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.
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.
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.
Rachel has been a Trustee for Hidden Villa since 2016 but first explored the farm with her twin girls in 2010 after relocating to the area. She joined the Board after learning about its vision for a just and sustainable future and the supporting programs. Rachel is an independent consultant who works primarily with nonprofits and foundations. Rachel brings over 20 years of experience in research and process analysis for strategic planning, program design and organizational effectiviness for nonprofits working in a variety of areas. Prior to this, she worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, joining shortly after its inception. During her time there, she managed the development of the Global Health five-year strategic plan and corresponding business plan. Rachel coordinated the $6 billion planning effort ensuring adequate financial and human resources for implementation. She also conducted research and analysis on new areas of potential giving for the foundation by defining problems, developing and articulating potential solutions, and presenting investment and external partner opportunities. Rachel is originally from California where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. She also has a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo as well as a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington.
Lisa has dedicated her career to the betterment of people and planet. She is drawn to supporting the mission of Hidden Villa because of its combination of social justice and environmental priorities and its focus on youth and community. Lisa is an independent consultant and coach focused on helping individuals and organizations achieve the impact they want to have in this world through coaching, strategy, leadership and organizational advisory services. Over the course of her career, Lisa has worked with others to: transform industries toward sustainable practices; to conserve large desert, forest and watershed landscapes in Latin America through national park designations; and to grow high impact organizations through talent and network development strategies. While she has traveled to 31 countries, Lisa has always revered the landscape of the golden foothills here in Los Altos. She enjoys hiking, yoga, documentary and independent films and spending time with her family. Lisa was raised by immigrant and working class parents who overcame their own circumstances and helped her form the traits she needed to pursue more than one life's share of opportunities. Lisa graduated from Stanford University with a BA in international relations and attended graduate school at University of Michigan's Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, a dual Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Science program. She sits on the board of Prospanica (formerly the National Society of Hispanic MBAs) Silicon Valley Chapter and on the board of the International Coaches Federation (ICF) SF South Bay Chapter. She is involved with Lean in Latinas, which provides a platform of encouragement and support for Latinas in the workplace to achieve higher levels of performance.
Jennifer, a Redwood City resident, has always been engaged in environmental responsibility and access to education. Her corporate management experiences span marketing communications, sales management, and business development roles. After leaving the healthcare industry, Jennifer headed up admissions at Santa Clara University and was an undergraduate reader for Stanford University. As Chief Operating Officer at Presidio Graduate School, Jennifer helped restructure the sustainability management school that trains the next generation of environmental leaders. Currently Jennifer is Director and Founder of Avalon College Advising, providing all types of students a roadmap to optimize their next steps in education. She guides high school students in exploring best-fit colleges. An avid hiker, Jennifer received her MBA from Wharton and BS in Food Science from UC Davis. She and her husband raised three children in Los Altos. The entire family has many fond memories of Hidden Villa experiences.