Courtney Karnes

Courtney Karnes is the director of SVB’s Access to Innovation program, an initiative aimed to transform lives through creating opportunities in the innovation economy. With a deep passion for mission-driven work, Courtney thrives on assisting multiple stakeholders for the betterment of all. She benefits her community by helping underserved and underrepresented groups find paths to success in the tech industry, and in doing so, expanding pools of talent available to SVB as well as the clients they serve.

Courtney has a long-standing passion for building strategic partnerships that solve big problems. Prior to joining SVB in 2017, she spent her earlier career working in the nonprofit sector raising money to cure cancer. Serving the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, most recently as executive director of the Silicon Valley Chapter, she devoted her talents to major gifts fundraising, business development and culture transformation. During this time, she was often inspired by therapeutic advancements in cancer research; now, she finds it extremely gratifying that her work could potentially help discover and mentor the next generation of game-changers in the field. Courtney holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Davis.

For her achievements with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Courtney was named Executive Director of the Year, earning a Lantern Leadership Award for fundraising/sales success and transformational growth. Should there remain any doubt that Courtney can make things happen, consider this: she was recognized for her success in managing teams of volunteer fundraisers training for charity-focused endurance events. Participants ranged from dedicated athletes to (shall we say) less-active individuals. If she can cajole couch potatoes into crossing a finish line, imagine what she can do for underrepresented individuals who need the right doors opened for them.

Currently, Courtney volunteers as the founding director and board president of the BRYTE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that improves lives through promoting quality and restorative sleep. In her free time, this Bay Area native strives to take full advantage of everything her neck of the woods has to offer. Find her grooving to live music and adventuring in the great outdoors. On a gorgeous day off, she’s most likely to head west — she takes every chance she can to hang out on the beach with her three daughters and husband.
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Access to Innovation