Principal, Voices Flagship: College-Bound Language Academy
Hugo (he/him/el) has been involved in nonprofit organizations and education since the age of 13, where he first got involved in after-school programs. In the past, Hugo has served as an executive director, assistant principal, and educator. He has his BA in American Studies with a minor in Business Administration, a K-9 teaching certification, and endorsements in language arts, social studies, and mathematics. He recently received his master’s in Nonprofit Administration, where he was inducted in 4 honor societies and was the recipient of the 2023 Archbishop Oscar Romero Award. Currently, Hugo serves as the Principal for a TK-8 charter school with about 400 students.
When not working: Hugo enjoys traveling and anything related to food and learning about different cultures and traditions. He also enjoys reading, cooking, and baking.
Jade Martinez serves as an Associate Director at the Redwood City Pal Center developing and directing community focused programs in an effort to provide equitable enrichment opportunities focused on wellness and mentorship for youth and families. As an experienced youth development leader, she spent over 10 years working with at risk youth, managed multiple trauma informed programs and led staff and program development initiatives. She is grateful to have had many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of youths, colleagues and community.
When not working: Jade enjoys engaging in art and creativity, attending concerts, hanging out at the beach, watching Raider games and having fun with friends and family.
Operations Manager, CAIR San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA)
Khizer Husain, as the Operations Manager for CAIR-SFBA, is instrumental in orchestrating the office’s multi-dimensional functions. He oversees the financial, IT, HR, and administrative landscapes and drives the strategic alignment to ensure CAIR-SFBA scales efficiently to fulfill its mission of serving a community of close to 250,000 people.
Khizer graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Before joining CAIR, he scaled several startups before leading his own consulting company, where he provided specialized advisory services to several startups. He enabled them to grow exponentially through tactical planning and rigid adherence to new processes.
Khizer now leverages that experience to empower American Muslims, aligning CAIR-SFBA’s operational infrastructure with the core values of community support, advocacy, and education. His goal-oriented approach aligns and resonates with CAIR’s nationwide commitment to civil rights, forging connections that transform lives.
When not working: Khizer enjoys the stories and strategies that chai, chess, and football uncover.
Kwodwo has spent the past seven years involved in policy debate. He began his debate experience as a high school junior when he was encouraged to join the Bay Area Urban Debate League team at Emery Secondary School. The combination of intellectual stimulation and community engagement helped feed Kwodwo’s desire for purpose, and he soon became involved in BAUDL’s Leading With Debate Fellowship, which focuses on the soft skills students gain, fostered by policy debate. After graduating from the program, during his freshman year at CSU East Bay, Kwodwo returned to his high school as a volunteer coach when he learned that the team was on the brink of disappearance after losing its coach. As a coach and as an advocate, Kwodwo led the debate team to great success.
When not working: Kwodwo spends his free time as a hobbyist content developer for an online multiplayer game, plays board games, cooks, and loves sci fi/historical shows and movies.
Raylene Hernandez was born and raised in the bay area and is a fierce advocate for the financial stability of BIPOC communities. As the co-founder of Latinas Talk Dinero, a business focused on increasing access to financial literacy education for first-generation college students, she utilizes her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health and Women’s & Gender Studies as a lens to critically think about strategies to increase community members’ ability to build wealth. She has extensive experience in nonprofit administration and is passionate about ensuring organizations have the tools, systems and support to remain sustainable ongoing. She currently works at the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley as a Development & Impact Manager.
When not working: Raylene enjoys spending time with her family, friends and partner. She is currently training for a half marathon and getting her Master’s degree in Organizational Development at USF. When she has space, she loves to read, sing and spend time outdoors.
Shaunta McGee leads and oversees The Health Trust’s direct service programs. She is passionate about increasing equal access to health care and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable communities. Shaunta has extensive experience providing case management services and client advocacy, working with HIV-positive patients, and assisting victims of sexual violence navigate through the legal and medical process. In her prior positions with YWCA Lake County, the American Cancer Society, and CEDA, she was accountable for developing and implementing programs, resource development, grant management, donor relationship/partner development, and fiscal management. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois in Sociology and Psychology and Master’s Degree in Human Service Administration from Concordia University.
When not working: Shaunta loves going on adventures and traveling, especially with her family and friends. One of her favorite activities is exploring the wineries in California, where she can indulge in the wonderful world of wine. Additionally, she finds great joy in spending time with her community, including her church family.
Steven Yang serves as Deputy Director of Northern California on the Western Region Lending Team for the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), a community development financial institution, working on affordable housing, charter schools, community facilities and other impact-led lending initiatives. He is an accomplished industry professional with 23+ years’ experience in lending, financial planning, forecasting, and risk analysis in both for-profit and non-profit sectors. As a team leader, Steven works with multiple stakeholders to drive social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
When not working: Steven is a fitness enthusiast, accredited by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Certified Personal Trainer with specializations in Behavior Change and Fitness Nutrition.
Tiffani is Sr. HRBP/Interim Director of People Experience.Tiffiani’s diverse experience spans the Non-Profit sector in her current position as the Interim Director of People Experience with Second Harvest, her experience, expertise and tactful, yet empathic approach to problem solving, conflict resolution and fairness in the workplace between both management and employees alike have set her in a class of her own as a subject matter expert for Strategic Human Capital and Talent Management. Tiffiani’s passion for people led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science at SJSU and an Associate degree in Psychology at SJCC.
When not working: Tiffiani loves spending time with friends and family, traveling to exciting and new places and making unforgettable memories, and doing community service and self and group empowerment.
Veronica Amador, She/Her (also referred to as Ella), holds the role of a Senior Analyst for Racial Equity. Previously, Veronica served as an Organizing Program Manager at Sacred Heart Community Service. In this capacity, she played a crucial role in the Economic Justice Network department, where she established and led the groundwork for community leaders, known as promotors, focusing on digital equity, financial education, and asset development. Veronica possesses extensive experience in empowering communities, aiding them in discovering their voices and fostering their growth through leadership advancement. Veronica also serves as a Board member for SOMOS Mayfair as a community member representative. With a rich history as a renowned educator and organizer, Veronica follows the legacy of several generations of women in her family who have dedicated themselves to supporting their communities. Her academic background includes a Masters in Early Childhood Development with a specialization in Trauma Studies from Pacific Oaks College.
When not working: Veronica dedicates her time with her children taking them to parks around the city and exploring somatic experiences.
Christine is the Associate Director at Friends for Youth, a youth mentoring organization serving students from San Jose to South San Francisco. She began her journey with FFY as a volunteer mentor in 2013 and now works in Development and Operations. Christine was born and raised in the Chicago area and got her B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and her M.A. in Public Affairs Reporting at the University of Illinois. She worked as a news reporter and morning anchor in the Illinois capital city before moving to the Bay Area. Christine cares deeply about making everyone feel at home and welcome at the table, which fuels her volunteer work in youth services and refugee resettlement.
When not working: Christine and her husband love having conversations with their four kids about science, faith, social justice, and the arts. She enjoys running, eating, crafting, and throwing parties!
Elijah Valdeolivar was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. Having witnessed and experienced many hardships and inequities, he developed a passion for supporting and empowering others from a young age. Having worked with over 10 nonprofits in his career, Elijah has dedicated his career to nonprofit leadership. Elijah has currently found a home with Pivotal overseeing their internship program for current and former foster youth. Elijah also spearheaded their agencies Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (J.E.D.I) committee, investing into the evolution of the organization and community.
When not working: You can find Elijah doing just about anything. Most commonly, Elijah enjoys hiking & camping, traveling, visiting family & friends, playing sports, and cooking.
Elisa G. Chavez (she/her/ella) is the Collective Impact Coordinator for Redwood City Together. In this role, she helps with the organization’s backbone operations, partnerships, and co-leads the Early Childhood Working Group and Promotores cohort. Elisa’s past experiences working in the Redwood City/North Fair Oaks community help guide her work in creating collaborative spaces to catalyze systems change. Since graduating from UC Riverside in 2020, she has volunteered to help plan the annual Orgullo y Educacion (OYE) LatinX Youth Conference where she was also a panelist, outreach intern and Master of Ceremonies in the past.
When not working: Elisa enjoys going on hikes, reading, trying new foods, and spending time with family.
Founder and Lead Facilitator of Silicon Valley Next
Curtis leads Consulting Within Reach, a firm serving nonprofits and government in strategic planning, marketing, fundraising, and other consulting services. Clients have included multiple MacArthur “Genius Grant” winners, the U.S. State Department, Stanford University, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and hundreds of community based nonprofits. Curtis has won national recognition from the Obama White House for innovative work in the social sector. He holds faculty appointments at Duke University and American University. Curtis graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. summa cum laude in Government, and is a past winner of a Rockefeller Fellowship.
When not working: Curtis enjoys hosting parties with his wife Jody, doing crossword puzzles, playing Pickleball, and learning to play the piano in his middle age (as repentance for short-sightedly resisting lessons when he was 9 years old).