Happy Hollow Foundation

staff

Heather LernerHeather Lerner
Executive Director

Heather started on the board of the Happy Hollow Foundation in 2002, and in 2009 became the organization’s first Executive Director in its 50 year history.  In her leadership role at the Foundation, Heather partners with the City of San Jose to provide important funding and support for the growth and expansion of Happy Hollow, covering exhibit renovation, events, conservation, the art of puppetry, and education scholarship.

Recognized by the Business Journal as Top 100 Women of Influence, Heather has received commendations from the City of San Jose, the County of Santa Clara, and serves in leadership roles with Rotary San Jose and the SVO.  She enjoys advocating and funding for the theater and trails quality of life drivers by serving on various boards and committees.

Heather’s favorite Happy Hollow memory is visiting the park as a child, with her favorite aunt and cousins, for Snail Race Day!   Guests were encouraged to BYOS— Bring your own snail.  

 

Laurel Blankenship
Development Associate
 

Board of Directors

Chris Soden

Chris del Pilar
Board President

Chris brings to the Board more than 30 years of experience in finance and administration. She left a controller position in the high tech world in 2010 and has been providing consulting services to non profit and for profit companies since then. She has a passion for animals and wildlife conservation, a commitment to having fun and a strong desire to make her little corner of the world a better place.

Chris is a Robert Brownlee Service Award recipient. This is her third term in an executive position on the Happy Hollow Board.

“My favorite Happy Hollow Memory is my first visit to the park almost 30 years ago when mother and I brought my daughter here on her second birthday. Happy Hollow has been part of our lives ever since - Denise was a zoo teen and was on staff at HHPZ for many years."

 

Jimm Vosburgh
Vice President

Jimm serves as Vice President of Corporate Assets for West Valley Construction, an underground utility contractor based in Campbell.  He is a Certified Automotive Fleet Manager and has been involved in the purchasing & maintenance of construction equipment and construction project management for more than 35 years.  Jimm is actively involved in the West Valley Charitable Foundation, United Contractors Association, Operating Engineers Local  3 Sub-Joint Apprenticeship Committee, Construction Financial Management Association, National Association of Fleet Administrators, the Fresno Chamber of Commerce and the Silicon Valley Organization.

Jimm and his wife are San Jose natives with many fond memories of Happy Hollow as children and as parents of 2 daughters - one of which worked as a puppeteer in the Happy Hollow puppet theater during her high school years.

 
Bill Tuttle

Bill Tuttle
Secretary

Bill is Assistant Chief Engineer - Planning and Development for San Jose Water Company and has been a Happy Hollow enthusiast since 2004 when his daughter was 2 years old.  He is a Community Leadership San Jose 2007 graduate who brings an engineering perspective to the Board (geekiness with a side of humor).

"My favorite Happy Hollow memory is having my daughter's 4th birthday party at Happy Hollow.  Everything was so perfect and the kids had such a great time with the petting zoo, rides and puppet show.  It was the highlight of the party season for the 4-year old set!"

 

Kirk Walukiewicz

Kirk Walukiewicz
Treasurer

Kirk is an alumnus of San Jose Silicon Valley Community Leadership Class of 2005 and is a board member of Central YMCA - Silicon Valley. He is a past board member of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the National M.S. Society and the San Jose Leadership Council, serving as treasurer for three years. Kirk has worked as a CPA since 1999 and is also an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the California Society of CPA’s. Kirk graduated from San Jose State University. 

"My favorite memories of Happy Hollow are coming as a kid and then seeing my amazing nieces having a great time and learning new things."

 
 

Michael Borkenhagen
Board Member

 
 

Vikki Bowes-Mok
Board Member

Vikki Bowes-Mok joined the board of Happy Hollow Foundation in 2015. She has two daughters, Sasha and Austen, who introduced her to Happy Hollow more than a decade ago and has loved the park and zoo ever since. She is a freelance editor and a passionate community volunteer who adores San Jose. She's a 2003 graduate of Community Leadership San Jose and has served on the board of directors for the American Cancer Society, YWCA Silicon Valley, the San Jose Leadership Council and the Belle Foundation.

"I have so many happy memories at Happy Hollow but one of my favorites was watching my daughter's face light up as she came barreling down the slide at Redwood Lookout; pure joy!"

 

Lissa Kreisler

Lissa Kreisler
Board Member

Lissa spent 39 years on local radio, KLOK 1170 and then 94.5 KBAY waking folks up every weekday morning with stories, news and lots of laughter! Growing up in San Jose and spending many days at Happy Hollow Park and Zoo first as a child and then bringing her own kids and later grandchildren, she has shared many stories about her love for this local treasure. Long a community advocate for many non profits, local institutions and a member of the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame, she is so excited and proud to be part of Happy Hollow Park and Zoo!

 

Charlie McCollum
Board Member

Before retiring in 2013, Charlie McCollum spent nearly 45 in journalism, including 30 years at the Mercury News as an editor and writer. He joined the Foundation board immediately after retirement, partly to continue the legacy of his late wife Holly Hayes who was a long-time supporter of Happy Hollow. He is also a member of the San Jose Arts Commission, serves on the boards of the City Lights Theater Company and the San Jose Downtown Association Foundation and is a supporter of such local arts organizations as San Jose Jazz.

 

Jared Miller
Board Member

Before a career in the automotive industry, Jared Miller played baseball and worked for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He currently serves as General Manager of Lexus Stevens Creek and lives in San Jose with his wife and two children. Jared loves to travel, recently going on safari in South Africa, and manages his son’s t-ball team.

“I joined this board because I love animals and love taking my kids to HHPZ. I think learning about animals is such a fun way for kids to learn and explore. There are so many important aspects of the park and zoo like animal conservation, getting kids outdoors, and providing a safe environment for families to come together and be actual families is simply invaluable. My children and I have forged memories that we will all never forget at HHPZ and I want to help do my part to make sure the park and zoo are here for many generations to enjoy.”

 
 

Crystal Riggins
Board Member

 

 

Max Schultz
Board Member

Born and raised in San Jose, Max has many fond memories of visiting Happy Hollow as a child. His two favorite attractions were Danny the Dragon and the Puppet Theater. Fast forward many (many) years, he is thrilled to see how much Happy Hollow has grown and evolved.

 

Advisory Board

Brian Bacher

Brian Bacher
Advisory Board

 
Pat Coleman

Pat Coleman
Advisory Board

Pat joined the board around 1988. He has served in every office but mostly treasurer. "Even though the work can be time consuming, I get charged every time I work with zoo teens or the puppet camps." Pat has traveled around the world managing service or sales support groups with various hi-tech start ups like Atari, Wyse and 3Com. He worked at IBM/Hitachi as an Account Manager for major OEM Accounts and Manufactures. He graduated from UCLA and received my MBA from Santa Clara University.

"My favorite Memory: There are so many but this one story was told to me by a little girl about 8 or 9. She had just attended zoo camp. She fell and hit her head hard on the cement. Her parents took her to emergency where they took xrays. A technician came in their waiting room and posted the xray on the light board. While they were waiting for the doctor the little girl turned and look to her father. She said, 'Don't worry dad, this is just a bruise and nothing more. I've seen xrays of animals like this at zoo camp and they said this was a minor injury.' It made me realize that we do affect children in ways we may not even imagine." 

 
Jeff Cristina

Jeff Cristina
Advisory Board

Jeffrey Cristina is Mayor of the City of Campbell.

 

Susannah Greenwood

Susannah Greenwood
Advisory Board

An advisory board member since 2011, Susannah is a huge, mega fan and uber advocate of everything Happy Hollow has ever done and pretty much will ever do. A big proponent of acting her shoe size and not so much her age, Susannah is a living example that you don't need to be a parent or even borrow kids to enjoy all that HHPZ has to offer. Previously the Princess of Artsopolis for 8 years and the Online Content Manager & Social Media Princess at The San Jose Convention & Visitor's Bureau for 5 1/2, Susannah now "adults" by playing Marketing Outreach Coordinator at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. By night she is a director, actor, produced playwright, local Arts reviewer (Artsalot), author of 100 Things to do in San Jose Before You die, and whimsical hat maker (Chimeric Millinery). She's a Palo Alto native, the proud human to not one, but TWO, 3-legged rescue cats and has an intense, inexplicable love for armadillos.

 
Jill Holdaway

Jill Holdaway
Advisory Board

San Jose native Jill Holdaway has been enchanted by the park's magic since it opened, and she has served on the Happy Hollow Foundation board since 2005. Jill is a retired technical writer and owner of So and Soap, a small handcrafted soap company. She is also active with the American Association of University Women, where she raises funds for scholarships for local women.

“My favorite memory is meeting a lemur paw-to-hand and learning about the animal enrichment activities the zoo keepers provide for them and the rest of our animals."

 
 

David Jackson
Advisory Board

 
 

Marcia Maltby
Advisory Board

 
 

Matt Micheletti
Advisory Board

 
 
 

Cindy Newberry
Advisory Board

 
 
George Rix

George Rix
Advisory Board

George Rix is a well-respected and popular math teacher with kids, parents and staff at Willow Glen Middle School. He’s been on the board of directors for Happy Hollow Foundation for over 6 years. He’s involved in youth sports and the Willow Glen Education Foundation.

His favorite event at Happy Hollow is Haunt the Hollow. We always put him in the role of greeter because he’s an all around great guy and handles a crowd like a pro. 

 
 Erik Schoennauer

Erik Schoennauer
Advisory Board

Erik Schoennauer is the owner of The Schoennauer Company, a land- use consulting firm.

 

 
John Tang

John Tang
Advisory Board

John is a graduate of San Jose State University where he earned BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering, and Columbia University where he received an MBA in Finance. In addition to Happy Hollow Foundation, he also serves on the Boards of the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens and the Santa Clara County Firesafe Council. He is a member of the San Jose Rotary Club also an alumnus of the San Jose Leadership Council’s Class of 2008.

John Tang represents San Jose Water Company and is the father of two boys, Ryan, 5, and Eric, 3, who adore Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. He has many favorite memories of Happy Hollow and they all include his boys playing, laughing, and learning as they explore the park and zoo.

 

Join the Happy Hollow Board

Contact Heather Lerner, Executive Director 408.277.3498 for our board candidate packet & current openings.

 

 

 Association of Zoos and Aquariums Happy Hollow FoundationSpecies Survival Plan