Our Board

Our board members encompass a wide range of experience and interest in listening and spoken language, cochlear implant technology, philanthropy, and working with children.

Board

    • Jennifer-Jordan-McCall
    • Jennifer Jordan McCall
    • President, Founder, and Chair of the Board
    • Jennifer Jordan McCall is a partner at the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, based in Silicon Valley, New York and Palm Beach, and chair of the firm’s Estates, Trusts & Tax Planning practice and co-leader of the Private Wealth practice. She is a leading authority on U.S. and international gift and estate planning. Jenny is consistently recognized by Chambers USA and Chambers High Net Worth as a leading lawyer nationally (2006-2017) and in Northern California (2016-2017, 2019) and Super Lawyers (published by Thomson Reuters) in California (2006 – 2019) and New York (2006 - 2011, 2014 – 2019).
      In addition to Ms. McCall's work with the Baker Institute, she serves as Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Ballet, is a co-chair of the Planned Giving Committee of Princeton University, and serves as Trustee of several charitable foundations and charitable trusts. She is also the recent recipient of the prestigious “Simmons Award” from the Wausaukee Club for her outstanding contributions to the Wausaukee Charitable Foundation, including the creation of the Foundation and ongoing pro bono work relating to its mentor program, scholarship grants and preservation of the natural environment.
      Ms. McCall's daughter, Caroline Clark, was born with a hearing loss and uses two cochlear implants to listen and speak. Caroline is currently a successful spoken language communicator, and she is a graduate of Princeton University (BA) and Stanford University (MBA). Because of Ms. McCall's experience with raising her daughter, she knows what it takes to help children with hearing loss succeed. She is passionate about helping other parents become empowered with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to make this possible for their own children.
    • Caroline-Clark
    • Caroline Debevoise Clark
    • Vice President
    • Caroline is the daughter of Jennifer Jordan McCall and a bilateral cochlear implant user. She is currently working in venture capital and technology in Silicon Valley. Previously, she was a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, advising Fortune 500 companies on corporate strategy. Caroline has a MBA from Stanford and a BA from Princeton. Caroline loves meeting all the families that come through Baker. Every child and family has a unique story, and she is thrilled to watch them grow and thrive over the years!
    • Hillary-Clark
    • Hillary Clark
    • Secretary
    • Hillary Clark works in Business Development at Eventbrite, where she creates product partnerships which drive demand to the five million events created on the platform each year. Prior to her work at Eventbrite, Ms. Clark graduated from Princeton, receiving a degree in English and certificates in Theatre and African American studies.
      An avid lover of the arts, Hillary was a board member of Princeton's student-run theatre, Theatre Intime, and wrote a full-length play, "Dysfunction: A Play in One Act," for her Senior Thesis. Hillary has appeared in 52 performances of the New York City Ballet's Nutcracker in New York's Lincoln Center and has performed in over 70 theater productions throughout her career.
      In addition to Ms. Clark's work with the Baker Institute, she serves as a co-founder of the San Francisco chapter of Freshflix Film Festival, is an alumni interviewer for Princeton, and volunteers for Sofar Sounds, a global organization dedicated to supporting up-and-coming musical artists.
      Hillary's sister Caroline received her first cochlear implant at the age of twelve. After witnessing the impact cochlear implant technology has had on Caroline's life, Hillary became passionate about supporting and empowering families of children with hearing loss. Hillary's favorite part of Baker's Listen to Me! Conference is her conversations with the parents and siblings of children with hearing loss.
    • Nik Blevins
    • Nikolas H. Blevins, MD
    • Trustee
    • Nikolas H. Blevins, MD is the Malcolmson Professor of Otolaryngology at Stanford and is Chief of the Division of Otology/Neurotology. He has been the the director of the Stanford Cochlear Implant Center since 2003. He received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University in biology before traveling to Boston to complete his medical training at Harvard. He then completed his residency in Otolaryngology at the University of California at San Francisco, and he remained at UCSF for additional fellowship training in otology/neurotology. Dr. Blevins joined the Otolaryngology Department at Tufts University in Boston as Chief of the Division of Otology and Neurotology. In 2003, he returned to California to join the Stanford Department of Otolaryngology. He specializes in disorders of the middle ear, inner ear, facial nerve, and skull base, and he is dedicated to the application of the most advanced technology to hearing restoration. Dr. Blevins has an active research interest in innovative surgical methods and the application of computer technology to surgical education and preoperative planning.
    • Julie Cooper
    • Julie Cooper, MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT
    • Trustee
    • Julie Cooper is the founder and executive director of the Listen to Me! Conference at Stanford Ear Institute. She started Listen to Me! in 2009 and has directed the program every year. Julie is a speech-language pathologist and certified auditory verbal therapist. She is also the director of the Baker Scholars Program, providing LSL teleintervention to families across California. Julie served as the speech-language pathologist on the cochlear implant team at Stanford Hospital from 2008 to 2013. Additionally, Julie has provided LSL therapy at the Weingarten Children's Center since 2007. She earned a BA from Calvin College and an MS in speech-language pathology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Julie has enjoyed mentoring several professionals seeking to specialize in a LSL approach through the FIRST YEARS program at UNC, PPCI, and local SLP graduate programs, and she is currently mentoring several individuals in attaining the LSL certification in auditory verbal therapy. She has presented at ACIA, ASHA, and San Jose State University. Julie’s favorite part about leading the Baker Institute programs is partnering with families, supporting them to become empowered, and witnessing the beautiful results—well-spoken children who go on to lead inspiring lives.
    • Matthew Fitzgerald
    • Matthew Fitzgerald, PhD, CCC-A
    • Trustee
    • Matthew Fitzgerald is the Chief of Audiology at Stanford & Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, previously from the Department of Otolaryngology, NYU School of Medicine. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders & Sciences from Wichita State University, followed by a Masters in Audiology from Vanderbilt University. He is a certified audiologist, having completed his clinical fellowship year at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. He then obtained his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2005. In late 2010, he joined the faculty at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Fitzgerald became Chief of Audiology at Stanford in 2015. His research interests are focused on how individuals adapt to altered sensory input, and what can be done to facilitate that process of adaptation. He is particularly interested in developing new tools for mapping recipients of cochlear implants and the development of auditory training programs for individuals with hearing loss. Dr. Fitzgerald has been a strong advocate for the work of the Baker Institute. He has been essential in using research-based methods to track and analyze the outcomes of the Baker programs.
    • Katherine-Foster
    • Katherine A. Foster
    • Trustee
    • Katie Foster is the owner and designer of Katie Foster Interior Design. Previously, she worked as the creative director at Hill and Knowlton in Boston and as the marketing coordinator/consultant at Booz Allen and Hamilton. Katie earned degrees from the American University Paris and Parsons School of Design, Paris, and she earned a diplômé from the University of Paris, Sorbonne. In addition to her work with the Baker Institute, Katie is a board member for the Gifted and Talented Education Program, San Mateo Union High School District, a member of the Hillsborough Beautification Foundation, and was past president of the Edgewood Auxiliary, serving the Edgewood Center for Children and families, San Francisco. Katie has a profound hearing loss, uses hearing aids to hear, and is a successful spoken language communicator. She joined our board because she is passionate about helping others learn to listen and speak, and she can relate to many of the struggles these families are facing.
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    • Michael Hetherington
    • Trustee
    • Michael Hetherington, Attorney at Law, is a California attorney as well as a patent attorney, registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He received a master’s degree in Engineering from Stanford, and developed the first practical application of the Duncan Walker discriminant algorithm -enhanced computer learning and pattern recognition, invented at SRI- to predict location of tungsten deposits in Nevada based on training sets of quantifiable geologic data.
      He has obtained pioneering patents across a wide spectrum of innovations and technology, including most recently, self similar fractal stages with recursion and feedback at each stage for magnifying energy vectors. He has served as co-founder, board member, and intellectual property adviser for several start-up companies, the majority based on patents obtained by M. Hetherington.
    • Lucie-Jay
    • Lucie Jay
    • Trustee
    • Lucie attended Trinity College in Hartford, CT, for undergraduate studies and NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts for graduate work. She has lived in the Bay Area since 2008 and is an old friend of Jenny McCall’s from New York City. Lucie also sits on the board of Global Heritage Fund and is involved with the non-profit organizations, Bring Me a Book, and WildAid. Lucie’s favorite part about the Baker Institute is attending the LTM Conference—seeing the families and the effect that Jenny and her daughters have on them when they speak...that’s what it’s all about! It’s wonderful to be a part of an organization that ensures every family has the resources they need to help their child succeed.
    • Runa-Magowan
    • Runa L. Magowan
    • Trustee
    • Ms. Magowan is a longtime San Francisco native, wife, and mother of two children. She has 17 years of experience in the photography industry and is a previous owner of Classic Kids Photography. Ms. Magowan co-managed the growth of Classic Kids Photography from a one shop studio in 1997 to its current 13 locations nationwide. She is driven by the love and passion for spending time and working with children to create treasured artwork for the client's homes.
    • Jenn Parenti
    • Jennifer Parenti, MA, Ed
    • Trustee
    • Jennifer Parenti is currently the itinerant teacher of the deaf for Dublin and Newark Unified School districts in the east Bay, and she enjoys helping students achieve their best in all educational settings. Previously she was the Consumer Outreach Manager for Med-El, the hearing implant company. At Med-El, she provided support and education to cochlear implant candidates, recipients, and the professionals who support them in the West. Jennifer was the educational consultant to the cochlear implant team at Stanford University School of Medicine from 2008-2014. During her time with Stanford, Jennifer was the director of the Baker Scholars Program for 5 years. Jennifer is the LTM Development Coordinator and has presented at LTM since 2010. Jennifer is a teacher of the deaf and earned a BA in Audiology from the University of Northern Colorado, a Masters in Special Education from San Francisco State University, and a CA Credential for Deaf/Hard of Hearing. Through the years Jennifer has taught in both total communication and auditory oral classrooms in the Bay Area, including Weingarten Children's Center, San Francisco Unified School District, and Oakley Union Elementary School. Jennifer has a passion to support individuals who receive cochlear implants through their journey to hearing.
    • Elizabeth-Sechrest
    • Elizabeth Franklin Sechrest
    • Trustee
    • Elizabeth Franklin Sechrest is the CEO and Founder of The Franklin Report, an independently published guidebook and website that primarily rates home maintenance and renovation providers such as interior decorators, architects, and contractors. Prior to founding The Franklin Report in 1999, Ms. Sechrest was a Partner at the investment bank James D. Wolfensohn, Inc., where she specialized in mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Sechrest was also a vice president at Lehman Brothers. She graduated from Duke University with a BSE in mechanical engineering and an MBA in finance and marketing from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
    • Mia-MacLean-Vernic
    • Mia MacLean Vernic, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC
    • Trustee
    • Mia is a pediatric nurse practitioner in San Francisco, CA. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in child development and pre-nursing studies from Vanderbilt University. She then went on to complete her Master of Science in Nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Mia volunteered with Baker’s Listen to Me! Summer Institute when she was in high school. As a pediatric provider, Mia feels very passionately about Baker Institute’s mission to increase access to care for every child with hearing loss.
    • Daniel-Vernic
    • Daniel MacLean Vernic
    • Trustee
    • Daniel works on the corporate bond desk within Goldman Sach’s Sales & Trading division, where he covers institutional credit investors on the West Coast. Daniel attended undergrad at Bucknell University, studying English and Economics. As a native San Franciscan, he used to volunteer at the Baker Institute’s Listen to Me! Conference each summer during high school.
    • Leigh-Wasson
    • Leigh Wasson
    • Trustee
    • Leigh brings 31 years of investment management and client relationship management experience to her role as a Senior Wealth Director with BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Leigh collaborates with team members and advisors to develop and implement comprehensive wealth management solutions for entrepreneurs, executives, founders, innovators and their family members. Prior to BNY Mellon, Leigh was Regional Managing Director of Northern California for Citi Private Bank. Leigh’s background also includes 16 years at JP Morgan with both the private bank and the institutional investment management division, where she was a Managing Director with assignments in Australia & London, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Newport Beach. Leigh is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor and a member of the Board of Directors of Watermark, and a board of director and President of the San Francisco Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). Leigh has a BBA in Finance from The University of Texas and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
      She is a member of the Women's Leadership Board, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Ms. Wasson serves on the Board of the International Museum of Women, the Advisory Board of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the signature publication of the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and on the Advisory Board of Astia. Ms. Wasson is a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, where she facilitates "Money Matters," a financial literacy training program for teens.
      Leigh has been on the Baker Institute board since its inception and thoroughly enjoys supporting its work and growth. She resides in Sausalito and enjoys sailing and hiking.