DELTA SAN FRANCISCO-PENINSULA FOUNDATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Foundation is led by its Board of Directors, who all possess a deep and personal commitment to education and the San Francisco Peninsula area. Their visionary leadership, professional expertise and dedicated service has helped the Foundation thrive.
Bessie has served on the Board since June 2000 and she serves as the Chair of the Board. Currently, Bessie serves as Leadership Coach to seven graduate students from the University of California at Berkeley. Holding a MA in School Administration and Leadership, Bessie was a classroom teacher for more than 20 years and a California public school administrator for 18 years. Bessie has served as president of Region 5 School Administrators, and in various leadership positions within Region 5. She is a member of the Boys and Girls Club. She also is Chair of the Hudspeth Scholarship Fund and served as Co-Chairperson of “Stamping out Obesity,” a walk-a-thon and health fair sponsored by San Francisco’s Third Baptist Church for its 160th Anniversary in 2012.
Bessie L. Stewart-Ross
Bettye has served on the Board since August 2010 and she serves as the Vice Chairperson of the Board. Currently, Bettye is the Business Manager for the Biology Department in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, where she is responsible for the overall administration of the Department. She oversees various functions within the Department, including human resources, finances, health and safety, compliance, service centers and student services. Over the years, Bettye has focused on management of grants and contracts for over 50 principal investigators and she manages a consolidated budget of over $60 million. Bettye holds a BA in Business Administration/Accounting from Stillman College and has many training certifications from Stanford University. She is also a graduate of the Leadership@Stanford Cohort 2011-2012.
Quita Highsmith, MBA, is the Chief Diversity Officer at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and leads the diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy across the organization. In this role, she is responsible for advancing Genentech’s D&I efforts, including recruiting, retaining and developing diverse talent, investing in initiatives to support science education, and addressing barriers in clinical trial participation via Advancing Inclusive Research™. She has served on the Delta Sigma Theta San Francisco Peninsula Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors since 2015.
Stacy joined the Board in 2018 and began her tenure as Treasurer in 2019. An experienced litigator, Stacy’s legal practice involves complex business litigation, class action defense, intellectual property disputes, and commercial arbitration. Stacy graduated magna cum laude from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2010 and graduated cum laude from the University of Miami in 2004, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication and Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. A native of the Peninsula, Stacy is grateful for her solid public education and the scholarships that enabled her to pursue higher education. She resides on the Peninsula with her teenage son and their pet dog, cat, and bird.
Stacy Hovan, Esquire
Abayomi Jones, M.D.
Abayomi has served on the Board since 2017 as a community member. She has the distinct privilege of having received a four year scholarship from the Foundation when she was a student in 1998, which she credits as a personal achievement and a honor. She is a graduate of Spelman College and Howard University College of Medicine, and has served as a primary care physician in underserved communities for 10 years before joining the US Public Health Service Corps. Abayomi currently practices medicine and oversees policy at a local University and resides in the East Bay with her husband and two children. In the spirit of gratitude for the investment in her own growth, Abayomi hopes to “pay it forward” while serving on the Board, bringing the outputs of her knowledge, networks, and passion for community service.
Barbara has served on the Board since June 1999. Barbara is a retired Assistant Principal from the San Francisco Unified School District. A graduate of Prairie View A&M University with a BS, Barbara also holds a MS in Education Administration from San Francisco State University. Barbara is a member of Temple United Methodist Church in San Francisco, where she currently serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Tutorial Program. Barbara also serves on the Church Council. Barbara is active in her community of Ocean-View, Merced Ingleside (“OMI”) District in San Francisco. In that role, she serves as a member of the OMI collaborative. Barbara loves to travel and her goal is to visit all seven continents in her quest to travel around the world.
Helen has served on the Board since August 2012. Helen is a financial planner and a registered representative for HD Vest Financial Services and she is an insurance professional and certified Tax Preparer in the state of California. She is also a tax consultant and co-founder of Tax Advice, Inc., a tax preparation service for individuals and businesses. Helen has assisted in successfully expanding this business to provide a full range of financial services, including investment and retirement planning, estate planning and insurance planning. Over the years, Helen has completed a successful corporate management career at the University of California and she served as a Corporate Accounting Manager with Xerox Corporation. Helen has worked in finance and accounting for other corporations, such as Shell Oil and McKesson Corporation. Helen earned her BA in Economics with a minor in Accounting from Southern University. She received her MBA from California State University, San Francisco. She is a member of Soroptimist and the Rotary Club International. Helen loves to travel and is a Forty-Niner and Giants fan.
Justice Teri L. Jackson
Justice Teri L. Jackson is the first African-American woman to serve as a justice on the California First District Court of Appeal, beginning in January 2020. Justice Jackson was also the first African-American woman to serve as a presiding judge in the Superior Court of San Francisco. She has extensive litigation experience in civil and criminal law. In 2008, she was selected by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court to sit in Riverside County on a special Criminal Backlog Reduction Task Force, which resolved more than one thousand backlogged criminal cases in one year. She also served as an advisory member and then voting member of the Judicial Council. She received the Madam C.J. Walker Pioneer Award in 2008, recognition from the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. in 2007, and the A. Philip Randolph Institute Roseina Tucker Award in 2006.
Prior to becoming a judge in 2002, Jackson was of counsel for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where she focused on complex commercial litigation. For more than 14 years, she worked as a prosecutor for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and the San Mateo County District Attorney. While an assistant district attorney of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, she served as the managing attorney for homicide, domestic violence, and misdemeanor trials. She has also taught Evidence and Trial Advocacy at UC Hastings.
Judge Jackson received her BA from UC Santa Cruz and her JD from Georgetown University.
Imo Udom is the Co-founder and CEO of WePow, a video interviewing and HR communications solution that helps hundreds of organizations, simplify and accelerate the hiring of great talent. Prior to WePow, Imo held a number of posts at Lockheed Martin including Deputy Lead Systems Engineer and Proposal Manager where he managed a diverse team and evaluated project success. Imo received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and his M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Farralon has served on the Board since January 2014 and she serves as the Treasurer of the Board. Farralon is an Equity Finance Analyst and Trader at Tora Trading Services, an Asia-focused securities broker, where she services hedge fund clientele in the Outsourced Trading department. She is passionate about inciting sound personal finance practices in her community. To that end, Farralon loves teaching financial literacy courses, writing the occasional finance column, and being the CFO of the Udom family household. Farralon is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a BA in International Relations. She and her husband love travel, dinners, and look forward to a day when they’ll have a Weimaraner named Lightning.
Quincy Highsmith is a retired United States Marine and graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Monica is new to the board as of February 2020. She has been with the Genentech/Roche organization for 30 years, where she currently holds the position of Operations Program Director. In this role, Monica provides strategic direction and operational excellence in the planning and execution of clinical trials across all development stages. She is also the recruitment and hiring lead in her department and sits on Diversity & Inclusion Teams. Monica is very civic-minded and believes in giving back to the community. She is also an active member of Women of Color in Pharma (WOCIP), a premier global professional society focused solely on the engagement and empowerment of women of color in pharmaceuticals and other life sciences. As a WOCIP Ambassador, her remit is to help spread the organization's vision and mission across the globe and create nurturing and safe environments that enable meaningful connections. Monica earned a Biology degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey and has 3 children. She loves to travel the world and wants to make a difference. One of her favorite sayings is, "be the change you want to see in the world."
Jerlena Griffin-Desta, Ph.D.
Jerlena Griffin-Desta joined the Board in 2020. She serves as Chief of Staff to the President and Chief Diversity Officer at Sonoma State University SSU), where she oversees all programs, initiatives, and operations within the Office of the President, and is the campus lead in the development and implementation of initiatives, programs, and services related to campus diversity, equity, and inclusion, serving as SSU’s first Chief Diversity Officer. She also oversees federal and state relations and strategic marketing and communications.
Prior to joining Sonoma State in 2018, Jerlena spent nearly 30 years at the University of California (Berkeley, UCLA). Most recently, she was the Associate Vice President and Deputy to the Vice President at the University of California Office of the President, providing strategic direction and leadership for a broad array of areas, including presidential initiatives, student civic engagement, diversity & inclusion, student mental health and wellness, and student leadership.
Jerlena earned a B.S. degree from Mercer University, a Master’s and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. She is an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow (2017, University of Washington) and is passionate about access to and success in higher education, especially for historically underrepresented students. Born in northern Florida and raised in southeast Georgia, Jerlena has called California home since 1987. An avid traveler, and all things culinary, she has lived or visited all the continents except Antarctica. Jerlena and husband, Yossedek, live in Sonoma County, with their Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chiba.
Regina Wallace-Jones is a dual career professional, leading in the capacity of tech executive and public servant.
Regina is the Senior Vice President of Product & Engineering at Mindbody Inc., a company whose mission is to connect the world with fitness, beauty and wellness. Regina has previously worked as a tech executive at Yahoo, eBay and Facebook in various capacities.
Regina is a big believer in civic engagement. She is the founding board president of StreetCode Academy, a patron of Black Girls Code, a board member for Women Who Code, and a partner of the Lean In Foundation which advocates for women pursuing their professional ambitions.
In 2018, Regina was elected to East Palo Alto City Council and is now serving in the capacity of Mayor of the city. In this role, Regina hopes to support the city and its residents in a robust evolutionary journey as it realizes its potential as the gateway to and the conscience of Silicon Valley.
Regina holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a
Masters from UCLA in Public Policy with Emphasis in Technology Policy.
She is married to Steffond Jones, a Sr. Software Engineer and Apple veteran. Together, they have two beautiful daughters, Addison and Jocelyn Jones.