Our Team

Aimée Eubanks Davis

Aimée Eubanks Davis

  • Founder & CEO
  • Chicago, IL

Aimée is the founder and CEO of Braven which works to ensure underrepresented college students develop the skills, confidence, experiences and networks to get strong first jobs after graduation. She founded Braven based on her deep belief that our next generation of leaders will emerge from everywhere. Aimée spent the majority of her career at Teach For America. She held various senior leadership roles, including leading the organization’s groundbreaking work around its human capital and diversity efforts. Earlier in her career, Aimée taught sixth grade, led the Breakthrough/Summerbridge New Orleans site, and worked for the national organization. She is a recipient of The 1954 Project’s 2021 Luminary Awards, a 2020 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, 2019 Obama Foundation Fellow, Pahara-Aspen fellow, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a Braddock Scholar, a Draper Richards Foundation Entrepreneur, and a Camelback Ventures Fellow. A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, Aimée resides in Chicago with her husband and three children.

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Adwoah Adomako

Adwoah Adomako

Program Manager, Accelerator

Adwoah oversees the overall student experience of Braven at Rutgers University-Newark. She runs operations and logistics for Learning Labs and Braven events, and supports the Post-Accelerator experience.

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Aleks Calderon

Aleks Calderon

Product Support Coordinator

Aleks is a first-generation college graduate from National Louis University and was part of the first Chicago Braven cohort in Spring 2018. They transitioned into their internship role in 2019 through 2020 and have made their way back into Braven on the tech team. They have contributed to multiple Braven programs such as NLU accelerator, BravenX, and Braven Booster. Aleks is responsible for supporting their team through quality assurance, resolving technology issues, and assisting with the accelerator course.

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Alexis Rodriguez

Alexis Rodriguez

Product Support Manager

Alexis Rodriguez is a proud first-generation, low-income college graduate from Nashville, TN. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and eating her way through Chicago’s amazing food scene. She is passionate about her family, voting rights, Rhode Island, and cats. An avid explorer, Alexis hopes to visit all the U.S. national parks during her lifetime!

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Alina Yang

Alina Yang

  • Site Director, Newark
  • Newark, NJ

Alina oversees Braven program implementation at Rutgers University-Newark. Alina ensures the successful execution of the Accelerator course, recruits and trains volunteers, and builds and supports partnerships with the university, employer partners, and other stakeholders.

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Amy Cisneros

Amy Cisneros

Amy Cisneros is the Site Director for Braven Chicago and oversees Braven program implementation for BravenX and at National Louis University. She ensures the successful execution of the Accelerator course, recruits, and trains volunteers, and builds and supports partnerships with universities, employer partners, and other stakeholders.

First in her family to graduate, Amy holds over a decade of experience advocating and working with students in non-profit and mentoring organizations. Her expertise extends itself into program implementation and culturally relevant curriculum development. As an advocate for first-generation and undocumented students, Amy has supported organizations in coaching staff to become culturally responsive allies to the undocumented community. She is also a member of BACCA (Bilingual Student Access to College and Career Attainment) Group with Chicago Public Schools. Amy earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Minor in French from Valparaiso University. She is a native of Chicago’s Southwest Side and resides near Midway with her husband and daughter.

Site Director, Braven Chicago

Angie Brice Thomas

Angie Brice Thomas

  • Director, Program Operations and Partnerships
  • New York, NY

Annie Biggs

Annie Biggs

Program Operations Manager

Annie designs, leads, and ensures smooth operations and quality execution of the Accelerator course across regions.

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Boseong Yun

Boseong Yun

UChicago Applied Data Fellow

Boseong joins Braven as a UChicago Applied Data Fellow. He performs modeling, evaluation, and analysis to help Braven make informed decisions.

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Brian Sadler

Brian Sadler

  • Head Of Engineering
  • New York, NY

Brian leads the software engineering efforts ensuring that the systems architecture, stack, infrastructure, code, and development operations are solid. He is focused on efficient, effective, and maintainable engineering operations and processes that can handle the needs of Braven as we continue to scale.

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Briannah Drew

Briannah Drew

  • Program Manager, Accelerator
  • San José, CA

Briannah oversees the overall student experience of Braven at San José State University. She runs operations and logistics for Learning Labs and Braven events where she supports Fellows, Leadership Coaches, Teacher Assistants, and professors.

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Brisdy Carrillo Vega

Brisdy Carrillo Vega

External Affairs Manager
San José, CA

Brisdy Carrillo Vega is the External Affairs Manager in the Bay Area. She works closely with our employer partners to represent the Braven Bay Area in a positive light while assisting the Executive Director to build meaningful relationships that contribute to an equitable future for our students. She also helps manage internal and external communications, heavily support fundraising and employer partnership efforts as well as raise brand awareness. She keeps certain values like equality, resilience, and family very close to heart which is reflected in her body of work. 

As an alum of SJSU in the class of Fall 2020, Bridy joined Braven’s forces as an Administrative Coordinator intern before joining full time. Her tie to Braven dates back to Spring 2019 when she took Braven. As a first generation DACA student, she realized that she wouldn’t have the same opportunities as other students and struggled to really find her place when she started college but Braven provided her with the community and network she didn’t realize she needed. She now hopes to give back to students that come from underrepresented backgrounds in her work with Braven. She hopes for a future where everyone can reach an equitable education. Brisdy’s work with employer partners has also led her to cross paths with impactful entrepreneurs and she hopes to lead a similar effort in her later years.

Catherine Deutsch

Catherine Deutsch

  • Chief of Staff
  • Chicago, IL

Catherine drives strategic projects related to organizational health, growth, and sustainability in order to maximize the impact of the Braven accelerator. In addition, she supports and serves as a thought partner to the CEO.

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Che Watkins

Che Watkins

Che D. Watkins is the Executive Director – Atlanta for Braven. Ms. Watkins served as President & CEO of The Center for Working Families, a nonprofit focused on workforce development to create economic success for hard-working families and their children. Ms. Watkins has more than 30 years of experience in external affairs, public policy, business […]

Che D. Watkins is the Executive Director – Atlanta for Braven. Ms. Watkins served as President & CEO of The Center for Working Families, a nonprofit focused on workforce development to create economic success for hard-working families and their children.

Ms. Watkins has more than 30 years of experience in external affairs, public policy, business development, community engagement and development and finance. Ms. Watkins spent more than four years with the Metro Atlanta Chamber as Vice President of External Affairs where she leveraged her skills to develop relationships with local government officials, metro area Chambers, regional and community nonprofits, corporate leaders and other community voices.  She also managed the Chamber’s Greater Grady Task Force and served as Education and Campaign Manager for the 2012 Metro Atlanta Transportation Referendum that executed a $9 million voter education and advocacy effort to draw 300,000 voters to the polls to pass an $8 billion transportation referendum for the metro Atlanta region.

Ms. Watkins began her career with J.P. Morgan & Co. in Accounting before moving into client interfacing leadership positions at Bank of America and Wachovia.

Ms. Watkins holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Spelman College and her MBA from New York University.

Chun Ying Wang

Chun Ying Wang

  • Director of Data
  • Chicago, IL

Chun Ying oversees program-related data management, analysis, and reporting and overall research and evaluation efforts at Braven.

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Dania Moctezuma

Dania Moctezuma

Manager, Human Assets

Dania is responsible for executing strategies that allow Braven to attract, onboard, engage, develop and retain highly effective team members from diverse backgrounds.

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Daniel Alter

Daniel Alter

  • Manager of Employer Partnership Strategy
  • Chicago, IL

Daniel is responsible for designing and implementing Braven’s employer partnership strategy. He guides the cultivation of employer partners in each Braven market, develops infrastructure to measure outcomes, and creates engagements that offer shared value to both Braven’s partners as well as our diverse, driven college students.

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Headshot of employee Danielle Hayman

Danielle Hayman

Headshot of employee Danielle Hayman

Danielle Hayman

  • Site Director, NYC
  • New York, NY

Danielle oversees Braven program implementation at Lehman College. Danielle ensures the successful execution of the Accelerator course, recruits and trains volunteers, and builds and supports partnerships with the university, employer partners, and other stakeholders.

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Dennis Ng

Dennis Ng

  • Operations Coordinator
  • Newark, NJ

Dennis is responsible for Newark regional operations and event planning. He is the right hand person to the Newark Executive Director, specifically supporting in the creation and maintaining of employer and community partnerships.

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Diana Phuong

Diana Phuong

  • Executive Director, San Jose
  • San Jose, CA

Diana Phuong is the Executive Director of Braven in the Bay Area. She joined Braven at San Josè State University as Site Director in January 2020, and in her first year, adapted the core Accelerator Course to an entirely virtual context, to much success. Prior to Braven, Diana engaged counties, districts, and schools in integrated STEAM education by leveraging hands-on learning as a Partnership Director for a local nonprofit RAFT. She launched a RAFT STEAM Summer Program through joint funding as a 4.0 Schools Tiny Fellow. Prior to that, Diana spent a decade in teaching and high school administration. Her teaching began as a Teach For America Fellow in Memphis, TN, where she taught 3rd-5th grade English as a Second Language. Diana earned her Bachelor’s in English from University of California-Irvine and Masters in Education from Christian Brothers University. She is the first in her family to receive her Bachelor’s and Master’s. Born and raised in the East Bay, she is the daughter of refugees who started over in America in the late 70’s.

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Elena Baurkot

Elena Baurkot

Associate Software Engineer

Elena is Braven’s Associate Software Engineer and works with the tech team to help implement features for Braven’s software.

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Eric Morales

Eric Morales

Program Manager, Recruitment and Workforce Strategy
Chicago, IL

Eric oversees all student recruitment for BravenX and National Louis University, as well as managing Post-Accelerator Fellow workforce strategies for the Chicago region.

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Guadalupe Emigdio

Guadalupe Emigdio

Program Manager of Recruitment
San José, CA

Guadalupe Emigdio is the Program Manager of Recruitment in the Bay. She joined Braven full-time in March of 2021, a recent graduate for San Jose State University. In her time at SJSU as an undergraduate she participated in the Braven course in Fall 2019. Lupe is a first-generation college student raised by a single mother who immigrated from Mexico in search of a better future. Lupe attributes her personal and professional growth to the experience acquired in connection to Braven. She, like many low-income college students we serve, supported herself financially through higher education. Unable to participate in many career accelerating experiences through the trajectory of her college career UNVS 101, a course offered at SJSU, in partnership with Braven opened a world of opportunities. Lupe interned with Merrill Lynch as a (Client Associate), Katie Couric Media (Media Intern), and Braven (Marketing/Recruitment Intern) through Braven referrals. Lupe’s  internships changed her life. They showed her that someone like her who two years ago was a street vendor has a voice. Braven showed her to own her story because it is her  biggest asset. She is the first to graduate from her family and land a strong job. Lupe is passionate about replicating her results to increase impact for first-generation and low-income nationwide .

Harry Li

Harry Li

  • Chief Technology Officer
  • New York, NY

Harry Li joined Braven in June 2019. He oversees the user support, engineering, IT, and data departments. Prior to Braven, Harry devoted his energy towards consulting for education organizations such as EdTech startups and charter schools. Harry was the founding engineer for the Summit Learning program and founded their data science team. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Brown University and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He enjoys spending time with his family, pursuing many hobbies, and telling dad jokes.

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Helen Bohorquez

Helen Bohorquez

  • Manager of Instructional Design
  • Greater New York City

Helen is responsible for the instructional design of Braven’s flagship program, the Braven Accelerator. She works directly with designers, engineers, and regional team members to constantly elevate the learning experience for Fellows and volunteer Leadership Coaches.

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Jasmine Moorman

Jasmine Moorman

Program Manager – Recruitment and Workforce, Braven Atlanta

Jasmine Moorman is the Program Manager – Recruitment and Workforce for the Atlanta region. Jasmine has a Bachelor of Science, Industrial Engineering from South Carolina State University and a Master of Education, Counselor Education, with an emphasis in Student Affairs. She joins us from the BMW Manufacturing Company where she worked with the BMW Scholars Program Recruiting Co-Op, Talent Programming and Training Group. She assisted management with the recruitment function across manufacturing associate-related majors and created diverse marketing and recruitment strategies including advertising plans, outreach, training and tracking to present at recruiting events for approximately 70 technical colleges and 30 high schools in Upstate South Carolina.

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Jeana Kim

Jeana Kim

  • Head of Product
  • Los Angeles, CA

Jeana sets the vision, strategy, and pedagogy for overall product at Braven, overseeing core product, new product innovation, program quality, and organizational learning. She fosters seamless cross-functional operations between the product and other Braven teams to ensure students reach strong outcomes through the products we build and our staff and volunteers have the tools, resources, and training they need to implement the Braven experience.

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Jenna Carlson

Jenna Carlson

  • Manager of Design
  • Chicago, IL

Jenna partners with Braven’s Chief Technology Officer to lead critical elements of the Tech Team’s roadmap, including setting the vision for and managing the Product Support department, setting up and leading Scrum teams to execute initiatives that require a substantial engineering or data component, and serving as the cross-functional coordinator for the Tech team leads. She also served as the initial lead on Braven’s Learning and Development Center of Excellence and continues to contribute her experience in learning and development to this initiative.

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Jess Greenfield Hillesland

Jess Greenfield Hillesland

Human Assets Operations Manager & Accounting Generalist

Jess supports the People & Operations Team on a variety of projects that support employee satisfaction and communication around payroll, benefits, leaves of absences, policies and procedures.  She is focused on improving the team experience through process improvements in finance and human assets.  Jess also manages accounts payables and receivables for Braven.

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Jonathan Chaparro

Jonathan Chaparro

  • Site Director, Chicago
  • Chicago, IL

Jonathan oversees Braven’s efforts in Chicago and program implementation at National Louis University. Jonathan ensures the successful execution of the Accelerator course, recruits and trains volunteers, and builds and supports partnerships with universities, employer partners, and other stakeholders.

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Joshua Owusu-Gyimah

Joshua Owusu-Gyimah

Data Analyst – Braven X/Online

Joshua currently works on the Braven X/Online team as a Data Analyst. Prior to Braven, Josh worked as a Project Manager at The Chad School Foundation in Newark NJ from 2015 – 2020, overseeing their scholars program and assisting the Executive Director in policy and grant-making efforts. With a background in Information Systems and Economics, Josh is an alum of Rutgers University Newark. He loves to spend time with his church youth and watch basketball with friends.

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Kasia Kalata

Kasia Kalata

  • Director, Communications & Marketing
  • Chicago, IL

In her role as Director of Communications and Marketing, Kasia Kalata combines her experience in marketing and communications to elevate Braven’s brand. With a background in education, Kasia brings her expertise in storytelling, marketing strategy, and connecting with her audience through engaging campaigns.

Kasia graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Public Policy and minor is Slavic Languages and Literature. While her career began at City Year Chicago, her passion has driven her to continue creating positive change in public education.

Kate Shoemaker

Kate Shoemaker

  • VP, Policy & University Strategy
  • Greater New York City

Kate leads Braven’s Policy and University Strategy including our New Site Development work in concert with the CEO, External Affairs and our regional teams. She is always looking to connect with new potential Braven partners.

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Kilsys Payamps-Roure

Kilsys Payamps-Roure

  • Executive Director, New York City
  • New York, NY

Kilsys Payamps-Roure is the founding Executive Director for Braven in New York City where she leads strategy and management; builds and supports university, employer, and key stakeholder partnerships; and is responsible for brand awareness and fundraising. Most recently Kilsys served as Chief of Staff to the General Manager and Chief Operating Officer at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). At NYCHA, she set organizational strategy and helped to lead the day-to- day operations of an agency serving over 600,000 residents with nearly 11,000 employees. Prior to NYCHA, Kilsys was the Operations Manager for Enterprise Community Partners in New York City overseeing administrative, facility, and IT related directives. While at Enterprise, she established a formal internship program that served as a pipeline for underrepresented students. Before that, Kilsys founded an online stationery and invitation company to fill the void for culturally relevant images. Earlier in her career, Kilsys spent 12 years in the financial services industry serving in various finance and accounting roles. Kilsys graduated with a B.B.A  in Accounting from Hofstra University and resides in New York with her husband and two children.

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Kristin Wyckoff Tidwell

Kristin Wyckoff Tidwell

Site Director, Braven Atlanta

Kristin Wyckoff Tidwell joined us on November 1st as the Inaugural Site Director for the Atlanta Region.  Kristin is a Spelman College alumna and worked in the Admissions Office at the College from 2001-2008.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and for over ten years she has counseled students of various ages through the college admissions and career process as the Director of College Prep Programs at Breakthrough Atlanta, an organization whose mission is to increase academic opportunity for highly motivated, underserved students and get them into college ready to succeed.

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Kuba Sokolowski

Kuba Sokolowski

Manager of University Partnerships and New Site Development

Kuba develops and implements strategies designed to strengthen Braven’s existing university partnerships while cultivating and launching new university sites and regions. By leveraging research, data, and design, he supports our regions in ensuring the effectiveness of Braven’s project management and strategic communications with universities.

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Lauren Kee

Lauren Kee

Manager of Instructional Design

Lauren is responsible for the instructional design of Braven’s innovation products, including BravenX, Braven Online, and Schwab InternPro. She collaborates with designers, engineers, regional team members, and external stakeholders to deliver and constantly improve the Braven Accelerator for new audiences.

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Lauren Tassone

Lauren Tassone

  • Salesforce Solutions Engineer
  • New York, NY

Lauren drives the successful implementation and use of Salesforce at Braven. Through cross-team collaboration, Lauren engineers Salesforce Solutions and provides training and learning opportunities for the full Braven staff. She also serves on Braven’s Learning and Development Center of Excellence, where she contributes her passion and knowledge in positive organizational development and work culture.

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Lissete Estrada

Lissete Estrada

  • Program Manager, Newark
  • Newark, NJ

Lissete oversees all student recruitment and the overall student experience of Braven at Rutgers University-Newark. She runs operations and logistics for Learning Labs and Braven events, as well as overseeing the Post-Accelerator experience (student club and e-board).

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Lorraine Anderson King

Lorraine Anderson King

  • Head of Development and External Affairs
  • Chicago, IL

Lorraine sets vision and oversees the day to day operations of all development and fundraising endeavors, working closely with the CEO and Board. In addition, she leads national and regional external affairs strategies, including Braven’s communications, marketing and thought leadership.

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Marthe Leach

Marthe Leach

  • Program Manager, Chicago
  • Chicago, IL

Marthe is the founding Director for the Braven Online national pilot. Marthe ensures the successful execution of the Accelerator program, recruits and trains volunteers, and builds and supports partnerships with Braven Online partner organizations, university partners, employer partners, and other stakeholders.

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Melanie Budhan

Melanie Budhan

Product Support Coordinator

Melanie is a recent graduate from Rutgers Business School and former Teaching Fellow for Braven. She is responsible for assessing the quality of systems and troubleshooting issues as they arise.

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Michelle Min

Michelle Min

Data Fellow

Michelle joins Braven as a Princeton Project 55 Fellow. She works with the data and research teams to run, maintain, and improve Braven’s evaluation systems and processes.

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Mohsin Abdulla

Mohsin Abdulla

Data Analyst

Mohsin is a Data Analyst who supports data collection, analysis, and reporting for program operations and continuous learning.

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Nia Blessitt

Nia Blessitt

  • Program Manager Recruitment & Workforce Strategy, New York City
  • New York, NY

Nia oversees all student recruitment at Lehman College as well as managing Post-Accelerator Fellow workforce strategies.
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Nina Landrum

Nina Landrum

  • Manager, Executive Support, Development and Operations
  • Chicago, Illinois

Nina provides executive support and constituent relationship management support to the CEO as well as targeted support for Braven’s Development and Operations team. She manages several special projects like salesforce entry for the development pipeline and national donors, social media execution, and retreat logistics.

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Niurca Louis

Niurca Louis

Director, Program Operations

Niurca Louis is a wife and mother of two amazing teens. She’s a 20 year veteran in program operations and implementation. She is a champion for equity and diverse leadership throughout US companies and organizations. She serves as Vice President on the board of A Future With Hope, a non-partisan organization that seeks to heal communities. She earned a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University and an MTS from Drew University.

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Olivia Greenfield

Olivia Greenfield

Olivia Greenfield is the External Affairs Manager for the Chicago Region covering National Louis University, BravenX, and Braven Online. She works closely with Braven’s employer partners to build and maintain meaningful relationships that contribute to an equitable future for Fellows. Olivia was raised in Chicago and comes to the Braven team following her experience as a high school teacher.

External Affairs Manager, Braven Chicago

Omolade Bangudu

Omolade Bangudu

Manager, Communications & Marketing

Omolade elevates awareness of the college-to-career challenge and the brand and value of Braven in her role as Manager, Communications & Marketing. Working closely with multiple teams, she creates the strategy and planning for various branding and marketing efforts at the national and regional levels including social media and recruitment.

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Patrice Barnes

Patrice Barnes

Patrice N. Barnes is the Program Manager of Recruitment at Rutgers-Newark where she drives and executes strategy for all student recruitment initiatives. Patrice is a first-generation college graduate who has benefited greatly from programs like Braven that help pave the way to a strong professional career. She finds joy and a great sense of purpose in connecting students at RU-N to the Braven Career Accelerator Course.

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Priya Balasubramanian

Priya Balasubramanian

Program Manager, Workforce Development
San José, CA

Priya Balasubramanian is currently the Program Manager of Workforce Development for Braven in the Bay Area. She manages an ambitious multi-faceted program designed to professionally support over 1600+ Braven Alumni transition from a 4-year university to their first quality opportunity after graduation. As an immigrant and first-generation college student, Priya values the importance of community and building strong relationships in reaching an equitable future. Her work within Braven embodies a lot of her values surrounding economic equity, equal opportunity and widespread cultural education. ​​As a recent alum of San Jose State class of 2020, Priya is extremely grateful for the professional direction Braven provided for her when she took the course in Fall 2019. As a transfer student from Canada and one struggling to find a career that identified with her authentic self, Braven embraced her insecurities and guided her towards her true passion, supporting the growth of initiatives that seek to equalize the playing field for minority populations. 

In her spare time, Priya loves to travel, ambitiously building her itinerary for a post-pandemic future, hit the beaches of LA with her sibling, and read endless thought spiraling fictional philosophy books.

Robert Timm

Robert Timm

  • Salesforce Administrator
  • Nyack, NY

Robert drives the successful use of the Salesforce platform for the Braven organization.

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Roechelle Croskey

Roechelle Croskey

Roechelle Croskey is the Program Manager – Accelerator for the Atlanta region.  Roechelle has a Bachelor’s in Human Sciences from Mississippi State University and a Masters in Secondary Education from Jacksonville State University.  Most recently she was a Program Manager with Fulton County Public Schools in Career and Technical Education – Human Services Pathway whose […]

Roechelle Croskey is the Program Manager – Accelerator for the Atlanta region.  Roechelle has a Bachelor’s in Human Sciences from Mississippi State University and a Masters in Secondary Education from Jacksonville State University.  Most recently she was a Program Manager with Fulton County Public Schools in Career and Technical Education – Human Services Pathway whose goal is to increase student’s career interest in Human Services post-secondary career plans. As a Program Manager her passion was to empower underrepresented students from low-income families to acquire knowledge, resources, and education to live choice filled lives post-college.

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Scott Lan

Scott Lan

Site Director
San José, CA

Scott Lan is the Site Director for Braven Bay Area. Scott’s passion for education was sparked 15 years ago as a teacher in South LA. Prior to joining Braven, he served as a Career Coach, guiding first-gen, low-income students to and through college. He was also the founder and Executive Director of Achieving Results by Overcoming Obstacles (AROO), a nonprofit that inspires and challenges at-risk youth to reach their full potential and achieve their most ambitious goals through the sport of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). Prior to founding AROO, Scott was a Broad Resident and served as the Director of Business Strategy at the largest charter management organization in Los Angeles. Before attending business school, he was a human capital consultant first at TNTP and later with Partners in School Innovation, where he focused on talent/performance management and school & district transformation. Scott was also an Education Pioneers Graduate Fellow, where he streamlined front and back office operations for a high-performing LA charter school. His career in education began as a classroom teacher through Teach For America, where he taught 6th grade math and science in South Los Angeles. In his free time, Scott enjoys being outdoors, hiking, OCRs, spending time with his niece and nephews, and trying all the new foodie spots around San Francisco. Scott holds a BA in Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara, an MA in Education from Loyola Marymount University, and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Sheila Lopez

Sheila Lopez

  • General Counsel
  • New York, New York

Sheila joined Braven in 2013 and has worn several hats since. Currently, she is Braven’s first General Counsel where advises on a range of legal matters including partnership agreements, transactions, data privacy, intellectual property, and risk mitigation. Sheila also supports the CEO with strategic external stakeholder relationships and partnerships. She was on the founding Braven team and the founding Executive Director for Braven at Rutgers University-Newark. 

Prior to Braven, she was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell working in the investment management group. Sheila began her career in education as an Education Policy Analyst for the New York City Council Education Committee Chair Eva Moskowitz and was a member of the founding team of Harlem Success Academy Charter School as Director of Instructional Development. She also worked on Eva Moskowitz’s campaign for Manhattan Borough President. 

Sheila graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University where she majored in History and Literature, and has a JD from Harvard Law School. She serves on the Success Academy Leadership Council and StudentsFirstNY’s nonprofit board, and is a founding member of Level, a diverse professional women’s network addressing the racial wealth gap by investing in Black women entrepreneurs. Sheila is a first-generation college graduate and a daughter of immigrants. Originally from Newark, NJ, she now lives in New York city.

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Simatul Rashid

Simatul Rashid

Coordinator of Fellow Recruitment and Operations

Simatul joined in July of 2021 as a Kimpton Fellow to support Braven’s fellow recruitment work on the External Affairs team. She will be helping with daily operations, data analysis, internal cross-team collaborations, and supporting fellow recruitment from the time that students enter Braven’s pipeline to fellows in the Braven course.

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Sonya Forg

Sonya Forg

  • Director, External Affairs and Development
  • Cincinnati, OH

Sonya works closely with the Head of Development and External Affairs to execute and manage the day to day operations of all development and fundraising endeavors, as well as elevate Braven’s brand through communications, marketing, and thought leadership. She also coordinates initiatives that will ensure Braven becomes a best place to work.

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Taiesha Smith

Taiesha Smith

Program Manager – Accelerator, Braven Atlanta

Taiesha Smith is the Program Manager – Accelerator for the Atlanta region. Taiesha has a bachelor’s degree in History Education from Georgia State University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mercer University, and a Doctorate in Education, Post-Secondary & Adult Learning from Capella University, Minneapolis, MN. Taiesha spent several years of advanced leadership and management in education developing teachers, curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Her research background is in retention and persistence of African American students. She joins us from the University of Georgia where she was the Director of the Office of Experiential Learning.

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Tess Brustein

Tess Brustein

  • Director, Design
  • Oakland, CA

Tess, Director of Core Product, leads the programmatic and instructional design of the Braven Accelerator course and parts of the Post-Accelerator experience. She is focused on constantly improving the Fellow experience guided by Braven’s key outcomes. She works in tandem with regional teams to ensure smooth execution of designs.

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Traci Panizzi

Traci Panizzi

Director of Finance

Traci leads the Finance team to ensure Braven’s financial health is in order. In this role, Traci oversees a wide range of finance functions from general ledger accounting, reporting, payroll, and audit to budgeting, financial analytics, and treasury. She also works closely with the Development team on grants management and external reporting.

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Trinity Bracey

Trinity Bracey

Senior Accountant

Trinity works with the Director of Finance to ensure the financial health of Braven.

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Vince Marigna

Vince Marigna

  • Executive Director, Newark
  • Newark, NJ

Vince joined Braven as the Executive Director of the Newark Region in 2018, where he is responsible for the growth and sustainability of the region. Before joining Braven, Vince assumed the role of Chief Academic Officer and Chief People Officer for KIPP New Jersey, and Vince’s position as a Teach For America (TFA) corps member inspired him to dedicate his life’s work to ensure all students have access to a quality education. After completing his two-year corps commitment, he joined the staff of TFA in 2005 as a Program Director. Vincent worked closely with corps members to identify skill gaps, set goals for closing those gaps, and create plans that helped them achieve significant gains with their students.

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Yewineshet Geberegeorgis

Yewineshet Geberegeorgis

Manager, Employer Partnerships Data & Operations

Yewineshet is responsible for collaboratively designing, implementing, and improving systems that help Braven and its diverse stakeholders get farther, faster. Working to optimize tech systems and communications for our wonderful volunteers and employer partners, she also seeks to solve problems, create process improvements, and all with a customer service lens.

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Our Board of Directors

Aimée Eubanks Davis

Aimée Eubanks Davis

  • Founder & CEO
  • Chicago, IL

Aimée is the founder and CEO of Braven which works to ensure underrepresented college students develop the skills, confidence, experiences and networks to get strong first jobs after graduation. She founded Braven based on her deep belief that our next generation of leaders will emerge from everywhere. Aimée spent the majority of her career at Teach For America. She held various senior leadership roles, including leading the organization’s groundbreaking work around its human capital and diversity efforts. Earlier in her career, Aimée taught sixth grade, led the Breakthrough/Summerbridge New Orleans site, and worked for the national organization. She is a recipient of The 1954 Project’s 2021 Luminary Awards, a 2020 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, 2019 Obama Foundation Fellow, Pahara-Aspen fellow, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a Braddock Scholar, a Draper Richards Foundation Entrepreneur, and a Camelback Ventures Fellow. A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, Aimée resides in Chicago with her husband and three children.

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Charlie Wolfson

Charlie Wolfson

Executive Director of Arrow Impact

Charlie Wolfson is Executive Director of Arrow Impact, a foundation that supports initiatives that create pathways to economic prosperity for communities that have been under-resourced. Prior to Arrow Impact Charlie served as Director of Data Strategy at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, a nonprofit charter management organization in Los Angeles, and before that he worked as a Senior Program Officer at Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a nonprofit community development financial institution in New York. Charlie holds a BA in economics and political science from Duke University and an MBA and an MA in education from Stanford University. He is a graduate of the Broad Residency in Urban Education and is an Education Pioneers alum. Charlie lives in Oakland, CA and serves on the boards of Tipping Point Community and NewSchools Venture Fund.

David S. Levy

David S. Levy

Founder, Volition LLC

David S. Levy is the founder of Volition LLC which helps mission-driven organizations to make strategic choices with the commitment necessary for action. He also currently serves as a Senior Advisor to New Profit helping support their growth strategy and mentoring social entrepreneurs. David brings more than 30 years of experience across the private, nonprofit and public sectors to his work. His private sector consulting experience, spanning 17 years, includes partner-level positions at the Monitor Group and Booz & Company.Prior to consulting, he was an R&D executive with Herman Miller, Inc. where he co-authored the design criteria for the Aeron™ Chair.

In the nonprofit sector, David has consulted with leading organizations such as MLT (Management Leaders for Tomorrow), New Profit, Project Evident and Teach for America. He currently serves on the boards of Acelero Learning, Braven, Enlearn and LEAP Innovations.

David graduated with distinction from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Architecture, received his M.S. from Cornell and Doctor of Architecture from The University of Michigan, where he also was an Assistant Professor of Architecture.

Liz Thompson

Liz Thompson

President, Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education

As President of the Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education (The CAFÉ), Liz is deeply engaged in the nonprofit community and passionate about youth development and education.

She began working with nonprofits in 1993 as founding Executive Director of City Year Chicago, a national service organization that was the template for the AmeriCorps Program. Then in 1995, Liz served as Executive Director of a Montessori school in Denver, where she led a $5 million expansion. In 1998, she became active with boards in the San Diego area, which further fueled her interest in philanthropy and education.

Prior to her work with nonprofits, Liz had a ten-year career with Ameritech Corporation, culminating in her role as special assistant to the CEO of Ameritech Illinois and director of a three-state region for Network Field Operations.

Liz serves as a Trustee for the University of Chicago, is Chairman of the University of Chicago Charter School Board, and serves on the Steering Committee of the University of Chicago Women’s Board. She is a director for the Museum of Science and Industry and serves as Vice Chair of the Partnership for College Completion. She is an alumnus of the Non-Profit Leadership Program of Denver and of the Leadership Greater Chicago Program where she currently also serves as a Director. Liz loves spending time with her family and friends, and cherishes her title of ‘Queen of Useless Facts’.

Roger G. Arrieux, Jr.

Roger G. Arrieux, Jr.

New York Managing Partner
Deloitte LLP

As Deloitte’s New York Managing Partner, Roger supports the firm’s largest office by overseeing more than 6,500 professionals. This includes driving business growth, facilitating a multi-disciplinary approach towards serving clients, leading corporate citizenship strategy and creating and modeling a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.

Roger is a transformational leader who is widely recognized for his strategic impact, technical savvy, and passion for our people and the community. With more than three decades of professional services experience, Roger leads by example in advocating for his teams, social fairness, and equal opportunity, and Roger is committed to developing industry practitioners, next generation leaders, and seasoned executives.

As a Senior Audit and Assurance Partner, Roger specializes in providing professional services to alternative investment vehicles across a diverse client base including large, complex investment advisers, partnerships, private equity funds, hedge funds, mortgage REITs, commodity pools, and funds of funds. Roger teams across service lines and sectors to provide solutions to clients and assists them in understanding the various regulatory, structural, and operational frameworks for the industry. During his career, Roger has worked with advisors in establishing domestic and offshore funds and in structuring their alternative investment organizations. Furthermore, Roger has hands-on experience in conducting regulatory reviews, operational reviews, due diligence assessments, and performance reviews. Roger has had the pleasure to speak at numerous industry conferences and has been quoted in alternative investment management industry publications.

Roger has been making an impact on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in both his internal and external roles throughout his career. Roger is a long-standing supporter of various nonprofit organizations that focus on academic acceleration and improvement for youth. Roger currently serves as the Chairperson of the Harlem YMCA Board of Directors and Chairperson of the Black Achievers in Industry Steering Committee, and he also serves on the Board of Directors of A Better Chance. In addition, Roger participates in leadership activities with various other charitable organizations.

Shellye Archambeau

Shellye Archambeau

Former CEO, MetricStream, Inc.

Shellye Archambeau is the former Chief Executive Officer of MetricStream, Inc., a leading provider of governance, risk, compliance and quality management solutions to corporations across diverse industries. She served in this role from the time she joined MetricStream in 2002 until 2018. Prior to that, Ms. Archambeau served as Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Sales for Loudcloud, Inc., Chief Marketing Officer of NorthPoint Communications, and President of Blockbuster Inc.’s e-commerce division. Before she joined Blockbuster, she held domestic and international executive positions during a 15-year career at IBM. Ms. Archambeau has served as a director of Roper Technologies, Inc. since April 2018 and Nordstrom, Inc. since 2015. She also served as a director of Arbitron, Inc. from 2006 to 2013.

Richard Barth

Richard Barth

CEO, KIPP Foundation

As CEO of the KIPP Foundation, Richard leads the growth of the KIPP network, which has grown from 45 to 242 schools, from 8,000 to over 100,000 students, and from 400 to 28,000 alumni since 2005. Under Richard’s leadership, KIPP dramatically expanded KIPP’s leadership development programs, advocated for high performing charter schools on Capitol Hill, and secured partnerships with 97 colleges and universities.

Richard came to KIPP from Edison Schools, where he served as President of District Partnerships. Prior to joining Edison, Barth was one of the founding staff members of Teach For America.

Richard earned a B.A. in American History from Harvard University, and is an Aspen Institute-New Schools Fellow. He currently sits on the board of directors of Braven and the KIPP Foundation. Barth was named a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year and Harvard University’s Chief Marshal for 2014. Richard lives in New York with his wife and children.

Dr. Phillip Clay

Dr. Phillip Clay

Former chancellor and Current Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor Phillip L. Clay, PhD served as the Chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ​ (MIT)​ from 2001 until 2011. ​He also held other leadership positions at MIT and was Department Head at ​the Department of Urban Studies & Planning where he has been a faculty member since 1976.

Professor Clay is widely known for his work in U.S. housing policy and urban development. His current interests include organizational capacity in community-based nonprofits as well as the role of anchor institutions. Growing out of his work on MIT international strategies, he is also interested in the increasing role higher education can play in national development strategies in less developed and emerging nations.

Professor Clay is Chair of the Board of The Community Builders, Inc., one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. He is a member on several foundation and nonprofit boards, including The Kresge Foundation. Professor Clay also has experience in public higher education as a member of the board of the University of North Carolina. He is a member of the board of the Aga Khan University.

He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a doctorate from MIT. Professor Clay lives in Boston.

Susan Dunn

Susan Dunn

Semi-Retired Teacher, Community Volunteer

Susan has been working for educational equity in Newark, NJ since 2004. She currently volunteers with K-8 students in the KIPP schools. She is the co-chair of the Teach For America – New Jersey Board and also serves on the board of Braven and the local Big Brothers / Big Sisters. Susan’s other commitments include the New Jersey Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Montclair Public Library Foundation. She received a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Chicago and a Master’s in Elementary Education from Bank Street College.

Shalinee Sharma

Shalinee Sharma

CEO and co-founder of Zearn

Shalinee Sharma is CEO and co-founder of Zearn, a nonprofit curriculum publisher. Zearn created Zearn Math, a K-5 print and software-based math curriculum that supports daily differentiation and engagement so all children can love learning math. Zearn Math received a top, ‘green’ rating from EdReports and is used by millions of students and teachers.

Shalinee currently serves on the Gates Foundation Mathematics Advisory Board and is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow.

Prior to Zearn, spent more than a decade at Bain & Co. leading work for clients in tech, financial services, and education. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Brown University.

Shalinee spends her free time outdoors with her husband and twin sons. The child of refugees, Shalinee has always been passionate about universal access to an excellent education.

Vicki Walia

Vicki Walia

Chief Talent and Capability Officer at Prudential

Vicki A. Walia is Chief Talent and Capability Officer at Prudential, where she is responsible for leading a COE that integrates work on talent management and organizational capability.

Prior to joining Prudential,Vicki was Head of People at Moody’s Analytics where she created the Human Capital strategy and oversaw the global HRBP team supporting nearly 6,000employees. She joined Moody’s from AllianceBernstein (AB) where she held firm leadership roles in marketing, leading the Human Resources function on an interim basis, Talent, Diversity& Inclusion and a business partner role. In partnership with the firm’s senior leadership, she led the effort to develop and ensure execution of the people agenda. Her final role at AB was the Head of Digital Strategy and Innovation, leading a firm-wide initiative to develop business strategies that harnessed trends in technology, regulation, and the delivery of investment services to enhance and differentiate existing service offerings.

She joined AB in 2007 from Development Dimensions International (DDI), where she worked with clients on projects related to assessment, selection and leadership/executive development.

Vicki has made a number of professional and scientific presentations at the annual meetings of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Academy of Management and Global Business Forum. She has been an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, where she taught courses on organizational behavior, and research methodology. Walia holds a BFA in music from York University and an MS and PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from Alliant International University.

Richard S. Braddock | Emeritus

Richard S. Braddock | Emeritus

Former CEO, Priceline and FreshDirect

Braddock began his business career in 1965 spending a number of years in product management at General Foods. He joined Citicorp in 1973, was elected to the board of directors in 1985, and was elected president and chief operating officer of Citicorp and its principal subsidiary, Citibank, N.A. in January 1990. Mr. Braddock resigned from Citicorp in November 1992, and subsequently served as chief executive officer of Medco Containment Services, Inc. until its acquisition by Merck & Co., Inc., and then spent a year as a principal at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc. He served as Chairman (non-executive) of True North Communications Inc. from December 1997 to January of 1999. He served as Chairman and CEO of priceline.com from August of 1998 to April 2004. Mr. Braddock served as Chairman of MidOcean Partners from April of 2003 until December 2007, and also became Chairman of FreshDirect in 2005. He served as Chairman and CEO of FreshDirect from March of 2008 until his departure from the company in early 2011.

Mr. Braddock is currently Chairman of three early stage companies and is involved in several not for profit activities in education. Mr. Braddock serves on the board of directors of The Aspen Institute, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Cristo Rey Network, and several private companies. He is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations.