Avani Patel joined the Peery Foundation as Local Portfolio Director in November of 2013 to strengthen the foundation’s contribution to closing the opportunity gap for youth in East Palo Alto. Her career in education started through Teach for America as a teacher in East Palo Alto. She has worked in both traditional and charter school systems and has served as a school site and district administrator in the Ravenswood City School District, the public school district in East Palo Alto. She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Sociology and African & African American studies. In addition, she pursued her Masters in Education and received her doctorate in Educational Leadership.
Dave Peery is the Managing Director of the Peery Foundation, a family foundation based in Palo Alto, California. The Foundation invests in and serves social entrepreneurs and leading organizations in the San Francisco Peninsula and around the world. Dave is a regular speaker and blogger, advocating for common sense approaches to funding and serving social entrepreneurs. He is a founding member of Big Bang Philanthropy and other funder collaboratives. He currently resides in Bainbridge Island, Washington with his wife Lillie and their five children.
Jessamyn Shams-Lau joined the Peery Foundation as its first staff member in 2009, helping to shape the foundation’s initial strategy and portfolios. Currently, as Executive Director, Jessamyn is responsible for supporting the Peery Foundation team, guiding overall strategy, and developing a grantee-centric approach across the foundation’s portfolios. Jessamyn uses her experience as part of the founding Ashoka U team in her hands-on role as a Board Member of BYU’s Ballard Center, where she created curriculum now taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Jessamyn has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of the Arts London and an MBA from Brigham Young University.
Jocelyn Curran joined the Peery Foundation in September 2014 and transitioned to Special Projects Associate in February 2018. Jocelyn leads project management at the Peery Foundation and explores ways to provide value to grantees beyond grant dollars. Previously, Jocelyn worked at The Pew Charitable Trusts. She holds a BA in Political Science and History with a minor in Women's Studies from Denison University, an MA in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a certificate in International Conflict Management from Johns Hopkins SAIS.
Natalia Schoorl joined the Peery Foundation in July 2016 as Program Assistant. Natalia is responsible for supporting the team as they serve the Peery Foundation's grantees and ensuring the smooth operation of the foundation office and internal systems. Prior to joining the team, she gained experience in the non-profit world at urban and community forestry non-profit Canopy in Palo Alto, managing tree care and planting events and school programs to teach elementary students the importance of trees. Natalia holds a BA in World Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Karelli Cabral joined the Peery Foundation in November 2017 as Portfolio Associate. Karelli manages relationships with social entrepreneurs across the Peery Foundation’s portfolios, as well as collaborates with the Foundation Team to promote Grantee-Centric Philanthropy. She started her career building her business acumen at Accenture, later using business practices to solve chronic social issues around the globe at Ripple Effect Images and Soko, Inc. Karelli received her B.A. in International Change and Development and minor in Anthropology from University of the Pacific.
Lindsey Padjen joined the Peery Foundation in September 2016 as Portfolio Associate. Lindsey supports grantees in the Regional and Global Portfolios, drawing on her experience at Harder+Company Community Research where she conducted program and impact evaluations for nonprofits and government agencies, and her time at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation where she supported evaluation of local HIV prevention initiatives. Her experience in the nonprofit field began as an AmeriCorps member, helping refugees and asylum-seekers access medical and mental health services. Lindsey received her B.S. in Clinical Psychology from Westminster College.