Advisory Board

The Playworks Northern California Advisory Board is a group of change-makers who believe in the power of play and are active ambassadors for Playworks. These playful professionals contribute their personal time to share the mission of Playworks: to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play.

 


  • Oakland and the East Bay Board Members
  • San Francisco Board Members
  • Silicon Valley Board Members

 

Oakland and the East Bay

 

Heather Webster – Chair


Heather specializes in residential real estate, serving clients throughout the East Bay. With a background in green building & real estate investing, her unique set of skills & knowledge has served many in the home selling & buying process. She is a graduate of the National Sustainable Building Advisor Program, a rigorous nine-month curriculum designed to teach the essential elements of sustainability practices. From Cornell University, Heather completed an undergraduate degree with a BA in Spanish Literature. She is fluent in Spanish.  Heather came to Playworks in search of an organization aligned with her values. She is passionate about the importance of teaching empathy and social skills to our youth, through their most natural language: the language of play!

 

 

Chris Williams


Barney & Barney

Chris joined Barney & Barney in 1993 and became a Principal in 2005. With over 25 years of experience in the employee benefits industry, Chris currently specializes in health & welfare consulting. Chris focuses primarily in the healthcare and non-profit practice groups as well as with clients in a variety of business sectors.

Chris is active in his local community of Clayton. He has been involved in industry associations such as the Northern California Employee Benefits Council and the Western Pension Conference. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

 

Chelsea Seabron


Google.org

Chelsea Seabron recently relocated to the Bay Area and joined Google’s Staffing Channels Organization in February 2014 as a Technical Sourcer focused on hiring Software Engineers.  In June 2014, Chelsea was promoted to Sourcing Account Manager and now facilitates hiring needs for six of Google’s Autonomous Units (Nest, Google X, YouTube, Google Access Services, gTech, and Enterprise) through strategic planning, relationship facilitation, and candidate pipeline generation. Prior to Google, Chelsea was an Associate Consultant on the Strategy and Organization team at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, DC.  At Booz Allen, Chelsea supported a wide variety of clients including the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Department of Commerce, the President’s Council on the Arts and Humanities, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Management Leadership for Tomorrow and Playworks. Chelsea has supported various project engagements in the areas of Candidate Recruitment and Retention, Digital Inclusion, Stakeholder Engagement, Grants Management, Events Management, Portfolio Review and Monitoring, Outreach and Communications, and Process Improvement. Chelsea is originally from West Bloomfield, MI, and graduated with honors from New York University in 2009 after completing four years as a Collegiate Women’s Basketball Player (two years at Mercer University). In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys volunteering, hiking, experimenting in the kitchen, and singing karaoke!

 

 

Vivian Tsay


12 Consulting Group

Hailing from the great plains of Illinois, I moved to California nine years ago seeking adventure, and I fell in love with the Bay Area for its diversity of people and geography (hills!). I’m currently a senior marketing manager at Sephora, overseeing the customer loyalty program. Previously I managed marketing for Sephora inside JCPenney stores and held various positions within finance, client, and merchandise analytics, and inventory management at Sephora, Gap and Restoration Hardware. I started my career working on HR benefits systems implementations for consulting firm Hewitt, in a technology role. I am an avid cyclist and gardener, but my favorite way to spend my free time is hiking with my dog Cece in the East Bay Regional Parks.

I want to be a member of the Oakland/East Bay Playworks board to apply my diverse skill set to support an organization that is making a meaningful impact in my community. I believe the tools Playworks gives kids, trainers and schools make a lasting and positive impact to our culture and future. I am also interested in learning about the way non-profit and public sector organizations work because my background is within large corporations.

 

 

Rita d’Escoto


UC Berkeley

Rita d’Escoto has over 10 year’s experience in non-profit management, primarily in Higher Education and Fundraising Operations/Stewardship. She currently serves as the Donors Relations and Funds Manager in the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office at UC Berkeley, where she oversees the selection, awarding, and fiscal management of all need-based scholarships (annual budget of $45 Million). Rita received her BA in International Relations from UC Davis and first learned about Playworks in a social entrepreneurship class while completing her MBA at Mills College. She grew up in London, England and then Managua, Nicaragua, and understands first-hand the importance of having a safe place to play and the impact it can have on one’s life. She also comes from a family driven by education; her mother is a retired teacher, one brother is an elementary principal, and she has six nephews and two nieces all between the ages of 2 and 12.

 

 

Annie Crangle


Director of Impact at Third Plateau

Annie is director of impact at Third Plateau, a San Francisco-based social impact consulting firm that partners with companies, organizations, foundations, and institutions within the social sector to provide strategy, development, and philanthropic advising. In her role, Annie utilizes her education and business background to manage strategic planning engagements for education and youth development clients. Prior to joining Third Plateau, Annie attended business school at Washington University in St. Louis, where she also served as an assistant coach to the varsity women’s basketball team. Annie is a former Big 10 Conference Division I athlete from the University of Wisconsin and a Teach for America alum. Having grown up in Piedmont, California, Annie was a four-year starter for the Piedmont High School two-time CIF Division IV State Championship Basketball team. Annie currently volunteers as an assistant coach for the Piedmont High School girls’ varsity basketball team.

Annie first encountered Playworks as a Teach for America Corps Member teaching fourth-grade students and physical education at a start-up charter school in North Minneapolis, Minnesota. Annie is passionate about the role of social-emotional development and athletics in preparing students for healthy, happy lives, and is thrilled to be a part of the Playworks family, energizing education for all students.

 

 

Amy Hsiao


Chief Marketing Officer at Far Leaves Tea

During her tenure at Clorox, she helped to grow brands from Brita Water Filtration, Pine-Sol, Fresh Step Litter, to the Greenworks natural cleaning line. She has over 15 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods industry, from strategy consulting, consumer research, and marketing analytic insights, to brand management at Clorox and P&G. Amy graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in cognitive science and received an M.B.A. from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She is a big kid at heart and loves all things play, which works well for her toddler daughter!

 

 

Benjamin Clyde


Community Relations Specialist, Kaiser Permanente

Clyde is currently the Community Relations Specialist at Kaiser Permanente. Previously he worked for five seasons with the Golden State Warriors as the team’s Community Relations Senior Coordinator and his second managing the team’s community wellness initiatives.

Prior to joining the Golden State Warriors, Clyde served as Community Manager of Holy Names University Athletic Department. During his stint, he developed the athletic programs outreach initiatives and provided direction on marketing exposure opportunities that increased fan attendance and funding opportunities. Before joining Holy Names University Athletic Department in 2011, Clyde worked as an Event Marketing Assistant for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he primary assisted with event planning and marketing fundraising efforts.

Clyde graduated from Holy Names University, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in business management and his master’s degree in marketing. A California native, Clyde spends much of his free time supporting wishes and planning fundraising events as a member of the Young Professional Advisory Committee for the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Chapter. He also enjoys attending hip-hop dance classes, hiking, playing basketball and visiting friends and family in his hometown located in Pasadena, CA.

 

 

Jorge Mancheno


Mancheno Insurance Agency

Owner and broker Jorge Mancheno is the driving force behind Mancheno Insurance Agency. In 1996, he launched a one-man insurance brokerage in El Sobrante, California. Jorge quickly grew his business, receiving recognition from his peers as one of the top producers in West Contra Costa County in 1998. By 2003, Jorge had built an extensive network among real estate agents and insurance carriers in Northern California, enabling his business to work exclusively on a referral basis.

Aside from business, Jorge enjoys sponsoring charitable events and strengthening community ties through a number of activities. He has sponsored a Turkey Drive and Toy Drive in the Richmond/San Pablo area each holiday season. His love for climbing has resulted in a fundraising event benefitting Children’s Hospital Oakland.

 

 

Zachary Cohen


Executive Director at Oakland A’s Fund

An East Bay native, Zach graduated from Berkeley High School and earned a BA in History from UC Santa Cruz. He began his career teaching Special Education in Oakland at Lionel Wilson High School. He moved on to direct a youth summer program at UC Berkeley for children with autism. Somehow, Zach found spare time to intern with the Warriors! He began in 2007 as a Ball Boy/Locker Room Attendant. Over the years, he has been recognized for his productivity and work ethic with promotions to Equipment Assistant, Assistant Equipment Manager, and Summer League Basketball Operations Manager.

When Zach is not working or attending work related events he enjoys spending time with his family, checking out new restaurants, reading and playing chess with his son, watching the occasional Rugby game, and of course playing basketball. Something that many people do not know about Zach is that he is French Canadian and can speak French fluently.

 


San Francisco

 

Liz Kao

Liz Kao brings product management and IT business applications experience to nimble teams in high-growth technology-focused companies. She specializes in building and launching products & processes while using metrics-driven results to optimize performance. As product manager for sales-focused enterprise applications at Twitter, she works hands-on with web-based technologies to help the company scale. She graduated from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the University of California, Berkeley. Her team-oriented nature and individual motivation were cultivated from lessons learned while playing and coaching volleyball, swimming, skiing, and competitive badminton in high school. She also realizes that key physical coordination skills were laid with an early exposure to kickball, handball, jump rope, Hoppity Hops, and tag.

 

 

Suncheth Bhat, Board Chair


Suncheth Bhat is chief of staff to the CFO of Pacific Gas and Electric where he works on a variety of strategy projects. He primarily focuses on evaluating operational performance, conducting benchmarking, and leading the strategic plan for a six hundred person organization.  Prior to this role, Suncheth worked for over four years managing key policy aspects of demand and supply-side renewable generation. Before PG&E, Suncheth worked in Project Controls for Bechtel Corporation.  He holds a BA from UCLA and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business. Suncheth has long been active in sports and values the power of play not only as a means for children to get exercise but also to learn the concepts of teamwork, creativity, and adaptability. He is excited about how Playworks teaches these important values to kids and the long-term impact this will have on their contribution to society.

 

 

Rebecca Goldberg


Rebecca is a Program Officer on the Education Team at the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. In this role, Rebecca supports youth development organizations nationally to promote character development for youth. She also works closely with the California Department of Education and several non-profits in CA to strengthen the quality of afterschool programs across the state.

She brings over ten years experience in the youth development field as well as a background in workforce development creating career pathway programs for low-income youth, adult, and veterans. Rebecca has a BA degree from Colgate University.

Rebecca believes in the importance of play and was inspired by the impact Playworks makes on kids, schools, and communities by eliminating bullying, fostering leadership opportunities and making school a safe, fun, and welcoming place for kids. She’s also a big fan of a round of handball on the playground.

 

 

Lane Bruno


Lane is a vice president with the corporate finance team at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). Based in San Francisco, Lane focuses on providing capital structure solutions to technology companies throughout the Bay Area. In addition to technology banking, Lane has broad experience executing leveraged buyouts and distressed investments across a variety of industries. Prior to joining SVB in 2009, Lane was an analyst with Republic Financial Corporation in Denver where he specialized on distressed investments in heavy manufacturing, communications, and real estate. Preceding Republic, Lane focused on direct control investments within the oil and gas and telecommunication services industries as an analyst with Denargo Capital. Lane received his BSBA in finance and quantitative methods from the University of Northern Colorado and is an affiliate member of the CFA Institute.

Lane was lucky enough to grow up with four siblings. He is excited to bring the same values, joy, and excitement he gained playing with his brothers and sister to other children through Playworks.

 

 

Kate Kellogg


Kate specializes in building processes that support creativity, innovation and growth. She brings 15 years of experience in leadership positions in technology and innovation companies, with a focus on organizations in transitional phases. Most recently she has spent 8 years at 2K, supporting the growth of a world-class video game publishing organization.  Kate is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts.  She lives in Oakland with her partner and a dog that loves costumes.  Kate is passionate about all forms of play—video games, athletics, board games, and Playworks.

 

 

Kevin Sullivan


Kevin Sullivan is a technology investor at True Wind Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm. Prior to joining True Wind, Kevin spent time at both at Qatalyst Partners and Moelis & Company, two boutique investment banks where he advised various technologies companies on mergers and acquisitions. Kevin holds a BA with honors in Economics and Mathematics, as well as an MA in Finance, from Claremont McKenna college where he was captain of the Men’s Basketball team (Go Stags!), Chief Financial Officer of the student government, and a student representative on the college’s Board of Trustees.

Between playing sports his entire life, and a mother who has spent over a decade as an elementary school teacher, Kevin understands the need for structure on the playground and has a strong belief in the ability of Playworks to instill lasting communication, team building, and conflict resolution skills in the students it serves. He is excited to contribute to the cause and support the amazing Playworks staff as they continue to improve the playground environment of schools across the country.

 

 

Jason Block


Senior Director of Strategic Marketing Events, Salesforce

Jason has spent the last 25+ years as a finance professional in the Bay Area. He has a wide breadth of corporate finance experience at some of the region’s premier companies. Jason currently is a senior director at Salesforce, running finance and operations on the strategic marketing events team. This team runs Dreamforce, the largest and one of the most renowned technology conferences in the world. He has been at Salesforce for the last seven years in numerous finance roles. Prior to that, Jason worked on the finance teams at Bay Area companies such as Charles Schwab and Applied Materials.

Jason grew up in suburban Chicago and graduated with both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in finance from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign before coming to San Francisco.

Jason has been involved in sports from a young age and has been part of many athletic teams from childhood into adulthood. He’s also been an avid and active supporter of community volunteerism on several levels including multiple youth-focused nonprofit organizations.

Jason was introduced to Playworks through several volunteer events with Salesforce. He was immediately drawn to the energy of the organization as well as their mission and values around the power of play, inclusion, and creating a positive environment on our school’s playgrounds. He is excited to leverage his professional background and Bay Area network connections to help Playworks achieve its goals.

 

 

Nicole Gambino


Attorney, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Nicole Gambino is a partner in the Energy & Infrastructure Group at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., where she primarily focuses on tax aspects of project finance, with a particular emphasis in renewable energy. Nicole holds a BA in Mathematics and a teaching certificate from The College of New Jersey and a JD from UCLA School of Law. Nicole is excited to be on the board as she believes that the values and skills taught by Playworks directly improve students’ attitudes and learning environments, important elements to educate future generations.

 


Silicon Valley

 

Angela Harris, M.S.H.R

Ms. Harris began her 18-year career in human resources with a boutique recruiting firm in Milwaukee, and she later took a position with Manpower International, where she further developed her expertise in human resources and management consulting.  She has supported a myriad of Fortune 500 companies, including the Eastman Kodak Company, Manpower, IBM, M&I, and BankOne (now Chase) across many disciplines.  Ms. Harris worked for ASQ (the American Society for Quality) where she worked on the development of ISO Standards. When she joined HP, Angela served as the Chief of Staff for Don Robertson (SVP, T&O HR).  Ms. Harris recently joined the Global Business Process Management team, where she is working on change management and building a culture of continuous improvement at HP.

Ms. Harris holds an MS in Human Resources from Marquette University and Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Political Science and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has received several certifications, including the Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence from ASQ. She is pursuing her Green Belt certification this year.

 

 

TJ Graham


TJ is an attorney at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. As an attorney in the Technology Transactions Practice. TJ’s practice touches on a wide range of clients in technology, media, and other growth enterprises. TJ, a New Orleans, Louisiana native, holds a B.S. from Louisiana State University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. TJ has spent significant time working with children as a mentor, tutor, and coach. Through these experiences, he believes that quite often one of the biggest challenges facing children is getting in the game and he wants to make sure that every child has that opportunity.

 

 

Hari Veladanda


Hari is a Director of Software Development at Symantec responsible for software at the forefront of cyber security which secures online transactions, safeguards customer information and prevents cybercrime. Hari manages multiple high-performance teams worldwide and has lived and worked in multiple countries. Prior to this, Hari worked for VeriSign & Ericsson in similar leadership roles and has been in the software industry for 19 years. In his free time, Hari enjoys a variety of activities including motorcycling, flying planes, and scuba. With the birth of his son he became increasingly interested in helping children fulfill their potential. Playworks appealed to him because it is actively improving the school experience for children during some of the most formative years of their lives. He is eager to be a part of an organization that is actively helping the children of our community. He is a strong believer in the power of play to motivate children and is excited to be a part of Playworks Silicon Valley.

 

 

Danielle Conkling


Danielle is a Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, in Palo Alto.  Danielle provides outreach and tailored strategies to a select group of ultra and high net worth clients.  She leads a team of locally based U.S. Trust specialists who design and implement integrated solutions across banking, lending, investment management, trust and estate planning, family office services, and philanthropy.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and her M.B.A. from Rice University.  She is a member of the Council of Advisors for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and a working council member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.  She also serves on Trinity School’s benefit committee.

Danielle believes that all children benefit from healthy, positive, and inclusive play and that developing social emotional skills on the playground are key to long-term success for all kids.

 

 

Weston Fillman


Staffing Program Manager, Google, Inc.

Weston is currently a Program Manager at Google driving diversity and operational excellence projects within Technical Infrastructure and Cloud Staffing. Weston moved to San Francisco to join Google as a recruiter in early 2015 and has spent time working on diversity and inclusion projects with staffing and engineering teams in the Bay Area and APAC. In 2017, Weston spent two months developing strategy for hiring more People with Disabilities for Google’s APAC offices in Singapore and Tokyo. Prior to Google, he was a Recruitment Manager at Teach For America in Washington, D.C. and taught Pre-K in Baltimore City Public Schools as a Teach For America Corps Member. Weston is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College (F&M), where he majored in Government and History, has an EdM in Higher Education from Harvard University, and an MSEd from Johns Hopkins University in Early Childhood Education. While in graduate school Weston was a graduate assistant in the admissions offices at Harvard Law School and Harvard’s Education School. Weston serves as the Chair of F&M’s San Francisco Alumni Council. He is passionate about the intersection of education, access, equity, and inclusion (and co-parenting his rescue dog, Dolly).

 

 

Craig Michaels


Product Marketing, Apple

Craig spends his days developing and managing products for consumer tech and digital media markets. In the past, he has held leadership positions in product marketing, content programming, and business development, while managing a variety of digital platforms, including interactive television as well as online film and TV distribution. Craig graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Commerce and received an M.B.A. from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

During his off-time, he enjoys exploring the Bay Area with his two young kids who are always up for new adventures. Growing up in New York with a kindergarten teacher as a mom, Craig has picked up a few key playground tips that have served him well through the years, including it takes two to seesaw.

Craig values the need for both structured and unstructured play, for all ages. To foster this in his community, he serves on the Parks and Recreation Commission in his home city of Belmont. Craig strongly believes in the mission of Playworks and is excited to lend a (ro sham bo) hand during such an important phase in youth development.

 

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