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Board of Directors | Kidango
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Board of Directors

The Kidango Board of Directors is comprised of elected members who share a commitment to ensuring access to high quality early learning for all children. Their visionary leadership, insight and direction are the backbone of Kidango’s mission, vision, and values.

Sowmya Krishnan


Dr. Sowmya Krishnan is pleased to be a part of Kidango because she is a strong believer in early education for children and in advocating for underprivileged kids and families so we can all become productive, fulfilled members of society.

Dr. Krishnan is currently VP of Corporate Strategy for RITSnet Inc., a computer network systems management company which she co-founded in 2004. She most recently served as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Ultra Clean Technology (UCT), a semiconductor equipment subsystem. As a member of executive management, she was responsible for providing strategic direction, shaping the company profile and driving long-term growth initiatives over her 13-year tenure at UCT.

She has been active in various industry forums and is a well respected and visible leader in the semiconductor field. She has served as invited chair in multiple technical areas, has been an invited speaker at technical conferences and has written guest editorials and served on the advisory board for industry trade journals.

She has also chaired industry related SEMI standards task forces and led the effort to set industry standards related to critical subsystems. She holds two U.S. patents with several ongoing patent applications. She is the author of over 30 technical papers and editorials and is well-known for her expertise in the fields of micro-contamination and semiconductor processing. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY.

Her interests include volunteering for societal causes. In the past she has volunteered with Friendly Visiting, an organization serving displaced or homebound seniors, and with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society supporting research in cancer.

Jacqueline McCormick

First Vice President

Jacqueline joined the board of Kidango in 2013. She is passionate about the use of education as a lever to transform possibilities into realities for children and communities. Jacqueline believes that every child deserves a quality education and is excited to work with a diverse organization that is making this a reality.

Ms. McCormick is the President of DJM Consulting, Inc. a global firm providing HR services, sales, marketing and management consulting to technology and service companies. Prior to founding DJM Consulting, Jacqueline spent 11 years as Vice President of Human Resources of Fremont Bank where she led efforts to be awarded “Top Work Place” in the Bay Area for four years.

In addition, Jacqueline serves on the board of the Northern California Human Resources Association and also serves on the advisory board for BlueFeet, a Silicon Valley software start-up. She is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, Northern California Human Resources Association, Human Capital Institute, World at Work, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the Association for Talent Development.

Jacqueline earned a BS in Organizational Behavior with honors from the University of San Francisco. She also attended the University of Washington where she graduated from the Pacific Coast Banking School. Jacqueline holds numerous HR certifications; Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR), Society for Human Resources Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), Human Capital Strategist (HCS), Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and Global Remuneration Professional (GRP).

Joellen Sutterfield

Second Vice President

For over a decade Joellen has worked in various leadership and volunteer roles within the community. She has a passion for education and is appreciative of the opportunity to contribute to an organization like Kidango that supports families in need and hosts high quality childcare and early childhood development programs.

Joellen is the Director of Partnership Development at Unitek College, an accredited vocational institute offering certificate and degree programs in Allied Health with Nursing as their primary focus. Joellen oversees Uniteks’ community outreach education program (CORE) along with partner and government relations. The CORE program has won national recognition for service learning outcomes and provides health education and wellness resources within our Bay Area and Sacramento counties.

Joellen currently serves as an ambassador for the Newark Chamber of Commerce, a board member for the City of Fremont Resource Center is a member of San Jose State University Job, Economic, Development, Initiatives committee and has previously served as a member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. These organizations reflect a collaborative effort to provide services and resources to our communities underserved with the creed to promote professional growth, education, service and to pay it forward!

Esther Hobbs


Esther joined the Kidango Board in 1993, and said she became involved with Kidango because of the agency’s fantastic reputation, adding “I just could not turn down an opportunity to help children.” She says that her experience with Kidango has taught her that everyone has something valuable to share.

Born and raised in Oakland, Esther is the second of three children, her twin sister being only 36 minutes older than she. She graduated from the Oakland high school system and went on to earn an associate’s degree in Social Science from Ohlone College in Fremont.

In 1984, Esther joined New United Motors Manufacturer, Inc. and served as the Quality Circle Program Coordinator and Trainer until her retirement. This position afforded her the opportunity to travel to new and exciting places that she might otherwise not have seen.

When asked who she considers a personal hero, Esther replied that it is her son, Kevin, whose ability to take complex matters and simplify them without compromising the value is something she would admire and respect even if he was not her son. He has also given her the greatest gift, a beautiful granddaughter!

Esther’s favorite quote is, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” This question should definitely make everyone think about how to live life to the fullest.

Gerry McFaull


Gerry McFaull’s background is in leadership of Engineering and High Tech businesses where he has learned from managing through both the good times and the lean. Today he runs a sourcing and consulting business which he co-founded in 2002 and is married with four children.

Gerry has worked extensively in volunteer positions in a wide variety of roles, and has served on the Board of Directors at the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, leading committees for Finance, Marketing, Communications and Special Projects. Gerry also currently serves on the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for the Fremont Unified School District.

“If you want a lively conversation,” says Gerry, “please ask me about two of my most heartfelt beliefs that ‘Our children are our future’ and ‘Strong communities depend on the people who comprise that community’. The team at Kidango is an outstanding example of what is possible and I am proud and excited to be a small part of a tremendous story of success in creating better opportunities for our children and widespread community involvement.”

Valerie Boyle

Board Member

Valerie Boyle joined the Kidango board in 2006, welcoming the opportunity to work with an organization that dedicates itself to the development and growth of the “whole” child, extending services to the family environment as needed to support the child. Over 20 years ago her grandchild was happily in the care of the formative organization from which Kidango grew, Tri-Cities Children Center. She recalls the challenges of finding loving, high-quality care for her own children when they were toddlers. Kidango, with its breadth of professional services, is something she never imagined possible.

Valerie brings to the board nearly four decades of leadership experience in the association management industry. She has served as CEO of the Castro Valley, Fremont, Palo Alto and Mountain View Chambers of Commerce, and since 2014, as CEO of the Newark Chamber of Commerce. She has worked extensively and collaboratively in the business, education and non-profit communities and has served over the years on a number of local, regional and state association boards and agencies, currently on the Newark Educational Foundation. From 2000 through 2013 Valerie was self-employed as a small business and non-profit consultant, and during that same period, from 2009 through 2013 served as the special consultant to local chambers for the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) In that capacity, she traveled throughout California and Arizona facilitating strategic planning retreats, providing board and staff training and development, and leading internal organizational change efforts during periods of transition.

Valerie says she really had no plans to step back from her consulting work and then an opportunity to work with a local chamber – “practically next door” – presented itself in 2014. She found it impossible to turn down the opportunity and its challenges, immediately finding an affinity with that chamber’s backbone of dedicated business and community-minded leaders. And so, she finds herself back in the daily management of a local chamber, deeply involved in one vibrant community, just as she started so many years ago. Being able to continue serving on the Kidango board as it continually expands the depth and quality of its services is icing on the cake.

Michael Garcia

Board Member

Bio coming soon.

Harvey Schloss

Board Member

Mr. Schloss is a past-president of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater San Francisco, and Rhoda Goldman Plaza – an assisted living facility in San Francisco. He has been Interim Executive Director for Rebuilding Together Peninsula, Palo Alto Art Center Foundation, and JW House – a hospitality house on the Kaiser campus in Santa Clara. He has served on the boards of Environmental Volunteers, the Jewish Public Affairs Committee, and A Foundation Building Strength for Nemaline Myopathy. He currently serves on the Child Care Partnership Council in San Mateo County and is a member of the Strong Start Coalition in Santa Clara County.

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Shams Tabrez

Board Member

Shams is inspired by the fact that Kidango is a true community of teachers, parents and members of the public who all work collectively to help children fully develop their own unique qualities. He is particularly impressed with how Kidango continues to strategically locate new facilities in order to help more children benefit from its Mission.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Shams grew up in Manchester, England. He holds multiple degrees, including an M.B.A., and credits his strong educational background for his successes.

Shams is a vice president for SELA Inc, a manufacturing company with offices around the world, as well as an author of over 30 technical and commercial articles. In 2000, he became a U.S. patent holder for an invention in Advanced Semiconductor Technology.

Shams has been inspired by the writings of Thomas Jefferson and how he helped craft the Declaration of Independence, an enduring and inspirational document with values that still guide the way for people today. “Jefferson truly understood the power of the written word and valued education, for it is the key to helping people progress,” says Shams.

As a board member, Shams wants to see that Kidango continues to build strong relationships with key partners to help generate resources to sustain and grow Kidango and its programs.

Shams lives by the words of Yogi Berra, who once said “If you come to a fork in the road… pick it up!”

Shams thinks that education is that fork in the road and he is looking forward to doing his part in helping Kidango children pick up all the benefits education has to offer.

Nancy Thomas

Board Member

Nancy believes that children enter this world with a natural curiosity and wonder about their environment. She sees Kidango as a place where children can explore their pre-school world, both socially and academically, and develop the foundation to be successful learners in the K-12 environment.

Born in Minnesota, Nancy moved with her husband and young children to the Bay Area in 1969 and has lived in her Newark home ever since. She received her bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University and her master degree from Stanford, both in Electrical Engineering. She retired from Hewlett-Packard after a 25 year career, half in various engineering positions, and half as the company’s National Contributions Manager.

Nancy is a champion of science education, especially for young girls. Prior to joining the Kidango Board in 2007, Nancy was a board member for RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching). She has also served on several national science advisory boards and helped write and manage two successful National Science Foundation grants for Bay Area school districts.

Nancy is serving her second term as a board member for the Newark Unified School District, and is an elected member of the Alameda County Central Democratic Committee. She is a member of the Newark Rotary Club and the Newark Optimist Club.

Nancy was drawn to Kidango because of its highly successful programs and its talented and dedicated staff. She looks forward to witnessing the organization’s continued expansion, especially in areas that target children and families with the greatest need.

Ronald Towns

Board Member

Bio coming soon.

John M. True

Board Member

Bio coming soon.

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