Thrive is a network of 230 nonprofit, business, government organizations and community leaders who are working together to improve the quality of life in San Mateo County. We are guided by the belief that a strong nonprofit sector is a vital part of a thriving community.
Thrive is an organization that is transforming the quality of life in San Mateo County by:
Fostering active collaboration between nonprofits, government and business.
Working for widespread recognition of nonprofits as high-value providers of the products and services that support the community at large.
Advocating for sufficient resources, policies and regulations that enable nonprofits to be effective, efficient and accountable, and a culture of inclusion that values and serves the diversity of our community
Meet OUR LEADERS
President | Michael Garb, First 5 Commissioner; Retired CEO of StarVista
Michael presently serves on the First 5 San Mateo County Commission and is a member of the Peninsula Partnership Leadership Council (PPLC) actively involved in the county-wide preschool initiative, The Big Lift. Prior to retiring, Michael was Chief Executive Officer of StarVista for over four years and served on the board for over sixteen years. As a board member, Michael was instrumental in initiating the merger of Family and Community Enrichment Services (FACES) and Youth and Family Assistance (YFA) that was completed in June 2003. Michael has more than 30 years of community service, including eight years as a trustee of the Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District.
Vice President | Gina Quiney, Legislative Aide, Office of Supervisor Carole Groom
Gina has been civically engaged and a volunteer in the community since childhood. She served on the San Carlos Youth Advisory Council for four years, achieved a Girl Scout Gold Award and received HIP Housing’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2004. Gina graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in religious studies and subsequently worked as Program Coordinator for the Peninsula Clergy Network. For the last four years, Gina has served as legislative aide to San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom. In this role, Gina works on policy related to children and youth, housing, and human services. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of HIP Housing. Gina lives in Daly City with her husband, Orlando and son.
Secretary | Suzanne Buckley, Director, Mercy Center Burlingame
Suzanne left the corporate world to pursue ministry and education in the late 1980s, combining her background inorganizational development, marketing, training, and finance in new arena of service. She taught in spiritual formation programs, university and prep school settings before joining the staff of Mercy Center in 2004. As Director, Suzanne is responsible for program development, fund raising and operations for this internationally known retreat and conference center sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. Her award winning book, Sacred is the Call - Formation and Transformation in Spiritual Direction Programs (Crossroads 2005) is used in seminaries and universities throughout the world. Suzanne has a BS in Organizational Development and an MA in Applied Spirituality, both from University of San Francisco, where she also served as an adjunct professor. As board member for multiple organizations and as a consultant to other retreat centers, she has been actively involved in strategic planning since 2001.
Suzanne lives on the coast with her husband and pets - with close proximity to her brilliant grandchildren, nature and many walking trails.
Paitra Houts, Director of Community Engaged Learning - Education, Stanford University
Paitra began her tenure at Stanford University in January of 2014 where she supports faculty and community partners to work together to address societal needs. In her role she works with the Haas Center for Public Service and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education to support Cardinal Service - a bold, university-wide initiative to elevate and expand service as a distinctive feature of a Stanford education. Paitra has been actively involved in education equity for the past decade. Prior to starting her work at Stanford, she served the youth in our community at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, as a School Site Director and more recently as the Director of Partnerships and Volunteer Services. Through these roles she supported volunteers and partners to make an impact on the lives of our local youth, helping build connections and opportunities. Paitra received her Master's in Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies from Stanford's Graduate School of Education at Stanford in 2008 and her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Planning Public Policies and Management from the University of Oregon.
Kristy Koberna, Project Consultant
Kristy currently advises nonprofits on development, fundraising, planning and management. Kristy has also provided management consulting and interim executive director staffing to nonprofits serving disadvantaged populations including the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment, HomeownershipSF, the Family Economic Success Workgroup and the Center for Economic Progress among others. As the first Executive Director of Tax-Aid, Kristy provided start-up leadership to the United Way of the Bay Area's "Earn It! Keep It! Save It!" coalitions in San Francisco and San Mateo County. Kristy began her career with the California Society of CPAs in Redwood City where as Deputy Executive Director she oversaw the operations of a $20 million organization with 30,000 members. Kristy has a Master’s Degree in Education Administration and is a former Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Community Education Fellow. She currently serves on the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women as well as advisory boards for Tax-Aid and Deborah’s Palm. She is a long-term and passionate San Mateo County Coastside resident.
Sara Larios Mitchell, Ph.D., CEO, StarVista
Sara, a San Francisco native and long-time Peninsula resident, was appointed CEO of StarVista, a large nonprofit based in San Carlos, in October 2012. She began her career at StarVista as a pre-doctoral intern and rose through the ranks. She served as a mental health clinician, Program Manager and Department Director during her 8 years within this organization. She has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Golden Gate University, and a Doctorate in Transpersonal Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. In July 2013, Sara won a scholarship from CEN (Center for Excellence in Nonprofits) to attend the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management Program at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts. With over 15 years of experience in clinical services, including early childhood, domestic violence, trauma, youth development, family support and counseling, Sara is strongly committed to the children, families and individuals residing in San Mateo County’s diverse communities.
Bryan Neider, CEO, Gatepath
Bryan Neider, CEO, joined Gatepath after serving on the Board of Directors for nearly 15 years. As a Board Member, Bryan served as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair and became a strong advocate for Gatepath’s Employment Services. Prior to joining Gatepath, Bryan was a Senior Vice President within Electronic Arts’ (EA) Global Publishing and Marketing organization. Bryan spent over 25 years with EA and oversaw initiatives aimed at improving operating efficiency, product quality, business innovation and overall business performance. During his tenure at EA he served in a number of different roles, including managing EA’s global business development efforts, managing EA Partners, corporate finance, CFO and COO for EA.com, CFO of Worldwide Studios, COO for EA’s global development organization and most recently as head of EA’s Global Operations team.
Robin Rodricks, Nonprofit consultant – Community Advocate
A dedicated believer in the power of arts and literature to transform communities, Robin Rodricks comes with 10 years experience at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (comprising the de Young and California Palace of the Legion of Honor Museums) as Marketing Manager. Since 2008, Robin has been a free-lance consultant championing small nonprofits – mainly in the arts – in the areas of Board development and fundraising. A University of San Francisco graduate and life-long San Mateo County resident, Robin is current Chair of the San Mateo County Arts Commission.
Georgia Antonopoulos, Board Member and Executive Director, Thrive
Georgia has an extensive background leading nonprofit organizations, combined with providing leadership training to the nonprofit sector. She served most recently as the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the Coastside, was previously Director of Education and Training and Senior Consultant for the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership in San Rafael, and Director of the Center for Nonprofit Management at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.
With an MBA from Boston University in Public & Nonprofit Management, Strategy, Georgia is very passionate about her work and understands the value that nonprofits bring to the community. She served as a founding board member for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and as a trustee for the Massachusetts 4-H Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club of Brockton. Georgia received her BA from Wellesley College.
Petra Silton, Policy & Advocacy Coordinator, Thrive
Petra has been involved in nonprofit work for over 20 years, mostly in San Mateo County. She has held leadership positions at local schools, including President of the North Shoreview Montessori (NSM) PTA, Chair of the NSM Site Council, and Vice-President for Communications at Menlo School. She has helped established innovative programs, such as the School Choice Program at Peninsula Bridge and a novel revenue-generating program that employed formerly homeless men and women and helped fund job training and food rescue at D.C. Central Kitchen. She has led many fund-raising activities supporting local non-profits and schools. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kateryna Romanova, Operations Manager, Thrive
Kateryna joined Thrive as Operations Manager in 2017, where she contributes her marketing and communications skills to membership and events for the local nonprofit community. She holds a master’s degree in marketing from the National Technical University of Ukraine (Kiev Polytechnic Institute). She has experience with large multi-national corporations, including L’Oreal, where she ran an award-winning marketing campaign, increasing sales by over 50%. Kateryna and her husband live in Mountain View. Their love for exploring the United States has led them to nearly 10 national parks to date – their goal is to visit all 59 parks by 2023.