Board of Directors
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MSW, JD, Faculty Member Center for Human Services, UC Davis
Ms. Brown combined legal and community organization skills throughout her career. Her legal practice primarily focused on criminal law and civil rights litigation. Joanne was appointed to the bench in Alameda County as a Superior Court Commissioner assigned to Juvenile Court and Criminal Court. During two periods, Joanne worked in state government in New Mexico. She served as Division Director for Adult Institutions in the Corrections Department and later, as General Counsel for the Department for Children Youth and Families (CYFD), responsible for statewide child and family services and juvenile corrections. Joanne consulted for a decade for the National Resource Center for Legal and Judicial Issues (Center on Children and the Law, American Bar Association) where she worked with state courts and child welfare agencies in over forty states to implement the system of national child welfare outcomes. During the past 6 years, Joanne has been a member of the faculty at the Center for Human Services, University of California, Davis. The Center, through the Northern Training Academy, provides training for social workers throughout California and management support for county social services leadership. Joanne is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley where she received her BA, MSW and JD.
MSW, Director of Huckleberry Youth Program’s Juvenile Justice Programs
Ms. Coleman, born and raised in San Francisco, has led Huckleberry’s Community Assessment & Resource Center since 1999. The center has become one of the foremost juvenile justice programs in San Francisco. It provides youth arrested for less serious violent crimes with a rehabilitative, supportive alternative to incarceration. Under Ms. Coleman’s leadership, CARC has supported over 12,000 at-risk youth and is a national model of excellence for community-based juvenile justice diversion programs. Ms. Coleman has extensive experience working with diverse populations in both residential, Delancey Street Foundation, and community-based organizations. Ms. Coleman has been engaged with and supervised case management and substance abuse transition for over 25 years. She has a Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University and is an expert in the juvenile justice community. She serves as the co-chair of the Juvenile Justice Providers Association of San Francisco, and has served as a Youth Justice Project Associate for The Vera Institute of Justice in New York. She received the 2010 Local Hero of the Year award from KQED for outstanding work in the community at large.
Keith is a partner with EY-Parthenon and has spent over 20 years advising corporations large and small on complex mergers and acquisitions and sell-side transactions. He lives in the East Bay with his wife and two young boys and is passionate about education and its power to transform lives. Keith grew up in London and obtained a MA(Hons) in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.
Sheetal Bhaskarabhatla has spent the last 8 years of her career focused on Marketing & Strategy for the Healthcare sector. She is currently a Product Manager at Abbott in the East Bay and resides in San Francisco. Through the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago, Sheetal has completed coursework and hands-on consulting projects in the topics of Governance, Strategy, and Scaling for Social Enterprises. Sheetal also served as a Board Fellow for One Hope United, a nonprofit in Illinois providing child and family services. Sheetal earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.S.E. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Sheetal is deeply passionate about social justice, education, and policy and brings to Life Learning Academy expertise in strategic planning and general management.
Patrick serves as the VP of Government Relations at Learning Ally. In this capacity, Patrick works with the legislatures, departments of education, and governors who have trusted Learning Ally to serve their struggling readers. Patrick's charter at Learning Ally is to work with policymakers and educators to drive legislative initiatives meant to create student-focused solutions meant to provide tools to teacher enhance literacy instruction. Patrick secured funding of $3.5 million from the California Governor’s office to develop and pilot a dyslexia screening and early intervention program at the UCSF Dyslexia Center.
Nikki Brighouse is an LLA alumna and is passionate about creating safe spaces for young people to grow and thrive. She has an extensive background in mentoring and tutoring k-12 and undergraduate students. She now works as an admissions counselor in higher education helping students navigate the appropriate pathway to reach their goals. She spent the past 10 years living in New Zealand and earned her masters in education from the University of Auckland. She has interests in the blend of psychology and education to facilitate healing and transformation.
Mr. Carnevale is the Founder and Chairman of the UCSF Dyslexia Center which is translating cutting edge neuroscience to enable precision education. He is a Founder and Chair of Breaking-Barriers-by-8, a new Public-Private partnership coalition with corporations, philanthropy, and government working together toward 100% literacy in early childhood education for California by 2035. Mr. Carnevale serves on the Boards of many other education non-profits, including Learning Ally, the SERP Institute, Boon Philanthropy, Diverse Learners Coalition, Potentia Institute 21, and Eye-to-Eye. He is an advisor to ESO Ventures, a social venture fund being piloted in Oakland CA for community workforce development. He has been a venture capitalist most recently with his own boutique investment firm Point Cypress Ventures. He is currently Chairman of Sawgrass, a developer of digital industrial inkjet technologies and cloud-based mass customization software. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan College of Engineering. As a Founder of the UM Center for Entrepreneurship, he is the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Service Award. He is also the former President and Emeritus Trustee of The Olympic Club Foundation, whose mission is to support disadvantaged youth sports programs that develop future community leaders. He and his wife are the owners of a boutique Napa Valley wine Blue Oak and have twin sons who are seniors at Washington University in St Louis and U Chicago.
Nate has over 15 years of accounting experience, providing audit and consulting services to Bay Area companies and organizations. He worked with BPM LLP, offering audit, review, attestation, and consulting services to a wide variety of private companies and nonprofit organizations. Nate holds a degree in Accounting from Azusa Pacific University and has been a Certified Public Accountant for 13 years. Currently, he is Chief Financial Officer of PTLA Real Estate Group and he oversees the administrative, financial, and risk management operations of the company. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and of the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) and is a Board Member of Catalight Foundation and Life Learning Academy Charter School.
Ms. Kao has long been passionate about furthering education for young people, working at USC’s Center for Urban Education to advocate for equity in higher education, and volunteering at Northwest Neighbors and 32nd St. School in Los Angeles. She spent a number of years as a management consultant in Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations group, eventually specializing in healthcare and life sciences. She is now part of the Growth Strategy team at a digital health startup called Honor, which strives to use technology and a novel network model to enable quality in-home care for older adults.
Will is a retired business consultant, having served as a strategic and operational advisor to management teams for over 30 years. His practice was focused on: 1) development of profitable marketing and selling strategies; 2) installation of disciplined approaches to operational and financial management; 3) sourcing of new capital; and 4) providing interim “C level” leadership for clients. He has been a board-level advisor to privately owned companies and nonprofit organizations since 1980.
Will began his career with Chevron Oil, serving as advertising manager for East Coast markets. He subsequently transitioned to Dymo Industries, helping to restage and revitalize their Dymo Products operating company. Following Dymo, Will led the Northern California offices of Bozell-Jacobs, an international advertising agency. In 1980 he co-founded The Browning Group, retiring in 2010.
Will has served on several corporate advisory boards including White Cloud Mountain Coffee, Center for Culinary Development, Irvine Technology Management Services, Frontier Natural Products, and American Asphalt.
Will has been an adjunct professor at the School of Business, California State University-East Bay and has served on a variety of business and community service boards, including the Hotel and Restaurant School Advisory Board at Diablo Valley College, the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, Napa Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau, the California Council for the Blind, St. Helena Hospital Foundation, De Marillac Academy, Archbishop Riordan High School, and as Chairman of Partners-For-Profit, a community service arm of REDF, focused on funding and advising social enterprises which help “at-risk” individuals return to the mainstream.
Will received his MBA from Seton Hall University and his undergraduate business degree from Golden Gate University. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Executive Management Program.
Randy is obsessed with Black progress. He believes that if we can successfully eliminate barriers to success for our most vulnerable students—in America, Black children—we can successfully support the needs of any student. As the Executive Director of Urban Ed Academy, Randy supports a team obsessed with one mission: placing a Black male teacher in every elementary school in San Francisco.
Prior to moving to San Francisco, Randy worked to lift up social justice through education in D.C. and California. He is an active member of the New York State Bar Association, holds a Juris Doctor degree from the American University Washington College of Law, and received his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan.
A resident of Linden, California, Sue’s work as an education consultant grew out of her successful career as a teacher, principal and leader in San Joaquin County, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley district and charter systems, where her expertise in serving students with disabilities and advancing their success was established. As Aspire Public Schools’ Director of Special Education, she established cooperative programs with states, districts and non-profit organizations, as well as launched Aspire’s special education teacher residency program with University of Pacific. Sue was a member of California’s State Task Force for Special Education and established California’s statewide charter schools organization. She served on the Board of Charles Armstrong School and currently serves as Chair of the Community Foundation of San Joaquin and as a member of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation Board.