Our Leadership

Carolyn Placente

Executive Director

Carolyn brings strategic direction and thought leadership grounded in her extensive experience in the nonprofit and education sectors. Her work to drive meaningful and lasting changes in systems, policies, and people reflects her commitment to advancing social and educational equity and promoting inclusion and belonging.

Carolyn prioritizes relationships, collaboration, accountability, positivity and gratitude, and manifests her deep appreciation of diversity and her unwavering dedication to social justice in all of her work. She believes our youth represent our greatest gift and that it is our collective responsibility to ensure that all children receive the supports and opportunities they need to discover and fulfill their highest potential.

Carolyn holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York at Albany, Master’s Degrees from the University of California Berkeley and San Francisco State University, and advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Cruz. She harnesses the power of her public education in the direct service of community-driven social change.

Carolyn is a mother of two and lives in coastal West Marin. She enjoys music and dance, spending time at the beach, and celebrating her children as they play and perform.

Bob Rosenberg, DDS, DScD

Board Chair

Bob spent his professional career as an endodontist in private practice as well as on the faculty at the UCSF School of Dentistry where he served a Chair of Endodontics as well as the founder and leader of the UCSF Advanced Endodontic Study Club. He was active in the American Association of Endodontists, serving on the Board of Directors and as President of the Research and Education Foundation. He is a fellow of the International and American Colleges of Dentists and the Academy of Dentistry International.

Bob has been active in his community as a co-founder of the Ross Valley Girls Softball League. Since retiring, he co-authored Giving from Your Heart, A Guide to Volunteering, published 2005. On the organizational front, Bob was Board Chair of the Henry’s Fork Foundation, a watershed conservation organization in Eastern Idaho. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of California Trout. Bob is a volunteer tutor at a local middle school and served as Board Chair of the Marin County School Volunteers. He was the recipient of the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership award for Excellence in Board Leadership in 2015.

Bob’s life is inspired by his passions for family, fly fishing and working to ensure educational and life success for all children. He has been married forever, has two daughters and three grandchildren and lives in Northern California.

Head shot of Agnes Pecjo

Agnes Pecjo

Board Member

Agnes is a highly accomplished Senior Level Finance Executive with extensive experience in providing strong financial and operational leadership for complex, high-profile, global professional services organizations. Agnes’ expertise spans various facets of finance, including finance management, strategic planning, outsourcing and offshoring operations, compliance, risk management and data analytics. Agnes has a proven track record of streamlining business processes, implementing technology solutions and delivering efficiencies.

As a transformational leader, she believes in engaging and empowering teams, forging strong relationships, and collaborating across organizational levels to achieve business objectives and financial goals. Agnes’ career highlights include successfully leading client service delivery, innovation, and inclusion and diversity initiatives at Accenture, managing global transitions, driving operational excellence, and implementing automation and AI solutions.

Agnes’ educational background includes a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology, a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy and various certifications in Leadership, Innovation, Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence. Agnes is also a Certified Management Accountant (Australia), Certified Public Accountant (Philippines) and Series 99 Certified.

Alvin Gilmore, Jr.

Board Member

Alvin was one of the founding board members of OnePercent for Education before being hired as its first Executive Director in 2020.

With over thirty years of experience in education where he worked as a counselor, coach, classroom teacher, and an administrator in private and public school settings, Alvin is passionate about social justice and educational equity. He fervently believes that it “takes a village” to address the educational disparities we find in low income populations and that the work of nonprofit organizations who perform direct services with disadvantaged and low income youth is essential to “leveling the playing field” for those students.

Although Alvin has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCLA and master’s degree in Education from USC, he’s most assuredly a life long Bruin after running track for UCLA. He lives in San Rafael, California and enjoys connecting with nature, photography, keeping up on current events, reading, and staying fit.

Ari Baruth

Board Member

Ari is a Deputy City attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s office, focusing on construction and public contracts. He guides resolution of construction claims and represents the City on large projects such as the Millennium Tower and Central Subway. Before coming to the City, Ari spent 10 years at Long and Levit, LLP, representing various entities in construction and real estate disputes as well as a variety of commercial matters.

A son of two immigrant teachers raised in a home filled with stories of the Holocaust, Ari grew up with a keen awareness of the access to opportunities available in our society, particularly the children. Through this upbringing, Ari developed a passion in the development, education, and joyfulness of youth. Throughout his life Ari has remained intent on supporting youth, whether in the form of coaching Little League baseball, teaching, or serving on the board of Camp Tawonga, a summer camp outside of Yosemite. Now a father of two young boys in San Francisco, Ari passionately wants to improve the public school system and work to rectify the inequities and challenges in the opportunities provided to children.

Ari graduated with an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and attended law school at the University of San Francisco. He is married to Clara Hatcher Baruth, and together they are enjoying watching their two young boys, Max and Matai, grow, learn, and enjoy. Ari roots for the Giants, Warriors, and 49ers, loves time in nature, and enjoys a minute in the hammock when the boys are occupied.

Bill Epstein

Board Member

Bill was born in Rochester, NY and came to Northern California with his parents when he was 6 months old. He attended The University of Pennsylvania where he studied photography and English. Bill also studied photography at the SF Art Institute and later attended City College of SF in Ornamental Horticulture and Botany.

Bill managed sales and marketing for Nurserymen’s Exchange Inc.-(Bloom-Rite Products) for nearly 30 years. The company was a large international grower and distributor of horticultural and Garden products to the mass markets. He currently owns and manages Eco Marketing Inc., and works as a manufacturers’ representative, broker, and consultant to horticultural and garden décor shippers, growers, and manufacturers, marketing products to supermarkets and other retailers.

Bill was on the board of Camp Tawonga for 6 years where he was Vice President and a member of the Executive committee for 3 years. He has been a board governor of Cal Trout, based in San Francisco for 9 years.

Bill has been involved with The American Jewish Committee (AJC, human rights organization) for 25 years and was the Northern California Regional President from 2009-2012. He has been a member of the National Board of Governors.

Bill has volunteered for 5 years tutoring reading and math and mentoring 3rd and 4th graders in an Oakland public school. He is very committed to helping students move ahead.

He has been married for 41 years to Susan Osher Epstein and has three grown sons and 4 grandchildren. Bill enjoys music (playing piano, harmonica, and guitar), travel, hiking, tennis, fly fishing, photography, and gardening.

Claudia Peña Caswell

Board Member

Claudia Peña Caswell is an accomplished trade finance professional with over 20 years of experience in finance, operations, and business development in support of SMEs and large enterprises. She currently serves as Capital Markets Manager at Cisco Systems Capital Corporation where she leads Cisco’s export credit and multilateral agency global lending capabilities. She is passionate about the advancement of global economies through equitable access to financing, technology, and education.

Beyond her accomplishments in trade finance, Claudia possesses an unwavering passion for education and its role in shaping societies. Believing that access to quality education is a fundamental right, she has actively engaged in initiatives aimed at promoting education and uplifting underprivileged communities. Claudia understands that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, empowering individuals and communities, and driving economic growth.

Claudia received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley in Spanish and Portuguese Literature and a minor in Public Policy. She also earned a Master of Business Administration at the California State University of Fullerton.

Claudia resides in the East Bay with her husband and twins. She is an avid traveler and has a deep appreciation for cultures and people from all over the world. She enjoys hosting dinner parties for family and friends. Her latest project is planting a rose garden with her daughter, Chloë, and niece, Emilia.

Greg Knell

Board Member

Greg Knell is the owner of Marin-based print and mail company, Breakpoint. He recently won his 5th election as a school board member, now serving as a Trustee of the Marin County Board of Education representing North San Rafael, Lucas Valley, and Santa Venetia, after 17 years on the San Rafael City Schools Board of Education. As a San Rafael City Schools Board member, he won the Marin County award as School Trustee of the Year.

Greg is also the Co-Chair of the Marin County Commission RxSafe Marin. There he has won national awards for poster design and innovative solutions to the Opioid Epidemic. Since achieving a 60% drop in opioid prescriptions, the commission is rebranding as ODFree Marin to combat the new threat to our children, Fentanyl, and Methamphetamine overdoses.

Greg brings a wealth of experience in life from serving as a McCarthy for President floor leader at the 1968 Democratic Convention and an Administrative Aide to Congressman John Conyers working with Rosa Parks, to bringing no-cost Paramedic Services to San Rafael residents as Chair of the Committee for Paramedic Services and serving as a member of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission in Oklahoma where his wife’s American Indian/black extended family members live.

Greg has a law degree from University of California Los Angeles law and was student body president at University of California Santa Barbara for his undergraduate degree. He is a father of two mixed-race children with his wife, who is serving her 28th year as a Counselor at Terra Linda High School. His commitment to educational equity is both deeply personal and also informed by his vast experience on the front lines of social change work. Greg cheers on the 49ers and can be spotted out on tour playing the electric bass.

Malabika Mishra headshot

Malabika Mishra

Board Member

Malabika Mishra, currently based out of San Francisco earned her bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication in India and later pursued a Master of Science in Finance at UIUC (the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). She possesses a strong background in internal controls, regulatory compliance, and risk management, with a track record of leading critical risk assessment projects and engagements for several multinational financial institutions and technology companies. An immigrant from India, she possesses a strong enthusiasm for emerging technologies and is dedicated to using education and technology to expand access to a better life across the globe, reaching even the most remote corners.

Michael P. Murray

Board Member

Michael is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the states of California and New York.

He provides tax, auditing, accounting and various other services to clients all over the country. He has been in practice for over two decades and brings deep expertise in nonprofit accounting and reporting to our Board of Directors. Michael holds himself to exceptionally high standards and takes his commitment to public service seriously. He enjoys helping people and frequently gives his time to a variety of causes and organizations, with a particular focus on education.

Originally from upstate New York, Michael resides in the Bay Area and spends most of his time in the East Bay and West Marin. Michael is an avid cyclist and outdoors enthusiast.

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Roy Barak

Board Member

Roy Barak is an accomplished leader with an impressive two-decade track record in spearheading financial technology companies. Holding multiple C-Suite leadership positions, Roy’s expertise has been instrumental in transforming businesses into thriving global B2B SaaS FinTech entities.

A well-respected thought leader, Roy Barak’s insights on building scalable, healthy, and diverse organizations have garnered recognition. His published articles in esteemed publications such as Forbes and Inc.com showcase his commitment to advancing progressive workplace cultures.

Passionate about making a meaningful impact, Roy deeply cares about educational equity for all children and believes in the power of quality education to shape a more equitable society.

Sarah Johal

Board Member

Sarah (she/her) is a brand marketer who believes building brand means building belonging. Raised in rural Ohio, she moved to the Bay Area to build her career with innovative tech startups.

For 15+ years, she’s led award-winning marketing campaigns, community-building events, and impactful strategic partnerships. Outside her current role at Workday, Sarah leads the Parents in Tech Alliance nonprofit enabling healthy tech work for all families. Sarah’s eager to build more belonging with our shared education communities and future leaders.

Sarah lives in the East Bay with her husband, Indy, and daughter, Amara. While hiking or gardening, she’s usually listening to her favorite true crime or comedy podcasts.

Suyog Deshpande

Board Member

Suyog is a Senior Director of Product Marketing at Samsara, leading the company’s product and partner marketing efforts for several product areas. Suyog is responsible for building and driving product go-to-market strategies and running integrated marketing programs that fuel Samsara’s awareness, pipeline, and ARR. Suyog is passionate about the cause of education equity and strongly believes in the impact of the 1% pledge. Suyog himself has pledged and donated 1% of his earnings for various non-profit organizations for the last nine years.

Suyog has spent 7.5 years at Salesforce, progressively attaining various roles as a User Experience Design, Experience Architecture, and Director of Product Marketing. His responsibilities included Go-To-Market, Industry Marketing, and working with a campaign team to help the cloud reach its growth ambition. After Salesforce, Suyog led product and customer marketing for Amplitude, a leader in the product analytics space.

He has a deep understanding of the SaaS, Enterprise, and Analytics space. Suyog earned an MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati. He holds six patents and is an inventor on four additional patent applications.

Advisory Board

Advisors to OnePercent for Education provide critical support to our growing organization, including friend- and fundraising, thought-partnership and expert advice. We are actively expanding this important body. Please contact our Executive Director Carolyn Placente, should you wish to explore Advisory Board service. It’s a significant yet not time-intensive way to support our work.

Tom Ruppanner

Mike Deverell

Madeline Nieto Hope

Sandy Ponek

Molly Tracy


A Note from our Board Chair

With great sadness, we regret to inform you that the Board of Directors has decided to wind down and dissolve OnePercent for Education; and the organization has initiated the dissolution process. One of our primary goals was to galvanize members of the business community who had not participated or had not fully participated in social engagement. Another goal was to engage individuals and families in our work for educational equity.

We continue to believe that there are people who care deeply about the issue and that there are significant financial resources that can be generated to support this movement. Despite our efforts, OnePercent for Education was unsuccessful in generating enough funding to achieve financial sustainability at this difficult time.

Every decision made was through the lens of how we can best bring support for the kids who need it the most. This is the work that our Nonprofit Partners deliver every day and will continue to do. Our Board of Directors will individually continue to promote their efforts and encourage support of their work. As we wind down, we are distributing as much of our remaining assets as possible to our Nonprofit Partners. While each Nonprofit Partner has received modest funding, this is far less than we had hoped, given the importance of their activities.

We urge each of you to support our Nonprofit Partners in the fulfillment of their missions as it so deeply impacts the communities they serve.

Finally, we thank you for your support of OnePercent for Education.