Spring 2023 Workforce Leadership Network Participants
AJ found her passion for youth work at the age of 15, working as a day camp counselor in her hometown of Long Beach, California! Since then, she’s had the joy and privilege of building and leading several youth-serving programs in the city and working with numerous amazing teams. Her life’s work is to be complicit in the success of BIPOC youth and staff, and creating intentional spaces where anyone can grow into who they are meant to be. As the Workforce Development Program Manager for the San Francisco Beacon Initiative, AJ is dedicated to putting mission-driven vision into practice and working to support the staff of such vital programming throughout the city.
Alix is California born daughter of immigrants. She has a background in Botany and has extensive experience teaching and writing curriculum among other handy skills. Alix’s current focus is creating pathways of economic empowerment through workforce development within the cannabis industry, for people who have been otherwise left out or overlooked. Although this task is no easy defeat, she is excited to be placed in positions that will develop her professional skills with project management, cost benefit analysis, and effective communication among stakeholders.
Alli Chagi-Starr is a strategic consultant for the Oakland Workforce Development Board and the new Director for Community Research Marketing and Promotion at C2C: Impact Accelerator at Mills College at Northeastern University. Alli has served in leadership roles focused on economic equity and inclusion at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Green For All, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (now Common Future), East Bay College Fund, and the Center for Transformative Action. Alli holds an MBA with an emphasis on Social Impact and Business Innovation. She is a former Fuse Corps executive fellow in workforce development and serves on the board of Civicorps. Alli is dedicated to working collectively to craft deep solutions for social equity and community empowerment.
Amos Lim is currently the Economic Justice Program Manager at Chinese for Affirmative Action. He has been working in the workforce development arena for the past 3.5 years providing LEP community members with employment services and works to remove multiple barriers to employment for the Chinese LEP community living in San Francisco. Amos brings with him extensive experience as a LGBTQQ and Immigration activist, issues that he cares deeply about since he immigrated in 1999 to San Francisco. He co-founded Out4Immigration, a grassroots LGBTQ Immigration Organization and has served on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee for six years as well as the City College of San Francisco’s Bond Oversight Committee. Amos currently lives with his husband and daughter in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco
Ann is the Director of Career Success at 10,000 Degrees where she leads the organization’s career programming and partnerships in order to support college students and emerging professionals along their career journeys. Ann has held a variety of roles in schools and nonprofits focused on educational equity, career attainment, and economic empowerment. Through the Workforce Network, Ann hopes to gain insights into workforce development strategies and collaborate with others in the field.
Chance Kawar is a lifelong Californian, born and raised in sunny San Diego and currently residing in foggy San Francisco. He graduated from Pitzer College in 2017, with a Political Science major and a Spanish minor, and is an alumnus of the Coro Fellowship for Public Affairs in Los Angeles. Chance is the Operations & People Manager for Greenbelt Alliance, an environmental nonprofit focused on climate change resiliency and advocacy in the Bay Area. He’s a National Parks enthusiast, who spends most of his free time hiking, camping, and traveling! Chance lives with his boyfriend and their rescue dog, Smokey.
Christina Gilyutin is a community builder who most recently spent over a decade at REDF, a venture philanthropy organization that invests in employment-focused social enterprises. While there, Christina created an accelerator tailored for leaders of these types of businesses, the first type of program like this in the nation. She also created the REDF Community, a membership network of founders, entrepreneurs, and executive directors who focus on employment and workforce development. She is passionate about creating learning experiences, networks, and workplaces that foster true belonging and allow everyone to thrive both professionally and personally. As the daughter of Soviet Jewish refugees, she has always believed in the power of access, education, and work to uplift people and communities. Christina has a MBA/MS from the University of Michigan and a BA from Stanford University.
Danny leads participatory research for a cooperative economy. He is developing a worker-led quality jobs investment fund. Most recently he was Lead Researcher at Turning Basin Labs, a staffing co-op based in California, facilitating a range of worker- and user-led studies on job quality, workforce development, and economic mobility. Danny has worked with a variety of community-owned digital tools including Up & Go, a platform for booking home and office cleaning services in NYC. He has also done applied research to expand wage claim access with the California Department of Labor and grassroots organizers, and to streamline data analytics at American Express. To support economic justice in business development, Danny created the Ownership Model Canvas with the co-op accelerator Start.coop. Danny believes everyone can do influential and politically imaginative research.
David Lopez earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from UC Berkeley. David has been involved in the youth and education nonprofit space for 10+ years as it is his passion to help ensure every student has the resources and attention they need to get access to higher education regardless of their immigration or socioeconomic status. David in HR professional with 7+ years experience and passion for DEIB from all aspects of the employee lifecycle with an emphasis in recruitment, onboarding, and development. David’s purpose in joining the Workforce Leadership Network is to help grow his leadership skills and to build a network that can collectively use their skills to support and positive impact their communities.
Gian is Director of Workforce Development at Acumen, an Oakland, California based engineering consulting firm. Referred to as Acumen’s “people engineer,” Gian’s chief focus centers on maximizing human potential by providing mission critical leadership in human resource development, recruitment, and retention. Prior to Acumen Gian was an Adjunct Professor of Career Planning & Development at San Francisco State University, and in another lifetime, worked in the music industry as a personal manager and consultant where his real “people leadership” skills were developed and honed. His notable clients and affiliations included M.C. Hammer, Kehlani, Adrian Marcel, and music producer Cori Jacobs (Beyonce/Pussycat Dolls).
Glenn is the Principal Workforce Policy Analyst for the San Francisco Office of Economic & Workforce Development overseeing the Workforce Policy & Planning Unit. Previously, Glenn served as the Citywide Lead for TAYSF, an effort designed to improve outcomes for transitional age young people through intentional policy alignment and ensuring youth voice at the table. His work has focused on developing and supporting citywide efforts to improve outcomes and expand financial empowerment for disconnected, system-involved and underserved young people. He has led numerous efforts to reform approaches to working with those who are justice-involved, impacted by violence, need alternative educational pathways, or lack work authorization. He is the Past Board Chair for the National Youth Employment Coalition.
James Kealohi (he/him) is the Director of Employment Services at the SF LGBT Center, where he oversees events, workshops, job search support and other employment programs to assist community members in finding supportive employment opportunities. James’s approach to employment programs includes an intersectional framework that is shaped by his educational background and personal experience. James received his Bachelor’s from UC Berkeley, where he studied Gender & Women’s Studies and was President of the University’s queer fraternity, Sigma Epsilon Omega. Most recently, James was working in the disability space with a nonprofit focused on assisting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities reach their goals, where he was responsible for managing employment and internship programming throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. At both his last and current organization, James has served on the Racial Equity Planning Committee.
Jennifer-Christine Madamba has been a part of the Regional Workforce Development Team at SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) since April 2022 collaborating with education and community partners who are doing amazing work in the greater Sacramento region. Prior to her current role, Jennifer-Christine has managed SMUD’s award winning high school and college internship programs as well as their scholarship programs for 6 years. She continues to stay involved in the early talent space as a Program Manager for the Talentboard Career Prep Series helping college students apply and prepare for their next internship or full-time role as well as being a Community Organizer for the Sacramento Region in URx bringing together early talent professionals to share best practices. Jennifer-Christine has also been a Facilitator for #IamRemarkable since 2021. #IamRemarkable is a Google initiative empowering women and other underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond.
Jessica is a Program Associate at Rising Sun Center for Opportunity working on the Opportunity Build pre-apprenticeship program. She brings over 15 years of experience in program management, curriculum development, and teacher training in non-profit, higher education and international development contexts. Talk to her about upending segmented labor markets; the power and limitations of collective ownership; data management for non-profit programming; community engagement and outreach; and how tourism ‘development’ results in displacement and dispossession.
Joe Flores leads a suite of Reentry Initiatives & Programs for the California Workforce Development Board that serves the formerly incarcerated / justice-involved, a population, historically, that has been the most difficult to serve. Under Flores’ leadership, he applied and won a Federal Department of Labor & Bureau of Prisons Grant for his reentry team to serve as Technical Advisors that will create a National Model for the federally incarcerated population to obtain trade certifications prior to release. In January 2023, Flores was named a Latino Change Maker by the Sacramento Bee for his reentry work and city park advocacy, while showcasing his Lucha Spirit.
Marion Araque is a results-driven leader with a track-record of enhancing performance through inclusively designed training programs to advance organizational goals and objectives. In her work she consults with startups, nonprofit executives, VC funds & with early career talent around workforce development. With a Masters in Education in Teaching & Curriculum, from Boston University, her passions are leading and training teams & leaders, advocating for diversity and inclusion (DEIB) in the workplace, supporting workforce development initiatives and making data-driven decisions to drive meaningful and quantitative impact.
Mikaela Santos works at World Education Services (WES) Global Talent Bridge as the Program Manager of State and Local Strategic Initiatives. In this role, she manages two national programs to support the development and progress of goals for workforce inclusion for immigrants and refugees. In addition, Mikaela is very passionate about using data and research to inform decision-making and advocate for change. She earned a master’s degree in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine, and an undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology and Politics from New York University. Mikaela recently moved to San Francisco, after living in Southern California and New York, and is excited to get involved in her community.
Nicole Rodriguez is the Associate Director of San Francisco YouthWorks- a youth workforce program of JCYC that employs 11th and 12th grade San Franciscans to work with San Francisco City Departments. In this role, Nicole provides workforce development and hands-on job training to youth who have had barriers to employment. Before becoming the Associate Director of SF Youthworks, Nicole served youth in San Francisco through AmeriCorps, Youth Art Exchange, MYEEP, and Upward Bound. Nicole holds a degree in Ethnic Studies with a Minor in Dance from UC San Diego.
Rashid D. Herd is the Workforce Development Director for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). He has oversight of Learning & Organizational Development, Recruitment, the Office of Apprenticeship, Internship, Fellowships, and On-Job-Training programs. He has successfully delivered the Practical Communication Tools (PaCT) project, which is a customer service and de-escalation training program, to more than 2,430 public-facing and accounting for more than 16,367 personnel training hours. Rashid has been a servant leader in government, nonprofit, underserved, and communities of color for more than 20 years. He has previously served in various roles including Manager of Administration for the CFO of SFMTA, Assistant Manager for the Department of Human Resources Employer Information Services for the City and County of San Francisco, and Director of Operations and Human Resources for a community nonprofit in East Palo Alto. He holds an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University and a B.A. in Political Science from Morehouse College. He is an Organizational Development Certified Professional (ODCP) and a Certified Emotional Intelligence Trainer. His work is grounded in culturally competent leadership methods to mitigate bias, promote diversity and inclusion, and ensure team members are engaged, respected, championed, heard, and seen. As a Black husband and father of two daughters, doing “The Work” and being a voice for the voiceless is an important part of his personal and professional journey inside and outside of his Agency.
Sanjeev Pathania is the Director of Strategic Workforce and Resource Planning at MGT Consulting. In his current role, Sanjeev is working with the organizational portfolio groups to develop and implement an overall strategic workforce planning strategy, manage supply/demand balancing, and lead tactical resource management. Sanjeev is a passionate Strategic Workforce & Resource Management Leader with 20+ years of experience in Strategy & Business Operations, Resource Management/Workforce Planning, Talent Acquisition, Human Resources, Sales & Marketing, and Project Management functions within professional services, consulting, customer success, and shared/managed services organizations. Sanjeev recently completed an Executive Business Analytics Program from Harvard Business School primarily focused on Leadership Principles and Data Analysis. He also holds an MBA in Human Resources and Marketing from Bangalore University.
Sarah Holtzclaw Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Sarah serves as the Director of Apprenticeship Programs within the Economic Development and Contract Education Department for the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District (CLPCCD). She has been in and around the workforce system in California and Oregon for over fifteen years. Her background is varied but always comes back to three things: creating positive change, making an impact for and with others, and effective communication. In all that she does, Sarah works to be part of collective and collaborative change. She enjoys not only impacting individual lives but improving whole systems, making a lasting impact on our community.
Solene is the founder and CEO of Blissen, a social enterprise on a mission to help older adults (50+), especially women and people of color, achieve economic self-sufficiency and re-enter the workforce through entrepreneurship and job readiness training programs. After 8+ years in the tech industry as a product manager at Google and co-founder of a B2B startup backed by Y Combinator, Solene decided to make a career change to tackle a societal challenge she deeply cares about. She is excited to join a cohort of like-minded workforce development individuals who are passionate about making a difference in the field.
Susan Wheeler is the Regional Workforce Development Program Manager for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Susan sets the company’s direction for workforce development efforts, helping people gain the skills and confidence to obtain rewarding careers that provide economic mobility. Prior to SMUD, Susan held positions in Finance, Operations, Customer Service, Sales and Marketing in a number of industries (technology, telecommunications and healthcare). Susan worked in large multinational companies (AT&T, Chevron and General Electric) as well as start-ups and public sector companies. Susan holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia University.
Tamara Dehnert has dedicated her career to researching and evaluating policies and programs serving vulnerable populations across the United States. Her efforts focused on workforce development, post-secondary education and training, human services, social services, and youth development programs. In addition to her years of research and evaluation experience, Tamara developed relationships across the extensive Bay Area education and growth industry sector systems and strengthened partnerships with internal city divisions, and county and non-profit agencies. Supporting workforce and human services programs, Tamara built online tools connecting residents to low-cost and short-term education and training programs and community services. Tamara also coordinated grants, training cohorts, and streamlined outreach and communication procedures for a local career center, providing insight into workforce development that only first-hand experience can deliver. Tamara enjoys pilates classes, gardening, and chilling with her four cats (Squid, Eight, Blackie, and Kit Kat) and dog, Elmer.
Satbir Bal has 20 years of professional experience as a Regulatory Analyst for a Meat and Poultry Trade Association, as well as a Physician Contract Specialist. He received his Bachelor’s from University of California, Berkeley in Environmental Economics and Policy, and he recently received his Master’s of Professional Studies from Pennsylvania State University in Organization Development and Change, which included classes in Project Management, Lean Six Sigma, and Leadership Competencies. As a Regulatory Analyst, Satbir helped members of the association remain in regulatory compliance. Further, he ran the learning and development program, with on-site and webinar-based educational offerings related to food safety. Satbir was instrumental in the modernization of data storage, as he was the administrator of the association’s regulatory database, and he was a change agent moving the association to a more webinar dominated educational program. As a Physician Contract Specialist, Satbir went from a department consisting of two contracting employees to just one. He was able to create Standard Operating Procedures and templates to streamline the contracting process, which led to greater efficiency and fewer errors. As a Physician Contract Specialist, Satbir was a subject matter expert, with many in the organization turning to him for valuable information. Satbir is passionate with helping people and leading change events. In his free time, Satbir spends time with his partner, kids, and dog in San Francisco. He is dedicated to physical fitness, especially riding his Peloton and exploring nature. In addition, he loves to travel, cook, read, grow professionally, and attend concerts, museums, and community events.
I am a strategic thinker with the ability to deliver tactical solutions in alignment with organizational and strategic goals. I cultivate relationships to align people with organizational and individual goals. My love of learning is exemplified by the Growth and Development programs I developed to engage, train and coach people. I can bring people of different backgrounds together to create programs to serve the community while promoting inclusivity and diversity. My formal education has allowed me to be involved in and make a difference in the workforce arena locally as well as nationally. My informal education and experiences have given me the motivation, drive, and alignment with my values. Whether it is in a mission trip to Mexicali or being part of the City of Oakland Workforce Development Board, I see the uniqueness in every person and learn so much from others. I have been given tremendous opportunities to impact others and take this responsibility very serious. I believe that we are meant to live in community with others. This is the only way we can all thrive!