From tech to arts, new leaders elected to join UC Santa Cruz Foundation Board of Trustees

The UC Santa Cruz Foundation has elected six new trustees who are established leaders across a range of industries, from fiber optics and scientific operations to media, arts, and community service.

The new members, who began their service July 1, are:

William “Bill” Casher (Oakes ’00, biochemistry and molecular biology), is the global director of lab services for CBRE, a worldwide leader in commercial real estate services and investments. Casher oversees laboratory operations, programs and service solutions. He is also a co-founder and current president of the Black Men’s Alliance, a nonprofit organization to promote Black student success across California colleges.
raj-kapany-300px.jpg Rajinder “Raj” Kapany is an accomplished entrepreneur and technology specialist. With a strong focus on fiber optics, he has held executive positions at Tyco International Ltd, Amp Inc, K2 Optronics Inc, Emcore Corp, and Nest Corp. Kapany’s expertise encompasses sales, business development, entrepreneurship, management, startup funding, fundraising, and global executive leadership.
Panda Kroll (Kresge ’82, French Literature) defends attorneys and other consumer advocates in federal lawsuits throughout the country in lawsuits brought by timeshare developers who seek to enjoin those advocates' efforts in assisting timeshare owners burdened with unlawful and/or unconscionable 'in perpetuity' timeshare contracts.
felix-magowan-300p.jpg Felix Magowan (Merrill ’86, history) is chairman of SpaceNews, the world's largest space and satellite trade media brand. Previously, Magowan co-founded and led Pocket Outdoor Media, which was rebranded in 2021 as Outside. With more than 40 active lifestyle brands, Outside is the world’s largest creator of outdoor and healthy lifestyle content published across television, web, social, print, book and event channels.
kiran-malhotra-300px.jpg Kiran Malhotra is a leading arts advocate and nutritionist. During her career, Malhotra has taught in adult literacy programs and has provided pro bono consulting on nutrition issues to Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Malhotra also serves on the board of directors for Art Forum SF, a not-for-profit organization that promotes art forms emerging from South Asia and its diaspora. She previously served on the UC Santa Cruz Foundation Board from 2003 to 2017.
susan-true-300px.jpg Susan True (Oakes ’95, Community Studies) is CEO of the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, a nonprofit public charity, dedicated to improving the lives of the people of Santa Cruz County. True was a Sloan Fellow and earned her master’s degree at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She led CASA and First 5 Santa Cruz County and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s investments in young children.

The foundation board works in close partnership with Chancellor Cynthia Larive and other university leaders to advance private philanthropic support for the campus mission, while also fostering a greater understanding of UC Santa Cruz’s activities and impact on the surrounding region, California, and the nation.

“I’m thrilled to welcome our new trustees to the board,” Chancellor Cynthia Larive said. “They are all tremendous leaders with strong connections to our campus who will bring fresh perspectives and new ideas that will help us to advance our work in securing additional resources to serve our extraordinary students, conduct high-impact research, and contribute to society.”

The Foundation Board of Trustees elected Linda Peterson (Stevenson, history, '70) to serve as chair, effective July 1. Among the university’s first graduate cohorts, Peterson was a trailblazer in law, forging a path for women in the 1970s and 1980s. She chaired the university’s previous campaign committee, on the Campaign for Santa Cruz, which closed in 2017 after raising more than $335 million and exceeding its original goal.

“On October 3, 1966, Professor Bill Shipley promised the first Stevenson College freshman class that the core course they were about to begin would be ‘mind-widening,’” Peterson said. "That promise of a mind-widening experience continues at UC Santa Cruz today through the foundation’s support of the university’s students and faculty.

“Our new trustees were invited to join the board because they exemplify the creativity, skills, and community spirit that make UC Santa Cruz a world-class research institution, committed to serving a diverse population.”

At the board’s June meeting, Loren Kinczel, founder of the Cultivate Financial Group, was elected vice chair and Paul Hall (Merrill '72), a retired partner with DLA Piper law firm, as parliamentarian. As the immediate past chair, Richard Moss (Stevenson '85), president of the Moss Group, will continue to serve on the Executive Committee.

In addition, the following trustees were elected to additional three-year terms:

  • Laura Bushnell, Partner, King & Spalding LLP
  • James Gunderson (Rachel Carson '77), Chief Executive Officer, Governance and Transactions LLC
  • Beverly Crair (Stevenson '83), Senior Vice President, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Compute & Capacity, Oracle America, Inc
  • Loren Steck (Porter '73), President, Loren Steck & Associates
  • Mary Doyle (Porter '74) Principal, Compleon Legal Advisory
  • Alec Webster (Rachel Carson '02), community volunteer

The foundation board continues to encourage and secure philanthropic support for the university and stewards one of the campus’s primary endowments. The campus’s combined endowment has grown to $282 million at fiscal year-end. In addition, the board has helped advance food security for UC Santa Cruz students. In fall 2022, the board allocated $75,000 to the Center for Agroecology and the Division of Student Affairs and Success to support efforts that advance food security and deliver an actionable plan to make these resources sustainable.

The foundation board and campus in June hosted a Foodways benefit dinner that raised more than $110,000 to continue to seed the effort. The board’s commitment will help UCSC in its effort to surpass the University of California Regents' goal of reducing food and housing insecurity among students by 50 percent by 2025.

The board’s work aligns with the UCSC Student Success Initiative. Launched in fall 2021, the initiative aims to increase financial support for undergraduate and graduate students, advancing their access to the guidance and experiences fundamental to their education and ultimately future success. More than $37 million in commitments has been raised.

“Our campus is grateful for our foundation board members and their contributions, which are helping to propel our campus forward,” said Vice Chancellor for University Relations Mark Delos Reyes Davis, who also serves as foundation president. “This is an exciting moment for our campus, and I know our board will continue to advocate and help us raise resources to make a real and lasting impact in our community and across the world.”

Learn more about the UCSC Foundation.