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Leadership Palo Alto – Testimonials


LPA Class of 2022 Graduates:

The LPA program has been a great way to learn about the local Palo Alto community and to network with other professionals in the area.  Some of my favorite LPA topics this past year have included the modules on local government, renewable energy, Stanford University, and non-profit organizations.  I have enjoyed the presentations, class discussions, and the onsite settings (city hall, Baylands, Stanford University, etc.) that we got to visit.  You could probably find ways to research and learn about all of these topics on your own but LPA helps provide special behind the scenes access that is rare and unique.  I'm proud to become an "LPA Fellow" and look forward to continuing learning and participating in the local Palo Alto and Bay Area community.

- Dan Lee


I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in Leadership Palo Alto as a fellow during the 2021-2022 year, where our overarching theme was, “How have we pivoted in light of COVID?” I leave LPA with meaningful connections within my cohort and beyond, and emerge as a more thoughtful, impactful community leader. Over the course of this program, I heard from many different local leaders from all walks of life, representing many different aspects of Palo Alto culture, government, and business. My favorite day was “Environment & Sustainability” out at the Baylands, at the Environmental Volunteers “EV” EcoCenter, where we heard about Palo Alto’s sustainability, climate action planning, and “zero waste” efforts in addition to learning from climate advocacy and activist groups, such as EV and Acterra. I was happy to help our cohort (and future ones!) to become paper-free by creating and maintaining an LPA Google Drive with all of the agendas and materials given to us for each LPA day. Thank you to Charlie and Christina for raising a wonderful LPA cohort!

- Alexis Crewes-Holloway


I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and hear from the leadership in Palo Alto from the local government officials to our region's representatives. Learning about the local history, public offerings, and how the various city and nonprofits work together to create our community provided me with a renewed energy to get out in the community and spend time exploring.  I enjoyed meeting fellow colleagues from various backgrounds and getting a better understanding of different perspectives of our community.  Thank you for providing us a program to learn more about our community and how we can be contributors.

- Laureen Cortez


Leadership Palo Alto was a fantastic program.  After working in the City for over 20 years I was able to meet new and emerging leaders and programs that I was not aware of.  It gave me the opportunity to connect with the City in a different way which will enable me to be a better City Employee.  My favorite LPA day is hard to choose but I think I cherish the time at the Stanford Farm where we connected with nature and the Stanford community.

I highly recommend participating in LPA- it is an opportunity to get to know an amazing group of leaders and feel connected to Palo Alto.  My biggest take away moment from LPA- is that there is a legacy of LPA members all willing to help you and that this is much bigger than your one LPA class.  Those understand who graduated from LPA how important this program is to their future work within Palo Alto.

I personally want to thank Charlie and Christina for moving LPA forward during the transition from COVID.  They listen to us and also moved towards a zero waste program as well by sending out materials ahead of time.  I want to thank them for connecting us and bringing us amazing talented speakers monthly.

Keep up the excellent work!

- Karin North


One of the things I appreciated most about the LPA 2021-2022 fellows is that they represented a variety of ages, backgrounds and professions. During our discussions, the diversity amongst fellows provided a multitude of perspectives about leadership and the role of leadership in the community. There were several impactful presentations which made the LPA experience worthwhile. On Government Day, Karen Holman’s history of the city of Palo Alto told the roots that shaped the city and made the city’s core values what we see today. As a Palo Alto native, I grew up loving the Children’s Library for its books, yet the presenters from the Libraries of the City of Palo Alto also opened a world of services and programs way beyond the catalog of books. I was perplexed by all the libraries have to offer– robotics, a farm lab, a secret garden, and more. Thirdly, the voice of the next generation- three Gunn high school seniors– provided us insight into how leadership may change in the future. Lastly, Police Chief Bob Jonsen’s personal account of a career in the police force and the importance of compassion training gave new meaning into how leaders can drive change in health and wellness through education.

- Lisa Hom


As I sit down to reflect on the last several months of adventure that is Leadership Palo Alto, I find it difficult to pinpoint what I treasured most. It would be too cliche to say everything but I have definitely enjoyed the entire process, from meeting classmates with very different backgrounds to gaining a better understanding of how City Government is structured and works to keep Palo Alto moving forward. I came to LPA with an open mind and few preconceived expectations, and I am glad I did. Each month is a new adventure that allows you to gain a surface-level understanding of how each group operates with a path forward should you consider getting involved. LPA opens eyes and minds to the interworkings of Palo Alto, and the opportunities are available to you!

Thank you for everything LPA!

- Randy Shuayto


Leadership Palo Alto provided an invaluable opportunity to better understand the Palo Alto community and connect with local leaders. My favorite day, Non-Profit day was a great example. I really valued getting to hear directly from organizations with deeply roots in Palo Alto. These non-profit leaders know the community and its needs so well. They also use their understanding to fill gaps and lift up the most vulnerable members of our community. Lee Pfab’s presentation on serving on a non-profit board was one of the most interesting talks for me. Lee gave such great down to Earth advice on what is expected of a board member and how to be effective.


- Christine Prior

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