Board of Directors
Nancy Svendsen, President
Nancy Anne Svendsen grew up in small towns in Iowa. Since childhood she has been passionate about bringing people together to tell stories. Nancy earned a B.A. in English, Spanish and American Studies from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota. She spent over two decades focusing her energy in leadership positions in various facets of the healthcare industry. Now Nancy has come back to her storytelling roots as an independent filmmaker based in Northern California. Nancy now combines her business acumen and experience running large organizations with her passion for women’s rights, the creative arts and storytelling. Nancy started Follow Your Dream Foundation Inc., a 501(c)3 organization, as a place to incubate and launch powerful stories that can influence people’s lives. In her film, The Glass Ceiling, Nancy shares the story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa – the first Nepali woman to summit Mt. Everest. Nancy believes the inspiration born of reaching for the impossible is transformational; sharing our respective journeys is our opportunity to touch the lives of those who may not yet know they need to hear the stories we tell.
Nancy is an active musician and lives in Marin County with her husband and twin 8 year olds.
Andrea Pierpont, Secretary
Andrea Pierpont is a business consultant focusing on business strategy and development, marketing, and operations. Andrea spent 15 years in the corporate sector. She was recruited and built a career as a property/casualty underwriting manager for Chubb Insurance Company in New York City and San Francisco. After Chubb she worked as a management consultant for Fireman’s Fund in Novato working on process reengineering for their commercial business lines. More recently Andrea has been deeply involved in volunteer work for her local school district. She is the former President of the Larkspur –Corte Madera School District Board of Trustees, an elected position. In addition to board work she chaired a 26 million bond campaign for school facilities and has actively participated in the passage of local parcel taxes to benefit the schools. Andrea earned a bachelor’s degree in Government from St. Lawrence University. She enjoys hiking, cooking, traveling and spending time with her two teenage daughters and husband in Marin County. She has been involved in the Follow Your Dream Foundation and the foundation’s film project, The Glass Ceiling, since 2009.
Sandip Darji, Treasurer
Sandip Darji is the Senior Director of Business Process and Metrics Analysis for the Financial Management Consulting and Support department at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. In partnership with other central office units, he and his team are working to make financial management easier for the Stanford community. Prior to joining Stanford University in 2007, Sandip worked for Broadlane, a healthcare supply chain services company, as Director of Information and Operations. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He enjoys spending time traveling and exploring San Francisco, where he makes his home. A lifelong fan of motion pictures, Sandip has been involved in numerous amateur parody films. He is excited to help Follow Your Dream Foundation use the creative arts to bring forward the stories of women who have overcome adversity.
Faith Kapell, Board Member
Faith Kapell is Vice President and Director of Professional Services at the San Francisco office of Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH). LHH is a global talent development company that connects people to jobs through innovative career transition services and helps individuals improve performance through career and leadership development. Prior to joining Lee Hecht Harrison, Faith founded a private coaching practice and has over 20 years of corporate experience in the fields of Human Resources, Employee Benefits and Organizational and Leadership Development.
As leader and professional coach, Faith is passionate about helping individuals and organizations successfully navigate change and transition. She began her coaching practice with the intension of supporting clients to expand their vision of what is possible and achieve their goals with ease. She uses her inspirational style and ability to motivate individuals and workplace teams to harness their skills and talents and creative ideas to achieve optimal results. Faith brings her extraordinary sense of presence, wisdom, clarity and inspirational style to the process of professional and individual development with remarkable results.
Faith earned her Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts specializing in Psychology. She earned her Professional Coaching Certification from New Ventures West, which is accredited by the International Coach Federation. Faith also holds a certificate in Conflict Resolution. A believer in life balance, Faith is an avid hiker, yoga practitioner, recreational skier, and a former triathlon participant. She also loves nature, music, and the arts and is a student of photography.
Faith joins the Board of Follow Your Dream Foundation with a deep desire to support women in telling their stories to share their grace and light in the world.
Vincanne Adams, Ph.D., Board Member
Dr. Adams is Professor of Medical Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. She began working in the Himalayan region in 1982 and is the author of numerous books and articles on the people and cultures of the region, including the books: Tigers of the Snow and Other Virtual Sherpas (Princeton); Doctors for Democracy (Cambridge); Sex and Development (Duke); and Medicine Between Science and Religion (Berghahn). Dr. Adams feels a special tie to the film because of her friendship with Pasang Lhamu Sherpa and her family. Vincanne’s unique perspective and subject matter expertise make her a valuable complement to the artistic team.
Julie Plaga, Board Advisor
Julie A. Plaga is currently a senior vice president in business development and has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Julie is responsible for developing and diversifying Broadlane’s client base and revenues through growth. Prior to this role, Julie was senior vice president of the acute care sales division. She joined Broadlane in 2000 and has held several key management positions prior to her current appointment. Before joining Broadlane, Julie was responsible for national accounts at Bio-Rad Laboratories, a leading clinical diagnostics company. Previously, she held key positions in the life sciences, operating room, and in pharmaceutical industries. Prior to healthcare, she was a high school educator and adjunct college professor.
Julie graduated cum laude from the University of Utah in 1983 with a Bachelors of Science and Magna Cum Laude from Brigham Young University with a Masters in Science and a concentration in Professional Leadership in 1987. She is an animal rights enthusiast and is a member of the Founders Society of the ASPCA. She is an all around athlete having made the fiirst team All American softball team and helped put herself through college working as the only female ski patrol in the Park City, Utah ski area. In her precious spare time, Julie enjoys time with her dog and gardening.
Julie’s interest and involvement in the Follow Your Dream Foundation originate with her own life challenges and overcoming obstacles to follow her dreams. She is grateful for her life lessons and looks forward to helping and encouraging other woman to reach for and achieve their dreams. Julie is the producer on the documentary film, The Glass Ceiling.