our Board of DirectorS
Carla Robbins Silver - Chair
Executive Director at Leadership + Design
Greg Leung - Vice Chair
Dan Shaw - Treasurer Vice President at Casco Financial
Elena Marimo Berk - Secretary
Founder of the Creekside School
Director of Corporate Strategy at Adobe Systems, Inc
Legal Consultant to Avanade
Manager of Data Science at Chegg
Chief Executive Officer at Zenreach
Eric Piziali Director of Revenue Operations at Adobe Systems, Inc
Attorney at Rehon & Roberts
Vice President of Human Resources Legal at Applied Materials
Maria Nash Vaughn
As Adobe’s Director of Corporate Strategy, Mark is responsible for driving the long-term strategic direction at Adobe. Prior to joining Adobe in 2001, Mark was a Principal Consultant and PricewaterhouseCoopers where he led a variety of strategy cases/engagements in technology, consumer packaged goods, and retail. Mark holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from UC Berkeley and earned his MBA at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. In addition to his professional career, Mark participates in a variety of activities to help enhance his community, including serving as a mentor with Women Unlimited and as a volunteer with Sunday Friends.
Elena Marimo Berk - Secretary
Elena Marimo Berk was born in Downey, CA and raised in east San Jose, CA. She is a proud graduate of Silver Creek High School in the East Side Union High School District. After receiving her B.S. in Sociology from Santa Clara University and her M.A. in Education and Single Subject Teaching Credential from Stanford University’s STEP Program, Marimo returned to her high school to teach. She dedicated fourteen years of her life to the classroom and community. A few years after the birth of her son, Marimo co-founded the Creekside School in San Jose for children with autism. The Creekside School is devoted to discovering untapped potential often overlooked due to communicative and/or sensory motor-based issues. When she is not fighting for equal access to quality education, you can find Marimo competing in triathlons and cheering for the San Francisco Giants.
Christine Kennedy has been a longtime volunteer with Breakthrough Silicon Valley, helping to develop and lead our professional skills workshops for high school students. She earned her undergraduate degree from Union College in New York, and graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1990. For several years, Christine was a litigation associate with Tyler, Cooper & Alcorn in Connecticut before moving to San Francisco to join the firm of Folger Levin & Kahn. The East Coast called her back for a few years during which time she was the Associate General Counsel of Lone Star Industries (now Dyckerhoff AG). From 1998 to 2001, Christine lived in Paris, France and worked for IBM EMEA as a senior transactions attorney. She then served as in-house counsel for Arch Chemicals in Connecticut before moving back to sunny California with her family. Christine presently serves as a legal consultant to Avanade Inc. Within her local community, Christine served on the Hillbrook School Board of Trustees' in various positions from 2009-2015 and supports various local philanthropic efforts. In her free time, Christine enjoys time with family and friends, reading and tennis.
Greg Leung - Vice Chair
Greg Leung is a technology executive with deep experience in leadership, growth, operations, people development, and strategy. Most recently he was COO at Otto LLC, an early-stage startup. Prior to this role, Greg was the Senior Director of Worldwide Supply Demand Management of Apple, managing a $100B+ global, multi-channel, multi-mode supply chain and organization during Apple’s historic growth period. He began his career as a Merchandise Planner at Gap, Inc.
Greg attended Breakthrough (then called Summerbridge) while in middle school in San Francisco. The collaborative, learning-positive environment was a life-changing experience for him. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire for high school, then returned to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Science, Technology and Society, with Honors and Distinction; a minor in Italian Literature; and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Breakthrough’s mission is personally significant to Greg, and he is thrilled to be helping the next generation of students experience the program. Greg lives in San Mateo with his husband and two young daughters. He enjoys flying and is currently in the process of obtaining a private pilot certificate.
Dr. Courtney Monk has focused her career on improving educational outcomes and opportunities for students from all backgrounds. She is currently a Manager of Data Science at Chegg, an education technology company that helps students succeed academically and professionally. Her team at Chegg provides business analytics and data-driven strategic partnership for business leaders. Prior to joining Chegg, Courtney spent nearly six years at Teach For America (TFA), a non-profit organization whose mission is for all children to have access to an excellent education. At TFA, her work played a key role in admitting Teach For America’s most diverse corps members in history (at the time) in 2014 and 2015. Courtney received her Doctorate in Economics from the University of Oxford. While at Oxford, she studied relationships between health, education, and employment outcomes. Courtney also holds a Master's in International Economics from the Université de Paris I - Pantheon Sorbonne, and a BA in Economics from Princeton University. In addition to serving on the Breakthrough Silicon Valley Board of Directors, she also serves as a board member on iMentor’s Bay Area Advisory Board, the Home and School Club Board at Lexington Elementary School, and the Chegg For Good Foundation Board.
Greg Murphy is Chief Executive Offer of Zenreach, a San Francisco-based company that provides WiFi hardware and customer management software to retail businesses. Previously, Greg served in an executive capacity at Aruba Networks and was also the Founder and Chief Operating Officer of AirWave Wireless, a network management software company that merged with Aruba Networks in 2008. Prior to AirWave, he held senior executive positions at Idealab and On Command Corporation. Greg received an M.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Amherst College. He resides in San Francisco, CA with his husband. When not at work, he enjoys tennis, reading, and cheering for the Boston Red Sox.
Eric Piziali was born and raised in the South Bay Area. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga and later attended graduate school at Santa Clara University, earning his master’s degree in business administration. Eric has worked in the high-tech industry for the past 20 years. While his background is in accounting and financial analysis, he has a passion for managing both functional and project-based teams through complex issues to design solutions that drive efficiency and align to strategic goals. Volunteer work is an increasing focus for Eric with hosting Career Exploration Day for Breakthrough students at Adobe over the past two years, and most recently, joining the fund-raising committee for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Eric sees education as the path for young people toward creating opportunities and choices that empower them to live successful lives. In his free time, Eric enjoys biking, playing bocce ball, and spending time with his wife, daughters and black lab.
Rogelio Ruiz is a 1990 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, and he was admitted to the State Bar of California in December 1990. Rogelio has extensive experience in governance and organization counseling for public and private sector clients. He represents school districts and other public bodies and agencies in governance issues, real property acquisitions and dispositions, public contracting, Proposition 39 bond-financed construction and requirements, construction disputes, facilities planning and issues, and joint use agreements. He also counsels school district clients on all aspects of public employment issues, contract issues, student discipline, and Education Code and Brown Act issues.
Carla Robbins Silver - Chair
Carla Robbins Silver is the Executive Director of Leadership + Design. She has been a career independent school educator, administrator, and student. She has served as the Middle School Division Director and Director of Development at The Children’s School in La Jolla, CA; the Director of Summerbridge San Francisco, A Breakthrough Program; English teacher at San Francisco University High School; and teacher and coach at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco and Holland Hall School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Carla attended Manzano Day School and Albuquerque Academy. She holds a B.A. in English from Emory University and an M.A. in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of San Diego. She has worked with a number of nonprofit organizations and schools in areas of strategic planning, governance, development, marketing, and branding.
Sharon Timoner is VP, HR Legal at Applied Materials. She’s been at Applied Materials since 1996. Applied Materials operates in 19 different countries and has about 14,000 workers. Sharon makes sure the company handles employment matters properly for all of them. In 2011, she was recognized and honored at the ‘Best Bay Area Corporate Counsel Awards’ as the ‘Best Labor and Employment Lawyer.’ Sharon loves what she calls “the drama of employment law,” but her first job after graduating from Johns Hopkins University was teaching English in China in 1985 and 1986. She returned to the states via California and has since made it home. She attended the University of San Francisco School of Law, followed by four years at San Francisco firm Pahl & Gosselin. Sharon lives in Campbell, CA with her husband, Chris, and their two young children.
Maria Nash Vaughn
Maria Nash Vaughn has dedicated over two decades of her life to the Silicon Valley community. She volunteers on a regular basis with the Common Ground Speaker Series, Santa Clara University, Hillbrook School, and Castilleja High School. She is on the Santa Clara Board of Regents and the Castilleja School Association (CSA). Maria graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Santa Clara University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1991. She lives in the Rose Garden neighborhood of San Jose with her husband, Issac, and their two teenagers. Maria and her family are huge San Francisco 49ers and Santa Clara University Bronco fans. The Vaughn home bleeds Red and Gold!