As Cornellians, we seek to bond with each other in good times and tough times. Unfortunately, with the outbreak of COVID-19, especially in the Bay Area, in-person group gatherings have become too much of a risk to the community.
As a result of the growing number of cases, we have decided to focus on keeping the Cornell NorCal community connected via virtual events in the meantime. We will keep this community up to date on any changes on upcoming events. We hope to see you healthy at an event in the near future.
If you have questions about the status of specific events, please check our website or email us at info@cornellnorcal.com.


Cornell NorCal Board of Directors

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Board of Directors

Cornell NorCal is managed by a committed group of volunteer Cornellians who are elected annually by our membership. Cornellians serving as board members for the 2020-2021 term are as follows:

Alison Harrigan, President

Alison Harrigan, SHA '10 is a Senior Associate at Korn Ferry Executive Search, where she specializes in working with travel, hospitality & leisure companies on executive recruitment and talent consulting. Prior to Korn Ferry, Alison worked for The Ritz-Carlton Residences and Vail Resorts Development company in Vail and Breckenridge, Colorado on the development and brokerage of luxury real estate. A Northern California native, Alison is glad to recently be back in the Bay Area after living in Colorado and New York. In her leisure time, Alison chips away at her goal to run marathons in all 50 states and read all the Pulitzer Prize winning novels.

Brittany Richards, Vice President

Brittany Richards, MBA '07 is an entrepreneur, dynamic business builder and advisor. She brings over 15 years of experience working at the crossroads of innovative new business models and existing legacy systems and thinking. Currently, she advises clients in the technology, media, and telecom on payments, treasury, and trade solutions at Citi. Prior to her current role, Brittany was a Venture Director at Citi Ventures, was Head of Corporate Development North America TTS Citi, and founded her own advisory practice. Brittany moved to San Francisco in 2014.

Chuck Wong, Treasurer

Yamini Bhandari, Secretary

Laura Bloch, General Counsel

Laura Bloch, Arts '88 works as an attorney, property manager, and manager of two teenagers. She was born and raised in Los Angeles and now lives in San Francisco. In addition to serving as secretary for Cornell NorCal, her Cornell volunteering includes serving as a CAAAN ambassador as well as the Class of ‘88 membership chair and reunion registration chair. 

Catherine Meng, Director of Membership

Catherine Meng, B.Arch. '09 is an architect at DLR Group where she focuses on Higher-Education, Workplace, and Multi-family Residential projects in the Bay Area. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Catherine has also lived in New York City, Houston, and Shanghai before moving to San Francisco. She lives in the city with her husband, also a Cornellian, their daughter (future Cornell Class of '40!) and maltipoo. This is her fourth year serving on the Cornell NorCal Board, and she’s excited to continue meeting new Cornellians in the area.

Elise Mun, Director of Technology

Elise Mun, Hotel '18 is a Customer Success Manager at a Digital Marketing Software company in Santa Clara. During her time at Cornell, she primarily focused her studies on Services, Marketing, and Operations Management. A Saratoga native, Elise enjoys searching for the best foodie spots in the Bay Area on the weekends and snapping pics for her Instagram page. She looks forward to serving on the board and encourages members to share their #CornellNorCal moments on Instagram and Facebook!

Mari Abe Baker, Director of Communications

Mari Abe Baker, Arts '03 helps brands build trust with audiences they care about most. As SVPat Peppercomm, she helps clients navigate across integrated disciplines including branding, digital, and both internal and external communications. Prior to joining Peppercomm, she worked on lifestyle and consumer accounts at Dentsu Communications. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, golfing and horseback riding. 

Brooke Wingo, Director of Social Media

Brooke Wingo, AEM ’17 is a co-founder of Zone Swimwear. She is also a member of the Advisory Council for Entrepreneurship at Cornell and a volunteer at San Francisco Suicide Prevention. Brooke recently moved to SF – and is still smiling about it every day.

Angelo Chiu, Director of Events

Anthony Asta, Director of Events

Anthony Asta, MBA '04 has more than 16 years of experience in software engineering management, software design & architecture, distributed systems, business intelligence, storage systems, data warehouses and financial management at several companies including Corning, Google and Twitter. He is currently a Senior Engineering Manager at Uber, where he leads a team of Software Engineers within the Platform Engineering division. Anthony has been involved in Cornell Norcal activities for many years and has served on the Board of Directors for over 12 years with a passion for organizing outdoor and athletic events.

Ellen Taylor, Director of Events

Ellen Taylor, JD '16 is an attorney at Berliner Cohen, one of the largest and oldest law firms in San Jose serving the business and regulatory needs of private business and public agencies. She is looking forward to serving her second year on the Board.

Karen Lau, Director of Events 

Karen Lau, Arts '05 relocated to San Francisco from New York City. She provides tax and advisory services to multinational corporations and and works with corporate clients to align their global mobility/talent/rewards approach to their broader business strategies, priorities and growth plans. Previously, she worked as a tax and wealth planning attorney for private clients. She is passionate about travel, health, and fitness. In her spare time, she enjoys snowboarding, golfing, hiking, biking, yoga and running. She is serving her third term on the Cornell NorCal board as an Events Director.

Mae Lum, Director of Events

Mae Lum, A&S '84 is Deputy Director at the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association, where she oversees the functional areas of membership, communications, and program development. Before entering nonprofit organization management, she worked in scholarly and educational publishing after earning an MA in International Relations. In her free time, Mae is an active animal rescue volunteer, deejays at a bar in downtown Oakland, and travels to all corners of the world. She is serving her second term on the Cornell NorCal board as an Events Director.

Melissa Baxter, Director of Events

Melissa Baxter, MBA '20 is the Waste Zero Manager for San Benito County and Founder of Nothing Wasted Consulting. She is native to the Bay Area and enjoys spending time with family, traveling and working out. Her true passion is connecting with others. Melissa has strong connections to Stanford University, Graduate School of Business and finds true enjoyment in networking with others schools. She is thrilled to be part of the board and ready to plan fun filled events.  

Niru Anisetti, Director of Events

Peter Rodway, Director of Events

Saidislom Israilov, Director of Events

Staci Friesel, Chair, Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network

Staci Friesel Ag '97 has a long career as a Cornell alumni volunteer.  She currently sits on the Cornell Trustee Council as well as the ‘C’AC (Cornell Advisory Committee to Admissions).  For the past 13 years, she has served in a leadership capacity for Northern California CAAAN (Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network), chairing both San Francisco and San Mateo Counties before leading Northern California as General Chair.

Are you interested in serving on the Cornell NorCal Board of Directors? Please contact us at .

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