Assemblymember Evan Low, representing the 26th Assembly District, named Anne Kepner, who serves on the West Valley Mission Community College District (WVMCCD) Board of Trustees, Woman of the Year. Low recognized Kepner, a Santa Clara resident, at a March 17 luncheon he hosted at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Santana Row.
On March 20, at a Woman’s History Month event hosted by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus at the State Capitol, Kepner gathered with others also named Woman of the Year from all the legislative districts in California.
“Anne’s service and dedication to working for and with the community is exceptional,” Low said. “We’re incredibly grateful for her as she has touched so many in our community, and that’s why it was a no brainer to choose her as this year’s Woman of the Year.”
“There was a morning reception for all the honorees,” Kepner said of the March 20 event. “Then we went over to the Capitol Building and were brought onto the assembly floor and we were introduced with our legislator.
“It was wonderful to be in the company of so many accomplished women and women who care about their communities,” Kepner continued. “It was especially nice to share this moment with DeAnna Pursai, who founded the College of Adaptive Arts, now located at the West Valley Community College’s campus. Senator Dave Cortese recognized her as the Woman of the Year for Senate District 15.”
Kepner has been serving on the WVMCCD Board of Trustees since 2014.
“Last year, while I was serving as the President of the WVMCCD Board of Trustees, we made great strides at reducing the cost of attending college,” Kepner said. “We made the decision to waive childcare fees, health service fees and parking fees for students.”
Kepner’s community volunteerism also includes her past work serving on the Housing Loan and Rehabilitation Committee for the City of Santa Clara, the YMCA Board of Managers and the Washington Open Parent Faculty Group and her current work as the President of the Santa Clara High School PTSA and Chair of the Mission City Community Fund.
“When I think about the common thread in all the volunteer work I’ve done, the focus is on youth,” said Kepner, reflecting on an accomplishment from 2009. “I was a founding member of the nonprofit, Friends of Wilson Preschool in Santa Clara. I can remember, years later, taking my sons back to help with one of its fundraisers and feeling an incredible sense of satisfaction that the nonprofit was in existence.”
Kepner is an attorney by profession. She is a partner with Needham Kepner & Fish.
“When I was in law school at Hastings, my incoming class had, for the first time in that law school’s history, more female students than male students,” Kepner recalled. “I passed the bar exam in December 1995, and I’ve been a litigator for over 27 years.”
In her spare time, Kepner likes to garden. Right now, she is growing flowers and fruit trees.
“My family and I enjoy golfing at Pruneridge,” Kepner said. “We have two standard poodles that we like to take for walks. We like eating at Yuki Sushi in Santa Clara. We’ve been coming here for over 25 years.”