Chief Executive Officer, Y&H Soda Foundation
Bio: Bob joined the Foundation in 2004 as Senior Program Officer and was promoted to CEO in 2008. He oversees all of the Foundation's grantmaking strategies and community leadership work, as well as its finance and administrative functions. Bob has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in the Bay Area, having previously worked at the East Bay Community Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation and as the Director of the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival.
Bob has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the East Bay Community Foundation, Northern California Grantmakers, Rise Together, the Foundation Consortium for California's Children and Youth, the Family Independence Initiative and the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. He currently serves on the Local Advisory Board of Bay Area LISC. Bob holds a B.A. in English from Amherst College and a Master in Public Administration with an emphasis in strategic planning and management from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. In his leisure time, Bob enjoys jogging, cycling and hiking throughout the East Bay.
Planning and Health Policy, SMC Union Community Alliance
Bio: Bradley Cleveland leads the “Raise the Wage” Coalition in San Mateo County. In 2016, the Labor-Community coalition successfully advocated for the passage of a $15 minimum wage ordinance in the City of San Mateo and a $17 living wage ordinance for employees for San Mateo County contractors. He has over 20 years of experience in research, public policy, communications and advocacy in the Bay Area. Bradley received a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from San Francisco State University.
Executive Director, California Budget & Policy Center
Bio: Chris Hoene became the Budget Center’s executive director in October 2012, bringing to the organization 15 years of leadership in state and local policy research and analysis. He leads the strategic direction of the organization, acts as primary spokesperson, and works with the board of directors and community partners to implement our vision and mission. Prior to joining the Budget Center, Chris was director of the Center for Research and Innovation at the National League of Cities in Washington, DC, leading efforts to analyze trends in local and state government and promote constructive policy action on issues including public finance, economic development, housing, poverty reduction, infrastructure, and governance. Chris also previously worked for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, DC, and the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco. Chris holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science of the College of Idaho. In 2011, in recognition of his service to the state and local community, Chris was elected as a Fellow into the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).
Dr. David Grusky
Director, Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
Bio: David B. Grusky is a Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, and coeditor of Pathways Magazine.
His research addresses the changing structure of late-industrial inequality and addresses such topics as (a) the role of rent-seeking and market failure in explaining the takeoff in income inequality, (b) the amount of economic and social mobility in the U.S. and other high-inequality countries (with a particular focus on the “Great Gatsby” hypothesis that opportunities for social mobility are declining), (c) the role of essentialism in explaining the persistence of extreme gender inequality, (d) the forces behind recent changes in the amount of face-to-face and online cross-class contact, and (e) the putative decline of big social classes. He is also involved in projects to improve the country’s infrastructure for monitoring poverty, inequality, and mobility by exploiting administrative and other forms of “big data” more aggressively.
His recent books include Social Stratification (2014), Occupy the Future (2013), The New Gilded Age (2012), The Great Recession (2011), The Inequality Reader (2011), and The Inequality Puzzle (2010).
Director, Workforce and Adult Education, Workforce and Economic Development Division for the California Community Colleges
Bio: Dr. Debra Jones is the Administrator of Career Education Practices in the Workforce and Economic Development Division for the California Community Colleges, the nation's largest system of higher education. Dr. Jones oversees the administration of more than $250 million dollars of state and federal funding that supports the career education mission across California’s 113 community colleges. She is a recognized leader and strategic change agent in workforce development and career education.
Dr. Jones coauthored the report The Return on Investment from Adult Education and Training: Measuring the Economic Impact of a Better Educated and Trained U.S. Workforce. The report addresses the current budget pressure at both state and federal levels, and argues that cutting education now, in particular adult education and training, will result in increased costs to society later in areas such as health care, welfare, and corrections. Dr. Jones served five years as state director of adult education prior to her tenure at the Chancellor’s Office. Under her leadership the State developed the strategic plan Linking Adults to Opportunity: Transformation of the California Adult Education Program.
The plan sets the stage for developing the statewide collaborations and a regional approach needed to maximize the state’s return on its investment in adult education. Debra’s current work with the California community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to collaboratively design a framework to serve adults is inspired by her belief that education and training builds strong communities and provides a solution to today’s economic and educational crisis.
Dr. Jones is a frequent public speaker and has represented the California Community College System to state, national, and international delegations. She has testified before the California Assembly Committees on Finance and Higher Education. Additionally, Dr. Jones serves on Boards and Advisory Committees related to economic development, pathways, and educational success. Dr. Jones received her Doctorate of Education in organizational leadership from University of La Verne.
Bio: Dr. Michael McAfee leads PolicyLink executive and program teams in strategic planning, policy development, policy campaign strategy, capacity building, and programmatic design and implementation at the local, state, and national levels. He came to PolicyLink in 2011 as the inaugural director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. Under his leadership, PolicyLink has emerged as a national leader in building cradle-to-career systems to ensure that children and youth in our nation’s most distressed communities have a pathway into the middle class. His partnership with local leaders in more than 60 communities contributed to significant improvements in the educational and developmental outcomes for children and helped attract public and private investments that exceed $1 billion. Through the 2015 authorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Promise Neighborhoods program is now a permanent federal program.
Before joining PolicyLink, Michael served as senior community planning and development representative in the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While at HUD, he managed a $450 million housing, community, and economic development portfolio where he partnered with local leaders to create more than 3,000 units of affordable housing and 5,000 jobs and ensure access to social services for more than 200,000 families. He also served as the lead instructor with HUD’s Leadership Development Program. He is most proud of personally ensuring the successful matriculation of more than 168 senior executives through the Leadership Development Program and providing fundraising, leadership, management, and organizational development technical assistance to more than 1,000 persons and 800 grassroots faith- and community-based organizations. His partnership with the White House and HUD's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has resulted in nonprofit organizations accessing more than $1 billion in federal resources.
Michael believes that every American deserves access to opportunities that give them a fair shot at succeeding in life. He is an Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellow, Aspen Institute Ideas Scholar, and Leap of Reason Ambassador. He served in the United States army, completed Harvard University's Executive Program in Public Management, and earned his doctor of education in human and organizational learning from The George Washington University.
Owner - Principal Consultant, Khepera Consulting
Bio: Gregory Hodge is a social change activist and organizational development consultant with Khepera Consulting. Khepera helps people and organizations strategically think, connect and act in the relationships that spark transformative change.
Working as a strategist, meeting designer, facilitator and coach, Gregory works with a range of groups from small non-profits and foundations to public agencies, particularly school districts. He has served as lead consultant on the Equal Voice for America’s Families Campaign, an initiative of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, and the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys, two national initiatives. His clients include The California Endowment, the Association for Black Foundation Executives, Sierra Health Foundation, and Oakland Unified School District’s Office of African American Achievement.
As a leader in his community, Gregory served two four-year terms as a member of the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education beginning in January 2000, including a year as president of the board. He served nine years on Workforce Investment Board, City of Oakland. In addition, he serves as the Chief Network Officer for the Brotherhood of Elders Network, an intergenerational network of African descent men.
Greg is a Fulbright-Hayes Fellow, recipient of the Gerbode Fellowship and alumni of the Rockwood Leadership Institute.
Hodge has also worked as an attorney in private practice handling a variety of civil litigation matters. His involvements include work with African American youth as a teacher and mentor; minister at the Wo’se Community; drummer with Bantaba Dance Ensemble; board chair of the Rockwood Leadership Institute, National Equity Project; board chair of The Restoration Association for Improving the Landmark 16th Street Station (RAILS), a Friend of the Esalen Institute and member of the national Annenberg School District Reform Task Force. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a law degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He is a proud father, active gardener and lives in Oakland, California.
Performer, Youth Speakers Performance Collective
Bio: Jada Imani is an MC, dancer, poet, and co-founder of Tatu Vision Collective. She sees art as a vessel for healing and evolution.
Jada Imani is a member of Youth Speaks, and a frequent collaborator with Hip-Hop for Change, Negus World, Sistar Cypher, Ashby Flea Market, and other groups/individuals who actively help unite our community. You can find her hosting Tatu Vision events every month at Alan Blueford Center for Justice.
Policy Advocate, Western Center on Law & Poverty
Bio: Jessica Bartholow is a Policy Advocate with nearly two decades of experience in anti-poverty organizing, advocacy and program development at the local, state and national level. Jessica has co-authored several advocate and program guides and led a coalition to support the passage of several pieces of signed legislation that improve public benefits delivery, consumer protections and financial empowerment for low-income Americans. Jessica holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and is the 2012 recipient of the Wellstone -Wheeler National Anti-Hunger Advocate of the Year Award.
Founder and Director, Kiva U.S.
Bio: For the last five years, Jonny has led the U.S. lending division of Kiva.org. Kiva empowers entrepreneurs around the world with microloans crowdfunded on their website, and the Kiva U.S. program supports financially excluded small business owners throughout America -- think barbers in the Fruitvale or Vietnamese restaurant owners in the Tenderloin. Since its launch in 2011, Kiva U.S. has funded $16M in loans to over 3,000 entrepreneurs, funded by over 100,000 individual lenders. Originally from England, Jonny began his career in strategy consulting at Oliver Wyman, and has a degree in History from the University of Cambridge. He can be found on Twitter at @jonnycprice.
Co-Chair, California Forward
Bio: Lenny Mendonca is a director emeritus (retired senior partner) from the Washington D.C. and San Francisco offices of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. He is a senior fellow at the Presidio Institute. He is also an advisor to several entrepreneurs.
Lenny founded McKinsey’s U.S. state and local public sector practice. For many years Lenny led the Firm’s knowledge development efforts overseeing the McKinsey Global Institute and the Firm’s communications, which includes the McKinsey Quarterly. He served for a decade on the McKinsey Shareholder Council (its board of directors). Over the course of his career he helped dozens of government, corporate, and nonprofit clients solve their most difficult management challenges.
Lenny is the Chair of Children Now, co-Chair of California Forward, and co-founder and Chair of Fusecorps. He is the Chair Emeritus of the Bay Area Council and the Economic Institute of the Bay Area, and was vice-chair of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. He serves on the boards of Fidelity Charitable,New America,Western Governors University,The Committee for Economic Development, Common Cause, the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium, The Campaign for Business & Educational Excellence,The Educational Results Partnership,The College Futures Foundation,California Competes,The Opportunity Institute and the Super Bowl 50 Fund. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of Trustees for Junior Statesmen of America and the Advisory Boards of QB3 and The Public Policy Institute of California.
He received his MBA and certificate in public management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He holds an AB, magna cum laude, in economics from Harvard College.
Lenny lives on the Half Moon Bay coast with his wife, Christine. They raised their two daughters, Allie and Rebecca, there and are the founders and owners of the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and the Mavericks Beer Company.
Co-Chair, North Bay Jobs for Justice
Bio: Martin Bennett has taught American and California history at Santa Rosa Junior College for twenty-five years. He is Co-Chair of North Bay Jobs with Justice, affiliated with the national Jobs with Justice network and he is also a Research and Policy Analyst for UNITE HERE 2850, a union representing restaurant, hotel, and food service workers in the North and East Bay. He formerly served as president of the SRJC/California Federation of Teachers Local 1946, on the Executive Board of the North Bay Labor Council, and was a board member of Sonoma County Conservation Action, the largest environmental organization in the county He writes regularly on labor and employment issues for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Sonoma Gazette, Petaluma Argus-Courier, California Progress Report and other print and on line publications. In 2015 he was honored as the "Sonoma County Democrat of the Year" by the Sonoma County Democratic Party and in 2012, the Santa Rosa Junior College Classified Academic Senate recognized him as the “Outstanding Faculty of the Year.”
Recent article: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/opinion/5746094-181/close-to-home-why-15
Executive Director , Rise Together
Bio: Megan is currently the Executive Director for Rise Together, committed to coordinating transformational breakthroughs in addressing the key drivers of poverty. Deeply committed to equity and dignity for all, Megan has spent over 15 years working with communities to shift systems and policies that are no longer working, through leadership development, advocacy and multi-sector collaboration.
Megan was previously the Director of Community Organizing for the United Way of Santa Cruz County where she led several large scale county-wide strategic planning efforts, the development of the Santa Cruz County Youth Violence Prevention Task Force and the Leadership for Community Transformation program. Megan has also served as Policy Coordinator for the Center for Human Development in Contra Costa County. She also taught Diversity, Community and Consciousness at JFK University after earning her MA there.
Director, ALL IN Alameda County
Bio: With a doctorate in child and adolescent development from the Stanford School of Education, Dr. Moore's areas of content expertise include youth development, school reform, and community development. As a professional evaluator, Dr. Moore has specialized in theory of change and evaluation design for large non-profit organizations, intermediary organizations, and mid-size to large foundations and public agencies.
Dr. Moore was the lead evaluator for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Families comprehensive outcomes-based evaluation from 2000-2002, and she also led the Department's citywide strategic planning efforts for children, youth, and families through the Mayor's Children's Cabinet. She worked with the Hewlett Foundation as a lead evaluator for their Neighborhood Improvement Initiative, and presented the findings of this work to the Aspen Roundtable on Community Change. In 2005, Dr. Moore founded See Change, Inc., an evaluation and strategic consulting firm with the goal of improving critical thinking in organizations working to make social change. In 2013, after 8 years of leading the company, Melanie left See Change to focus her work on promoting economic and social mobility for low-income families. She is currently Director of ALL IN Alameda County, an anti-poverty initiative launched by Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan.
Director, Employment Training Panel
Bio: Robert has over 20 years with ETP focused primarily on strategic planning and program development. He currently oversees the Panel’s statewide economic and workforce development engagement strategy, interagency partnerships and its external engagement efforts. Robert works tirelessly to increase access to ETP funding for large and small manufacturing, biotechnology, information technology, and construction companies. He is also passionate about supporting new and emerging technologies and traditionally-underserved populations. Robert manages a team that promotes ETP and provides technical support for those interested in contracting with ETP.
Executive Director, San Francisco Office of Early Care & Education
Bio: September Jarrett is the Executive Director of San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education. She was the Program Director at the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund which works to ensure high quality early education opportunities for San Francisco’s low income children and families. September spent a decade working to make San Francisco a better city for families in the Office of the Mayor and as Director of Policy and Planning for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth & Their Families. Prior to public service, September served as founding staff of the Child Care Facilities Fund of the Low Income Investment Fund, an award winning public-private partnership designed to expand the supply of high quality child care facilities.
Performer, Youth Speaks Performance Collective
Bio: Julius Carson is poet and aspiring music artist who is still learning and evolving. He loves helping people and learning new things. He's from the BAY AREA!
Executive Director, Groundswell Fund
Bio: Vanessa brings 20 years of experience working in social justice movements as a union and community organizer, researcher, freelance journalist and social justice grantmaker to Groundswell, where she has built a dynamic team to partner with grassroots activists across the country. As executive director, she has mobilized $22 million to the reproductive justice Movement, with 90 percent of its grantees led by women of color. Prior to this, Vanessa supported LGBT rights, economic and environmental justice grantmaking at Tides Foundation; organized homecare workers with SEIU; helped win a landmark living wage law with the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE); and conducted research to support the organizing efforts of welfare mothers with the Applied Research Center (now Race Forward). Vanessa currently serves on the Board of Directors of Common Counsel Foundation and on the steering committee for the Health and Environmental Funder’s Network. Vanessa has a B.A. in American Ethnic Studies from Smith College and is a graduate of the Center for Third World Organizing’s Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program.
Deputy Director, California Reinvestment Coalition
Bio: Andrea Luquetta is a Deputy Director at CRC. In addition to working with major banks to increase access to affordable consumer banking accounts and to improve compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act, Andrea also fights against predatory consumer financial products and practices.
Andrea joined CRC after several years as a litigator at Western Center on Law and Poverty, where she enforced affordable and fair housing laws on behalf of extremely low income tenants throughout California. As a former organizer, Andrea also helped lead a statewide coalition of advocates working to identify and end impediments to fair housing across California.
Andrea graduated UCLA School of Law's Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy where she also completed a Concentration in Critical Race Studies. Prior to attending law school, Andrea was an advocate for affordable housing development and CRA compliance at the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations and at New Jersey Citizen Action.
President, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Bio: Anne has spent 20 years in the public sector working in a wide range of areas including child welfare, hunger, welfare reform, workforce development, community development and higher education.
Prior to joining the Insight Center, Anne was the Project Director for California Tomorrow’s Community College Access and Equity Initiative, where she worked to introduce community college equity issues into a wide range of existing state, system, and campus-level conversations to garner increasing support for equity based reforms.
As a Senior Associate at the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, Anne distributed new data and new thinking on the city’s undereducated labor market as part of a larger strategy to build public and political will around workforce development issues. Anne also spent several years at Seattle’s Human Services Department, where she served as the Community Development Block Grant Administrator and Strategic Advisor to the Director.
Anne holds a BA in Economics from Hampton University and a Master’s Degree in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the Milano School of Management and Urban Policy in New York City.
President & CEO, REDF
Bio: REDF’s President and CEO, Carla Javits, provides the leadership and vision that drives its mission to provide equity-like investments and business assistance to social enterprises, mission-driven businesses focused on hiring and assisting people facing barriers to work. Inspired by the leadership of REDF’s founder, George R. Roberts, Carla focuses on achieving measurable results by leveraging the business community’s knowledge, networks, and resources, and the mission of the nonprofit to create jobs and tackle the challenges of homelessness, incarceration, mental health, and addiction.
In overseeing strategy, relationship building, and fundraising, Carla works directly with the leadership team as well as the Board of Directors and Advisory Council that are instrumental to REDF’s success. In leading an expansion from the Bay Area to Southern California, and in 2016, to 19 other states around the country, Carla has laid the foundation for REDF to impact the lives of tens of thousands more people nationwide. Under Carla’s leadership, REDF has been awarded two, prestigious federal Social Innovation Fund grants by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Additionally, Los Angeles Business Times awarded REDF the Nonprofit Social Enterprise of the Year award, and San Francisco Magazine recognized Carla in their list of innovative Bay Area Philanthropists. Carla is called on frequently to share her expertise at a variety of domestic and international conferences and speaking engagements, including most recently, the Social Enterprise World Forum in Milan, Italy, and the upcoming, Social Traders Master Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia.
Before coming to REDF, Carla was the national President and CEO of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, where she was responsible for providing grants, loans, and technical assistance to service-enriched housing initiatives that ended homelessness for tens of thousands. She was Program Analyst with the California Office of the Legislative Analyst and Director of Policy and Planning for the San Francisco Department of Social Services.
Carla holds a BA and Master’s in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Social Enterprise Alliance and the Melville Charitable Trust and as an Advisor to the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of The Philanthropic Initiative as well as the Insight Center for Community Economic Development National Advisory Board. Away from work, Carla likes spending time with her partner, her grown children, and her dog. She enjoys music, movies, theatre, cooking, and spending time outdoors.
Managing Director, Working Partnerships USA
Bio: Elly joined the organization in 2005 and leads the development, communications and operations team, leadership development programming, and budget and living wage policy projects. During her time with Working Partnerships USA, she led the coalition campaign to pass the nation's most comprehensive living wage policy. She has served on the leadership teams for San Jose's winning 2016 Opportunity to Work Initiative and the Silicon Valley "$15 by '19" minimum wage campaign. Elly also created Working Partnerships' 1000 Leaders Project's unique suite of transformative leadership development programs - run in Silicon Valley and replicated in other regions across the country - that build communities' power to make change. She has helped over 20 statewide and regional organizations across the country with leadership development programs and campaigns for equity in the areas of racial equity, jobs and income, health, education and formerly incarcerated workers. Prior to coming on staff at Working Partnerships USA, she managed leadership development programs for CORO in Northern California. She earned her Bachelor's in Feminist Studies from Stanford University and completed the CORO Fellows Program in Public Affairs, working on issues ranging from domestic violence to organizing women workers to outreach in the LGBTQQI community.
Partner, Holland & Knight
Bio: Jennifer L. Hernandez leads the West Coast Land Use and Environment Practice Group. She divides her time between the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, and works on projects in Northern and Southern California, as well as the Central Valley. She has achieved national prominence in her work on brownfields redevelopment, wetlands and endangered species, as well as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). She represents a broad variety of private, nonprofit and public sector clients, including real estate developers, public agencies and operating companies in numerous industries.
Ms. Hernandez serves on the firm's Directors Committee and was the first West Coast lawyer and first Latina awarded the firm's highest honor for her professional, pro bono and community achievements.
Ms. Hernandez chairs a conference on Climate Change Law in California and has written and spoken extensively on major California climate change laws (including AB 32, SB 375 and SB 97) as well as emerging climate change regulations and guidance documents. Her climate change practice includes integrating climate change requirements into the environmental analyses (relating to greenhouse gas emissions as well as water supply, flood and fire risk, and other topical areas) required by the CEQA for new and modified projects and plans. She also advises clients on legislative and regulatory proceedings pending in Sacramento, in various regional air districts, and in Climate Action Plans and other land use policies being developed by cities and counties. Ms. Hernandez has achieved a "Band 1" ranking from Chambers USA in the fields of environmental and zoning/land use law, and was recognized as the San Francisco Bay Area's top environmental law litigator in 2015 by Best Lawyers.
She has written three books and more than 40 articles on environmental and land use law. She received several professional awards, including a California Lawyer of the Year award for a land use and conservation agreement between her client (the state's largest private landowner) and several major environmental groups including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council. She also received the American Planning Association Award for her book, "A Practical Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act" and the Greenlining Institute's "Big Brain Award" for developing a "New Paradigm that Intersects Environmental and Inner-City Economic and Health Goals." Mayor Willie Brown proclaimed October 9, 2002, as "Jennifer Hernandez Day in San Francisco" for her work on sustainable land use and for being a "warrior on the brownfield."
She has taught land use and environmental law for the University of California and Stanford Law School and frequently speaks for client and lawyer professional associations and continuing education seminars.
Ms. Hernandez was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a Trustee for the San Francisco Presidio. She served as outside counsel to then-Mayor Jerry Brown in the successful no-cost conveyance of the former Naval Depot to the City of Oakland during the first term of President George W. Bush. Ms. Hernandez serves on the boards of directors for several nonprofit organizations, including Sustainable Conservation, the California League of Conservation Voters (where her 20-year tenure as a board member overlaps with fellow board member Nick Josefowitz), and California Forward. She also co-founded a brownfields redevelopment company and served as board chair and general counsel until it was sold to an international environmental remediation firm.
Ms. Hernandez is a fourth generation Californian. She was raised in Pittsburg, California, where her father and both grandfathers spent their careers as steelworkers with U.S. Steel. She lives with her husband and son in the San Francisco Bay area.
President, Nóminas Colombia S.A.S.
Bio: Jorge leads the technology and data division of the Family Independence Initiative (FII). With information, Jorge is challenging stereotypes and highlighting the collective initiatives working poor communities take across the US. These insights do away with the traditional top-down approach to helping people struggling with poverty. Rather than promoting a new program, service or intervention, Jorge trusts that families are the change agents, and advocates for investing in families directly as well as the solutions they are innovating in community. Prior to FII, Jorge worked in the financial securitization sector, focusing on essential infrastructure projects and municipal bond financings in the U.S. and abroad. Jorge holds a Masters in International Relations from the University of California, San Diego and a BA from Amherst College.
Founder, Funding the Next Generation
Bio: Margaret Brodkin is the founder and leader of Funding the Next Generation. Brodkin is a nationally recognized advocate for children, who has spearheaded innovations in a wide range of local public policies, including San Francisco’s groundbreaking Children’s Fund. She graduated from Oberlin College and earned her social work degree at Case Western Reserve University. After 12 years of social work experience in mental health and community centers, she became Executive Director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, a position she held for 26 years. During that time her leadership led to over a billion new dollars added to the San Francisco budget for services to children, youth and families, and major local policy changes in child welfare, juvenile justice, youth development, after-school, and child care. Her work also led to new structures in government that ensured accountability, transparency and authentic community engagement – including the Department of Children, Youth and Families, the Juvenile Probation Commission and the San Francisco Youth Commission.
In 2004, she was appointed Director of the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, the agency which manages the Children’s Fund. She developed new programs and policies to strengthen neighborhood institutions, expand after-school, serve transitional age youth, and create partnerships with over a dozen other city agencies. In 2009, she launched New Day for Learning, a collaboration between the city and the school district to promote community schools. Since 2013, Brodkin has led her own consulting business, and has served as a lecturer at SF State University where she teaches public administration and social change.
Senior Vice President Public Policy, Bay Area Council
Bio: Matt Regan is Senior Vice President of Public Policy whose responsibilities include promoting the Bay Area Council’s legislative and political agendas at the local, state and federal levels. Matt has lead responsibility for the Council’s federal, state and local government relations work and oversees a four-person team focused on 21st century energy and communications infrastructure and water policy. Matt has over 15 years experience working in the political arena and prior to joining the Bay Area Council Matt worked as a contract lobbyist, an in house Government Affairs specialist for a large bank, a State Assembly legislative aide and a field organizer for several high profile elections across the Bay Area.
Matt is a native of Ireland. He attended the Middlesex University School of Law in London where he earned his LLB and the University of Ulster School of Business where he graduated with a Post Graduate Degree in Marketing.
Founder, The Bridge Academy
Bio: Peter Weber is a retired corporate executive, having served as Vice-President of FMC Corporation, a diversified Fortune 500 company; CEO of Teknowledge, Inc., a publicly traded artificial intelligence software and services company; and CEO of Riverbend International, a publicly traded agribusiness company.
Mr. Weber retired in 2001 to dedicate himself to community and economic development activities in the San Joaquin Valley. He currently serves on the boards of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley; the Fresno Regional Jobs Initiative; the Fresno Citizen Corp; the Fresno Business Council; the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; The Fresno Bridge Academy; and Fresno Citizens for Good Government.
Mr. Weber was an advisor to former Fresno Mayor Alan Autry and produced the 2002 strategic plan for the City of Fresno, “Meeting the Challenge.” He currently is an advisor to Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. Mr. Weber also served as co-chair of the Superintendent’s Advisory Task Force for Fresno Unified School District, and was the principal author for the District’s turn-around plan, “Choosing our Future.” In 2009, Mr. Weber authored a policy paper for California Forward titled “Growing California’s Regional Economies: An Economic Growth Strategy for the State of California.”
Mr. Weber is a former director of Riverbend International; Teknowledge Inc; Waterman Industries; RealWorld Schools; The Council of the Americas: the Mercosur Enterprise Council; the Stanford Institute for Manufacturing and Automation; the International Student Exchange Program at the University of Illinois; and the San Jose Museum of Art. He also is a former member of U.S. Trade, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, and the Mexico-U.S. Business Committee.
Mr. Weber, a native of Peru, received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and is a graduate of the Executive Program at the Stanford University Business School. He and his wife Laurie reside in Fresno.
Program Director, Healthy California, The California Endowment
Bio: As a program director for the Healthy California statewide team under The Endowment’s 10-year Building Healthy Communities strategy, Colmenar is responsible for shaping and implementing The Endowment’s statewide efforts to improve community and school
environments so that they promote health. Additionally, Ray coordinates TCE’s Sons & Brothers program which is aimed at improving the health and well-being of boys and young
men of color—a key cross-cutting program priority of the Building Healthy Communities strategy.
Prior to joining The Endowment, Colmenar was an associate director at PolicyLink, a national nonprofit research, communications, capacity building and advocacy organization. While there, he conducted policy research, analysis, coalition building, communications and advocacy on a range of issues, including community health. Colmenar has also served as a senior research
associate with The Rockefeller Foundation, executive director for the South of Market Problem Solving Council, and as a policy analyst for the San Francisco Department of Human Services.
He received his bachelor’s degree in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego; and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. A resident of Albany, California, Colmenar lives with his wife Fatima Angeles, daughter Isabela and son Alessandro.
Co-Founder & CEO, HandUp
Bio: Rose is the co-founder and CEO of HandUp.org, a fundraising platform for poverty-focused nonprofits and the people they serve. Donations on HandUp.org go toward basics like housing and medical care through partnering social service organizations. In 2015, HandUp won the Webby Award for Best Charity, People’s Voice, and Rose was listed in the Top 100 People in Tech by Business Insider. Previously, Rose served as COO at SuperBetter Labs and as a Data Manager for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. She can be found on Twitter at @rosical.
Political Director, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California
Bio: Sharon Cornu joined NPH in 2016 as its first political director. She served as the lead strategist and organizer of NPH’s work on three successful ballot measure campaigns in November 2016, delivering $2 billion in new investment in Bay Area affordable homes. Cornu is an award-winning coalition, communications and campaign organizer. She served as deputy mayor in Oakland, CA; managing director of a statewide political consultancy; and executive officer of the Alameda Labor Council. She initiated a training program to lift up community representation, in addition to direct service on numerous boards and commissions. She co-founded a media center and print shop in Providence, RI, which was recognized as the Governor’s women/minority business of the year. Cornu is a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University and teaches organizational efficacy in the public policy graduate program at Mills College.