2022/2023 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.
Lydia Patino - President. Lydia has been a member with the San Jose Woman’s Club, along with holding various Board positions, including Past President. She currently works in the Hi-Tech arena offering Managed Service Engagements to a book of clients. She has a BA degree in Music Performance from San Jose State University, an MBA from University of Phoenix, and is also a certified PMP Project Manager. She lives in the San Jose Rose Garden 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, bake, listen to live music, or help out at a friend’s winery.
Lisa Buchanan – First Vice President. Lisa is a lover of art, music, cooking and animals. As a highly accomplished, dedicated operations and technology leader with business expertise in mergers and acquisitions and program and project management, she is a Director of Operations and Program Management with eBay. A long time resident of downtown San Jose, Lisa has served on other local boards including CityLights Theater and Paseo Plaza Homeowners Association, and is excited to once again serve the Club. As a past President of the the San Jose Woman's Club, she counts Club members as some of her closest friends.
Clorinda Sammis - Second Vice President. She joined the SJWC in 2019 because of the opportunity to be of service to others and to make new friends. In June 2020 she joined the board as House Manager. 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 continue to focus on house-related issues as well as to continue to support the initiative of diversity and inclusion. 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.
John Blair – Recording Secretary. John formerly held the position of Membership Director for the San Jose Woman’s Club and is excited to take on the role of Recording Secretary for the Club. As a Complex Program Manager at IBM, he has a demonstrated history of success in the computer industry. He is a strong engineering professional who demonstrates effective communication across organizations with the ability to inspire and motivate others, creating alignment of teams and fostering collaboration across organizational boundaries to ensure customer success. John is a participant in the Hispanic Opportunities for Leadership and Advancement IBM Career Progression Mentoring Program and is currently the mentor to a Hispanic female IBM engineer.
Janis Gemignani – Treasurer. 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.
Lynda Sereno - Corresponding Secretary. Lynda has been involved with the San Jose Woman’s Club since 2009. She is the Corresponding Secretary and has served on the Board as the Director of Technology from 2010 to 2014, and also in PR. 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.
Darlene Tenes - Director Diversity and Inclusion. Darlene has joined the Board as Director Diversity & Inclusion. Darlene was the founder of Marketing Maniacs, Inc., a Silicon Valley event marketing and management firm. Founded in 1998, the firm specialized in working with direct to consumer-based businesses and nonprofits with a special emphasis in Hispanic marketing. In 2005 she founded CasaQ, a Hispanic Lifestyle Company that provides products, services and products to people who embrace the Latino culture. She teaches event and meeting planning courses to industry professionals through San Francisco State University College Extended Learning certificate program, Silicon Valley Concierge Association, and other professional associations.
Claudia Corino - Director Bay Area Company Outreach . Joining as Director of Bay Area Company outreach, Claudia is thrilled to onboard with the San Jose Woman’s Club. As a Project Executive at IBM, she has a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry with Global teams. Skilled in Service Delivery, Strategic Leadership, Customer Relationship Manager Project Management Methodologies, and Business Process Improvement, in addition to strong account management and operations, she helps organizations personalize and improve customers and employee experiences.
Marcia Klein - Director Events / Special Projects. Marcia Klein has lived in San Jose for 25 years, but first visited SJWC in 2021, after attending an SJWC diversity training via Zoom. She sensed all the "potential" in the organization and got "kinetic" right away: co-chairing the first-ever "Clothing Swap," "Dignity Drive" (for period products) and Jazz Brunch. Marcia has served as Membership Coordinator and adjunct to the Board of Directors. She has now joined the Board as Director of Special Projects because she enjoys chasing goals in unscripted, entrepreneurial environments. When not at the Clubhouse, Marcia is a classroom docent for the San Jose Museum of Art and she runs a monthly book club for the Jewish community.
Sandy Swirsky - Director Membership and Tech. Sandy is currently the Director of Membership and Technology 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.
Renee Nelson - Director of PR / Communications. Renee is new to the San Jose Woman’s Club board as Director of PR / Communications. Renee is a writer and college instructor who teaches creative writing, composition and literature in the Bay Area. Her passion is designing positive spaces for writers to develop a Mindful Creative Process and stellar reading and writing skills. She is also co-host, web designer, and writer for Words to Write by Podcast, a podcast which discusses and reviews writing craft books, as well as facilitates creative writing workshops.
Charity M. Burton - Director of Community. My name is Charity Burton, although I’m a native of Kansas City Mo., I’m most definitely California bred, and more specifically in the South bay, of The Bay area. I am mother of 5 and recently Glam’ma, with a heart and concern for the people as a whole. As I wrap up my Degree as a Justice Studies/Sociology major at SJSU, it is my mission to be the light and encourage hope, while telling my testimony to all who face adversities in such challenging times everywhere I go. It is my hope as a Black Woman, especially in this generation, to show that resilience and faith can move mountains, while declaring we are all here for such a time as this. Faith over fear!
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
2020–2022 Christine Kraft