Founding Executive Director Retiring
Letter from Elaine Curran, Founding Executive Director
It is with both sadness and excitement that I announce my upcoming retirement from the Shortino Family Foundation. Over the past eight years it has been a privilege serving as the organization’s first Executive Director and developing the Foundation’s giving strategies and grantmaking systems. In that time, we have made nearly $20 million in grants, expanding educational opportunities and support services for underserved K-12 youth in Santa Clara County.
It is a rare and exciting opportunity to build a Foundation from the ground up. I have benefitted from a thoughtful and committed board, instructive foundation colleagues, and insightful nonprofit and education experts, in creating the Foundation’s infrastructure and giving strategies. Among the highlights are:
- Developing the Foundation’s grantmaking infrastructure through: researching unmet K-12 educational needs to determine funding priorities; preparing grantmaking guidelines; implementing an on-line grants management system and; initiating best practices for measuring and continually strengthening impact.
- Establishing the Shortino Summer Initiative in partnership with schools and nonprofit organizations to achieve measurable increases in K-3 literacy for nearly 2,000 children in high need schools, incorporating best practices in summer learning.
- In recognition of Leo Shortino’s passion for the arts, we have invested over $2 million in arts education for low-income youth, growing our portfolio of grants to 14 organizations and reaching thousands of low-income San Jose students.
I will remain with the organization through the hiring and transition of the new Executive Director, who we anticipate will be in place by summer. The Board approved 2018 grant allocations and proposal cycles and we do not anticipate any changes in grantmaking strategies or procedures this year.
Following my retirement, I will remain active in the community and look forward to staying connected in my new role as a committed community member.
Elaine joined the Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation as its first Executive Director in 2010, preparing its organizational strategy to improve the lives of at-risk youth in Santa Clara County. She developed the Foundation’s infrastructure, including grantmaking guidelines and organizational policies, and works directly with grantees to optimize their performance.
She served as President of Junior Achievement of Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay from 1999 to 2008, achieving 75% growth in student participants and 67% increase in annual revenue. Under her leadership, the organization ultimately served over 33,000 students in 150 schools, providing volunteer-led financial literacy, workforce readiness, and economic education programs.
She has an extensive background in public policy and service development with the City of Sunnyvale where she established a $3.5 million neighborhood multi-service center, Child Care Policy and Action Plan and oversaw the City’s human services grantmaking. She also held leadership positions with the NOVA Workforce Board, establishing a variety of employment training and workforce readiness programs.
In the community, she is long-time member of the Rotary Club of San Jose, currently serving as Vice Chair of the Foundation Board of Directors. She also founded the Club’s Ethics Committee, a partnership with San Jose State University’s MBA program. She recently joined the Board of Directors for Cristo Rey San Jose, a Catholic high school that prepares low-income, underachieving students for college. She also served as Vice Chair of the City of San Jose Early Care and Education Commission.
She earned an MA from Santa Clara University and BS from Illinois State University.