Board of Trustees
The Presidio Knolls School Board of Trustees provides governance and oversight to PKS. Among other duties, the Board refines and oversees the implementation of the school’s mission and values, raises funds for the school and its expansion, works to strengthen the school’s programs and services by setting standards of excellence, and ensures integrity and accountability. To volunteer for projects of the Board or to express interest in being nominated as a Trustee, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016-2017 Board of Trustees
Angela is a general pediatrician and Assistant Chief of Pediatrics at Kaiser San Francisco. Aside from her busy pediatric practice she also holds a volunteer teaching position with UCSF as Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics. Prior to serving on the board at PKS, she was board Vice President for Wu Yee Children’s Services, a nonprofit focused on early education and family support resources for low income and immigrant children in San Francisco.
Although Angela was born in Hong Kong, her family moved to a small coal mining and farming town in Kentucky where she spent her formative years. Thankfully, her paternal grandparents lived with the family, allowing her to preserve just enough of her Cantonese language skills to order Chinese food. Residency training in pediatrics at UCSF brought her San Francisco where she and her husband, Lawrence, have happily settled.
Angela’s daughter Amelia is in second grade at PKS. Her Mandarin language skills have rapidly overtaken those of her parents, who feel fortunate every day to be part of this vibrant school community. Angela and Lawrence also have a son, Aidan, Amelia’s twin, who in keeping with being opposite from his sister in all ways, found the immersion was not a good fit for him. He attends a nearby school with a similar progressive/ inquiry based educational model - but happily for him, all in English.
Anu leads Community Partnerships at Help a Mother Out, a local nonprofit that works to improve baby and family well being by increasing access to diapers for families in need. She previously served as the Director of Admissions and Operations at Presidio Knolls for three years.
Anu’s background is in law and public policy with an emphasis on promoting the rights of women and disadvantaged communities domestically and internationally. Prior to working at PKS she was the Associate Director of the City and County of San Francisco Department on the Status of Women where she developed innovative, internationally-recognized human rights programs, with a focus on improving the workplace for women. She previously worked on a range of civil and human rights issues at the ACLU of Northern California, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Stanford Community Law Clinic, and Human Rights First.
Anu holds a BA from Stanford University, a MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University, and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley. Anu, her husband Akash, and their son are excited to be active members of the PKS community at this exciting time in the school’s development.
Cheng-Ling is a creative nonfiction writer passionate about women’s stories. She is creating HERliograph.com where women can connect over the heroic ways they show up in their lives. Prior to writing, Cheng-Ling practiced transactional law in San Francisco, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. She spent her best days in the law advocating for immigrant women seeking protection under the Violence Against Women Act and for children seeking refugee status. She is also a member of Pipeline Angels, a network of women who invest and create capital for women entrepreneurs with social missions.
Cheng-Ling grew up Taiwanese in South America. While attending an American school in Ecuador, she became literate in Chinese thanks to her determined father who taught her at home for many years. She later attended a bilingual high school in Taiwan, where she met her husband Andy. She is proud of her Mandarin heritage and is ecstatic that her boys William and Orion are discovering the world by being part of the special PKS community. On weekend mornings they can be found dancing or rapping to Mandopop in their sunny Potrero Hill home.
Cheng-Ling holds a BA from Brown University, a JD from UC Berkeley School of Law, and an MFA in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco.
Ching-Yee is the founder and CEO of Sprogs, a San Francisco natural foods startup. After early stints in management consulting and tech product management, Ching-Yee followed her heart into consumer marketing and product development in 2002. She started her brand management career at General Mills, where she managed established brands and innovation initiatives in the cereal, canned soup and meals categories. After moving back to the Bay Area in 2006, Ching-Yee joined Nestle USA, where she led the Dreyer’s and Häagen-Dazs ice cream brands. Ching-Yee was most recently Director of Kettle Chips, and Director of Consumer Strategy and Innovation for Diamond Foods.
Ching-Yee holds an MBA from The Tuck School at Dartmouth and undergraduate degrees in English and Economics from U.C. Berkeley. She has been named in Ad Age Top 100 Marketers, and has guest lectured for the Design MBA program at California College of the Arts and graduate classes at U.C. Berkeley.
Ching-Yee and her husband Gary love living in Glen Park with their spoiled hound Milo and two daughters, Elie and Zoe, both proud and thriving students at Presidio Knolls.
Jeremy is a Managing Director of Lightspeed Venture Partners, a venture capital firm with over $3bn under management, where he focuses on consumer mobile and internet investing. He led Lightspeed’s investments in Snapchat, The Honest Company, Giphy, Whisper, Playdom, Mic, Bonobos and Affirm, among others. Previously, Jeremy was with AOL, first as SVP of Corporate Development and Chief of Staff to the CEO and then as General Manager of Netscape. He also held roles at IAC, McKinsey and CitySearch, where he was an early employee.
Jeremy holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA/BS from the Australian National University in Linguistics and Pure Mathematics. He was a massive nerd in high school, where he was on the Australian team at the International Maths Olympiad, and has spent the rest of his life overcompensating. Hence the colorful pants.
Jeremy was born in Singapore, grew up in Malaysia, England and Australia, and worked in South Africa, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC before wising up and settling in San Francisco in 2006. He likes to keep one step ahead of the law. He and his wife Ranee have two children at PKS, Ellie and Jett.
Jimmy Quach grew up in San Francisco, which means he grew up as a die-hard Giants and Warriors fan when the teams were bad.
Jimmy’s passion is the alleviation of global poverty through market-driven businesses, and he is the founder and CEO of Good Paper. As the world’s leading fair trade greeting card company, Good Paper employs survivors of human trafficking in the production of its handcrafted cards. Prior to this, Jimmy held positions in the nonprofit sector and in software product management. Jimmy has an MBA from UC Berkeley and a BA in Applied Math from Harvard.
Proud members of the PKS family since 2012, Jimmy and his wife Ivy live in Potrero Hill with their two daughters, Karina and Chloe. Because sports fandom has come a little too easy for the girls so far (too many championships too quickly), Jimmy is teaching them valuable life lessons in loyalty and disappointment by also training them to root for Cal.
A partner in Grant McCarthy Group’s San Francisco office, Joe has over 20 years of experience navigating federal and state corporate tax issues. Joe’s practice consists primarily of advising and representing electric and gas utilities and high tech companies. Joe opened his firm’s California office in 2003, and is a regular speaker at regional and national tax conferences.
Joe was born and raised in wintery Minnesota. Now living with his family in San Francisco, he has adopted the Giants, Sharks and Warriors as home teams, but keeps his kids dressed in purple and gold each fall. Joe and his wife Kristen’s son Quinlan currently attends PKS. Their daughter Amelia is a PKS alumna and remains close with her PKS friends.
Joe received an A.B. from Stanford University, a J.D. and an M.B.A. from Columbia University, and an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in California and in New York State.
Raised in Hawaii on the islands of Oahu and Maui, John has been a designer, real estate developer, investor and builder based in San Francisco since 1989.
With a primary focus on land acquisition, entitlement, design and development of apartment buildings, infill mixed/use commercial buildings, condominium buildings and single family homes. As an individual and through partnerships he builds in both California and Hawaii.
Karen Gullo is an award-winning writer and journalist who has been reporting on business, government, politics and law for major news organizations in San Francisco, Washington and New York for more than two decades. She is currently an analyst and media relations specialist at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the leading nonprofit defending civil liberties in the digital world. At EFF Karen writes about user privacy, government surveillance and copyright, and develops media strategy.
Previously Karen was a reporter at Bloomberg News in San Francisco, where she covered legal issues in the tech and financial services industries. On the international front, Karen was a China-Hong Kong journalism fellow at the East-West Center, engaging in dialogue with government officials, business and community leaders and university students in Beijing and other cities across China. In Washington, Karen was a reporter for The Associated Press, where she was an investigative reporter and covered the Justice Department and politics, including the 2000 presidential election. Karen is the recipient of national and local journalism awards, including the Jesse H. Neal Award Business Journalism Award.
She is a native of Chicago and resides in San Francisco with her daughter Gemma, who has been attending PKS since 2012. Karen has been a PKS room parent and a member of the school's marketing committee.
Katie Biber is an expert in the legal, policy, and trust and safety issues that arise for marketplace platforms and “sharing economy” companies. She currently serves as general counsel at Thumbtack, just around the corner from PKS. Previously, she was senior counsel at Airbnb, where she focused on litigation and regulatory matters in the US and globally.
Before moving to the Bay Area, Katie worked for more than 15 years at the highest levels of politics and government. She served as general counsel to the Romney for President campaign in 2012 and has counseled countless other candidates, party committees, corporations, and nonprofits in enforcement and compliance matters. She also has significant experience navigating clients through investigations by the Justice Department and congressional committees.
Katie graduated from Harvard Law School, where she met her husband Mark. Their two sons are in their fourth year at PKS. Katie is the only member of her family (other than the dog) who does not speak fluent Mandarin, but she endeavors to learn a little more every day.
Kevin Wong is a third-generation real estate broker for his family’s San Francisco real estate practice, Golden Coast Properties, which brokers both commercial and residential transactions. Kevin and his wife Audrey, have two boys who attended PKS for preschool. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Kevin was a four-year oarsman on the Cal crew team and in his spare time is a volunteer coach at Stuart Hall High School’s cross country and track teams.
Kurt is a passionate professional educator and an adjunct professor of biogeography at SFSU. He has an eclectic background as a satellite controller, pilot, landscape ecologist (PhD from Berkeley), published scientist, founder of a literary journal (Camas), and visiting scholar in Russia. Despite all that, he says the greatest thing ever is being a dad!
Kurt’s family joined PKS at the old Lombard site in 2010. His son is currently in second grade. When PKS moved to the current site, Kurt created the Kids Environment Committee to improve air and sound quality and the green spaces both inside classrooms and outside.
Kurt serves on the Master Planning committee seeking to maximize the open green play space in our kids’ urban educational enclave.
Lanier Coles is a Senior Director in the Corporate Development group at Kaiser Permanente. Lanier also worked in investment banking in Asia and New York prior to transitioning into business development and M&A roles in the healthcare industry. Lanier has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business and a B.S. in Finance and Chinese Studies from the University of Virginia.
Lanier started studying Mandarin in high school in Richmond, Virginia. She also studied Mandarin in Harbin and Beijing in her 20s. However, her best Mandarin teacher has been her children’s Chinese nanny in San Francisco. She and her husband Charlton have two sons at PKS.
Laura is a strategy executive with nearly twenty years of leadership experience in the financial services and payments industries. She is currently SVP of Marketing Analytics and Insights at Visa. Prior to joining Visa, she led strategy for Client Solutions at Charles Schwab. Laura has also held finance, strategy and operating roles at Allstate, J.P. Morgan, Bank One, and Smith Barney. She has also served on the Boards of several non-profit organizations, including as Treasurer and President of the Board of The Arts of Life, a Chicago-based studio for artists with developmental disabilities. Laura holds an MBA in Finance from NYU and a BA in History from Williams College.
Laura, her husband David, and their son Max joined the PKS community when they moved to San Francisco in 2012.
Leo Ma is a Principal with Century Urban, which provides real estate advisory and consulting services to clients including public agencies and institutions as well as private developers and landowners. Additionally, Century Urban evaluates and pursues select acquisition and/or development projects as potential principal investment opportunities.
Leo has an extensive background in real estate development and investment. He has served as Chief Financial Officer for Waypoint Homes, a leader in the emerging industry of single family rental, and Executive Vice President, Investments for Kenwood Investments where he was involved with the redevelopment of Treasure Island in San Francisco, California. He has also held roles at several other real estate companies including the urban real estate group of MacFarlane Partners where he led investments in urban infill development projects and Catellus Development Corporation where he worked on the development of the Mission Bay project in San Francisco, California.
In addition, Leo is a licensed architect in California, and his experience includes work as an architect with several architecture and planning firms. He holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and both a Master of Architecture and a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley. Leo, his wife, Ming Ming, and their daughter, Alexandra, are thrilled to be a part of the PKS community.
Matt has east coast roots, growing up outside of Boston and attending both public and private schools as a child. He got his first taste of the Bay Area when he came to study computer science at Stanford University. After school, Matt joined the entrepreneur ranks, founding a company called Justarrive, one of the first e-ticket companies focused on sports. During his career he has also worked at Microsoft, Deloitte and a handful of technology startups before ending up in his current role as the CTO of Pocket.
A fortuitous decision to head to North Carolina for business school led him to meet his wife, Christine, at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. In 2008, Matt and Christine moved back to the Bay Area to start their family. Matt and Christine have two daughters, Maile and Lauren, who both attend Presidio Knolls.
Melody Meckfessel is a technology leader with 20+ years of experience building large scale distributed systems. She started programming in her early 20’s while working at startups, then in enterprise software, and now works at Google where she has been an executive leader since 2004. As a Senior Director of Engineering, she leads a global team responsible for the infrastructure used by developers of Google’s internal and external Cloud Platform. She graduated from UC Berkeley where she studied biology and history.
In her free time, Melody is passionate about producing her own wine under the label, Poundstone Wines. She was inspired by her childhood growing up on a ranch in Northern California. Her approach is centered around good farming practices, engineering experimentation, and a strong family tradition.
Melody is the proud mom of Edina, who began PKS in 2012. She is an advocate of STEM for underrepresented communities and is committed to bringing STEM to future generations of PKS children.
Rachel brings a broad array of experience to the Board of Trustees, including strategy, recruiting, admissions, fundraising, organizational development, management, data and analytics, and technology. She currently serves as Executive Director at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, an education nonprofit based in the Mission District. Previously, Rachel was a Vice President on the Strategy team at Teach For America, a national education reform organization. Earlier in her career, Rachel worked as a management consultant at Marakon Associates, and in fundraising for Cambridge University. Rachel holds an MBA and Masters of Education from Stanford University and a BA and MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, England. She also spent two years as a Mellon Fellow at Yale University.
Rachel and her husband Robin are very proud to be in their eighth year with PKS, having joined the preschool in 2009. Their children are Simon (Class of 2021) and Isobel (Class of 2023).
Ranee has held a number of executive management roles in the consumer internet industry, most recently as Vice President at Art.com, where she launched a new business line of contemporary art sourced from emerging artists worldwide. Prior to that, she was Senior Director of Business Development for Washingtonpost.com / Newsweek Interactive where she negotiated and managed all operational and strategic partnerships. Ranee has also worked at deviantART, Time Warner, AOL and McKinsey & Co. She has a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern.
Ranee grew up in Chicago in a Thai-Chinese immigrant family with quadrilingual parents, yet somehow managed to become a stereotypical monoglot American. She is committed to ensuring that her children don’t suffer the same linguistic fate. Ranee lives in the Barbary Coast neighborhood of San Francisco with her monolingual husband Jeremy, and her bilingual children Ellie and Jett. She serves on the board of the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association where she is working to transform San Francisco’s northeast waterfront into a more livable, family-friendly community.