ABOUT OUR TEAM
I'm an entrepreneur and intrapreneur that likes to build projects and programs from the ground up. Committed to making an impact in the world, I thrive off of being a creative individual and a problem solver. My biggest passion is to launch big ideas that have a positive impact in the world, by utilizing design thinking, business strategy, and storytelling.
My Background Into What Inspires Me
I was raised in the heart of the Silicon Valley, to South American immigrant parents. They left their countries due to dictatorships, and moved to America for a better life - free from violence, oppression, and discrimination. Over the years, they became integrated into a new culture. They built networks of friends and neighbors, and became entrepreneurs. They also taught my brother and me to take advantage of what the United States had to offer, and give back to the communities we came from.
With this in mind, I embarked on a sustained journey to learn, to create, and to make change.
When I learned that a close family friend of mine had been trafficked as a child, that changed my worldview and my life forever. The issue became personal to me - it became real. Soon after, I dived into the issue at college, and organized various events to raise awareness about modern-day slavery. When I graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor's degree - summa cum laude and at the height of the recession - I wasn't deterred by the lack of job opportunities - I just knew I had to create my dream job in order to make the impact I wanted to make.
Building a Career Fighting Human Trafficking
Over the past ten years, I have dedicated my life and my career to fighting human trafficking: I started my own radio show on human trafficking; I wrote and published a policy memo for the California Research Bureau on the Sexual Exploitation of Homeless Youth; I worked on various statewide anti-trafficking initiatives in California; I was a Client Services and Outreach Fellow that supported survivors at Polaris, a leading anti-trafficking organization; I helped build a nationally-recognized,
award-winning 5-point strategy to fight human trafficking for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office in Oakland, CA; and most recently, I was a Program Manager at Thorn, where I helped re-target our branding and messaging to the tech community, and develop a machine-learning tool for law enforcement to identify victims of sex trafficking online.
Launching A Big Idea of My Own
After developing and focusing my efforts on the field of anti-trafficking, I have learned a lot about how to launch big ideas. I became particularly dedicated to implementing principles of design thinking and design doing, business strategy and project management, and storytelling to make things happen. I'm also constantly learning, and am currently working on my MBA from Johns Hopkins University.
With these skills in my tool belt, I have launched a big idea of my own - my innovation consulting firm, Create&. My vision and dedication is to use what I've learned (and continue to learn through my clients), to help individuals and organizations tap into their own creative spirit. I want to help others build products, programs, and services that have a positive impact on society. This is what I learned from my parents, my mentors, and my friends. I only hope to inspire others to do the same, so that we can continue to think big and do good for generations to come.
You can learn more about my work and expertise by going to my LinkedIn account, or viewing a short portfolio of work here (as of July 2016).
I am committed to addressing the most pressing issues affecting communities across the Nation. In my role as Principal and Co-Founder of Create&, an innovation consulting firm that helps businesses and entrepreneurs launch big ideas, I utilize principles of community-centered design to drive investments for the greater good.
Currently, I am focused on identifying innovative ways to disrupt the real estate industry. More specifically, I am interested in the balance between profitability and sustainability of diverse and disenfranchised communities, experiencing gentrification.
For over ten years, I have dedicated my career to being a proponent for hard working, low-income families. I have honed my expertise by leading advocacy campaigns, facilitating community relationships through Town Hall meetings and events, organizing regional and national conferences and campaigns, and successfully raising funds. Additionally, I am particularly skilled at building and maintaining relationships alongside social entrepreneurs to continue providing awareness and direct services to families that need it most.
More recently, I led the strategic vision and implementation for a coalition of over 230 community colleges in 23 states as the National
Manager for The Democracy Commitment. Our goal was to engage students in civic engagement to prepare them for democratic life and action upon graduation.
I coordinated stakeholders to conduct research, led teacher trainings, developed content, and published posts on our blog and social media. I also organized two national conferences on civic engagement with the American Association for State Colleges and Universities and NASPA, a leading voice for the student affairs professionals. Finally, I was tasked with managing and balancing a budget of half a million dollars, and brought in over $300,000 in grants in less than a year to support our work, in addition to collecting membership dues.
Back in California, I worked as the most senior District Representative for U.S. Congressman Eric Swalwell and managed the Hayward, California District Office, supervising five staff members and 20 interns. In this capacity, I developed and implemented a community relations strategy to gain the trust and commitment of four local cities that had not initially wanted to work with our office. During my tenure, I was not only able to deliver these four cities, but successfully maintain relationships with community members, local elected officials, nonprofits, academic institutions, and other stakeholders in the community, as a result.
You can learn more about my work and expertise by going to my LinkedIn account.