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LA '13 Institute for Social Innovation - Candidates Bios


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LA '13 Institute for Social Innovation - Candidates Bios

  1. 1. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social InnovationAnnenberg Community Beach HouseSanta Monica, CA 90402February 14 – 18, 2013Candidate Bios
  2. 2. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Alan Hurt, Chief Lighting Officer, B.S., Engineering 5+ years on sustainable engineering projects in 13 countries in the developing world. Following a volunteering trip to Kenya in 2007, Alan is making it his lifelong mission to solve the global epidemic that is “Light Poverty.” Alan has broad experience working on engineering projects in 16 countries and has collaborated with start-ups in Kenya including; Re:Char, Jane Adeny Memorial School, African Christian Organization Network, and Walk Children’s Church. As Chief Lighting Officer Alan oversees all engineering and operational processes of LUA, including: manufacturing of the Taapoa, and on the ground operations. Angela Vujic is a freshman at Georgia Tech majoring in International Affairs in attempt to understand how the world works. She is also lucky enough to be a President’s Scholar and in the Honors Program, both through which she meets astounding people who make her college experience incredible. She does Enterprise to Empower, Tech’s social entrepreneurship initiative; Emerging Leaders, a selective freshman organization which funds novel student-led service projects; Spanish Speaking Organization, to keep her love of language; and the X-Degree Program, to propose a new degree program for Georgia Tech that beautifully combines International Affairs and Industrial Engineering. She loves social entrepreneurship and cannot wait for StartingBloc. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder with degrees philosophy and psychology, Ashley Elmblad realized she knew how to think quite well, but didn’t know how to do anything. As such, she stepped into the consulting world working with hospitals to enhance their revenue cycle – an experience she sees as her Masters Degree in “How-To-Do-Stuff”. In August, she left consulting in pursuit of more impact-driven industries and has her eyes set on a career in design- thinking within the to health and wellness space. While applying to MBA programs and design-thinking firms, Ashley’s begun consulting for Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Corporate Compensation Team on how they can improve their performance- based compensation processes. Ashley loves ice-climbing (much less terrifying than skiing), traveling (once went to Syria on a questionably illegitimate visa), Harry Potter, and recently discovered a guilty love of Adobe Creative Suite. Becca Holt is a senior at UCLA, finishing a degree in International Development Studies and a minor in Gender Studies. She is the Executive Director of Nourish International at UCLA, a student organization that uses the tools of entrepreneurship to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty. With Nourish, she has been part of an amazing team that launched her universitys only thrift sale as well as a catering service called Hot Food for Hot Messes. Shes passionate about the abolition of human trafficking, the field of microfinance, Argentine empanadas, and shaking her groove thang. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her Mentorship at UCLA friends and her mentee, Los Angeless most awesome fifteen-year-old. Shes looking forward to working through exciting ideas with her LA 13 class._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  3. 3. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Brandon Liu is a 3rd-year undergraduate studying Computer Science at Harvard University. Brandon is an analytical thinker and entrepreneur with a background in the natural sciences, theoretical computer science, technology entrepreneurship, non-profits, software engineering, and organizational leadership. He has interned at several tech startups, including RapLeaf, Knewton, and Asana, has consulted for others, and developed an electronic medical record system deployed in health clinics in rural India. He has worked to start entrepreneurship initiatives at school with HackHarvard and teaches seminars and workshops on technology and entrepreneurship. Brandon is most passionate about bridging the fields of computer science and global health through his organization, Tech in the World, which provides global health fellowships for top computer science students. Reach out to him at! Caroline Kessler received her Bachelors degree in creative writing, with a minor in religion, from Carnegie Mellon University in December 2011. Hailing from outside Baltimore, she has studied abroad and volunteered in India, worked as the AJC Goldman Fellow for a human rights nonprofit in Warsaw, and traveled to many other places in between. A poet at heart, shes currently a candidate manager at a technical recruiting firm in San Francisco, where she bicycles everywhere, makes zines, manages ReWork’s blog, and plans her next adventure. Christine Lai currently serves as a ProInspire Fellow at Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy – a network of collegiate preparatory charter schools serving the District of Columbia area. As the Marketing Manager, she focuses on marketing/communication initiatives and building community relationships. Christine began her career as a founding staff member at the University of California, Merced. She also spent over six years with Nike’s Tournament of Champions. Prior to joining Chavez Schools, Christine was the Executive Strategy Director at Elite Meetings International, a hospitality marketing and technology start-up representing luxury hotels and resorts around the world. Outside of work, Christine serves on the Advisory Council of 85 Broads, a global women’s network. Christine graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Political Science. She enjoys concerts, food, snowboarding, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Cindy Sui is a 3rd year at the University of Chicago and leads her university’s chapter of GlobeMed, an organization dedicated to training student advocates for global health equity through a year-long global health curriculum and long-term partnerships with grassroots health organizations. Every year, the chapter and its partner organization plan, fund and execute a project to improve the health of the partners community. The University of Chicago’s partner is the Asociación de Personas Afectadas por Tuberculosis del Perú (ASPAT-Peru), who support tuberculosis patients in the urban shantytowns surrounding Lima. Cindy worked on- site in Peru this past summer and discovered a burgeoning love for its people, vibrancy and ceviche. She hopes to go to medical school and to use her medical knowledge to build healthcare capacities around the world in the future._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  4. 4. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Claire Tramm is currently the CEO and co-founder of Effortless Energy, a residential energy services company that makes home energy efficiency the no-brainer that it ought to be. Before this, she led business development for BlueStar Energy, which was successfully acquired in 2012. Claire helped businesses, governments and NGOs with strategic, operational, and policy challenges while working at McKinsey & Company. During her year as a McKinsey Civic Fellow, Claire led implementation of the Chicago Climate Action Plan and Chicago’s green jobs program under Mayor Daley. She also helped lead the turnaround of the City Colleges of Chicago. Claire received a B.S. in Cognitive Science, a B.S. in Psychology, a B.A. in Political Science, and a business certificate from Indiana University Bloomington and is currently finishing her Masters of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. She is a fan of bluegrass (and most other kinds of) music. Cloe Shasha is a connector with a love of design, writing, curating experiences, innovation, and building communities. She works at TED Conferences, LLC on speaker research, community outreach, and conference production. She is co- founding Global Leadership Lab, an organization that connects innovators and helps individuals build leadership skills. In the past, she has been a Middlebury College admissions interviewer, a logo and web designer, a cognitive psychology researcher, a solar engineering document translator from English to French and English to Spanish, an industrial design researcher, a commissioned child portrait painter, and a news journalist for ABC News as well as for small print newspapers. She founded and organized TEDxMiddlebury in 2010 and helped launch an accelerator program called The Bold Academy in 2011. In her free time, she helps people find work, plans parties, dances, sings, writes, takes photographs, travels whenever possible, and goes on outdoor adventures. Danny Growald is Co-Founder of Aethos Energy, a private equity fund working to bring proven clean energy technologies to scale in emerging markets through joint ventures with established project development firms. Prior to founding Aethos Energy, Danny was Strategist for The Bold Academy’s inaugural 2012 summer session in Boulder, CO, and worked with renowned social entrepreneur Paul Polak on the development of transformative poverty-fighting businesses in clean water and bioenergy. He is a 2011 graduate of Princeton University, where he studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and was deeply involved in social enterprise and climate change activism. When not working on his venture, Danny can be found hiking, cycling, and climbing in the Rocky Mountains, or blacksmithing at his forge back home in Vermont. De Andrea Nichols is a creative insurgent. Simply put. As a communications designer, social venturer, and graduate student based in St. Louis, MO, De lives for disrupting social norms for creative social change. As creator of CatalystsbyDesign, De partners with communities to harness fields of design as tools for addressing issues of social segregation, economic development, and youth engagement. She additionally engages these topics as a masters candidate for social entrepreneurship at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. De engages creatives, do-gooders, and start-ups as a public speaker and creative consultant, helping to unlock the creative impact of initiatives through graphic design, program development, web development, and strategic planning. She can be reached via Twitter (@catalystxdesign)._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  5. 5. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Deborah Altman is a 2011 graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. While at Bates, Deborah studied anthropology, which lead her to India where she studied spirit possession and religious healing as a means of empowerment for women in a South Indian dargah (Sufi shrine). Her post-college adventures lead her to Peru where she worked with archeologists to help set up a museum to house Yale’s recently repatriated Machu Picchu collection. Outside of her work, Peru was an opportunity to gain some insight into Andean culture and thus, deepen her knowledge of traditional belief systems and health practices. Deborah is fascinated by the intersection of health, religion, and culture and is starting to think about how social entrepreneurship fits into this realm. In the future, Deborah hopes to get her Master’s of Public Health degree so that she can work abroad on women’s health issues in the developing world. Elise Omaits graduated from Agnes Scott College in 2012 with an economics degree. She currently works as a Research Assistant for Harvard University and the SERP Institute on the Word Generation literacy study in the Baltimore City Public Schools. She was one of the Harry Truman Scholarship Finalists for Michigan in 2011. In her spare time she plays on a dodge ball league and does hot yoga. Elise’s Blog: This American Elizabeth Garlow joined Michigan Corps in May 2012 as Director of Strategy. She oversees the organizations efforts to launch and lead web-based social change efforts that bring Michiganders together in imaginative ways and grow a community of "Corps Members." Prior to joining Michigan Corps, Elizabeth spent four years working to advance domestic microfinance with ACCION, where she focused on strategic partnership development and program implementation to grow the countrys leading microloan portfolio. While with ACCION, Elizabeth led Samuel Adams signature philanthropy program, Brewing the American Dream" program, transforming it into a thriving, nationwide initiative. Elizabeth started her career researching The Economy of Communion Initiatives efforts in business social responsibility and cooperative movements in Brazil, Argentina and Italy. Ellia Chon graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a minor in Art History. As a student, Ellia worked as a strategy intern at the Boston Consulting Group and a finance intern at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Ellia works as at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she delivers business operations risk assessments and reviews for Fortune 500 clients. Future career plans include sustainable business solutions strategy consulting (Energy and Corporate Responsibility) for various industries. Ellia is passionate about new ideas. She has driven new initiatives at the workplace for quality improvement and started a micro-finance club at UCLA. She also actively volunteers as a Project Lead with the Riordan Programs Alumni Association to help spread financial literacy to underrepresented minority students within Los Angeles. Ellia is a Strategy Consultant for the Taproot Foundation and is currently consulting for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  6. 6. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Fermín Liu Ku is a member of Dartmouth’s class of 2015, and a Government and Women and Gender Studies double major. He was born in Spain to Taiwanese diplomats and has lived in Honduras, Paraguay, Taiwan, and the United States. On campus, Fermín is an undergraduate advisor, a certified mentor against violence, and a trained eating disorder peer advisor. He also serves as a DREAM mentor for children of the Upper Valley region and an international student for Dartmouth’s international class of 2016. Fermin is passionate about human rights and civil rights movements and aspires to be a civil rights prosecutor to promote rights of minority groups in the nation. He has interned with VOICE 4 Girls, a women-empowerment NGO in India, and the Annie Kuster Congressional Campaign, and has served as a Center for Women and Gender fellow in Cambridge, MA. Garik Cruise Sadovy is a graduate student at NC State University studying Geographic Information Systems and Analytics where he also teaches classes on student success and Lifestyle Design for the Honors Program. His primary interests are biodiversity conservation, cartography, unconventional fitness, dangerous megafauna, purple cows, and systems engineering. Garik has been involved in a number of research efforts in biomaterials engineering and conservation and recently spent more than 14 months in Southeast Asia researching Indonesian resource policy and starting a biodiversity preserve in the Philippines. He hopes to continue his work in Southeast Asia, developing capacity for community mapmaking to solve challenges in environmental and human rights issues. In his spare time, Garik can be found beating snatch records with his 2 pod kettlebell, running barefoot, or singing selections from Les Miserables. Hannah Johnson is an enthusiastic, out-of-the box leader with an unwavering commitment to innovative solutions that drive social impact. Upon graduating from the University of California, Irvine in 2008, she moved to South Korea and worked with the English broadcasting networks as a reporter, writer, and producer. Her proudest achievement was the production of a documentary segment, which showcased the lives of non-western expatriates in Korea. Hannah returned to the United States in 2011 to be featured as a Summer Roadtripper for Season 8 of Roadtrip Nation and traveled through 40 states interviewing 30 leaders about how they defined their own paths in life. The next year, Hannah returned for a second road trip for Roadtrip Nation’s college tour where she shared her summer experience with college students across the nation. Hannah is a Strategic Partnerships Manager at Roadtrip Nation and works to further the Roadtrip Movement. Harmeet Gill is passionate about the empowerment and progress of communities and societies. She is excited by innovation, science, and technology – especially in energy and water. She is an Engineer for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. She enjoys working on business development and strategic opportunities and learning from others with similar passions and goals. Within GE, Harmeet has led and contributed to teams in growth and commercial competitions to develop new ideas. She is a co-Chair for the Northern California hub of GE’s Asian Pacific American Forum. Harmeet is also the Bay Area Ambassador for BLISS, a social enterprise that empowers adolescent girls and women in rural Pakistan through education and entrepreneurship, who continue their educations while earning an income through the sale of embroidered handbags. Harmeet holds a B.S. from MIT and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. She is looking forward to meeting the StartingBloc community!_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  7. 7. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Imran Khan is currently a public policy graduate student at the University of Virginias Batten School. His interest and passion working in community development, neighborhood revitalization, and urban policy through social entrepreneurship and innovation brought him to StartingBloc. He has several years of teaching and after-school programs experience through Los Angeles and Dallas area public schools, and has also taught abroad. As an AmeriCorps alumnus, he worked with PepsiCo and CitySquare to deliver food as part of a student nutrition and summer enrichment program for underserved communities in Dallas. During previous summers, he has worked as a fellow for Education Pioneers and the U.S. Department of Energy. Before moving into the social sector, he worked as a research and development scientist within the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Imran received his BS in biochemistry from Texas A&M University and MEd from Southern Methodist University. Imran Khoja is the Founder of Designed Good, a social enterprise startup that curates products at the intersection of design and social good. He wants to turn online purchases into easy ways for people to participate in social change. He loves applying design thinking to come up with solutions to social problems and thinks that the sOccket is one of the coolest inventions ever. Having grown up in London, Islamabad, Warsaw, Vancouver, and Dubai, Imran is excited to join a worldly group of StartingBloc fellows and learn from their experiences. As an avid runner and surfer, he hopes to get to know some Fellows over early morning runs in February. Imran is a recent graduate of Williams College and will be matriculating at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in the fall of 2014. Isayas Theodros is a Claremont McKenna alum (10) that began working for Deloitte & Touche after graduation. At Deloitte, he was able to gain exposure to companies in industries including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and solar energy. Isayas is also a member of Paradigm LA Church, where he serves as a mentor and teacher to elementary (4th, 5th, 6th) students. When he is not busy working, or volunteering, Isayas enjoys acting and playing basketball. While in his senior year at Claremont McKenna College, Isayas served as student body president and successfully hosted the first-annual-consortium-wide music festival, in addition to hosting "Lupe Fiasco" for a concert later that year. Isayas is also passionate about Ethiopia and hopes to find that his life work culminates in starting/running a successful social enterprise that tackles issues pertinent to the well-being of its people and the general advancement of the country. Jacobo Peleteiro is currently based in London, getting his hands on several projects. Originally from Spain, he moved to the UK to do a BEng mechanical engineering in Nottingham University, then to Brunel London to do his MSc in industrial design. Jacobo is taking a role within GREEN for the UK. During his undergrad, he manufactured bicycle frames out of natural fiber composites to be built in the 3rd world. In his masters, he designed a mobile phone charger for bicycles, to be marketed by Marks & Spencer. He is passionate about many subjects but is closer to sustainable development and technology driven social innovation. His long-term dream yet to fulfill is to become part of an early stage startup. In his spare time, Jacobo enjoys travelling, trying every existing sport and restoring old motorbikes in the company of his father. He is enthusiastic about new experiences and meeting people._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  8. 8. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Jamie Furbush is from Silver Spring, Maryland and works for Deloitte’s Federal Consulting practice in D.C. She has supported client engagements on federal health, homeland security, and treasury accounts. Jamie is very active in the firm’s Women’s Initiative (WIN), a community whose mission is to support the retention and advancement of top female talent. Jamie is also very involved with and interested in facilitation, graphic facilitation, and group collaboration. Jamie has always been moved by civil rights issues; she is looking forward to strengthening her ability to shift the conversation of these issues to center around solutions. She thrives with other can-do spirits that are open to new ideas and understand the value of communicating with sensitivity and listening supportively. In her free time, Jamie likes to play soccer and tennis, read, and spend time with her family. Jason D. Rowley is a polymath. A writer, graphic designer and amateur typographer from Chicago, he is cofounder and chief executive of Mergenote, a social knowledge management platform combining an expressive text and equation editor and a flexible content management system that places an emphasis on collaboration. He is heavily involved in Chicago’s technology startup scene, and has worked with organizations ranging from the University of Chicago to the United Nations. He is currently on leave from the University of Chicago, where he studied political science and specialized in the study of violence, organizational decision-making, and nuclear deterrence. Jason has a deep and abiding love of minimalism, literature, the Enlightenment, electronic music and good bacon. Jay Todd Max (aka JT) is interested in applying his technical knowhow toward alleviating significant, large-scale problems. Specifically, he is interested in innovative energy technologies, and grass-roots development. In the Spring of 2013 he will earn his Major in Civil Engineering (Environmental focus) and his Minor in Entrepreneurship, and in the Spring of 2014 he will earn a Master in Mechanical Engineering (Energy focus). He has worked for Idealab, consulting and prototyping for eSolar and WorldHaus. He has participated in ThinkImpact’s Innovation Institute, working with community members in Rwanda to start a pre-school, and in the American Youth Foundation’s National Leadership Conference. At USC he is researching with Dr. Pirbazari’s Safe Water for All Nations Initiative to find solutions for providing safe water in rural villages of the developing world, and the chapter president for the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta. He looks forward to meeting you! Jeff Weston is a trilingual MBA graduate of Georgetown Universitys McDonough School of Business with a strong international background (lived, worked, and studied for over three years in Argentina, Brazil, and Honduras). While at Georgetown, Jeff was intensely involved in the Net Impact Club, through which he regularly engaged with a variety practitioners in international development, social enterprise, and the non-profit sector. He also created and led the business schools first seminar on impact investing and began the discussion of creating a social venture fund at Georgetown. Jeffs work experience includes real estate private equity, social enterprise and non-profit management. Most recently, Jeff led the launch of B Revolution Capital, an angel investor network focused on attracting capital for socially and environmentally oriented ventures. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  9. 9. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Jessica Gonzalez is Program Manager with Dress for Success Phoenix. Starting off as a volunteer, Jessica learned many of the fundamental aspects that continue to drive many nonprofit organizations, like Dress for Success Phoenix. Currently, she manages all aspects of the Dress for Success suiting programs, including volunteer recruitment and training, maintaining program files, and ensuring client and partner program satisfaction. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies & Sociology from Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, and an Associate’s Degree from Johnson & Wales University in Marketing. In addition, she is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership at Arizona State University. Prior to joining Dress for Success Phoenix, Jessica worked as an Assistant Store Manager at Kohl’s Department Stores. She has led various community based programs at Kohl’s, through the Kohl’s Cares for Kids Program. Jessica Taylor joined GE as part of the Communication Leadership Development Program (CLDP). During the program, she worked in Brussels and Dubai on marketing and communication initiatives. She joined the Global Public Affairs team in Washington D.C. in June 2010 to support the team’s thought leadership and digital efforts. Recently, she launched an online publication for GE called Ideas Lab (, which fosters discussion about policy issues impacting the U.S. and the global economy. She graduated cum laude from Boston University with a major in International Relations and a minor in Geography. Jim Kleiber lives, loves, and laughs, but mostly laughs. He has worked across a variety of industries, countries, disciplines, and economic levels, and is pleasantly surprised when anyone can connect the dots. His current endeavor is to better understand his emotions and the emotions of others, and to do so in a fun yet deep way. Booyah! Oh, and he is an avid fan of wearing clever yet dysfunctional costumes. Joaquin Beltran took leave from college to run his family’s small business where he learned the importance of community. Upon returning to California State University, Los Angeles, he changed his major to Political Science and began organizing for Obama for America in Northeast Las Vegas. Inspired through his work on the campaign, he decided to make a difference on his campus and successfully ran for Student Body President. After graduation, he joined the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Centers Network where he created their public affairs strategy. Joaquin was recently a Coro Fellow at Coro Southern California and worked on several community projects including the creation of a strategic plan for a financial literacy canvassing campaign in East Los Angeles. Since the Fellowship he has founded Mentorvine, a web-based platform to create mentorship relationships and help young professionals reach the next level in their career._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  10. 10. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Jon Koehmstedt is a student studying Computer Science. He is also highly involved in the community. In high school, Jon volunteered 60 hours of service to the Lamb Shelter, was a member of the Key Club, and Amnesty International. Jon continues his engagement by serving the community through organizing the DC Metro Innovation Project (an entrepreneurs’ group in Alexandria, VA that teaches entrepreneurship), through (a non-profit charity Jon founded to raise money for underprivileged and homeless children in DC for Christmas), and organizing campus bible studies as the President of the Youth Christian Association. Jon is passionate about academics. In high school, Jon was part of the National Honor Society, the Math Honor Society, and the Science Honor Society. Jon upholds a 4.0 GPA and is on track to graduate with Honors. Outside of his 16 credit load, Jon is teaching himself Java, JavaScript, and Python programming languages. Jovanna Youssef graduated in 2010 from the University of California, Irvine with a B.A. in Business Economics and Accounting. She currently works as a Project Controller at Deloitte Consulting in Los Angeles where she’s an active member of the Learning Initiative, Women’s Initiative, and the Community Service Initiative. Her passions and interests include international development and social justice and she’ll be applying to MBA/International Affairs programs in the fall. She’s looking forward to connecting and collaborating with everyone and can’t wait to see all of the great things that we think up. Julie Markham believes that global entrepreneurship is a powerful force to drive innovation and spur international economic development. She is hell-bent on seeing more women rise the top and create economic opportunities for themselves internationally. Julie got her first taste of entrepreneurship as an intern for the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 2009 where she interviewed many inspiring women micro-entrepreneurs. She went on to work on the founding team of Greenlighted, a social venture that focused on helping consumers vote with their dollars for environmentally and socially responsible companies in Boulder, CO. Just recently, Julie returned from an 8-month backpacking trip around-the-world where she climbed high mountains, dived deep in the sea, and received more marriage proposals than she can remember. Julie received a MBA, Masters in Real Estate and Construction Management, and BSBA in Real Estate, summa cum laude from the University of Denver. Karie Toporowski has just completed her MBA at The Ohio State University and recently relocated Orange County in Southern California. During her MBA she became extremely passionate about social entrepreneurship, sustainability, and the global economy. She is also interested in ideas/projects that empower women and/or people from emerging economies to become self-sufficient in working towards a better life. She would like to use her MBA powers for good not evil. Her background is in accounting and finance, and she is interested in ideas that look at using these fields/skills in a new light._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  11. 11. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Keegan Guizard is originally from Sloatsburg, NY but grew up in Wilmington, NC from the age of four. At 18 years old, he moved to Raleigh, NC to pursue a Civil Engineering degree at North Carolina State University. Two years later, he transferred colleges within the university to study Supply Chain Management and Entrepreneurship at the College of Management. At NC State, he started one of the first college skateboarding clubs, where he helped further college skateboarding and set the groundwork for his start-up, Collegiate Skate Tour. He also studied abroad in Peru, achieved a Higher Certificate of Business Spanish from the University of Madrid, and earned the Poole College of Management Board of Advisors Outstanding Student Award. He plans to move forward with his passion for skateboarding and entrepreneurship to build Collegiate Skate Tour, simultaneously incentivizing education and offering college-level competition for skateboarders all over the country. Kristin Weis is a regional security strategist fusing innovation and foreign policy to address causes and catalysts of anticipated future conflicts. She received her bachelors in international affairs from The George Washington University in 2007, and has since provided business development expertise in a range of markets, from independent coffee retailers to defense contractors in the federal market. In addition, Ms. Weis runs the programming strategy for a global nonprofit dedicated to fostering the next generation of foreign policy leaders. She also serves as a mentor for undergraduates and young alumni at her alma mater. In her free time, Ms. Weis enjoys hiking and exploring new perspectives through domestic and international travel. Lauren DiPerna is a techie with a degree in computer science from George Washington University and a passion for social entrepreneurship. She is an avid blogger, award winning writer and photographer, as well as a long time volunteer for many different causes. According to many people, she spends an unhealthy amount of time at the library. Her main passion when it comes to social entrepreneurship is market-based approaches to ecological restoration, preservation of biodiversity, and ecosystem conservation. Laurin Hodge considers herself a confidently clumsy academic entrepreneur. It has taken her whole life (relatively speaking) but she has stumbled into herself and she is confident she likes the woman she has become. What she knows for sure is: She has an eye for style & all things beautiful; She is a social entrepreneur and most inspired when building her not-for-profit Mission: Launch, Inc.; She is addicted to curating stuff worth knowing; and, She loves to study the socio-economics of people, markets & institutions. Cheers to an organized life of chaos!_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  12. 12. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Lucy Nguyen is a recently graduated senior from California State University Long Beach with a major in business marketing and a minor in political science. From a young age, she has demonstrated a desire to initiate positive change and an entrepreneurial spirit. Most recently she served as the first Vietnamese-American to be elected as President/CEO of the Associated Students Inc., CSULBs student government and $15 million non-profit with over 70 full-time and 100 part-time employees. She not only served as an advocate for everything from students’ rights to a defender of higher education, but steadfastly took on the peripheral aspect of college such as the development programming and services that cater to students beyond their academic needs. Most recently, she was honored among the Long Beach Posts "40 Under 40" list of young people who have made a difference in the community. Magen Jennings was born and raised in the US Virgin Islands. After graduating salutatorian from high school, she moved stateside to earn a Biology degree from Wesleyan University. Magen attended UCONN medical school before leaving to follow her passion; working in the film industry. An opportunity to work on a feature length documentary on dyslexia opened her eyes to the ability to use visual storytelling to empower and educate people. Magen is currently a production coordinator on a swing dance documentary and recently managed a $100,000 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the film. She has worked on community development in Costa Rica and hopes to use her passion for film to improve the world. Magen is also co-founding a clothing company that designs t-shirts to empower young girls to study science. Mary Koppes has been on a mission to learn how to craft a meaningful life. Her teachers include: the Sawtooth mountains, experts in serenity and beauty. Backpackers abroad with serious adventuring skills. Farm-to-table restaurant owners who exemplified living in integrity. Two Buddhist Lamas encouraging her to look to the mind. Non-violent communicators who connect with authenticity. She comes to StartingBloc with hopes of learning how to use her accumulated knowledge to improve our world. With dreams of learning concrete ways of connecting the internal worlds of our amazing minds to the external worlds of work, politics, education, environment and community in order to connect deeply, participate authentically, and live in full integrity. She wants to cultivate ideas on how to transform the world through the transformation of ourselves. Megan Colgan studied economies, business, politics, and culture as an International Relations and Geography major at The Ohio State University, laying the basis for her unique perspective as a marketer and innovator. Interning at Opportunity International jump-started her international and ‘cause’ related marketing career. She developed an ethical ecommerce idea; and competed in several case competitions. After graduating, she went to work for Discover Financial Services’ Marketing Leadership Program, rotating through: E-Business email marketing, Global Product Development, and Brand Management. After the program, she is permanently with Diners Club Global Brand and Marketing, managing relationships with over 40 franchises across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East working on the brand, launching campaigns, sponsorships, and social media. Now, with both the international marketing experience and the passion for social entrepreneurship, she is eager to make an impact!_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  13. 13. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Michelle Tsang is from Hong Kong, and is a 2010 undergraduate from USC. After college, she worked at a social enterprise where she became extremely interested in social entrepreneurship. She is now back in school getting her masters in entrepreneurship and marketing, while working in real estate portfolio management. On the side, Michelle has recently started DCurio ( - a jewelry and accessories e-commerce store that sells exquisite accessories from around the world. For each order placed, DCurio provides clean drinking water for a person in Ethiopia for one day. Michelle looks forward to be able to expand her company and give users a better shopping experience, while being able to give  back even more in the near future. Miho Kubagawa is the Senior Recruitment Manager at KIPP NYC, a non-profit network of public KIPP charter schools that serves over 3,7000 students and alumni in New York City. Prior to this role, she was the founding 7th grade math teacher at KIPP Infinity Middle School in Harlem, where she taught for three years. She is an alumnus of Teach for America (NYC 2007), Duke University (BS in Economics, 2007) and Pace University (MST in Adolescent Education, 2009). In her free time, she enjoys running (ask her about the 2012 NYC marathon), travelling and brainstorming ways to engage in ed reform efforts in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Mohamed Berro was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in Electrical Engineering. In late 2008, he moved to California where he currently lives and works for the Navy as an Electrical/Software Engineer. He also volunteers for a non-profit organization called Court Appointed Special Advocates for foster children (CASA). As a CASA volunteer he advocates for foster children who are victimized by the foster care system. He also mentors them by spending time with them every week. Naveed Ahmad is a Project Leader at Dalberg Global Development Advisors where he advises executives on how to alleviate poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. He also is the co-founder and CEO of Minds Matter of San Francisco, a mentorship organization for low-income high school students. Naveed previously worked at Bain & Co. and MITs Jameel Abdul Latif Poverty Action Lab. Naveed graduated with High Honors from UC Berkeley in Engineering Physics._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  14. 14. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Patricia Echeverria was born in Spain, and raised between Madrid and Los Angeles. She graduated from Cornell Universitys architecture program, and loves to apply design thinking to social innovation. She has collaborated on a number of design initiatives to promote economic, environmental, and social development. In 2010, she participated in a service planning project, for a small pilgrimage town in Rajasthan, India, where she worked with townspeople and local officials to propose an urban renewal scheme. In 2011, she collaborated with young international designers to develop an environmental conservation scheme, to promote conflict resolution within the Korean DMZ. She recently interned at TED Conferences, where she worked on the TED Prize, a powerful platform to promote a "a wish to change the world." She believes that design has the power to imagine alternative, and improved realities, and hopes to find creative solutions to a wide range of global, contemporary problems. Patrick Ip is an entrepreneur, educational advocate and coffee connoisseur. He previously worked at the United Nations, serving as Executive Director for UNAI ASPIRE. At the United Nations, Patrick created the first ever public program and youth event at the 63rd Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference and worked with over 700 Universities in creating projects to change the world. In 2009, Patrick was elected one of the youngest California politicians in history serving as an Assembly District Delegate. Now as CEO of Kip Solutions, Patrick is working towards helping for- purpose companies increase their impact through social media. Quing Zhou currently works as the Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship at the Prostate Cancer Foundation, where she spearheaded the launch of a cancer research funding initiative in China. She also serves as the Vice President of External Affairs on the Executive Board of the Riordan Programs Alumni Association. She graduated from Yale University as a Humanities major with a concentration in Intellectual History. Having interned/conducted research/studied abroad in five countries, Quing speaks Mandarin as well as Spanish and is currently learning Korean. Shes an active yogis, runner, traveler, and sloth lover. Radiris Diaz is a strategic technology consultant in the financial sector. She is the Happiness Officer for her 100+ person group. She works with leadership on approaching employee development from an innovative, holistic perspective. Previously, she was a Strategy & Change Consultant at IBM, specializing in Operations Strategy in Energy & Utilities. In 2009, she co-launched, a web publication, to bring the female perspective on technology to the world. Its purpose is to showcase the many hats women wear and inspire women to pursue careers in technology. Ms. Diaz is applying to graduate schools to transition from strategy and technology consulting, into a role that develops talent and improves organizational effectiveness. She is passionate about positive psychology. She hopes to one day become an organizations Chief Happiness Officer._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  15. 15. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ After having completed his Masters in Computers and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania, Rishi Rais has been working full time with a financial firm near New York. He has been involved in a couple of startups and entrepreneurial ventures during school and after, working part time. Being born and brought up in India, Rishi sees a huge scope of improvement in healthcare management practices in India and would love to build solutions for the same. Roxy Allen is an international nonprofit and association professional with eight years of experience managing learning, networking, and leadership/professional development events. Most recently she served as the Events Manager at InsideNGO, an association of close to 300 international relief and development organizations. She also worked on the selection process for Fortune Magazines the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America list at the Great Place to Work Institute. Roxy holds an M.A. in conflict transformation with a focus in organizational development from the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University and was a student at Seth Godins nano-MBA program. Roy Rao is an Operation consultant of CGN & Associates, a global management consulting firm. Roy is interested in how to combine technology within social sector. He has been actively engaged in social innovation by contributing to the local and international educational community: he volunteered teaching in Delhi, India 2010 and participated in Social Enterprise Conference held by Harvard Business School for the past few years. Currently, he serves as a member of Peoria Promise where he plans fundraising events to help students attend college in Peoria, IL. He received his BA in psychology from Knox College. Outside work, Roy loves travel and outdoors.     Ryota Sekine is a senior-year student from Japan, studying at the University of Chicago. Having spent most of his life in Southeast Asia, he was given an opportunity to live in a culturally rich environment from a young age. Prompted by his experience traveling around countries in Asia, he developed an interest in pursuing a career in the intersection of business, international relations and technology. An avid believer in leveraging the power of young people for social progress, he eventually hopes to join a growing community of global changemakers in Japan to work collectively towards bridging the gap between Japan and the global community, empowering the country to become a leading player in advocating for the socioeconomic development of people within Japan as well as those in developing countries in Southeast Asia, Latin America and beyond._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  16. 16. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Safia Tapal owes her interest in the StartingBloc Fellowship and social innovation in general to a small leap of faith that led her to Beijing the summer after graduating from Tufts in 2010. While in China, she worked for a start-up social enterprise focused on leadership development and experiential education. The experience was her first insight into the climate and challenges facing entrepreneurs in an emerging market and made her realize that a non-profit organization rarely survives as just a great idea. She’s now looking forward to the chance to learn from and work together with StartingBloc’s global network of fellows and mentors in order to help her find her purpose in the sector. More importantly, she’s excited by the opportunity to be challenged, and to grow with a group of individuals who share a belief in the power of innovation to tackle today’s global issues. Sam Kim works at FSG, a social sector strategy consultancy, and has broad experience in strategy, evaluation, and research. Sam’s consulting work includes developing corporate social responsibility and shared value strategies for corporations, and strategic planning for nonprofits and foundations. He has also conducted impact evaluations of domestic violence providers in Missouri and development of shared measurement systems. Sam has also contributed to a white paper on the pharmaceutical and medical device industry creating shared value in global health. Before FSG, Sam worked in supply chain and sales analytics at a start-up company, helped start a successful restaurant that sources from local urban-farmers, and interned in microfinance at World Vision International. Sam graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a BA in Economics and a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. Sanjay Aathreyasa is an undergraduate student at BITS Pilani studying Mass Media and Communication. While at BITS, Sanjay won the prestigious general election to become 53th President of BITS Pilani Student Union, representing 4000 students, governing 50+ student associations and managing a budget of over 1.5 crore in his tenure. He has worked with cross-functional teams to resolve a gamut of governance issues and helped students create and continue viable and effective student services to improve campus life. He has raised the food standards and transparency levels of student mess services by designing tripartite model of working. As the head of rotary club student center, Sanjay was awarded ‘Student Inspire Award’ by Government of Andhra Pradesh for initiating ‘Adopt a Govt. school’ campaign, mobilizing corporate schools to adopt Govt. schools and help government school students in procurement of basic amenities like school uniforms, textbooks etc. Sebastian Cadenas is a very fortunate person - an entrepreneur from Patagonia Argentina who divides his time between Buenos Aires, California and New Zealand. Hes Co-Founder of Road2Argentina and Head of Marketing and Partner at RESULTS.com_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  17. 17. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Stephanie Cohen was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She was part of the young national soccer league and was captain of her clubs soccer team for three years. She moved to the US and is currently enrolled at the University of Miami, Florida. She is very interested in health and nutrition, and committed to help young generations understand how a good nutrition will impact their overall health. A 2- month volunteering experience in an orphanage in Nepal made her aware of how much she can contribute in improving the lifestyle of others. She is the Chair of Community for Vitality U, a student driven organization that promotes health and well being through good eating habits. Steven Mazur left Sterling Heights, Michigan to attend North Carolina State University as a Park Scholar, where he studies Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. During his freshman year, Steven founded Triangle Youth Leadership Services, a youth leadership development organization dedicated to empowering and motivating high school students to create change within their communities. Through NC State’s Engineering Entrepreneurs Program, Steven also started a telemedical company that efficiently connects emergency physicians to specialists. Steven spent semesters abroad in Istanbul and Cape Town and summers with ExxonMobil and an Army research center. Steven was recently selected as a Venture for America Fellow and will spend two years working with a startup in Detroit. Terrell Tidus Coleman is a leader that believes that his purpose in life is to inspire others to think differently. Whether that is through entrepreneurship, military service, or friendship, he is committed to challenging the status quo around him. Currently, Tidus is the COO of Kip Solutions and a Military Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Army National Guard. In 2012, he graduated from Norwich University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. During his time at Norwich; he gained valuable experience from being a cadet in the Norwich University Corps of Cadet, where he was the commander and a fellow member of the University’s Cavalry Troop. Tidus is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and skills with others who have the courage to follow their heart and intuition. Victor Rogers is the Co-Founder and innovative visionary of the start up Success Without Limitations (SWL). During undergrad at Old Dominion University he and several of his friends created SWL. Its purpose was to create a student organization centralized on campus that would enhance the collegiate experience by establishing cohesive relationships, cultivating professional development, encouraging humanitarianism, and strengthen social enterprises. Since graduation Victor has helped expand the organization by establishing two new branches at Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Union Universities. Victor began researching how SWL could benefit from social enterprise methodology. He developed a vision to extend membership from college students to high school students. His goal is to have college members facilitate campus tours at each university while enriching youth with their college and professional experiences to foster youth interest in college. Winston Hu is an investment professional with Crescent Capital Group, a leading investment manager specializing in below investment grade credit. Hu is on the Board of Directors for Free Arts for Abused Children, a non-profit providing creative self-expression outlets for abused children. Hu is an active volunteer with Chrysalis, a non-profit focused on creating paths to self-sufficiency for homeless/low-income individuals. Hu also worked in investment banking with UBS in NY, helping clients raise over $10 billion of capital. In NY through Project: Light NYC, Hu helped urban families envision new possibilities through academic enrichment, parental support, and community engagement. Hu also spent time in Tamil Nadu, India, serving rural communities. Hu graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a B.A. in business economics._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw :: 
  18. 18. The 2013 Los Angeles Institute for Social Innovation Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402New York, NY 10016info@startingbloc.orgtw : @startingbloc_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________StartingBloc, 349 Fifth Avenue, Suite 402 (4th Floor), New York, NY 10016 |   | tw ::