A native of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay, Jeff received his degree from UC Berkeley and moved into real estate syndication. He held various positions in sales and acquisitions before expanding into partnerships and eventually starting his own firm, Peterson Investments, which today manages a diverse portfolio of real estate, retail and technology investments.
Well into his career, Jeff’s life took a dramatic turn when one of his twin boys, Eric, was diagnosed with Diabetes and then Leukemia. Soon after, his wife, Karen, passed away from lung cancer. From these enormous challenges, Jeff’s life was propelled in a new direction. He became devoted to being a good father to his twin boys, Kort and Eric, who are now adults -- both living with Diabetes. Jeff wished to honor his late wife and help others by founding the Peterson Family Foundation.
Gary E. Pitchford, Board Member
A licensed certified public accountant since 1983, Gary retired from his role as a partner at Armanino LLP at the end of 2014. He is currently involved in the real estate industry including acquisitions, management and general partner duties in various limited partnerships. Gary holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Stanford University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. He is an active member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Gary and his wife Diana live in Alamo, California.
Paul Chahin, Board Member
Paul received his Bachelor’s Degree from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business with an emphasis in finance and real estate. His work experience includes his roles as Acquisitions Researcher for Kaufman and Broad (a national real estate homebuilding company), a self-employed Acquisitions Consultant and Owner and President of Stephens Property Management. In addition to serving on the Peterson Family Foundation’s Board, Paul is an active member and Board Director of the California Apartment Association. He is also a licensed broker with the California Department of Real Estate and bilingual in English and Spanish.
Kort Peterson, Board Member
Kort was appointed as a Director in 2015. He was born in Santa Cruz, CA and raised in nearby Aptos. He attended St. Francis High in Mountain View and then UCLA where he majored in Political Science and played baseball for the UCLA Bruins. Kort was recently drafted by the Kansas City Royals and has begun a professional baseball career.
Eric Peterson, Director of Development
Eric Peterson was appointed to the board in 2015 and is now our Director of Development. Born in Santa Cruz, CA and raised in nearby Aptos, Eric attended St. Francis High School in Mountain View, CA. He currently attends UC Berkeley where he played two years of baseball and is studying Social Sciences with a business emphasis. An aspiring pro-skim boarder, he works closely with the Foundation’s “Surfing for Humanity” program.
Erin Gates, Managing Director
Erin Gates has been with the Foundation since 2006. As Managing Director, she is involved in nearly every aspect of the Foundation’s daily operations. Prior to working with the foundation, Erin managed several small businesses and worked for years in Silicon Valley in Product Management and Accounting roles. In the past she was also a flight instructor and landscape designer. Originally from Los Gatos, CA, Erin graduated with a Business/Aviation degree from San Jose State University.
Oliver Jacobson - Director of Operations
Oliver Jacobson is the director of operations for the Peterson Foundation. Oliver started the music therapy program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and worked with Jeff Peterson to grow the program to where it is today. Our flagship music therapy program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital is the model for future programs, and Oliver’s involvement insures standards of practice, successful systems for replication, sustainability, and a shared vision for the future.
Find out more by visiting the Peterson family’s page as well as the foundation page. If you’d like to make a difference and help bring music therapy to more hospitals around the country, please contact us or consider making a contribution that will directly help bring music therapy to those in need.