Gunn Foundation Board of Trustees

Our dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer board members work hard to raise funding for the scholarships. We also support students throughout the scholarship application process and distribute funds as students embark on the next steps in their education.

Meet the 2019-20 Members of the Board:

Tammy Truher, Board President

Tammy is the parent of two Gunn students and a volunteer for All Students Matter, at Brentwood Elementary School in East Palo Alto. She meets weekly with 4th and 5th graders, concentrating on reading, comprehension, and fluidity. Watching these students learn to love reading led her to the Gunn Foundation, where she enjoys helping kids achieve their goal of going to college.

Tammy’s passions are community building and fundraising. At Fairmeadow Elementary School, she co-chaired the online and gala auctions, the walk-a-thon, and was a PiE Chair. She has worked as an Executive Assistant at a range of companies, including Marin Country Day School, Mother Jones Magazine, InterWest Partners, and A9.

Tammy and her husband have lived in Palo Alto since 2006. She enjoys walks with her family and dog, boating on SF Bay, Giants baseball, and coffee at Philz.

Kathie Laurence, Gunn High School Principal

As our high school’s Principal, Kathie has a standing seat on the Gunn Foundation board. Her connections to Gunn and Palo Alto run deep. As an alumnus and parent of a Gunn graduate, Kathie is proud to work with our foundation and share her insights and enthusiasm for our students and the foundation’s mission.

When she began her role as Gunn’s Principal, Kathie said: “I was very fortunate to have obtained a high-quality education when I was a student at Gunn and I am excited to return and work in partnership with faculty, staff, students, parents, and community members to make sure every Gunn student has the opportunity, access, and support necessary to reach his or her fullest potential.”

Althea Brown

Althea joined the board in 2017 and is Senior Counsel at Google.

She is a parent of a Gunn sophomore and enjoys serving on the board and helping students who are working hard to achieve their educational goals and attend college.

Rebecca Cohen

Rebecca is a parent of two Gunn students and one JLS student. Before moving to Palo Alto from Australia in 2012 she owned and managed a retail store. Prior to that, she was a Preschool teacher for many years.

Rebecca has been an active volunteer at Palo Verde and JLS. She also volunteers at the Ravenswood School District as part of the All Students Matter program. She believes in the importance of giving back to the community and helping in the transition from school to higher education.

Rachel Golden

Rachel is the parent of two Gunn graduates. She has had many positive experiences seeking her own education and would like all students to have the same opportunities as she has had.

Rachel studied biology at Harvard and earned a masters and a doctoral degree from the UCLA School of Public Health. She has worked throughout California in the public, private, and non-profit sectors as a specialist in Maternal and Child Health focusing on under-served and underrepresented populations in order to decrease health disparities and improve the health of all families. Rachel has been serving the board since spring of 2017.

Emily Jaquette, Treasurer

A bay area native, Emily has been involved in many Palo Alto educational causes since moving to South Palo Alto in 2005. She has been a Project Cornerstone reader, the treasurer or auditor for both the Palo Verde and JLS PTA, and was a school chair and then board member for Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE). In 2014, Emily joined the PiE staff. In 2018, she served as treasurer for Measure Z, the bond measure for PAUSD. Emily is eager to help the Gunn Foundation streamline finance and donation management processes and is thrilled to be focusing on and enabling higher educational opportunities for the population of students that the Gunn Foundation serves.

Mala Nayak

Mala Nayak is thrilled to be a part of the Gunn Foundation Board. She has two daughters, both of whom graduated from Gunn. She volunteered at the College and Career Center throughout her daughters’ time at Gunn and supported both her girls as they navigated the college application process. She is hoping that she can use what she has learned with her daughters to help other Gunn students, and is looking forward to working with them as they begin to look at colleges and decide what they want to do after high school.

Mala is a psychiatrist and has worked for more than 20 years at a non-profit that contracts with Santa Clara County to provide mental health services to individuals with serious mental illness. She attended medical school in India and did her psychiatry residency at Stanford.

Skyles Runser

Sky has been involved for many years with Gunn’s Focus on Success Program and also as Assistant Coach for the Gunn Boys Varsity Basketball Team. He serves on the board of the Business of Success beyond Sports (BOSS) Program for middle and high schoolers in Long Beach, CA; and he and his wife also are parents of two Gunn graduates. Sky believes that “Every child is one caring adult away from a success story” and is excited to be a part of an organization that he has long respected and admired and that has opened so many doors for so many families.

Rebecca Thompson Herrema

Rebecca has two students at Gunn and enjoys working to help make the world and our local community a better place. She has served as communications director for the East Palo Alto Kids Foundation (EPAK) and on the boards of Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE) and the Palo Verde PTA.

Rebecca loves to travel and encourages young people to jump on every opportunity to experience new and different places. She has lived, worked, or studied in New York, the Netherlands, Washington DC, New York, Paris, Indiana, Dallas, and Seattle. A Pacific Northwest girl at heart, Rebecca received her BA from the University of Oregon and MBA from the University of Washington.

Guillermo Viveros

Guillermo is the parent of a Gunn graduate and a junior at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. His expertise is in finance and treasury management in the high-tech industry.

Guillermo’s experience includes strategic planning and business modeling for diverse businesses, the development of financial infrastructures, mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures and system implementations. He is also on the Board of Directors for Gardner Health Services in San Jose which provides high-quality, comprehensive health care to people of all ages, backgrounds, and life circumstances.

Guillermo believes deeply in the mission of our foundation. He benefited directly from scholarships during his undergraduate education thus has first-hand knowledge of the impact of scholarship programs like the Gunn Foundation can have in helping students achieve their goals.

Guillermo received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA. He joined the board in 2017 and serves as our Investment Management Adviser.

Paolo is the father of a Gunn sophomore and has been a resident of Palo Alto since 2012. He has volunteered as a parent reader for Project Cornerstone as well as a member of the PAUSD Computer Science Curriculum Design Advisory Committee.

Paolo joined the Gunn Foundation board in 2018. His day job is the Director of Technology for I.G.T. PlayDigital Innovation Lab in San Francisco. In his free time, he enjoys sailing in the San Francisco Bay, baking sourdough bread and being the biggest fan at his daughter’s volleyball games.


Gunn Foundation recruits members to the Board annually for three year terms. If you would like to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a Gunn Foundation board member, please contact us.