The community poured into the 14th Annual President’s Breakfast yesterday morning from 7:00 a.m. at the South San Francisco Conference Center.  The breakfast, hosted by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, President and the Skyline College President’s Council, is the primary fundraising event for the President’s Innovation Fund.  This fundraising event provides the community the opportunity to learn about the exceptional education offered at Skyline College and how the President’s Innovation Fund awards faculty and staff with seed money for creative programs and services.

Entrants were welcomed into the center by the Skyline College Men’s baseball players, Vince Lozano, Dabian Canales, Lance Montano, Ismael Orozco, Joey Carney, Nic Bongi, Aldo Severson, Mike Franco and the head Baseball coach, Dino Nomicos.   Once inside, attendees enjoyed coffee that was provided by City Toyota of Daly City.  ASSC President Kayla Razavi provided some inspiring welcoming remarks, indicating the continued support by the ASSC for the President’s Innovation Fund.  Event Co-chairs Theresa Proaño and Kirsten Pinochi set the stage for a baseball themed event.  Donning the Skyline College baseball jerseys, Kirsten and Theresa acknowledged the Spring Musical Performers, Skyline College students – past and present, faculty, staff, Past Presidents, the College Council, Deans, and administrators for their commitment and dedication.  LaMontè Bishop representing State Senator Mark Leno and Leslie Guevarra and Marc Hershman representing Senator Jerry Hill were acknowledged.  Assemblymember Kevin Mullin and his staff Virginia Kroger and Mario Rendon were thanked for their attendance.  Rober Chua attended representing Assemblymember Phil Ting.


SMCCCD Board members in attendance were President Karen Schwartz, David Mandlekern, Richard Holober, and Tom Mohr.  Several cities were represented including Councilmember Cliff Lentz from Brisbane, Daly City Mayor David Canepa and Councilmembers Ray Buenaventura and Mike Guigona, Colma Vice Mayor Rae Gonzalez, Pacifica Mayor pro tem Karen Ervin and Councilmember Sue Digre, Redwood City Mayor Jeff Gee, San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane and Vice Mayor Ken Ibarra, and Carol Bonner, San Bruno City Clerk, South San Francisco Council member Pradeep Gupta.  Surrounding School board and Harbor and Water Districts including President Maurice Goodman and Vice President Judy Bush, of the South San Francisco Unified School District; Anne Campbell, Superintendent for the San Mateo County Board of Education; Katherine Zarate Dulany – trustee for the Jefferson Union High School District; Eric Ruchames trustee from the Pacifica School district; Pietro Parravano of the San Mateo County Harbor District; and Katherine Slater-Carter – from the Montara Water and Sanitary District

7544The purpose of this annual breakfast is to showcase the President’s Innovation Fund programs that have funding from our community partners and to highlight a few.  We also took the opportunity to acknowledge donors who make these programs possible.

Special mention goes to our Innovation Patrons at the $2,500 level: Bank of the West, City of Brisbane, and Kaiser Permanente.  We are fortunate to have the Associated Students of Skyline College continue their support at the Innovation Patron $5,000 level. Our on-going partner, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, hosts this year’s breakfast at the “Dream out Loud” $7,500 level. Finally we continue to have to come up with new ways to describe this last sponsor who has hit a grand slam this year!  We are so pleased to announce our $35,000 Premiere Presenting Sponsor – The San Mateo County Community College District Auxiliary Services & Enterprise Operations under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Tom Bauer!  The entire list of PIF investors can be viewed here.


Vice Chancellor Tom Bauer provided inspirational remarks explaining why he and his team are so supportive of the effort.  He announced the successful textbook rental program at Skyline College that has now resulted in saving students close to a million dollars since its inception a few years ago.  Quoting Trustee Tom Mohr, he said that he was committed to closing the economic and opportunity divide between middle class students and so many community college students.

President Stanback Stroud joined Vice Chancellor Bauer on stage to receive the giant replica of the $35,000 check.  Dr. Stroud extended sincere expressions of gratitude to everyone, while acknowledging the executive administrators in attendance, Dr. Sarah Perkins and Eloisa Briones along with the esteemed faculty, staff, students and administrators of Skyline College.  Special thanks and acknowledgement was given to Chancellor Ron Galatolo and the SMCCCD team members, Vice Chancellors Nuñez, Keller, Blackwood and Bauer. Both presidents of Cañada College and College of San Mateo were in attendance and were thanked for their continued support – One team indeed.


Current recipients of PIF funds were introduced including:

  • Dr. Hui Pate of the Asian Studies Center
  • Kwame Thomas of the Brothers and Sisters Conference
  • Christine Roumbanis, Linda Witten, Don Carlson and Dr. William Watson, Business Technology Speaker Series
  • Nate Nevado, Center for Innovative Practices through Hip Hop Education and Research
  • Jessie Raskin, Center for Paralegal Studies
  • Amory Cariadus, College Lecture Series
  • Christine Roumbanis and Soledad McCarthy Enactus Student Chapter
  • Dr. John Mosby, KinderCaminata
  • Levinia Zanassi and Alexander Jones, Literacy Intervention  Community Program
  • Jessica Lopez, Middle School Outreach
  • Shari Bookstaff and Chip Chandler, Science and Rehabilitation Colaboration using Interactive Metronome Technology
  • Dr. Jude Nevari, Dr. Zachary Bruno, Amber Steele, and Alan Ceccarelli, Spring Musical
  • Jennifer Mair, Step Up
  • Pcyeta Stroud, Youth Entrepreneurship Program

The lights were then dimmed for a touching video created by Brian Kingston of Kingston Media, featuring the PIF Programs.  The student speaker in the video, Carolyne Cornett, described her journey and the impact the SparkPoint Center has had on her life.  As she finished telling her story from homelessness to hope, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.  She made it apparent that the donations really do make a difference in the lives of the students.

1671Each year a speaker is selected to serve as spokespersons who will reflect on the impact that the PIF program has had on them.  This year we heard from Pcyeta Stroud.  Mrs. Stroud is a mentor in the African Diaspora Program and the Program Services Coordinator of the Youth Entrepreneurship Program, founded by the Center for International Trade and Development, now located in the newly formed Global Learning Programs and Services Division.  Pcyeta says that her job is to serve students in a way that enables them bring their creative ideas to life in the form of newly created businesses, furthering their own professional development or furthering their education.  She told her story, her journey and how PIF not only changed the lives of the students in the YEP program but her life as well.  Two student speakers followed her with statements of their journey and the ways YEP has changed their lives.  Both students, Sam Uce Veu and Nancy Peng entered and won the YEP Business Plan Competition.

The event culminated in the most creative and fun ask ever…..the cast of Avenue Q, students and puppets sang “Gimme your money!” in a way that roused the audience and inspired giving.  President Stanback Stroud closed the event by announcing the winers of the baseball themed basket centerpieces that were created by Kirsten Pinochi and the Recology team.


Initial tallies of the receipts are at approximately $118,000 – shy of the $150,000 goal but an impressive increase over last year’s receipts.  If you are interested in making a donation to the President’s Innovation Fund you may still do so at the Foundation Donation Page. (*Please note “President’s Innovation Fund” in the comments box to direct your donation to the PIF.)

Special thanks go to Susan Brissenden-Smith, Theresa Tentes and all of the Skyline College staff and administrators that worked behind the scenes to pull off a flawless effort.

Article by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud | Photos by Raul Guerra