OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Robert Spencer
CHAIR

An urban economist with 25 years of experience, Mr. Spencer is a financial consultant assisting local communities to fund public infrastructure for growth and revitalization. His interest in education reform began as an elected member of the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education from 1995 to 1999. Since leaving the school board he has chaired the boards of several local and national nonprofits dedicated to making systemic changes in public education, including the Oakland Education Cabinet, the National Equity Project, and the Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform. Mr. Spencer is a trustee of the William H. Donner Foundation. He is pictured in the middle of the top photo on the right, at our 2015 Gala.

 

Jim Wiggett
VICE-CHAIR

Mr. James Wiggett, also known as Jim, served as the Chief Executive Officer of Bebe Stores, Inc., since December 15, 2014 until February 18th 2016. Mr. Wiggett founded Jackson Hole Group in 2002 and serves as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Wiggett served as an Interim Chief Executive Officer at Bebe Stores, Inc., from June 2014 to December 2014. He served as an Interim Chief Executive Officer at Air America Radio, Inc. He has a 40-year, multi-dimensional career in human resource and executive corporate management and has a wealth of strategic, retail, merchandising, business and pragmatic business expertise drawn from prominent senior executive positions at Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) Retail Group and others.

 

Helen Bulwik
TREASURER

Helen is a seasoned executive leader with diverse experience as an operating and merchandising executive for large multi-channel national retail, specialty retail and consumer manufacturing companies and as an executive advisor to CXO’s of large and middle market companies. Her career has focused on developing and executing strategies for business development and growth for consumer sector companies.

 

Helen grew up in Oakland and was educated in its public school system, and earned both her undergraduate degree and MBA from the University of California – Berkeley, Haas School of Business, where she also served as an adjunct professor. She is a sought-after consultant and speaker frequently and widely quoted in top business publications and the news media.

 

Marjorie Goux
SECRETARY

Marjorie Goux is Chief Legal Counsel at the quickly growing Clif Bar & Company in Emeryville, California. Previously, she served as The Clorox Company’s Chief Counsel for its global strategic partnerships group and as the general business counsel to the Glad Products Company (a Clorox/P&G JV) and Clorox’s North American Homecare business. She began her in-house journey at Hewlett-Packard Company as the Global Trademark and Anti-Counterfeiting Counsel for the Imaging and Printing Division. Her early career included a wonderful time, well spent, as a member of Baker McKenzie’s award-winning private practice IP team, both in London and Palo Alto. Outside of business, Marjorie passionately seeks ways to disrupt the poverty cycle in this country, and in particular, she advocates for education reform and improving conditions for women and girls in the workplace, home, and school.

 

Delida Costin
MEMBER AT LARGE

Delida Costin is a corporate legal executive, a non-profit board leader, and a history enthusiast. She built her career on high-growth teams in industries where technology forced evolution. As an attorney, she practiced law in the charged space and time after consumers adopted new products but before the cases were heard and the statutes enacted. She served as general counsel at lynda.com prior to its sale to LinkedIn and as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Pandora Media where she built the legal team that took the company public.

 

She launched a parallel track of public service when she was in college and over the years has worked to ensure that prisoners receive access to law libraries, taught English to Hmong kids, won political asylum for a Haitian family, and advocated for sexual assault survivors as they interacted with medical and law enforcement personnel. She is the founder of Sisters Testify, a history project designed to find and engage 1600 people who signed an ad that appeared in The New York Times in 1991.

 

Delida has served on several non-profit boards. Currently, she is a board director and finance committee member of the Independent Television Service, the producer of the Emmy-award-winning series Independent Lens. She is also vice president of the Oakland Symphony board and a member of the Oakland Public Education board.

 

Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and Andre Norton’s Outside ignited her lifelong love affair with science fiction and fantasy. She moved to California to snowboard (a sport she taught briefly).

 

Rupa Chandra Gupta
MEMBER AT LARGE

Rupa is cofounder and CEO of Sown To Grow, an impact-driven education technology company designed to improve student ownership and engagement in learning. She also supports OUSD’s Roosevelt Middle School via leadership and school design coaching. Previously, she served in both district office and school roles in San Jose Unified School District, most recently leading school redesign implementation. Before working in schools, Rupa spent nearly 10 years working in strategy and nonprofit consulting at Bain & Company and The Bridgespan Group. She earned her Bachelors in Chemistry and Business Administration from UC Berkeley, her MBA from Stanford University, and her Masters in Educational Leadership through The Broad Residency. Rupa lives in Oakland, and can often be found enjoying the parks, restaurants, and libraries of our great city with her family.

 

Betsy Merzenich
MEMBER AT LARGE

Betsy is a proud Bay Area native with a deep commitment to public education and social justice. She currently works as Senior Director at Hirsch & Associates Philanthropic Advisors, providing strategic and practical partnership to her clients and the communities where they give. She is equally comfortable designing philanthropic approaches, launching new initiatives, and building grant portfolios, and loves working as a connector and collaborative problem solver.

 

Betsy has 20 years of experience in the fields of education, youth development, and organizational consulting, a career inspired by the years she spent working in classrooms and communities with immigrant youth and families. She holds a B.A. in Government from Cornell University and an M.A. in Education from Stanford University. She lives in Oakland with her husband and son, who work in and attend OUSD schools.

 

Rhonnel Sotelo
MEMBER-AT-LARGE

Rhonnel joined the Rogers Family Foundation in April 2013 as its Chief Strategy Officer. In June 2014, he became the Foundation’s Executive Director, taking on responsibility for the executive management of the Foundation’s operations and grantmaking. Rhonnel also holds principal accountability for the Foundation’s strategy and initiative implementation, maintains key community relationships, and collaborates closely with the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer.

 

Previously, Rhonnel served as the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Program & Operations for the Stuart Foundation where he oversaw program strategy, grants management, and operations. His 20 years of experience also includes coordinating and managing The San Francisco Foundation’s West Oakland Initiative, and owning and operating Urban Works, an urban planning and design firm focused on neighborhood planning and livable communities in California and the Pacific Northwest. Rhonnel holds a Master of Arts in Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Arts in English, both from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a member of The San Francisco Foundation’s Koshland Committee for Civic Unity and serves on the Board of Directors for the Oakland Public Education Fund. He lives in Oakland with his wife Chris and their two daughters, Quin and Kate.

 

Photo at right: Ed Fund Board President Bob Spencer (middle) at our 2015 Gala
Photo below: Former Ed Fund Board Secretary Lillian Cordova-Lopez at the Gala
Both photos Copyright Hasain Rasheed