Transforming lives through digital literacy.

Our mission is to unite organizations and volunteers to transform lives through digital literacy.

We believe that access to the Internet is a human right, and that those without the skills to use a computer are at risk of social and economic disadvantage. Public services and essential information are increasingly moving online, and many people are unable to access those resources. Many fine organizations are working to spread Internet connectivity to the underserved, but access to technology is only a partial solution. Connectivity needs to be coupled with digital skills training that is relevant and delivered in a way that won’t intimidate the adult learner.

In 2018, Community Tech Network turned 10 years old. Our goal to delete the digital divide has been consistent, but the pace of change means the goalposts are constantly being moved. Therefore, CTN must continue using its decade of experience to build a more inclusive digital world for the future in which everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of life online.

During its next 10 years, CTN will be taking the good fight beyond the Bay Area, initially in central Texas, with a mission to establish additional digital inclusion hubs wherever we find meaningful partnerships that serve communities in need of digital skills. Contact us if you’d like to partner. 

History

Community Tech Network gained its 501(c)3 nonprofit status and became an independent nonprofit organization in 2008 with grant support from the Full Circle Fund.

However, our origins can be traced back to 2001, when we started as a program of TechSoup (then called CompuMentor) to address a rapidly growing need for public digital literacy training. In 2007, our role was reviewed in a community survey, the results of which clearly indicated an ongoing need for CTN’s digital literacy work, and the transition to charitable status was made.

Back in 2008, when CTN became a nonprofit, Twitter was just a fledgling social media experiment, Facebook had barely begun its rise to world dominance, and Instagram wasn’t even a twinkle in its creator’s eye. Ten years on, the internet is central to everyday life, and access to it has become a right, not a privilege.

During those 10 years, CTN grew from one volunteer Program Manager and a handful of helpers to an organization of over a dozen staff, 60 active volunteers and 50 partner locations. It also spread its sphere of influence beyond San Francisco to the wider Bay Area. Today, CTN is led by an active and diverse Board of Directors comprising community leaders, business leaders, and technology advocates from local nonprofits.

Staff

Kami Griffiths

Kami Griffiths

Executive Director/Co-Founder

Austin, TX

With over 15 years of experience working in the public sector, Kami has developed a passion for helping people gain access and better utilize technology, after witnessing firsthand how the digital divide and low literacy levels were aiding the cycle of poverty. She has worked for the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation, managing 27 public access computing centers, teaching computer classes and establishing their volunteer trainer program. As the Training and Outreach Manager for TechSoup Global, Kami greatly expanded her knowledge and understanding of the nonprofit technology field, having conducted over 200 interviews with librarians and producing over 100 webinars. She is a founding member of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) and speaks nationally about digital inclusion.

Laurie Sanchez

Laurie Sanchez

California Program Director

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Laurie had a substantial career in the for profit world, working for large corporations like Fireman’s Fund Insurance (3 years) and North American Mortgage Company (7 years), and smaller enterprises from LLCs to entrepreneurial start-ups (10 years). Thematically, she has worked in the space that is between end-product technology and the user of it. She has managed internal and consumer-facing help desks, telecommunications and network functions, as well as training and customer support operations. She negotiated and managed large vendor contracts and managed corporate-wide technology implementation projects. In 2008, she shifted her career to the nonprofit arena working for TechSoup for four years before joining Community Tech Network. In parallel, Laurie has volunteered in homeless shelters and multiple arts organizations. She served on the Boards of AXIS Dance Company and Robert Moses’ Kin for 3 years each. She is in her tenth year serving as a SFMoMA School docent and her fourth year as an Art Docent for the Goldsworthy sculptures in The Presidio.

Jessica Looney

Jessica Looney

Austin Program Director

Austin, TX

Jessica Looney, Austin Program Director, has worked for clients including Camp Fire USA, Austin Opera, The Thinkery and many others for nearly 20 years. Jessica has experience leading the organization, fundraising and marketing efforts for global outreach. Her work on tech-related programs includes rallying top talent to implement, teach, and advocate for accessible web design; organizing communities both locally and abroad to learn and practice accessibility; and working to provide classroom support nationwide for students who use assistive technology. AT CTN, Jessica manages all Austin digital literacy programs as well as marketing, fundraising and outreach efforts for both cities. Specializing in nonprofit program management Jessica speaks at conferences, leads training workshops, and brings a whole-team approach to leadership. Jessica has a degree in Nonprofit Administration from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.

Eric Babb

Eric Babb

Digital Literacy Program Manager

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Eric is a Kansas native with a background in teaching at the high school and college level. As a lecturer at the University of Kansas, Eric was the College Algebra course coordinator, supervising a staff of teaching assistants and tutors. While at KU, Eric oversaw the development of a blended learning classroom that combined short instructional videos and group activities to help learners at all levels. With a focus on curriculum development, Eric hopes to build upon the strong foundation at CTN and continue to support and motivate volunteers and those working to bridge the digital divide. Eric has degrees from the University of Kansas in Secondary Math Education and Civil Engineering.

Jernee Carter

Jernee Carter

Digital Literacy Program Manager

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Jernee (Nay) is a native San Franciscan determined to contribute to a better future, especially through teaching. Her early work history focused on youth with four years as a Camp Leader, YMCA Program Leader and After School Teacher before starting and running her own childcare business for five years. Ambitious to improve her computer skills, Nay joined one of CTN's classes and quickly discovered she already had significant knowledge and great skills to be a teacher herself. Her patience, agile adaptation, ready teamwork and understanding of the beginner mind made her a natural choice for this position. Her long ties to the community and outgoing personality are a super power as we seek to engage and reach more people to achieve digital literacy. She is committed to closing the digital divide and determined to help individuals understand why it is important to them.

William Dean

William Dean

Digital & Adult Literacy Instructor

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

After teaching high school English for many years, William felt a tremendous accomplishment when he retired several years ago. Still, he was motivated to continue his teaching and learning experiences. He is a volunteer tutor in the San Francisco Library’s Project Read program where he coaches adults to read. In 2015, he started at CTN as a digital literacy tutor through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). He receives much satisfaction supporting the seniors in their various pastimes. After tutoring in the computer lab at several senior centers, he became involved as one of the actors with Castro Senior Center Radio Players. In July 2016, William joined CTN’s staff as a Program Coordinator, He expects to share insights and experience developing adult literacy with our volunteer corps to support seniors in improving both technology and reading literacy.

Jannell Mateo Rivas

Jannell Mateo Rivas

Bilingual Digital Literacy Program Manager

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Jannell has personal, professional, and volunteer experience working with underserved communities. She is fluent in Spanish and has a variety of experience mentoring, teaching, and leading groups of people. During her time at San Francisco State University, she studied Child and Adolescent Development and grew in her passion to meet the needs of both the youth and adult populations. Even more so, she is excited to share her skills and knowledge to further support San Francisco adult communities through digital literacy.

Kate Sheludziayeva

Kate Sheludziayeva

Administrative Manager

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Kate immigrated to the United States from Belarus in 2011. In Belarus, Kate studied psychology and volunteered as a surveyor. She also volunteered in a nonprofit organization to provide support to physically disabled youth so they could integrate into society. She has experience as an office assistant at San Francisco General Hospital and recently earned a certificate from the Office Assistant Program from LEN Business and Language Institute. She is fluent in Russian and is studying English as a second language at CCSF. She considers herself to be tech savvy and wants to help people stay connected in the digital world, especially those who are immigrants. She thinks CTN is the right place to share her enthusiasm for helping people.

Carol Simmons

Carol Simmons

Operations Director

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Carol Simmons is an experienced consulting professional with a long history of working in the libraries industry. She is skilled in managing non-profit organizations, fundraising, strategic planning, building design and programs, civic engagement, recruitment and research. She has been a public library director, executive director of the California Library Association, and has served on a wide variety of non-profit boards including the San Francisco Opera Guild, the Daly City Public Library Associates, and the Seton Medical Center Community Advisory Board. In her free time, she loves to travel, read (of course) and hike in the Bay Area and beyond.

Sabrina Tam

Sabrina Tam

Bilingual Digital Literacy Program Manager

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Sabrina is a native of Hong Kong. She first came to the States as a cultural exchange student in the early 90’s. After spending several years in Arkansas and South Carolina, she decided to make the Bay Area her home. Along with her patient and caring personality, Sabrina brings to CTN her extensive experience managing multi-cultural projects in the financial services, advertising and market research arena. Sabrina is fluent in English and Cantonese, and conversational in Mandarin. She wants to use both her language and technical skills to help people to enjoy the benefits of using technology and not feel left behind in the digital age.

Annie Tan

Annie Tan

Bilingual Digital Literacy Program Associate

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

After getting a degree in Community Based Public Health, Annie developed a passion to serve and to meet the needs of low-income and underserved communities. She was a Senior Information and Assistance Specialist with the Aging and Disability Resource Center for four years providing supporting services for seniors and disabled population and recently a Community Navigator for the Chinese Community Health Resource Center. Fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and English, Annie wants to use her language skills and technical knowledge to help seniors enjoy the benefits of using technology as a tool to make connections with friends and families, and for getting involved in their communities.

Dale Thompson

Dale Thompson

Finance Manager

Austin, TX

Dale has been involved in closing the digital divide since 1998 through her work as financial consultant with the City of Austin which led to her becoming interim Executive Director of Austin Free-Net from 2006 to 2011. She brings 29 years of experience in accounting and Quickbooks, 13 of those years as a lender for a national bank. Dale also volunteers for NTEN and organized their monthly 501 Tech Club in Austin.

Board

Margaret Schoelwer

Margaret Schoelwer

Board Chair

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Margaret is a Managing Director at Accenture, focused on high tech and platform clients in San Francisco and across the bay area. Over the last six years at Accenture, she has developed expertise in digital transformation, strategy, and enablement in sales and sales operations. Prior to joining Accenture, Margaret was a Product Manager in Online Strategy for Fidelity Investments, based in Boston. She has called San Francisco home for more than four years now after growing up on the east coast and two stints in Chicago. Margaret holds an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, and a BA in Classics from Northwestern University.

Danielle Bowers

Danielle Bowers

Vice Chair

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Danielle Bowers is an HR Manager for Google’s central talent strategy team based in Mountain View, CA. Prior to joining Google’s People Operations organization, Danielle co-founded the News Lab and spent four years building the global team, developing news products, and launching a research and development effort for news at Google. In 2011, Danielle joined Google and was one of the first members of the company’s Revenue Intelligence team where she consulted with top tier publishers to help grow their businesses. Danielle has her B.S. in Management Science from UC San Diego and her M.B.A from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. She has a deep passion for learning and for dedicating her efforts to making the world a better place for everyone.

Barrington Dyer

Barrington Dyer

Secretary

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Barrington Dyer is a shareholder at Polsinelli LLP. He takes a creative and strategic approach to resolving intellectual property disputes for startups and Fortune 500 companies. He is dedicated to helping clients solve their most complex issues related to the establishment and protection of their intellectual property. Barrington has experience representing clients in a variety of high technology industries, including computer networking devices, semiconductor devices, computer memory, smartphones, mobile apps, computer software and internet-related technologies. He has represented clients in patent, copyright, and trade secret disputes in federal court, and litigated patent validity before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. Prior to becoming an attorney, Barrington worked for a media technology company developing a video-on-demand content delivery and management system for content providers. He applies his experience as an engineer when counseling clients on technological issues that intersect with the law.

John E. McDermott

John E. McDermott

Treasurer

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

John is the Vice President of Finance at TechSoup Global, a 200 person technology focused non-profit based in San Francisco. John joined TechSoup Global in 2001 and is now the senior financial executive responsible for all aspects of the organizations financial management including creating and executing against annual budgets, overseeing the preparation of all audits and tax returns, as well as continuously managing all ongoing financial aspects of TechSoup Global’s global operations. Prior to joining TSG in 2001, John spent his first seven years in the Bay Area helping to launch and grow a number of early stage technology startups. During the two years immediately prior to joining TechSoup Global, John was the co-founder & CFO of MyRaptor.com an online travel portal that received significant funding before the bottom fell out of the venture capital market in early 2000. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Mr. McDermott graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with a BA in History in 1992 – before heading west to follow his dreams (and escape the East Coast’s humidity).

Charles Aston

Charles Aston

Austin, TX

Charles has over 20 years of Information Technology experience and is currently the Director of IT for DFI Resources in Austin, Texas. During his 19 years at DFI, he has spent his career leading the organization through numerous technological changes and transformations. He has been involved in numerous projects, leads and manages people, plans and develops budgets, and is the primary decision maker for technology within the company. He has been serving on the internal leadership team for several years. Charles has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Texas A&M University.

Eric Beattie

Eric Beattie

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Currently Eric is a Principal Scientist leading a chronic pain therapeutics screening program at Teva Biologics (Redwood City, CA). He has a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from UCSF, two postdoctoral fellowships in Cellular Neuroscience from UCSF and Stanford, and has over 18 years of combined biotech / academic research, publication, and grant writing experience. Eric has also ventured away from the science lab and used his extensive cross-disciplinary professional network in the Bay Area to consult for digital health, elder care, dementia care, biotech and digital health companies. He has also consulted for nonprofits serving the elder community. This work highlighted the unmet need that elders have for better internet connectivity and understanding how to use their med tech digital devices, computers, and smartphones. This unmet need drove him and his wife, Marymoore Patterson, to create the nonprofit “Teen-Elder Tech-Connect” which brought tech-savvy teens together with elders to bridge this tech and generation gap.

Lauren DeBarr

Lauren DeBarr

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Lauren brings financial and analytical expertise to the CTN Board. She is an Experienced Assurance Manager at BDO in San Francisco and has more than seven years of public accounting with a focus on technology companies. She has worked with a variety of businesses throughout the Bay Area including venture backed startups and large, public companies and has been involved with their transition through the various phases of growth including IPO and merger processes. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is a licensed CPA in the state of California.

Dr. Robert Friedman

Dr. Robert Friedman

Austin, TX

Robert has over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector focused on developing an inclusive and ethical digital community. As the Executive Director of the Permanent Legacy Foundation, he will build a trusted and respected organization that can guarantee secure data storage for all people, permanently. Prior to joining the Permanent team, Robert led the Mozilla Foundation’s Internet Health agenda in Texas, working with community leaders to advance digital inclusion, internet decentralization, open innovation, online privacy and security, and web literacy. As a Portfolio Strategist and educator in Chicago, he worked with museums, cultural institutions, community-based organizations, and schools to achieve more equitable access to digital learning opportunities for all young people in the region. Robert holds a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Chicago, where he first came to deeply appreciate the legacy of human knowledge while exploring the history of our universe.

Sarah Gerrish

Sarah Gerrish

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Sarah Gerrish brings more than eight years of experience in nonprofit marketing and fundraising to CTN. Having lived in the Bay Area on and off since 2007, Sarah feels a strong connection to the communities in San Francisco. She has worked closely with six nonprofits in the Bay Area in a variety of capacities, from advising their leaders to hands-on volunteering. Sarah graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee with an MA in Communication and a certificate in mediation and negotiation. She currently works for the San Francisco SPCA.

Janyka Kelly

Janyka Kelly

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Janyka Kelly is a Solution Engineer with Sprint Business based in San Francisco, California. She’s been with Sprint for 25 years and has held many positions within the company including project management for wireline installations for fortune 500 companies. Over the past 8 years she’s focused on non-profit and public service wireless technology connectivity. She’s passionate about bridging the digital divide for K-12 and Elderly. She’s participated in earning funds for the One Million Project and Project Connect. Janyka brings diversity of knowledge of solutions available by wireless networks. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento.

Irina Poslavsky

Irina Poslavsky

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Irina is the Founder and CEO of KoTrie, a social networking mobile chat app start-up with the goal of bring people together to have real life experiences. Prior to KoTrie, Irina had an independent consulting company called Experior and provided project management consulting services from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits within the Bay Area. She has lived in San Francisco since she was 5 years old. Irina has an MBA from the University of San Francisco and a BS in Molecular Biology from San Francisco State University with minors in Chemistry and Political Science. Irina wants everyone to have safe and effective access to information in the digital age.

Sushma Shirish

Sushma Shirish

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Sushma is a Senior Director of Content Strategy & Operations at HP, driving customer centric digital transformation. Sushma brings 17+ years of corporate leadership experience in delivering complex cross-functional projects that enable a better customer experience. As technology brings deep and rapid changes to the communities we live in, Sushma’s goal is to work with businesses, educators, local governments and communities to explore solutions to bridge the digital divide, increase digital literacy and empower its citizens to be a part of the digital economy. Sushma holds a Master of Business Administration from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Science, Computer Science from Bangalore University.

Emmie Tran

Emmie Tran

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Emmie is Product & Privacy Counsel at LinkedIn and is passionate about providing vulnerable populations with safe, equitable and inclusive access to technology. She has extensive experience helping global technology companies establish responsible practices governing privacy, information security, and online trust & safety. Emmie graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. in Political Science and Mass Communications, and a minor in Public Policy. She also received her law degree from Berkeley Law. She is a San Francisco Bay Area native and has deep roots in the Silicon Valley tech community.

Francoise Van Keuren

Francoise Van Keuren

Austin, TX

Francoise is a Team Leader at GLG, where she leads a team of client solution managers working with major F500 technology clients. Her work includes project and performance management, relationship development, coaching and mentorship, and growing a $3M book of business year over year. Francoise is passionate about public service and the intersection of technology and society, and she looks forward to growing CTN’s presence in Austin, Texas. She received her bachelor’s from Hofstra University and master’s degree in global policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin, where she focused on international development and public-private partnerships.

Funders

With the valued support of members of local and regional business communities, Community Tech Network remains poised at the forefront of technological empowerment and education in the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin, TX. We invite the support of any individual or organization that recognizes alignment between our mission and their own. We welcome contributions of time, resources, information, financing, and services, and are always happy to discuss possibilities with our supporters. Feel free to contact us for more information on how you or your organization can support CTN!

Accenture
Adobe
AT&T
The Barrios Trust
California Consumer Protection Foundation
Christensen Fund
Clover Health
Comcast – Internet Essentials
Consumer Technology Association Foundation
Cornerstone Advisors
Crescent Porter Hale Foundation
Dell
Frontline Arts Web Design
Full Circle Fund
IBM
Junior League of San Francisco
Latino Community Foundation
Microsoft
Mobile Beacon
Monkeybrains
MsJones Design
Polsinelli
Salesforce
SF City & County Department of Aging and Adult Services
Sprint
Symantec
Twitter
Werner-Kohnstamm Family Fund
Western Digital
Yahoo Employee Foundation
Zelle LLP

We are also very fortunate to have many generous individual donors. If you would like to contribute to our work of closing the digital divide, visit our donation page.