Voleine Amilcar is committed to using her strategic communications experience to help mission-driven brands move hearts and minds to build a more just world. She currently serves as Vice President at Wonder: Strategies for Good, a communications firm specializing in messaging, branding, and public-opinion research for mission-driven organizations. A champion of the arts, Voleine has worked in the Arts and Culture sector for many years. Before joining Wonder, she served as the Marketing and Communications Director at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Associate Director of Communications at the Independent Television Service, and Director of Public Relations at the Berkeley Repertory Theater. Voleine also serves on the board of The People’s Conservatory. A proud Haitian-American, she lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and two boys.
Martha Bastarrachea has been at CASA of San Mateo County for 5 years and in her current position as Program Director for three years. She majored in Communications at the Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico, where her parents are from. She is a petite Mexican American lesbian who enjoys working with the CASA team toward their mission of serving youth. She also enjoys taking pictures as a hobby and spending time with others.
Tracey BlackCity of Oakland, Human Services Department
Dr. Tracey Black currently works for the City of Oakland, Human Services Department, as a Program Planner for Oakland Head Start, a comprehensive early care, education, and family services program serving families with children, prenatal to age 5. She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Mills College, Oakland, and is also a part-time adjunct faculty member with the Peralta Community College District. Dr. Black is deeply committed to supporting the development, administration, implementation, and delivery of quality early learning experiences for children and families and is interested in the art of leadership in this field. Dr. Black lives in the East Bay with her family.
Passionate about technology, design, and social impact, Lucy Chen is a product leader who has focused her career on launching new digital products that empower underserved individuals and communities to lead happy, healthy lives. Her prior product work has involved leading global product teams focused on emergency readiness, pretrial justice, and mental wellness. Currently, she works on long-term retention and health behavioral change as a Product Manager at Noom. A former educator, Lucy is passionate about creating educational opportunities for others. In her spare time, she publishes Delightful Products, a monthly newsletter about product design.
Ashley Cheng joined Charity Cultural Services Center as Executive Director in August 2020. Prior to joining this nonprofit organization, she was the Operations Manager at the San Francisco Department of Public Works and the Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services. In her spare time, she likes to get involved with organizations that share her mission to serve the community. She is president of the Coalition of Asian American Government Employees, a board member of Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs – SF Chapter, and Treasurer of the API Forum Foundation to support public safety in the community.
Rebecca Dean is a social worker and community advocate in San Francisco. She holds an MSW with a focus in community organizing and believes strongly in civic engagement for all. Prior to moving to California, Rebecca served on the Steering Committee for the Michigan Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights’ and helped create a local interfaith sanctuary coalition in her community. In her current role at Carecen SF, she connects immigrant families to social and legal services and advocates for improved language access in the city. Rebecca is also deeply involved in state political advocacy work and electoral organizing with Indivisible East Bay. In her free time she enjoys hiking, patio gardening, and playing with her cat.
Leah Duran is a Science Communications Manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where she uses strategic communications to support CZI’s mission to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. Previously, she served as a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Department of the Interior, a senior manager of development communications at Conservation International, and as a National Park Service ranger across the West. She’s passionate about mission-oriented work and using narrative to drive positive change. In her free time, you can find her hiking, running, or otherwise outdoors.
Nicole Embury is a nonprofit development professional who has dedicated her career to advancing social justice, raising more than $20M for high-impact causes in the last eight years. As the National Director of Institutional Philanthropy at College Track, Nicole builds authentic partnerships with corporations, foundations, and government institutions that amplify the power of young people through higher education. She holds a BA in International Development Studies from UCLA. Outside of the office, Nicole can be found backpacking in the Sierras, building her photography portfolio, or walking Lake Merritt with her two dogs.
Arielle Fleisher is a transportation strategist with a unique combination of public health, design thinking, and planning expertise. In her current role as the City Policy Strategist at Waymo she develops policies on the transportation issues that matter to cities. This role builds on her previous experience at SPUR and the SFMTA, where she developed programs and policies to create a high-quality transportation system in the Bay Area. Most recently, she served as the Liaison to the Board of Supervisors at SFDPH where she spearheaded vaccination clinics and supported the city’s economic reopening – the most rewarding work of her career.
Kara Greene is Senior Manager of Strategic Communications at the Western States Petroleum Association. In this capacity, Kara is responsible for managing earned and social media activities and supporting ongoing strategic communications and public policy programs for WSPA. Immediately prior to joining WSPA, Kara was a senior account manager at a digital advertising agency, representing corporate, nonprofit and political entities. Before that, she served as the public affairs officer for the state’s Counterdrug Task Force, a specialized task force that provides support to law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations in combating illicit drug use and drug trafficking. Currently, she is board chair of Girls on the Run of Greater Sacramento, a life-changing program for 8- to 13-year-old girls that promotes girl empowerment by teaching life skills through lessons and running. Kara earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Government from California State University, Sacramento. She is a major in the California Army National Guard, where she has served for 18 years.
Seung Yen Hong is a Senior Urban Designer/Planner at San Francisco’s Planning Department. She focuses on public realm improvements that lead to a walkable, complete community and social benefits. She also serves as a chair of the City’s Street Design Advisory Team, providing street design recommendations to private and public development projects. Before joining the Planning Department, she was an Associate at PlaceWorks and worked on a variety of urban design plans and streetscape projects. Seung Yen has a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.
Naomi Hui has worked as the Community Relations Manager at the Richmond Neighborhood Center since 2017. She oversees community engagement programs, partnerships, and special events. Naomi moved to the Bay Area 10 years ago. She has a background in art history and owned a small business in Chinatown, Los Angeles, where she gained experience advocating for immigrant families and small business owners. As a Richmond District resident, Naomi spends her free time enjoying parks and beaches and eating at her favorite restaurants.
RobynKing is the Lead Site Supervisor at FACES SF and founder of Digital Literary Arts, Inc., a nonprofit organization created in the memory of her late son, D’Mario. As Lead Site Supervisor she has cultivated a work culture that invigorates, uplifts, supports, and challenges her staff to be contributors not just in the classroom but in all aspects, with the common goal of serving future generations. She believes that by doing so, our families, students, school, and communities all win; this is the primary reason she shows up every morning. To make a difference and serve as a positive example to [BIPOC] children who have yet to learn their full potential is a true blessing. When not at FACES, she gives back as a charter member and Youth Coordinator of Buffalo Soldiers MC Club, Oakland Chapter. Robyn enjoys puzzles for relaxation, traveling, and road trips; her side hustle is Silhouette & Cricut creations. Fun fact: she can ride a motorcycle!
Brandi Lasch is a Program Associate for the Community and Opportunity program at the Heising-Simons Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2015, Brandi worked in the nonprofit and private sectors, and as an independent consultant to nonprofits focused on higher education and civic engagement. Previously, she was an Associate Director of Program Services at the March of Dimes, managing local grantmaking, public affairs, and community education and outreach. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from New College of Florida.
Jane LimOffice of Civic Innovation, City & County of San Francisco
Jane Lim serves as the Senior Innovation Strategist in the San Francisco Office of Civic Innovation. In her role, she leverages strategic planning, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and active empathy to effect civic change. In addition to leading public-private partnership programs such as Civic Bridge and Startup in Residence, Jane supports a network of changemakers to empower City government to be more inventive and responsive to San Franciscans. Jane holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University where she served on the leadership board for women in international affairs, and a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Brown University.
Alexis Lucio (she/her, they/them) is a queer latinx from Southern California currently residing on Southern Pomo and Kashaya land. She spends her workweek as the Senior Accessibility Lead at Splunk, where her focus is on education and advocacy, process development, and implementation of best practices for web accessibility (a11y) within the company’s product suite. First in their family to graduate high school and college, they understand the importance of visibility for folks of multiple marginalized identities and frequently speak about their experiences. In her spare time, you can find Alexis engaging with queer community through drag, dance, and performance, or experimenting with cooking techniques and recipes.
Noemy Mena-Miles is passionate about empowering changemakers to promote equitable solutions for low-income and communities of color. Currently she is the Development & Communications Manager at The Unity Council, a nonprofit in Oakland’s Fruitvale whose mission is to promote social equity and improve quality of life by building vibrant communities where everyone can work, learn, and thrive. Noemy, a San Francisco Mission District native, holds a BA in Journalism from San Francisco State University with a minor in Criminal Justice. She currently lives in Alameda County with her husband and their two children.
Nicole Ripley is Senior Program Officer, Leadership and Exchange Programs at The Asia Foundation, where she designs, implements, and oversees leadership training programs dedicated to advancing emerging leaders and changemakers. She previously served as Director of Education at a regional theatre in Chicago, designing participatory programs for over 10,000 students a year, and as a teaching artist with youth and communities throughout Chicago and in northern Thailand. She is an experienced facilitator and adept in building cross-cultural partnerships with a range of partners, including US Embassies, civic institutions, community stakeholders, and youth in the US and across Asia. Nicole holds a BS in Communications (Theatre) from Northwestern University and an MA in Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara. Nicole is on the Education Committee of World Affairs and the National Advisory Committee for Teaching Artists Guild. She is passionate about amplifying youth voices, global equity, women’s empowerment, and cultivating leadership. She is also a proud mother.
Nehama RogozenSan Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
Nehama Rogozen is a Public Relations Officer at the SFMTA, where she focuses on public participation and engagement with communities impacted by transit projects. Her background is in economic justice and international development, and she holds a BA in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland and an MS in Development Practice from UC Berkeley. She has worked in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors in several countries. In her free time, Nehama is working on a memoir about her two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. She also enjoys cooking, hiking, and gardening.
Echa Schneider is a web and digital strategist with a passion for harnessing the power of technology to empower people to make positive change in their lives and communities. Most recently she worked for the City of Berkeley, where she managed citywide online communications, spearheaded an organization-wide web reinvention initiative, and led internal and external COVID-19 communications for Berkeley Public Health. Previously, she has developed websites, crafted digital campaigns, and supported online education tools at the Oakland Public Library, San Jose State University, and for a variety of public and private-sector clients. Her work has garnered multiple industry awards, including the 2019 Granicus Digital Government “Difference Maker” Award, and 2020 CAPIO Excellence in Public Communication “Crisis Communications” Award.
Mubeenah Shaikh is a proud San Francisco native and her family is from India. Mubeenah has always had a passion and dedication to work in her community. She attended San Francisco State University and graduated with a BS in Public Health. Mubeenah is a first-generation college graduate and works with students and families on navigating the barriers and difficulties in higher education. Mubeenah is passionate about social justice, educational access, and equity. She is a proud Indian-American Muslim. In her free time, you can find her cooking Indian food, reading books, traveling, and exploring new restaurants.
Sparkles Sibley is a Bay Area native who has been cultivating experiences and high level customer service for over 15 years. She is CEO of Sparkles Sibley LLC consulting, a certified Emotional Intelligence Mentor, and in ticketing operations with The Golden State Warriors for two years. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and also earned a Masters’ Degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco in 2017.
Over the past decade, Maureen Silva has been part of several nonprofits, serving communities locally and nationally to support equitable food environments. As Co-Executive Director at Mandela Partners, Maureen oversees a $2.7MM organizational budget. She has led the organization through a multi-year fund development plan, created a streamlined donor management and communications platform, and built systems for effectively evaluating and reporting annual impact data. In her role as Co-Executive Director, Maureen supports strategic planning and program development, including assessment of current and future initiatives, fostering innovation and areas of growth, and building new partnership opportunities on a local and national scale.
Felicity Simmons is the System Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for CommonSpirit Health. In this role, she supports a national, 140-hospital health system with thought leadership, public affairs, and issues management efforts. Prior to joining CommonSpirit nearly a decade ago, Felicity spent several years in health care philanthropy communications with the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. A journalist by training and graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism, Felicity began her career as a newspaper reporter in the Pacific Northwest. She has always believed in the power of storytelling, and has received regional and national recognition for her work.
Jacqueline Marie Smith is the Family and Community Partnerships & Home-Based Services Coordinator for The Unity Council Head Start programs. Born and raised in San Francisco, she moved to Contra Costa County during college. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies from Cal State Hayward. She aspires to create a legacy of philanthropy, and to do so with compassion, humor, and her own sense of style. Her goal is to spearhead a nonprofit organization for girls and women of color to cultivate an atmosphere of, “If I think it, I can be it.” She is a BIPOC Christian woman with a deep connection to many genres of music and a powerful connection with her family, embracing being a full-time “Super Auntie.” Her greatest achievement to date is raising her niece, who is now an attorney for the city she grew up in, and her nephew, who is in his second year of college studying to be an English teacher.
Lindsay Taylor has spent 7 years developing, structuring and financing infrastructure projects across North America including social infrastructure, managed lanes, energy, highway, mobility and smart city assets. Having financed transactions totaling over $7 billion, Lindsay has extensive experience and knowledge leading and structuring commercial and financial proposals as well as negotiating with public sector authorities to ensure that an infrastructure project makes a long-term positive impact on the community it serves.
A former professional athlete, academic scholar and captain of Stanford’s first national championship soccer team, she received from Stanford University a B.S. in Science, Technology and Society with a focus in Management Science and Engineering. She has also received her MBA from Columbia University.
Reanna Tong is a Planner with the San Francisco Planning Department. Her passion for city planning is shaped by personal experience, observation, and listening. Reanna especially strives to serve immigrants, limited-English speaking people, and youth of color so that they can have a sense of agency and impact in their built environments. She hopes to equip people with the knowledge, skills, and tools to take action and create more opportunities for participation in decision making processes. Reanna currently serves on the Board of Directors for Family Connections Centers and is an active member of San Francisco Transit Riders. She loves spending time with family, friends, and dog (Twixie).
Jo Ann Villanueva-SalvadorUniversity of California Santa Barbara
Jo Ann Villanueva-Salvador
Jo Ann Villanueva-Salvador (she/her) is a career educator and strives to be a diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice advocate. Jo Ann works at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) as the Associate Director of Career Services. She has a particular interest in supporting first-generation students and students of color. Beyond her counseling work, she is the Co-Chair of UCSB’s Asian Pacific Islander Task Force and a long-time member of UCSB’s Asian Pacific Islander Alliance). Jo Ann holds a Master’s degree in Psychology, has been married for 20 years, has two beautiful sons and enjoys living by the beach.
Iberia Zafira is a Senior Prospect Analyst at UC Berkeley, supporting philanthropic initiatives for the Haas School of Business and Campus Campaign Director. At Cal, Iberia volunteers as a social entrepreneurship judge, mentor to former foster youth, and wellness advocate. Health equity and diverse forms of healing are growing passions for her. Prior to Cal, Iberia worked at Stanford University, her alma mater. Iberia enjoys Strongman weightlifting, extreme outdoor adventures, community connections and a good cup of tea.
Cassandra Zawilski is a social impact and philanthropy professional who supports nonprofit capacity-building and redistributing resources to groups advancing social justice. She most recently managed programs and led diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts at Full Circle Fund, which connects people to skills-based volunteer opportunities at local nonprofits. Before that, she oversaw grantmaking for a startup family foundation focused on youth mental health. These days, Cassie geeks out over personal development, comics and romance novels, and experience design—creating events and communities built on collaborative learning and meaningful connections.