Pooja Shah, Chair
Nonprofit Strategy and Finance Leader
Pooja Shah has a mix of private and nonprofit sector experience. Her first nonprofit role was as a Playworks coach in East Oakland, CA, and she is thrilled to be back at Playworks as a board member. Pooja most recently served as the Vice President of Strategy, Finance and Operations at Peer Health Exchange, a national nonprofit organization that trains college students to provide a comprehensive health education to underserved high school students. Prior to Peer Health Exchange, she was the Chief Financial Officer of a national nonprofit organization called Reading Partners and also spent some time at the KIPP Foundation. Pooja started her career in technology investment banking at Lehman Brothers followed by corporate business development at Cisco Systems. Pooja graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Economics and minor in Business Administration. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School.
Ohemaa Nyanin, Secretary
Assistant General Manager
NY Liberty (WNBA)
Ohemaa Nyanin is the Assistant General Manager of the New York Liberty, one of the three remaining original franchises in the WNBA. She has worked internationally with multiple organizations including, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. In her last role as a Senior Intraprenuer, she pioneered the search and development of the inaugural group of Changemaker schools in seven African countries. Ohemaa was the Women’s National Team Assistant Director with USA Basketball, where she provided strategic leadership to the 2016 Olympic Gold Medal Women’s National Team and the 2018 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Women’s World Cup Gold Medal Team. In addition to her role within the New York Liberty, Ohemaa currently serves as a Technical Delegate for international basketball competitions for FIBA. Ohemaa graduated from the American University with a double bachelor’s degree in Foreign Language and Communications Media and International Relations. While at American University, she also earned a master’s of science in Justice and Public Policy.
Pat Morrin, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair
Pat Morrin is the former co-founder, CFO, and vice president for Basis Communications Corporation – a communications semiconductor company based in Fremont, California, which was acquired by Intel Corporation. Pat was previously director of marketing and business development at Intel, and held various finance positions at Cirrus Logic, Inc. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland; a member on the Board of Advisors for Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of California, Los Angeles; and chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Diego. Pat received a B.A. in English and a BBA in business management from the University of San Diego, and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Chief Commercial Officer
Brandon is an operations, public policy, and finance professional with experience in management and implementation roles in both the private and public sector. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Brandon was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, is an avid sports fan, fitness enthusiast, and traveler.
Vice President, External Affairs
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Boissiere oversees the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT effort, as well as the areas of policy reform and advocacy, strategic communications, leadership development, equity and inclusion, organizational effectiveness and national partnerships. Boissiere brings more than 15 years of results-driven executive experience in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining the Foundation, Boissiere worked as a vice president for AARP, the nation’s largest nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to serving adults aged 50 and older. Boissiere has also served as executive director for the White House Council for Community Solutions, where she led efforts to develop cross-sector, community-based strategies to address the needs of disconnected youth. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of New Orleans.
Kuang Chen is an entrepreneur and computer scientist. Kuang is co-founder of Antara, a tech-enabled health service delivering patient-centered care via health navigation, automation and machine learning. Prior, Kuang was founder CEO of Captricity (dba Vidado, acquired by SSNC), where he developed the first AI that reads handwriting better than humans. He was recipient of MIT Technology Review’s ‘35 Innovators Under 35’ award in the humanitarian category for his graduate research focused on data-centric approaches to increase the efficiency of health clinics in Tanzania and Uganda. His work has yielded several patents and best-paper awards. Kuang holds a PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley; a BS in Computer Science and a BA in Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington.
Director of Education
California Community Foundation
Valerie Cuevas directs the California Community Foundation’s education program and leads a dedicated grantmaking team developing, scaling, and removing barriers to evidence-based approaches that support the whole learner from birth to K-12 to post-secondary. With expertise in educational equity, state legislative policy and K-12 governance, she most recently led education grantmaking strategy at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) in northern California. She joined the philanthropic sector after a significant tenure with The Education Trust-West, where she focused on public policy advocacy and program work that improved educational outcomes for all students pre-kinder through college. Additionally, Cuevas was an education policymaker for six years as a two-term, publicly elected school board member. As Board President for a midsize urban district, she supported approximately 30,000 children, seventy-five percent of whom are English learners, low-income and/or foster youth students. Cuevas holds dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and sociology from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in educational psychology, administration and counseling from California State University, Long Beach.
Principal Research Strategist
Etienne Fang is a human-centered leader with expertise in research, strategy, and design, and experience working globally in technology, CPG, consulting, and education. She started her career as a special education teacher in New York City public school schools. With a focus on customer growth through Inclusive Research, Etienne develops strategic insights through foundational, future-forward insights initiatives. Currently, she is Principal Research Strategist at Amazon, guiding diversity, equity, and inclusion research initiatives. She is the founder of Redefining Having it All, a global platform with the mission to understand and support female empowerment and ambition around the world.
Senior Director of Programs
The Boston Foundation
Antoniya Marinova is Senior Director of Programs at the Boston Foundation, where she leads the Foundation’s early childhood and education strategies, including K-12 and postsecondary initiatives, strategic partnerships, and grantmaking. In 2022, she also temporarily served as the interim executive director of the Boston Opportunity Agenda, the City’s principal cradle-to-career public-private partnership and a core Boston Foundation partner. Antoniya joined the Foundation seven years ago from Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research, where she led a multi-state study on Common Core implementation as well as multiple Strategic Data Project research projects. Previously, she was also a research analyst at Mathematica Policy Research and a research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, where her work focused on regional policy and economic issues. Antoniya has a BA in economics from Mount Holyoke College and an MPP in social and urban policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
AVP Strategy and Growth
Sun Life Financial
Kanika Pasricha is AVP of Strategy at Sun Life Financial (Canada). She orchestrates strategic planning and leads strategy projects across Sun Life’s businesses . Previously, as Senior Director of Corporate Strategy at Rogers Communications, Kanika led her team on go-to-market and innovation-focused projects. Prior to this role, Kanika has held roles as a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group (in Toronto) and as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company (in New York). Kanika volunteers as an alumni interviewer for Princeton University, and as an admissions committee member and young alumni mentor for the Summer Science Program. Additionally, she is a co-leader of a Womens’ Circle for Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnae. She holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University.
Mark Seiler is the managing partner of Metrovation, a real estate development firm as well as principal of Metrovation Capital, a real estate capital company. Mark serves on several boards of directors, including Boys and Girls Club of Oakland and Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern California. He is also past president of Rhoda Goldman Plaza, a not-for-profit assisted living and Alzheimers community.
Susan Stone has more than 30 years’ experience in business management and marketing. Based in Los Angeles, Susan has been with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) for 13 years, and in her current role as Director of Firmwide Nonprofit Marketing and Sponsorships, she leads the firms national nonprofit investment and sponsorship strategy, working closely with team members to ensure nonprofit investments are aligned with the firms Purpose and Inclusion Strategy, build brand in the community, and provide opportunities to forge relationships with new and existing buyers. Previously she served as Director and Marketing Leader for PwC’s Southwest market and spent 8 years as the Director of Marketing and Business Development at the national law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. Susan has served on Playworks’ Southern California regional board for several years so brings regional perspective to the National Board.
President and CEO
Joy Weiss has held executive leadership positions at a variety of private and public technology companies. Joy was CEO of Dust Networks when it was acquired by Linear Technology in 2011. Prior to Dust Networks, Joy was president & CEO of Inviso, an award winning private microdisplay company, and she began her career at Nortel Networks where she rose to the position of president and GM of the Network Management division. Joy has also served on the boards of several private companies, including Saraide, Glimmerglass, and Vigilent. She holds a BSEE from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Jill Vialet, Emeritus
Jill Vialet established Playworks in 1996 and has led the organization through rapid growth for more than 18 years. Jill’s selection as an Ashoka Fellow in 2004 provided the opportunity she had been seeking to put her vision for national expansion into action. Jill is considered a leader in the field of play and a successful social entrepreneur, receiving invitations to speak at Skoll World Forum, Partnership for a Healthier America Summit, TEDx, Harvard Law School, Stanford School of Business, and Social Impact Exchange. In December 2011, Jill was named one of 30 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year by Forbes magazine. Read more