Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) is a private, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization governed by a board of directors who work tirelessly on behalf of HSSV and the thousands of homeless animals that come through our doors. Additionally, HSSV has an honorary board comprised of distinguished and committed leaders who share the organization’s mission to save and enhance lives.

Honorary Board

Kara Berg
John Diekman
Dick Levy
Sue Levy
Judy Marcus
Betty Moore
Dr. Gordon Moore
Clint Severson
Timi Sobrato
Tara VanDerveer
Steve Wozniak


Board Alumni Ambassadors

Board Alumni Ambassadors (BAA) are former Board Members who rolled off the Board of Directors after January 1, 2016. BAA also include former Board Members who rolled off before 2016 who are still involved on Board committees as community members. BAA are known for their enthusiastic support of HSSV and their continued financial support of its mission.

Marilyn Anderson, Chair
Alan Berezin
Kara Berg
Sally Hazard Bourgoin
Sumita Dutta
Gayle Haworth
Terry Lee
Sue Levy
Kate Mulligan
Carol Novello
Geoff Powell
Lars Rabbe
Clint Severson
Timi Sobrato
W. Stephen Sullins
Debbie VanderZwaag


About HSSV Board Of Directors

Andrea Borch

Andrea joined the Board of Directors in February 2019, but her involvement with HSSV started 20 years earlier. At that time, the Borch family adopted guinea pigs from the Humane Society’s location in Santa Clara and started supporting the organization financially. Because of her love for animals, Andrea has a special place in her heart for HSSV and its vital work of strengthening the mutual people-pet bond and finding forever homes for adoptable animals. HSSV alums Wilbur the dog and Indy the cat live with the Borchs in their menagerie of rescue pets.

As part of the HSSV Board responsibilities, Andrea sits on the Donor Relations and Audit Committees. Additionally, Andrea has volunteered to transport animals and supplies, and she and her family have fostered kittens. During shelter-in-place in spring 2020, a momma dog and her  8 puppies lived in the family’s dining room. (And Wilbur decided to stay!)

Andrea also serves on the BOD for the Family Giving Tree and the Board of Managers for the Southwest YMCA, and she is active in her church. Andrea earned her BS and MS in journalism from Northwestern University; her professional career included writing stories for news organizations where she was based in Washington, D.C., Boston, New York, and Singapore. Andrea and her husband, Chris, live in Saratoga, where they raised their four children.



Alison Buchanan

Alison Buchanan

Alison joined the HSSV Board of Directors in September 2015. Having grown up on six acres, Alison had pets of all kinds: dogs, cats, horses, birds, bunnies, and beloved hamster Balki Bartokomous. As a child, her family was frequently “adopted” by stray cats and dogs. These early experiences with animals taught Alison that rescues make the best pets and that every animal deserves a chance.

As a shareholder with the San Jose law firm of Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Alison focuses on business litigation and representing lawyers and law firms. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of California at Irvine (class of ’98) and her juris doctorate from the Chicago-Kent College of Law (class of ’01).

Alison’s prior nonprofit and volunteer experience includes serving on the board for a nonprofit independent living facility for the elderly and co-chairing the Amicus Committee for the Silicon Valley Campaign for Legal Services. She serves on the advisory committee for the Leadership San Jose program and volunteers on various state and county bar association committees.

Alison lives in San Jose with her husband Jeremy and their two rescue dogs Parker (a Pomeranian sheltie mix) and Chloe (a terrier mix and HSSV alum). In addition to caring deeply about animals, Alison loves cooking, cheering for the Chicago Cubs, and traveling. She is thrilled to work with the HSSV and to make a difference for animals in need.

Sue Diekman

Sue Diekman

Sue Diekman rejoined the HSSV Board of Directors in July 2018 after taking a one year hiatus. She originally joined in June 2008. She became board chair in July 2012 and was previously board vicechair from July 2009June 2011. Sue and her husband John (an HSSV Honorary Board member) were cochairs of HSSV’S Paint a Better Future fundraising campaign. Additionally, Sue’s current philanthropic leadership includes serving as chair of the Director’s Advisory Board of the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University and serving on the boards of the San Francisco Ballet and the East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring program at Stanford. Past affiliations include the boards of Menlo School, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Business Arts Council in San Francisco and Northern California Grantmakers.

Until she retired in August 1998, Sue was employed by AirTouch Communications, where she was Director of the AirTouch Communications Foundation. Prior to joining AirTouch, Sue was Cultural Program Director of Pacific Telesis Foundation, with responsibility for the foundation’s cultural grantmaking as well as national and international exhibitions of the corporation’s Ansel Adams collection.

Sue holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University. She and her husband John are passionate about animals and have two dogs, Jeremy and Benny– both HSSV alums. They enjoy traveling, the arts, and sports.

Peter Detkin

Peter Detkin

Peter joined the HSSV Board of Directors in January 2016. Mr. Detkin is a founder at Intellectual Ventures. Prior to Intellectual Ventures, Mr. Detkin spent 8 years at Intel Corporation where he was a vice president and assistant general counsel responsible for managing the Intel patent, litigation, licensing and competition policy departments. Before he joined Intel, Mr. Detkin was an intellectual property partner at the law firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati in Palo Alto, CA. Mr. Detkin was the first patent lawyer hired at this firm and formed the basis of its highlysuccessful intellectual property practice. While at Wilson Sonsini, he had lead or second chair responsibility for a number of high profile litigations, including the seminal computer copyright case Lotus v. Borland.

Mr. Detkin is the past president of, and spent 17 years on the Board of, the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, an organization dedicated to providing legal services to lowincome children and families, people with mental and developmental disabilities, AIDS patients and victims of discrimination. Through his extensive involvement with the Foundation over the years, he has worked with others to provide free legal services to thousands of low income families and children through a variety of programs. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Mr. Detkin received his B.S.E.E. with honors in 1982 from the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering and a J.D. in 1985 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He serves as a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Mr. Detkin is an inactive member of the State Bars of California and New York, and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Detkin lives in Los Altos with his wife Michelle and their adopted dog, Hershey (an HSSV alum) and adopted cats Bayou and Blake.

Blythe Jack

Blythe Jack

Blythe is a Managing Director at TSG Consumer Partners where she is responsible for originating new investment opportunities, diligencing new business opportunities, structuring transactions and working with portfolio companies as a Board member, including BrewDog, IT Cosmetics (sold to L’Oreal), Sweetwater Brewing,, and Canyon Bicycles GmbH. She is also a member of TSG’s Investment Committee.

Prior to joining TSG in 2011, Blythe was a Managing Director at Rosewood Capital where she sourced and structured investments across the consumer & retail sector, including investments in Under Armour (NYSE: UAA), Clarisonic (sold to L’Oreal), Cobalt Boats (sold to Malibu Boats), among others. She has also served as a National Judge for Ernst & Young’s acclaimed Entrepreneur of the Year® program. Blythe received a BA, with honors, in Communication Studies from Vanderbilt University.

Blythe resides in Menlo Park with her husband and daughter and their beloved dogs, Monty and Bozie, and adorable guinea pigs, Herbie and Melvin.

Rebecca Ranninger Owen

Rebecca Ranninger

Becky joined the HSSV Board of Directors in October 2017. She is a lifelong animal advocate, and has been volunteering with the HSSV cats for many years.

As Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Symantec Corporation, Becky managed the planning, direction and implementation of Symantec’s global personnel programs and policies for over 22,000 employees, and participated in the overall executive management of the company.  She also acted as secretary and corporate liaison for the Symantec Compensation Committee, which dealt with all aspects of employee, executive and board of director compensation.

Before taking the helm in Human Resources, Becky served as Director of Litigation for Symantec. Her trial work covered all aspects of the high tech industry, including mergers and acquisitions, international sales, intellectual property and software licensing issues.  She also served as President of the Symantec Foundation, which administered Symantec’s charitable activities.

Before joining Symantec, Becky was a business litigator with the San Franciscobased law firm Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe, where she gained front line experience in intellectual property and securities litigation.

Becky holds a juris doctorate from Stanford University, a bachelor’s degree in jurisprudence from Oxford University, and a bachelor’s degree Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University. She has also completed the Human Resource Executive Program at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, and the Stanford Directors College at Stanford Law School.

Becky lives with her husband Marc, and their pampered elderly diva cat, Cloe.


Brenda Swiney

Brenda Swiney

Brenda Swiney joined the HSSV Board of Directors in November 2017.

Brenda has many years of financial and operational experience in emerging, growth, and public companies. She now focuses on providing CFOlevel expertise to emerging technology companies through her firm, mieCFO.

Brenda’s finance leadership experience comes from companies that range from newlyfunded (Aruba Wireless Networks, Chava) to established multinationals with hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide (Lucent Technologies, DellEMC). Early in her career, Brenda spent over eight years in financial consulting, including over six years at PwC.  She maintains an active CPA license, as well as CMA and CGMA certifications.  She earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Brenda lives in San Jose with her husband Jim and their three adopted dogs, PooChi, Muffin, and GrrLy (an HSSV alum).

Christy N. Richardson

Christy Richardson

Christy Richardson serves as Chief Investment Officer of The Sobrato Organization, where she oversees Sobrato Capital, manages Sobrato Philanthropies’ investment portfolio, leads impact investment activities, and advises on TSO’s overall asset allocation. Prior to joining TSO, Christy spent the prior 15 years as the Director of Private Investments for the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she had point responsibility for a third of the $10 billion endowment spanning venture capital, buyout, and infrastructure strategies globally. Prior to Hewlett, Christy was a Partner in the private equity group at Thomas Weisel Partners, co-managing the private equity fund-of-funds and secondary investing practices.

Christy began her career in investment banking at Alex, Brown & Sons and later at Mercury Capital Management, a Silicon Valley family investment office. Ms. Richardson received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Dartmouth College. She also serves as Treasurer and Board Member of the Humane Society of Silicon Valley.

Christy lives in Los Altos with her husband, three kids, and their black lab Zeke.

Shannon Wass



Shannon joined the HSSV Board of Directors in September 2019. Shannon was raised in the Willamette Valley area of Oregon and studied Theater Arts at the University of Oregon. She moved to California in 2005 and began a career in residential Real Estate. After retiring, Shannon became very involved as a volunteer with many non-profit organizations. She began volunteering with HSSV in the kitten nursery and as a feline foster parent in 2013 and now serves as a Feline Foster Mentor and is a member of the Donor Relations Committee. She also serves as the Board President for the San Francisco 49ers Academy. Additionally, Shannon is a member of the Walt Disney Family Museum Advisory Committee.

Shannon and her husband, Dan, both spend many of their evenings and weekends playing ice hockey at Sharks Ice in San Jose. She is the captain of 2 teams and a member of several additional teams. They also love to spend their time traveling, especially to Disneyland! They live with their 5 cats-3 of which are HSSV alumni.