our Founders & Board

A photo of Building Bridges Together and interfaith leaders, Bob, Diane and Phil.

Bob Frankle

A photo of co-founder Bob Frankle, an interfaith and interreligious leader.

Bob Frankle

Bob is President and Chief Executive Officer, Director and co-Founder of Building Bridges Together™. Bob serves on the Board of Directors for Congregation Beth Am. He attends Torah study at Beth Am and Bible study at his wife Diane’s All Saints’ Episcopal Church. Bob is an active panelist in the Interfaith Speaker Bureau for Islamic Networks Group, www.ing.org. Bob has a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master’s degree in Material Science from Stanford University. An engineer for most of his career, Bob moved into marketing and retired as a global marketing director for a manufacturer of security inspection products in 2016.

A photo of co-founder Diane Frankle, an interfaith and interreligious leader.

Diane Frankle

Diane is Chairman of the Board, Chief Operating Officer and co-Founder of Building Bridges Together. Diane is an active member at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, California, where she has served on the Vestry (governing board) three times. She is a Lay Assistant at All Saints’ for Sunday morning services, and attends Bible Study at All Saints’ and Torah Study at her husband Bob’s synagogue, Congregation Beth Am. Diane is an active panelist in the Interfaith Speaker Bureau for Islamic Networks Group, www.ing.org. Diane serves as Trustee on the College of Wooster Board of Trustees and on the San Francisco Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves. She is a Senior Fellow in the American Leadership Forum — Silicon Valley. Diane received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, magna cum laude, and her B.A. from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. Diane practiced corporate law in Silicon Valley, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance work with boards of directors and management; she retired from the practice of law in 2018 to focus on Building Bridges Together.

Phillip M. Palmer secretary of Building Bridges Together.

Phil Palmer

Phil is Secretary and Treasurer and Director of Building Bridges Together. Phil is one of the original facilitators of Building Bridges programs and is an active member of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Palo Alto California. At All Saints’ Phil has served on the Vestry (governing board) three times and has served as the Chair of the Adult Education Committee. Phil has led a number of adult education programs, including a class on world religions and a Bible study group attended by Jews and Christians that studied the New Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures. He holds an M.BA. from UCLA, an MA in English from Stanford University, and an A.B. in English from Dartmouth College. He retired in 2013 after a 33-year career in human resources management. In addition to his work with Building Bridges Together, he is Chair of the Immigrants and Refugees Action Group at All Saints’, a group which supports at-risk immigrants.

Oktay_Erbil_photo.jpg

Oktay Erbil

Oktay is a Director of Building Bridges Together.  Oktay is an active member of the Bay Area Turkish and Muslim communities. He strongly believes that as Muslims we should work together with the people of all other faiths especially with the Jews and Christians (the Abrahamic Faiths, The People of the Book). For more than 12 years, he has been volunteering as a chaplain for Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy (CIC) to minister inmates in Santa Clara County jails. He holds B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Stanford University. He is currently working as a Software Engineer.

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