Mitch Kapor is a pioneer of the personal computing industry and long-time startup investor. He founded Lotus Development Corporation and designed Lotus 1-2-3, the “killer application” which made the personal computer ubiquitous in the business world in the 1980s. He is the co-founder of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which protects freedom and privacy on the Internet and served as the founding Chair of Mozilla, creator of the Firefox web browser. His successful early investments in the Internet sector, and in streaming media and virtual reality earned him a reputation for seeing around corners. Along with his wife Freada Kapor Klein, for the past decade at Kapor Capital Mitch has developed a vision and practice of investing in tech startups which close gaps of access, opportunity or outcome for low-income communities and communities of color and on founders from underrepresented groups. Through the work of the Kapor Center, Mitch and Freada take a comprehensive approach to removing barriers in education and the workplace for all and fixing the leaks at every stage of the tech pipeline. Mitch serves on the board of SMASH, a non-profit founded by Freada to help underrepresented scholars hone their STEM knowledge while building the networks and skills for careers in tech and the sciences. “Genius,” Mitch likes to say, “is evenly distributed by Zip Code, but opportunity is not.”
While on a 6-month sabbatical, Gaurav went to work in the poorest of villages in India in the area of rural/tribal education and community development. Gaurav lives in Oakland with his wife and two daughters. He is also a certified instruction of the Happiness Program and works in the community in bringing a stress free and violence free society. Contact Gaurav Vashist at gaurav [at] kaporcenter.org.
Ricki Akiwenzie is the People Operations Associate, primarily focusing on recruitment, staff on-boarding, and payroll and benefits administration. She brings to the role a wealth of strong human resources generalist experience, most recently with Koff and Associates, an HR consulting firm in Berkeley.
Prior to that, Ricki was with consulting firms Tetra Tech DPK and Arcadis.
She was an ABC Scholar in high school, is a UC Berkeley grad (where she was a founder of Hermanas Unidas), and earned her MBA from Mills College.
Contact Ricki Akiwenzie at ricki [at] kaporcenter.org.
Jesse Burger is the Senior Accountant. bringing over five years of accounting experience as well as a passion for leveraging technology to streamline accounting operations. He has been committed to supporting social change leaders via finance and accounting since moving back to the Bay Area in 2012. Prior to joining the Kapor Center, Jesse worked with Citizen Engagement Lab, where he provided financial services to a variety of digital activist and arts organizations within CEL’s acceleration program. Jesse was excited to join the Kapor Center, where his experience and values align with the Kapor philosophy. Jesse holds an MA from New York University and a BA from San Francisco State University. Currently residing in Oakland, Jesse enjoys biking around town, practicing yoga, and exploring nature. Jesse is also an artist (focusing on Queer and Mestizo identity) with an evolving interest in web design and woodworking. Contact Jesse Burger at jesse [at] kaporcenter.org.
Contact Candase at candase [at]kaporcenter.org.
Cynthia Duran is Events Associate for the Kapor Center. Born and raised in San Francisco, Cynthia wanted to find a work home within the tech field that intersected business and social impact.Prior to Kapor, Cynthia managed the growth and development of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce as the Director of Membership & Events. Working with a 25 member C-Suite board, she showcased best practices and celebrated members within the East Bay by creating and managing innovative events collaborating with Berkeley civic and community leaders to improve the business climate.Recently, she served as part of the Steering Committee for EWOCC (Empowering Womxn of Color Conference) by the Women of Color Initiative, a project of the UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly. Cynthia aims to support, engage and advocate for women of color, and wants to uplift others through her work at Kapor. She’s a music passionate, animal lover that enjoys networking, and connecting with people. Connect with Cynthia at cynthia [at] kaporcenter.org
Erick Garcia is the Receptionist/Office Services Assistant. Erick was born in El Salvador and moved to the United States when he was seven years old. Erick has lived in the Bay Area for thirteen years and nine of those years he has lived in Oakland. As much as he is proud to be Salvadoran, Erick also takes great pride in being an Oaklander. Previously to working at the Kapor Center, Erick was the Assistant Enterprise Manager at Juma Ventures in their Oakland branch, where he had the privilege of working with countless youth from underrepresented communities. the Kapor Center was a clear choice for the next step in his career. Erick admires our work and feels very at home with the rest of the staff and atmosphere that the center creates. Like Oakland’s Mayor, Erick graduated from Skyline High School in 2015. (Go Titans!) He is currently working on a Nursing Degree at Merritt College and is looking to transfer into a BSN/RN program in the next couple of years at either Cal State East Bay or Samuel Merritt University. During his free time, Erick enjoys books, writing and spending time with his younger sister. Contact Erick Garcia at erick [at] kaporcenter.org.
Jonathan Garcia is the Community Engagement Associate. In this capacity, Jonathan will help us to build community partnerships and events that deepen Oakland’s inclusive tech ecosystem. Jonathan is a recent graduate of the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands. His first foray into tech was through an internship with Apple at nineteen. He went on to develop deeper skills in digital media through work with USA Today College, GRAMMY U., Harvard’s Social Media summer program, and as the editor-in-chief of the college newspaper, The Redlands Bulldog. Jonathan is also the founding organizer of Race on Campus: A Student Conference, a collaborative, student-led initiative that builds an activist community among California college students of color. For this and other outstanding leadership, Jonathan was bestowed his alma mater’s 2016 President’s Award. Jonathan is interested in how mainstream feminist discourse largely ignores the lived experiences for women of color, thinks Stevie Wonder’s ‘Music Of My Mind’ is vastly underrated, and in his free time enjoys thinking about how he can have less free time.
Emily Jones is the Controller at the Kapor Center, bringing more than 10 years of accounting experience to the finance team. Prior to the Kapor Center, she worked for RSF Social Finance and is passionate about working for a company that helps her stay true to her values while also growing professionally.
Emily lives in San Francisco with her partner and their three dogs and loves to travel and explore. She is a Big Sister and enjoys giving back by sharing in experiences with her Little.
She received her Masters in Taxation from Golden Gate University. Contact Emily Jones at emily [at] kaporcenter.org.
Sonia Koshy, PhD is the Director of Measurement, Evaluation, and Learning, working across all of the Kapor entities to help evaluate the impact of our programs and initiatives and communicating outcomes to the broader community. Sonia is a developmental psychologist, researcher, and evaluator, with a Ph.D. in Child Development from Tufts University. Prior to the Kapor Center, Sonia came from Algorhythm, a startup that creates automated, real-time reporting for the social sector. In her role as the Applied Social Science Director, she laid the research foundation for the Youth Development Impact Learning System and provided research and evaluation services to key clients such as Youth INC, The Robert Bowne Foundation, Literacy Inc., and the IKEA Foundation.
Prior to working at Algorhythm, she was the Evaluation Manager at the Thrive Foundation for Youth where she worked on process and outcome evaluations to assess impact on numerous adolescent outcomes, including social-emotional development. She has collaborated closely with organizations such as Girl Scouts of Northern California, Camp Fire, Y Silicon Valley, and Girls Inc. of Alameda County. Sonia can be reached at sonia [at] kaporcenter.org
Marquelle Lee is the Office Services Manager where he is responsible for organizing and coordinating office operations, procedures in order to ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Before this current role he was a Membership Service Coordinator at the YMCA in Berkeley where he worked closely with the local neighborhoods to help build strong communities and healthy families.
While pursuing his education in Business/ healthcare Management he hopes to continue this effort and make Oakland a better place to live and thrive. Marq is passionate about running and facing any fitness challenge that comes his way. He pursues this passion by participating in annual marathons to help bring awareness to the cause at hand and raise money for charities. Contact Marquelle Lee at marquelle [at] kaporcenter.org.
Meghna Mahadevan is the Senior Community Engagement Associate at the Kapor Center. She is the program manager of the iLab, researcher of the Oakland Tech ecosystem, and advocate of ‘Tech Done Right’. Meghna is invested in Oakland’s policy landscape as an Urban Leaders Fellow with the City of Oakland. Before joining the Kapor Center, Meghna worked as a Digital Consultant for Accenture where she had the opportunity to consult for Small and Medium Business Marketing & Sales teams with Facebook, Google, and Snap. Her previous experience centers around manufacturing and supply chain. Meghna attended Georgia Tech in her hometown of Atlanta, GA and holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. In her spare time, if she’s not spending time with loved ones, you’ll find her exploring a body of water or a new music scene. Contact Meghna Mahadevan at Meghna [at] kaporcenter.org.
She has also taught high school social studies and done outreach with students who were the first in their families to attend college.
Frieda McAlear is the Senior Research Associate, where she brings her skills as a social science researcher and her passion for working with and for marginalized and underrepresented communities, at the Kapor Center. She has nearly a decade of experience managing projects, developing evaluation and research methodology and building nonprofit technology capacity with socially progressive organizations in the Bay Area, Europe and Southern Africa.
In 2013, she worked as an evaluator for an HIV/AIDS clinic serving villages in Lesotho and as a Program Coordinator for ZeroDivide in San Francisco in 2014. She holds a Master of Research in Geography from Queen Mary University of London, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Vesalius College in Brussels. She has nearly a decade of experience managing projects, developing evaluation and research methodology and building nonprofit technology capacity with socially progressive organizations in the Bay Area, Europe and Southern Africa.
Contact Frieda at Friedam [at] kaporcenter.org
Chris McLemore is the Oakland Startup Network Program Manager. Chris will help the Kapor Center focus on product management of online community building and help identify & assess tech startups and entrepreneurs. Chris was an Analyst at Nestlé and a Product Manager at Gap. Chris is also hard at work on a startup of his own, Netwirth, that focuses on bridging the gap between white-collar and urban America through unequivocal product experiences catered towards social change. In its early stages, Netwirth garnered interest from investors and gaming companies like Zynga but instead decided to continue developing the brand independently. Chris is an Oakland native and holds a BS in finance from Sacramento State University. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, sports, attending art exhibits, and consulting. Contact Chris McLemore at chris [at] kaporcenter.org.
Frank Nelson is the IT/AV Engineer. As a part of the IT Operations team Frank covers a lot of the projects and day-to-day tasks that helps support our users and enabled them to be more efficient and effective with their work.
Another part of his job is also supporting our events both internally and externally with IT and AV Support. He comes from a background of IT and infrastructure; working at places like Samba TV, Guavus Inc and Zynga.
His interest are a variety Sciences and Physics, the African Diaspora, physical and weapons training, tech innovations and his family. Contact Frank Nelson at frank[at] kaporcenter.org.
Angela Newman is the Executive Administrator and Office Manager for the Baltimore office. In her role, Angela manages daily office operations and provides administrative support for the team. Angela brings over 15 years executive support and office management experience to the Kapor Center. Angela previously worked for Amnesty International USA where she served as the Senior Executive Assistant to the Executive Director. Prior to Amnesty, Angela was Executive Assistant and Senior Scheduler in the Executive Office of the NAACP.
Angela earned an MBA and a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from the University of Maryland, University College (UMUC). She also earned her B.A. with high honors from UMUC. She has a passion for social justice and human rights issues and enjoys mentoring young women and girls in her community. Angela can be reached at angela [at] kaporcenter.org.
Landry Nicks is a Staff Accountant, where he assists in supporting different financial duties for the organization. He is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Accounting. He most recently worked at OpenTable, where he was focused on improving revenue operations for the company. During the summer of 2015, Landry founded a grassroots community organization 4Oakland.
As an Oakland native, he is passionate about creating accessible avenues to engage the community and help to support and foster growth for the less fortunate in Oakland. Through joining the Kapor Center, he is excited to align his passion for giving back with his daily work. In his free time, he enjoys live music, reading and hiking throughout the Bay Area. Contact Landry at landry [at] kaporcenter.org.
Cynthia Overton, Ph.D. is the Director of Tech Workplace Initiatives, where she provides diversity and inclusion-related education opportunities and resources through focused initiatives for tech professionals. Cynthia brings more than a decade of experience in social science professional services industry, leading research, technical assistance, and knowledge translation initiatives that enhance opportunities for underrepresented populations. Her particular expertise is in making technology accessible so that it can be enjoyed by people with disabilities and aging populations. She has also worked on corporate initiatives to advance workforce diversity and inclusion. In her spare time, Cynthia developed and maintains InclusionClearinghouse.org, a repository of resources that support D&I leaders in tech with research, promising practices, and other resources to guide professional decisions.
Antoinette Reyes is the Events Manager for the Kapor Center,ensuring high quality planning and production of Team Kapor events. She has worked in startups, public and nonprofit organizations, most recently with the Kapor Center on the accounting team! Antoinette holds an AA degree in Networks Systems Administration and a BA degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. She found her love for nonprofit work and giving back to the community while working for the Andre Agassi Foundation in Las Vegas.
Before entering the field of business accounting, Antoinette worked as a Graphics Technician for the City of Fremont. Outside of the office, Antoinette enjoys event planning, volunteering at church, trying new restaurants, salsa dancing, hiking, and exploring the Bay Area on the weekends. She can be reached at Antoinette [at] kaporcenter.org
Ashleigh Richelle is the SMASH Communications Manager. Ashleigh shares a personal history with the organization as a SMASH Berkeley 2010 alumna of the SMASH Academy. SMASH is where she first discovered her passion for using technology to tell stories. Ashleigh attended the University of Chicago, where she graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in Cinema & Media Studies and a minor in Human Rights, focusing on documentary film production. While in college, Ashleigh served as the chapter president of her sorority, Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. Prior to joining SMASH in 2015, she interned at CBS Interactive as a fellow of the Emma Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media and worked on the university recruiting team at LinkedIn. She’s currently involved with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the local Bay Area chapter of PRSA. Outside of work, Ashleigh loves movies, salsa dancing, travel, advocating for her local community and being a role model for young women of color and Latinx.
She can be reached at Ashleigh [at] smash.org
Richard (Rich) Riley is the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for the Kapor Center. Before joining Kapor, Rich worked at Visa Inc. as Director of Finance. Prior to Visa, Rich spent three years at Vale S.A in Brazil as Principal of Strategy and Planning for one of Vale’s business units in Sao Paulo. For the first ten years of his career, Rich worked at United Technologies in various positions of increasing responsibility in Finance, Strategy and Operations, and at General Electric in its Energy Management organization.
Rich received dual BS degrees from Syracuse University and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
He can be reached at Rich [at] kaporcenter.org
Sergio Rosas is the Program Lead at the Kapor Center. He oversees a national inclusive tech ecosystem initiative focused on identifying and supporting the next generation of organizations building pathways into the tech industry and entrepreneurship.
He is passionate about shaping the workforce of the future and brings a decade of experience in strategic initiatives, management, and design thinking to education, learning, and workforce development programs. He co-founded the LA Tech Talent Pipeline, a talent development and sourcing program connecting hundreds of non-traditional job seekers to internships and entry-level jobs at Los Angeles start-ups and technology companies at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Over the course of his career, he has built cross-sector partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, colleges, municipal governments, state agencies, foundations, and community-based organizations to serve thousands of high school and community college students across Los Angeles and the state of California.
He earned a BA in Political Science and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and a MA in Learning, Design, and Technology at Stanford University. Contact Sergio Rosas at Sergio [at] kaporcenter.org
Brandon Sudat is the Senior IT Support Administrator. As a part of the IT operations team, Brandon addresses day-to-day issues in addition to managing projects and contributing to the strategic direction of IT infrastructure.
Brandon comes to the Kapor Center from IDEO and has significant applicable IT support experience, including – via UCSF and the Academy of Arts – how to navigate the byzantine waters of higher education. (A useful skill to have when supporting SMASH sites!)
Brandon lives here in Oakland with his wife and three children.
Contact Brandon Sudat at brandon [AT] kaporcenter.org
His collective experience spans over 8 years consulting for clients, working in-house for hyper-growth early-stage startups like Square, Yelp Reservations, and, most recently, Asana. Josh is passionate about social justice and making the world a more connected and inclusive community for all. He’s an Oakland resident who nerds out on science-fiction, podcasts, Kickstarter, and comic books.
Contact Josh Torres at josh [at] kaporcenter.org
Jimmy Ung is a Senior Accountant for the Kapor Center, bringing with him over 6 years of accounting experience to the finance team. Prior to joining the Kapor Center, Jimmy had recently worked for a real estate brokerage, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. During his time there, he ensured the accuracy and timely reporting of the financial statements as the Accounting Manager.
Jimmy is a graduate from Cal State East Bay with a degree in accounting. In his free time, Jimmy enjoys trying out new restaurants around the bay and spending time with his family and friends.
Contact Jimmy Ung at jimmy [at] kaporcenter.org