INSPIRATION AWARDS 2016
Benefiting Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center
Inspiration Awards is an annual fundraising gala and awards ceremony celebrating leadership, inspiration, and positive change in the community, benefiting the year-round non-profit programs of Oakland Digital.
On this special night, we honor three Bay Area individuals who have contributed to their communities through innovation in creative, business, and technology. We're excited to have you join our 7th annual festivities!
Jason Mayden, Accel Partners
Jason Mayden is a Designer, Lecturer, Artist, Collector of curious and wonderfully crafted goods, Sports Junkie, Book Worm, Equality in Education Advocate, 1990's Hip Hop Enthusiast and a Social Innovator. Currently he is the first Designer-In-Residence at Accel Partners and a Media Designer/Lecturer at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University. Prior to his various current endeavors, Mayden oversaw the design and execution of all conceptual products, data driven innovations and inline lifestyle and performance product for Jordan Brand, as the Senior Global Design Director. During his 13+ year career at Nike, Mayden led and contributed to the creation of innovative sport performances products for athletes and cultural icons such as Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Derek Jeter, and Michael Jordan. In addition, Mayden holds a BFA in Industrial Design from College of Creative Studies in Detroit, MI and a Master's in General Management and Social Innovation from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.
Rowena Tomaneng, Berkeley City College
Rowena Tomaneng’s leadership, teaching, service, and research are guided by social justice frameworks. As of July 2016, she is the new President of Berkeley City College in the Peralta Community Colleges District. She has been a multicultural educator for over 20 years, creating bridges between community colleges and community based organizations such as Silicon Valley De-bug, Public Allies, and the Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute. She previously served as the Associate Vice President of Instruction at De Anza College, overseeing student- centered offices and programs, including the Office of Equity, Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action, and Pathways programs such as Puente, Umoja, and IMPACT AAPI. In addition, she has actively engaged in culturally focused local, regional, and national organizations and has led advocacy campaigns to increase Filipino immigrant and workers’ rights and police accountability. At Berkeley Community College, she continues her community engagement through developing and sustaining educational partnerships.
Justin Steele, Google.org
Justin Steele is the Bay Area Giving Lead for Google.org, which supports local nonprofit organizations innovating to provide greater access to opportunity for low-income and underserved communities. Google is the largest corporate philanthropy in the Bay Area and has provided over $160M to local nonprofit organizations since 2010. Prior to joining Google.org, Justin served as Deputy Director of the Washington D.C. site of job training nonprofit Year Up, and he began his career as a management consultant at Bain & Co. and The Bridgespan Group creating strategic plans for companies and social sector organizations. Justin received an undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Virginia and earned a dual MBA/MPA master’s degree from Harvard with a concentration in nonprofit management and urban social policy. He lives in Oakland with his wife and their three daughters.
Mistress of Ceremonies
Veronica De La Cruz, KPIX 5
Veronica De La Cruz co-anchors the 6 p.m. KPIX 5 newscast weekdays with Allen Martin and anchors NightBeat at 10 p.m. on KBCW. Veronica is a Bay Area native and is thrilled to anchor news in her hometown, "The Bay Area leads the discussion in so many areas I am passionate about, including health care, technology, and the Asian Pacific Islander community." Veronica comes from MSNBC, where she anchored and reported. Veronica was a host of MSNBC’s “First Look,” as well as for NBC’s “Early Today Show,” and she served as a correspondent for both NBC and MSNBC. Prior to that, Veronica spent six years at CNN as an anchor and correspondent for CNN Worldwide and for CNN’s “American Morning.” De La Cruz began her career in news as an anchor and reporter for KYMA, the NBC affiliate in Yuma, Arizona. Before journalism, De La Cruz spent a decade of her life as a competitive figure skater. She is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association.
Jessica Lá Rel
Jessica Lá Rel is an Alternative Soul singer that delivers high energy grooves, soaring ballads, and thrilling performances. Through powerhouse vocals and dynamic songs, Lá Rel conjures a universe where listeners can liberate their mind, body, and soul. Her authentic but cinematic sound gives every ear something to love.
Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland
"I am honored to serve the people of Oakland and to help promote my hometown as the greatest place to live, work, play and do business. I am committed to equitable revitalization that preserves and celebrates Oakland’s diversity and leads to direct prosperity for long-time residents and newcomers."
Shaun Tai, Oakland Digital
Shaun Tai is the Executive Director of Oakland Digital, which he co-founded in 2009. He dedicates himself to enhancing technological literacy and opportunity among entrepreneurs and students. Shaun also leads the direction and product strategy for BRIDGEGOOD, a platform that connects early stage creative to professional opportunities. Shaun received an MA in Architectural & Urban Design (Interdisciplinary Studies, 4.0 GPA) and a BS in Advertising (Magna Cum Laude, 3.8 GPA) from San Jose State University. In 2002, he graduated with honors from CSUEB with a BA in Digital Graphics. Shaun was selected for one of the University’s highest honors, Distinguished Young Alumnus of the 2014-15 academic year. In September 2016, Diablo Magazine ranked Shaun #6 in their prestigious 40 Under 40 annual campaign.
Board of Directors - Oakland Digital
Martin Kojnok, President
Tim Rosenblatt, Vice President
Linda Poeng, Treasurer
Katy McKenzie, Secretary
Allison Bernstein, Assistant Treasurer
Bridging the Digital Literacy Divide
Inspiration Awards benefits Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, bridging the digital literacy divide for under-resourced small businesses and the opportunity divide for community college students. Since 2009, Oakland Digital has played a vital role in building a tech-inclusive ecosystem while directly impacting the lives of nearly 4,000 Oakland and East Bay students and entrepreneurs. Our programs have boosted the local economy by $3.2 million, leading to opportunities for 21st century employment and economic independence.
To scale the mission and vision of Oakland Digital, Google.org and Golden State Warriors Community Foundation helped launch BRIDGEGOOD, a platform that connects early stage creatives to professional opportunities. The community-based web application allows businesses to hire talent with design and marketing skills, while providing the support and guidance needed to succeed.
Shaun Tai | 510-435-2945 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Access & Partnerships:
Yudy Herrera | 510-435-2945 | email@example.com
2010 - 2015 INSPIRATION AWARDS
photo credit: Olivia Smart Photography
photo credit: Visual Verbs
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR MAJOR DONORS & SUPPORTERS:
THANK YOU INSPIRATION AWARDS SPONSORS:
We look forward to celebrating leadership and inspiration with you!
Since 2009, Oakland Digital has directly impacted the lives of nearly 4,000 Oakland and East Bay students and entrepreneurs. Our programs have boosted the local economy by $3.2 million, leading to opportunities for 21st century employment and economic independence.
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