Type: Partner Leaders

Will Parish

Will founded Ten Strands in 2012, and since then, he has worked in partnering to pollinate environmental literacy. The goal is to create systemic support for all of California’s K-12 public school students to benefit from environmental literacy. After a short legal career, Will began working in 1982 on systems change, to reduce the human impact on the environment while still enabling humanity to thrive.

For 15 years, he focused on developing alternative energy power plants (capital investments totaling $100 million). For the next five years, Will’s focus turned to the system of forestry, and he became an advocate to stop environmentally destructive logging practices on US Forest Service lands.

While raising two boys, he realized how much impact the education system has on students, families, communities and their surrounding environments. Will became a teacher in 2002 to teach environmental science. After a decade in the classroom and four years on the Instructional Quality Commission advising the State Board of Education, he reflected on how his prior careers had taught him that systems have leverage points. Will embraced the big idea of using environmental literacy in the education system to enhance student outcomes and instill a sense of civic stewardship toward the environment. With the passage of Bill SB-720 in September 2018, environmental literacy is now embedded in the California Education Code.

Susan Hanson

A long term partner with SV2,  Susan recently retired from working over a decade at the New Teacher Center.  She also worked at SRI, West Ed, and as a consultant to local foundations and nonprofits.  Susan is a Director of the William and Charlene Glikbarg Foundation, a family foundation.  She has served on the Boards of Breakthrough Silicon Valley, Reading Partners, and the Community School of Music and Arts.  Susan holds a Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University. Susan and her husband, Don, have two adult children.

Julie Cates

Julie is an Early Childhood Advocate. She is active in multiple county- and state-based coalitions working to ensure that all children have access to quality health care and early learning.   With a role described as a strategic connector, she is focused on the alignment between private-public sector investments in early childhood.  Julie values her six years as an SV2 Partner, where she has participated in education grant rounds, and learning sessions.  In Spring 2018, Julie co-led a series of “advocacy for philanthropist” workshops.

JoAnne Tillemans

After graduating from Stanford with an MBA in 1985, JoAnne spent 4 years in investment banking in London. Since 1990, she has been managing her own consulting business in international finance. Avalon International Strategies, designs and implements currency hedging strategies for corporations. Prior to getting an MBA, she spent 10 years in the non-profit world. For 7 of those years she was a modern dancer in Minneapolis and NYC, and had her own dance company. For 3 years JoAnne worked full-time with Alvin Ailey and the Big Apple Circus in NYC to manage a school program for inner- city youth. This work brought her directly in contact with the issues surrounding education in impoverished areas of the city.  In recent years, JoAnne has been volunteering as a writer-coach in Richmond and Oakland with junior-high and high school students. She also has participated in several consulting projects through Stanford for non-profits and is a regional leader for Stanford GSB Women’s Circles in the East Bay.

John Sanchez

Clara Roa

Clara is originally from Bogota, Colombia. In 2002, Clara moved to the U.S. to pursue her Master’s degree at NYU. Clara has dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector and has worked at organizations addressing issues ranging from medical research to human services. At the personal level, Clara is a firm believer in the importance of giving back and is actively involved in her daughter’s school and several other projects. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, and german shepherd dog.

Rekha Pai Kamath

Rekha Pai Kamath is currently Vice President at Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs (SA&E). She is an investor, mentor, and advisor to several start-ups at SA&E as well previously at StartX. She also serves on the board of Fast Forward, an Accelerator for Tech Non-profits based in San Francisco. Prior to becoming an angel investor, she led New Business incubation at Juniper Networks. She has 15+ years in various product management, marketing, and product development positions at companies such as Symantec Corp, Applied Materials, Sun Microsystems, and Procket Networks (acquired by Cisco). Rekha has been a professional mentor and Impact Advisor, and is on the Alumni Council for Techwomen, a State Department sponsored professional mentoring exchange program. She holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business.

Karl Matzke

Karl has been an active member of SV2 since 2013 and is currently the Co-Lead of Impact Investing, an activity area he helped establish at SV2 working with staff and other Partners in 2014. Karl is also Lead Partner for Impact Investee Needs List.

After a career with a range of technology companies from startups to global brands, Karl’s primary focus is now on the social sector. He has served on a range of boards and continues to advise companies on building capacity and growth, including some in the developing world. In addition, he leads pro bono consulting projects for the Stanford GSB Alumni Consulting Team.

Grace Mah

Grace is a recovery engineer and now serves as a Santa Clara County School Board Member. Married 34 years, Grace and her husband Don have two sons, one in SV2 Teens, one in college. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting at the beach.

Ellen Lussier

Ellen has been a partner with SV2 since 2014 and will be a co-lead of the Performing Arts Lightning Grant round in 2019. Ellen is energized by the opportunities that SV2 provides to its members to develop philanthropic skills and to collectively identify and support innovative non-profits that are making a difference. Ellen’s passion for helping others define their philanthropic interests emerged out of 12 years of working with the Stanford University Office of Development, most recently as Senior Associate Director of Planned Giving, where she helped donors and their advisors design gifts that fulfill donors’ interests and support university needs. Ellen has served on local non-profit boards, including the Northern California Planned Giving Council, Portola Valley Schools Foundation, and Hamilton Family Center.

Ellen holds a BA from Wesleyan University and a JD from Hastings College of the Law. She enjoys hiking Bay Area trails, golf, travel, and time with her husband, her two adult children and her dog.