About Us

Our History

CHSM Treasurer Bill Kerr driving our restored Kelly Truck. The Permanente Quarry and Lehigh Hansen cement plant is in the background.

The Cupertino Historical Museum is owned and operated by the Cupertino Historical Society, a private, nonprofit educational organization, established in 1966. Like most of the nation’s older historical societies, we have always been a private organization and derive virtually all our support from membership, donations, grants, and our endowment. The Cupertino Historical Society and Museum (CHSM) is the city’s oldest (and only) cultural organization whose purpose is to preserve and present Cupertino’s unique history. We have been bringing stories of our past to the community, our schools, and other organizations for over half a century.

Our hope is to share the richness of our diverse cultures while serving as the city’s repository of culture and history.

The Historical Museum was opened in 1990, as an integral feature of the Quinlan Community Center. History in Cupertino is being made every day and is constantly evolving.

We will continue our mission by collecting, preserving, and presenting the artifacts, ephemera, and oral histories that represent the past and present of Cupertino. Our collection spans over 100 years of Cupertino’s history and contains more than 5,000 items including manuscripts, graphics, photographs, books, artifacts, and other historically relevant objects accessible at our museum or on loan at other organizations.

Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Neeraj Mathur, President

Neeraj moved to Cupertino, CA from New Jersey in 2018, with his wife Savita, 20-year-old and 15-year-old sons Kush and Vansh. Kush is attending the University of California, Berkeley majoring in Computer Science and Vansh is a freshman at Cupertino High School. Neeraj is passionate about contributing to the efforts to increase students’ learning opportunities and enhance their academic achievement. As a family, they have been involved in elevating students’ education through multiple channels. After moving to Cupertino, Neeraj and his family continued the community engagement by participating in Cupertino’s Sister Cities program and had the privilege of being selected as one of the host families to host a middle school student from Hsinchu, Taiwan. Vansh subsequently travelled to Hsinchu as part of this program and experienced, according to him, the “best time of his life”, as he furthered his appreciation of culture and community and drew parallels between Cupertino and Hsinchu lifestyles. Neeraj and his family have gained many invaluable opportunities and learning experiences in Cupertino, and it has been their family’s passion to continue contributing to the local community to ensure that everyone can share those same experiences. As a Board Member at Cupertino Historical Society + Museum, Neeraj is particularly excited about assisting in strengthening the sense of community at Cupertino and an opportunity to share Cupertino’s history and educational resources with students, scholars, and the public.

Sharon Blaine, Past President


Darryl Stow, Past President

Darryl, a third generation Californian, moved to Cupertino with his wife, Dorothy, and two children in 1966 when transferred by his employer, Pacific Telephone. He retired from the company in 1994 as Regional Manager – Operator Services for the Bay Area. Darryl has been very active working with non-profit organizations in Cupertino, both before and after his retirement. He is currently serving his second two-year term as President of the Cupertino Historical Society + Museum. The first term was 2009-2011. His other community service includes senior level leadership positions with: Cupertino American Little League; Cupertino Kiwanis Club; Cupertino Chamber of Commerce; Northwest YMCA; and the Rotary Club of Cupertino. He also served as a board member for the Cupertino Educational Endowment Foundation and as a member of Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committees for both of our local school districts.

Bill Kerr, Treasurer

I’m a fourth generation native Californian and raised in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills. Obtained my degree at UC Berkeley and served in the Marine Corp for the next four years after graduation. Afterwards, moved to San Jose area in 1966 and purchased a home in Cupertino in 1967. I was always involved in Real estate industry serving with a Redevelopment Agency, a commercial – industrial brokerage firm and with my own company as a real estate appraiser in the in the public agency field for the next fifty years. I retired five years ago and have continued to involve myself in community activities. Shari and I have raised our two boys in Cupertino. Both families are located in the bay area and have a total of five grandchildren. Four of them are on their own living mostly out of state. The youngest is now a Junior in engineering and should graduate on time. I joined the Board of Directors in 2011 and took over the Treasurer’s job in 2012. Having an interest in California history, our local history always was fascinating and how it related to the early California development.

Bruce Parsons, Assistant Treasurer

I was born and raised in the Chicago area, where I lived until 1957. My Bachelor’s Degree is from Stanford in Industrial Engineering. I worked at local electronics firms in production, production control, engineering, ac-count/project/program management, partner, and own-er from 1962 to 2020. I was employed by Ampex, Fairchild Semiconductor, Fairchild Instrumentation, GTE Sylvania, Applied Technology, Signetics/Philips, LSI Logic, Pacific InterConnections (owner), Champion Re-search (co-owner), Advanced Micro Assembly, US Export Authority, and co-owner of the following companies: Probe Array, Renewable Energy & Power, and LED Lites USA. As a recent retiree, I’ve been looking for ways to give back to my community. I’ve been involved in various Cupertino community organizations for 45 years: NW YMCA, San Jose Metro YMCA, International Y’s Men’s Service Club, Hoover PTA, Friends of the Library, Registrar of Voters, Optimists, Rotary, Neighborhood Watch, Save Hoover Park, Depress HW 85 Committee, etc. I have been married to my wife, Pat, for 55 years, we have two sons, three grand-kids, and a lab named Auggie.

Valerie Abid, Secretary

Valerie grew up on a farm in southeast Nebraska. After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a teaching credential, she taught in Nebraska three years before moving to California. She taught one year in southern California before moving to Los Angeles where she “retired” from teaching and worked for the State until retiring again to raise her daughter. Her family moved to Cupertino in 1980. She retired from Tecan Systems in San Jose (her third and final retirement) in 2009 and is enjoying the benefits – travel, grandchildren and volunteering. Valerie has always loved history and has enjoyed touring many of the area’s historical homes and museums. As a member of the Cupertino Historical Society she’d like to help preserve our local history as well as share it with members of our community and beyond.

Jane Alvarado


Kalpana Aroda

Kalpana Aroda is a first generation Californian resident married to a second generation Californian, moved to Cupertino in 2000. Kalpana is a founding member and President of the non profit “inAtalent.” inAtalent is an organization that helps bring communities together through talents. It is aimed at bridging the age gaps, providing opportunities to volunteers to gain leadership skills through community services. Kalpana is also active in the community and holds leadership positions through world known organizations such as Cupertino Rotary, and Toastmasters International. She is a co-chair of Workforce Development Committee in Cupertino Rotary. Kalpana is a current District Director of District 101 of Toastmasters International consisting of 149 clubs and over 2000 members. Being passionate in dancing, Kalpana has participated in many Bollywood dance musicals and folk dancing shows. She has learned different dance forms such as Bollywood, Folk and basics of classical dance from California Nupur Dance Academy. She works full time in a Software Company.

Donna Austin


Brittany Barnes

Brittany Barnes was born and raised in the bay area. She graduated from De Anza College and got a degree in marketing/advertising at San Jose State University. Brittany currently is a Realtor and specializes in the Cupertino area as well as bartends at a local bar called Paul and Eddies. Here grandparents started that bar in 1943 and it still stands today. Her roots run deep in this community and wants to keep the family tradition alive.

Meenu Devrani

Entrepreneur, Multidisciplinary Artist, Founder of Fyoli Fyoli USA- a purpose driven, fashion and accessories brand. Board Member at Agaati Foundation.

In addition to running her own purpose driven brand, Meenu is on the Board of Agaati Foundation, a San Francisco based 501 3c Non-Profit. Meenu has been helping with artisan partnerships and content creation for Agaati Marketplace and researching artisan impact projects and fundraising for the Agaati Foundation. Artisan communication steeped in deep understanding of ground realities is her strength, being an artist herself and working closely with grassroots artisans has given her a unique and radically empathetic perspective of motivations and challenges of craftsmen in underserved communities.

As a multidisciplinary artist Meenu loves to draw, design jewelry and textiles, paint, sculpt, move metals with hammer and heat. All her work derives inspiration from the boundless beauty of Nature and Earth. Enthused by ancient art, spirituality and cultures, her work represents fusion of contemporary and ethnic art mirroring her identity as a South Asian Indian and American woman.

Over the years, Meenu has been an active volunteer in the community including Project Cornerstone reader at local elementary school, helping establish a student wellness center at her public middle school and a volunteer trained tutor for ‘All Students Matter’ for ESL students at RCS district serving low-income communities.

She hopes to help grow CHSM in ways that fulfill its vision, help generate interest in the community about the significance of this organization and expand outreach and fundraising efforts.

Jason Foreman

Hello, my name is Jason Foreman and I’m glad to be joining you all! I’m a 4th generation resident of Cupertino and as such I’ve grown up hearing plenty of stories about the small little farm town that no longer is, I’m excited to have this opportunity to learn a bit more and help further the mission of the CHSM! I’ve spent my whole life working for non-profits so it is an interesting experience to now be on the Board of one! I’ve had a lifelong interest and long been a student of all subjects of history and by extension literature as well for the perspective they bring us on past ways of living, thinking, and being. Some of my favorite books include: You Can’t Win, The Road, Beggars of Life, and in Dubious Battle…among countless others. When it was safe to do so, I enjoyed traveling extensively through California and Nevada with special attention paid to Gold Country, ghost-towns, ruins, and overlooks, and little towns by the side of the road too tough to die. California’s Central Valley, the sights and the history behind the farming efforts and labor organizing, are of particular interest as well. We are fortunate to live in a state and community with a history that is so diverse. I have been involved in Youth Development and Early Childhood programs for nearly the last 15 years in different capacities. I currently work as an infant educator and am fortunate to be able to work with different organizations to present to audiences around the country on topics of inclusion and infant toddler development. In my off hours I usually can be found exploring one of Cupertino’s beautiful parks with my son, curled up with a good book, or out in the backyard restoring furniture or hammering together some kind of project!

Michael Foulkes


Gail Fretwell-Hugger


Sarini Kakkar

Sarini is a jewelry and dress designer, who believes in bringing out the inner beauty of a woman. She is the founder of “Sarini’s Creations”, where she innovates jewelery designs, to match the personalities of brides and to blend harmoniously, with their wedding dress. Sarini also works with the Cupertino Historical Museum and other non-profits, helping them create exhibits which highlight Indian culture and traditions. She serves as a judge for beauty competitions. Trained in Kathak dancing, Sarini believes that art in any form inspires compassion and confidence.

Sunil Kakkar

Suneel, an IITK computer engineer by profession, spends his fun time “Romancing The Degchi©™”, as it’s Chef De Passion and writing shayari/poetry emanating from “Suneel Ke Dil Se”. His blogs, interviews and his thoughts have been presented in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News.

Degchi is a small cauldron used for Indian cooking

Janet Riddell


Advisory Council

JR Fruen, City Council Representative

J.R. is a third-generation Cupertino resident. As someone who has lived through significant changes in Cupertino, he is eager to document and share the history of the city so that it can make the best decisions for its future. J.R.’s Cupertino story begins with his grandparents, who moved to the Valley of Heart’s Delight in the aftermath of the Second World War. They bought a home in then-unincorporated Santa Clara County in 1952 and got to vote on Cupertino’s incorporation just a few years later. The family has remained in the Cupertino community ever since. J.R. is a graduate of Lynbrook High School (1998), and UCLA (summa cum laude, 2002). He studied abroad at the Università degli Studi di Padova in Padua, Italy, focusing on history, economics, and political science. He is fluent in Italian and German. Following a career in luxury retail management, he returned to academia to pursue a law degree at Santa Clara University School of Law. He is now an attorney in private practice here in Cupertino. J.R. is eager to share his professional and academic skills for the betterment of the Cupertino Historical Society and Museum. He is a charter member of the Silicon Valley Rainbow Rotary Club, a board member of the Cupertino-Copertino Sister City Association, and a co-founder of social equity and housing advocacy organization Cupertino for All. He lives with his husband, Clifton Der Bing, a licensed clinical psychologist.

Helene Davis

Helene grew up in Cupertino when the area was still considered the “Valley of Heart’s Delight” but rapidly evolving into “Silicon Valley”. She attended local schools: Regnart, Kennedy, Monta Vista and De Anza College. She found herself back in Cupertino after marriage, living on the same street as her parents (her childhood home), raising her two children, and shepherding them through the same Cupertino schools she attended. She began her community involvement during this time with PTA and AYSO, and worked as a substitute teacher in the Cupertino Union School District. Motivated by her love of history and her upbringing in Cupertino, Helene joined the board of the CHS&M in the early 2000’s, serving as president from 2007-2009. To broaden her scope of involvement in the community, Helene joined The Rotary Club of Cupertino in 2006 and served as the President of the Rotary Club of Cupertino from 2018-19. In addition to Rotary and the Cupertino Historical Society, Helene served on the City of Cupertino’s Parks and Recreation Commission and currently serves as President of the Cupertino Copertino Sister Cities Association, and is a board member of Walk Bike Cupertino, a citizen’s advocacy group for cycling and walking infrastructure in the city. She received the City of Cupertino CREST award in 2012, and the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce STAR Award in 2014. Helene graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Managerial Economics. She has been married to husband Jim, for 37 years. They have two daughters, Leah and Julie. During her free time Helene likes to cycle, hike, read, travel and learn about all things historical. She feels that what is special about Cupertino is the people and the collaborations between different organizations in the community. She is proud to be an active contributor to this vibrant place we call Cupertino.

Mark McKenna


Shannon Patrick Lee


Paula Quinterno


Crystal Tai


Steve Ting


Traveling Trunk Coordinator

Sonja Cook

Sonja grew up mostly in the wilds of Cornwall, England. While attending Southampton University she met her future husband, Mike. Their first daughter was born in England, followed by the birth of two more daughters after moving to Seattle. The family finally settled in Cupertino in 1972. Sonja has watched as the area grew and changed, orchards sprouted housing developments, Mariani’s apricot drying yard moved away, and Apple Computer took off. In 1976 Sonja became involved with the De Anza re-enactment, helping install a display in the De Anza Library. She took her entire family to camp at Mission San Antonio when the soldats de cuirass passed through on their way north, walked the last mile with them up Stelling Road, and on to the De Anza campus. An event she and the family will not soon forget! Sonja feels it is important to keep history alive for the newer generation and immigrants to our area. Being a Trunk docent allows her the opportunity to share with school children & ESL adults the history that has been packed into this area over the past 200 years.


Jennifer Furlong, Past Executive Director


Alecia Thomas, Collections Assistant


Audrey Tran, Intern

Audrey Tran is currently a first-year student at De Anza College majoring in anthropology. She began interning in early April 2023 through the Humanities Mellon Scholars Program at De Anza. After completing all her credits at De Anza, Audrey plans to transfer to a college/university to earn a bachelor’s degree (and eventually a master’s degree) in socio-cultural anthropology. She hopes to use her degree to pursue a career of fieldwork; with her love for learning about other cultures and connecting with other people, Audrey is passionate in studying and hopes to honor the breathtaking diversity of our world.

Anya Nazarova, Intern

Anya is a full time student in her second year at Foothill College majoring in Graphics and Interactive Design. She enrolled in the Humanities Mellon Scholars Program through which she became an intern at CHSM.

Her duties are helping Alecia Thomas (Collections Assistant) catalog the collection, being a docent, managing the website, and assisting the staff & Board in various other tasks.

The Board of Directors meets the third Wednesday of every month at 4:00 pm. Board meetings are open to all members in good standing.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming involved with our dynamic Board, please contact Donna Austin.

Our Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission Statement: The mission of the Cupertino Historical Society and Museum is to preserve and share Cupertino’s past, strengthen our sense of community, and make Cupertino history available for all.

Vision: We aspire to represent all Cupertino citizens as we meaningfully share the ever-evolving story of Cupertino with a broader audience.


  • We are dedicated to preserving the past, as we believe knowledge and appreciation of history matters.
  • We are trusted stewards, committed to telling an accurate and inclusive story of Cupertino.
  • We are service-oriented, and we are welcoming and respectful to all.
  • We operate as a team; we are clear about our goals, transparent, and collaborate for success.
  • We are purposeful; we are innovative and resourceful in the advancement of our mission.
  • We embrace partnerships, and we are a strong and active contributor to our community. 
  • We are an educational resource and historic archive to scholars, students, and the public.
  • We pursue enduring financial stability and the best use of our resources.
Diversity and Inclusion: The Cupertino Historical Society and Museum respects and values the unique attributes, characteristics, and perspectives that make each person who they are. We strive to embed diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusionary policies and practices in every aspect of our organization. We believe that our strength lies in the broad range of people, cultures, and histories we represent.

Associations and Institutional Memberships

Founding member of the new association of Bay Area Historical Societies and Museums.

CAM brings together the individuals and institutions of the California museum community to further education and training, foster development, and provide support for museums and their staff.

The Conference of California Historical Societies (CCHS) was founded in 1954 as a federation of historical societies, museums, libraries, and other history-oriented groups and individuals.

CCHS helps historians, and others who are interested in California history, to connect and share information—joining efforts to preserve records, artifacts, sites, and buildings, throughout the State. CCHS also helps local societies and small museums learn about and put into practice the most effective management, acquisition, preservation, and restoration techniques.

(ROAM) is a network of museums in North America and beyond who extend the benefit of reciprocal free admission to one another’s members (as determined by each museum individually).

The North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) Association® network is a mosaic of 1,178 art museums and galleries, historical museums and societies, botanical gardens, children’s museums, zoos and more. When you sign up with your favorite participating NARM institution you can receive reciprocal membership benefits across the United States, Canada, Bermuda, El Salvador and Mexico.

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) is the only organization representing the entire museum field, from art and history museums to science centers and zoos. Since 1906, we have been championing museums through advocacy and providing museum professionals with the resources, knowledge, inspiration, and connections they need to move the field forward. Our Alliance of 35,000 museums and museum professionals seeks to better our communities, and our world, through collaborative human-centered experiences, education, and connection to histories, cultures, the natural world, and one another.

We are a certifying organization with the PVSA. In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.