2020/21 Board of Directors
As specified in the Bylaws, the San Jose Woman’s Club (SJWC) is governed by a Board consisting of 14 Directors. Eight of these Directors serve as Officers.
Christine Kraft - President. Christine joined the San Jose Woman’s Club in 2019. She’s a graduate of Smith College and Boston University and has a long career producing personal health stories across platforms. She’s trained as an integrative health coach and in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (M.B.S.R.). Today she is putting all of her creative interests together in order to build cross-generational communities of diverse women in the arts, tech, education and nonprofit sectors. She lives with her family in the Hanchett - Hester Park Historic District of San Jose.
Janis Gemignani – First Vice President. Janis joined SJWC in 2006, serving on the board beginning in 2007 in many roles, including Treasurer and President, and she is a member of the Be a Dear group. Janis is a financial professional with wide experience in corporate governance and building shareholder value. She is on the Board of her homeowners’ association and is a founding member of the Women’s Gathering Place.
Patricia Puentes – Second Vice President. Patricia is Director, Senior HR Business Partner at PayPal. She is a long time SJ resident, Notre Dame Graduate, and OSU Alum. and has served on numerous local boards including Notre Dame High School, was past President of the Western International Human Resource Association, and PMAA (Personal Managers Association Aztlan.) Patricia holds a Masters in International Business and BS in Biology. She has an avid interest in international affairs and is a champion for Education. As an avid lover of global travel, Patricia worked abroad in Japan and has worked/travelled to 43 countries. Her experience with building business relationships while having fun will help SJWC grow to the next level.
Marcia Truswell – Treasurer. Marcia has been a member since 2018 and her previous home was included in the Naglee Park Vintage Home Tour. She is currently Sr. Director Revenue Management at Align Technology in San Jose and has worked in various finance positions throughout her career in the Bay Area. She has a BS degree in Accounting from San Jose State and is an active California CPA. She lives with her family in Naglee Park in a historic house built in 1905 and enjoys the diversity and community feel of the neighborhood. Her other interests include travel and supporting the arts.
Sandy Swirsky - Assistant Treasurer. Sandy is currently the Assistant Treasurer and has been a member since June 2011 when she retired from being a high school librarian. Sandy has previously served as a Director and Chairs the Antiques and Needle Arts groups. She is also a member of the Besse, Be a Dear, and Women Who Do Lunch groups. When away from the Club, she is an active square dancer, musical instrument collector, quilter and needle pointer.
Clorinda Sammis - House Manager. Clorinda joined the SJWC in 2019 because of the opportunity to be of service to others and meet like-minded woman. She is a member of the Woman Who Do Lunch Group. Prior to retirement she worked for over 30 years at various high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley. In her last position as Director of Finance and Administration she was responsible for IT, HR, Finance and Facilities. She looks forward to using the skills gained throughout her career to focus on house-related issues. She loves to travel, especially to Italy, wine tasting in the Paso Robles area and spending time with family and friends. Clorinda is proud that her grandparents arrived from Italy in the early 1900’s and settled and farmed in Los Gatos.
Lydia Patino - Recording Secretary. Lydia has been a member, Director, and past President of the SJWC since 2016. She is currently an Engagement Director at Experis where she manages Managed Service Engagements onsite at Cisco. She has a BA degree in Music Performance from San Jose State University and an MBA from University of Phoenix. She also is a certified PMP Project Manager. She lives in the San Jose Rosegarden area where she owns a 97-year old home that takes lots of loving care. When she’s not working on her home, she loves to travel, listen to live music, or help out at a friend’s winery.
Jackie Daemion – Corresponding Secretary. Jackie joined the Woman’s Club in 2015, after several years of attending the Gingerbread House parties with her granddaughter and marveling at the beautiful building. She is active in the Antiques and Handicraft groups and volunteers for additional events as she has time. Since 2008, she has been chairman of The Committee To Promote Square Dancing, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that runs classes at Camden Community Center, among other activities. Jackie likes to spend time with her extended family, in addition to reading and belonging to two book clubs, sewing, and, in pre-pandemic times, traveling the world and, of course, square dancing.
Marla Hunter - Director of Membership and Inclusion. Marla Hunter is the founder and president of Live.Love.Teach!, LLC, a global education consulting firm. She has worked with many global organizations, and has presented to numerous leaders, to help create more inclusive organizations. Marla is an expert in providing training in: DEI (Diversity Equity & Inclusion) with a focus on unconscious bias, cultural competence, inclusive leadership, women's advancement, authentic leadership, and allyship; EdTech; Teacher Selfcare; and Math Talks. She is also an avid curriculum developer and instructional designer who has taught in Nashville and Memphis, Orlando, and currently San Jose. Marla Hunter has also taught and mentored internationally, in China (Shenzhen), Nigeria (Abuja), and the UAE (Al Ain). When she’s not at work as a Secondary Instructional Coach and Induction Mentor, you'll find Marla working with Downtown College Prep's DEI Committee, at the pool coaching private swim lessons (which she’s been doing for 20+ years), working with educational companies and living a “Life of Yes”.
Edwin Aoki - Director of Technology and Infrastructure. He joined the Club in 2018. Edwin is a Vice President and Technology Fellow at PayPal, where he acts as the company’s Chief Architect. He leads the Strategic Architecture Team, tasked with defining the company’s long term technical road map and enabling the technologies that will allow the company to change the future of money. In this role, he also oversees accessibility and Global Technology Education. Prior to joining PayPal in 2010, Edwin spent 13½ years at Netscape and AOL as Technology Fellow and Chief Architect, overseeing architecture and technology strategy for many of AOL’s consumer facing products, including instant messaging, mail, mobile, enterprise and developer programs. Edwin's earlier roles include positions with Intuit, GO Corporation, and Apple Computer. Edwin is a published author and enjoys the Bay Area’s abundance of good food, great wine, and opportunities to enjoy the natural world. When he’s not at work, Edwin is involved with wildlife conservation and likes to spend time with big cats.
Lynda Sereno - Director of Public Relations. Lynda has been involved with the San Jose Woman’s Club since 2009. She is the PR Chair and has served on the Board as the Director of Technology from 2010 to 2014. Lynda was first attracted to San Jose Woman’s Club because of the beautiful building but quickly discovered a group of like-minded women and a history of women making a change in themselves and their community that has kept her wanting to see the Club grow and prosper. Lynda is retired from a career in software development focusing on technical writing and user interface design. She has previously served as President of Silicon Valley Webgirls from 1997 to 2000, and Publicity Chair for Bay Area Computer Human Interface (BAYCHI) from 2002 to 2004. She lives in downtown San Jose.
Eileen Hunter - Director of Scholarships and Charitable Giving. Eileen Hunter has worked actively in Santa Clara County to improve the lives of women who are economically disadvantaged. She has worked as a Case Manager, a co-founder of a drop-in center for homeless women and the co-founder of the San Jose Woman’s Club Group, Be a Dear and Donate a Brassiere. She has also worked as a Resident Advocate for people staying at a HomeFirst Services transitional shelter. Eileen believes when a group of women sit around a table, open their hearts and minds their power grows. When that happens, amazing things transpire; they begin to believe in a world with possibilities.
Founders and Past Presidents
The initial meeting of the San Jose Woman’s Club was held on December 3, 1894 and Miss Frances (Fannie) Estabrook was elected chairman for the meeting. Nine members were elected to form a Board of Directors and the first officers were chosen from that Board. The first elected president of the San Jose Woman’s Club was Mrs. S. E. McNeil who took office the following month, January 1895.
1894 Miss Frances M. Estabrook first chairman
1895 Mrs. S. E. McNeil first president
1898–1900 Mrs. Louise C. Jones
1900–1902 Mrs. E. O. Smith
1902–1904 Mrs. W. C. Kennedy
1904–1906 Mrs. Alex P. Murgotten
1906–1908 Mrs. W. B. Hill
1908–1909 Mrs.Viola Price Franklin
1909–1911 Mrs. A. A. Fowler
1911–1912 Mrs. J. V. Haley
1912–1913 Mrs. C. E. Randall
1913–1914 Mrs. O. P. Shrout
1914–1915 Mrs. J. E. Hancock
1915–1916 Mrs. Gyp Schumaker-Swain
1916–1917 Mrs. Paul Clark
1917–1918 Mrs. Elizabeth Grey
1918 Mrs. Sheldon Wills
1918–1919 Mrs. A. D. Grant
1919–1920 Mrs. F. H. Eastey
1920–1921 Mrs. Eva Stahl
1921–1922 Mrs.John G. Jury
1922–1923 Miss Jessie Williamson
1923–1924 Mrs. J.W. Nixon
1924–1925 Mrs.Carol Kapp Vorsanger
1925–1927 Mrs. Gertrude S. Hurff
1927–1929 Mrs. A. D. Grant
1929–1930 Miss May B. Barker
1930–1931 Mrs. George H. Ballantyne
1931–1932 Mrs. Fred Doerr
1932–1934 Mrs. Arthur H. Gossling
1934–1936 Mrs. H. Spencer Lewis
1936–1939 Mrs. George L. Sullivan
1939–1941 Mrs. Etta Waddington Smith
1941–1942 Mrs. W. F. Curry
1942–1943 Mrs. George Hampsch
1943–1944 Mrs. J. E.Witherspoon
1944–1945 Mrs. Herbert F. Fisher
1945–1946 Mrs. Charles J. Archambeault
1946–1947 Mrs. Arthur C. Heisen
1947–1949 Mrs. Ernest P. Hockenbeamer
1949–1950 Mrs. Charles Hillis
1950–1951 Mrs. Roland F. Everhart
1951–1953 Mrs. Bert Gale
1953–1955 Mrs. Virgil E.Curtis
1955–1956 Mrs. Ray Souden
1956–1957 Mrs. John D. Robertson
1957–1958 Mrs. Chase Stevens
1958–1959 Mrs. Byron Moore
1959–1960 Mrs. John B. Prolo
1961–1962 Mrs. Peter Mancuso
1962–1963 Mrs. John Cangiamila
1963–1965 Mrs. J.J.Jenkinson
1965–1966 Mrs. Edward O. Johnson
1966–1967 Mrs. Edward B.Campbell
1967–1968 Mrs. Edward R.Terra
1968–1970 Mrs.John P. Benevento
1970–1972 Mrs.C. S. Nebecker
1972–1974 Mrs.Henri Lecat
1974–1976 Mrs. Edward V. Rawlinson
1976–1978 Mrs. Sylvan Rosenzweig
1978–1980 Mrs. Fritz Hargesheimer
1980–1982 Mrs. Peter Hansen
1982–1984 Mrs. Jack McCann
1984–1986 Mrs. Joseph Owens
1986–1987 Mrs. Richard Wheaton
1987–1989 Mrs. Earl Dailey
1989–1991 Mrs. Peter Hansen
1991–1992 Evelyn Ucovich
1992–1993 Mildred Moyer
1993–1996 Jeanne McCann
1996–1999 Mary Elizabeth Nichols
1999– 2001 Alma Taylor
2001–2002 Diana Wirt
2002–2004 Penny Donovan
2004–2006 Rosalie Eisen
2006–2008 Sally Beste
2008–2009 Sally Beste, protem
2009–2011 April Halberstadt
2011–2013 Patricia Curia
2013–2015 Janis Gemignani
2015–2016 Betty Sleeth
2016–2018 Lisa Buchanan
2018–2020 Lydia Patino