August 10, 2022

A Message From Co-Founder & Board Chair Abhi Talwalkar About Our Executive Director Transition:

Earlier this year, my Co-Founder Michael Rugen informed our Board of Directors that it was time to transition the leadership of Friends of the Children – SF Bay Area (Friends-SF) to a new Executive Director. I am delighted to announce that, after a thorough and inclusive search process, Friends-SF has hired an outstanding new Executive Director, Timothy Waters, who will take the reins from Michael on September 6. Michael will immediately join our Board of Directors and will work closely with Tim during the initial transition period.

Michael and I began raising seed funding for Friends-SF in 2015. We enrolled our first class of kindergarteners in 2017 and, by Spring of 2023, we expect to be serving 125 Bayview Hunters Point children. We have built an incredible foundation under Michael’s leadership. We recruited an exceptional senior staff, an inspirational team of Professional Mentors and an outstanding board of directors, and we have successfully grown our base of supporters and donors. With this strong foundation, we are well positioned to achieve our vision of serving 400 children and honor the 12-year commitment we make to each child.

It has been my pleasure to partner with Michael for the past seven years and I am immensely proud of the organization we have built. I will miss Michael’s leadership as our Executive Director but welcome him as a fellow Board member and look forward to his continuing contributions.

I am confident that this vibrant organization will rest in excellent hands when Tim Waters takes over as our Executive Director next month. After receiving his MBA from Harvard, Tim had a long and successful career at companies ranging from AT&T to Silicon Valley startups. Tim left the private sector in order to work with children facing systemic barriers, joining San Francisco nonprofit Young Community Developers (YCD) in 2013, eventually becoming its Deputy Director. During Tim’s tenure, YCD has grown exponentially and is now one of the leading nonprofits in the Bayview community.

Thank you Michael for successfully steering this organization through our challenging start-up phase and establishing such a solid foundation. And welcome Tim! Our Board and staff look forward to partnering with you in taking Friends-SF to the next level.


Abhi Talwalkar
SF Co-Founder & Board Chair
Friends of the Children - SF Bay Area