RON BELLER has had a 30 year career in financial services around the world and has spent the last decade working on education reform in the UK and US.
Beller is co-founder and CEO of Branch Hill Capital LLC, an investment manager. He was previously co-founder and CEO of Peloton Partners, a London based hedge fund. Beller spent 14 years at Goldman Sachs where he was a Partner in the Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities division.
Beller is co-founder of Caliber Schools, (www.caliberschools.org) a Bay Area based Charter Management Organization which is in the process of setting up its first charter school in Richmond, California. He is also co-founder of Ed-Mentor LLC which invests in early stage educational technology companies. Beller is co-founder and chair of governors of King Solomon Academy (www.kingsolomonacademy.org), a high performing, non-selective Academy school in London serving a highly disadvantaged population. Beller spent the 2002-2003 school year working for the New York City School system as part of Chancellor Joel Klein’s leadership team, implementing a comprehensive, system wide reform program.
Beller is married, with three children, and lives in San Francisco. He was graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in History.
MATHEW CHASAN CALMER is a pioneer in wearable technology and connected devices. He is an instructor and student mentor at Hack Reactor, a San Francisco based software engineering school, and runs a software and embedded devices consultancy, The Big Incredible. Mathew is motivated by simple practices to bring spirituality into daily routine, and brings this to his work in and out of the Kitchen. He has served on the Kitchen Finance Committee since 2012 and currently acts as Treasurer.
JEFF LAWSON is the CEO and Co-Founder of Twilio, a serial inventor with over 15 years of entrepreneurial and product experience. Prior to co-founding Twilio, Jeff was Founder & CTO of NineStar, Founding CTO of Stubhub.com and Founder, CEO & CTO of Versity. He was also one of the original product managers for Amazon Web Services. At every business, Jeff identified the fundamental need for a platform for developers and companies to easily build communications-based business solutions. Jeff grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, started his first company in middle school, and earned his BS in Computer Science & Film/Video from University of Michigan.
EMILY MITRA is originally from upstate New York and came to San Francisco after graduating from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. For her first four years, Emily worked as a freelance writer for SIERRA Magazine and for a boutique health food grocery followed by twelve years in strategic sales with Davis Vision, Talk City, and finally Yahoo!
Upon meeting Anjan Mitra in the late 90’s, a native to India, her experience broadened quickly through their travel and culinary adventures together throughout India. By December 2005 Emily and Anjan brought their vision to life opening DOSA on Valencia, a 50- seat restaurant on a small, vibrant corner in the heart of the Mission District. The Mitras opened their second location in November of 2008, DOSA on Fillmore.
DOSA Restaurants have achieved many accolades including Top Ten Bay Area New Restaurants 2006 SF Chronicle, Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand & Recommended, Best Indian 7X7, Best Indian SF Bay Guardian, Best Indian Reader’s Poll SF Magazine and SF Weekly, Best Eats SF Examiner, Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants SF Chronicle and Top 100 Bay Area Bars SF Chronicle.
In 2014, Emily and Anjan expanded their business opening a 12,00 square foot commissary kitchen as well as Dosateria, a fast growing South Indian “fast casual” concept featuring healthy Indian food at a lower fare and accessible to a broad, mainstream audience.
Emily is an active member of her community as both a mother with two young girls, ages four and ten, and as a businesswoman. In addition to DOSA Restaurants, Emily built and operates DOSA Catering, a full- service South Indian catering company and acts as Vice President of Japantown Center Garage Corporation (JCGC), a non-profit corporation benefiting San Francisco, focusing specifically on management and technical assistance programs.
JENNIFER MOSES has spent the past decade in education, public policy and philanthropy after a career in investment banking. She is a founding Trustee of Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), one of the largest children’s charities in the UK, and the co-founder of King Solomon Academy, an all-through state school in London. Since moving to San Francisco in late 2009, she launched Ed-Mentor, LLC, a VC fund that invests in education technology startups, and is co-founder of Caliber Schools, a new charter school organization that will leverage technology in the classroom. Prior to moving to California, she was a senior policy adviser to then British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. She was previously Chief Executive of the policy thinktank Centreforum, following her banking career as a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs. Ms. Moses is married with three children.
JANINE OKMIN is the Associate Director of Education at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, where she develops programming for audiences of a variety of ages, oversees school and teacher programs, and is responsible for training docents and museum educators. Formerly the Associate Manager of Learning Through Art, an artist residency program at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Janine has developed and taught workshops for teachers in New York, Boston, Denver, San Francisco, and Taiwan. In addition to working with teachers and children, she has developed arts education programs for teens at the Center for Arts Education in New York City and for college students as the Director of Jewish Cultural and Artistic Expression at Brooklyn College Hillel. Janine holds a BA in Drama from Northwestern University and received an MA in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Janine lives in Bernal Heights and is an active member of Bernal Jews (a Bernal Heights-based havurah), as well as a participant in a Kevah learning circle. An active but unaffiliated Jew, she is excited to be a part of a new community in the south part of the city. Janine is married to Jonathan Bayer, a Jewish music educator, and has a preschool-aged daughter and an toddler son.
AVIVA PALMER is Founder and CEO at The Adventure School, a Seattle and San Francisco based event planning company. She planned her first surprise party at age 10. Aviva loves thinking about the importance of celebration and communal learning to culture and the healing of our world. She is co-author of Uno Mundo, a picture book about peace and non-verbal communication and she loves the organization Servas. Aviva has worked as a political consultant, field organizer and high-dollar fundraiser in Washington for Governor Gregoire, US Senators Murray and Cantwell and President Barack Obama. Having taught in an after-school program at The Rose Art Museum and as the Teen Coordinator at the Peninsula JCC, she is invested in and loves working with youth. Aviva can also speak Mongolian after a stint living in the Mongolian Steppe studying fairytales and learning to herd animals. She received her Sociology BA from Brandeis with a concentration in the Humanities Interdisciplinary Program.
DOUG RANDALL and his wife Michelle are the parents of Ella and Max, who are Freedom School students. Doug is CEO and Founder of Monitor 360. He is a recognized thought leader on Narrative Analytics, scenario planning, managing uncertainty, and intelligence analysis reform.
Doug has over 20 years of experience working in the private sector, with corporations including Salesforce, VMware, and Coca-Cola. In the public sector, he has worked with DOD, CIA, NGA, the State Department, DHS NCTC, and many other agencies to develop innovation and strategic planning programs. Together with his colleagues at Monitor 360, he has created innovative analysis programs that leverage new methods to solve complex national security problems, including the Institute for Analysis and the Master Narratives program.
Doug has lectured at the Wharton School, Stanford University, and National Defense University; his articles have appeared in the Financial Times, Wired, and Business 2.0. He was previously a partner at Monitor and co-head of the consulting practice at Global Business Network (GBN). Before that, he was a Vice President at Snapfish, a senior consultant at Decision Strategies, Inc., and a senior research fellow at the Wharton School.
Doug received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from the Wharton School. He is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization, and he practices Ashtanga yoga and meditates. Doug has been a member of the Board of Directors for Bay Area Theater Sports and for the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.
MELANIE RANEN moved from New York to San Francisco in January 2012 and joined the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center as a Director of Development. Previously, she served as the Director of Development for the NYU College of Arts & Science, and held roles in fundraising and external relations at University of the Pacific and UNC-Chapel Hill.
Melanie demonstrates an abiding commitment to Jewish communal service in both her personal and professional life. She spent the year after college volunteering in Israel through Project Otzma, and upon returning to the US, worked for the Jewish Federation and Hillel. While living in New York, Melanie joined the leadership board of Pursue, a joint project between American Jewish World Service and the Avodah Jewish Service Corps.
Melanie received a BA in sociology from Northwestern University and a master’s in public administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. Melanie loves to seek out new adventures and is passionate about yoga, art, photography, vegetarian cooking, and exotic travel. She lives with her husband Matt and their children, Ethan and Eliza, in the Mission.
SUE REINHOLD, Ph.D. is a social entrepreneur who founded North Berkeley Investment Partners, an investment advisory firm oriented to social sustainability that is certified as a B Corporation and that won awards for the environment it created for its employees. Having designed a smooth succession out of her firm in 2016, she is now selectively engaged with mission-driven businesses in the areas of strategy, long-term financial planning, and corporate development. She is always looking for ways to put more Torah and Abrahamic values into the business world. Sue was a founding member of The Kitchen's board and served as The Kitchen's Treasurer for its first three years. Sue has over twenty years of investment and management experience, beginning in1993 doing market and business research for private investors. From 1995 to 1999, Sue was an equity analyst at two investment management firms, first at Jurika & Voyles and then at RCM Capital Management. Sue also spent time in industry, building and leading the corporate strategy team at Health Net, a Fortune 200 healthcare company.
Sue holds an A.B. from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex, England, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar. Sue serves on the Investment Advisory Committee of Futures Without Violence and in a volunteer leadership and consultative capacity for several Jewish organizations around the Bay Area. Sue and her wife Deborah Newbrun have four children and live in a blended family in both San Francisco and Berkeley while they raise their children. Sue enjoys studying and teaching Torah.
DAVID SHLACHTER is a Bay Area entrepreneur creating affordable housing solutions for working class Americans. He grew up in Oregon, is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College & Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Dave began his career with ISDLS as a legal reform consultant for clients including the Supreme Court of India. In 2008, he joined the global marketing division at Better Place, a venture-backed clean tech firm that builds electric car infrastructure. In 2011 Dave formed the investment firm Farallon Ventures; its holdings include Jaffa Parks, which owns and operates manufactured housing communities in the U.S. Dave surfs, runs, and climbs, builds furniture, and shapes surfboards. He lives with his wife and dog in Mill Valley, California.
SAMANTHA GRANT WIESLER is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist, and educator. Through her production company GUSH Productions Sam has worked with PBS, ABC, MTV, CNN, NPR, FRONTLINE, PRI, FRONTLINE/World, Al Jazeera International, and Current TV, as well as several national corporate clients like Pandora, Merrill Lynch, AT&T, and Electronic Arts. Sam has produced and directed several short films on subjects as varied as the black market trade in human kidneys in India, polygamy in Utah, Fair Trade roses in Ecuador, and the hand crafting movement in the US. Sam has also worked on several feature length films about everything from the Girl Effect in Paraguay (as Producer/Director of Photography) to the health care crisis in the United States (as Associate Producer for the FRONTLINE Sick Around America). In 2007, Sam was named a Carnegie/Knight fellow as part of the News 21 Initiative on the Future of Journalism where she and the other fellows created an interactive website dedicated to exploring religion in the United States. From 2007-2010, Sam was a featured lecturer at the Knight Digital Media Center and currently, Sam is a lecturer at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford University's Knight Fellowship program where she teaches Advanced Video Production and Storytelling to journalists. Named a 2011 BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, Sam is currently in production on A FRAGILE TRUST, a feature length documentary (for which she received ITVS Open Call Funding) and transmedia project that uses the Jayson Blair/New York Times plagiarism scandal of 2003 as a lens through which to explore ethics, race, power and responsibility in the media.