Board of Directors

 

Chris Soden

Chris Soden
President

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

Chris Soden 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 

 

Brian Bacher

Brian Bacher
Vice President

 

Cindy Newberry

 

Cindy Newberry
Board Member

Cindy Newberry joined the board of Happy Hollow Foundation in 2011. 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 works with local groups including Hope With Sudan and PACT. She currently serves on the board of Hope With Sudan and organizes service learning activities as a parent volunteer at Old Orchard School.

Cindy and her family have been Happy Hollow members and super-fans since 2005. Last summer, they visited the Page Museum in Los Angeles for free with their Happy Hollow membership reciprocity benefit, and loved seeing all the fossils discovered in the La Brea Tar Pits. "My favorites memories are visiting Happy Hollow with other families, and watching our kids play, 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." Cindy's favorite snack at Happy Hollow: the It's It ice cream sandwiches.
 

 
 

Matt Micheletti
Treasurer

 

 
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.”-- Matthew

 
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.

 
 Erik Schoennauer

Erik Schoennauer
Advisory Board

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

 

 
Heather Lerner

Heather 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

 
Pat Coleman

Pat Coleman
Advisory Board

Pat joined the board around 1988. Have been in every office but mostly treasure. Even though the work can be time consuming I get charged every time I work with zoo teens or the puppet camps. I've traveled around the world managing service or sales support groups with various hi-tech start ups like Atari, Wyse and 3Com. Recently left IBM/Hitachi where I worked as an Account Manager for major OEM Accounts and Manufactures. I 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 effect children in ways we may not even imagine." -- Pat

 
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. 

 
Jill Holdaway

Jill Holdaway
Board Member

San Jose native Jill Holdaway has served on the Happy Hollow Foundation board since 2005. Jill is a Principle Information Developer at Symantec Corporation, a member of Toastmasters International, and has been enchanted by the park’s magic since it opened in 1961.

“My favorite memory is seeing a group of children rolling on the grass near the Crooked House and laughing, and laughing, and laughing while their parents stood by and beamed.” -- Jill

 
John Tang

John Tang
Immediate Past President

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.

 

 
 

Michael Borkenhagen
Board Member

 
 

Matt James
Board Member

 
 

Marcia Maltby
Advisory Board

 
 

 

 

 

 

Happy Hollow Foundation has been involved in many projects that help advance the park & zoo. Prior to the build out, the foundation secured funds for capital improvements (education trailer, education van, spider web play area) and also assisted with funding for operations including zoo, membership, marketing and education staff salaries, staff development and training, animal enrichment and special events. Most recently funds were secured for the brand new Keep Around Carousel, a signature piece of the new Happy Hollow. The focus of Happy Hollow Foundation is to engage individual donors, foundations, corporations, and government agencies in helping to advance the park & zoo.

 

Join the Happy Hollow Board

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

Event Fun!

 

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