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Stupski Foundation Builds Team to Launch Spenddown Strategies

Thursday, April 4, 2019

San Francisco – The Stupski Foundation announced that it hired Elvin Padilla and Jennifer Nguyen to help the Foundation launch its spenddown strategies. Elvin joins the team as the Foundation’s director of Food Security and Jennifer as the director of Postsecondary Success.

“As we start implementing our spenddown strategies, we are honored to have two people with lived experience leading our work in these critical issue areas,” said Glen Galaich, CEO of the Stupski Foundation.

The Stupski Foundation is also thrilled to have Gwyneth Tripp join the team as grants manager. With the three of them onboard, bringing valuable field experience and passion for Stupski’s focus areas, the Foundation is excited to officially launch its spenddown strategies and award initial grants later this year.

Elvin Padilla, Director of Food Security

As director of Food Security, Elvin leads Stupski’s work to ensure members of our communities have the food they need to lead an active, healthy life.

“The Stupski Foundation immediately impressed me with its support of continued learning and its adoption of a spenddown strategy,” said Elvin. “The spenddown forces a focused response to immediate needs. We’re not the first and won’t be the last to confront the issues we’re working on. But I believe the spenddown model demands a higher degree of focus, leverage, and engagement from all involved.”  

For Elvin, food security is personal. He remembers waiting in line as a child for the USDA’s Commodity Food Program’s giant cans of peanut butter and blocks of cheese. He hopes to help “shorten the line” in collaboration with the Bay Area’s food security practitioners.

Building on his own experiences, Elvin has dedicated his career to helping individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet find food security. Prior to joining the Foundation, Elvin worked at Philadelphia’s Community Legal Services Public Benefits Unit, where he represented numerous clients struggling with food stamp enrollment and retention challenges. As director of economic development at a community-based organization, Elvin later spearheaded the development of a public market in North Philadelphia’s historic Kensington neighborhood. A key part of Pennsylvania’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program, the market made it possible for community members – who didn’t have access to high-quality, fresh food – to buy produce from farmers in Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico. Learn more about Elvin >

Jennifer Nguyen, Director of Postsecondary Success

As director of Postsecondary Success, Jennifer leads Stupski’s work to ensure all students in the San Francisco Bay Area and Hawaiʻi have the opportunity to enroll, persist through, and graduate from college or a vocational program with the skills they need to pursue their career goals.

Jennifer brings over a decade of experience to her new role of working with students at every level of the education system. Previously, Jennifer served as the director of the Student Center for Academic Achievement (SCAA) – a comprehensive academic support and tutoring center – at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, California, a Stupski grantee. 

As the first person in her family to go to college, Jennifer understands firsthand the challenges first-generation college students face when pursuing higher education and forging their career paths. She served as principal researcher for the First Generation Student Success Project – a foundational study comparing the experiences of first-generation students at Georgetown (her alma mater) and Harvard universities. The study has since influenced policies and programs for first-generation students at colleges nationwide.

When asked why she joined Stupski’s team, Jennifer said, “The Bay Area and Hawaiʻi have storied educational institutions that often influence policies and programs across the country. I’m excited to work with Stupski’s institutional partners to advance equity in the communities we call home and beyond.”  Learn more about Jennifer >

Gwyneth Tripp, Grants Manager

As grants manager, Gwyneth is responsible for the smooth and efficient processing and ongoing management of Stupski’s grants. She brings over a decade of grants management experience through her work at Blue Shield of California Foundation. “I look forward to bringing my human-centered design approach to our processes and practices as we bring the Foundation’s vision to life,” said Gwyneth.  Learn more about Gwyneth >



About the Stupski Foundation

The Stupski Foundation is investing all of its assets in the next 10 years to address some of the Bay Area and Hawaiʻi’s biggest challenges so one day everyone can benefit from the wealth of opportunities and resources in the places we call home. Stupski funds organizations in the Bay Area and Hawai‘i that address food security, postsecondary success, early brain development, and serious illness care. Learn more at or contact its team at

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