Board of Directors

The Princess Project is led by a Board of Directors that works to ensure the organization’s success and determines its future direction.

Lara Banks, President

Lara is an investment professional at an endowment-style fund in Menlo Park. She grew up in New York and has lived in the Bay Area for four years. Lara will always remember her prom dress and understands that finding the right dress is integral to a teen’s self-esteem. She is passionate about helping girls build the confidence necessary to be leaders of the next generation. Lara spends her free time running, hiking and simply enjoying the beautiful Bay Area.

Lisa Chan, Treasurer

Lisa is currently specializing in business law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Growing up in the Bay Area, Lisa has enjoyed being involved with youth in urban communities through her time working with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (Juvenile Unit), leading creative writing workshops in Juvenile Hall for The Beat Within and serving as a Teach for America Corps Member, teaching for two years in the Mission and Bayview Districts. Her favorite part about the Princess Project is its ability to afford all young women with the equal opportunity to feel beautiful.

Ashley Crigger, Secretary

Ashley volunteered with the Princess Project at dress giveaways and the annual Taffeta Tea for two years prior to joining the board. She not only enjoys being able to empower teens, help them build self-confidence and teach them about inner beauty but also enjoys advocating for gender diversity and getting more women get seats on corporate boards. Her favorite memory of prom was getting dressed up to have a night out with her fellow classmates. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Ashley lives in San Francisco and has worked at Morgan Stanley since 2011. When she isn’t volunteering, she enjoys traveling, working out, trying out new restaurants, and going to sporting events and concerts.

Sam VonHoene, Legal

Sam is a proud native Texan who is now happy to call San Francisco home. She is general counsel at a tech start-up in Menlo Park. Before becoming an attorney, she worked with urban youth, both as a classroom teacher and curriculum development specialist. Sam is excited about bringing her passion for youth advocacy to the Princess Project.

Linda Loi, Strategic Growth

Linda Loi is a San Francisco native that has spent most of her career in Strategy and Operations (currently at Cisco). Having benefitted from the Princess Project when she was in high school, Linda is very excited about taking the lead on launching new locations nationwide, defining and streamlining processes, and managing operations across the Princess Project footprint.

Kelly Whiting, Technology and Innovation

Kelly is a software engineer and entrepreneur in the tech space. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth and is currently running her own startup focused on trip planning in the California wine country. She also sits on the University of Chicago Bay Area Alumni Board as VP of Programming. She is passionate about her involvement in organizations that support women of all ages to build confidence, achieve equality, and foster independence by eliminating economic disparity. In her free time, she loves practicing yoga, learning to golf, and visiting wine country.

Kira Keating, Marketing

Kira was a volunteer at the Silicon Valley location dress giveaways for 8 years before joining the board. Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, she relocated to the Bay Area in 2007, where she currently works for Google. When she’s not in the office or volunteering, Kira enjoys trying to keep up with the furious pace of San Francisco’s new restaurant openings, exploring California’s wine country, and checking cities off her travel bucket list. Kira is passionate about the Princess Project’s mission to empower women and loves helping young girls find their inner beauty and build the confidence they need to be successful.

Victoria Candland, Marketing

Victoria remembers when she borrowed prom dresses growing up. Originally from San Diego, she moved around the country for a few years and just recently settled in lovely San Francisco. When she’s not working PR or volunteering, Victoria loves being outside, traveling to foreign places, teaching fitness classes and playing the piano. Victoria loves how the Princess Project empowers women to feel beautiful and happy. She feels very lucky to have the opportunity to help teens build confidence and have fun while doing it!

Tracey Sellers, Development – Events

Originally from Southern California, Tracey has called San Francisco home for the past three years. She’s currently an Events Producer at Apple, Inc. and a wedding planner in her spare time. The first time Tracey volunteered at a dress giveaway, she knew she wanted to become more involved with the Princess Project. She is passionate about promoting self-confidence in teenage girls, as she strongly feels that high school years are vital in shaping them into the women they will become.


Laney Whitcanack, Co-Founder and Ex-Officio

Kristi Smith Knutson, Co-Founder

Kelley Karandjeff, Founding Member

Stephanie Shum, Ex-Officio

Each year, The Princess Project benefits from the dedication of Steering Committees that organize the annual dress giveaways in San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Tracy and Los Angeles.