Debra Feldstein is a collaborative leader, problem solver, advocate, community builder, and an innovative organizational development and philanthropic strategist. Following a brief career as an attorney in the Boston area, Debra entered the field of nonprofit management and development. She built her 25-year career as an executive director and consultant, working to increase the capacity of nonprofits. She also specializes in rebuilding organizations with management and infrastructure challenges following leadership transitions.
Debra relocated to Silicon Valley in 1999 to lead Hillel at Stanford, where she transformed the program, successfully spearheaded the first phase of the capital campaign for the Center for Jewish Life at Stanford University, and increased annual revenues by 300%. She then served as executive director for City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley and as a consultant for several local and national nonprofits. She has worked extensively with organizations that deliver programs in youth development, the arts, environmental education, academic support, and Jewish engagement. Having worked with large, national organizations, Debra has a nationwide network of resources and individuals.
Debra graduated from Tufts University with a degree in international relations, received a Juris Doctor from the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, and completed a Master of Management degree at the Heller School at Brandeis University. She is a member of the Massachusetts and Illinois Bar Associations.
Debra lives with her family in Santa Cruz, CA. She is an active community member, participating in political campaigns, serving on several boards of directors, and raising funds for various nonprofits. She studies martial arts and has taught karate to children and adults.
Samantha L. Anderson is a strategic visionary with 25 years' experience leading organizations in philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and innovation. Samantha most recently served as vice president of philanthropic engagement and executive director of the Center for Philanthropic Excellence at the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) where she engaged with more than 2000 philanthropists worldwide, strengthening JFN's impact in the Jewish community. She is committed to helping build a more vibrant, meaningful, inclusive, interconnected, creative, and compassionate world.
Samantha came to JFN with a deep background in the field of philanthropy and social innovation. Previously, as Managing Director of Arabella Advisors, the philanthropic advisory firm, she led the New York office and managed a range of engagements for the firm's clients. Before that, at the Skoll World Forum at Oxford University, she curated the thematic content for the largest global convening of social entrepreneurs and philanthropists that had ever been assembled. Prior to that effort, she directed the Yale School of Management/Goldman Sachs Foundation Partnership on Nonprofit Ventures, a $6 million venture fund that capitalized social entrepreneurs with start-up funds and educated nonprofits about building sustainable organizations.
Samantha is certified by 21/64 as a philanthropic consultant to multi-generational families, and is a member of the 13th National Cohort of the Selah Leadership Program, in partnership with the Rockwood Leadership Institute. She is the editor of Generating and Sustaining Nonprofit Earned Income: A Guide to Successful Enterprise Strategies. Samantha graduated from Tufts University and earned her master’s degree in U.S. Women's History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also a Functional Medicine Health Coach earning her certification from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.
Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, MSW is a Ceres Group Advisors strategic partner. Shebreh is a native of Iran and has lived in Santa Cruz, CA for over 20 years. She is the co-founder of Impact Launch, a social enterprise made up of a collective of social impact professionals committed to supporting individuals, teams and collaboratives to work more effectively for equitable and sustainable outcomes. Shebreh is also a professional grant writer and has been recently elected as a city councilmember for the City of Santa Cruz.
Shebreh currently provides professional grant writing; program coordination/management; strategic planning; and facilitation services to agencies working in the areas of public health, education and social services and has been in the field for the last two decades.
Her work has brought multi-sector partnerships together to address complex social justice issues such as substance use, mental health, homelessness and more. Shebreh’s work has generated increased investment and funding in the community, innovative projects, and health focused local policies. Shebreh has secured over $30 millions in grant funding over the last 15 years for Santa Cruz to address a range of issues such as immigration rights, mental health and substance use, juvenile justice reform and youth homelessness. Shebreh currently serves in leadership roles including as a commissioner for the Central California Alliance for Health Board (a managed care organization for the Central Coast of California serving over 300,000 individuals), Board Chair for the Pajaro Valley Health Trust Board (which during COVID provided over $1million dollars in relief funds to local organizations), and Dignity Health Community Advisory Board’s Community Giving Body.
Shebreh has been practicing the Conscious Full Spectrum Response framework, developed by Dr. Monica Sharma, the former Director of Leadership Capacity Building for the United Nations, for over seven years. She has also supported the training of hundreds of other leaders through the Leadership for Community Transformation Santa Cruz County and Leadership for Equity and Opportunity Bay Area. She received her B.A. in Psychology and French/Francophonie Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) and a Masters in Social Work from San Jose State University. She is a mother of two boys, is married and lives in Santa Cruz California. Shebreh strives for equity and compassion in her work and in her every day.
Anu Khanna, Ph.D. is a professor of Intercultural Studies and Communication Studies at De Anza College for over 20 years and has served in various leadership roles throughout her academic career. She served as the Co-Chair of the college’s Curriculum Committee for 10 years, which included leading the development and design of courses and certificates, including the college’s first Leadership & Social Change Certificate of Achievement. Building on her expertise and previous experience in developing leadership programs at the Chair Academy (an organization dedicated to developing transformational leaders in higher education), she was also Project Director at De Anza College’s IMPACT AAPI program (AAPI-Serving Institution, U.S. Dept of Ed Grant) which helped to provide curricular pathways and student success programs for under-represented AAPI students on campus. She is also currently the Co-Coordinator of the college’s long established Learning in Communities program and facilitates academic partnerships across campus to build curricular pathways for students to support key performance outcomes such as increased engagement, retention and completion.
Anu graduated from the University of Illinois and then earned an M.A. from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Organizational Communication, and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Communication (emphasis Intercultural and Organizational Communication).
She is also a Gallup-Certified Strengths coach and uses the CliftonStrengths assessment as a leadership development and team-building tool.
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