Board of Directors
Fiscal Year 2016-2017


Phil Dillard
Founder and CEO for Black Ant Consulting, Teaching Faculty for Lean Startup Company, Adjunct MBA Professor of Negotiations for Golden Gate University, Ageno School of Business

Phil is a trainer, coach, and consultant focusing on organizational development activities that deliver broad systematic impact on an industry or sector. He teaches MBA courses on negotiations and entrepreneurship at Golden Gate University, and is also on the teaching faculty at Lean Startup Company. He holds a Bachelor’s in General Science from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Vice President

Brenda Laribee
Nonprofit Consultant and Coach

Brenda has been helping to raise money for nonprofit organizations since 1989, including St. Anthony Foundation, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Sierra Club, Shanti Project and the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Currently she has her own fund development consultancy working with organizations such as the National AIDS Memorial Grove, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Wiki Education Foundation, Raphael House and Project Inform. Past clients include the Alameda County Community Food Bank, SFJAZZ, Year Up Bay Area and San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Brenda holds an MBA from the Simmons School of Management and a BS from the University of New Hampshire and is a long-time volunteer with Bread & Roses.


Robbie Yohai
Managing General Partner, Linden Associates and President of Schaefer Heights, Inc.

Robbie is a licensed real estate broker and developer. Currently, he is the Managing General Partner for Linden Associates and Duwo Partners, as well as President of Schaefer Heights, Inc. in Oakland, California.


Aja Cooper
Communications Outreach and Events Manager at Fahr LLC 

Aja is communications and events production professional with wide experience ranging from political campaigns to education to nonprofits. She serves multiple roles within the Fahr network and works to align the efforts of various organizations in promoting social justice, and creating inclusive, and equitably prosperous communities. Aja is passionate about civil rights and social action, economic empowerment, environment, human rights, politics, and poverty alleviation.


Eric Premack
Executive Director, Charter Schools Development Center

Eric is the founder and Executive Director of the Charter Schools Development Center (CSDC), a leading provider of policy expertise and technical assistance to charter schools, charter-granting agencies, and policy makers. In the 1980s, Eric played a leading role in the development of the chartered school concept in his native Minnesota. He has helped to draft and implement chartered school legislation in over 25 states, at the federal level, and even internationally. He is a graduate of both the College and the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy of the University of Chicago.

Amy Slater
Lecturer at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley

For more than 20 years, Amy was an attorney specializing in intellectual property and was the general counsel of Ask Jeeves, Inc. (now from 1997 to 2000. She was also formerly an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Hastings College of the Law. Amy is now a lecturer at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to serving on the board of Civicorps, she is also on the boards of the Leadership Public Schools and the World Affairs Council of Northern California.

Rita Isaacs
Community Leader, Former Corporate Consultant

Rita spent eight years in international film sales, followed by four years as a consultant for corporate systems design and administration for international film, television, and video start-up companies. After retiring, Rita has spent over 20 years volunteering. She has served as the President of the Board of Directors of Civicorps, Vice President of the Board of Directors at Temple Sinai in Oakland, and various schools and parent organizations in the city of Piedmont.

Timothy Smallsreed
Attorney, Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP

Tim has participated in nonprofit, business and individual legal affairs in the East Bay for over 30 years. He is a partner in the Oakland law firm Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP. He has a prior history of service in public policy and budget analysis in state government. Tim also serves on the Board of Directors of the East Bay Community Foundation, and advisory boards of the California Shakespeare Theater and Golden Gate University School of Law.

Rossana Peniche
Senior Project Manager at Craig Communications

Rossana has over 20 years of community outreach and public participation experience, designing and leading successful state, national and international public participation programs for controversial civic projects. She is Senior Project Manager at Craig Communications and a founding member of the Latina Giving Circle in California, Arizona and Mexico, created to support vital leadership, advocacy skills and positive, lasting change within their local neighborhoods.

Steven Hanson
Principal, Westwind-30 Consulting

Steven is principal and founder of Westwind-30 Consulting and has an extensive background in the field of Commercial Real Estate Development and Management within complex urban environments, including San Francisco and Oakland. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science and a Master’s of Public Administration from California State University at Hayward.

Babette L. Karsseboom
Execution Executive for the Business Process Transformation Initiative, VP at Charles Schwab

Over her tenure at Schwab, Babette has held positions in Marketing Communications, the Media Studio, Crisis Communications, and Web Product Development. She became a Vice President at Schwab in 2008 and currently serves as the Execution Executive for the Business Process Transformation Initiative, an investment of over $70MM to transform how work across various operations service and support teams is processed.

Nita Kirby
Director of Client Strategy, CyberGrants

Nita serves as Director of Client Strategy and oversees CyberGrants’ strategic service management with a majority of its corporate clients. In addition, Nita is responsible for ensuring the success of philanthropic programs for many of CyberGrants’ key customers and oversees process improvements for how the company manages its client’s programs and relationships. This effort includes detailed benchmarking, employee engagement methodologies and financial modeling. Nita serves on numerous non-profit and volunteer boards and continues to stay engaged with the local non-profit community. Nita has worked for one of the largest non-profits in the U.S., where she provided extensive support to some of the largest employee giving programs in the country.

With a BS in Business Administration and vast experience in program development and administrative protocol, this experience has allowed Nita to incorporate best practice processes in each of her client engagements and focus on deliverables and client satisfaction. In addition, Nita is a Lean Six Sigma certified Green Belt providing her with expanded insight into how processes affect outcomes.

Gary Lyla
Program Manager, Google

Throughout his career, Gary has been engaged in both the consulting and the application of technology solutions across multiple clients operating within several fields (High Tech, Financial Services, and Utilities). Gary is Program Manager at Google, and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from Boston University.

Members of the Board of Directors can be contacted by emailing to

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