Our Board Members

Katharine Earhart
President

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2016-2018

Katharine seeks to close the opportunity and achievement gap for young people in Oakland. She co-leads the San Francisco office of Alesco Advisors, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm servicing the investment needs of institutions, non-profits, and individuals. Previously, Katharine held sales leadership roles in BlackRock’s iShares Unit as well as a variety of leadership roles within the financial services sector including FinTech, Asset Management, and Brokerage/Custodial.

Additionally, Katharine has mentored women and men on salary and promotional negotiations at all levels of corporate organizations. She is a graduate of University of California, Los Angeles, a San Francisco native, and current resident of Oakland.

Dominic McDonald
Treasurer

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2016-2018

Dominic is currently a Strategic Insights Manager at Genentech/Roche, where he builds global business cases for early stage medicines, supporting further investment. Prior to Genentech, Dominic was an Equity Research Analyst covering the biotechnology and medical device industry. Outside of work, Dominic has participated in several education programs with a focus on increasing STEM education in the Boston metropolitan area. Now located in Oakland, Dominic is seeking to further enable the next generation to achieve their personal endeavors. Dominic has been on the Board since spring 2016 and has an MBA and BS in Chemical-Biological Engineering, both from MIT.

Crystal Cheng
Secretary

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2016-2018

Crystal believes in the compounded impact of entrepreneurship and education on society. Crystal Cheng is a project manager supporting new products and partnerships at Opportunity Fund, California’s leading microfinance provider, who provides microloans for small business owners and microsavings accounts to help students pay for college and families save for a rainy day. Prior to joining Opportunity Fund, Crystal spent approximately five years as a management consultant with experience ranging from supporting large system implementations and managing projects to support strategic initiatives. She specialized in developing efficient and effective business processes to fit the business needs.

Donna Fletcher

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2011-2018

Ms. Fletcher is the Manager of Marketing & Communications at the Albert Baker Fund. Donna has served on the Board since 2011.

 

Beatriz Rojas

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2015-2018

Beatriz Rojas joined Kaiser Permanente in May 2013 as Senior Director, Multicultural Marketing. In fall 2014, she was made responsible for Events and Retail Marketing, bringing the Kaiser Permenente brand live in the in-person interactions with consumers and clients. Her mission is to influence the marketing and communications teams to ensure Kaiser Permanente is inclusive to its diverse member base and prospect members, delivers culturally relevant messages, strengthens the quality of in-language deliverables, and effectively reaches these emerging segments.

Beatriz has a wealth of marketing experience, which includes performing a similar role with Sears Holdings. In IBM Co. she worked at a global level in marketing programs targeting second tier countries. An ongoing challenge in her roles is to deliver on the corporate strategy and brand guidelines while embracing the cultural differences of each audience, country or region.

In her current role, Beatriz strives to plant a seed of curiosity and sensibility in as many Kaiser Permanente employees as possible as the company continues to grow its efforts to serve diverse communities, and contribute effectively in closing health disparity gaps. Beatriz joined the Board in 2015.

Jay Ryder

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2014-2018

Jay is President and owner of Ryder Homes, a residential real estate development company that is active in northern California and northern Nevada that was founded in 1965. Jay holds an MBA from UC Berkeley and a BA from Colgate University. He has been a Board member of Alternatives in Action since 2014 and enjoys assisting Alternatives in Action with construction related matters in the development of new and existing facilities.

Shady Shahid

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2015-2018

Shady has more than a decade delivering 250+ world class Products, Services, and Experiences for fortune 500 companies to start-ups. Previous collaborations include the original Xbox, Apple Mac Products, Andy Rubin’s Danger Research, Nike Tech, Toyota/Lexus Human Machine Interfaces, and J&J Diabetes Management User Experience System. Collaboration with partners oftentimes requires dramatic shifts in culture, organizations, processes, and ability to focus when it comes to execution.

Shady feels there is an opportunity to bring design thinking to organizations such Alternatives in Action. Improving education and outcomes in under-served communities for families, faculty, staff, and most of all, students, is a top priority. Shady is proud to be a part of the extremely talented and dedicated team at Alternatives in Action as they forge a path towards positive social and academic impact. Shady joined the Alternatives in Action Board in 2015 and serves as the Vice Chair of the Governing Committee.

Greta Brownlow

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2016-2018

Greta Brownlow, PhD, is an urban and environmental planning consultant, specializing in California Environmental Quality Act compliance and land use planning. Over the course of her eighteen-year career as a planning consultant, Greta has collaborated with numerous agencies, developers, and local communities in implementing development projects throughout California. Greta also serves as Adjunct Faculty at both San José State University and California State University East Bay, where she teaches Environmental Planning (a graduate course in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning), and Environmental Impact Assessment (a core, undergraduate course in the Environmental Studies Department), respectively. Greta earned an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a PhD in Social and Cultural Students in Education from UC Berkeley. Her doctoral research at UC Berkeley focused on public health outreach and activism around new school planning in Los Angeles. Greta has always maintained a strong interest in education, and in particular, in the importance of providing quality educational opportunities for all as a means of building and maintaining an informed and powered citizenry. She is excited to have re-joined Alternatives in Action’s Board after a seven-year hiatus, and looks forward to contributing to the organization’s continued growth and success!

Tracey Moore

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2017-2018

Dr. Tracey Moore holds a PhD in Organizational Management and Leadership Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, an MBA with emphasis on Administration from University of Phoenix and a Masters in Mathematics from Saint Mary’s as well. Originally from Detroit, Tracey considers herself a late-bloomer. Growing up with a high level of privilege, Tracey learned early on that to whom much is given much is expected and became an active volunteer and mentor at an early age.

In a constant pursuit of excellence through life-long learning and development, living a life of love and service are paramount to Tracey. She has worked with several non-profits to support efforts related to literacy and mathematics and is herself an avid reader and lover of literature.

Tracey feels strongly about the value of reading and the need for better access to books and other reading materials for ALL – especially the youth. Making that access a reality and raising literacy rates among the under-served are Tracey’s top priorities as An Alternatives in Action Board member.

Veda M. Bartlow

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2017-2018

Veda believes that every student deserves the right to educational equity along with a fair and just opportunity to reach their highest potential. She has worked for Kaiser Permanente since 2008 serving in several different roles including Project Manager and Product Implementation Manager. Currently, she is a Clinical Operations Manager for the Women’s Health Clinic in Oakland.

As a former educator and with a heart for HIV/AIDS awareness and treatment, Veda has volunteered on two mission trips to serve orphans and patients in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Veda holds Bachelors of Science degrees in both Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from Spelman College and Georgia Tech, respectively. She was also awarded a Masters of Science in Health Care Administration from California State University East Bay.

Steve Scheier

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2017-2018

Steve Scheier is the founder and CEO of the Decision Clarity Group, a San Francisco based consulting firm that works with growth focused nonprofits that want to build on their diversity and are open to improving their organizational power and decision-making practices. Steve’s clients use his Decision Clarity method to advance their strategic, diversity and succession plans, empower their teams and to improve Board and staff operations. Steve’s goal is to empower nonprofit leaders and their teams so that these crucial organizations can get more done. He wants to increase nonprofit capacity and by doing so increase nonprofit impact. He wants to increase the number of empowered nonprofit leaders, particularly leaders of color.

Steve created the Decision Clarity Group to advance the work of nonprofits in order to achieve their missions, Steve believes that for these organizations to be successful these organizations must create diverse and empowered decision-making teams. Nonprofit people are so committed yet they often burn out and are frustrated because they frequently can’t bring their full talents to use in their jobs. Steve wants to help nonprofits become even more powerful engines for good and he believes that Decision Clarity can be a catalyst to achieve this goal.

Steve’s background in politics, marketing, organizational development and educational policy has enabled him to create dynamic teachings that empower organizations. He is the author of “Do More Good. Better. Using the Power of Decision Clarity to Mobilize the Talent of Your Nonprofit Team”. This work sheds new light on nonprofit decision-making and offers insights and clear methods for improving organizational performance.

Prior to starting the Decision Clarity Group, Steve’s work in the nonprofit sector included stints as the Vice President of Human Resources at College Summit and as the President of the Entrepreneurs’ Foundation.

Earlier in his career Steve worked in the technology sector as the Vice President of Human Resources at CKS Group and at Food.com. He also had a long and thrilling (for the most part) nine-year run at Apple. Among the positions he held were, Program Manager for “Kids Can’t Wait”, Product Introduction Manager for the 1984 Macintosh launch, Manager of Creative Services and the Director of K-12 Marketing.

In the years following college, Steve worked for the National Institute of Education, the California Department of Education and the California State Assembly.

Steve has a BA in Russian History and an MA in Education Policy from University of California, Berkeley.

Steve serves on the Leadership Council of the nonprofit organization, Rise Up whose mission is to enable girls, youth, and women to transform their own lives, communities, and countries. Rise Up leaders have advocated for over 100 laws and policies impacting 115 million girls, youth and women across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States.

 

Jared Joiner

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2017-2018

Jared currently works to increase supply, demands, and skillful deployment of evidence-based tools, practices, and resources in the educational ecosystem as the Manager of Learning Engineering at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). Prior to joining the Education team at CZI, Jared served as Chief of Staff in the Department of Technology at San Francisco Unified School District, and before that, as a product manager at an educational technology startup.

Jared’s first foray into scaling solutions in education was working on human capital transformation in the Boston Public Schools, where his team worked to improve educator evaluation, hiring, and diversity in Boston’s classrooms.

Jared began his career in public education as a bilingual math and science teacher at the Next Step Public Charter School in Washington, DC. He earned his Ed.M. with a concentration in Mind, Brain, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy.

Jared joined the Alternatives in Action Board in 2017.

Shelley Yim

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2018-2019

Shelley is Senior Vice President at Aon Risk Insurance Services West. Prior to joining Aon in 2007, Shelley was a Senior Vice President at a national wholesale insurance brokerage firm where she managed their national broker team. Shelley was also Marsh’s West Zone Casualty manager where she managed casualty operations including middle market client advisory, environmental and public entity. Shelley attended the University of Hawaii where she majored in hotel management. Shelley is also a member of the Women’s Insurance Networking Group (WING).

Abigail Edelman

Alternatives in Action Board of Directors, 2018-2019

Abigail is an experienced marketing leader with a focus on technology that helps promote financial access. She has led teams and launched products for LendingClub and Western Union.

She has worked for socially focused businesses in Uganda, Bolivia, and Argentina. But currently lives in Oakland where she is committed to helping local youth reach their full potential. She is involved with tutoring and mentoring at Oakland-based Build and Reading Partners. And is now excited to extend her impact through her involvement with Alternatives in Action.

She has an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and BA in International Affairs and Anthropology from George Washington University.

 

Advisory Board Members

Leslie Ryder

Now that Leslie Ryder has successfully launched her kids into college, she is connecting her experience with kids and her considerable networks with the building industry and the non-profit world with supporting youth at risk in Oakland, California. Leslie is transforming one of the most successful youth intervention programs in Oakland, Alternatives in Action, and creating a high quality, dynamic school and youth center that will bring sports, education, and leadership to under served teens in the heart of Oakland, California. She believes in the potential of all kids. She knows that the opportunities her kids had in sports, great education, and adult support systems can transform into a lifetime of great potential. She is also assisting young women leaders from crisis countries to get into US colleges. Leslie Ryder graduated from the University of Utah in 1984 and went to work in the high tech publishing industry. She helped to launch many computer publications including PC Computing (Ziff Davis Publishing), MacWeek (Ziff Davis Publishing), and Windows Sources (Ziff Davis Publishing). She also worked on National Accounts with Byte Magazine (McGraw Hill Publishing) and MacWorld Magazine (IDG Publishing). Leslie’s successful career in advertising sales in the high tech publishing world led her to a successful leadership career in non-profit organizations and volunteer organizations in the greater San Francisco area including being a President of the Junior League of San Francisco and on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary and the National Strategic Planning group for National Charity League Inc. Leslie is married to Jay Ryder, owner and President of Ryder Homes, one of the top 200 home builders in America.