20 years of opportunity
A magical night, 250 people celebrated. Together we raised $400,000
Awardee Miriam Torres
The Sand Hill Award for Education Achievement
Miriam received the Sand Hill Award for Education Achievement in recognition of her grit and determination in changing her trajectory, creating a path to a brighter future, and making a difference in the community. In high school, Miriam set her eyes on college as a way to a better life. At that point, her family was homeless and her dream of getting a college degree felt out of reach. Miriam opened a savings account with Opportunity Fund where her deposits were matched 2:1 by our donors. Miriam earned $6,000 to help pay for school. When she was accepted to UC Santa Cruz, Miriam was confident she could make it happen. After graduating, Miriam continues to build a life of stability, investing in herself and her community.
Every year we help thousands of striving families achieve a measure of economic mobility. Opportunity Fund says yes to people who have never heard yes before.Eric Weaver, Founder & CEO
Many programs aid the poor, but relatively few help them move up the economic ladder. Opportunity Fund does just that. This is a much higher bar.Bill Gurley
Honoree Susan Ford Dorsey
Susan Ford Dorsey
President, Sand Hill Foundation
We honored Susan Ford Dorsey for her commitment to supporting families and youth. As President of the Sand Hill Foundation, Susan is a leader in philanthropic activities and community service. She is dedicated to preserving our natural environment and improving the lives of local families. Susan serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations including Menlo School, Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Susan was the founder and president of Health Innovations, a health care consulting firm specializing in business development, strategic planning, and marketing.
Honoree Mark Leslie
Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
We honored Mark Leslie for his contribution to business and philanthropy. Mark Leslie is a successful retired entrepreneur and an active member of the Silicon Valley community. He was the founder, chairman, and CEO of Veritas Software, which he grew from 12 employees to 6,000, and to $1.5B in annual revenue during his tenure. He is currently a Lecturer at Stanford Business School, where he teaches entrepreneurship and ethics, as well as a board member and investor in a number of public and private high-tech companies. He is a member of Opportunity fund’s Leadership Council.
Awardee Tina Ferguson-Riffe
The Leslie Award for Entrepreneurship:
Tina Ferguson-Riffe, Chef & Owner Smoke Berkeley
Tina received the Leslie Award for Entrepreneurship in recognition for her creativity, resourcefulness and willingness to risk it all to build a vital enterprise and drive economic activity in her community.Tina is the founder of Smoke Berkeley, a successful barbecue restaurant. Despite her success, she struggled to access affordable financing. Tina needed to buy new equipment to grow her business, but she was turned down for a loan everywhere she looked. Opportunity Fund gave her a $20,000 loan that she was able to pay off in less than two years. Today, Tina employs 10 people and her restaurant is open six days a week for lunch and dinner. She plans to expand her business with a new loan from Opportunity Fund.