Happy Hollow Foundation

staff

Heather LernerHeather Lerner
Executive Director

Heather Lerner is Executive Director of Happy Hollow Foundation. She served on the board for 6 years, including extended terms as president, prior to this position. Heather has a background in arts, education, special events and fundraising. Heather also serves on the board of trustees for Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto and is an alum of Community Leadership San Jose with the Class of 2011.   Heather was awarded Business Journal's Silicon Valley's Top Women of Influence in 2011.

“My favorite Happy Hollow memory is when my aunt rounded up a bunch of kids and sent us into the garden to find the perfect snail. We jumped in the car and drove out to Happy Hollow and participated in the snail races. I’ve been a fan of special events ever since.” -- Heather

 

Laurel Blankenship
Development Associate
 

Board of Directors

Cindy Newberry

Cindy Newberry
President

Cindy Newberry joined the board of Happy Hollow Foundation in 2011 and served as secretary from 2012-2014. She has a background in Web and communications strategy, and is passionate about working with nonprofits of all shapes and sizes. Cindy has led online projects for national organizations such as Peace Corps, PBS and Direct Relief, and also has worked with local groups including Hope With South Sudan and PACT. 

Cindy and her family have been Happy Hollow members and super-fans since 2005. "My favorite memories are visiting Happy Hollow with other families and watching our kids take their first carousel rides, see the puppet shows, and discover the animals together. As a parent, I loved having a fun place we could go anytime with our membership, and know we also were developing a knowledge and love of animals." 

 
Jill Holdaway

Jill Holdaway
Vice President

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."

 
Bill Tuttle

Bill Tuttle
Secretary

Bill 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. 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."

 

Chris Soden

Chris del Pilar
Immediate Past President

Chris is a controller with SpringSoft, Inc. as well as a volunteer for OneBrick.org.

Chris brings to the Board more than 25 years of experience in finance and administration as well as 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.

“My favorite Happy Hollow Memory is my first visit to the park over 20 years ago when mother and I brought my daughter here on her second birthday. Happy Hollow has been part of our lives ever since.”-- Chris 

 
 

Michael Borkenhagen
Board Member

 
 

Matt James
Board Member

 

Lissa Kreisler

Lissa Kreisler
Board Member

Lissa has been a station personality in local radio for 36 years, appearing on 94.5 KBAY Radio since 1988, and before that at KLOK 1170 for 10 years. Lissa is a local girl, raised in San Jose, who has longtime ties to the South Bay community. She attended Leigh High School and then San Jose State to study Radio, Television, and Journalism. Lissa’s constant smile and infectious laughter have won over the hearts of radio listeners for decades. She’s a dedicated mother, pop-culture addict, and true community leader. She is a community advocate and spokesperson for social and educational causes. Her awards include the Mark Twain Trophy for news, Volunteer of the Year for American Heart Association and Red Cross, and Volunteer of the Year at Presentation High School.

 
 

Jennifer Jacobson
Board Member

 

 
 

Charlie McCollum
Board Member

In September 2013, Charlie McCollum retired from the San Jose Mercury News after nearly 30 years as an editor and writer at the paper and after nearly 45 years in journalism. At the Mercury News, he served at various times as the paper’s city editor, state editor and executive news editor. When he retired, he was the deputy features editor for arts and entertainment for the Mercury and for the Bay Area News Group. During his time at the Mercury, he also wrote extensively about arts and entertainment including television, film, theater and the visual arts.  Prior to coming to San Jose, he worked as a writer for the Washington Star, the Hartford Courant and numerous weekly and monthly publications. Charlie joined the board of the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo Foundation immediately after his 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 board of the City Lights Theater Company and works as a volunteer with such other area arts non-profits as San Jose Jazz.

 
Matthew Mendizabal

Matthew Mendizabal
Board Member

“My favorite Happy Hollow memory was riding Danny The Dragon and enjoying all the fantasies and imagination on the Dragon Trail. From the mighty to the miniature, all the animals present valuable learning experiences for the young and the young at heart. My favorite animal to see is Sophia, the Jaguar; but I also remember to visit all of those little guinea pigs. They live in a world of their own as we watch them interact in their guinea pig society.”

 
 

Matt Micheletti
Board Member

 
 

Juliet Song
Board Member

 

 
 

Bob Young
Board Member

 

Advisory Board

Brian Bacher

Brian Bacher
Board Member

 
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 Works with Zanker Road Resource Management, GreenWaste Recovery and Z-best products.  He is also a Planning Commissioner for the City of Campbell and president of Clara-Mateo Garbage Collectors' Association.

 

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, Susannah now spends her days as the fulltime Online Content Manager and Social Media Princess at Team San Jose (The San Jose Convention and Visitor's Bureau). By night she is a director, actor, produced playwright, theater reviewer and whimsical hat maker. She is a Palo Alto native, the proud human to not one, but TWO, 3-legged rescue cats and has an intense, inexplicable love for armadillos.

 
 

Marcia Maltby
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.

 

 

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