“Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime. - W.E.B. Dubois”
Will joins Tipping Point after working as the Director of Residential Programs for children and families impacted by the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice system for a South Bay nonprofit. A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Will has 10 years of experience providing and managing mental health service programs at community-based organizations throughout the Bay Area. Will strongly believes that Tipping Point is at the forefront of confronting the challenges of poverty and is excited about being part of a team that is working with and for the community.
Will holds a B.A. in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco. When not working, he enjoys spending time on the soccer field or golf course and hanging out with his wife and puppy, Megan and Burghardt.
“I believe the difference between poverty and a brighter future is usually dependent on the existence of opportunity. I joined Tipping Point Community, because I’m dedicated to helping create more opportunities for individuals in the Bay Area.”
Prior to joining Tipping Point Community, Nick was an Orfalea Fellow at the William J. Clinton Foundation in Harlem, where he worked on domestic programs focused on entrepreneurship and helping individuals gain access to the financial mainstream. He earned his M.P.A. from the University of Southern California and his B.A. in Political Science from Sonoma State University. He has worked as an Analyst at Wildan Financial Services and a Project Coordinator at the Sonoma Economic Development Board. Born in El Salvador, his Latino heritage inspires his passion for life, dancing and spicy food.
“San Francisco is a city of tremendous wealth for some, and tremendous scarcity for others. They say that when you have more than you need, you should build a longer table, not a higher fence. Tipping Point is building the longer table--helping San Francisco use its abundance to alleviate the suffering on our streets, and to make our city more just, equitable, and livable for all.”
Guided by a deep love for her City and a drive to do the next right thing, Stephany's work has taken her from the streets of the Tenderloin, to the throes of electoral campaigns, to the belly of City Hall, and back again. Stephany got her start in anti-poverty work at the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center, where she volunteered providing harm reduction and HIV services. She soon became involved in budget justice advocacy and in fighting for the rights of people in the sex industry. She has since served as President of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, as legislative aide to Supervisor David Campos, and as Executive Director of the St. James Infirmary. No matter where it takes her, Stephany's work is aimed at decreasing the harms of stigma, poverty, and criminalization. When not in the office, Stephany is usually reading, writing, or playing protest songs with her punk band.
“Tipping Point's unique form of philanthropy is our best shot to seed, grow and scale poverty-fighting organizations.”
One of Tipping Point's first employees, Jamie rejoined the team after serving as the chief operating officer of JVS, a workforce development organization, where he oversaw finance, human resources, information technology and evaluation. He's had a variety of roles in the non-profit and government sectors, including budget director for the City of Fremont, statistician at UCSF and senior program officer at Tipping Point. An Occidental College graduate, Jamie holds two master's degrees from UC Berkeley in public policy, and epidemiology and biostatistics. He is also a proud board member of Village Enterprise, which fights poverty in Kenya and Uganda through entrepreneurship. Jamie would love to hear your recommendations on the best cheap eats in San Francisco.
“There is something powerful about a community working together to address our biggest challenges and that's what drew me to Tipping Point. I believe we have to engage all members of our community to fight poverty and pursue prosperity for everyone living in the Bay Area.”
Kelly has spent her career working in education reform and youth + community development, with a particular focus on using cross-sector partnerships to catalyze change. Prior to joining Tipping Point, she worked as sustainability manager for Education Sector, a national education policy think tank, where she led fund and business development and worked on policy issues related to shared impact and accountability. She started her nonprofit career teaching and running an arts education program in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Redwood City. Kelly holds a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree in education policy, organization, and leadership studies from Stanford University. Claiming the Bay Area as her adopted home, Kelly loves the awesome hiking, running, cycling, and local sports-rooting that make this area such a great place to call home.
“Tipping Point is proof that a small group of people can bring about real change. It’s a privilege to be a part of this movement.”
Ali joined Tipping Point in 2016, relocating from Australia to be a part of the team. After studying Media + Communications at the University of Sydney (including a semester abroad at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Ali began her career as a journalist. She then joined Sony Foundation, the charity arm of the Sony Companies in Australia, where she oversaw communications strategy, PR, fundraising events and celebrity ambassador programs. Ali is a California enthusiast and, when not in the office, can be found exploring the state’s National Parks, eating Mexican food or trying to understand American Football.
“Complex social problems require radical solutions across sectors, disciplines, and funding streams. Yet so often our approach is restricted by the blinders of silos and handcuffed by the poverty of single-issue imagination. Together, we can do better.”
By building a strong presence in the community and collaborating with system partners, Brian Blalock has focused his career on supporting vulnerable and disconnected youth in the Bay Area. Prior to Tipping Point, Brian founded and directed the Youth Justice Project at Bay Area Legal Aid, providing legal representation and advocacy on issues related to youth under 25. He worked on a number of systemic issues, including statewide implementation of extended foster care, funding and services parity for delinquency-involved foster youth, and supports for relative caregivers. He has worked on legislation, including most recently AB 2454, which allows youth to re-enter foster care after 18 if homeless, and the Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Option Program. Before becoming a lawyer, Brian worked as a religious affairs consultant, a fight trainer, and a public school teacher in the south Bronx. He has graduate degrees from Columbia and Harvard and a law degree from Stanford Law School.
“The Bay Area is rich with organizations on the frontline fighting poverty. I joined Tipping Point because it is a community dedicated to supporting these organizations and the people behind them to amplify their impact.”
Jonathan Brack has over 15 years of experience in youth development, education and workforce development initiatives that focus on creating pathways out of poverty for youth and young adults. As founding Director of the Berkeley Scholars to Cal (BSC) program, Jonathan created an innovative academic-mentoring program for Black and Latino youth resulting in a 93% college-going rate. Most recently, Jonathan was Senior Program Manager at CODE2040 where he lead program development, research and evaluation. Jonathan is a two-time Cal Bear, studying History as an undergraduate and Education in graduate school at UC Berkeley. Originally from Sacramento, he now lives in Oakland with his wife Emmile, daughter Layla and son Marcus.
“I believe in the power of engaging members of the community to commit their time and skills to fight poverty together and was drawn to Tipping Point by their commitment to do just that. ”
Ashley recently joined Tipping Point through one of our partners as a ProInspire Fellow. Prior to joining Tipping Point, she worked in revenue cycle management for Triage Consulting Group in Atlanta, GA. Her volunteer and nonprofit work with Acumen, Make a Wish of Illinois and Ronald McDonald House has been fueled by her passion for public health and social impact. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is excited to transition to the nonprofit space professionally and to experience all that San Francisco has to offer with her Goldendoodle Bella.
“With the incredible amount of privilege in the bay area, there is also a tremendous opportunity for change that can inspire the world.”
Amelia studied Social Welfare at Berkeley, where she focused on Political Economy and Poverty Studies. After graduating, she gained experience in both marketing and event production. Amelia is thrilled to apply her experience and passion towards benefiting her community. In her spare time, she loves to plan social events that bring people together.
“The affordable housing crisis is pushing low-income families into the suburbs. It's an honor and challenge to help places like Fremont, Livermore and Bay Point develop the infrastructure needed to address this migration.”
Ed Center is passionate about ending poverty through education and equity. From running a student support center in the basement of San Francisco’s Balboa High School to marshaling strategy and resources for United Way of the Bay Area, his career has consistently focused on helping low-income youth thrive. Ed believes that leadership is the key to social change, and is delighted that his work at Tipping Point centers on supporting great leaders. Ed brings innovation, thoughtfulness and laughter to his work. He plays and coaches soccer, loves running around Lake Merritt, and cooks a mean barbecue. He studied English Literature at UC Davis.
“To whom much is given, much is required.”
Sam has been involved with Tipping Point Community since it began, serving as the CEO of First Place for Youth, a long-standing grantee, for 12 years. Under Sam’s leadership, First Place grew from an Oakland-based grassroots organization into one of the largest providers of housing and services for former foster youth in the United States. Sam is a recipient of the Children and Family Fellowship from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and was awarded the 2010 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. Sam has also served in leadership positions at Larkin Street Youth Services, Juma Ventures, and the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland. He has a Master’s in Counseling from California State University, East Bay. When he is not at work he is either hanging with his twin daughters or playing golf.
Janeen Mendoza Cruz
“I’m inspired by the words of César Estrada Chávez, ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our own community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sake and for our own.”
As a first-generation Latina growing up in California’s Central Valley, Janeen experienced firsthand a lack of resources within her immigrant community. After moving to Oakland, she became fascinated with ecosystem of thousands of Bay Area non-profits that exist in support of low-income communities. After completing a year of AmeriCorps with Tipping Point grantee Prospera, Janeen worked with a social business in Panajachel, Guatemala to bring Mayan products to the global market. Prior to joining Tipping Point, she was with the Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI) where she worked on the Summer Math and Science Honors (SMASH) Academy at UC Berkeley and in development. Janeen graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2011 with a B.A. in Economics and Latin American Studies. While at USCD, she studied business and economics in Milan, Italy and language and culture in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Janeen spends weekends by Lake Merritt, admiring all the beauty and diversity Oakland has to offer!
“Tipping Point recognizes that successfully fighting poverty happens through a combination of direct client services and systems reform. That wisdom gives me great hope that we can make significant, long-lasting change for people who need it most.”
Kara is a long-time champion for children and families. She has experience in the fields of early childhood development, K-12 education and mental health; conducted direct practice, public policy and research; and worked at the local, state and national levels. Prior to joining Tipping Point, Kara was the director of Too Small to Fail, a national public awareness initiative of the Clinton Foundation that supports parents and caregivers to understand the critical role they play in their child’s early brain development. She also served as Associate Director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University, supporting localities to use data to drive decision-making and system improvements. Earlier in her career, Kara was Chair of the First 5 San Francisco Commission, Associate Director of early care and education at Children Now and a psychiatric social worker for San Francisco City and County. She received her B.A. from Brown University and an MSW from UC Berkeley. She loves Mexico, hiking near and far, thrifting and hanging out with her family and dog. She is an avid Warriors fan.
“It is no surprise to me that we are Tipping Point Community - a small network of people working together to engage with and support others in advancing equity and justice in our larger community.”
Andrea Evans has worked extensively at the intersection of law and policy in the private, non-profit and government sectors. In particular, she has led efforts to promote human rights and women's rights domestically and abroad. Originally from the East Coast, Andrea has embraced San Francisco as her home and has been very involved in local affairs. She sits on the KIPP Bay Area Board of Trustees and is a former Commissioner with the San Francisco Fire Commission and the San Francisco Women's Commission. Andrea is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School. She is happiest exploring new places and spending time with family and friends.
“Ever since I started work at my first non-profit at age 17, I knew I wanted to continue pushing for things to be different and better for those I was helping to serve. Being at Tipping Point feels like an amazing opportunity to do more of the same, but on a much bigger level.”
Between the ages of 14 and 18, Mitch was in and out of foster care, including three separate placements. At 17, he was recruited to become one of the founding members of VOICES, the nation's first youth-led community center that serves current and former foster youth in Napa, California. While working at VOICES, Mitch helped to implement and develop three additional youth-led community centers in Santa Rosa, Santa Clara, and Monterey counties. Mitch attended San Francisco State and Sonoma State University and in his spare time, loves riding his motorcycle (Yamaha FZ-10), is an uncle to two nieces and two nephews, and has a 4 year old cattle dog mix named Ruckus.
“I’ve always felt that we have a responsibility to leave our community in a better place than how we found it. Tipping Point Community is mobilizing our region around this idea and is a catalyst for positive change in the Bay Area. It’s energizing and humbling to be a part of that movement.”
Marisa joins Tipping Point Community after three years at Levi Strauss & Co. on the corporate communications team. While there, Marisa helped drive proactive strategic media outreach with a focus on programs related to the company’s community efforts, heritage and sustainability initiatives. Prior to working at Levi Strauss & Co., Marisa spent six years at FleishmanHillard, a global communications firm working on corporate social responsibility and reputational campaigns. A born and raised St. Louisan, Marisa headed east for college, getting her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colby College in the great state of Maine. When not at work, Marisa can be found researching for her wish list of must-try restaurants or exploring San Francisco on her scooter. She’s never met a dance party she didn’t like.
“There are very few organizations that attack poverty from all sides – Tipping Point does that and more.”
Liz brings over 15 years of experience in development and relationship management to her role at Tipping Point. Prior to joining the team in 2015, she served as the Chief Development Officer at Opportunity Fund where she helped families in need build financial security. Liz started her career in investment banking at Alex. Brown & Sons and then moved to a start-up where she built a research and consulting business unit. Liz earned an MBA with a focus on public management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Washington and Lee University in Virginia. A native of the East Coast, she loves cultivating her family’s California garden, volunteering in the public schools, and trail running in the Berkeley hills.
“I have never become adjusted to the inequalities I see around me every day. Tipping Point fixes systems and changes lives – telling those stories is the most powerful way I can contribute to ending poverty in my hometown.”
Starting out as a community organizer in the housing projects of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Thea’s passion for social justice and art have led to positions at a mission-driven ad agency, a public safety consulting firm, and the San Francisco Department of the Environment. A poetry slam champion with a degree in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz and a master of fine arts in English/Creative Writing from Mills College, Thea is the author of two books, Depending on the Light and the award-winning Intersex: For Lack of a Better Word.
“It’s incredibly powerful to think about bringing together the most effective organizations with the resources and expertise needed to multiply that effect across the entire community. That’s when dramatic change happens.”
Jake joined Tipping Point in 2014 after six years leading Dartmouth College’s fundraising in the Bay Area, and with more than 10 years’ experience in the social sector. Prior to working for Dartmouth, Jake was a program manager and development officer for Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a national organization that develops the next generation of minority business leaders. Before switching to the non-profit world, he worked in software product management and business development. Jake earned his BA in Studio Art from Dartmouth College. He doesn’t make as much art as he should, and instead channels his creative energy into coaching his two children’s sports teams, cooking and biking around Marin County.
“Tipping Point is helping to ensure that people living in poverty in the Bay Area have a chance to lead a better life. We all want an extraordinary future for our community and, as economic inequality widens, this work is even more pressing.”
Judy brings deep experience with social sector strategy to her work at Tipping Point. Prior to joining the team, Judy was a Principal at the Bridgespan Group, where she led consulting teams to help nonprofits and philanthropists address some of their biggest opportunities and challenges. In her nearly nine years there, her work spanned strategy development, organizational effectiveness, performance management, and leadership. Judy's experience also includes supporting foundations with performance assessment as Associate Director at the Center for Effective Philanthropy; advising corporations as a consultant with Alliance Consulting Group; and co-founding the DREAM Program, a youth mentoring organization. Judy received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a BA from Dartmouth College. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, and is a steadfast yoga student/sometimes yoga teacher.
“Yo llore porque no tenia zapatos hasta que vi un nino que no tenia pies/I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a boy who had no feet – Oswaldo Guayasamin”
Chiel worked in project management roles at Google and Salesforce before realizing his passion for the social sector and joining the Tipping Point team in 2018. A Bay Area native, Chiel has volunteered with a number of non-profits across the region including Glide Memorial, Habitat for Humanity and various local churches. When he's not working and volunteering, you can usually find him exploring nature and enjoying all the beauty the Bay Area has to offer.
“Day by day, we build a more inclusive future for our entire community. One of mutual belonging and importance.”
Before joining Tipping Point, Jim spent a decade managing large-scale commercial projects in the Los Angeles film industry, developing and executing strategies for national campaigns with clients like Nike, Google, and The NFL. James returned to the Bay Area, seeking a role where his creative efforts could benefit those most in need and make a lasting impact. James earned a BA from UC Berkeley, with a focus on the psychology of art consumption. When not meditating or painting, James can almost always be found with his nose in a well-written post-apocalyptic novel.
“I believe that everyone deserves a chance to live to their full potential. The act of giving is not only rewarding, it benefits the entire community. Tipping Point has given me an opportunity to make real change in people's lives.”
Vanessa received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from San Francisco State University and has over 12 years of administrative support experience, 11 of which were spent at Hall Capital Partners LLC, a financial service firm in San Francisco. She enjoys running and spending time with her husband and two young children. She also uses any excuse to throw a creative dinner party for friends and family.
“The most meaningful gift we can give our community is a relentless commitment to cultivate its well-being.”
Carol is excited to join the Tipping Point team to help ensure that everyone in the Bay Area has an opportunity to thrive. Her experience as a Community Fellow at the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas sparked her curiosity about how organizations utilize resources to maximize impact. Prior to joining Tipping Point, she honed her finance and strategy skills at Unilever and ESPN. Carol graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a finance concentration and received an MBA from the Yale School of Management. A recent New York transplant, she possesses an affinity for polka dots, an appreciation for puns, and a penchant for southern barbecue.
“We have all witnessed the devastating effects of poverty visible everyday on our city streets. I’m excited by the opportunity to work with local leaders and organizations to seek solutions to one of the greatest challenges of our time.”
Robert comes to Tipping Point Community with experience in corporate law, education, and public interest work. Prior to joining, Robert spent five years as a Program Officer at the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation with a focus on civic education and youth development. Prior to that, he served as education director of a Bay Area youth development organization. Robert is an attorney by training, and spent his early career at private firms and the Office of the Public Defender in Contra Costa County. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and English from Emory University, and he holds a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. In his free time, Robert enjoys traveling abroad, listening to live music, and tinkering with a range of art and house projects.
“A good life is a mixture of chance and opportunity. A person has no influence on the circumstances they are born into, but organizations like Tipping Point are working to provide access to opportunities that are transforming lives in the Bay Area for the better”
Martha comes to Tipping Point Community with a lifelong passion for improving and empowering underserved communities. Martha previously provided administrative and programmatic support at John Burton Advocates for Youth, an organization serving two of California’s most vulnerable populations, foster youth and homeless youth. With a degree in education from San Francisco State University, Martha hopes to use her skills to support Tipping Point as they fight to improve countless lives across the Bay Area. In her spare time, Martha enjoys rewatching her favorite shows on Netflix with her husband and two cats and has recently taken up meditation.
“Housing is a human right, but it has become a privilege in our community to have a safe and affordable place to live. Tipping Point is responding to this crisis by bringing together our community's tremendous collective resources and boldly investing in high-impact organizations.”
Debbie comes to Tipping Point with a background in housing finance and housing policy. Most recently, Debbie was a Senior Investment Officer at Nonprofit Finance Fund, where she financed nonprofits across a wide range of sectors. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Vice President at Union Bank, where she provided debt and equity financing for affordable housing development in Northern California. Earlier in her career, she researched housing policy strategies including accessory dwelling units and inclusionary zoning. Debbie received a BA and a Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, spinning, and exploring Oakland. She also serves on the Board of Directors of HealthRIGHT 360, which provides integrated health services to low-income communities throughout California.
“The rich cultural history of the Bay Area inspires me to build a community where everyone can thrive.”
Nina holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on American history and urban development. She believes strongly in the power of community and connection, and is excited to work at Tipping Point, which enlists the entire region to fight poverty. Prior to joining the team, she worked in development and event planning at the San Francisco Symphony. Nina is originally from California’s Central Valley and loves baseball, cooking for friends and family, and camping all over the state.
“As a San Francisco native, it is quite gratifying to able to play a role in giving back to the city I grew up in and has given so much to me.”
Before joining Tipping Point, Jason progressed from entry-level accountant to a senior accountant working in various for-profit companies across several different industries. Jason’s first venture into the non-profit sector was five years ago at The Nueva School. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business, majoring in Finance and Accounting, from San Francisco State University. For fun, Jason enjoys traveling, puzzle hunts, games, sports and movies.
“Everyone deserves the opportunities and support necessary to thrive. Tipping Point recognizes the deep connection between poverty, opportunity, and life outcomes, and the need for collaborative and systemic action to promote equity.”
Jake’s work focuses on improving opportunities and outcomes for low-income children and families through programs, policy, and research. Prior to joining Tipping Point, he was Associate Director at the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University. In that role, he collaborated with Bay Area school districts and youth-serving organizations to build capacity to use data for decision-making, and analyzed effective strategies for promoting low-income students' development and success. Jake has also worked as a public policy professor at Claremont Graduate University, Director of Policy Research and Analysis at The After-School Corporation (TASC) in New York City, and school and community development volunteer with the US Peace Corps in Namibia. He has received a B.A. from Oberlin College, an MPA from Princeton and a Ph.D from New York University. When not at work, Jake can be found urban hiking with his family, and generally trying to keep up with his two young daughters.
“It is our duty to leave the community we live and work in a better place. I am privileged to be part of that mission at Tipping Point”
Ken is fortunate to be using his technical talents to support community and social good. Prior to joining Tipping Point, Ken was an independent technology consultant for various non-profits, implementing solutions to help organizations manage their various programs and streamline their development processes. Ken learned the ropes as an SAP Security and Basis Analyst for the Chevron IT Company where he oversaw security for their Business Intelligence and Supply Chain Management Systems. Ken holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley. He takes epic backpacking trips with his friends and has a soft spot for eating too much pork and rice.
“I’m passionate about creating a future that empowers everyone, equally.”
Stephanie’s career has focused on designing meaningful and effective user experiences for the commercial and non-profit sectors. Prior to Tipping Point, she was a Creative Director at frog design, where she led multi-disciplinary teams to bring product and service strategies to market using human-centered design methodologies. While at frog, her teams developed a medical oxygen service for hospitals in East Africa, online learning tools for K-12 math students and a scalable professional development program for underserved young adults. In addition to being a practitioner, she has spent three years as a senior lecturer of design research at California College of the Arts. Stephanie holds a Masters in Design from Carnegie Mellon University and a BFA in Visual Communications from Washington University in St. Louis. Outside of work, Stephanie likes to stay close to her artistic roots, working with clay, paint and textiles.
“I like the idea that a few passionate people with a good idea can spark great change.”
Before founding Tipping Point in 2005, Daniel worked for the Bill Bradley Presidential Campaign and the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. Daniel's fourth day at Robin Hood was September 11th, 2001. Over the course of the next two years, he witnessed the organization's ability to lift up the city through its focused philanthropic work. In 2003, Daniel returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to complete graduate school. While there, he worked to adapt Robin Hood's model to fit his home region and Tipping Point Community was born.
Daniel has earned a BA in Political Science from Duke University and received his Master’s in Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley. Daniel serves on the Board of Directors for the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, and the Levi Strauss Foundation and was Chair of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee in 2016, which raised $13 million for community efforts, the largest contribution in Super Bowl history. When not fighting poverty, you can find Daniel on the hunt for the Bay Area’s best burrito or spending time with his family.
“As the gap widens between those with and without, we need to be investing in ideas that provide our entire community equal access and equal opportunity to sustainable livelihoods.”
Ali's expertise is in creating digital and physical experiences for the non-profit and corporate sectors. Prior to Tipping Point, she designed products, platforms and services for the education, healthcare and entertainment industries. Her non-profit experience includes working in India to deliver employment training for young adults without high school degrees. Ali holds a bachelor's in Design from North Carolina State University. Beyond work, Ali enjoys backpacking through the California countryside and learning how to weave.
“One of the great things about how nonprofits and social enterprises are run is their ability to use thoughtful business design as a powerful tool for community development. At the Tipping Point T Lab, we seek to channel this design thinking into creating meaningful solutions for combatting poverty in the Bay Area.”
Bryan has 13 years of experience in project management and supervisory roles both in the private and nonprofit sectors. Having cut his teeth managing product launches and infrastructure projects for Internet companies like EarthLink, Bryan moved on to managing IT operations at the Tides Foundation in San Francisco. Prior to Tipping Point, he worked for Heller Consulting providing CRM and fundraising software professional services for nonprofits. He studied Art History at the University of North Carolina and recently graduated from the California College of the Arts with an MBA in Design Strategy. In his downtime, Bryan has a love for all things indie, be it art, movies, music or simply enjoying the entrepreneurial spirit of the Bay Area.
“Despite the success and growth of the Bay Area over the last decade, an unacceptable number of families live in poverty. I joined Tipping Point to help harness the resources of our community to support those in need.”
Nora joins Tipping Point after four years working in Stanford University's development office. At Stanford, Nora worked to educate and cultivate the university's pipeline of next generation donors. Before her work as a fundraiser, Nora worked for a non-profit and philanthropic consulting firm in Silicon Valley. Nora earned her B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University focusing on social psychology and education. In her spare time, Nora feels fortunate to volunteer for causes that she cares deeply about, Camp Kesem and the Abramson Cancer Center. Originally from the east coast, Nora is outdoors enjoying the California sunshine as often as possible.
“The fact that more than a million people in the Bay Area are too poor to meet their basic needs is shocking. Through partnerships created by Tipping Point, we are building a community of passionate individuals and dedicated nonprofits that are committed to fighting poverty.”
Sarah has lived in San Francisco for nearly 20 years, spending half that time serving as the Director of Development at Marin Country Day School. Prior to that, she worked in investment banking and in marketing for ski movies. Sarah, who has a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Virginia, is excited to promote the mission of Tipping Point and broaden the scope of supporters. Given her love of Italian food, ability to speak Italian and stints studying in Florence and Siena, Sarah dreams of living in Italy one day.
“We have an opportunity to build a more equitable society and it starts by redesigning the marginalized services and systems that are available to underserved populations.”
Chris is passionate about building resilient social services and organizations through human-centered insights and design. He has worked in the private, public, and social sectors as a Design Fellow at IDEO.org, a Project Lead at IDEO, and an Education Strategist at Arizona State University. Among other projects, Chris has helped build an affordable education model in Peru, develop family planning curricula for young mothers in rural Ethiopia, and reimagine the future of transportation in Mexico City. He earned his Master's in Design Research at Arizona State University and his Bachelor's in Industrial Design at The Ohio State University. Originally from Washington D.C., Chris has always searched for ways to apply design to policy and society. When he's not unearthing Bay Area history, he enjoys running, biking, and swimming outdoors.
“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. -Mary Oliver”
Matt came to Tipping Point on a long and winding road through digital growth marketing at Ampush Media and online organizing with NextGen Climate during the 2016 election. As a student of public policy at the University of Virginia, Matt found his voice as an activist, organizing male peers to confront sexual violence and advocating against fossil fuel infrastructure. Matt's commitment to social justice continues to deepen as he works with Tipping Point to bring the Bay Area together to support our neighbors in need. You may see him all over the region on his trusty two-wheeled steed, or reading poetry, often at the top of his lungs.
“We must take care of the most vulnerable among us to thrive as a community. So long as we are content to allow the suffering of others, we will never achieve true prosperity.”
Hunter Meyer is happiest when he’s helping people. He comes to Tipping Point from the food and events world, where he ran large-scale food truck events for Off the Grid. Originally from Maine, Hunter earned a B.A. in Economics from Bard College. Since moving to the Bay Area over a decade ago, he’s fallen in love with the region, and is committed to making it even better through his work at Tipping Point. Outside of the office, Hunter enjoys spending time in nature with his wife and dog, and he is always on the lookout for a great taco.
Annie Y. Miller
“There's no better time to take action than right now—whether at the local, regional, or national level—because global progress and revolutionary change can be painfully slow-moving... until it isn't. ”
Annie received her BS in molecular biology from UCLA (Go Bruins!) and an MS in microbiology and molecular genetics from the NYU Sackler Institute of Biomedical Research.
After grad school, Annie rose through the ranks of advertising agencies in Manhattan and San Francisco, from copywriter up to Creative Director. She also worked as a Development Associate for the NY Botanical Garden, an HIV researcher at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, and Director of Marketing at San Francisco's own Bi-Rite Markets.
Annie joined Tipping Point because she couldn't wait any longer to put her professional skills and experience to use in affecting meaningful social change. A proud daughter of Chinese immigrants, she was taught to study ballot booklets cover-to-cover and accompany her parents to the polls for every election before she could even vote. As a child of California, she was raised to value the environment and progressive policies in equal measure. Annie is a big fan of original Cheez-Its and hasn't owned a car in 17 years.
“I was drawn to Tipping Point because it is a community of people that refuses to be complacent about poverty in the Bay Area.”
Karina has spent her career in the social sector with a focus on poverty alleviation. Prior to joining Tipping Point, she was a Program Officer at the Y & H Soda Foundation where she developed and implemented a $2 million annual grants portfolio to help low-income families achieve economic prosperity through income growth and asset building strategies. Karina has also worked on policy and advocacy issues affecting underserved children, including serving as Deputy Director at the Children’s Defense Fund in California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Women Studies at the University of California Los Angeles and received her Master of Public Policy from Harvard University. A native Californian, Karina and her family love to hike and camp along the coast or in the Sierras Nevada mountains.
“We must address all the inequities that persist and the devastating impacts they have on communities.”
Talia comes to Tipping Point Community with a wealth of non-profit program development and management experience. Most recently, she was Managing Director of Programs at Coaching Corps where she oversaw the program operations that led to its national expansion. Talia’s non-profit career began in youth entrepreneurship education at Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and she also created a comprehensive after-school program for a settlement house on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Talia eventually served as Assistant Executive Director at a large community organization in New York City, where she gained experience with employment, supportive housing, adult education, reentry and college access programs. Talia received her BS from Cornell University and a Master’s in Education from Harvard. Since relocating to the Bay Area, Talia has enjoyed spending time outdoors with her family.
“As a Bay Area community, we need to invest in opportunities for people to lift themselves up and sustain a better life. Tipping Point supports lasting solutions to the problem of poverty, and I want to be a part of that.”
Alicia has a background in nonprofit development and a passion for education. Prior to joining Tipping Point in 2013, she spent six years shaping fundraising efforts at Summer Search, a national youth development and college success program for low-income teenagers. Alicia holds a B.A. in Sociology from U.C. Santa Cruz, where she focused her studies on the evolution and reform of the juvenile justice system. Born and raised in California, Alicia is a food enthusiast and skilled grower of container gardens.
“I firmly believe that by centering the voices of those individuals most affected by socioeconomic injustices, we not only build awareness, but also foster our shared sense of humanity to make lasting change.”
A first generation Chicana, born and raised in Los Angeles, Mayra was taught the value of hard work and perseverance. Growing up, she realized the obstacles many immigrants face in order to live secure lives. Mayra's career has focused on raising the voices of those most often marginalized, to dismantle socioeconomic barriers and democratize knowledge. After graduating and attaining her master’s in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University, she traveled the country with StoryCorps, recording oral histories and bearing witness to people's lives. Most recently, she worked at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England in New Haven, Connecticut, organizing with the Latinx communities around reproductive rights. Mayra is thrilled to be back in the Bay Area, which is where her passion for community building was ignited. On the weekends, you can find Mayra antique and vintage shopping.
“We live in a region where many of the values we pride ourselves on—compassion, equality, opportunity—don't yet match what we see in our community everyday. It's an honor to be part of a team that's not afraid to ask hard questions, advocate for bold solutions, and push tirelessly to align our ideals with our reality.”
As a veteran volunteer, Joshua greeted guests at the first annual Tipping Point Benefit over a decade ago! Prior to formally joining the team, Joshua served as the Chief of Strategy and Communications at the Presidio Trust, where he worked to convert a former Army Post into a new kind of park that belongs to everyone in the Bay Area. Joshua brings passion for working across sectors to drive change and deeply believes in the power of authentic, emotionally rich storytelling to spur action. Joshua holds a master's in Urban Planning and studied Environmental Studies as an undergraduate. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Sacha and two small children, born three years apart, both on the 4th of July!
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. As a member of this community, I believe that it is my responsibility to help make the Bay Area a better place for everyone.”
Becca joined Tipping Point in 2010 with a background in corporate social responsibility. Prior to becoming a poverty fighter, Becca worked for Macy’s Merchandising Group in New York, where she managed factory compliance and supply-chain security. With a passion to shift to a career in the social sector, Becca earned a Master’s of Public Administration in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College. Becca grew up in Denver, Colorado and holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She loves to travel and cook, and is crazy about her nephew -- a golden retriever named Moose.
“I've volunteered, serving and fundraising for children and the homeless in my native Afghanistan, since childhood. Becoming a part of Tipping Point is the first time in my life that my career involves everything I am most passionate about - making others' lives better.”
Maryam joins Tipping Point after a decade of office management in several San Francisco for-profit tech companies and real estate firms. She is a certified medical assistant and has both worked and volunteered in Bay Area clinics and hospitals. Born in Chicago and raised in the East Bay, Maryam loves camping, taking selfies with her baby niece and nephew, volunteering at Project Open Hand, and grooving in Dolores Park.
“Everyone deserves opportunities for success and Tipping Point supports organizations that create those opportunities. I’m thrilled to be a part of that.”
Annie has spent much of her career working in the public sector. Prior to Tipping Point, Annie’s work focused on K-12 education policy and administration, most recently at Columbia University’s Center for Public Research and Leadership, and before that at the New York City Department of Education where she held several leadership positions. Trained as a lawyer, Annie worked as a criminal defense attorney. Before law school, she worked for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Annie received a BA in History from Columbia University and a Juris Doctor from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Annie is always looking for scenic running routes and live music.
“Traditional philanthropy plays an important role in social change, but is not enough. We need to find new ways to use the resources we have, support organizations doing good work, and make real progress towards poverty alleviation. By doing so, we can help make the Bay Area a great place to live for everyone.”
Melissa comes to Tipping Point with a number of years of experience in the social sector and with a passion for strengthening mission-driven organizations. Through her roles at Amplifier Strategies, Nonprofit Finance Fund and Taproot Foundation, she has worked with nonprofits, foundations and social enterprises across on a variety of issues, including strategy, evaluation, financial management and human capital. Melissa holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Among her many secret talents are her exceptional packing skills and excellent sense of direction (usually).
“It is essential to follow with action on the belief that all human beings deserve to live with dignity. We can all do more to make that so.”
Nic received her degree in Product Design and Development at San Francisco State University. It was a year studying abroad at Brunel University in London that brought an acute awareness to her love of building community through events. After 9 years in marketing and advertising, Nic found fulfillment working in the social justice philanthropy space at the Rosenberg Foundation and Tides. In early 2017, she began consulting full time for Winzday Events, a firm focused on event planning through the lens of social justice. Nic joined Tipping Point Community because of its mission alignment with her work and the opportunity to create meaningful and measurable community impact through events. When not planning events, Nic loves trying new baking recipes, learning about wine and combining the love of both through occasional dinner parties at her home.
“Striving toward justice means uplifting the voices of those who have been disadvantaged by the failures of our systems and giving them the agency to pave the way toward a more equitable future.”
Cody grew up in the Bay Area and was drawn to public interest work in order to give back to the community that raised him. He comes to Tipping Point from the City and County of San Francisco where he worked as a City Hall Fellow for the Public Library. Cody's project management experience at the library—a system that serves some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations—affirmed his belief in the importance of public sector work that is inclusive of all communities. Cody has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Brown University. Beyond work, he spends his time eating at bad diners, volunteering for the local needle exchange, and escaping the City for adventures on mountain tops.