Cheryl Townsend Wood

Board Chairman

Cheryl became passionate about women’s health issues following mission trips to Kenya and Ethiopia, and inspiration from her daughter, a public health professional. Through their many discussions, she learned that many girls drop out of school when they begin menstruation, and she began exploring solutions to this problem. Cheryl began her active involvement with Achungo … Continued

Kathy Fisher

Board Secretary

Kathy Fisher grew up in suburban Philadelphia, moving to the Boston area to attend Gordon College, where she subsequently lived and worked for 11 years. She completed a Master’s degree in Counseling and an advanced degree in School Psychology and held positions at a private school as a counselor, teacher and admissions officer. After moving … Continued

Gretchen Cheng

Gretchen Cheng had the pleasure of experiencing the Achungo School first hand in the summer of 2023 with her husband and three children. She saw the school through the eyes of the students as she sat with them in the classrooms and participated in lessons, activities, assemblies and discussions. Gretchen and her family were instantly … Continued

Mark Pietrofesa

Board Treasurer

Mark is a retired wealth advisor having served individual clients on the Peninsula for the last 35 years.  Mark loves traveling and especially to Africa to visit Achungo. Mark experienced Achungo first hand in 2016 with his, then 16-year-old, daughter. In June 2024, Mark will be traveling for the 5th time to Achungo. He loves … Continued

Lara Hoyem

Board Strategy Committee

Lara has 25 years of experience working at celebrated online consumer brands in Silicon Valley. She’s held key general management, marketing and product leadership rolesspanning e-commerce, subscription services, and ad-supported content publishing for companies including Nextbite,, Shutterfly and BabyCenter. Lara and her two daughters visited Achungo in June 2015 and loved learning about Africa … Continued

Monte Fisher

Executive Director

Monte Fisher grew up in Palo Alto, California, eventually completing a computer science degree and spending almost 25 years in software (development, consulting, professional services) at many well-known technology companies before finding his real career with Achungo.  He is married to Kathy and their somewhat dispersed household includes Aaron, Ryan, Jason and Katya. As part … Continued