxim Integrated Products. He has 35 years 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.
Linda Schiefelbein is a recognized Silicon Valley volunteer having served as a child advocate for two young children and as a board member for Sacred Heart Community Service. Linda was an in-flight service’s executive with United Air Lines for over 20 years. Linda holds a masters degree in guidance and counseling and enjoys charity activities like the three-day 60 mile walk for breast cancer. Linda and her husband, Les, have five children and four grandchildren.
Karen Scussel (Executive Director) has been associated with Child Advocates for over ten years. She has been a member of the Board of Directors, including Board Secretary and member of the Executive Committee, Interim Director of Volunteer Services, Interim Director of Programs, Education Advocacy Supervisor and, most recently, Interim Executive Director for the agency. Karen started her association with Child Advocates as a volunteer advocate while working for the private sector. Karen has advocated for 15 children and has served on the Santa Clara County Middle School Education Court committee since its inception. Prior to joining Child Advocates, Karen had over 25 years of human resources management and executive experience at Hewlett Packard Company and Agilent Technologies. She has managed large, complex global programs and has developed management and employee development programs, including mentoring and coaching programs. Karen holds a BA from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Walt Thinfen is responsible for directing all aspects of technology, ERP implementation, business process improvement and systems development. He brings to the Visioneer team extensive systems development and information management experience, along with a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills from more than 15 years experience in systems implementation, business operations and project management, with particular expertise in ERP systems including SAP, Oracle and CRM softwares. Thinfen graduated from California State University school of Business Administration with emphasis on Information Systems.
Jennifer K. Whipple is an attorney. Prior to moving to Silicon Valley, Ms. Whipple served as In-house Litigation Counsel and Assistant General Counsel to the world's largest fresh-packed tomato processor and prior to that, she was a Partner at an AV-rated firm. Ms. Whipple specializes in advising employers regarding workplace issues and representing employers in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies in employment related disputes, including representing clients in cases involving claims of age, race, gender and disability discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination, wage and hour, and unfair business practices. Ms. Whipple also has extensive experience litigating class and complex actions, including cases involving wage and hour, antitrust, and consumer claims. As a complement to the depth of her specialties in employment law and complex litigation, Ms. Whipple maintains a breadth in her practice by representing clients in a wide variety of matters, from inception through completion, in diverse cases involving antitrust, construction, environmental, intellectual property, real estate, water law, and commercial contract claims.