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.
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.
With nearly 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 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.
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.
A native of Oakland with over 5 years of experience in adult education, Heather is driven by her passion to provide access to equitable educational opportunities for underserved communities. With a background in program support, curriculum development, and instruction in nonprofit, university, and community college settings, Heather has focused her career on empowering her students through English language and digital literacy training. She has also volunteered as a tutor for English language learners through the nonprofit Mujeres Unidas y Activas and the SEIU UHW-West & Joint Employer Education Fund. She is fluent in Spanish and holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology and Latin American/Latino studies from U.C. Santa Cruz, a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from San Francisco State University, and a certificate in educational technology from Merritt College.
Joanna is a Bay Area native and an NYU graduate with a BA in Sociology and French. Following college, she spent over two years working and traveling abroad, from volunteering in a women’s shelter in Thailand to teaching horseback riding in rural New Zealand. After returning home to California, she spent a year as an Americorps member managing students and volunteers at Reading Partners then moved on to a development role at a volunteer-based nonprofit. Thanks to these experiences, Joanna brings to CTN a love of teaching and a passion for motivating volunteers to support meaningful change and is excited to empower seniors through digital literacy.
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.
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.
As a Program Manager with nearly 20 years in the field Jessica has managed projects for clients including Camp Fire USA, Austin Opera, The Thinkery and many others. As Knowbility’s Community Programs Director, Jessica oversaw the fundraising, organization, development, promotion, and marketing of their global outreach efforts. Her work on these programs includes rallying top tech 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. 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 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.
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.
Jared has been involved with CTN for many years as a volunteer. In the spring of 2017 he joined as a staff member and provides digital literacy support at senior centers and housing developments, focused on the Mandarin Chinese and Spanish bilingual/monolingual populations. His dedication to closing the digital divide resulted in winning multiple awards, including CTN’s 2017 Digital Changemaker Award. Jared had a background in technology training, translation, and consular communications. He has studied at Georgetown University and the University of California, Berkeley and is multilingual, with an active knowledge of seven languages.
After studying at City College of San Francisco, Eve transferred to San Francisco State University and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She believes that no one is too old to learn and especially appreciates seniors who have the courage to learn new things at their age. She feels thankful that this society provides them chances to learn and is grateful that she can share her own ability with others. The result is a win-win: learners acquiring new knowledge and her finding her value in society.
A proud Bay Area native, Ghazal holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare, with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice, from UC Berkeley. She has experience in direct-service, development, and research with various nonprofits and organizations in the Bay Area, focusing on women, children, and immigrant populations. She is fluent in Farsi, and is passionate about working to alleviate societal inequities. Ghazal is excited to join CTN in ensuring access to digital literacy, and subsequently vital resources, for marginalized communities.
Calvin is a recent graduate of the University of Texas’ History and French Language Departments, where he began his work in the Austin nonprofit sector as the Development Executive at Liberal Arts Refugee Alliance. While with LARA, Calvin spent much of his time connecting his peers with Austin-area nonprofits focusing on serving the city’s growing refugee population access public transportation, adapt to everyday life in the United States, and set up their own plots in the city’s community gardens. Calvin is returning to Austin after spending the last 5 months in Paris, France, where he served as the Assistant to the Executive Director at Pierre Claver, a school for adult refugees. His work in adult education at the school inspired him to seek out similar organizations as soon as he returned to Texas. He is passionate about the power of giving in the non-profit sector and education that conquers cultural, socio-economic, and age barriers.
Ashleigh brings technology program and project management experience across the healthcare and software delivery spaces to the CTN Board. As a consultant, Ashleigh has provided program management expertise to major bay area healthcare and technology organizations including Washington Hospital, Practice Fusion, Autodesk and Alameda Alliance for Health driving critical project delivery and organizational alignment goals. Ashleigh has deep experience in dispersed team management, business model creation, budget management, and large scale project implementation. In the non-profit sector, she has volunteered for extended periods in Africa and Europe driving educational forum delivery and continues to expand her involvement in the Bay Area. In her role with CTN, Ashleigh seeks to expand CTN’s offerings to bridge the digital divide between patients and new software systems that are changing the traditional healthcare landscape.
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 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).
Steven immerses himself in the fascinating convergence of work, technology, education, community, real estate, and the environment. Recognizing growing needs and opportunities to impact communities through digital literacy, he shares his entrepreneurial attributes to help advance the CTN mission. With over 17 years of experience in HR consulting, training, operations, and leadership, he is currently founder and principal of GravitateTraining geared for micro- to mid-sized enterprises. Whether for major organizations, start-ups, or start-up operations within major organizations such as Kaiser-Permanente, Steven’s direct contributions and strategic guidance have helped diverse businesses nationwide do better business. While holding a degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, he is also recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management as a certified Senior HR Professional (SPHR). Steven has enjoyed greatly volunteering and serving for various non-profit groups, including Habitat for Humanity, the National Association of Asian-American Professionals, the Northern California HR Association, and the National Diversity Council.
Vivek Palekar is a Global Manager at Chevron based in Richmond California. Over the last 11 years at Chevron, Vivek has held several leadership positions of increasing responsibility in the Downstream and Chemicals organization. Vivek has deep experiences at the intersection of technology, innovation and strategic business and organizational management. He has successfully managed large and globally dispersed teams. He is an accomplished Project Manager and serves on various Strategic Decision Review Boards. Vivek brings diversity of experiences in the non-profit and social sector. For more than a decade, he has worked on projects with several Bay Area non-profit organizations such as the Bay Area Rescue Mission, United Way, Project Open Hand and Alameda County Meals On Wheels. He is also a Middle School Science Fair Coach at the Harvest Park Middle School in Pleasanton. Vivek has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Penn State and an MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
Margaret is a Senior Manager 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.
Natalia is a Diversity Recruiter at Facebook where she is an advocate for those whose talents and perspectives are underrepresented in the tech industry. Prior to working at Facebook, Natalia worked as a Recruitment Manager at Teach For America and taught 2nd grade at an all-boys school in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Natalia holds a masters degree in teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education and a bachelors degree in history from New York University.
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.
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 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.
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.
Max is a strategy and operations professional in the San Francisco Bay Area passionate about increasing access to the tools needed to thrive in the digital age. He has experience scaling internet and internet infrastructure companies and has led numerous non-profit consulting projects. He currently leads strategy analytics for a high growth ad business at Google. Previous to that, he joined Google Fiber to help figure out how to deploy fiber optic internet infrastructure quickly, cost-effectively nationally. A consultant by training, he started his career at Deloitte Consulting; he produced original research and connected executives to innovators in the SF Bay Area as a fellow at a technology industry think tank, consulted on M&A and commercial real estate location strategies, and served as a team lead on pro-bono projects for Oakland USD, an orphanage in Nicaragua, and a local healthcare nonprofit. Max holds a BA in Economics from Claremont McKenna College.
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.
Joyce has worn a number of hats in her 30+ years of experience – lawyer, entrepreneur, executive director, small business consultant and non-profit founder. Regardless of role, her primary passion is expanding access to information and inclusion in the global marketplace. She is excited about the potential of emerging technologies to level the playing field worldwide. Before relocating to the Bay Area, Joyce’s position in Chicago was leading an industrial council and small business incubator, where she grew the nonprofit from 3 employees to 18 over a 12 year period, eventually earning NBIA’s Incubator of the Year award, among others. After 4 years of travel in developing countries, Joyce was drawn to Silicon Valley by its entrepreneurial spirit, tech scene and ocean (where she swims year-round).
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.
Jackie Burniske is the Director for K–12 Initiatives in the UTeach program at the University of Texas at Austin. Jackie works collaboratively with academic partners, districts, and schools to develop long-term professional development programs that support academic initiatives and educator training and development. She has dedicated her career to education from being a teacher to a leader in education nonprofits. Ten years of her teaching was in international schools in Ecuador and Malaysia. She has worked with a number of education nonprofits where she has focused on innovative uses of technology for teaching and learning, professional development, educator quality, and communications. She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in curriculum and teaching from Michigan State University.
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.
With the valued support of members of local and regional business communities, Community Technology Network remains poised at the forefront of technological empowerment and education in the San Francisco Bay Area. As we look forward to regional expansion and the integration of our resources in communities beyond the Bay Area, we also 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!
The Barrios Trust
California Consumer Protection Foundation
Comcast – Internet Essentials
Consumer Technology Association Foundation
Crescent Porter Hale Foundation
Frontline Arts Web Design
Full Circle Fund
Latino Community Foundation
SF City & County Department of Aging and Adult Services
Werner-Kohnstamm Family Fund
Yahoo Employee Foundation
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.