Achieving our Full Potential!

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors for the Foundation for Fresno Unified Schools is composed of dedicated public education advocates from business, community, and philanthropic organizations within the city of Fresno.

"College was the first time I truly stepped out of my comfort zone and was present with people that weren’t the same as me, people who thought differently than I did."

Robert Nelson, Ed.D., Chairman

Superintendent of Schools, Fresno Unified School District

Robert “Bob” G. Nelson was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Fresno Unified School District in September 2017, launching a new era of student progress, improved employee relations, and expanded community partnerships for the state’s third-largest district. Superintendent Nelson graduated from the University of Southern California (USC), completed his Master’s in Educational Administration and Supervision at Fresno State and then received his doctoral degree at USC. He has spent most of his career directly impacting Fresno Unified, starting as a teacher in 1991 at Burroughs Elementary School. Bob is the first internal employee to serve as Fresno Unified Superintendent in 30 years.

"Just when I thought college wasn’t an option, I received 3 scholarships that changed my life."

Misty Her, Vice Chairman

Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Fresno Unified School District

Misty Her was appointed Deputy Superintendent of the Fresno Unified School District in March 2021. Stepping into this role has allowed her to continue to improve student progress, build and develop employee relations, and expand community partnerships on a deeper level. Misty has been a part of Fresno Unified for her entire career, starting as a preschool aide and teacher in grades second through sixth. She became the first Hmong Vice Principal in Fresno Unified School District, and two years later became the very first Hmong woman principal in the United States. She has also served as an Instructional Superintendent with School Leadership. Misty believes her calling is to lead educational missionary work to change the lives of children and their families in a positive way. She knows the decisions she makes have a direct impact in changing the trajectory of minds and inspiring hope. Misty believes the greatest gift we can offer someone is the opportunity to see their full potential. It is incredibly powerful to invest in and inspire HOPE in our youth.

"The Foundation for Fresno Unified Schools is very personal to me because I’m one of our students. Thousands of Fresno Unified students and their families share a similar experience to mine, growing up with scarce finances and little resources."

Wendy McCulley, President/Executive Director

Chief Engagement and External Partnerships Officer, Fresno Unified School District

Driven to close the achievement gap for low-income students, Wendy leverages her extensive business and academic experience to increase access points to high-quality education for the nation’s most vulnerable students. Wendy is the Founding Director of Fresno Unified’s Office of African American Academic Acceleration (A4).

"You have the confidence within you to do what you really want in life. During the challenging moments, remember that you have the ability to overcome obstacles by tapping into your resiliency and asking for help."

Elizabeth Dooley, Treasurer

President and Chief Executive Officer, Educational Employees Credit Union

Elizabeth “Beth” J. Dooley has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU) since December 2007. Prior to joining EECU, Ms. Dooley was appointed to the position of Deputy Commissioner of Credit Unions for the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) by Governor Gray Davis, continuing her service under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Beth oversaw the regulation of all state-chartered credit unions in California. Beth earned her B.A. in Economics from Mills College and her J.D. from Western State University College of Law. She is a member of the California Bar and is actively involved in the community serving on a number of boards and advisory committees.

"Financial support represented so much more than money. It represented someone’s belief in me, my talents, my capabilities, and my future."

Antonio Avila, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NOMA, Secretary

Principal Architect and Director of Design, Darden Architects

Antonio “Tony” Avila has been the Principal Architect and the Director of Design with Darden Architects. He is a licensed architect and holds a Bachelor of Architecture from The California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Tony is a native of Fresno and a product of Fresno Unified Schools. As a graduate of Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals Downtown Academy inaugural class and a contributing supporter to the Better Blackstone Design Challenge, he believes strongly in the betterment of the greater Fresno community. Tony is a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects and has provided award-winning architectural services to clients throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

"Growing up in the Midwest, my working-class parents truly valued education. All 5 of us kids went to college, but I was the only one who completed the 4-year degree.  Scholarships proved to be the differentiating factor."

Allysunn Walker, MBA, MPH, Board Member

CEO of Walker Community Ventures, LLC

Allysunn is CEO of Walker Community Ventures, LLC, a consulting group established in 2020 that specializes in strategic planning, business development, capitalization and fundraising, and introduces market-driven strategies for community restoration. She has led and partnered in statewide, regional, and local efforts to revitalize communities and introduce transformative economic programs centered on building community wealth and power. Education has been the key to her accomplishments and her compassion for service. Her scholarship journey started with acceptance to the Hotchkiss School and continued as she earned her BA from Harvard College and Masters’ Degrees from UCLA and CSU Fresno. Her Board service includes the Southwest Fresno Development Corporation, Union Bank/US Bank Community Advisory Board, Citizens Business Bank Community Advisory Board, Central Fresno Neighborhood Trust, Career Nexus, the Fresno Regional Foundation, the Fresno EDC, and the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce.

"I was a statistic on track to fail."

Pao Yang, Director

President/CEO, The Fresno Center

In 2017, Pao Yang became the Fresno Center’s third Executive Director and first President and CEO. In its 30 year history, The Fresno Center (TFC) has grown from three employees to over 130, serving diverse communities throughout more than twenty established local, state, and federal programs. These programs purposely encompass a wider scope and breadth in response to growing needs in all traditionally underserved communities. TFC now has a multi-cultural focus and works to provide an array of culture-based services that support self-sufficiency, economic viability, and empowerment. The Center is proud to help other organizations and individuals reach their cross-cultural goals and engage with their target audiences.

Make Your Impact Count

We invest strategically in proven and innovative programs to help every student have the resources and opportunities to succeed.