The Joint Community Volunteer Service Awards Committee is a 12 member committee, appointed by the City Councils of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. Our committee members are active in their community and passionate about volunteering. Learn more about them below.
Chair, Los Altos
Cheryl Caligaris is the Development Director at St. Nicholas Catholic School in Los Altos Hills. She comes from 20+ years of volunteer work with many nonprofits such as the Jr. League of San Jose, The Farrington Historical Foundation, Holy Spirit Church and St. Simon Parish and School. In 2017, Cheryl was honored with the Junior League of San Jose, Pat Gustke Sustainer of the Year Award. This award honors League sustainers whose strength and character embody the League’s slogan, “Women building better communities.”
Cheryl and her husband are parents of three children. Family is her greatest joy, but in her spare time you’ll find her cooking, freelance writing, volunteering and hiking.
Los Altos Hills
Jennifer Duarte is a graphic designer and has been an active volunteer since college. She has worked with many organizations, including Family House, where she was honored as a Volunteer of the Year, the Arthritis Foundation, Girl Scouts, and the National Charity League. She is also actively involved at St. Nicholas School, where she is serving as President Emeritis of the Parent Teacher Group President, and has co-chaired their annual auction multiple years in a row.
Jennifer and her husband have two children, and in her free time she enjoys making art, mixing cocktails, cooking, singing, volunteering and spending time with her friends and family.
Los Altos Council Liason
Anita Enander is the Vice Mayor of Los Altos and a Los Altos Town Council Member. She serves on the Santa Clara County Library District, the Grand Boulevard Initiative Task Force, the Valley Transportation Authority State Route 85 Corridor Policy Advisory Board, the Santa Clara Valley Water Commission, and the Santa Clara/Santa Cruze Counties Airport/Community Roundtable.
Los Altos Hills
Benjamin Gikis has spent a lifetime of volunteerism focusing mainly on youth activities especially youth sports! He is currently on the Little League District Board and a Board Member of Sons In Retirement. His professional experience was in engineering and management especially in environmental areas. He retired from Applied Materials as the General manager of Hazardous Waste Operations in 2008.
His other activities include adult softball, youth baseball and soccer, scouting and PTA-related physical plant projects at Bullis School (internet wiring of school in 1998-1999) as well as plus fund raising (Silent Auction).
Laurel and her family have lived in Los Altos since 2002. She has volunteered extensively in the schools, serving as PTA President and on the boards of the Los Altos Educational Foundation and Mountain View High School Foundation. Laurel was a member of the Los Altos Public Arts Commission for several years, volunteers as an MVLA Scholars mentor, and has worked for Los Altos Community Foundation since 2014.
Los Altos Hills
Don Mattson and his wife Barbara have lived in their home in Los Altos Hills for 50 years and is a graduate of UC Berkeley. He has a variety of volunteer activity from youth sports as coach and manager, treasurer of Little League, Home Owners President, Director for community owned facilities and officer for SIR Branch 35.
Los Altos Hills
Rebecca Lowell and her family moved to Los Altos in 2013. Since then, Rebecca has volunteered for numerous local projects and organizations including: Loyola Elementary School PTA Board, LAEF Board of Directors, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Project Cornerstone, and the AVID program at Los Altos High School. Currently, Rebecca serves as the President of the MVLA High School Foundation. She has been a member of the MVLA Foundation board since 2016. In addition, Rebecca drives food to the LASD Gives Back Food Bank and is a site host for Tera Farm. Rebecca's professional background is in fundraising and event planning. In addition to volunteering, Rebecca enjoys gardening, hiking, reading, baking and traveling.
Rita Patel is an advisor/agent at New York Life. She has been active in her community over the past 20 years, serving on various boards and committees benefitting the arts, education and women's health. She has spent a number of years raising awareness and fundraising for mammogram voucher programs for underserved women. Most recently she volunteered at the Cantor museum, and served as a board member for the Stanford Parents Club as acting Historian and Chair for Family Weekend. She believes that financial heath is an integral part of wellness, and volunteers her time by hosting financial literacy workshops for women and young adults.
Dr. Lakshmi Ramgopal
Los Altos Hills
Dr. Lakshmi Ramgopal has been a dentist in the Bay Area for 25 years. She lives in Los Altos Hills and has been a resident of the area for the last 20 years. She previously served on the Education Committee and the Public Art Committee of Los Altos Hills. She also actively participates in community activities and enjoys hiking and traveling.
Los Altos Hills Council Liason
Linda Swan graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, University of California at Berkeley with a M.S. in mechanical engineering, and Santa Clara University with a MBA. She oversaw the building and testing of mechanical equipment for power plants for GE and then oversaw the design and building of training hardware for NASA Space Shuttle astronauts. She and her husband purchased their home in Los Altos Hills in 1987 and soon she began volunteering by working on the Town float for the Festival of Lights Parade and the first Town picnics. She was president of the Los Altos Hills Historical Society and was on the Town History Committee. She is a member of the Community Emergency Response (CERT) team.
She was the last president of Friends of Westwind, a not-for-profit organization that ran the town-owned Westwind Barn and have been on the board of the Los Altos Hills Horseman’s Association.
She was elected to the Los Altos Hills Town Council in November 2020.
Dennis Young splits hs time between being Senior Partner at Young, Craig & Company, CPAs and as Co-Publisher of the Los Altos Town Crier. He has lived in Los Altos since 1971. He and his wife raised their two sons in Los Altos. He is a Past President of the Chamber Of Commerce, the Rotary Club, the Los Altos Village Association, Festival of Lights and other Civic and Professional organizations. He was Los Altan of the Year in 2018 and has received other honors during his career.