Board Members

Board of Directors

Liz Quinn | Board Chair

Liz Quinn is a HR executive with experience in high tech from start-ups to public companies. After over thirty years working as a HR leader focused on talent development, organizational effectiveness and business partnering with companies like Apple and Adobe, she recently retired and has begun working as an Executive Leadership Coach, Facilitator and Consultant. Liz has a BS in Psychology & Human Development from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Liz joined the Kara board in 2012 and served for seven years before taking the required leave in 2019. She returned to Kara and board service in 2020. Her deep commitment to Kara is to ensure that anyone in our area who needs grief support services has access to support them on their own healing journey. Having experienced the death of her mother when she was eighteen, she understands how critical access to grief support services are for both individuals and families. She has seen the positive impact of Kara’s programs as she has also volunteered as a Camp Kara counselor and is inspired by the Kara staff and volunteers who support this important work. She lives in Los Altos and enjoys time with family, friends and her dog Chloe.


Elisa Odabashian | Vice Chair

Elisa Odabashian serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Kara. She retired in 2019 from Consumer Reports magazine after 25 years. There, she directed the organization’s West Coast Office and managed a talented group of attorneys, policy experts and advocates as they developed strategies to pass state and federal laws to protect consumers, particularly low-income consumers.

Soon after retiring from Consumer Reports, Elisa joined the faculty of University of California at Berkeley, where she teaches graduate students in the School of Public Health on the topic of health policy advocacy. She is the Chair of the Board of Public Health Advocates, a California-based non-profit advocacy organization that brings a public health lens to today’s most pressing problems, helping communities to pass laws, reform systems, and establish norms that foster justice, equity and health.


Jessica Ovbiagele | Treasurer

Jessica Ovbiagele is a Finance Leader with over 20 years of extensive experience in different sectors including Public Accounting, Public Healthcare, and NonProfit. She is currently the Assistant Director of Finance at Internet Archive, a NonProfit Company with its headquarters in San Francisco. She holds a MEng in Petroleum Engineering from Imperial College London, England and MBA from The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina.

Jessica is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Global Management Accountant. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her family. She joined the Kara Board in 2023, after serving on the Finance Committee in 2022.


Jacquie Davidson | Secretary

Jacquie Davidson is a Global Director at Vialto Partners. She is an international Global Mobility and Employee Experience leader with 20+ years of industry experience across multiple areas such as benefits, HR technology, future of work, shared services, employee experience, and global mobility. Prior to jumping into the tech sector, Jacquie was a university administrator and an adjunct lecturer in the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University(SCU). SCU was where she first learned about Kara and their services. As a Student/Residence Life professional and advocate, she referred students to Kara for additional support and came to understand first hand how impactful and important Kara’s services are.

One of the most meaningful takeaways from her time at SCU was learning the Jesuit value of “Men and Women for and with others.” Interpreting this as a human centered, compassionate approach to life has helped to form her world view. With that, being a part of the Kara community and serving on the Board is one way she can be a “person for and with others.” Jacquie lives in Campbell, California where she had the privilege of serving on both the Civic Improvement Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission. She’s an avid reader and music lover.


Ke'ili Deal

Ke'ili Deal is a corporate events and marketing professional with a passion for building healthy and resilient communities through access to culturally relevant tools and resources, as well as the development and implementation of efficient and equitable processes. As a Bay Area Native, Ke'ili began her career at Hidden Villa, a local nonprofit, before moving into the technology space managing events for companies such as AWS, Microsoft, and most recently, Salesforce.

Ke'ili has long benefited from Kara as she and her mother were referred into a peer support group after the death of her father, Cameron, in 1996. She describes the impact Kara had on her at that time as "Invaluable. Through Kara's peer support model, I was able to cultivate coping skills, resilience, and a desire to support others through their own grief journeys." Ke'ili became a volunteer at Kara in 2016 and joined the board in 2022. She is thrilled to be able to give back to an organization that has been so impactful in her own life. Ke'ili lives in Palo Alto with her partner, Lauren, three unruly cats, and an overflowing bookshelf. When not traveling, she enjoys playing soccer in the Palo Alto Adult Soccer League alongside her grandmother, who inspires her at every turn.


Penny Dong

Penny Dong joined the Kara board in June 2020, at the darkest hour of the Covid-19 pandemic. Professionally she was a research scientist for the human genome project as a post-doctoral fellow, followed by managing drug development programs in pharmaceutical companies such as Roche/Genentech. She is currently Vice President of portfolio and alliance for Immune-Onc, a Bay Area Biotech Firm.

Penny was first introduced to Kara 20 years prior, when she became a client of Kara’s youth and family service with her 5-year-old in tow after her husband’s suicide. She was touched deeply by the compassion and Kara volunteers. Working for Kara someday, ‘paying-it-forward’, has been unfailingly on her mind; joining the board allowed the idea to materialize and become tangible. Loss of family members, as unspeakable and life-altering as they always are, can strike at anyone, without the discrimination of age, ethnicity or social economic status. As a board member, she feels strongly to work for a more ‘grief-informed’ community where Kara’s unique services can continue and improve, so to help with the healing of the bereaved families.


Tracey Carrillo Fecher

Tracey Carrillo Fecher is a nonprofit executive with over 20 years of experience building and running community based programs. Five years ago, Tracey became the CEO of a safety-net healthcare nonprofit, doubling the number served and leading a strategic planning process that will allow more of the most vulnerable in the community to receive important healthcare services. Tracey has a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

Tracey joined the Kara board in 2020. After losing her husband to cancer in 2018, Tracey received services from Kara and others in the grief community that made that a very difficult time in her life bearable. While every person's journey through grief is unique, there are many different modalities of support that can deeply touch the lives of the loved ones left behind. Tracey volunteers with Kara so that others have access to the types of services that helped her so much. She also wants to honor those who helped her rebuild her life. Tracey lives in San Mateo County and enjoys time going to music festivals, hiking with her dog and spending time with friends and family


Kimberly Griffin

Kimberly (Kim) Griffin is an attorney (and privacy professional) with 25+ years of experience supporting startups to mid-size companies, having previously served as VP and Assistant General Counsel of 24 Hour Fitness and as a Foreign Legal Consultant for a PRC Law Firm in Shanghai, China. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley and a JD from the University of San Francisco.

Kim joined the Kara board because of Kara's commitment to supporting children, families, and adults experiencing grief in our community. She is also the Board Chair of Jasper Ridge Farm (non-profit) which brings the comforting experience of animals to children and adults. Kim is a Bay Area native who lives in Palo Alto and is an avid cyclist, equestrian, and skier.


Kalvyn Rasquinha

Kalvyn is a tech industry veteran and currently leads a group of Product Managers working on Creative Cloud at Adobe creating experiences that help customers maximize their membership. Kalvyn earned his MBA from Kellogg School of Management, has a Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Illinois Tech, and a BS in Computer Engineering from Illinois Tech.

Kalvyn joined the Kara board in 2021. While living in Chicago he volunteered with and led a team supporting grieving youth. He found that his own journey of grief allowed for a deep empathy and equipped him to support others needing support. As a member of the Kara board, he is committed to scaling that impact because of how many people throughout the community benefit from Kara's services. Navigating a loss can be quite lonely and is clearly life altering. The peer support model Kara provides helps make this journey feel less lonely and creates meaningful connections that support the client’s healing journey. Kalvyn lives in San Mateo and enjoys playing volleyball and running in his free time.


Jim Salas

Jim Salas is a Talent Acquisition professional with over 25 years of experience leading and directing highly productive teams. He has extensive experience in management and enjoys leading teams and creating an environment where people can excel and perform at their very best. Jim currently is the Director of HR and Talent Acquisition for Stellar Solutions, an Aerospace Engineering company based in Los Altos, CA. In his current role, he manages Recruiting, HR and Payroll. Before Stellar Solutions, he worked at various hi-tech companies including VMware where he spent 8 years recruiting and managing the University Relations efforts.

Jim recently retired from the United States Army where he proudly served for 33 years ending his time as a Command Sergeant Major, E-9. His service included Intelligence, IT and Cyber Warfare efforts. Born in San Francisco, Jim was raised in the Mission District and is bilingual in Spanish. He earned his Bachelor of Science, Business Administration Degree from the University of Phoenix.


Caitlin Smallwood

Caitlin Smallwood is a recently-retired Bay Area tech executive who specialized in data science and analytics. Over her 35 years in the field, she built and led teams at Netflix, Intuit, Yahoo!, Google, and several mathematical consulting firms (PwC, SRA). Caitlin holds a M.S. in Operations Research from Stanford University and a B.S. in Mathematics from The College of William and Mary.

Caitlin has been passionate about Kara for a long time, having first worked as a peer group volunteer in the mid-90’s. She witnessed the profound impact Kara made in supporting children through their grieving process: their sharing and connection with others at various grief stages led to renewed hope and self-discovery. Caitlin remained committed to Kara, and later joined the board in 2023. Caitlin lives in Palo Alto where she enjoys hiking, yoga, music, and spending time with her adult boy-girl twins.

It is a privilege being part of Kara - a sanctuary of empathy and compassion for grieving hearts, including mine. Together, we navigate loss, guiding each other toward hope, resilience, and renewed purpose.

- Jim Salas