With more than 40 full-time team members we’re diving deeper into our current areas of work and building new areas of expertise. We wanted to take a minute to introduce you to some of the amazing people who have joined us in the past few months.
Tina Fernandez – Co-Director, Talent Readiness Project
Steve Hams – Senior Advisor, Talent Readiness Project
Chester Hawkins – Senior Advisor, Talent Readiness Project
Poonam Singh – Program Developer, Talent Readiness Project
Jason Weeby – Senior Fellow
Danny Rojas – Principal, Strategic Advising
Kyndall Parker – Chief of Staff
We also work with Senior Advisors who bring terrific skills and work with us part-time.
Sid Smith – Senior Advisor
Victor Reinoso – Senior Advisor
We look forward to you meeting these new additions as well as new associate partners and analysts who are joining as well.
Tina Fernandez joined Bellwether in the Spring of 2014 as Co-Director of the Talent Readiness Pilot and Senior Advisor to the organization. Tina was a Bellwether founding board member and served as chair of the board in 2013-2014. Prior to joining Bellwether, Tina was a Clinical Professor at the University of Texas School of Law and the founding Director of the school’s Pro Bono Program. Tina earned her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and her B.A. from Harvard College and is from the Rio Grande Valley. Before attending law school, Tina was a Teach for America ’94 corps member and spent two years as a bilingual elementary teacher in the South Bronx.
Steve Hams brings 30 years of senior human resources experience in high tech, medical technology and non-profit fields to Bellwether. Steve developed corporate-wide HR infrastructure from the ground up for three companies and one non-profit organization (including Hewlett Packard and the Skoll Foundation). His major areas of expertise are: strategic HR planning, company culture and organization development, leadership development and coaching, merger and acquisition integration, staffing, mediation of employment issues, compensation and benefits, performance management, and managing change. In addition, Steve founded and served as COO of the American Basketball League during its three years of existence. Steve earned his MBA from the University of Michigan and his B.A. from Cal State.
Chester Hawkins is an Information Technology Director with more than 25 years of leadership and strategic responsibilities in customer and outsourcing support, quality/organizational change management, and key customer relationships. Chester spent 24 years at Hewlett Packard, most recently as the Director of IT Americas HP Services and Outsourcing Support. Chester is the Owner and President of Hill & Smith LLC, a consulting company specializing in project & organizational change management and process improvement, leadership and employee development, strategic planning, and business process management. Chester has a B. A. in Economics from the University of Georgia.
Poonam Singh has specialized in developing leadership and coaching programs for underserved communities in the San Francisco Bay area and in India over the past 14 years. Poonam worked for 7 years at Partners In School Innovation as a school & district coach. Subsequently, Poonam directed the Clinton Fellowship for Service in India with the American India Foundation. For the past few years, she has been consulting for non-profit organizations and select private sector partners in the area of program design, strategy, and leadership coaching, with a specialized focus on diversity. She is currently a faculty member with CompassPoint’s Next Generation Leaders of Color Fellowship Program. Poonam also received her certification in leadership coaching with the Coaches Training Institute, and is a trained facilitator with the Heiftz/Linsky model of Adaptive Leadership. She has a Masters in Education and Public Policy from Harvard, and did her undergraduate work at UC Berkeley in Anthropology and Education.
Jason Weeby is a Senior Fellow at Bellwether Education Partners. Prior to joining Bellwether in 2014, Jason spent six years at Education Pioneers building a nationwide network of high-caliber leadership talent for the education sector. Most recently he was their Senior Director of New Initiatives, where he led the organization’s innovation efforts including the launch of new programs and services. He also served as Education Pioneers’ Director of Network Strategy and Bay Area program director and was a 2007 Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellow. Jason began his career serving youth as a treatment provider in a residential crisis unit and then as a middle school Language Arts and Social Studies teacher, both in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Jason earned his Master’s in Education from Stanford University with a concentration in Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies and his Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and Environmental studies from Western Michigan University.
Danny Rojas recently served in a senior leadership capacity at Deloitte & Touche LLP, a global management consultancy, where he advanced from Consultant role to Senior Manager over the past 13 years. In this leadership role, he was accountable for business development, revenue generation, strategic relationship management, market research and building market eminence, proposal writing and response, metrics-driven forecasting, and opportunity identification. Danny was responsible for large scale information and technology risk management project leadership across a Fortune 100 client portfolio, working with business and technology partners to operationalize strategy and innovation. In parallel to his corporate consulting career, Danny has utilized his talents to advise and support nonprofits and social enterprises committed to impact upward mobility for underserved communities. Danny received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University.
Kyndall Parker’s background is in operations and marketing analytics. She spent four years with KIPP TEAM moving up from Operations Analyst to Managing Director of Operations/Deputy COO, managing 45 staff members within school operations, nutrition, and purchasing. Prior to KIPP, Kyndall worked at the Walt Disney Company in its interactive media group. In her role as Marketing Analyst, she managed sales analysis, ad-buys, budgets, and cross-team product feedback. Kyndall graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Psychology.
Sid Smith is a Senior Advisor to Bellwether, focusing on issues of talent and entrepreneurship. He is the founder and President of SRS Counsel PLLC, a solo law practice that provides virtual general counsel services on a range of corporate and transactional matters. He is also a co-founder of Discourse Analytics, Inc., a data analytics company launched in 2011 that enhances audience messaging and activation by building issue-weighted profiles of individuals and providing micro-segmenting of groups, audiences, and communities based on common activation points. Sid is active in many organizations dedicated to service in the areas of education and entrepreneurship. Sid graduated from Yale with a B.A. in English, where he was a member of the varsity basketball team, and received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Victor Reinoso is a Senior Advisor to Bellwether. He advises on a range of projects involving public sector work, innovation, and finance. Victor is Entrepreneur in Residence at the NewSchools Venture Fund and co-founder of Decision Science Labs, a K-12 analytics and budgeting platform that facilitates smarter resource allocation by linking school level spending to outcomes. Victor was the District of Columbia’s first Deputy Mayor of Education, where he led the Mayor’s takeover of the public schools, oversaw the city’s $1+ billion education budget, and helped put in place important reforms, including the expansion of early childhood programs. Before becoming Deputy Mayor, Victor was as an elected member of the DC Board of Education. Victor has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.