Neeraj Mathur, President
Neeraj moved to Cupertino, CA from New Jersey in 2018, with his wife Savita, 20-year-old and 15-year-old sons Kush and Vansh.
Kush is attending the University of California, Berkeley majoring in Computer Science and Vansh is a freshman at Cupertino
High School. Neeraj is passionate about contributing to the efforts to increase students’ learning opportunities and enhance
their academic achievement. As a family, they have been involved in elevating students’ education through multiple channels.
After moving to Cupertino, Neeraj and his family continued the community engagement by participating in Cupertino’s Sister
Cities program and had the privilege of being selected as one of the host families to host a middle school student from
Hsinchu, Taiwan. Vansh subsequently travelled to Hsinchu as part of this program and experienced, according to him,
the “best time of his life”, as he furthered his appreciation of culture and community and drew parallels between
Cupertino and Hsinchu lifestyles. Neeraj and his family have gained many invaluable opportunities and learning experiences
in Cupertino, and it has been their family’s passion to continue contributing to the local community to ensure that everyone
can share those same experiences. As a Board Member at Cupertino Historical Society + Museum, Neeraj is particularly excited
about assisting in strengthening the sense of community at Cupertino and an opportunity to share Cupertino’s history and
educational resources with students, scholars, and the public.
Neeraj can be contacted at email@example.com.
Claudio Bono, Vice President
Internationally celebrated Hotelier Claudio Bono, moved to Cupertino in 2014, Claudio Bono began serving as a member of the Silicon Valley Rotary Club as well as President of the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce in 2022. Claudio is now the Vice President of the Cupertino Historical Society & Museums & believes in public service. Claudio is the Hotel General Manager of The Grand Hotel Sunnyvale as well as The Cupertino Hotel since 2014 & manages events at The Vidovich Vineyards. Claudio never shies away from assisting his community and is happy to give his time.
Manuel Valerio, Executive Director
Manuel is a first generation Portuguese-American born of parents who were from the Madeira Islands, Portugal.
He was born in San Jose, and raised in his hometown of Sunnyvale.
After attending elementary and junior high schools, he graduated from Sunnyvale High School.
He then was a proud San Jose State Spartan, and majored in History with a minor in Political Science.
He holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in History.
Manuel served as a legislative aide to State Senator Alfred E. Alquist, in his district office in San Jose.
At the end of his tenure with Senator Alquist, he was elected to the Sunnyvale City Council where he served from 1995-2003,
and was mayor of Sunnyvale in 1999.
Manuel and his wife, Tracy, and their children reside in the Willow Glen district of San Jose, and he believes that he,
and they, are very fortunate to live in Santa Clara Valley.
It was once known as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” and is now known as “Silicon Valley.”
He wholeheartedly believes that our county is one of the best places in which to live, in the greatest state,
within the greatest nation.
He hopes to share and impress upon others the rich and diverse history of Cupertino, and all of Santa Clara Valley.
Manuel can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce Parsons, Treasurer
I was born and raised in the Chicago area, where I lived until 1957. My Bachelor’s Degree is from Stanford
in Industrial Engineering. I worked at local electronics firms in production, production control, engineering,
account/project/program management, partner, and own-er from 1962 to 2020. I was employed by Ampex,
Fairchild Semiconductor, Fairchild Instrumentation, GTE Sylvania, Applied Technology, Signetics/Philips,
LSI Logic, Pacific InterConnections (owner), Champion Re-search (co-owner), Advanced Micro Assembly,
US Export Authority, and co-owner of the following companies: Probe Array, Renewable Energy & Power,
and LED Lites USA. As a recent retiree, I’ve been looking for ways to give back to my community.
I’ve been involved in various Cupertino community organizations for 45 years: NW YMCA, San Jose Metro YMCA,
International Y’s Men’s Service Club, Hoover PTA, Friends of the Library, Registrar of Voters, Optimists,
Rotary, Neighborhood Watch, Save Hoover Park, Depress HW 85 Committee, etc. I have been married to my wife,
Pat, for 55 years, we have two sons, three grand-kids, and a lab named Auggie.
Bruce can be contacted at email@example.com.
Valerie Abid, Secretary
Valerie grew up on a farm in southeast Nebraska. After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a teaching credential, she taught in Nebraska three years before moving to California. She taught one year in southern California before moving to Los Angeles where she “retired” from teaching and worked for the State until retiring again to raise her daughter. Her family moved to Cupertino in 1980. She retired from Tecan Systems in San Jose (her third and final retirement) in 2009 and is enjoying the benefits – travel, grandchildren and volunteering. Valerie has always loved history and has enjoyed touring many of the area’s historical homes and museums. As a member of the Cupertino Historical Society she’d like to help preserve our local history as well as share it with members of our community and beyond.
Board of Directors
Biography being written.
Kalpana Aroda is a first generation Californian resident married to a second generation Californian, moved to Cupertino in 2000. Kalpana is a founding member and President of the non profit “inAtalent.” inAtalent is an organization that helps bring communities together through talents. It is aimed at bridging the age gaps, providing opportunities to volunteers to gain leadership skills through community services. Kalpana is also active in the community and holds leadership positions through world known organizations such as Cupertino Rotary, and Toastmasters International. She is a co-chair of Workforce Development Committee in Cupertino Rotary. Kalpana is a current District Director of District 101 of Toastmasters International consisting of 149 clubs and over 2000 members. Being passionate in dancing, Kalpana has participated in many Bollywood dance musicals and folk dancing shows. She has learned different dance forms such as Bollywood, Folk and basics of classical dance from California Nupur Dance Academy. She works full time in a Software Company.
Biography being written.
Brittany Barnes was born and raised in the bay area. She graduated from De Anza College and got a degree in marketing/advertising at San Jose State University. Brittany currently is a Realtor and specializes in the Cupertino area as well as bartends at a local bar called Paul and Eddies. Her grandparents started that bar in 1943 and it still stands today. Her roots run deep in this community and wants to keep the family tradition alive.
Biography being written.
Entrepreneur, Multidisciplinary Artist, Founder of Fyoli Fyoli USA- a purpose driven, fashion and accessories brand.
Board Member at Agaati Foundation.
In addition to running her own purpose driven brand, Meenu is on the Board of Agaati Foundation, a San Francisco based
501 3c Non-Profit. Meenu has been helping with artisan partnerships and content creation for Agaati Marketplace and
researching artisan impact projects and fundraising for the Agaati Foundation. Artisan communication steeped in deep
understanding of ground realities is her strength, being an artist herself and working closely with grassroots artisans
has given her a unique and radically empathetic perspective of motivations and challenges of craftsmen in underserved communities.
As a multidisciplinary artist Meenu loves to draw, design jewelry and textiles, paint, sculpt, move metals with hammer
and heat. All her work derives inspiration from the boundless beauty of Nature and Earth. Enthused by ancient art,
spirituality and cultures, her work represents fusion of contemporary and ethnic art mirroring her identity as a
South Asian Indian and American woman.
Over the years, Meenu has been an active volunteer in the community including Project Cornerstone reader at local
elementary school, helping establish a student wellness center at her public middle school and a volunteer trained
tutor for ‘All Students Matter’ for ESL students at RCS district serving low-income communities.
She hopes to help grow CHSM in ways that fulfill its vision, help generate interest in the community about the
significance of this organization and expand outreach and fundraising efforts.
Hello, my name is Jason Foreman and I’m glad to be joining you all! I’m a 4th generation resident of Cupertino
and as such I’ve grown up hearing plenty of stories about the small little farm town that no longer is, I’m excited
to have this opportunity to learn a bit more and help further the mission of the CHSM! I’ve spent my whole life
working for non-profits so it is an interesting experience to now be on the Board of one!
I’ve had a lifelong interest and long been a student of all subjects of history and by extension literature as well
for the perspective they bring us on past ways of living, thinking, and being. Some of my favorite books include:
You Can’t Win, The Road, Beggars of Life, and in Dubious Battle…among countless others. When it was safe to
do so, I enjoyed traveling extensively through California and Nevada with special attention paid to Gold
Country, ghost-towns, ruins, and overlooks, and little towns by the side of the road too tough to die.
California’s Central Valley, the sights and the history behind the farming efforts and labor organizing,
are of particular interest as well.
We are fortunate to live in a state and community with a history that
is so diverse. I have been involved in Youth Development and Early Childhood programs for nearly the last
15 years in different capacities. I currently work as an infant educator and am fortunate to be able to
work with different organizations to present to audiences around the country on topics of inclusion and
infant toddler development. In my off hours I usually can be found exploring one of Cupertino’s beautiful
parks with my son, curled up with a good book, or out in the backyard restoring furniture or hammering
together some kind of project!
Biography being written.
Biography being written.
Sarini is a jewelry and dress designer, who believes in bringing out the inner beauty of a woman. She is the founder of “Sarini’s Creations”, where she innovates jewelery designs, to match the personalities of brides and to blend harmoniously, with their wedding dress. Sarini also works with the Cupertino Historical Museum and other non-profits, helping them create exhibits which highlight Indian culture and traditions. She serves as a judge for beauty competitions. Trained in Kathak dancing, Sarini believes that art in any form inspires compassion and confidence.
Sunil, an IITK (Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur) computer engineer by profession, spends his fun time “Romancing The Degchi©™”, as it’s Chef De Passion and writing shayari/poetry emanating from “Suneel Ke Dil Se”. His blogs, interviews and his thoughts have been presented in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News.
A Degchi is a small cauldron used for Indian cooking.
Bill Kerr, Finance Chairman
I’m a fourth generation native Californian and raised in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills. Obtained my degree at UC Berkeley and served in the Marine Corp for the next four years after graduation. Afterwards, moved to San Jose area in 1966 and purchased a home in Cupertino in 1967. I was always involved in Real estate industry serving with a Redevelopment Agency, a commercial – industrial brokerage firm and with my own company as a real estate appraiser in the in the public agency field for the next fifty years. I retired five years ago and have continued to involve myself in community activities. Shari and I have raised our two boys in Cupertino. Both families are located in the bay area and have a total of five grandchildren. Four of them are on their own living mostly out of state. The youngest is now a Junior in engineering and should graduate on time. I joined the Board of Directors in 2011 and took over the Treasurer’s job in 2012. Having an interest in California history, our local history always was fascinating and how it related to the early California development.
Biography being written.
JR Fruen, City Council Representative
J.R. is a third-generation Cupertino resident. As someone who has lived through significant changes in Cupertino, he is eager to document and share the history of the city so that it can make the best decisions for its future. J.R.’s Cupertino story begins with his grandparents, who moved to the Valley of Heart’s Delight in the aftermath of the Second World War. They bought a home in then-unincorporated Santa Clara County in 1952 and got to vote on Cupertino’s incorporation just a few years later. The family has remained in the Cupertino community ever since. J.R. is a graduate of Lynbrook High School (1998), and UCLA (summa cum laude, 2002). He studied abroad at the Università degli Studi di Padova in Padua, Italy, focusing on history, economics, and political science. He is fluent in Italian and German. Following a career in luxury retail management, he returned to academia to pursue a law degree at Santa Clara University School of Law. He is now an attorney in private practice here in Cupertino. J.R. is eager to share his professional and academic skills for the betterment of the Cupertino Historical Society and Museum. He is a charter member of the Silicon Valley Rainbow Rotary Club, a board member of the Cupertino-Copertino Sister City Association, and a co-founder of social equity and housing advocacy organization Cupertino for All. He lives with his husband, Clifton Der Bing, a licensed clinical psychologist.
Helene grew up in Cupertino when the area was still considered the “Valley of Heart’s Delight” but
rapidly evolving into “Silicon Valley”. She attended local schools: Regnart, Kennedy, Monta Vista
and De Anza College. She found herself back in Cupertino after marriage, living on the same street
as her parents (her childhood home), raising her two children, and shepherding them through the same
Cupertino schools she attended. She began her community involvement during this time with PTA and AYSO,
and worked as a substitute teacher in the Cupertino Union School District.
Motivated by her love of history and her upbringing in Cupertino, Helene joined the board of the CHS&M in the
early 2000’s, serving as president from 2007-2009. To broaden her scope of involvement in the community, Helene
joined The Rotary Club of Cupertino in 2006 and served as the President of the Rotary Club of Cupertino from
2018-19. In addition to Rotary and the Cupertino Historical Society, Helene served on the City of
Cupertino’s Parks and Recreation Commission and currently serves as President of the Cupertino
Copertino Sister Cities Association, and is a board member of Walk Bike Cupertino, a citizen’s advocacy
group for cycling and walking infrastructure in the city. She received the City of Cupertino CREST award
in 2012, and the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce STAR Award in 2014.
Helene graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Managerial Economics. She has been married to husband Jim, for 37 years.
They have two daughters, Leah and Julie. During her free time Helene likes to cycle, hike, read, travel and learn about
all things historical. She feels that what is special about Cupertino is the people and the collaborations between
different organizations in the community. She is proud to be an active contributor to this vibrant place
we call Cupertino.
Biography being written.
Shannon Patrick Lee
Biography being written.
Paula Quinterno is a 3rd generation resident of Cupertino (Monta Vista Area). Her paternal grandfather, an artist,
came from Italy with his wife and children in 1913 to work on the Palace of Fine Arts, part of the 1915 Panama Pacific
Exposition. He liked it in Monta Vista, and stayed.
Paula’s maternal grandfather, came from Italy in 1907 and with his brother owned and cooked in restaurants in San Jose,
and later in Hollister with 2 Picchetti brothers.
Paula’s aunt, Adriana, and her husband, Charlie Rifredi started Rifredi’s Market in the 1920’s on land that is now the
site of the Cupertino Post Office. Paula’s father, Angelo Quinterno, became a partner in the grocery store in the 1950’s,
and her mother, Linda, was bookkeeper and ran a branch post office at the back of the store.
After graduating with a degree in Geology from San Jose State (B.A. 1965; MS 1968), Paula worked for the Marine Geology
Branch of United States Geological Survey until taking early retirement in 1995. Her speciality was Marine
Micropaleontology — the study of tiny fossil organisms that once lived in the oceans. Work cruises took her as far south
as Tonga and Fiji, and as far north as Nome Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.
After retiring, Paula put together a curriculum to teach children hands-on geology in the De Anza College Summer Enrichment
Program (a.k.a. known as College for Kids) for more than 10 years, while taking care of her sister, Nola, who had
Multiple Sclerosis — two challenging, but both very rewarding endeavors. As time went on, caregivers were hired to help,
so Paula could enjoy some hiking, visiting with friends and staying involved with the Cupertino Historical Society.
Paula currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Cupertino Historical Society and is co-author of a work in progress — a
walking tour of Monta Vista.
Biography being written.
Biography being written.
Traveling Trunk Coordinator
Sonja grew up mostly in the wilds of Cornwall, England. While attending Southampton University she met her future husband, Mike. Their first daughter was born in England, followed by the birth of two more daughters after moving to Seattle. The family finally settled in Cupertino in 1972. Sonja has watched as the area grew and changed, orchards sprouted housing developments, Mariani’s apricot drying yard moved away, and Apple Computer took off. In 1976 Sonja became involved with the De Anza re-enactment, helping install a display in the De Anza Library. She took her entire family to camp at Mission San Antonio when the soldats de cuirass passed through on their way north, walked the last mile with them up Stelling Road, and on to the De Anza campus. An event she and the family will not soon forget! Sonja feels it is important to keep history alive for the newer generation and immigrants to our area. Being a Trunk docent allows her the opportunity to share with school children & ESL adults the history that has been packed into this area over the past 200 years.
Alecia Thomas, Collections Assistant
I am a California native who has lived in Cupertino since 1972.
I love this state and cannot imagine living anywhere else.
I have worked as a docent at History San Jose and a film history museum at what is now Sony studios in Culver City.
I have a degree in graphic design and illustration and was a member of the Mellon Scholars program
in its first year at De Anza College.
Through them I started working as the collections specialist for the Los Altos History Museum from 2018 to 2023.
I played a key role in the development of their new Permanent Exhibit by curating the objects that will always be displayed in it.
My first six months there I was recognized by Santa Clara County for excellence in Collections at the 2019 recognition ceremony.
I inventoried a huge amount of objects, photographs, paper archives and books as well as Muwekma Ohlone items and
several large collections including paintings sculptures and dolls.
I used my art background to make promotional material and items such as paper Christmas ornaments celebrating local notables.
I researched genealogy records and background information for many items that had no description.
I also met with members of the community accessioning historical objects and donations.
History is my passion and I am very excited to be part of the staff at Cupertino Historical Society.
Audrey Tran, Intern
Audrey Tran is currently a first-year student at De Anza College majoring in anthropology. She began interning in early April 2023 through the Humanities Mellon Scholars Program at De Anza. After completing all her credits at De Anza, Audrey plans to transfer to a college/university to earn a bachelor’s degree (and eventually a master’s degree) in socio-cultural anthropology. She hopes to use her degree to pursue a career of fieldwork; with her love for learning about other cultures and connecting with other people, Audrey is passionate in studying and hopes to honor the breathtaking diversity of our world.
Anya Nazarova, Staff
Anya is a full time student in her second year at Foothill College majoring in Graphics and Interactive Design. She enrolled in the Humanities Mellon Scholars Program through which she became an intern at CHSM. Her duties are helping Alecia Thomas (Collections Assistant) catalog the collection, being a docent, managing the website, and assisting the staff & Board in various other tasks.
The Board of Directors meets the third Wednesday of every month at 4:30 pm.
Meetings are held at the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce conference room at 20455 Silverado Ave, Cupertino, CA 95014,
Board meetings are open to all members in good standing.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member of our Board, please contact our Executive Director.