Who We Are

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Our Mission

To act as a meaningful catalyst for progressive and secular social change.

Our Approach

With a dynamic approach to philanthropy, our family-based organization develops partnerships with best-in-class charity leaders who are passionately committed to improving the human experience through programs that are impactful, efficient and innovative.

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.

- Nelson Henderson


The Change Happens Foundation, a private, nonprofit foundation, was established in 2001 by President and CEO Douglas Troxel following his retirement from Serena Software. The Foundation was founded in Holualoa, Hawaii with Serge Troxel serving as Secretary and Michael Troxel as Executive Vice President. Kristin Nong and Deborah Troxel later joined the Board of Directors, transforming the Change Happens Foundation into a genuine family foundation.

Board of Directors

Douglas D. Troxel - President and Chief Executive Officer

Doug holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, with a minor in Physics, from Iowa State University class of 1967. He founded SERENA software in 1980, establishing an industry standard for software change management on mainframe computer systems. Doug sold SERENA to Micro Focus in 2016. He sits on several boards, including: 1) Standard Alcohol which is an Intellectual Property (IP) licensing company for the catalyzing of Natural Gas into Mixed Alcohols; 2) Director's Council of the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of California Santa Barbara; 3) Executive Board of Novim which studies major social problems, including long term climate change and methane leakage, using pure science; and 4) Caring Together In Hope which is a support group for those suffering with Alzheimer's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia.

Deborah H.L. Troxel - Member and Director

Deborah H.L. Troxel holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with special interests in Environment and Nutrition from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to earning her degree, she participated in the Falls Creek Environmental project in Condon, Montana on a scholarship from the Ford Foundation. Deborah was an accomplished real estate broker on the Big Island of Hawaii for 23 years, successfully growing her career to own and operate her own company specializing in residential and raw land for 15 of those years.

Michael D. Troxel - Executive Vice President

Michael D. Troxel attended the private liberal arts school of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University Chico, where he was awarded the Medal for Outstanding Achievement for participation in America's first student-run SAP competency center. He has more than a decade of industry experience in the Silicon Valley as an SAP Basis Administrator. As the Executive Vice President of the Change Happens Foundation, Mike conducts all of the family foundation operations and, with the board of directors, guides the foundation's strategy of dynamic philanthropy and impactful grantmaking.

Serge G. Troxel - Chief Secretarial Officer

Serge G. Troxel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Comparative Literature and a Master of Business Administration in Wine Business Management. He is currently the founder of VinAtlas and the pioneer of Global Fusion wine.

Kristin D. Nong - Director

Kristin D. Nong attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She completed her degrees at the American Institute of Business in Des Moines, Iowa. Kristin holds two Associate of Business degrees, one with an emphasis in Sales and Marketing and the other with an emphasis in Financial Management. She finished both degrees on the school's Honor Roll and Presidential Scholar Roll.

Richard Woo - Director

Richard Woo is a senior advisor on matters of philanthropy, impact investing and social equity. He enjoyed a 30 year career in philanthropy including leadership roles at Levi Strauss & Co., Levi Strauss Foundation, and The Russell Family Foundation in Washington state. Upon retirement as the CEO of The Russell Family Foundation, "Inside Philanthropy" recognized Richard in its 2019 Philanthropy Awards naming him the "Foundation President We'll Miss the Most" for having "been a trailblazer in such areas as equity and impact investing." He currently serves on the board of the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and the impact investing council of the wealth management firm Tiedemann Advisors. Richard graduated from the University of California, Davis with an English degree.