Our mission is to improve the long-term sustainability of nonprofit leaders and organizations by offering the highest quality programs, consultation, training and community-building networks.


CEN Staff Members 



Jennifer Simmons

Executive Director, CEN

Jennifer Simmons has over 20 years of experience in the public, high tech and non-profits sectors. In June 2014 she became a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer and now works with local nonprofit boards through CEN's Governance House Calls program.  Most recently Jennifer has worked with Habitat for Humanity Silicon Valley as their Executive Director and in 2012; she led the organization through a strategic merger. Prior to joining Habitat, Jennifer worked at Infineon Technologies and for local County and State elected officials. Jennifer is a 2010 graduate of CEN’s Leadership Institute and in 2012 she was named one of the "100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley" by the San Jose Business Journal.  Jennifer is currently a member of the San Jose Downtown Rotary Club. Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Santa Cruz in Political Science.

Contact Information:  jennifer@cen.org or O:650.517.5852 & M:408.807.3550


Donna Wies

Senior Consultant, CEN

As a Senior Consultant, Donna provides training, consulting and facilitation services to our nonprofit clients. Prior to joining CEN, Donna was an independent consultant working with nonprofit organizations and water utilities in the areas of board governance, strategic planning, performance measurement, facilitation, succession planning and organizational effectiveness. She has over 15 years of experience helping government and community benefit organizations achieve their missions. Donna holds a Bachelor's degree from University of California Berkeley, Certificates in Nonprofit Management and Quality Management, and is a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer.

Contact Information:  donna@cen.org or 650.517.5854


Jen Polidoroff Fredericks

Development & Communications Manager, CEN

Jen started in 2011 as CEN's Office Manager and, as of January 2015, is now in charge of development and communications for the organization. In this role she works closely with CEN's executive director and board of directors on organizational development and community outreach. She studied Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine and graduated in three years with a Bachelor's degree.  Jen also holds a Certificate of Achievement in Principles & Techniques of Fundraising from Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Jen is also active in the bay area community and volunteered for a year as a counselor for Rape Trauma Services of Burlingame, CA after successfully completing a 65-hour California State Certified Sexual Assault Counselor Training.

Contact Information:  jen@cen.org or 650.517.5853


Christine Alotis

Office Manager, CEN

Christine Alotis joined CEN’s team in June of 2014, and is now serving as the Office Manager. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Public Communication. Previously she has worked as an Executive Assistant and has years of experience in administrative support and customer service. During her time at SF State she served as the office coordinator for Dr. MacIntyre’s Pet Hospital. Her passion for animals has inspired her to volunteer for local animal shelters.

Contact Information:  christine@cen.org or 650.517.5855