Ken Ebbitt, Chair
Ken Ebbitt is the Senior Director of Enterprise Project Management at Upwork and has been a Trustee at Hidden Villa since 2013. Ken is an experienced entrepreneur and investor with a history of leading product development, business strategy and investing in successful consumer and enterprise start-ups. He brings both his business acumen as well as his passion for charitable organizations to the Board. Ken is also co-founder and CEO of The Foundation for Giving Hope, a non-profit dedicated to serving the needs of children with chronic and life threatening illnesses. Ken was drawn to Hidden Villa because of its community outreach programs and working with children.
Sally Falkenhagen, Past Chair
A Hidden Villa trustee from 2005-2012, Sally rejoined the board in the fall of 2013. Sally grew up at Zephyr Cove, Nevada, on Lake Tahoe, a place that instilled in her a deep, abiding love for nature and wild places. She earned her undergraduate degree from Stanford University in Human Biology in 1975, then moved to Los Angeles, where she began a career in investment sales. She managed the Fed funds account for the Investment Department of a Texas bank, then moved to London, England, with her husband, where she worked for Bank of America and Banker’s Trust selling bonds to institutional accounts. After returning to the US, she became a ‘professional’ volunteer and stay-at-home mom. Sally’s volunteer career includes fund raising for Stanford University, for the Junior League of Palo Alto•Mid Peninsula, and for the Rosalie Rendu Center in East Palo Alto. Sally also serves on the National Advisory Board of The Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford.
Sumbul Ali-Karamali, Secretary
Sumbul earned her BA in English from Stanford University, her JD from the University of California at Davis, and her LLM in Islamic law from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. A former corporate lawyer, she is now a regular blogger, writer, speaker, and author of two books:The Muslim Next Door: the Qur'an, the Media, and that Veil Thing (White Cloud Press) andGrowing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam (Delacorte/Random House). She is a member of the Global Muslim Women's Shura Council and Women in Islamic Spirituality and Equality, both of which strive to promote women's rights and human rights from an Islamic perspective. She is on the Advisory Boards of Acterra and Silicon Valley FACES. Sumbul has been on the Board of Hidden Villa since 2005 (with a few years off), and finds continually uplifting the remarkable mission of this quietly influential place, one that has inspired generations of youth to be leaders in social justice, multicultural understanding, and environmental education.
John Austin, Vice Chair Development
John Austin is the Deputy Director of The Garden Project which works with at risk youth in San Francisco on an organic farm. John has a BA from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Champlain. John's career background spans from creative product development to real estate on Wall Street. Prior to the Garden Project John had been the Diversity Coordinator at the University of Vermont working with youth in the Bronx. In his spare time he juggles several hobbies including aluminum product fabrication, motorcycle maintenance, taekwondo and playing music. John was introduced to Hidden Villa when the Director of The Garden Project gave a talk there and has since had the opportunity to enjoy the farm more. The Duveneck's mission of diversity of community is what made John excited about being able to contribute to Hidden Villa in the future.
Rick Kniss, Treasurer
Rick is a retired exectuive and officer at Agilent Technologies (formally HP) having been responsible for their Chemical Analysis/Bioscience Group. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Bruken Corporation and chairman of the Compensation Committee. A resident of Palo Alto for over 45 years, he and his family have had many wonderful experiences as well as involvement with Hidden Villa. Now three of his granddaughters, that live close by, are frequent visitors as well. Rick and his wife Liz have long been advocates of preserving open space in the peninsula. He feels that Hidden Villa is a unique and special treasure, not only for its natural beauty, but more importantly for the educational programs and access it provides to animals and nature. An experience that might otherwise be missed. Rick joined the Board in the Fall of 2014.
Amy Scrivner, Vice Chair Mission Fulfillment
Scrivner joined the Board of Directors in September, 2015. As members of NCL (National Charity League), she and her daughters started volunteering at Hidden Villa in 2006 and fell in love with the location, its purpose and the staff. Amy grew up locally and feels that Hidden Villa is such a unique gem that can provide learning and enjoyment for all ages with its hiking trails, farm animals, organic gardens and variety of programs. Before becoming a fulltime volunteer in 2005, Amy worked for Hewlett-Packard for 20 years in a variety of roles and for a French technology company in France for 2 years.
Bill Whitmer, Vice Chair Board Governance
A retired Manufacturing VP at Komag, Inc., Bill began volunteering at Hidden Villa in 1998. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Board and held the office of Board Chair from 2010-12. Some of his other volunteer activities include helping seniors and low income people prepare their federal and state taxes and teaching computer use at Avenidas, the Palo Alto senior center. He believes our mission, with its explicit dual focus on sustainability and social justice, will inspire us in our service to the well being of our community adding our own contributions to the legacy begun by the Duveneck family.
Edgar Chavez joined Hidden Villa’s Board of Directors in 2011 and currently serves at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University as the Director of Stanford College Prep (formerly Stanford Upward Bound), a college access program with a 30-year history at Stanford. Edgar is deeply committed to education access and equity and is honored to serve an organization that works to improve the lives of our young people.
David Duveneck has a very long history with the organization, as his grandparents, Josephine and Frank Duveneck, founded Hidden Villa. David joined the Board of Directors in 2005 and enjoys his role in representing the Duveneck family. He deeply believes in the mission of Hidden Villa and is proud to carry on the legacy of the Duveneck family of promoting social justice and environmental education. David is a Landscape Contractor and former certified Nurseryman and has been in this field for the past 35 years.
Ashlie Feffer has a deep personal connection with Hidden Villa, as her great grandparents Frank and Josephine Duveneck were the founders. She has fond childhood memories of playing in the sandbox outside of her home where the Dana House parking lot currently stands. Her desire to help refugees learn survival language skills inspired her to earn a Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language from Seattle University. Her passions and focus are in education which she has practiced as a teacher in many states and several countries. Her teaching environments have ranged from classrooms to campfires to crop rows. Currently she is a stay at home mom, while also teaching the Music Together Program, directing church children’s programs, and investing in the next generation.
Leah is the VP of Human Resources at Elastic, a Dutch-based software company. Prior to Elastic, Leah was the Senior Director of People and culture at Plum Organics, an Emeryville based organic baby food company. Leah's passion for values-driven social impact started nearly 20 years ago with her Peace Corps experience in Mali. She fell in love with Hidden Villa and its mission during her first visit and has been involved as a Trustee since. She holds a BA in Anthropology and African Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. She currently lives in Oakland with her husband and their very silly 6 year-old son. They enjoy spending as much time as possible exploring the wilds of California.
Jennifer hails from Oakland, California and has had a life long interest in environmental responsibility and access to education. Her professional experience spans sales management, business development and marketing management roles. She has served on the boards of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lake County and Family Focus of Chicago. She also headed up enrollment and marketing for Graduate Business Programs at Santa Clara University. Then, as Chief Operating Officer at Presidio Graduate School, Jennifer helped restructure the sustainability management school that trains the next generation of environmental business and policy leaders. She is excited to bring her expertise in these areas to the Governance and Development committees. An avid hiker, Jennifer has her MBA from Wharton and BS in Food Science from University of California, Davis. Her three children grew up nearby and the family has many fond memories of their Hidden Villa experience.