Working in rapidly changing environments like Silicon Valley and the nonprofit startup world, one develops a wide range of skills to carry projects successfully. I feel fortunate to be able to share those lessons and experiences in service, with some of my key areas of expertise described below. (You can also view my Full Resume.)
Strong strategic preparation lays the foundation for clarity and clean organizational execution. Good strategy is about difficult trade-offs: how to use limited resources in the best way to serve your mission. I've worked on all aspects of strategy, from defining vision and mission (which serves as the north star for testing all strategic ideas) to planning multi-year roadmaps, annual strategy, and quarterly goals. I built the financial forecasting model we used successfully at Mindful Schools for 7 years, along with a tracker for cross-organizational resource allocation.
I also have experience building earned income streams and changing business models to improve sustainability and impact. At Mindful Schools, we shifted our business model twice over 7 years, from direct service to in-person training, and then to online training, advancing our mission efficiently while building a strong financial position.
I have worked on overall organizational management as well as managing products and projects. Over the years I've encountered a wide range of scenarios in terms of people management, always searching for solutions that are aligned with my principles. I understand how the dynamics of organizations change with growth (both at the staff and board levels), and have experience implementing appropriate solutions at each stage. I have managed board recruitment and development, and led board meetings for many years.
I have successfully managed a wide range of products and projects, including definition, design, roadmaps, development, testing, marketing, and distribution. One of my favorite things to do is to collaboratively design products with teams.
Marketing & Sales
Marketing is a powerful growth tool, but needs to be carefully governed by values. I have been directly involved with numerous aspects of marketing, including social media, content, and community strategies, pricing (modelling, sliding scales, freemium strategies), rebranding (including identity and website design), advertising (including Facebook, Google AdWords, print ads, and online banner ads), videos, interviews, press releases, presentations, infographics, and newsletters. Marketing was a strong ally both at Mindful Schools and at NVIDIA, leading to a compelling brand reputation and wide adoption. At Mindful Schools, we built our Facebook following to nearly 300,000 people over 7 years.
My background in computer graphics gives me a reasonable eye and capability for design, which has allowed me to create a number of marketing materials over the years. A few examples are below:
Here's a video called "A Quiet Revolution" that I quickly produced from scratch (aside from photography) for a fundraising event. It was subsequently used for general marketing, garnering over 50,000 views on social media in just a few weeks.
In terms of sales, we offered an incredible level of customer service at Mindful Schools, and that strengthened our reputation further. I worked closely with our sales team to set and monitor targets while providing resources to support the rapidly growing number of customer interactions.
I have been responsible for over $2 million in funds raised, including major 6-figure, multi-year grants along with many grants and renewals from smaller foundations. I am an experienced grant writer and know how to build and maintain strong relationships with funders. I have also been involved with planning and executing fundraising banquets as well as more intimate fundraising events.
Leveraging technology to deliver mindfulness training in a high-quality, scalable way via online courses was a huge step forward for Mindful Schools. I was closely involved with the process, including reviewing course content, designing an improved user interface, and supporting various technical decisions.
My background in Computer Science makes me very comfortable with different technologies, which is helpful in a world where useful new tools pop up every day. I take pride in finding cost-effective solutions to technical problems, and can help to craft an appropriate technology strategy for various budget sizes.
Program evaluation is crucial because it provides authentic feedback for internal improvements while establishing credibility with funders as well as the general public. To these ends, I've worked on research studies as well as detailed quantitative and qualitative surveys, and presented the results appropriately to various stakeholders.
In the 2011-12 school year, Mindful Schools partnered with the University of California at Davis to conduct one of the largest randomized-controlled studies to date on mindfulness and children, involving 937 children and 47 teachers in 3 Oakland public elementary schools. The Mindful Schools curriculum produced statistically significant improvements in attention and participation in class activities versus the control group with just 4 hours of mindfulness instruction for the students—a very small, low-cost dose. I was the primary Mindful Schools contact on the project, and coordinated many aspects to control costs given the limited budget.