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Women in Leadership Spring 2021 Cohort

  • Kim Bardakian
    Kim Bardakian Kapor Center

    Kim Bardakian

    Kim Bardakian is the Sr. Partnerships Director at the Kapor Center, a nonprofit that aims to diversify and level the playing field in the tech industry and entrepreneurship. Previously, she worked with Visit Oakland, the tourism bureau for the city, where she helped shift the outward perception of Oakland through positive media coverage.

    Kim is active in the community and sits on various boards including the Maynard Institute; Bay Area Storytellers of Color (BASC) and the Oakland Uptown Business Improvement District. A native New Yorker, Bardakian holds both a Bachelor and Masters from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.  She proudly resides in Oakland where she is an avid tennis player.

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  • Nayeli	Bernal
    Nayeli Bernal Papalotl Consulting LLC

    Nayeli Bernal

    Nayeli Bernal is a community-based research and evaluation consultant supporting public and social sector organizations and community partners through program evaluation, strategic planning, and assessments of assets, needs, and capacity. Her work focuses on research and action efforts that center community wisdom and advance racial justice across a range of equity focused outcomes. Nayeli has a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley; a certificate in English/Spanish Translation from the National Hispanic University; and a Master in Public Health from San Francisco State University. Nayeli grew up undocumented in East Oakland and is the proud mother of three young children.

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  • Faiza Bukhari
    Faiza Bukhari Walter & Elise Haas Fund

    Faiza Bukhari

    Faiza Bukhari brings extensive experience in the nonprofit sector to her work at the Walter & Elise Haas Fund and is passionate about transformative change in organizations and communities. Before joining the Fund, Faiza served as the Director of Admissions for Saybrook University, where she worked to redesign enrollment priorities and developed a new model for student achievement and success. Prior to that, Faiza worked as a recruiter for The May Institute in Revere, MA, where she worked to develop and improve day-programs and residential services for autistic children and adults.  She also ran the Department of Writing and Rhetoric at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, while she was a student there earning degrees in Comparative Literature and Cinema & Cultural Studies. Faiza is a lifelong arts enthusiast and has exhibited her work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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  • Ellen Cavanagh
    Ellen Cavanagh Together Projects LLC

    Ellen Cavanagh

    Ellen Cavanagh is a creative, collaborative executive with expertise in city planning, real estate and economic development, construction project delivery, community engagement and advocacy, cultural programming, and public/private partnerships. Through her firm, Together Projects, she develops and directs civic initiatives for government, real estate developers, and not-for-profits. From conception through construction, she develops great places for people to play, gather, and move. Ellen is equally passionate about the partnerships and programs that transform ordinary spaces into places of belonging and shared joy. In her spare time, Ellen can be found exploring the Bay Area’s parks and playgrounds on her bicycle, often with her husband, son, and daughter in tow.

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  • Jaimie Cohen
    Jaimie Cohen TechEquity Collaborative

    Jaimie Cohen

    Jaimie Cohen is the SVP of Marketing and Communications at TechEquity Collaborative, a nonprofit building a movement of tech workers fighting for economic justice. 

    Before joining TechEquity, Jaimie worked both in house and in the agency world, crafting thoughtful marketing strategies to raise funds, build awareness, drive engagement, and increase activist acquisition. Jaimie cut her teeth in the agency world with Blue State, the tech and strategy firm behind Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 digital campaigns. Her proudest professional accomplishment was building the go-to-market strategy for Patagonia Action Works, an environmental activism platform. On most days, Jaimie can be found spending as much time as possible enjoying nature with her partner.

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  • Sydney Coleman
    Sydney Coleman Google

    Sydney Coleman

    Sydney Coleman works on product inclusion at Google in San Francisco. Sydney is incredibly passionate about making the workplace, and the tech industry in particular, more accessible, inclusive, and equitable for underrepresented populations.

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  • Tracy Davis
    Tracy Davis Lutheran Social Services

    Tracy Davis

    Tracy Davis is a passionate, dedicated, personable, caring and seasoned advocate, liaison, case manager, and service coordinator with a career spanning 10+ years. Tracy was recently promoted to her first leadership role as Program Coordinator for Lutheran Social Services. She’s excited and enthusiastic about continuing on a leadership path, adding value to her organization, increasing her visibility, and expanding her leadership skills. She consistently thinks of ways to positively impact her workplace, community and self-growth. When not at work, Tracy loves playing handball, working out, hiking, cooking, reading, and exploring new things.

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  • Elizabeth DeRuff
    Elizabeth DeRuff Honore Farm and Mill

    Elizabeth DeRuff

    Elizabeth DeRuff is the President and Founder of Honoré Farm and Mill as well as an Agricultural Chaplain with the Episcopal Church. She is a pioneer in exploring the intersection of food, land, and faith. In this capacity, she conducts research, writes, teaches, and preaches. Currently, Elizabeth grows and sources several varieties of rare heirloom wheat, which are stone-milled and available for sale from Honoré Farm and Mill. She also directs a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that provides flour to churches and home bakers and helps build the small grain economy. Her research, online classes, and recipes, are available at Honoremill.org. She has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, a M.Div. from The Episcopal Divinity School of the Pacific, and a certificate in bread baking from the San Francisco Baking Institute. Elizabeth recently baked a whole wheat sourdough loaf from grain discovered in the ruins of the Masada Fortress, which was destroyed in 74 CE.

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  • Breanna Gentile
    Breanna Gentile Center for Youth Wellness

    Breanna Gentile

    Dr. Breanna Gentile obtained her undergraduate degree from Gonzaga University, where she began extensive training to observe, interview, and operationally define emotions and preferences. Throughout her doctoral studies at Palo Alto University, she observed people from age three to sixty-five in both a lab setting and natural environments. Currently, Dr. Gentile works as the Director of Product Design at the Center for Youth Wellness, a nonprofit in Bayview that supports families, communities, and providers in their work with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress. She loves her sons, watercolor painting, and is strongly rooted in her faith.

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  • Antonella Guidoccio
    Antonella Guidoccio Exygy

    Antonella Guidoccio

    Antonella Guidoccio is passionate about creating equitable and innovative products for underserved communities using technology and human-centered design. She is a master facilitator who loves bringing and integrating different voices. Antonella is an expert in product strategy, user research, evaluation, agile development, and co-creation. She has extensive global experience leading complex initiatives for nonprofits, international organizations, and Innovation Government Labs in Argentina, Australia, Latin America, and the US. As a Lead Product Manager at Exygy, an innovation and creative consultancy firm focused on social impact, she led projects across public health and digital services; and she drives Bloom, a platform for people applying to affordable housing in the Bay Area. Antonella holds a Masters in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and is a board member of Latinas in Tech.

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  • Zeydi Gutierrez
    Zeydi Gutierrez AB&I Foundry

    Zeydi Gutierrez

    Zeydi Gutierrez is the Public Affairs Strategic Director at AB&I Foundry. She is originally from Nicaragua and came to the US when she was 17 years old due to the civil war. Zeydi learned to speak English and earned her B.S. in Organizational Management and her MBA from Golden Gate University. Her formal education has allowed her to be involved in and make a difference in the workforce arena locally as well as nationally. Her informal education and experiences have given Zeydi motivation, drive, and alignment with her values.   Whether it is on a mission trip to Mexicali or being part of the City of Oakland Workforce Development Board, she sees the uniqueness in every person and learns so much from others. Zeydi believes that she has been given tremendous opportunities to impact others and takes this responsibility very seriously. She believes we are meant to live in community with others so that we can all thrive.

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  • Isabella Jaye
    Isabella Jaye SpeakEasy Political

    Isabella Jaye

    Isabella Jaye has worked at SpeakEasy Political since 2018 and currently serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships. In her role, she works closely with candidates and organizational partners, and is passionate about increasing citizen engagement and reducing the barriers to entry for new voices in politics. Previously, Isabella worked in marketing and ad sales for HGTV & DIY Network, where she helped execute television campaigns for major national advertisers. A San Francisco native, Isabella holds a degree in Marketing with a minor in Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business in New Orleans.

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  • Elisabeth Jereski
    Elisabeth Jereski Strategy Workplace Communications

    Elisabeth Jereski

    Elisabeth Jereski began her career in the film industry. After four years as a Creative Director for a production company, she hung her shingle as a Casting Director for “ultra” low budget films. As a side job, she worked as a collections agent. After 10 years in casting, Liz married and moved to San Diego. There she focused her career on collections, working for Strategy Workplace Communications. Elisabeth became a project manager, managing grants for a dozen JATC valued at $10 million. Now she oversees staff, helping them manage their projects and workloads.

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  • Jill Kunishima
    Jill Kunishima Cityside

    Jill Kunishima

    Jill Kunishima is a Japanese American womxn who has spent the last 15 years as a nonprofit fundraiser with a diverse array of nonprofit organizations, including Cityside, EBALDC, and Covenant House. Stemming from a strong passion for equity and justice, she has also been active in her community as a board member/volunteer with Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality, Lotus Bloom Child and Family Resource Center, Global Glimpse, and Hyphen Magazine. She received her BA from Mills College, and her MPA from San Francisco State University. Jill lives in Oakland, California, and loves spending her free time with her family, eating, reading, traveling, and rooting for the Golden State Warriors.

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  • Janice Li
    Janice Li Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board, San Francico Bicycle Coalition

    Janice Li

    Janice Li was elected to the BART Board in November 2018 and represents the western half of San Francisco. In March 2020, she was also elected to the SF Democratic Party.

    Janice was born in Hong Kong and moved to the United States at a young age. For the past 10+ years, she has worked in community-based nonprofits and for the past seven years, she has served as the Advocacy Director of the SF Bicycle Coalition, where she leads campaign, policy, and legislative work to promote the bicycle for everyday transportation. As an Outer Sunset resident, she enjoys open space on the Great Highway and spending her days during COVID times cooking, eating, playing video games, and picking up new hobbies like skateboarding.

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  • Linda Liu
    Linda Liu City College of San Francisco

    Linda Liu

    Linda Liu serves on the Board of Directors for San Francisco Women’s Political Committee. In that capacity, Linda works with women from across the political spectrum to support and elevate women candidates for office, and promote ballot measures that have a positive impact on women in San Francisco. Her passion is in workforce development, to ensure people have access to job opportunities that allow them to live, work, and thrive in San Francisco. Linda was an undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego, and is currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration at the University of San Francisco. She works at City College of San Francisco.

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  • Naima McQueen
    Naima McQueen Alliance for Community Development

    Naima McQueen

    Naima McQueen is a cross-sector management, strategy, and convening consultant; event producer; financial empowerment curriculum designer and facilitator; and business education instructor. Her core focus is advising mission-driven, startup and growth stage organizations in the Bay Area and New York. Currently, Naima works as the Executive Director of Alliance for Community Development, a 501c3 nonprofit committed to increasing access to capital for under-resourced communities through free entrepreneurial ecosystem navigation and events for business owners, entrepreneurs, and service providers. Naima holds a B.A. in Psychology and African American studies from Mount Holyoke College and an M.B.A from the Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College. She is also a proud alumna of the Coro New York Fellows Program in Public Affairs and the New York StartingBloc Institute.

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  • Elisabet Medina
    Elisabet Medina Department of Homelessness

    Elisabet Medina

    As a Program Manager at the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, Elisabet Medina, supports families and youth experiencing homelessness by providing safe spaces for them to stay while on the journey toward housing. Before joining civil service, Elisabet worked directly with victims of domestic violence, survivors of human trafficking, and the multi-disciplinary response to child abuse. She obtained both a Bachelors and Masters in Social Work, focusing on community organizing. The proud daughter of Latino immigrants, Elisabet is an active member of the Latino Community Foundation and is passionate about giving back and empowering other women.

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  • Teresa Meléndrez
    Teresa Meléndrez City College of San Francisco

    Teresa Meléndrez

    At City College of San Francisco, Teresa Meléndrez works in Human Resources, in the area of Employee Relations. Her work focuses on contract implementation and grievance resolution for the Classified and Faculty Unions. Previously, she worked for 10 years in the Student Development Division. There, she used her dedication for working with first-generation and undereducated college students to facilitate access to higher education. Before CCSF, she worked for 9 years as Education Coordinator for Mission Housing Development Corporation (MHDC), leading a collaboration between MHDC and the University of San Francisco School of Education that provided after-school tutoring for K-12 students, as well as community building and organizing activities for families and seniors. Her passion for issues of equity and social justice are the motivation and inspiration for her work. She earned a BA in Ethnic Studies (UC San Diego), a MA in International and Multicultural Education and a MA in Counseling Psychology, MFT emphasis (both from the University of San Francisco).

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  • Cristina Perez
    Cristina Perez Workday

    Cristina Perez

    Cristina Perez is a San Francisco native, born to Mexican immigrants. She developed resiliency early on, which led her to become the first in her family to graduate college and then to a 22-year career dedicated to fighting social and economic inequities. For 18 years at the nonprofit Summer Search Bay Area, Cristina advocated for under-represented students through socio-emotional mentoring and innovative programming. As the Director of Post-Secondary and Alumni Relations, she built and launched the first post-secondary program that created access for students to advising, financial literacy, and careers opportunities, creating opportunities to network and connect with professionals and companies. This Spring 2021 Cristina will be transitioning to Workday as the Sr. Talent Acquisition Partner for their workforce development Opportunity Onramps program and Diversity Recruiting initiatives.  She will continue to provide access to youth, and now also to veterans and parents returning to work. Cristina fuels her passion for diversity and inclusion initiatives as a Talent Consultant for social impact organizations, supporting their recruiting needs and creating diverse sourcing pipelines. Cristina has a BA in Psychology and Ethnic Studies Certificate from the University of San Francisco, and a Masters in Social Work and PPS credential from San Jose State University. Prior to Summer Search, Cristina worked at La Clinica de la Raza, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, and at Kaiser Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Santa Clara. She was also a board member of Pacific Primary Preschool.

     

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  • Vivian Po
    Vivian Po San Francisco Office of the City Administrator

    Vivian Po

    Vivian Po joined the San Francisco Office of the City Administrator in February 2021. Prior to that, Vivian served as the Communications Director to former elected Assessor Carmen Chu, where she oversaw media relations and developed communications strategies.

    Vivian has a background in journalism. Fluent in Chinese, Vivian began her career as a reporter with the local Chinese press before joining New America Media, a nonprofit organization, where she focused on empowering ethnic media journalists. Vivian graduated from University of California, Berkeley and earned a Masters’ Degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco in 2017.

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  • Angelica Ramos
    Angelica Ramos Office of Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg

    Angelica Ramos

    Angelica Ramos is a political and public policy professional with more than a decade of experience in strategic planning, policy development, coalition building, project management, and program implementation in the public and nonprofit sectors. She currently serves as Policy Lead for Children, Families, and Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. Prior to taking on this position, Angelica managed Ms. Ellenberg’s successful 2018 campaign. She previously worked as a Policy Associate at the Bill Wilson Center, where she assisted with the development, implementation, and communication of the organization’s advocacy agenda for homeless and runaway children and young adults. In addition to her professional pursuits, Angelica serves as President of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Silicon Valley, helping to recruit, train, and elect progressive women to public office. She is also an Executive Board Member of the National Women’s Political Caucus of California, the California Democratic Party, and the Santa Clara County Democratic Party, as well as an Advisory Board Member of the New Leaders Council Silicon Valley chapter. Angelica holds a Bachelor of Arts, Law & Society from The American University in Washington, D.C. and a Juris Doctorate from the Whittier College School of Law in Orange County, California. She lives in San José with her husband and their rescue dog, Josie.

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  • Eelynn Sim
    Eelynn Sim The Asia Foundation

    Eelynn Sim

    Eelynn Sim is passionate about communications and community – and sharing stories of the people and the critical issues making a positive social impact. Based in San Francisco, she leads strategic communications, program communications, and digital content priorities at The Asia Foundation, an international development nonprofit. She previously spent a decade in corporate communications, public affairs, and multicultural outreach at a global media company and a technology PR start-up agency; she began her career in teaching and academic research. She has degrees from Williams College and the University of San Francisco and a graduate diploma in International Development from The London School of Economics and Political Science. Once a third culture kid, always a TCK; she still calls Singapore and the Philippines “home” even after 20 years away.

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  • Krystle Simon
    Krystle Simon UC Berkeley

    Krystle Simon

    Krystle Simon (she/they) is a Bay Area native and proud daughter to Filipino immigrants. Over the course of 10+ years teaching in high schools and colleges, she has developed a passion for driving educational standards while maintaining meaningful partnerships with her staff and faculty. The heart of Krystle’s work lies in classroom engagement and developing long lasting mentorships with her students. Currently,  she supports programs and initiatives within the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at UC Berkeley that foster equity and inclusion throughout the college. In her free time, she’s either rock climbing outdoors or at home with her partner, taking care of their two beautiful bunnies. Krystle cares deeply about her community, engaging and organizing in areas that align with her values.

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  • Stacey Smith
    Stacey Smith SKS Consulting

    Stacey Smith

    Stacey Smith has more than twenty years of experience as a nonprofit consultant and volunteer. She is Founder/Principal at SKS Consulting, a socially responsible small business helping nonprofits and public agencies build their capacity to serve their clients and communities more effectively. Stacey serves on the board of the League of Women Voters of Oakland, co-chairing the League’s Volunteer Development Committee. She is also a member of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce Community Impact Committee, encouraging collaboration between nonprofits and businesses. Stacey holds a BA in Music from University at Albany (SUNY) and an MBA from California State University East Bay. In her spare time, she is attempting to visit all the U.S. National Parks.

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  • Piper Sutherland
    Piper Sutherland LinkedIn

    Piper Sutherland

    Piper Sutherland works on LinkedIn’s Social Impact team, leading their signature program helping job seekers facing barriers around the world grow their careers and expand their networks. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Piper built and scaled a virtual college coaching program funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies that leveraged technology to democratize access to higher education for low-income students across the US. Piper is passionate about the power of cross-sector collaboration in addressing our world’s most pressing challenges.

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  • Benita Tsao
    Benita Tsao 826 Valencia

    Benita Tsao

    Benita Tsao (she/her) explores how “human resources” can advance equity and inclusion at nonprofit organizations rather than act as a bulwark for the status quo. Solving complex social problems requires sustained effort and partnerships; neither is possible when people feel alienated at work. Benita has expertise in public health policy and violence prevention coalitions, and she is the human resources manager at 826 Valencia in San Francisco, home of the Pirate Supply Store.

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  • Melissa Vergara
    Melissa Vergara San Mateo County

    Melissa Vergara

    Melissa Vergara joined the County of San Mateo Office of Community Affairs in August 2019 as a Management Fellow. She developed and implemented outreach and communication efforts for the 2020 U.S. Census, helping San Mateo County lead the state in self-response rates. Currently, she is working on digital communications and outreach for COVID-19 efforts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of California Santa Cruz and recently completed her Master of Public Administration from Cal State Fullerton. Melissa aims to engage and empower communities on the foundation of equity. In her free time, she likes to bike and has made it a goal to visit every park in San Francisco.

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  • LaKetha Williams
    LaKetha Williams Federal Government Employee/Black Affairs Advisory Council (BAAC)

    LaKetha Williams

    LaKetha Williams is the Regional Coordinator of the Region IX Black Affairs Advisory Council (BAAC). She is honored and grateful to be selected as a participant for Coro’s Spring 2021 Women in Leadership cohort. LaKetha looks forward to gaining wisdom while learning more about agency. Additionally, she is looking forward to “stepping outside of my comfort zone” while embarking on new challenges. She will continue to gain knowledge and pass it along to all of the future colleagues who come under her leadership.

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  • Lina Yamashita
    Lina Yamashita VIA Programs

    Lina Yamashita

    Lina Yamashita is Program Director at VIA, an international education nonprofit, where she develops programs that promote cross-cultural understanding between Asia and the U.S. Her experiences living in Japan, Singapore, and the Philippines have shaped her commitment as an educator to highlight diverse perspectives, especially those that are less visible. Lina earned a doctorate in Education from UC Davis, a master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a bachelor’s degree in Biology & Environmental Studies from Oberlin College. Outside of work, Lina enjoys coloring mandalas, learning Japanese idioms, and spending time with her husband and son.

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