Last updateWed, 29 Jun 2016 8am

Vets center coordinator retiring – but not really

Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Denise Swett, left, Foothill College vice president of student services, congratulates Carmela Xuereb on her retirement at an April 28 reception held in Xuereb’s honor.

Carmela Xuereb was surrounded by smiles from well-wishers at an April 28 retirement celebration marking her more than 20 years of serving student veterans at Foothill College.

Xuereb, veterans specialist and certifying official at Foothill’s Veterans Resource Center, was a mother figure to the hundreds of vets she has helped since 1994. She was a natural to assume directorship of the resource center when it opened in 2010. The former financial aid specialist took a position she saw as a step up carrying a higher salary.

Corporate therapist, TC columnist Hollands pioneered work in fixing high-tech relationships

Ms. Hollands

Jean Hollands was a bridge builder – bridging communication gaps to improve relations for everyone from married couples to corporate executives.

Ms. Hollands, who died April 23 at age 83, achieved considerable success as a first-of-her-kind corporate therapist. She delivered her insights with honesty and directness, while still managing to convey empathy and understanding.

History Museum party highlights culinary skills

Courtesy of Karen Bevels Custom Catering
Caterers will compete at the Los Altos History Museum’s garden party, showcasing their seasonal pairings and culinary knowledge. Karen Bevel’s strawberry basil bruschetta plays off the sweet/tart berry’s versatility.

Caterers from around the region are scheduled to participate in a friendly competition at the Los Altos History Museum’s Spring Fundraising Gala 4:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Guests will sample the local ingredients and imaginative pairings assembled for a panel of “celebrity” judges and taste wines from Santa Cruz Mountain wineries.

Director leads FHDA Foundation with a solid strategy – and a smile

Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Tess Chandler recently celebrated her first year as executive director of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation.

Tess Chandler radiates positive energy. Wearing a perpetual smile, the executive director of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation exudes an enthusiasm and warmth that could put even a curmudgeon in a good mood. Equally adept at planning and organizing, Chandler has proven a good match for the community college district and its donors.

“The staff here is so amazing,” said Chandler last week. “I’ve never felt lost. Everywhere I go, people are happy to see me.”

Local Rotarian gives back to Peruvian farm families

Courtesy of Jackie Olson
Jackie Olson, left, visits the Peruvian highlands with her daughters.

After departing Lima, Peru, in a rush to avoid terrorism-related kidnappings, Los Altos resident Jackie Olson looked for a way to give back to her native country.

Olson remembers poor Peruvians knocking at her family’s door in Lima begging for food after leaving their unproductive farms in the Andes highlands in search of what they hoped to be a better life in the city. Her mother gave them not only food, but also advice on securing an education, jobs and medical insurance.

Morning Forum of Los Altos talk centers on civilian-military relations


Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry shared his expertise in his presentation “America and Its Military: Drifting Apart” at the Morning Forum of Los Altos April 19.

Eikenberry served as ambassador to Afghanistan from May 2009 to July 2011. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he served 35 years in the Army, retiring as a lieutenant general. He is currently the Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow and director of the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University.

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