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7th Annual Inspiration Awards


Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 5:45 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)

7th Annual Inspiration Awards

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Ticket Type Remaining Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Individual Tickets
Exclusive ticket to attend Inspiration Awards 2016
19 Tickets Dec 1, 2016 $300.00 $0.00
I can't make it, but want to support with a donation! 18 Tickets Dec 3, 2016 Enter donation ($)

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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 San Francisco Bay Area individuals who have contributed to their communities through innovation in creative, business, and technology fields. We're excited to have you join our 7th annual festivities!

2016 Inspiration Awards Nominees



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, is the CEO & Co-Founder of Super Heroic Inc., a digital lifestyle company focused on encouraging families to play better, together, 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,

Justin Steele is the Bay Area Giving Lead for, 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, 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, Emcee


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.



Distinguished Speaker


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 BernsteinAssistant Treasurer

Erica Hong

Gert Lombard

TiYanna Long

Kevin Louie

Chelsea Seabron

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, 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. 


Sponsor A Table at the Inspiration Awards  Advertise at the Inspiration Awards 

Table Sponsorship:
Shaun Tai | 510-435-2945 | 


Media Access & Partnerships:
Yudy Herrera | 510-435-2945 |


Official Website:



Inspiration Awards Photos

photo credit: Olivia Smart Photography 

Inspiration Awards Photos  
photo credit: Visual Verbs






We look forward to celebrating leadership and inspiration with you!


Have questions about 7th Annual Inspiration Awards? Contact OAKLAND DIGITAL

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When & Where

Oakland Asian Cultural Center
388 Ninth Street
Suite 290 (2nd Floor)
Oakland, CA 94607

Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 5:45 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)

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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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