Kala Shah — Community Heroes Co-Founder and Executive Director, Community Connector, Soccer Mom of 3 (President): Kala has been on a lifelong quest to figure out what drives people to make their unique positive impact in the world. As a mom to three boys and like many parents out there, she was seeking a way to authentically teach her own kids about gratitude, compassion and service. She has worked on national and statewide policy initiatives to advance the 3Es (economy, environment and equity), with organizations to put those sustainability values to practice and as a funder to encourage civic involvement and activism. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts in Government and French from the University of Texas at Austin.
Toan Lam — Multimedia expert, Community Heroes Co-Founder: Toan is founder of Go Inspire Go, a multimedia platform that “uses social networking for social change,” host of the “TruthDare” podcast and a university instructor. After eight years as a TV reporter, he decided to leave his job to start Go Inspire Go. He wanted to use his power of storytelling to inspire others to use their power (network, resources and talents) to help others. He started the organization with one volunteer and a hope that his first story would inspire five people to help five others. He and his team of volunteers create the inspirational videos anchoring the Community Heroes curriculum.
Kevin Lee — Community Heroes Tech Guy: Kevin helps put inspiring ideas into action in digital form. He was formerly director of email remarketing for Bankrate Insurance and also held the role of director of data strategy, where he oversaw the company’s online insurance applications and testing program. Previously, he was a channel manager at Knight Ridder Digital. Kevin has an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from U.C. Berkeley. In his off hours, he enjoys following baseball, college football and playing word games and logic puzzles.
Board of Directors
Atashi Chakravarty — Nonprofit Executive, Fundraising Expert, Parent, Caregiver, Community Heroes Facilitator: Atashi has worked as a non-profit consultant, as the Member Engagement Manager at the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership in Marin, and as the Executive Director of Narika in Berkeley and has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit community with a focus on fundraising planning and disaster planning. She is a graduate of UC Riverside where she earned a BA in Economics & Political Science.
Corbin Howes — Business Operations, Finance Executive, “Find Your Genius” Founder: Corbin has a Background in Finance & Operations, and is now focusing his skills as a collaborative consultant to help translate strategies into focused operating plans, supportive budgets and financial reporting. He’s also passionate about untapping the genius within children.
Toan Lam — See bio above.
Suzanne Lettrick — Educator, Qualitative Researcher, Real-World Learning Coach: Suzanne is an educator, qualitative researcher, and innovator in “real world learning.” Through her life’s work and research she seeks to answer questions about human potential, fulfillment, and connection. She is an expert on adolescent development and cognition, and has extensive experience through her work both as classroom teacher and now in private practice providing custom strategies to all types of learners, including those with academic challenges and those with unique interests in learning and creating in the real world. As researcher, Suzanne directed a large study based in Jordan on the entrepreneurial mindsets and ecosystems of youth in nine Middle Eastern and African countries. She graduated with her second masters in education (2011) from Harvard University’s Mind, Brain and Education program with Howard Gardner as her mentor. Her most recent research projects explore 1) individual and community wellbeing within Tibetan Buddhist and Himalayan nomadic societies as well as 2) the development and expression of pro-social behaviors in children of Marin County, Calif.
Mita Mayoraz — Entrepreneur, Atmospheric Scientist, Parent (Treasurer): Founder of a technology company developing new technology solutions to provide accessible, affordable and accurate assessment system for app-based learning. Developer of a technology for advanced interface solutions for mobile devices with touch-sensitive screens. Project management and business development at an international government agency. Consulting at a multinational management, technology and policy consulting firm. Experience in environmental consulting, data analysis techniques, new ventures based on innovative technologies and management of technology. Open-minded, analytical, pragmatic and focused on finding solutions and obtaining results; entrepreneurial and innovative. A scientist and a mom, loves to solve brain-bashing puzzles.
Kala Shah — See bio above.
Nimish Shah — Engineer, Analyst Extraordinaire (Secretary): Nimish has a background in wireless communications technology, both in research and development, as well as strategic planning. He has spent the past two decades helping bring successive mobile wireless technologies to market. He enjoys coaching his sons’ soccer and basketball teams and is an active Scout leader. He has a B.S. in Engineering from Cornell University and an M.S. in Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Michele Tharp — Marketing and Branding Expert: Michele is an integrated marketing consultant who is passionate about doing inspiring work that positively impacts the interconnected world in which we live. She provides strategic and management leadership for creating and growing brand identities through effective business and marketing strategies, brand positioning and messaging, digital and visual design, social media and content initiatives, as well as consumer activation and engagement. Michele has held marketing positions with several media companies including Capitol-EMI Records, Showtime Networks, Paragon Media Strategies, and has consulted clients including CBS Radio News, TRX Training, TheBluesMobile Radio Show (with Dan Aykroyd) and the Public Radio Association. Michele recently helped launch and oversees marketing and engagement for the nonprofit start-up VuHaus, a collaborative video network created by the country’s leading public radio companies. Michele is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where she earned a B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing.
Julie Allegro — Venture Capitalist and Founder/Chair of V Foundation Wine Celebration: Over 20 years in technology industry as both an investor and operator. Founder of two venture firms in the seed stage arena achieving top percentile returns. Director of Internet of PFI, a telecommunications startup and early pioneer in building fiber optic networks for 14 cities that turned out to be some of the most profitable in the industry. Strong network into the sports, media and technology worlds have proven real accelerators for entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders of Julie’s initiatives. Founder and Chairwoman of the Wine Celebration, Board of the V Foundation for Cancer Research, V Capital Campaign Committee. The Wine Celebration is now the 3rd largest charity auction in the US raising over $80M. Strategic advisor from seed stage to exit for Bazaarvoice. Board Member for Tango Card, Pley, Trace and Feed.fm. Board Observer MassRelevance (Spreadfast) and OrderGroove. MBA in Finance, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and B.S. in Entrepreneurial & Strategic Management, The Wharton School.
Kelly Chmielewski — Brand, Strategy + Design Innovator: As a catalyst for creativity and evangelist for design thinking, Kelly is passionate about the infinite possibilities that emerge from the intersection of exceptional branding, strategy and design. As a freelance innovation leader and brand builder, Kelly helps teams turn brand purpose into exceptional customer experiences that drive success for their companies. In addition, Kelly works with SMALLIFY, an innovation capacity-building firm based in Menlo Park, Calif., to inspire and enable teams to develop the kind of innovative skills and mindsets needed to keep pace with the changing needs of customers. Previously, Kelly served as vice president of the PBS Creative Lab, the in-house agency delivering best-in-class creative for the No. 5 media company and beloved legacy brand. Over the course of her career, Kelly has been recognized with numerous national honors, including an Emmy Award.
Bob Lenz — Project-Based Learning, 21st Century Skills Education, and Performance Assessment: Bob is Executive Director of the Buck Institute for Education (BIE). Before taking the helm at BIE, he was the co-founder of Envision Education and served as its CEO and Chief of Innovation. Under Bob’s leadership, Envision Education put into practice a highly successful redesign model that has opened a path to college and college retention for underserved urban students at Envision’s three Bay Area arts and technology high schools. Bob also launched Envision Learning Partners, that works with schools, districts and networks of schools across the country as they adopt the Envision Schools College and Career Ready Student Performance Assessment System. He is recognized nationally as a leader in high school redesign, Project Based Learning, 21st century skills education, and performance assessment. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has recognized Bob as a Senior Deeper Learning Fellow. He is the author of Transforming Schools: Using Project-Based Learning, Performance Assessment and Common Core Standards.
Michael Pritchard — Comedian, Youth Counselor, Advocate of Social Emotional Learning: Michael Pritchard is a nationally-acclaimed keynote speaker praised by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time for his ability to use humor to inspire and educate his audiences on life skills. Michael’s sensational stand-up comedy billed him onstage with Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey and Whoopi Goldberg, including a guest appearance on an Emmy Award-winning episode of “Taxi.” He’s done voice work for Star Wars episodes and Sesame Street. Michael rejected offers from Hollywood to focus on using his comic talents for inspiring youth and adults. Drawing from his counseling background, he began using humor to inspire, teach communication skills, anger management, diversity, conflict resolution and overcoming burnout and stress. His seven educational series for PBS and distribution has been seen by millions and focuses on youth guidance in the areas of violence prevention. For his work in promoting nonviolence with youth, Dr. Michael Pritchard was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Hartwick University.
Kathy Wong — Social Entrepreneur: Kathy has a degree in visual communications which she used to start three businesses in the area of design branding, marketing and publishing. Kathy is passionate about community, inspiring children to be change makers, loves 80’s music and hates chokes. After retiring for ten years, Kathy has emerged from retirement to become a social entrepreneur and is making a difference for children in poverty with her Australia-based business, Moeloco, which means “dream crazy.” Moeloco designs and manufactures a rubber flip flop that leaves positive messages in the sand such as I am Peace and Be Grateful. For every pair sold, Moeloco donates one pair of canvas shoes to a child in need that then allows them to attend school and protect their health. Kathy’s vision for a dream crazy world is one where every product or service we purchase has a give back and leaves a positive mark on the world. Key to this picture is inspiring children to become social entrepreneurs and change makers.