Super Stars Literacy is led by a dynamic group of individuals who devote their time, talent and resources to carry out our mission of empowering students through reading.
▶David Anderson, M.D., Retired Physician, Kaiser Permanente:
David practiced medicine as a general internist for over 30 years with the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Hayward. During his years at Kaiser he founded the hospital bioethics committee, which he chaired for over 15 years. David was educated at Johns Hopkins, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency in the Bay Area. In addition to his work with Super Stars Literacy, David is a long time supporter of Girls Inc., has provided support for musical outreach to elementary school students through the Four Seasons Concert Series, and has worked at the Ashland Free Medical Clinic since its inception.
▶Mary Castagnozzi, Mandarin Language Instructor, Retired:
Mary graduated from Clifton-Fine Central School in Star Lake, New York, attended Tunghai University in Taichong, Taiwan, and graduated from Vassar College with a degree in East Asian Studies. Mary has lived in the Bay Area since 1977. She worked for several years in San Francisco’s Chinatown, ultimately serving as Associate Editor for the Chinese American journal East/West before heading to Hong Kong for a year covering China trade. She subsequently worked for a few years consulting in China trade before starting a family. A regular volunteer in her children’s schools, she later taught Mandarin to K-2 students in the Piedmont Language School and the Orinda Mandarin Chinese Language Program. She was a member of SSL’s 2015 Gala Committee, and joined the board this past January. She is chair of the 2016 Gala Committee.
▶Beth Chang, Managing Director, Investor Services, Charles Schwab:
Beth is Managing Director of Marketing for Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. She grew up attending public schools in suburban Philadelphia, PA and graduated with honors from Middlebury College in Vermont. Since starting her career in the Bay Area over 20 years ago in management consulting for The Boston Consulting Group, she has developed an expertise in marketing and strategy for small and large companies across a variety of industries. Beth has always been interested in literacy and language – but it wasn’t until she volunteered as an ESL teaching assistant and reading tutor in the SF Unified School District that she fully grasped the negative impact that a lack of reading comprehension has on students as they move through the school system. Now residing in Moraga with her elementary school children, she has become committed to helping other children in the Bay Area develop literacy skills early in life so that their full potential can be realized.
▶Jolene Chen, Director Brand Marketing, 99designs:
Jolene was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. She has developed marketing and branding strategy for consumer packaged goods and high-tech companies. She moved to the Bay Area in 2010 to receive her MBA from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley and is currently the Director of Brand Marketing at 99designs. Jolene’s interest in early literacy stemmed from college where she spent four years mentoring at-risk elementary school children in literacy and non-core educational curriculum. She continues to be passionate about helping those in need within the local community.
▶Lonnie Contreras, Executive Director of Campus Administration, Palmer College of Chiropractic, West Campus:
Lonnie Contreras was born and raised in the South San Francisco Bay Area. He received his undergraduate education at San Jose State University. He is currently finishing his last semester in the graduate studies program (Education and Policy) at San Jose State University and also completing his M.S. in Organizational Leadership at National University. He has a total of 12 years experience in Higher Education working in management positions at Menlo College, Notre Dame de Namur and John F. Kennedy University, where he currently works as the Associate Director of both the San Jose and Berkeley campuses. A lifelong outdoor enthusiast and fisherman, he loves to spend his time traveling. A longtime advocate of culture, music, arts and education, he looks forward to participating and collaborating with Super Stars Literacy.
▶Jill Godsey, Board Secretary:
Jill Godsey has worked in the financial services industry for over 25 years, most recently at Charles Schwab since 1996. Jill’s background of financial analysis led her through many roles including Finance, Budgeting, Reporting and Analysis, Strategic Planning, Call Center Operations, Anti Money Laundering Operations and most recently Operational Controls and Risk Management. Jill likes to partner with subject matter experts in any line of work to transform and scale their processes. Her passion for early literacy stems from her own love of reading, and her belief that education is the silver bullet for fighting poverty. Jill was the first of her family to graduate college, and continues to mentor students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where she earned both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters of Business Administration. Jill lives in Lafayette, California, with her husband Tom and teenage boys, Parker and Logan.
▶Amie Gray, CEO N3 Innovation:
Amie is a collaborative leader of business-driven innovation and strategy for high-tech, B2B companies. Amie brings insights from more than 20 years in international high-tech and consulting. Amie holds a Bachelors in Engineering from Penn State and MBA from MIT. Amie knows first-hand how challenging it is to be a parent with a child who has dyslexia, reading and language delays. The knowledge she has gained over 10 years of struggling with schools and remediation can now benefit many parents and children through Super Stars Literacy.
▶Allison Gremillion, Product Strategist, Designer Quality, 99designs:
A Louisiana native and LSU alumni, Allison moved to San Francisco and became the first Community Liaison at 99designs. In the last six years, she has helped grow 99designs’ global community to over a million designers. Today, she leads the Designer Quality team under Product and is responsible for identifying strengths and weaknesses within the community, influencing product prioritization, and representing designers’ voices. Her team focuses on classifying and identifying talent while ensuring all designers are educated, motivated, and supported.
Nine years ago, Allison became passionate about children’s education when she read to three 2nd grade girls from a low income school in Baton Rouge. She listened as they told her about their daily lives, which included poverty, and saw one of them become displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Despite their challenges, it was motivating to see how much their confidence and literacy skills improved over six months of reading together – the experience of working with those sweet girls was life-changing for Allison. Allison is excited to be a member of SSL’s Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Program Committee. She loves art and design and wants to encourage not only designers from all backgrounds to grow, but children too.
▶David Hampian, Senior Marketing Manager, Pandora:
David was a Group Leader at Super Stars Literacy during the 2009-2010 school year. A graduate of UC Berkeley’s Sociology department, he began his career working in education and exploring his passion for music. David now works at Pandora Radio, where he started working in 2011 as a Listener Advocate. He spent his days emailing listeners and artists with tips on how to use the product, find just the right music, and even add their own catalogue. He now serves as Senior Marketing Manager, responsible for Pandora’s music industry and live event promotions. During 2011-2015, David managed a group of 70 employees for Pandora’s corporate Giving Back program. In this role, he led a music enrichment course for 5th grade students at Futures Elementary school in East Oakland, a school David had actually worked at in 2010.
David feels that his service on the Board of Directors at SSL gives him the perfect balance of his two greatest passions: education and music. In his free time, he enjoys playing instruments, writing songs, going to concerts, and spending time laughing with friends and family. He looks forward to giving back to the organization where his professional career was started.
▶John Hiestand, VP Finance, Prosper Martketplace
John is a finance and operations executive with experience growing start-ups and emerging companies, as well as Fortune 500 companies in the financial and technology sectors. Prior to joining Prosper Marketplace, he served as the Chief Operating Officer at Wells Fargo Securities’ prime services business. John brings over 22 years’ of work history specializing in accounting, operations, planning, strategy and governance of public and private companies. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Wildwood School Dads’ Club and previously served on the Board for the Boys and Girls Club of Hollywood. John is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst.
▶Kevin Jacobsen, VP Finance, The Clorox Company:
Kevin Jacobsen is Vice President of Global Finance, for the Clorox Company. In his current position he is responsible for leading the financial planning and analysis activities for The Clorox Company. Kevin has held a number of positions of increased responsibility during his 20 year career with The Clorox Corporation: Vice President of Finance – International Division, Vice President of Finance – Mergers & Acquisitions, Vice President of Finance – Specialty Division, Director of Finance – Product Supply, Director of Finance – Brazil and Finance manager – Specialty products. In all of these assignments Kevin has focused on developing and implementing business strategies that drive increased shareholder value. Before joining Clorox, Kevin spent 5 years working for General Motors Corporation in numerous finance and accounting roles based out of New York. A native of Northern California, Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of California, Riverside and a master’s degree in finance and economics from Rochester University’s Simon School of Management. Kevin resides in Danville, Ca with his wife and three children and is an active member of his community.
▶Carla Koren, Senior VP Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley (Board President):
Carla is a Senior Vice President-Wealth Management, Senior Investment Management Consultant, and a CIMA at Smith Barney in Berkeley, California. Carla graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA and obtained her MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. In addition to managing over $530 million in assets, Carla is also very active with two local community organizations: the Junior League of Oakland-East Bay, Inc. (JLOEB) and Girls Inc. of Alameda County. She held several chair positions during her fourteen years as a member of JLOEB including that of President during the 2001-2002 League year, and Super Stars Literacy Program Chair from 2002 to 2008. When SSL became an independent non-profit she transitioned into the role of Board President. Carla also has a long history of volunteer leadership with Girls Inc. of Alameda County, an organization which serves to empower young women to become “strong, smart and bold.” Carla’s work with SSL has been recognized with several volunteer awards: the 2005 Diablo Magazine “Threads of Hope” award, the 2010 Volunteer Center of the Bay Area’s “Non-Profit Board Leadership” Award, and a national 2010 Volunteer Leadership award from University of Phoenix/HandsOn Network.
▶Ingrid Lamirault, Regional Director, SynerMed, Inc.:
Ingrid Lamirault is a Regional Director of SynerMed Inc., the largest Managed Services Organization (MSO) in the country, where she is responsible for the development, growth, management, and clinical and financial performance of a regional network of physicians and other healthcare professionals. Prior to joining SynerMed, Ingrid was CEO of Alameda Alliance for Health (Alliance), a not-for-profit health plan serving residents of Alameda County, CA, where she was responsible for the leadership and overall management of a health plan with annual revenues over $450,000 million. Prior to joining the Alliance, Ms. Lamirault held several leadership positions during her 20 year tenure with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. She is a Vice-Chair of East Bay Community Foundation and has previously served on other boards such as Girls, Inc. of the Alameda City and Americans for Non-Smokers Rights. Ingrid holds a Masters of Public Health in Health Services Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science and Health Education, both from the University of California at Los Angelesyears.
▶Kim McAtee, Realtor, Coldwell Banker
Kim’s commitment to Super Stars Literacy began in 2003, when she first volunteered as a literacy tutor for kindergarten students at Hoover Elementary School. Since that time, Kim served as Chair of several Junior League of Oakland-East Bay, Inc. committees charged with managing Super Stars Literacy through its expansion and evolution from a volunteer project to an independent non-profit with an annual budget in excess of $1 million, a full complement of paid staff, and a clientele of hundreds of needy East Bay students. In addition to her work with Super Stars Literacy, Kim sells residential real estate for Pacific Union in Orinda, where she has developed a successful practice of doing business by referral. Kim earned her B.A. in French at U.C. Berkeley, is a member of their Alumni Association, and has served on the Board of Directors for the House Corporation of her sorority, Delta Delta Delta. “As a second generation Northern Californian, I am pleased to be able to give back to the communities that have meant so much to me and my family”, she proudly remarks.
▶Sarah Morrison, Principal, SBM Design
Sarah and her family moved to the East Bay in 2011. She was introduced to Super Stars through the Junior League of Oakland-East Bay, Inc. and prior to joining the Board of Directors in 2013, Sarah co-chaired the 2013 Gala Committee and served on the Resource Development Committee. Her interest in early literacy developed while she was a member of the Junior League of Portland ME where she served as president, helped create a drop in center for run-away teens and volunteered at a juvenile detention facility. While living in Louisville KY, Sarah created an art program for the local elementary school. Sarah holds an Masters in Architecture from Princeton University and her current practice focuses on residential architecture and sustainable design.
▶Meghan Shah, Marketing Communications Specialist, Chevron
Meghan was born and raised in the Midwest and graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She moved to the Bay Area in 2007 and is currently working in Marketing at Chevron Corporation, for the Lubricants Division. She was introduced to Super Stars Literacy through the Corporate Volunteer Week at Chevron, and in addition to joining the Board of Directors in 2014, Meghan has been volunteering as an after-school tutor at Reach Academy in Oakland. Her interest in working with children and literacy developed at an early age while helping out fellow classmates in elementary school with their reading and writing and this continued on through college where she worked as a reading coach for students that came from overseas. Meghan has also volunteered for Team In Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a Team Mentor and for the Danville Children’s Guild in the East Bay.
▶Robin Silva, Partner, Intellectual Property, Morgan Lewis
Robin was born and raised in Berkeley, California, and is a partner at Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, an international law firm. At Morgan Lewis, Robin’s work focuses on portfolio strategic development and on management and counseling in domestic and international issues, with an emphasis in emerging biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies. Her background includes patent prosecution, opinion work (freedom to operate, invalidity, and noninfringement), IP due diligence (financings and licensing), mining portfolios for licensing and interference opportunities, and working with business development personnel and licensing managers to maximize portfolio value. Robin has represented a variety of biotechnology clients including universities, start ups, emerging companies, and public companies. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a protein biochemist at Genencor, International for 6 years at the lab bench. Her interest in early literacy is based on the fact that one of her two sons was diagnosed as dyslexic in the first grade. She also serves on the Board of Stanbridge Academy, a K-12 school in the Bay Area for children with mild to moderate learning disabilities.
▶Jerad Slagle, Vice President, Prime Finance:
Jerad is a Vice President at Prime Finance, a private commercial real estate finance company. Jerad focuses on investment sourcing, credit and underwriting analysis, due diligence and investment closing. Prior to joining Prime Finance in September 2011, Jerad was an Assistant Vice President at Wells Fargo in their Real Estate Banking Group and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Business Administration. Jerad graduated from the Riordan Volunteer Leadership Development Program, which educates and trains business professionals for life-long service in the governance of nonprofit organizations. He also co-founded Los Angeles Community Impact while at USC, a student consulting organization that strengthens non-profits and small businesses in the Los Angeles area. Jerad now lives in Oakland with his wife Caeli and is excited to focus his efforts on early literacy.
▶Rick Timmins, Associate, Tricon Capital Group:
Rick is an Associate at Tricon Capital, a real estate investment company focused on the residential sector in North America with $3.0 billion of assets under management. He is responsible for sourcing new investments and managing existing projects in California, Arizona and the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining Tricon, Rick held similar roles at Rockwood Capital and previously worked in the investment banking group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Business Administration and concentrated his studies in finance. Rick enjoys giving back to his community and is passionate about early childhood literacy and the long term impact that developing critical reading skills has on lives and communities.
▶Marcus Varela, Finance Supervisor/CPA, CSAA Insurance Group:
▶Marlin Williford, Teacher Vincent Academy (SSL Alumni Representative):
Marlin recently finished his AmeriCorps service year with Super Stars Literacy, during which he created his own lesson plans, taught multi-leveled phonemic awareness to K-2nd grade students, and planned and led weekly kinesthetic learning lessons. During the summer months he has worked as an Outdoor Lead Instructor at Camp Galileo. Marlin has been hired as a teaching intern at his SSL site, Vincent Academy, and will be pursuing a teaching credential at CSU East Bay.
▶Tiffany Yu, Applied Predictive Technology:
Tiffany is currently a big data analytics consultant at Applied Predictive Technologies. Originally from New Zealand, she moved to the US to study at Wharton in Philadelphia. Tiffany has always been passionate about getting involved in the local community and is excited to be working with Super Stars Literacy because she thinks that it is essential to build a strong foundation of literacy and social-emotional skills in order to be successful in later life. As a self-described spontaneous explorer, secret dork and whimsical dreamer, she enjoys spending her leisure time hiking through the great outdoors, trying new things, visiting museums and distilleries as well as thinking about, talking about and eating food.