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Our Team

  • Alexis Llamas
    Alexis Llamas Director of Youth Programs

    Alexis Llamas

    As the Director of Youth Programs, Alexis Llamas works in partnership with the programs team to develop and deliver innovative leadership development programs for youth. Most recently an Associate Program Officer at the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Alexis brings fourteen years of programming experience through data-driven program design, coordinating community resources and partnerships, and facilitating participant leadership and self-advocacy. 

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    My purpose to power high quality, equitable learning environments for young people, so that they can thrive and maximize their agency and voice. 

    What’s your favorite leadership quote? 

    “Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others.” – Marian Wright Edelman

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    Wandering around a neighborhood grocery store looking for snacks. 

     

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  • Angela Pang
    Angela Pang Director of Program Management

    Angela Pang

    As Coro’s Director of Program Management, Angela Pang works with the program team to deliver innovative leadership development programs, including Women in Leadership and Water Solutions Network. Angela has deep experience as a media, community relations, and event planning expert. She most recently served as the Director of Operations for the Asian Business League of San Francisco, managing the nonprofit’s efforts to engage, inspire, and connect leaders within the Asian American/Pacific Islander business community. During her time with the AsianWeek Foundation, Angela also helped organize the largest Pan-Asian celebration nationwide, the Asian Heritage Street Celebration, and coordinated the street fair’s publicity, media sponsorships, social media, and more. She is formerly a member of the San Francisco Hep B Free campaign, a citywide effort to raise awareness about the importance of screening and vaccinating all Asian and Pacific Islanders for hepatitis B. She volunteers on the Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration Committee, which organizes San Francisco’s official celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month each May. She’s a Bay Area native and holds a B.A. in English and Communication from the University of California, Davis.

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    I am passionate about doing work that makes a positive impact in our community.

    What’s your favorite leadership quote?

    “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    I love making my friends and family smile with personalized artwork and handknit scarves, homebrewing beer, hiking, traveling, playing board games, and spending time with my loved ones. I also have a passion for dim sum, boba, and sriracha!

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  • Clifford Yee Senior Director of Training

    Clifford Yee

    Cliff Yee, MSW, is a native San Franciscan with over 20 years of experience in youth leadership development, community organizing, and nonprofit management. As Coro’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Training, as well as Director of Youth Programs, Cliff facilitates and manages programs for high school youth, community leaders, federal employees, and survivor leaders working to prevent human trafficking. Prior to Coro, Cliff worked for Asian Health Services and the North Beach-Chinatown Beacon Center, where he coordinated a teen pregnancy prevention program, managed a teen clinic, started a school based health center at Oakland High School, and designed and launched The Spot Youth Center in Oakland. Cliff serves on two local boards: The Richmond Neighborhood Center and OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates: San Francisco Bay Chapter. Cliff graduated with a Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan.

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    I am inspired by my mentors who have invested in my growth and paved the way for me to grow in my confidence to initiate positive change. My role at Coro gives me a similar platform to support individuals (from a 14-year-old high school student to a mid-level manager in federal government) to discover their full potential and leverage their confidence to impact communities. 

    What’s your favorite leadership quote?

    “You cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself as belonging to it and responsible for changing it.” – Grace Lee Boggs

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work? 

    Spending time with my family or trying out new restaurants.

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  • Courtney Young-Law Vice President of Programs and Leadership Training

    Courtney Young-Law

    As Vice President of Programs and Leadership Training at Coro, Courtney Young-Law manages the Programs Team, a dynamic group of eight people who create and deliver 14+ programs and leadership labs that engage more than 1,000 people each year. She facilitates leadership learning for the UC-Coro Systemwide Leadership Collaborative and the UC Berkeley Faculty Leadership Academy. She has developed and facilitated programs for water leaders in California, for human trafficking survivor leaders and anti-trafficking professionals, and for organizations looking to create cultures of collaboration. A native Texan, she has called San Francisco home for almost 20 years.

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    I’m inspired by the capacity for growth and change that is within all of us. I am privileged to witness people engage in this growth in Coro programs as they take time to reflect on themselves, to make meaning of their work and goals in a community, and to harness the energy of that community for positive change.

    What’s your favorite leadership quote?

    “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    At my kitchen table eating dinner with my family, playing a board game, or creating some crafty seasonal decorations for our home (#nailedit).

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  • Debbie Franco
    Debbie Franco Managing Director, Water Solutions Network

    Debbie Franco

    As Managing Director of the Water Solutions Network, Debbie coordinates and leads collaboration among WSN participants, the Advisory Council, and partners to expand the network and its impact. Before joining Coro, she worked for almost ten years in the California Governor’s Office, most recently as the Senior Advisor for Water and Rural Affairs. She brings 15 years of experience in the water sector, including collaborating on the Human Right to Water, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, and drought response. Debbie got her start in the water sector at the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, where she ultimately served as the Policy Director. She holds a Master’s degree in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine, and a BA from the University of California, Davis.

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    The earth is changing faster than humans are changing. Innovative leadership is essential to our survival.

    What’s your favorite leadership quote or book? 

    “There is always light, / if only we’re brave enough to see it / If only we’re brave enough to be it.” — Amanda Gorman

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    During the pandemic, I am most often home with my husband, two dogs, and two cats enjoying the garden and doing home improvement projects.

     

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  • Dharmishta Rood Program Director, Fellows Program in Public Affairs

    Dharmishta Rood

    As Program Director of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, Dharmishta oversees selection, leadership development curriculum, and placements. She brings a range of experience to her role, from fellowships in academia to leading a startup accelerator for companies that work with the government to facilitating a global community of 360,000 people across 159 countries. 

    Dharmishta holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with a BA in Design | Media Arts.

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    I personally see leadership as a way to be of service to the world. Teaching others (and learning from them as well) is one of the ways that I can give back and be of service to others.

    What’s your favorite book about leadership?

    As a leader, learning to manage your own mind is an essential quality. My favorite “leadership book” won’t show up in the leadership section of the bookstore — it’s The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. This book describes relatable and easy techniques to “manage” one’s own mind. Learning this can help leaders everywhere to become more effective.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    I’m likely to be volunteering somewhere in the Bay Area, doing creative projects in a number of different modalities (from cooking, to sewing, to creative writing, to photography) — or hosting social events.

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  • Erika Carlsen Senior Director of Training

    Erika Carlsen

    Erika is passionate about leadership training and development to serve the public good. As Senior Director of Training, Erika works primarily with Coro’s mid-career and early executive leaders. Prior to joining Coro she worked at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she oversaw nine leadership development fellowship programs and the launch of the U.S. Latino Leadership Fellowship and the Lisa Garcia Quiroz Fellowship. She previously held positions at Rockwood Leadership Institute and has served on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Latino Alumni Alliance and the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Vesper Society, a private operating foundation. She is an alumna of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs and the Institute for International Public Policy fellowship.

    Erika holds a BA from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Divinity with a focus on meditation, mindfulness, and leadership from Harvard Divinity School.

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    We spend so much of our time and energy at work. Sometimes the work that we do professionally has meaning, and other times we may struggle to find that meaning. I work in leadership development to walk alongside leaders as they seek to find a deeper meaning in the work they do, and do that work more skillfully.

    What’s your favorite book about leadership?

    The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Ronald A. Heifetz, Marty Linsky, and Alexander Grashow (Grashow is an alum of the New York Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs).

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    Spending time in nature, remaining active, enjoying time with my loved ones, and hanging out with my two black cats, Yuri and Kahlo.

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  • Genanne Walsh
    Genanne Walsh Director of Communications and Strategic Projects

    Genanne Walsh

    As Director of Communications and Strategic Projects, Genanne works closely with the External Affairs Team to tell the story of Coro’s impact, programs, and network, playing a key role in the organization’s annual report, website, institutional fundraising efforts, collateral, and other initiatives. She has more than 15 years of experience grant writing, copywriting, editing, and consulting for organizations across the Bay Area and beyond. She’s also a prize-winning novelist and freelance editorial consultant for creative writers. 

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    Coro’s approach to leadership is empowering, egalitarian, and collaborative. I believe bringing more voices to the table can help move us toward a brighter future.

    What’s your favorite leadership book?

    Coro: Creation, Concepts, Contributions. This book contains a wealth of information about Coro’s early history and the thinking that went into the organization’s evolution. It’s invaluable in my work telling the story of Coro’s past, present, and future.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    Hiking with my wife and dogs, or hanging out at the dog park. Have I mentioned that I love dogs?

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  • Jeanette Freiberg
    Jeanette Freiberg Program Manager

    Jeanette Freiberg

    As a Program Manager at Coro, Jeanette oversees the recruitment, selection, and coordination of placements for the Fellows Program in Public Affairs. She also supports Coro’s new Workforce Leadership Network program. A Bay Area native and recent graduate of the Fellows Program in Public Affairs in Northern California, Jeanette is motivated by a desire to build community across difference and lead with radical empathy. She holds a BA in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. 

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    I love the idea that leadership is an inside-out processthat self-knowledge and self-compassion enhance one’s ability to advocate for and collaborate with others. 

    What’s your favorite leadership quote?

    “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    Taking long walks while listening to podcasts, trying out new recipes in my kitchen, or collecting four leaf clovers in a park (I have over 300 pressed in a large encyclopedia!).

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  • Laney Whitcanack CEO

    Laney Whitcanack

    Under Laney’s leadership, Coro has created more than 20 new programs and partnerships, increasing our program reach and impact across Northern California. With more than 20 years of experience as a social impact leader in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, Laney has a rich history with Coro. She graduated from the flagship Fellows Program in Public Affairs in the 1990s and was Director of Community Programs in the early 2000s. Before returning to Coro as CEO in 2016, Laney was a founder and executive in the tech sector. She frequently speaks and writes about leadership, social impact, and value visibility. Laney lives in San Francisco with her husband, two children, and one mischievous dog.

    How do you create impact in your role at Coro?

    I support my team and board to do their best, most transformative work — and I strive to get Coro training to more people.

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    The possible. Most of us don’t have formalized opportunities to practice and refresh our toolbox for the most essential leadership tools. Coro provides these opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds.

    What’s your favorite leadership book?

    Negotiating at Work by Deborah Kolb. This book transformed my view of negotiation, from something to feel intimidated by to seeing it as creative problem solving. It opened my eyes to the many ways I negotiate every day.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    Playing board games with my family.

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  • Masharika Maddison Senior Director of Training

    Masharika Maddison

    As Senior Director of Training for Coro Northern California, Masharika facilitates the UC Women’s Initiative for Professional Development and Coro’s Women in Leadership program. Before Coro, she founded LightWell Coaching + Consulting, focusing her practice on supporting mission-driven leaders and organizations. Previously, she served as a Presidential Management Fellow and worked with Secretary Condoleezza Rice in the U.S. State Department and as Executive Director of Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco. Masharika has deep professional roots in the public and nonprofit sectors and is civically involved in her community.

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    Leadership development work provides me with an opportunity to be an architect of human potential. I believe in the power of people to create positive and supportive relationships with themselves and each other in service of building equitable, thriving communities.

    What’s your favorite leadership quote?

    “People will forget what you said and what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    I am the primary parent to my two sons (my partner travels a lot for work). We enjoy lots of laughs and are making awesome memories together! I also enjoy spending time running the roads and trails of San Francisco and Marin Counties.

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  • Nancy Shemick Program Faculty

    Nancy Shemick

    Nancy has been working in the nonprofit health arena since 1977. Her consulting practice is driven by the mission to increase access to quality health care for all persons, regardless of their health status or ability to pay. A focus of her practice is centered on improving leadership and long range planning for health care delivery systems. Nancy served as a Maternal and Child Health Educator in Chile as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Subsequently, she worked in Costa Rica and in Washington, DC as a project manager in international development. She is bilingual in Spanish. Ms. Shemick was Director for a Washington, DC community mental health center serving Central American immigrants and refugees from Southeast Asia and Africa. Later, she worked at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland, California, and then served as a Board member. She is still active as a fundraiser for the organization. After receiving a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Ms. Shemick was a Coro Fellow in San Francisco. Nancy was employed by Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Regional headquarters and later, in their local service areas in a variety of leadership positions. She is a founding member of the Kaiser Permanente Latino Association. Upon leaving Kaiser Permanente, Ms. Shemick served as Director of Business Development for Fox Systems Consulting (a Medicaid Consulting firm) and then became an independent consultant in 1998. As an independent consultant, she designs strategic plans for public and non-profit health and human services organizations, provides capacity building and leadership training for their boards of directors, and supports executives as they implement change.

    She resides in Alameda, California.

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  • Nnenna Ozobia
    Nnenna Ozobia Senior Director of Training

    Nnenna Ozobia

    As a Senior Director of Training at Coro, Nnenna Ozobia works in partnership with the programs team to deliver innovative leadership and professional development programs. Previously, Nnenna worked at Kaiser Permanente as a top-rated facilitator and developer of executive education programs in English and Spanish for global health care leaders and, subsequently, as a patient experience advisor. For over 17 years, Nnenna has engaged in work related to diversity, equity and inclusion. She has led inclusive, clinical research, education, and outreach initiatives for the City and County of San Francisco, served as a policy director, consultant, and researcher for nonprofits focused on socio-economic access and intercultural education, and guided stakeholders through grant proposals to obtain millions in financing from international financial institutions.

    In addition to her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford and her master’s degree in international economics from Johns Hopkins, she is a graduate of the Coro Southern California Fellows Program in Public Affairs.

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    The ability to support others on a journey to challenge their assumptions and fulfill their highest potential―and to personally learn and grow exponentially in the process.

    What’s your favorite leadership quote?

    “If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” ― Lilla Watson

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    Taking long walks with my favorite podcast hosts.

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  • Shaya Kara
    Shaya Kara Senior Manager of External Affairs

    Shaya Kara

    As Senior Manager of External Affairs, Shaya maintains information and stewards relationships to support Coro’s impact, visibility, and financial resources. She most recently served as the Director of Community Development at the Peninsula Family YMCA. As an alumna of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, she values the influence that Coro’s tools and networks have had on her own life and strives to expand that impact in her role as a fundraiser and storyteller. Shaya has a passion for connecting people to something larger than themselves, and is excited to continue that work at Coro.

    What inspires you to work in leadership development?

    I believe that good leaders make for more equitable societies. Equity is all about meeting people where they are and empowering them to get where they want to go. Without the support of centered and compassionate leaders in my life, I would not be where I am today. I’m inspired to work in leadership development because I’m passionate about lifting barriers and raising consciousness.

    What’s your favorite leadership quote? 

    “Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” ― Rumi

    Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not at work?

    On Wednesdays and Sundays, you’ll find me at the Farmers Market by City Hall in San Francisco. Otherwise, I’ll be in a sunny patch of grass, listening to an audiobook or meditating. 

     

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  • Tracey Jones Honorary Coro Historian

    Tracey Jones

    After 22 years of dedication and service to Coro, in 2018 Tracey Jones transitioned out of her staff role to spend more time with her family. We are delighted that she will remain connected as the honorary Coro Historian, and will help us with special projects as they align with her schedule. Tracey was “born into Coro.” Her father, Jerry Jones, a Coro alum, served Coro for 19 years as Executive Director during the 1950s and ‘60s. Countless Coro alumni and staff have benefitted from Tracey’s competent expertise, incredible memory for detail, unfailing kindness, and warm sense of humor.

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Board of Directors

  • Aimee Brown
    Aimee Brown Mentor Social Entrepreneurs Miller Center Global Social Benefit Institute of Santa Clara University

    Aimee Brown

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  • Bill Jackson
    Bill Jackson Founder Family Engagement Labs

    Bill Jackson

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  • Chris Patterson
    Chris Patterson Director of State Government Affairs Pacific Gas & Electric

    Chris Patterson

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  • Christina Giguere President Inner Spark Foundation

    Christina Giguere

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  • Derick Brown
    Derick Brown Senior Director of the Leo T. McCarthy Center University of San Francisco

    Derick Brown

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  • Diana Bricknell Senior Program Manager Google, LLC

    Diana Bricknell

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  • Diana Vermeire
    Diana Vermeire Executive Director, Office of Inclusive Excellence & University Diversity Officer CSU Sacramento

    Diana Vermeire

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  • Evonne M. Silva Senior Program Director, Criminal Justice and Workforce Development Code for America

    Evonne M. Silva

    Evonne works as the Senior Program Director for Criminal Justice and Workforce Development at Code for America. In this role, she manages program and partnership staff and leads cross-functional teams of engineering, design, and product staff to develop civic technology aimed at transforming the criminal justice and workforce development systems. Towards this end, she oversees forging meaningful partnerships with local and state governments, community-based organizations, and stakeholders across the country; designs and implements impactful policy and advocacy strategies; and advises on service-delivery developments that seek to improve the way governments deliver key services to the people who need it most.

    Previously, Evonne served as Compliance Counsel & Director of People Systems at the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC), advising the organization on a range of internal legal matters and overseeing risk management and compliance programs while driving process improvements across business functions and leading the HR and IT teams. She also worked as the ACLU-NC’s Legal-Policy Department Manager & Attorney.

    Before joining the ACLU-NC, Evonne worked as a staff attorney at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) where she implemented the Immigrant Consumer Justice Project. Evonne has also served as an investigator with the Criminal Justice Clinic at Georgetown University School of Law and paralegal with the Death Penalty Clinic at U.C. Berkeley School of Law. She led a statewide advocacy initiative as a Nutrition Policy Advocate with California Food Policy Advocates.

    Evonne is a graduate of UCLA School of Law, where she was selected into the Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and enrolled in the Critical Race Specialization. While in law school, Evonne served as a judicial extern with the Honorable Edward M. Chen, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. She was appointed to serve as a member on the State Bar of California’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services.

    In addition to serving as a member of the CORO Board of Directors ​Evonne is a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley School of Law where she teaches Legal Ethics to second- and third-year law students.

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  • Hank Dempsey
    Hank Dempsey Head of Public Policy, California Snap, Inc.

    Hank Dempsey

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  • Jenna Narayanan
    Jenna Narayanan VP Development NextGen America

    Jenna Narayanan

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  • Ji-Ho Park Investment and Finance Associate San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund

    Ji-Ho Park

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  • Lawland Long
    Lawland Long CEO FACESSF

    Lawland Long

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  • Leti McNeill Light
    Leti McNeill Light Executive Director, Principal Gifts & Strategic Initiatives University of California, Berkeley

    Leti McNeill Light

    Leti McNeill Light is a leader in transformational higher education philanthropic partnerships, often in the form of cross-cutting, multidisciplinary initiatives.

    As Executive Director, Principal Gifts & Strategic Initiatives at UC Berkeley, Leti and her team collaborate with a wide range of academic and program leaders, and work with the world’s leading philanthropists to achieve their vision through partnerships with the university. Over the last 20 years, Leti has led philanthropic development efforts at Cornell University, UCLA, and now UC Berkeley.

    Leti is also the President of SIGAP, the Strategic Initiatives Group for Advancement Professionals. SIGAP is a national community organized by and for fundraising professionals dedicated to securing transformational support for large-scale institutional priorities, interdisciplinary research initiatives, institutes, and centers. In addition to serving on the board for Coro Northern California, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Headlands Center for the Arts.

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  • Marianna Pisano
    Marianna Pisano Senior Vice President JP Morgan Chase

    Marianna Pisano

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  • Minden Beach
    Minden Beach Senior Director, Learning & Development First Republic Bank

    Minden Beach

    Minden serves at the Sr. Director of Learning & Development at First Republic Bank. She oversees bank-wide training, leadership development, on-boarding, and professional development. Previously at PG&E, she directed leadership development, university recruitment strategy, and diversity workforce
    development programs. Prior to transitioning to the business sector, Minden spent 15 years developing
    and leading programs for youth and adults in various nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay
    Area.

    Minden is also a Certified Executive and Leadership Development Coach. Her focus is on strength-based
    coaching and she works with clients to build self-awareness, identify their unique leadership style, and
    align their actions with personal and professional goals.

    Minden has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her
    Masters of Public Administration from San Francisco State University.

    Minden has a long history with Coro. She is a graduate of the Community Fellows Program (2003) and
    served on the Coro training staff for several years. She was the Director of the Coro Fellows Program and
    then transitioned to Sr. Director of Leadership Development responsible for developing key partnerships
    with large public-sector organizations and adapting Coro’s curriculum to various audiences.

    Minden lives in Pacifica with her wife and twin boys. She loves camping, dancing, and hanging out at the
    beach with her family.

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  • Mothusi Pahl President, UAV Recon Chief Commercial Officer, B3\

    Mothusi Pahl

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  • Rebecca Hutman
    Rebecca Hutman Program and Impact Manager San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund

    Rebecca Hutman

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  • Sean Gibson
    Sean Gibson Head of Communications and Partnerships Dragonfly Group

    Sean Gibson

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Coro Centers

Coro Centers bring innovative leadership training to diverse youth and adults across the country. Together, we offer more than 40 leadership programs and are supported by almost 200 institutional funding partners and thousands of generous individual and alumni donors.

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