In October 2009, Notre Dame celebrated its first Women of Impact luncheon. The event honored women in the community who exemplified the hallmarks of the Notre Dame learning community: confident, successful change-makers who act on behalf of justice and peace in the world; and who embrace diversity and honor. The occasion also recognized the role women have played in the region's history, showcasing women's leadership.
As the oldest high school for girls in the state, Notre Dame San Jose has been educating the women of Santa Clara Valley since 1851, almost the beginning of California’s statehood. We have been educating women for lives of distinction ever since.
Notre Dame's Second Annual Women of Impact Luncheon
Moments from the October 22nd Women of Impact luncheon, honoring Alumnae Honoree,
Geralynn Patellaro ’74, Esq. and Community Honoree, Charmaine Warmenhoven
Retired Educator & Civic Leader
Charmaine Warmenhoven enjoyed a 30-year career as a teacher and administrator in special education. She most recently worked in the Office of Pastoral Ministry in the Diocese of San Jose. From 1989 through 2001, Charmaine was Associate Director of Special Ministries, where she developed and supported parish-based programs for the inclusion of children with disabilities.
Prior to her work in the Diocese of San Jose, Charmaine taught in special education classrooms in public and private settings, and was the Director of the Scott Parker School for Special Needs students in Henderson, North Carolina.
Charmaine received a BA in psychology from Princeton University in 1973, and an MA in special education from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1975.
She is currently on the board of trustees of Santa Clara University, the Catholic Foundation of Santa Clara County, Americans for the Arts, and Montalvo Arts Center. Other affiliations include the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Advisory Board, Catholic Charities, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the Tech Museum of Innovation.
Charmaine and her husband, Dan, executive chairman of Netapp, have two children, Eric (30) and Laura (27), and have lived in California since 1985. In 2004, Charmaine and Dan received the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame award for business and community leadership, and in 2007 were honored by Silicon Valley Conference for Community and Justice, receiving their Exemplary Leadership Award.
Now retired from active educational administration, Charmaine enjoys traveling extensively with her husband, strategic philanthropy, and spending time with her extended family.
Geralynn Patellaro, Esq., ‘74
Legal Director, NetApp, Inc.
President, Building a Better Workplace
Notre Dame alumna Geralynn Patellaro ’ 74, the daughter and sister of Notre Dame alumnae, has made an impact on the San Jose community through her corporate and legal work, as well as her extensive volunteering. The common themes in Geralynn’s life have always been camaraderie, creativity, and community.
Geralynn is strong, caring, tenacious, and always willing to give her time to others. A second-generation San Jose native, Geralynn’s academic career has centered around downtown San Jose most of her life. First she attended St. Joseph's Elementary school, currently the site of Adobe Headquarters, then went a few blocks away to Notre Dame. This was followed by San Jose State, where she earned a BA in Spanish as well as an MBA, and also taught in the MBA program. After business school she earned her law degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. Her academic accomplishments alone are impressive. But what makes them extraordinary is that she worked full time while attending college and law school, and graduated all programs with honors.
Geralynn has given and continues to give back to the community. She currently provides pro bono legal work for the unemployed and serves on the board of directors of the Morgan Autism Center and as a judge pro tem in Santa Clara County small claims court. Past volunteer work includes as a mediator in Santa Clara County’s Dispute Resolution Program, mediation coach for Stanford law students, Child Advocates (CASA) program, special education art teacher, Make-A-Wish Foundation Bay Area publicist, and alumni board of directors for San Jose State's College of Business and the McGeorge School of Law. She also volunteers to teach workshops at Notre Dame focused on sexual harassment prevention in the workplace.
She attributes her strong work ethic to her parents and learned the value of hard work when as a teen she and her sisters cut “cots” in south San Jose with migrant farm workers. That was back when Santa Clara County was the Valley of Heart’s Delight and the local ranches smelled like sulphur in the summertime. Since her days on the ranch, Geralynn has become multi-lingual; traveled extensively throughout the world; held various leadership positions with Pacific Bell, 3Com, Covad, and Palm; submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court; founded Building a Better Workplace, an employment law and human resources consulting firm; and also serves as NetApp, Inc.’s Legal Director for Global Employment.
Geralynn is married to Terry Frugoli and they have two adult children. Her family and friends, including her Notre Dame classmates, continue to be important influences in her life.