About PVF > Foundation Staff

⇒Bill Somerville

President and Founder of PVF, Bill brings 50 years of experience in non-profit work, including 17 years as Executive Director of the Peninsula Community Foundation.

Bill is nationally recognized as an expert on creative grantmaking. He has consulted at over 400 community foundations in the United States, Canada and abroad on effective operations and grantmaking. Bill published the periodical Building Community Foundations, distributed to 950 community foundations worldwide. He has taught courses on philanthropy at Stanford University, UC Berkeley's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and Laney Community College, in Oakland, CA.

Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker, by Bill Somerville with Fred Setterberg, published in February 2008 by Heyday Press, is a guide to decisive, hands-on grantmaking, to energize and motivate individual donors, foundation grantmakers, and nonprofit leaders alike. 

Bill is a recipient of the 2004 Gerbode Fellowship Award in recognition of outstanding achievement as a non-profit executive. He is a member of the National Advisory Board, Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford University, the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare Advisory Board, and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health Advisory Board.

Email: bsomerville@venturesfoundation.org

⇒ James Higa

Executive Director, James brings 28 years of executive experience from Silicon Valley to PVF. He reported directly to Steve Jobs for much of his career and worked alongside him to change the face of technology as we know it. He was at the birth of the personal computer revolution as a member of the original Macintosh team and deeply involved in the creation of many of the breakthrough products and ser­vices at Apple over the last three decades.

James had a direct hand in transforming entire consumer industries through his work on the negotiating team of the landmark iTunes agreements with the record labels that changed music forever. His spark of innovation helping to launch iTunes University was a formative event in the emerging online education revolution.

James has a long history of public service as a member of the National Advisory Board, Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford University, and in the grassroots relief efforts during the 2011 Tohoku and 1995 Kobe Earthquakes in Japan. He is also a member of the Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources Advisory Council. He has served on the Stanford Alumni Association Board of Directors, Stanford Admissions Office National Advisory Board, and as an arbitrator for the International Chamber of Commerce.

Email: jhiga@venturesfoundation.org

⇒ Dawn Hawk

Senior Program Officer, Dawn handles PVF grantmaking, conducting site visits, outreach and evaluations of non-profit organizations. She is responsible for PVF's trademark Immediate Response Resource Grants Programs. Dawn's expertise is in program design and administration.

She received a Master of Arts in Film Production from San Francisco State University and has a diverse background in small business management, teaching and film production. Dawn’s wide-ranging volunteer efforts in the community include working as an adult literacy tutor; serving on the Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council to address the challenges of neighborhood crime and violence; and serving as a board member for a local Friends group to revitalize an Oakland park and expand after-school opportunities for youth. 

Email: dhawk@venturesfoundation.org

⇒ Ashley Murphy

Program Officer, Ashley is responsible for program and development support and office management. She received a Bachelor of Arts in International Service with a focus on Conflict Resolution and African Studies from American University in Washington DC. Upon graduating, she worked with an international nonprofit in Rwanda, lending her writing and researching skills to support their peacebuilding programs. Ashley has a strong passion for social and environmental justice and volunteers with multiple organizations focused on these issues in her spare time.

Email: amurphy@venturesfoundation.org

⇒ Aly Quiroz-Perez

Administrative Assistant, Aly processes the daily grants and gifts that PVF receives. She has B.A. degrees in Chicano/a Studies and Spanish from the University of California, Davis. After graduating college, Aly began exploring the nonprofit world by completing several internships with organizations around the Bay Area, such as the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and GRID Alternatives. In her free time, she likes to read, listen to music, and volunteer.

Email: aquiroz-perez@venturesfoundation.org


PVF Board