Board of Directors & Advisory Council

Board of Directors

Amy Fox, Chair

Amy Fox is Head of Legal at Oculus/Facebook. Prior to joining Oculus, Amy was a business attorney at Intel for 10 years, most recently serving as Managing Counsel and Chief Integration Attorney for Intel’s $16B acquisition of Altera. Amy also served as Group Counsel for the New Devices Group (wearables) at Intel. Before joining Intel, Amy was in private practice in the Silicon Valley. Amy has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Women’s Studies, and holds a J.D. degree. She is a Fulbright Scholar. 

Ellen Braaten

Dr. Ellen Braaten is a child psychologist and the Director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, and the Co-Director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds. Prior to her graduate studies she was a special education teacher. As a professor, clinician, and researcher, she brings valuable expertise as an advocate for promoting strategies to achieve health and well-being for kids. 

Lorraine Brown

Lorraine Brown is the Director of Community Relations at Castilleja School. Prior to this role, Lorraine served as the Associate Director of Admission at Castilleja for seven years. Her business background includes 10 years in marketing and brand management at the Clorox Company. Lorraine served on Boards at the Riekes Center (Marketing & Communications Committee), Palo Alto Babe Ruth Baseball (Treasurer), Palo Alto High School Site Council (President), Duveneck Elementary PTA (President), and the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo (Treasurer). She recently completed the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce Leadership Palo Alto program. Lorraine earned her B.A. in Economics and holds an M.B.A.; now an empty nester, she lives in Palo Alto with her husband.

Lisa Busby

Lisa Busby has been an Education Consultant since 2017, after 23 years of serving independent schools on both coasts as an administrator and teacher. From 2014-17, she was the Associate Head of School at Phillips Brooks School in Menlo Park. This role followed sixteen years at San Francisco Day School, where she was the Director of High School Counseling and Strategic Planning Implementation Coordinator. Lisa has led the development of school programs and strategic initiatives that nurture student health, intrinsic motivation, creativity, and cultural competence. She has counseled 700+ Bay Area families with application processes for 6th grade through college with a focus on balancing academic goals with social-emotional development. Lisa has served on the boards of California Poets in the Schools and The Lobster Theater Project, the latter as Board President. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature. 

Andy Chen

Andy Chen is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and is responsible for driving the firm’s executive recruiting strategy. He advises entrepreneurs on all areas of talent in order to recruit the best team and build iconic companies. He is also responsible for the KPCB Fellows Program, an initiative aimed at developing and mentoring the next generations of leaders. Before joining KPCB, Andy was an analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) covering science, technology, and weapons. In this role, he provided intelligence to senior U.S. policymakers, including the President of the United States. Earlier in his career, Andy built and led the contingency recruiting practice at Riviera Partners, a leading recruiting firm that specializes in building teams for high-growth startups. Andy earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and applied plasma physics.

Staci Friesel

Staci Friesel is a native New Yorker and experienced project manager. She holds a degree in Communication and has previously held project management and technology implementation positions at PwC, Chanel Inc. and Gap Inc. Staci has served in numerous leadership positions for Cornell University over the past thirteen years. She is currently the Cornell Alumni Admissions Northern California Chair responsible for Alumni and Applicant engagement and event programming, and she sits on the Cornell Trustee Council and the Cornell Advisory Committee to Admissions. Staci is active in, and supports, many local organizations including the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, the Wender Weis Foundation and Fit Kids. Previously, she volunteered as a member of the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary, the American Heart Association San Francisco Chapter, and the Junior League of Palo Alto/Mid-Peninsula. Staci lives in Atherton, CA with her husband and three young children.

Bev Hartman

Bev Hartman is the founder of EngagED Early Education and an adjunct faculty member at Pacific Oaks College. She was a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Stanford University, and Assistant Director of Bing Nursery School, Stanford, a laboratory school for research and teaching. She was the creator and former Director of The Bing Institute, a national training center for parents and educators. She is co-owner of Peak Laboratories, LLC, specializing in gas chromatography systems. She serves on Boards at The Studio School and Peak Laboratories. Bev holds a B.A. in Art and Education and an M.A. in Human Development.

Leigh Matthes

Leigh Matthes is a native New Yorker who has extensive experience in the marketing and advertising sectors, working in both New York City and Los Angeles with the firm Lord, Dentsu and Partners (now DentsuAmerica). She has represented national and international brands such as Nestle and Neutrogena. She serves on the Board of Directors of Holsted Marketing, Inc., a New York City based direct marketing company. Since relocating to San Francisco, Ms. Matthes has been a longstanding and tireless civic volunteer with numerous local charitable organizations. She has served as a Trustee of the Bay Area Discovery Museum, a local leading children’s museum devoted to nurturing childhood creativity. Ms. Matthes is also a Trustee of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Foundation, chairing successful events to support the UCSF Cancer Center and the Department of Pediatric Oncology.


Charlene Margot

Charlene Margot is the founder and CEO of The Parent Venture, a nonprofit organization, and CSM Consulting, an educational consulting firm. Prior to establishing TVP, she founded The Parent Education Series, a leading provider of high-quality parent and community education in Silicon Valley. Charlene began her career in education as a teacher at Bing Nursery School, the research laboratory for the Department of Psychology at Stanford University, and a consultant to IBM in educational software development. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of Adolescent Counseling Services, and the Executive Board of the Wellness Advisory Council in the Sequoia Union High School District. Charlene holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s in Education with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her fiancé and is the mother of two adult children.

Peter Poutiatine

Peter Poutiatine began teaching 25 years ago in the backcountry of Washington State, and the early lessons he learned about experiential education, the expeditionary model, and real-world connectedness have guided his classroom pedagogy for nearly two decades. In 2003, he founded the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at an independent high school in California. The CTL sought to reinvent school-based professional development in a new model that valued timeliness, relevance, and in-house expertise. In 2012, he convened a small team of collaborative educators to design a new kind of high school for Marin County. Much of this thinking about effective education and the future of schooling is captured in his blog and his 2013 TEDx talk. Peter currently works for Edutopia and the George Lucas Educational Foundation as the senior school selection coordinator. He lives in San Anselmo, CA with his wife and three children.

Barbara Rosston

Barbara Rosston has spent many years as a volunteer in the education world, both as a board chair of two independent schools, and as a fundraiser. She is the past chair of the board of Castilleja School and Keys School, both in Palo Alto. She also serves on the board of the John Austin Cheley Foundation, which sends high potential, underserved kids to summer camp. Barb is a former environmental and land use attorney. She lives in Menlo Park with her husband and two college-age children.

Steve Smith

Steve Smith, Ph.D. is a professor of clinical psychology at UC Santa Barbara. He has a private practice where he works with children, adolescents, and adults, with a specialization in boys and men, sports, health, and emotional concerns. In addition, he gives many invited presentations each year at professional conferences, schools, athletic clubs, work groups, and parenting organizations. He also served as a staff psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the author of over 40 empirical papers and has authored or edited five books. Until summer 2016, he will be on faculty of Palo Alto University.

Advisory Council

Sabrina Braham, MD is a physician at Menlo Clinic in Menlo Park, California, where she also serves as an adjunct clinical instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine. Sabrina completed her training at Stanford Children’s Hospital (formerly Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital) in 2009 and joined Menlo Clinic Pediatrics in 2011, where she has a busy clinical practice in general pediatrics. She served as PTA chair at Synapse School in Menlo Park for two years and continues to be active in the area of education and learning differences, via both professional affiliations and philanthropic efforts. She lives in Palo Alto with her husband and three children, is an aspiring dog owner, and very much enjoys cooking large family meals and cycling to work.

Elizabeth Gerber received her sales training at Xerox Corporation and was a national director of sales for the ad agency, TMP Worldwide in Chicago. After moving to the Bay Area, she and her husband chose to raise their children in an elementary school without homework, tests, or grades. She served on Marin Montessori School’s Board of Trustees as vice president, chair of the committee on trustees, and chair of the junior high committee, which established the school’s innovative, land-based program designed to nurture the multi-faceted needs of middle school students. She served as a parent representative on the school’s inaugural Challenge Success team as well as completed its parenting course. Her interests include child and adolescent development, psychology, mindfulness, writing, and painting. She lives in Tiburon with her husband, daughter and son.

Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a director of health services at Covenant House Pennsylvania, a shelter for homeless and marginalized youth. He has written extensively promoting teen health and resilience, including the books Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings and Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust. He has also produced and edited the multimedia professional toolkit, Reaching Teens: Strength-based Communication Strategies to Build Resilience and Support Healthy Adolescent Development. His definitive memorandum for the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds, formed the basis for his congressional testimony in May 2007.

Calla Griffith is a Menlo Park, CA resident and a committed ambassador for the health and well-being of kids in the local community and beyond. She has over 20 years of fundraising and event planning experience, and significant expertise in making an impact in the non-profit sector through building awareness, developing allies, and raising funds for non-profit organizations across the Bay Area Peninsula, including the Children’s Health Council, Menlo Park City School District, and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital.

Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann came to Stanford University in 1996. She is the first university chaplain from a tradition other than Christianity in Stanford’s history. In 2001, she was appointed senior associate dean for Religious Life. She teaches and lectures widely on Jewish feminism, rabbinical ethics, the relationship between religion and education, and social justice. Rabbi Karlin-Neumann was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1982. She has been a Hillel director and Jewish chaplain at UCLA and at the Claremont Colleges, a congregational rabbi in Alameda, California, and a regional director for the Union for Reform Judaism, the congregational arm of the Reform Movement. At Stanford, she teaches courses including “Spirituality and Nonviolent Social Transformation” and “Rereading Judaism in Light of Feminism.” She is married and has two children.

Seth Leslie earned masters’ degrees in both management and education. He serves as the chief development officer at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto where he oversees all fundraising and capacity-building initiatives. He has consulted for Bay Area start-ups in the areas of operations, business development, and strategy. Seth was a founder of East Palo Alto Academy High School, where he transitioned from a National Board Certified math teacher to assistant principal over a 14-year career. He serves on the boards of Camp Tawonga and Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, where he offers expertise in development and fundraising. He previously served on the boards of Wilderness Torah, Glow Foundation, John Gardner Center for Youth and Communities, and the Tech Museum of Innovation.

Alex Lockett is the dean of students at San Francisco University High School where she has worked since 2004. During her tenure as dean, Alex led the founding of the school’s mentoring program, which has received national attention for its innovative approach. A lifelong native of independent schools, Alex is motivated by the desire to help students bring their whole selves to school and to help teachers feel equipped to respond to the needs of their students. Alex enjoys studying systems and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and an MBA. She lives in Oakland with her husband and her one-year old son.

Meredith Pasquesi earned a BS in Biological Sciences and an MBA. For 17 years she worked in the investment management business. Meredith was a managing director at The Investment Fund for Foundations (“TIFF”) and managed private equity investments for non-profit institutions and family foundations. Meredith is interested in education and has worked as a volunteer and board member at the various schools her children have attended in the US and overseas. She lives in Woodside, CA with her husband and two children. Meredith enjoys travel adventures with her family, hiking, and yoga.

Carole Pertofsky is the director of Stanford’s Wellness and Health Promotion Services. She develops and oversees courses and programs related to health and wellness. Her areas of expertise are positive psychology, happiness and well-being, and resilience. She co-founded and teaches Stanford’s first Psychology of Happiness course as well as workshops related to the art and science of compassion, emotional intelligence, work/life balance, and stress management. Carole has served as a Challenge Success advisor since its inception and is also the co-founder of the Spiritual Tools for Healing Center, a cancer survivors’ support network in the East Bay. She is also interested in women’s health issues and is featured in the award-winning documentary that focuses on women and aging, Let’s Face It: Women Explore Their Aging Faces. Carole is a professional consultant, leadership coach, national speaker, and seminar leader at Stanford, the Esalen Institute, Stanford Continuing Studies, UC Berkeley, Women’s Healthy Living Retreat, and coaching associations. She is the recipient of a number of grants and awards, including the Stanford University Margaret Ann Fidler award for exceptional service to the Stanford campus.

Eva Price has an MS in traditional Chinese medicine and a BS in business administration. For ten years, she worked in private equity at Texas Pacific Group and Aqua International Partners. She is also a certified Bikram yoga instructor. Eva is co-owner of Three Sticks Winery, where she enjoys blending the wines with her husband and co-hosting wine events. Eva’s philanthropic focus is on women, education, the environment, health, and medical research. She is also a board member of the DaVita Foundation and the Catrinka Project. Eva lives in Belvedere, CA with her husband and daughter. She enjoys hiking, yoga, cycling, surfing, travel, and cooking.

Garry A. Rayant is a dental specialist in periodontics and implant dentistry and an entrepreneur. He practices part-time in San Francisco. Garry is the editor-in-chief and a partner in Dear Doctor Magazine Inc., a print and online national consumer healthcare magazine. He also sits on the board of Rodan & Fields. He has a master’s degree in behavioral science and has been active in post-graduate dental education. He served as a member of the parent education committee at Marin Academy High School and was a prior chair at Marin Primary & Middle School. He has been engaged in K-12 and college level educational, professional and parent development, and reform. He is involved in a number of Bay Area, national, and international causes and charities. Garry is married and has two sons.

Rebecca Sacerdoti is a Ph.D. level clinical psychologist trained in both clinical practice and research methods. She has significant clinical experience working with adults, couples, teenagers and children in a variety of settings, including private practice, agency work, and in schools. Her research experience stems from time spent as a Project Director in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University, and has also spent significant time working with cancer survivors at Mount Zion Hospital and through extensive doctorate research. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.

Brad Sachs, PhD is a psychologist, educator, consultant, lecturer, and best-selling author specializing in clinical work with children, adolescents, couples, and families. He is the founder and director of The Father Center, a program designed to meet the needs of new, expectant, and experienced fathers. He has published numerous books and articles for both professional and lay readers, including The Good Enough Child: How to Have an Imperfect Family and Be Perfectly Satisfied and Family Centered Treatment with Struggling Young Adults. Brad is also a published poet, composer, and performer. He recently released Hard Tales to Tell, a cycle of sixteen original songs based on stories his patients have told him and has a forthcoming book of poetry, Why Am I Telling You This? And Other Poems From Psychotherapy.

Advisory Council - East

Cathy Cotins is the Senior Director of Executive Education and Enterprise Learning Solutions at Harvard Business School and a former Assistant Dean of Admission at Wesleyan University. Cathy holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and has 20+ years of experience in management consulting and executive leadership development. She looks forward to contributing her experience in higher education, talent development and adult learning to support, promote and implement Challenge Success in the East Coast Region.

Annie Hall is a governance (pro bono) attorney with a strong knowledge of corporate governance issues. She has served various board/council roles, both past and present, including President of the Wellesley High School PTSO when this school adopted the Challenge Success initiative. Annie has previously hosted two East Coast “friend-raisers” and is committed to expanding CS efforts in the northeast region. She acknowledges the challenges of expanding to New England, where “many political and demographic issues impact the potential success of the program.” 

Pamela Kading Webb has been actively involved with Challenge Success since 2013, launching and implementing the program at Dover-Sherborn Regional Schools (K-12), the first CS Member School on the East Coast. Pam co-chaired the CS Initiative at Dover-Sherborn, served as the Chair of Parent Programs on the Dover-Sherborn CS Team, and has worked with three other CS schools in a coaching capacity. She has over three decades of experience working with non-profit institutions in an executive management or volunteer leadership capacity. Specializing in Child/Family Policy and Education, Pam earned a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Patricia Russell is an experienced teacher and the former dean of studies at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. She joined the board of directors of the Mastery Transcript Consortium in June 2016. Patricia subsequently served as the MTC interim executive director and started as the Chief of Education and Operations in February 2018.

Catherine Steiner-Adair is a leading expert specializing in child development, education, and family relationships, she speaks and consults on a wide range of topics, including social and emotional intelligence, health and wellbeing, leadership education, and nourishing healthy relationships in the digital age and developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life. She is a longtime “fan” and colleague of Challenge Success, Denise Pope, and Madeline Levine, as well as a CS Conference keynote presenter.


Former Board Members

Dagmar Dolby

Laura Lauder

Gabriella Layton

Julie Lythcott-Haims

Lisa Stone Pritzker

Bill Rielly

Evan Siegel

Jeff Snipes

Michael Torres

Minott Wessinger

Jane Wolf

Interested in nominating yourself or another person to the Challenge Success Board of Directors or Advisory Council? Nominate here.