Mara Williams Low
Mara Williams Low brings two decades of philanthropic experience to her role as Executive Director. Most recently, Mara was Program Director at Sobrato Philanthropies. During her tenure, she supported the organization’s evolution during exponential growth and advanced the organization’s grantmaking, governance, talent, and communications. In addition, she developed the foundation’s capacity building initiatives and led the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits as it grew from one location to four. Before joining the foundation, she served as the Grants Administrator for The Valley Foundation. Prior to her career in philanthropy, Mara was the Co-Founder and Associate Director of Adage School of Performing Arts, a pre-professional dance conservatory and company. In her spare time, Mara can be found enjoying the running trails of San Jose and spending time with her busy family. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley.
Jynessa joined the Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation in December 2021. She brings experience in working with nonprofits geared towards assisting in the advancement of youth through education. After earning her bachelor’s degree in History, Jynessa thought she would go on to become a teacher. However, life had a different plan and she started working with the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, where she found passion in supporting underserved youth. She discovered that impact could happen beyond the classroom. Shortly after, Jynessa started working in empowering young mothers to achieve their educational goals while nurturing for their children’s development. She strongly believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to an education, no matter their socio-economic status. In her free time, you will most likely find Jynessa at her family’s home where music is always playing in the background, many conversations are held at once and everyone is welcome.