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Our Founder

Amy Wender-Hoch

Raised in New York City, founder and President of the Wender Weis Foundation for Children, Amy Wender, was inspired by her family’s commitment to creating impact from a very young age. Many of her earliest memories include a wide variety of charitable projects including volunteering at a food kitchen, interning at the Children’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, working at a shelter for domestic violence survivors, and volunteering at a rape crisis center.

Her dedication to philanthropic work was also sparked by cherished family moments attending football games with her father. In addition to the joy of being with her dad and the excitement of the games, Amy loved waiting with her father to meet players after the game. During those tenuous years between childhood and adulthood, Amy was inspired by a brief conversation with a quarterback from the Dallas Cowboys. He offered her advice that helped to guide her through her decision-making in the years ahead and gave her the confidence to dream big.

After high school, Amy headed west to Stanford University, pursued a major psychology and worked as a paralegal at a Palo Alto law firm. She observed partners and associates at her firm as well as college athletes and professional athletes – people from all different backgrounds and socio-economic means – finding ways to give back to the community through volunteerism, financial contributions and in-kind support.

When she watched a high-profile athlete begun his own foundation, Amy thought – if he could do this, why couldn’t I? In 1994, the Wender Weis Foundation for Children was created – the embodiment of her experiences growing up, and her first-hand knowledge of the power of an athlete, to inspire a young person to believe in themselves.

Looking to learn more about the business-side of impact, Amy pursued an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, while still running WWFC.

After receiving her MBA, Amy moved back full-time to the Bay Area, and her vision has impacted thousands of youth and their families. Through WWFC, her determination has connected hundreds of athletes and kids through shared experiences and resulted in the contribution of millions to youth-serving non-profits.

Currently, Amy lives in Palo Alto, California with her husband and son. In addition to her leadership of the Wender Weis Foundation for Children, Amy serves on a wide variety of non-profit boards and always makes time to cheer on her favorite sports teams, attend the San Francisco Ballet, and spend time with family and friends. Go, Cardinal!