We are a team of creative, fierce, and diverse problem solvers.
CoFounder and Chief Design Strategist
As the daughter of South American, Jewish, Immigrant parents, Maia has dedicated her life and career to social justice and human rights issues. After learning that a close friend had been sold for sex as a child, she dedicated the first ten years of her career to the field of anti-human trafficking.
Despite graduating at the height of the 2008 recession, she pursued her passion for social entrepreneurship by working at a San Francisco startup by day, and on anti-trafficking initiatives by night. Some of these initiatives included: starting a modern-day slavery radio show; writing and publishing policy memos for the California Research Bureau on the sexual exploitation of homeless youth; interning for a nonprofit that deterred child sex trafficking in Thailand by raising money for scholarships; and working as a 2010 Client Services Fellow for Polaris (a national anti-trafficking organization).
Eventually, she found a $300,000 grant to fund a position for herself and launch the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Watch Program at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. In less than five years, she took their prosecution unit and turned it into an award-winning Statewide Initiative. Some of the work she did there was a successful billboard campaign to change the minds of the community around child sex trafficking, a graphic novel series on trafficking risk factors for high school youth, and a web-app that engaged the community and businesses on a Statewide human trafficking law. Eventually, she was asked by the USDOJ to teach the HEAT Watch model to communities across the Nation.
After working for the District Attorney's Office, Maia pivoted to tech, and helped launch digital products for Thorn, like Spotlight, a machine-learning tool to find victims of trafficking online; and a redesign of their website and marketing strategy. She also worked as a Product Manager for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, where she helped improve the user experience of their internal Amber Alert program, and ran a design sprint for their search missing kids tool.
Maia's experience in program management, product development, and human-centered design, guides our design strategy at Create&.
CoFounder and CEO
Gabe has dedicated his career to being a proponent for hard-working, low-income families. Most recently, he 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, with the goal to engage students in civic engagement to prepare them for democratic life and action upon graduation.
Prior to that, Gabe worked for various members of Congress, both in California and Washington D.C., including California Senator Barbara Boxer, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, and Congressman Eric Swalwell. His primary areas of focus included immigration, healthcare, and Latino issues.
Gabe also has experience working with the Progressive Era Project, a group of donors promoting progressive policies, identifying emerging leaders, and advocating for underrepresented communities, particularly communities of color, in Southern California.
Finally, Gabe is a proud Board Member of La Familia Counseling Service, an inclusive Latino community-based multicultural non-profit organization committed to strengthening the emotional wellness of individuals and the preservation of families. Gabe’s ability to build diverse community and relationships with investors and strategic partners, guides our business development efforts at Create&.
Alynia is a J.D. advocate for social, economic, and racial justice. Her experience in law, program development, and research are significant assets to our team. Alynia received her B.A. from UC Berkeley, and her J.D. from Berkeley School of Law.
As former Branch Chief for the CIA, and current Associate Director at Aon, Craig has extensive experience in cybersecurity, business strategy, and financial services. Craig received his B.A. from the Virginia Military Institute, and is an MBA student at Johns Hopkins University.
Harrison joins us from the development world, with experience interning at ecoAmerica, the Heartland Alliance, and Athletico. His interests include design thinking, business development, and causes that make the world better. Harrison received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University.