We’re a team of educators, social justice advocates, and lifelong learners dedicated to expanding opportunities for equitable test prep.

Working across our offices in Oakland, Los Angeles, and New York City, we strive to:

  • Put student success first. We know that SAT and ACT scores are a powerful lever to help students achieve their life goals, and work with schools to provide premium test preparation to students who can use it to change their college trajectory.
  • Create sustainable quality first, then scale. We continually measure our results and adjust accordingly to provide the most effective, data-backed support to schools and their teachers.
  • Make every interaction matter. We inspire long-term trust through our positive attitudes, optimism, responsiveness, persistence, follow-through, and commitment to exceeding expectations.
  • Foster mutual respect. We value our colleagues’ time, well-being, perspectives, contributions, and ideas. We demonstrate our commitment to social justice through our actions of inclusion and cross-cultural dialogue inside and outside our organization.
  • Find and grow talent. We develop the professional capacity of all our employees, care for their wellbeing, and invest in their growth.
  • Leadership Team
  • Staff
  • National Board
  • Bay Area Board
  • New York Board
  • SoCal Board
  • Bay Area Young Professionals Board
  • SoCal Young Professionals Board

Leadership Team

Yoon S. Choi, PhD

Chief Executive Officer
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Dr. Choi brings to CollegeSpring over a decade of leadership, management, and fundraising experience, primarily with organizations serving urban youth. She joined after nearly five years with Spark, a national nonprofit career exploration and self-discovery program for middle school students. She played several different roles throughout her tenure there, including regional Executive Director, VP of California, Chief Strategy Officer, and interim President, taking the organization to new heights with program scale, partnership development, and fundraising.

Previously, Dr. Choi worked at Para Los Niños, a nonprofit providing education, health, and youth workforce / development services to Los Angeles’ underserved communities. An anthropologist by training, she conducted years of fieldwork with NGOs in East / Southeast Asia.

She earned her doctorate in Anthropology with a Critical Theory emphasis from the University of California at Irvine, as well as a master’s degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Scripps College.

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Matt Aguiar

Chief Operating Officer
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Matt joined CollegeSpring after spending nine years with Reading Partners, a national elementary literacy nonprofit. Matt served as Chief of Staff from 2014-2016, leading a number of strategic initiatives and facilitating leadership groups and cross-functional projects. Prior to that, Matt led the organization’s field operational expansion from the San Francisco Bay Area into six states. Before joining Reading Partners, Matt was the director of scholarships at the University of California Berkeley Alumni Association where he built and managed the largest alumni volunteer program in the country.

Matt has a degree in economics and business administration from UC Berkeley. He attended Harvard Business School’s executive education program on performance measurement, and completed the Society for Nonprofit Management’s certificate series.

As COO, Matt leads CollegeSpring’s core business infrastructure functions and serves as a critical partner to the CEO, leadership team, and board.

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Hanna Doerr

Bay Area Executive Director
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Hanna is a committed advocate for educational equity with a passion for college access and success of first-generation college students. For over seven years she held a variety of roles at the San Francisco Education Fund, an organization dedicated to bringing the resources of the city of San Francisco into its public schools, most recently leading the organization as the Interim Executive Director. Prior to that, Hanna served as Director of Evaluation and Operations, focusing on demonstrating programmatic impact with an eye towards continuous improvement, and as Program Director, supporting the execution of all volunteer, grant and scholarship work. Hanna began her tenure with the Education Fund leading the Postsecondary Success Program to build a college-going culture in three high schools. Hanna has also worked as a program manager for the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, and as a program associate at DC VOICE, Washington, DC’s local education fund.

Hanna holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and a Master of Public Policy from The George Washington University. As Bay Area Executive Director, Hanna is leading the team to ensure that we are making potential possible for students across the Bay Area.

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Krystal O'Leary Flores

Southern California Executive Director
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Krystal graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in History and minor in Education Studies. After earning her teaching credential from UCLA, she began her education career as a History teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Krystal went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Education from UCLA, where she studied urban education. During her second year of teaching, Krystal moved into education management when she became the Lead Teacher and Coordinator of a media-based California Partnership Academy. Under her leadership, the academy saw an increase in student population, graduation rates, and business/educational partnerships.

Krystal came to CollegeSpring in 2011 to launch academic year programs in the Los Angeles region. The success of that initial program allowed CollegeSpring to nearly double the number of students served in its second year of AYP implementation. Since then, Krystal has launched our Los Angeles office, codified our core program model, and standardized our seasonal staff training curriculum. Upon moving to the National Strategy and Impact Team, Krystal led the conceptualization and design of high-quality, data-driven, and innovative programs, supported program staff and program sites organization-wide, and developed systems and designed programming to ensure the successful onboarding and professional development of full-time programs staff across the organization. With over ten years of experience in education and a deep passion for CollegeSpring’s mission, Krystal stepped into the Executive Director role, where she leads fundraising, program operations, and staff management for CollegeSpring’s largest region.

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Nichole Gangitano

Head of Programs & Impact
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Nichole leads CollegeSpring’s work in program strategy, quality, training, and data and evaluation. Prior to CollegeSpring, Nichole worked at Reading Partners, a national elementary literacy organization, where she led the national programs team, supported organizational growth and scale, provided executive oversight of an after-school initiative, and served in direct program roles as regional director and program manager in Silicon Valley. Prior to her work at Reading Partners, Nichole worked in the early care and education field, recruiting and training college students to serve as AmeriCorps members in preschool classrooms across San Francisco. She has an MPA in nonprofit administration and a bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development, both from San Francisco State University. Nichole is a proud AmeriCorps alumni.

With over a decade working in the non-profit educational sector, Nichole is committed to creating equitable educational opportunities for under-resourced schools and communities. A first-generation college graduate, she is honored to work alongside the CollegeSpring team to ensure that a college education becomes a reality for every student.

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Mollie Kutscher

Head of Development & Communications
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Mollie has been fundraising on behalf of education for over ten years, and believes equitable access to educational opportunities is imperative to social justice. Most recently, she was the Director of Development & External Affairs at East Harlem Tutorial Program, a community-based organization founded in 1958. There, she oversaw the organization’s annual gala, the completion of a $45M capital campaign, and managed a team of six fundraisers and communications professionals. Prior to that, she was the founding Director of Development at Blue Engine, where she focused on building the systems, team, and donor base to support a rapidly expanding team-teaching and teacher-training model serving New York City public high schools. Before she joined Blue Engine, Mollie held various fundraising roles at the Oakland, CA based organization Reading Partners, and at the San Francisco Regional office of Jumpstart for Young Children.

Mollie holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. As the Head of Development & Communications, she is leading the team to build a sustainable fundraising model that supports CollegeSpring’s long-term growth and commitment to innovation.

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Russell Langsam

New York Executive Director
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Russell has dedicated the majority of his career to working with social good organizations in the fields of educational access and success and international service-learning. He most recently served as the Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships at PENCIL, matching corporate volunteers and New York City public schools. From 2001-2009, Russell served as the Director of the Posse Foundation’s New York program. Previous positions include directing international volunteer programs for American Jewish World Service, corporate recruiting with TMP Worldwide, Director of People Strategy for Amisto, an adventure travel web site, regional and national volunteer management work with AFS Intercultural Programs, coordinating a statewide Americorps program for the Minnesota Department of Economic Security, and Regional Director for Amigos de las Americas.

Russell holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.A. in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota. As executive director, he oversees partnership development, fundraising, site management and program execution for the New York region.

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Staff

Katharine Christianson

Southern California Programs Director
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Katharine graduated from Northwestern University with a dual degree in Political Science and Communication Studies. Upon graduating, Katharine joined the Peace Corps and initiated and developed an adult literacy program in Mali, West Africa. When she returned to the United States in 2011, she began working in the K-12 education space as a Program Manager for Junior Achievement. Katharine worked for Junior Achievement for four years before going back to get a Masters in Public Policy (specializing in Education Policy) from the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy.

As Programs Director, Katharine manages CollegeSpring’s Southern California programs and operations. Her passion for expanding opportunities for our youth continues to be at the forefront of her life’s mission and she is very excited to join the CollegeSpring team.

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Allyson Cook

New York Programs Director
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Allyson began her career as an educator as an Americorps Member and full time teacher in Paterson, New Jersey for a yearlong service commitment. Working as a dedicated Language Arts teacher, academic tutor, founding Dance Team coach, and parent liaison, Allyson was able to see the benefits of community outreach within educational institutions. Allyson completed her term of service and shifted her focus to educational leadership and supporting schools by assuming the role of Deputy Campus Director of Citizen Schools, in the New Jersey region. After growing and learning how to best support teachers, parents, and scholars Allyson has thus worked in other school districts in New Jersey as an Academic Counselor for a TRIO program at Rutgers University-Newark Campus, where she managed undergraduate and graduate students who supported a total of 500 students. Allyson completed her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, NJ.

Allyson views herself as an integrated change agent who is committed to: empowering all scholars to build character, ensuring they develop mastery in 21st century skills, and providing access to high quality colleges and professional careers by creating diverse, engaging learning opportunities. She strives to guide youth to their full potential, meanwhile engaging families and community members to be more involved in the academic success of the youth. She is an advocate for education reform with the hope to narrow (and one day close) the opportunity and achievement gaps in America. Allyson manages CollegeSpring’s New York programs and operations. She helps with mentor recruitment, training, and support; and ensures quick turnaround of test results to students and partner organizations.

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Tania Davila

Programs Data Manager
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Tania began her career as a development associate at a domestic violence services agency in New York City where she parlayed her knowledge and experience in program planning, evaluation, and grant writing to help diversify funding sources. In this role, she was uniquely positioned to understand the importance of data in securing grants, obtaining contracts, and building community partnerships. Thus, she began to look for better ways in which to manage and incorporate data across systems and was tasked with building platforms to collect, record, track, and manage client outcomes in an efficient and cohesive manner. Tania’s shift into research and evaluation grew out of this experience and as Programs Data Manager at CollegeSpring, she oversees the quality of data collection and reporting efforts. Furthermore, she is in charge of ensuring staff is properly trained to administer and use data collection systems and tools. In this capacity, she supports the Strategy & Impact team to improve and broaden the scope of CollegeSpring’s reach through data-informed program planning, curriculum design, communications, and development.

As a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Tania holds a Master of Science in Social Work degree and has worked in both clinical and administrative settings on issues pertaining to domestic abuse, family violence, HIV/AIDS, immigration, and alcohol & drug dependency. In the years prior to working at CollegeSpring, Tania was a Personal Advisor for Employment & Training for homeless youth in the United Kingdom. She also holds a Master of Arts in Literature degree from San Diego State University and has taught English as a Foreign Language in Japan.

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Megan Fisher

Development Coordinator
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Megan’s motivation for ensuring greater access to educational opportunities was instilled while working as an Associate Project Director for Amigos de las Americas, developing service-learning trips for U.S. high-school students in Latin America. After working abroad, she relocated to the Bay Area and joined a social enterprise start-up centered on connecting marginalized artisans in the developing world with resources to grow their businesses, invest within their local economies, and provide skilled trainings and greater educational opportunities for the next generation. Most recently, Megan focused her skills on fundraising for non-profits throughout the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Megan holds a B.A. from UC Santa Barbara in Political Science and Spanish.

In her role as CollegeSpring’s Development Coordinator, Megan manages the donor database as well as gift processing.

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Kevin Franco

Southern California Programs Manager
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As a social justice scholar-practitioner in education, Kevin (gender fluid pronouns: he/she/they) critically analyzes educational issues through a lens of race, class, gender, and sexuality. With over five years of professional experience, Kevin has worked in the college access and college success field assisting a spectrum of low-income, first-generation college students with their educational pursuits. Simultaneously, Kevin has conducted mixed methods research assessments at Occidental College, performed qualitative research with the RAND Corporation for the Community Schools initiative, and has also served as a Research Fellow for the global non-profit, Catalyst.,

Originally from San Fernando Valley, CA, Kevin attended UC Berkeley and received a B.A. in Sociology. Kevin’s passion for social justice, inclusion, and equity in education began when he co-founded the Queer Student Union (formerly known as Queer Straight Alliance) at UC Berkeley. His work in the Queer community sparked his drive to view education as a platform to incite social change. Prior to attending graduate school, Kevin was the College Success Director for the non-profit organization, Heart of Los Angeles. At HOLA, Kevin was responsible for directing and supervising a team dedicated to ensuring the degree completion of 200 low-income, first generation college students, also known as “HOLA alumni.”

Kevin recently graduated from New York University with a M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs, concentration in social justice.  He continues to entrench himself in the field of education by presenting at conferences, facilitating trainings for organizations and foundations, and continuing the dialogue and professional development for organizations interested in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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Nia Hill-Perry

Southern California Talent Coordinator
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Nia graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Spatial Arts and a Minor in Business. She strongly believes that the outreach programs she was involved in as a child opened her eyes to the opportunities that college offers. The product of a successful inner-city charter school, Nia reaped the benefits of smaller classroom sizes which created a communal environment. Nia aspires to continue her education with the goal of becoming an Art Therapist. This will allow her to invest much of her time developing low-income student programming, and to become an inspiring figure in her community through the healing power of the arts. CollegeSpring’s mission to provide mentors to high school students so that they can achieve their educational goals not only reflects Nia’s upbringing but matches her belief that the life of a child can be changed with one devoted role model.

Nia supports the Southern California team in assisting with all aspects of Southern California programs.

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Ve'Cartier Johnson

Southern California Programs Manager
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Ve’Cartier is passionate about ensuring that all students are provided access and opportunities to receive a quality education. As a first generation college student, he knows the struggles of navigating the college admissions process alone.

He attended UC Santa Barbara, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies with a minor in Spanish. During his time at UCSB he was President of the Community Affairs Board and supervised volunteer efforts with local schools and with the Family Literacy Program, which provided free tutoring services to K-12 students in Santa Barbara County.

After graduating UCSB, Ve’Cartier was a middle school Spanish teacher and World Languages Department Chair in Washington D.C. through Teach for America. He was most recently a High School Placement Counselor for KIPP LA Schools.

Ve’Cartier currently helps with CollegeSpring’s SoCal programs and operations.

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Monica Lee

New York Programs Manager
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Monica began her career in education with Moving Forward Education as a tutor and mentor to middle school girls in Oakland, CA. At Moving Forward, Monica deepened her awareness of inequities and inequalities within the public education sector. She continued to develop a passion for greater educational access and equality through her two years of teaching first grade at Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City. During this time, it became clear to her that although quality public education is advertised as a right for all students, in reality, a quality education is incredibly exclusive and competitive. Monica hopes that her work with CollegeSpring will allow her to bring greater awareness to educators and administrators about inequality and college access. She also would like this work to provide an opportunity to help empower and mobilize students of disenfranchised populations to pursue higher-education opportunities. Monica received her B.A. in American Literature and Civic Engagement at Hofstra University. She also received her M.S. in Urban Policy and Leadership with an emphasis in Education Policy from Hunter College. Monica is especially devoted to being an advocate for both students and teachers. She is committed to creating bridges between students, educators, caretakers and community members in order to cultivate culturally responsive learning environments that promote both academic and social-emotional success for all.

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Valerie Morishige

Southern California Office Manager
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Valerie believes that if you are mindful about what you feed your mind and body, then that emergent property called a soul will take care of itself. To that end she has worked in the education sector; previously at a nonprofit that provides anti-bias training for the K-12 community and before that at a nonprofit theater group that made classic literature accessible for young students. While transitioning from California State University, Los Angeles to University of California Los Angeles, Valerie took 2 years off and worked at the largest Japanese restaurant distributor in the nation before finishing her Bachelor of Arts in English. Valerie manages the day-to-day operations in the Los Angeles office and uses her logistics experience to make sure everything runs smoothly.

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Monique Recoder

Bay Area Programs Manager
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Monique joins CollegeSpring after six years with Year Up, a national nonprofit organization that provides educational and employment opportunity to urban young adults. Additionally, as a former foster care social worker, Monique has always had a passion for working with youth of all ages and from all backgrounds, has an unshakeable belief in the abilities of all young people, and is committed to helping them reach their full potential.

Monique holds undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Clinical Psychology from California State University, Long Beach, where she was a President’s Scholar, and has a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. As a Programs Manager, Monique supports the Bay Area team with program implementation at regional high schools and community based organizations.

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Jonathan Reyes

New York Operations Coordinator
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A Latino male from New York who is passionate about educational equity, Jonathan has dedicated much of his professional career to working toward making educational opportunities and resources available to all students in urban communities across New York.

Jonathan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a minor in Sociology from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 2015 as a Posse Scholar. Upon graduating, he went straight into the classroom, teaching Third Grade Informational Reading, Science/Social Studies, and Writing with Uncommon Schools. Today, he is enrolled as a graduate student at Hunter College studying Urban Policy and Organizational Leadership, and acts as the operations coordinator for the New York team at CollegeSpring.

As operations coordinator, Jonathan provides programmatic and operations support to the New York Team.

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Karen Rodriguez

Controller
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Karen has spent the last 20 years in service of various nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has most recently been Director of Finance & Operations for Amazon Watch, as well as Chief Financial Officer for California Humanities. She appreciates the opportunity to learn about varied causes and missions, and the creative strategies that intrepid nonprofits employ to advance them. She enjoys helping fledgling organizations negotiate the challenges of growth, and she is excited to have joined CollegeSpring at this very juncture in its own development. She holds a BA in International Relations & Economics from San Francisco State University, and enjoys singing in her spare time.

At CollegeSpring, Karen oversees financial operations and strategy.

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Martin Sanchez

Communications Manager
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Martin manages CollegeSpring’s communications and marketing efforts.

His interest in education began while working as a writing tutor in college. He then served with the Peace Corps in Namibia, where he taught English as a Second Language and organized after-school programs with local NGOs. Before joining CollegeSpring, he spent several years in marketing and public relations in Silicon Valley. He holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley.

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Eric Santacruz

Programs and Data Coordinator
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Eric graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in History and a Minor in German Studies. Prior to working at CollegeSpring, Eric worked on campaigns and voter registration drives in North Carolina and Southern California.

He joined CollegeSpring after completing a term of service as Public Ally. He believes test prep is an important part of helping students of all backgrounds achieve their potential.

As a Programs & Data Coordinator, Eric provides support in program evaluation and curriculum development.

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Jamie Sarfeh

Bay Area Programs Manager
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Jamie believes that inequity in education originates from and is perpetuated by a racist and capitalist social structure. Her work with CollegeSpring is motivated by the belief that increased access to higher education for young people of color is a vital component of systemic transformation.

Prior to joining CollegeSpring, Jamie worked for over five years as a mentor and youth educator at a range of community based organizations, after-school programs, and high schools in Rhode Island. She also conducted public health research focused on access to care in collaboration with the African Community Center for Social Sustainability. Jamie holds a BA in Africana Studies from Brown University.

As a Programs Manager, Jamie supports CollegeSpring’s Bay Area programs implementation and operations. She helps with mentor recruitment, training, and instructor support; and ensures quick turnaround of test results to students and partner organizations.

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Amy Sims

Southern California Programs and Development Manager
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Amy graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a dual degree in Marketing and Economics. While completing her undergraduate degree, Amy worked with CollegeSpring as a Mentor, a Lead Mentor, a Campus Recruitment Director, and a Programs Intern. After graduating, she taught the CollegeSpring program to 70 high school juniors, empowering her students to raise their SAT scores by 202 points.

Amy has worked with CollegeSpring full-time for two years in both development and programs management. She currently manages the CollegeSpring program at a portfolio of schools and provides development support by managing the region’s Young Professionals Board, the region’s institutional giving efforts and providing pipeline analysis to the Executive Director.

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Ashley Soto

Southern California Programs Manager
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Ashley is committed to uplifting communities of color. She’s worked as a science teacher in critical needs high schools of Mississippi through the Mississippi Teacher Corps and was the Site Director for a free SAT prep program in Holyoke, MA. In addition to her work in education, she’s managed marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies.

Ashley earned a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Ole Miss (hotty toddy!) and graduated from Amherst College, double majoring in Neuroscience and [email protected] Social and Cultural Identities.

Ashley helps with CollegeSpring’s SoCal programs and operations.

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Francisco Soto

Southern California Operations Coordinator
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I am the son of two immigrant parents. Brother of four sisters and one brother (all older). From a young age, I thought that getting a job right after high school was what I was meant to do. That didn’t happen because my sister forced me to apply to college. I was accepted to CSULA after clearing a few hurdles. It took me 6 years to graduate – not because the material was hard, but because I did not see the immediate benefit of completing college. That quickly changed when I decided to pursue a career in auto mechanics through the automotive program in Los Angeles Trade Tech College. I immediately knew it wasn’t for me. The next semester I enrolled at East Los Angeles College to experiment with majors I might like. I took an introductory accounting class and everything clicked, I made an appointment with a counselor at CSULA a month after, and the rest is history.

I graduated with a Bachelor in Finance, but knew that I wanted to work with my community instead of diving into the finance world. So, I applied to the Public Allies program, which trained me trained in various social issues, including anti-racism, gender, and the school-to-prison pipeline. It also placed me at a partnered non- profit in order to get exposed to the non-profit culture. I was fortunate enough to be hired by CollegeSpring because of this.

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Yvonne Tran

Southern California Programs Manager
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Yvonne was born and raised in Orange County, CA. In high school, she found a knack for writing and reading, so she decided to pursue fields that allowed her to tell stories. She attended UC San Diego to study communication and received her Master’s degree in Applied Research at Boston University’s College of Communication.

After graduation, she worked at UC Irvine’s library media center, a multicultural advertising agency, and a nonprofit college access/scholarship program. Yvonne’s passion for helping students lies in her belief that education can transform lives. Her parents left Vietnam in 1975 as refugees and were able to rebuild their lives with the support and education they received in America. For Yvonne, her own education allowed her to break out of her introverted shell and pursue some amazing opportunities.

Outside of work, Yvonne volunteers for a variety of community organizations that focus on art and youth empowerment. She also dabbles in freelance video editing and traveling on the side.

As Programs Manager for the CollegeSpring SoCal team, she is very excited to help with operations in the Orange County region.

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Amy Valentine

Head of HR & Talent
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Amy joined CollegeSpring because she believes the mission to help more young adults find a path to college is critical so they can take action, improve the community, and help make the world a better place. She has spent her professional career working for a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations, including stints at a Native American Museum, the Emmy Awards, two start up tech companies and an environmental engineering firm. Through these varied experiences she has learned that people, no matter what, deserve to be treated fairly and with respect in the workplace and in life.

As Head of HR/Talent, Amy is responsible for recruitment, talent development, compensation & benefits, compliance, performance management and company culture. Her mission is to be the resource for all things HR so that everyone else can concentrate on their responsibilities and the important work of CollegeSpring.

She holds a BA in Art History from Occidental College in Los Angeles CA.

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Andrea Vernitsky

Director of Curriculum and Training
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With more than seven years experience in education, Andrea has dedicated her career to the belief that strong curriculum is the backbone of academic success for all students. After receiving her degree in English and linguistics at NYU, she entered the NYC Teaching Fellows program, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Education and applied her education and training to creating rigorous and engaging curriculum for a diverse group of students while teaching high school English in Brooklyn. She also served as a Literacy Coach, developed curriculum for an afterschool program, coached aspiring teachers as part of the New Teacher Project and held the position of program manager with a literacy nonprofit organization before joining CollegeSpring.

Andrea oversees the development of CollegeSpring’s curriculum materials and content-related staff training materials.

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National Board

Tom Friel, National Board Chair

Retired Chairman and CEO of Heidrick & Struggles International Inc.
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Tom Friel retired as chairman and CEO of Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. in 2007. Tom joined Heidrick & Struggles in 1979 and played an important role in developing the firm’s leadership position in key markets. He was co-founder and then later assumed the responsibility of managing the firm’s technology practice, which he led from 1987 to 1995. From 1992 to 1999, Tom undertook the additional role of managing partner, Asia Pacific. From 1999 through 2001, he served as president of Heidrick & Struggles Ventures, the firm’s division responsible for all future initiatives, new business strategies, investments and alliances. He served as chairman and CEO from 2003 to 2006, prior to assuming the role of chairman. Tom is a graduate of Purdue University, where he majored in industrial engineering. He also holds a master’s degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and served on the Business School Advisory Council. In addition to serving as Board Chair of CollegeSpring, Tom is currently serving as a Board Member of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Computer History Museum, and is a member of the advisory boards of Docusign Corp., Pomello and the Seraph Group.

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Yoon S. Choi, PhD

CEO, CollegeSpring
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Dr. Choi brings to CollegeSpring over a decade of leadership, management, and fundraising experience, primarily with organizations serving urban youth. She joined after nearly five years with Spark, a national nonprofit career exploration and self-discovery program for middle school students. She played several different roles throughout her tenure there, including regional Executive Director, VP of California, Chief Strategy Officer, and interim President, taking the organization to new heights with program scale, partnership development, and fundraising.

Previously, Dr. Choi worked at Para Los Niños, a nonprofit providing education, health, and youth workforce / development services to Los Angeles’ underserved communities. An anthropologist by training, she conducted years of fieldwork with NGOs in East / Southeast Asia.

She earned her doctorate in Anthropology with a Critical Theory emphasis from the University of California at Irvine, as well as a master’s degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Scripps College.

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Avi Dorfman

Vice President & Head of New Ventures, The D.E. Shaw Group
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Avi Dorfman is Vice President & Head of New Ventures at The D. E. Shaw Group, a global investment, research and technology development firm with over $45 billion under management. He previously served as a Vice President at Accretive, a venture capital firm with $500 million under management dedicated to building technology companies from the ground up, most notably Fandango and Accretive Health. In 2012, he co-founded Compass, a real estate technology platform that has since gone national and is valued at close to $2 billion. He began his career in the corporate finance and strategy practice at McKinsey & Company, and also spent summers in the investment banking division at Lehman Brothers and on the private investments team at Access Industries. In 2017, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Avi to his Technology Leadership Advisory Council. Prior to his national board appointment, Avi served as the founding chair of CollegeSpring’s New York regional board for two years, through which he was integral to the organization’s rapid growth on the east coast. He received a B.A. with first class honors from McGill University and an Masters in international finance and economic policy from Columbia University.

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Joel Jones

Vice President, Sales Planning and Operations, Facebook
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Joel joined Facebook in 2012 and leads the global Sales Planning & Operations team, which scales Facebook’s business through planning, enablement, and operations. Prior to Facebook, Joel worked at Yahoo! for five years with roles leading the Americas Ad Marketplaces team, as the Chief of Staff to the CEO, and in the Corporate Strategy group. Prior to that, Joel spent seven years with McKinsey & Company leading digital media business growth and go-to-market strategy in high tech.

Joel also serves as Chair of CollegeSpring’s Bay Area board of directors. He has an M.S. in Applied Physics from Caltech and a B.S.E. in Engineering Physics from the University of Michigan, and currently resides in San Jose, CA.

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Larry Kubal

Founder, Labrador Ventures; Managing Partner, Labrador Ventures III, IV and V
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Mr. Kubal has invested in seed and early stage information technology companies for the last 23 years. He is a founder of Labrador Ventures and serves as a managing partner of Labrador Ventures III, IV and V. Labrador was among the founding investors in Pandora Media (NYSE:P) where Mr. Kubal served on the board for seven years up to the IPO. In Addition, Mr. Kubal currently serves as the Labrador representative with portfolio companies Altierre, PlayPhone, and RocketFuel.

In addition to his investment experience, Mr. Kubal was a management consultant with Booz, Allen & Hamilton, a global strategy and technology consulting firm. Prior to consulting, Mr. Kubal worked extensively in computerized database publishing for McGraw-Hill Publications Company and for the Academy for Educational Development. Mr. Kubal was also a founding executive with a venture-backed PC software company, Avalanche Technologies, ultimately acquired by Microsoft.

Mr. Kubal received his undergraduate degree from Duke University (1974), cum laude with departmental distinction, and his MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (1982).

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Juanita Lott

Technology Entrepreneur and Executive
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Juanita Lott is the founder and former chair and CEO of Bridgestream Software, an enterprise software company that was sold to Oracle in 2007. Gartner recognized Bridgestream as one of the ‘cool vendors in security and privacy’, and Burton Group recognized Ms. Lott as ‘a pioneer’ in role based access management solutions.

Ms. Lott has extensive operational expertise in global companies, particularly those undergoing rapid growth. She served as EVP and CHRO of Epicor Software where she focused on talent, leadership development, organizational and globalization strategies for this privately held ERP software business. Ms. Lott also served as a member of Sybase’s executive team as the organization successfully transitioned from a pre-IPO company to over $1B in revenue.

Ms. Lott is an Investment Partner in the Portfolia Investment Fund and a former member of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives where she received the Forum’s Trailblazer Award in 2001, 2003 and 2004. She is a trustee alumna of Springboard Enterprises, a venture catalyst organization that provides support to women led businesses.Ms. Lott continues to work as an advisor and mentor to women entrepreneurs and is currently on the advisory board of Talent Sonar Software. She has been a presenter at Stanford’s MBA program on entrepreneurship from the perspective of women and is a contributor to Inc.com.

Ms. Lott received her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from the University of California and her Master’s Degree from Mills College

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Garrett Neiman

Co-Founder & Former CEO, CollegeSpring
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Garrett is the co-founder and former CEO of CollegeSpring. Garrett incubated CollegeSpring at Stanford University, where he majored in Economics and realized that his experience could help other students prepare for college. During his time at Stanford, Garrett interned at the U.S. Department of Education, conducted research with America’s most prominent education economist, served as an advisor to Google’s Education Applications Team, and co-directed Stanford Dance Marathon, the largest student-led philanthropic event in the Bay Area. He also served as a voting member of Stanford’s Board of Trustees and Public Service Student Advisory Board and Co-Chair of the Senior Gift Committee, where he led an effort that doubled the previous class gift record. Garrett has been honored as an East Palo Alto Social Venture Fellow, Stanford Nonprofits Board Fellow, Public Service Leadership Fellow, and Young People For Fellow. His work has been profiled in the New York Times, BusinessWeek, the Orange County Register, the Stanford Daily, and the USC Trojan, and he has served as an invited speaker at events hosted by The College Board, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Stanford University, among others.

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Todd Penner

Portfolio Director, College Preparation & Completion, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
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Todd oversees the U.S. Education team’s College Preparation & Completion portfolio, which empowers more high-need students to graduate from high school college-ready, enroll in college, and obtain a bachelor’s degree. Prior to joining the foundation in May 2008, Todd spent 13 years at Dell Inc. in various marketing and support positions, his last being Director of Worldwide e-Support. Before Dell, he worked with Exxon Chemical Company and Deloitte Haskins & Sells. Todd has a bachelor’s in business administration in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s of business administration in finance from the University of Michigan. Todd is currently the Treasurer at Girlstart, an Austin, Texas-based nonprofit that empowers girls in science, technology, engineering and math, and serves on the board of CollegeSpring, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that helps students from low-income backgrounds boost SAT scores, navigate college admissions and financial aid, and confidently pursue college degrees.

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Mindy Rogers

Philanthropist
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Mindy Rogers began her career at Bain & Company. She later joined Wells Fargo Bank as Vice President, where she held a variety of managerial positions in banking operations including General Manager of Northern California check processing, a 24/7 operation with over 300 employees and an $11 million budget. After leaving Wells Fargo, she became a consultant to the bank on a range of issues, including merger integration support, cost reduction, operational management, marketing, and new product launches.

Mindy is very involved in her community. At Sacred Heart Preparatory Atherton, Mindy served in a variety of volunteer capacities, including for seven years as a member of the Board of Trustees. For four years, she chaired the Board, where she led a strategic planning process, worked with the administration to implement numerous key initiatives and launch a $95 million capital campaign, led a search for a new head of school, and worked to improve governance and financial reporting. Currently, she is a Board Member for Stanford New Schools-a network of charter schools in East Palo Alto run by the Stanford School of Education-and an active volunteer with Project Read, the Boys and Girls’ Club of the Peninsula, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Stanford University. Mindy earned her B.A. in Economics, with Honors and Distinction, and her M.B.A. from Stanford University. She is married to Jesse Rogers, with three children.

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Ralph Sutton

Validity Capital Partners, LLC
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A former trial attorney with over 17 years of experience litigating cases, Ralph has deep experience in litigation funding.

Before joining Validity Capital Partners, he was the chief investment officer at Bentham IMF, the US subsidiary of the Australian litigation funding pioneer, where he assisted the company in its investment in more than 40 cases in the US, creating a US investment portfolio with claims valued at approximately $1.5 billion. He also championed Bentham’s focus on fairness and sustainability in the litigation funding industry, and has been a fierce advocate for increased access to civil justice. In 2016, he led the company in its decision to provide a significant capital contribution to the UC Irvine School of Law’s new national Civil Justice Research Institute, which will study factors that limit access to America’s court system.

Ralph also helped found Credit Suisse’s Litigation Risk Strategies group, introducing innovative third-party funding to a traditional Wall Street investment bank. He graduated from Columbia College with honors in English Literature, and received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law. After graduating from NYU, Ralph served as a law clerk to US District Court Judge G. Thomas Eisele for two years.

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Bay Area Board

Joel Jones, Regional Board Chair

Vice President, Sales Planning and Operations, Facebook
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Joel joined Facebook in 2012 and leads the global Sales Planning & Operations team, which scales Facebook’s business through planning, enablement, and operations. Prior to Facebook, Joel worked at Yahoo! for five years with roles leading the Americas Ad Marketplaces team, as the Chief of Staff to the CEO, and in the Corporate Strategy group. Prior to that, Joel spent seven years with McKinsey & Company leading digital media business growth and go-to-market strategy in high tech.

Joel also serves as Chair of CollegeSpring’s Bay Area board of directors. He has an M.S. in Applied Physics from Caltech and a B.S.E. in Engineering Physics from the University of Michigan, and currently resides in San Jose, CA.

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Diana Balgas

Executive Director of Transfer Programs, CSU East Bay

Walker Conolly

Manager, Business Integrity, Facebook
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Walker is a Senior Manager with Facebook’s Business Integrity team. BI’s mission is to ensure safe and trusted connections between people, businesses, and Facebook. In his prior role as Forensics Services Director with PwC, he solved complex regulatory matters and assessed and improved risk and compliance programs for financial services and technology clients. Walker has a B.S. in Computer Science from Lehigh University, and lives in San Francisco.

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Tarah S. Evans

Executive Director, Franklin & Catherine Johnson Foundation
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Tarah has more than 15 years of experience with non-profits and in the private sector and her role is to manage the widespread philanthropic efforts of the company and the Johnson family.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s Degree in Communication Management from the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. Tarah also obtained her certification (CPCC) in Executive Coaching in 2005 from the Coaches Training Institute.

Tarah began consulting to the Job Corps division of the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC. She also worked as an associate at a consulting firm that developed curricula for job training programs serving at-risk youth.

Tarah was also director of New Ways Workers, a San Francisco-based youth program for high school students. Working with the mayor’s office and the San Francisco school district, she designed and launched a variety of mentoring and school-to-career programs to help students finish high school and move on to college – as well as handling fundraising, grant-writing, and working directly with the youth.

At Asset Management, she handles all manner of giving, including grants to educational, arts and environmental organizations. Youth education programs are her passion – she currently serves on the board of the East Palo Alto Youth Court, one of the newest additions to the portfolio.

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Joan Kiekhaefer

Senior Vice President, US Bank

Matthew Kinsella

Managing Director, Maverick Capital Ventures
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Mr. Kinsella joined Maverick in 2005 and was responsible for the public software investment effort from 2008 to 2014 and in 2014 he began focusing full-time on Maverick’s private investment efforts. He received his B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame (Summa Cum Laude, Hamilton Award recipient) where he was President of Keenan Hall and Treasurer of the Class of 2005. Prior to joining Maverick, Mr. Kinsella interned in the Alternative Investments Group at J.P. Morgan, the Notre Dame Endowment Office, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He serves as Chairman of the Maverick Capital Foundation.

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Paula Schmidlin

Global HR Executive

Sinohe Terrero

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Quid
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Sinohe Terrero is CFO and COO at Quid, a startup that uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to help the world’s largest organizations make decisions that matter.  Prior to joining Quid, Sinohe held executive level finance and operations roles at high-growth startup companies. Notably, he served as VP of Finance and Analytics at Etsy, an online marketplace, and SVP of Finance and Analytics at Indiegogo, a global crowdfunding platform.  Sinohe also worked for Citigroup as a VP in their Global Financial Services Division on a number of IPO filings. He’s a CPA, and received a BA in Accounting from Baruch College in NYC and an MBA from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch. Sinohe also served as an adjunct professor at the Zicklin, where he taught Financial Statement Analysis.
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New York Board

Avi Dorfman, Regional Board Chair

Vice President & Head of New Ventures, The D.E. Shaw Group
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Avi Dorfman is Vice President & Head of New Ventures at The D. E. Shaw Group, a global investment, research and technology development firm with over $45 billion under management. He previously served as a Vice President at Accretive, a venture capital firm with $500 million under management dedicated to building technology companies from the ground up, most notably Fandango and Accretive Health. In 2012, he co-founded Compass, a real estate technology platform that has since gone national and is valued at close to $2 billion. He began his career in the corporate finance and strategy practice at McKinsey & Company, and also spent summers in the investment banking division at Lehman Brothers and on the private investments team at Access Industries. In 2017, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Avi to his Technology Leadership Advisory Council. Prior to his national board appointment, Avi served as the founding chair of CollegeSpring’s New York regional board for two years, through which he was integral to the organization’s rapid growth on the east coast. He received a B.A. with first class honors from McGill University and an Masters in international finance and economic policy from Columbia University.

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Ankur Agrawal

Partner, McKinsey & Company
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Ankur Agrawal is a Partner at McKinsey & Company in the New York office. He is a leader of the North America Healthcare practice, with a focus on and passion for counseling healthcare companies on strategy and corporate finance. Ankur’s recent work includes corporate strategy, M&A and strategy/finance functional excellence at many leading healthcare companies. He has worked recently with several mid-size companies and helped them scale.

Ankur has authored articles on strategy and corporate finance topics in McKinsey on Finance and has presented his work at CFO/CSO round tables in Boston, New York and San Francisco. Ankur received his B. Eng. degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from IRIM&EE India. He was also designated a Chartered Engineer by the Engineering Council, UK. Ankur received his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar and Loeb Fellow in finance.

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Karen Bene

Director of Online Sales, LinkedIn
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Karen joined LinkedIn in 2011 and is currently a Director of Online Sales within the Marketing Solutions business, after having spent several years holding operations leadership roles. In 2015, Karen led LinkedIn’s Women’s Initiative, a program aimed at increasing diverse perspectives from high potential and qualified women in senior leadership roles through creating an inclusive workplace. Prior to LinkedIn, Karen spent 11 years in various management consulting, program management and operations roles with Cap Gemini and Advent Software. Karen earned a BA in Legal Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Alex Farman-Farmaian

Partner & Vice Chairman, Edgewood Management
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Alex is a Partner and Vice-Chairman of Edgewood, a leading asset management firm with over $11 billion under management, a role he has held since 2006. He is a member of Edgewood’s Investment Committee. Previously he was at W.P. Stewart & Co. for 19 years where he was a senior member of the U.S. and global equity research and portfolio management teams and was responsible for managing some 20% of the firm’s overall assets. He chaired the Investment Oversight Committee and managed the bulk of the firm’s global account assets. Alex received a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University in 1987. He was President of the Princeton Club of New York until November 2006 and belongs to the Economics Club of New York. He serves on the board of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC).

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Teena-Ann Sankoorikal

Levine Lee, LLP
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Teena-Ann V. Sankoorikal is a partner at Levine Lee, LLP. She has broad experience in litigation, with particular experience in intellectual property-related disputes, including patent, copyright, trade secret and breach of contract, as well as antitrust matters. Ms. Sankoorikal has represented both plaintiffs and defendants including Alarm.com (patent litigation), IBM (copyright, trade secret and antitrust), Qualcomm (patent), Warner Brothers Records (copyright) and Frank Reginald Brown (dispute relating to ownership interest in Snapchat), among others. Ms. Sankoorikal co-authored the Intellectual Property Law Answer Book, published by the Practising Law Institute, which is currently in its fourth edition.

Ms. Sankoorikal was recognized for her work in intellectual property litigation in the Leaders League Innovation – Technology & Intellectual Property Report in 2014. In 2013, Ms. Sankoorikal was named a “Rising Star” by both New York Law Journal and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). In 2012, she received the “Best Lawyers Under 40” award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association for her outstanding professional achievements and dedication to the Asian Pacific American community.

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Richard Steele

Principal, SYPartners
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Dickie is a principal at the management and design consulting firm SYPartners, where he’s partnered with senior leaders at IBM and other companies to establish new strategies and tools to transform the way they work.

He has over two decades of experience in corporate strategy and organizational consulting. As a partner at Marakon Associates, Dickie advised clients across the consumer goods, media, and financial services sectors. As a senior partner and head of the New York office at The Bridgespan Group, he worked in the social sector, tackling problems relating to education, technology, and global development for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Omidyar Network, and The United Nations Foundation, among others.

Dickie has written extensively on strategic management for publications including Harvard Business Review. He also teaches a course on leadership at The School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University and serves on the boards of The Atlantic Council and The DO School, a disruptive higher education start-up. He studied at Durham University and has an MBA with distinction from INSEAD.

He lives in New York and is married to the neuroscientist Sarah Stanley, with whom he has two children, Evie and Felix.

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Nada Usina

Managing Director, Russell Reynolds Associates
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Nada Usina is a member of Russell Reynolds Associates’ CEO/Board Services Practice and leads the Technology Sector for the firm across the Americas. She also co-leads the firm’s global Digital Convergence and Mobile Practice as well as the firm’s global Sports Practice. Her clients range from Fortune 500 media, entertainment, consumer and technology brands to venture capital and private equity-backed companies.

Prior to joining Russell Reynolds, Nada served as President of publicly-traded JumpTV, which merged with Neulion to become the world’s leading online video and IPTV multi-platform provider. Prior to that, Usina was President of XOS Broadband, which was acquired by JumpTV for over $60 million.

Nada has had responsibility for up to 1,500 employees. She served as General Manager and President, Nokia Canada, General Manager, North and South America for Nokia’s entertainment and media business, and was Director of Yahoo!’s entertainment business development and sales programs. She also led the sports business and the marketing team at Broadcast.com, which was acquired by Yahoo! for $5.7 billion during her tenure.

A native of Toronto, Canada, she moved to the U.S. and received her B.S. in Marketing and International Business and her M.S. from Florida State University.

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SoCal Board

Gene Sykes, Regional Board Chair

Co-Chairman of M&A and Global Technology, Media and Telecom Group, Goldman Sachs
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Gene Sykes is Co-Head of Global Mergers & Acquisitions and Co-Chairman of the Global Technology, Media and Telecom Group. Previously, he was Co-Chairman of Global Mergers & Acquisitions. Mr. Sykes is a member of the Management Committee and the Firmwide Client and Business Standards Committee. He joined the Mergers & Acquisitions Department in New York in 1984 and moved to Los Angeles in 1987. He became a Partner in 1992. Mr. Sykes is a trustee of the California Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a board member of Common Sense Media, a member of the Advisory Council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees, and a trustee of St. Matthew’s Parish School. He earned an MBA from Stanford University in 1984 and an AB from Harvard University in 1980.

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Ambassador Frank Baxter

Retired CEO and Chairman, Jefferies & Company
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Frank Baxter graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA degree in economies with honors in 1961. Before college he enlisted in the Air Force for four years. After college he worked at the Bank of California, San Francisco. In 1963 he joined J.S. Strauss and Company, San Francisco, which then was a major third market firm.

From 1974 until 2002 he was employed by Jefferies and Company, a global investment bank specializing in small and mid-cap companies. In 1984, he moved to London to start and act as Managing Director of Jefferies International. In 1987 he became CEO of Jefferies. That same year he started the Investment Technology Group. He is now Chairman Emeritus of the firm. He is a former director of the NASD and served as Chairman of the committee. He subsequently served on the Board of NASDAQ as a member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the CEO search committee. He is also a former director of the Securities Industry Association. He served as the United States Ambassador to Uruguay under George W. Bush from 2006 to 2009.

Mr. Baxter’s civic activities include: Chairman of the Board of Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, an organization dedicated to starting a number of charter schools in Los Angeles; Chairman of the Board of After-School All Stars, an after-school program for middle-school children; Board Member, California Institute of the Arts; Member, Governor Schwarzenegger’s Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth; Vice Chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles Opera, whose budget has grown 2 1/2 times during his tenure as President; Chairman of the Executive Committee, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is undergoing a major building campaign; Trustee, University of California Berkeley Foundation; and Trustee, I Have A Dream Foundation, LA Chapter.

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Jason Collins

Retired NBA Player, NBA Cares Ambassador
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Jason Collins is a retired American professional basketball player of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Collins attended Stanford University, where he was an All-American in the 2000-2001 season. Upon graduating with a B.A. from Stanford, Collins was selected in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft with the 18th overall pick. A 13-year veteran, Collins played center for six teams including New Jersey, Memphis, Minnesota, Atlanta, Boston, Washington and, most recently, the Brooklyn Nets (formerly the New Jersey Nets). While in the league, Collins’ teams earned 10 trips to the playoffs, including 2 NBA Finals appearances.

After the 2012-13 NBA season concluded, Collins publicly came out as gay in a cover story for Sports Illustrated, becoming the first male active player in any of the four major American professional sports to announce that he is gay. President Obama expressed his gratitude to Collins for his courageous announcement and said he “couldn’t be prouder” of Collins, recognizing this as a point of progress for the LGBT community, and one more step in America’s goal to treat everyone fairly and with respect. Collins has traveled the country with the mission of empowering people to live their lives as their true selves, and has become an active member of numerous charities, foundations and organizations. In 2013, GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, honored Collins with the Courage Award at the GLSEN Respect Awards. In 2014, Logo TV honored Collins with its inaugural Trailblazer Award. Also in 2014, the Matthew Shepard Foundation honored Collins with its Making a Difference Award at its annual Honors Gala. In April 2014, Collins was featured on the cover of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” In January of 2015, the National Civil Rights Museum honored Collins with a Sports Legacy Award.

Jason is an Ambassador for the NBA Cares— spreading goodwill on behalf of the NBA with its players, community and corporate partners. He also served on President Obama’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, which worked to motivate Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle via physical activity and nutrition. Collins resides in Los Angeles, California.

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Shomik Dutta

Co-Founder and Partner, Higher Ground Labs
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Shomik has built a diverse career in politics, renewable energy, and finance. He is a Founding Partner at Higher Ground Labs, a seed-stage accelerator focused on finding and supporting better political technology for progressive campaigns. He is a veteran of several Democratic campaigns and served as the Mid-Atlantic Finance Director for the ’08 Obama Campaign. Shomik worked in the Obama White House as special assistant to the White House Counsel and then served as an Advisor to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Shomik later worked on President Obama’s re-election campaign as a fundraiser. In 2013, Shomik co-founded a private equity firm focused on renewable energy and infrastructure. He oversaw the planning, financing, and development of two utility-scale solar plants in Asia and in Sub Saharan Africa. Shomik holds a B.A. from Williams College and a M.B.A from The Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania. Shomik recently served as the Chairman of the Board of RePublic Schools, a Charter Management Organization devoted to providing high-quality education to low-income students in the Deep South.

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Sarah Ketterer

CEO, Causeway Capital
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Sarah Ketterer is the chief executive officer of Causeway, portfolio manager for the firm’s fundamental and absolute returns strategies, and is responsible for investment research across all sectors. Ms. Ketterer is a member of Causeway’s operating committee. She co- founded the firm in June 2001. From November 1996 to June 2001, Ms. Ketterer worked for the Hotchkis and Wiley division of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (“HW-MLIM”). At HW-MLIM, she was a managing director and co- head of the firm’s HW-MLIM International and Global Value team. From 1990 to 1996, Ms. Ketterer was a portfolio manager at Hotchkis and Wiley, where she co-founded the international equity product. Ms. Ketterer is currently a director of the Music Center Foundation, the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, and the Broad Stage. Ms. Ketterer has a BA in Economics and Political Science from Stanford University and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School, Dartmouth College.

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John Kissick

Retired Co-Founder and Senior Partner, Ares Management
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John H. Kissick a Co-Founder and retired Senior Partner at Ares Private Equity Group, Ares Management GP LLC, and Ares Capital Corporation. He is Limited Partner of Peak View Partners, LLC. He also served at Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund I, L.P.; Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund II, L.P. and Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund III, L.P. Prior to joining Ares in 1997, he co-founded Apollo Global Management, LLC in 1990 and served as its Principal. He oversaw and led the capital markets activities of Apollo Management, particularly focusing on high yield bonds, leveraged loans, distressed debt and other fixed income assets. Prior to 1990, Mr. Kissick served as a Senior Executive Vice President at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., where he began in 1975, eventually heading its Corporate Finance Department. Mr. Kissick serves on the Board of Directors of City Ventures LLC since April 2013.

He serves on the boards of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Stanford University Athletic Department and its Graduate School of Education, and L.A.’s Promise. He served as Director of Converse, Inc. since 1994; Quality Distribution Inc. since June 1998; and Quality Distribution LLC since May 2002. He served as Director of Florsheim, Inc. from 1994 to August 2002. Mr. Kissick graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and with highest honors from the Stanford Business School with a M.B.A. in Finance.

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Scott McConnell

Principal, Ares Relationship Management Group
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Scott is a Principal and Relationship Manager for North America in the Ares Relationship Management Group. Prior to joining Ares in 2007, Mr. McConnell was a Manager in the Centralized Interest Rate Risk Group at IndyMac Bancorp, Inc. Previously, Mr. McConnell was a Senior Associate in the Audit practice at KPMG, LLP, where he focused on the banking and financial services industry. Mr. McConnell holds a B.S., cum laude, from Loyola Marymount University in Accounting. He also holds a B.A. from Loyola Marymount University in Information Systems and Quantitative Management. Mr. McConnell holds a CPA license (inactive) and is a CFA® charterholder.

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Dale Okuno

CEO, Okuno Associates, Inc.
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Dale Okuno’s professional credentials include: FINRA Series 7 and 24, Investment Advisor Representative, Registered Principal with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. (TFA), Chartered Life Underwriter, and Life Member of the Million Dollar Round Table. He currently directs Okuno Associates, Inc., an Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction of TFA.

Dale was born, raised and still resides in Pasadena, with his wife, Ayako, and their two children. He graduated from San Jose State University with BA degrees in Psychology and Philosophy, and began working at Okuno Associates in 1975, becoming managing general agent in 1982.

In 1986 he co-founded E-Z Data, Inc., serving as its CEO, to develop practice management software especially designed for financial advisors and financial institutions. In 2009 E-Z Data was acquired by E-bix, and today its software continues to provide solutions to over 100,000 insurance and financial advisors worldwide.

Dale serves on the board of the Pacific Commerce Bank, Puroast Coffee Company and a number of technology companies. His community activities include supporting the Music Center of Los Angeles, the Pasadena Jazz Institute (chair) and the Alliance College Ready Public Schools (board member).

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Wendy Wachtell

President and CEO, Joseph Drown Foundation
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Wendy Wachtell is President and CEO of the Joseph Drown Foundation, a Los Angeles-based private foundation that distributes approximately $5,000,000 annually to nonprofits in the Los Angeles area. She currently serves on a variety of Boards, including the Joseph Drown Foundation, Los Angeles Urban Funders, The John Thomas Dye School, The Accelerated School, and the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California.

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Bay Area Young Professionals Board

Chloe Breider

Associate, IVP

Bobby Christianson

Associate, Goldman Sachs

Nhi Duon

Marketing Manager, Entelo

Patrick Fong

TPG Capital

Robert Sternberg

Associate, Accel

Oscar Wong

Associate, GIC

Timothy Wang

SoCal Young Professionals Board

Trisha Ananiades (Board Co-Chair)

Counsel, The Walt Disney Company

Kelly Marshall (Board Co-Chair)

Senior HR Consultant, Capital Group

William Brien

Associate, Gibson Dunn

Dana Craig

Senior Associate, Gibson Dunn

Kaela Farrise

Admissions and Diversity Program Coordinator, Independent School Alliance

Keith Goss

Programming Operations, Roku

James Huynh

M.P.H. Community Health Sciences & M.A. Asian American Studies Student , UCLA

Alexander Jacobson

Management Consultant, PwC Consulting

Peter Wyman

Associate, Goldman Sachs