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.
Kami GriffithsExecutive Director/Co-Founder
Laurie SanchezDevelopment Director
Carol SimmonsOperations Director
Eric BabbDigital Literacy Program Manager
Jernee CarterDigital Literacy Program Manager
William DeanDigital & Adult Literacy Instructor
Al HoBilingual Digital Literacy Instructor
Erika Jones-ClaryOnline Communications Consultant
Mercedes MarroquinBilingual Digital Literacy Instructor
Jannell Mateo RivasBilingual Digital Literacy Program Manager
Kate SheludziayevaAdministrative Manager
Mark SzymanskiEncore Fellow
Sabrina TamSenior Program Manager
Annie TanBilingual Digital Literacy Program Associate
Dale ThompsonFinance Manager
Maria VazquezBilingual Digital Literacy Instructor
Xandi WrightTraining & Development Manager
Margaret SchoelwerBoard Chair
San Francisco Bay Area, CAMargaret 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 PennewellVice Chair
San Francisco Bay Area, CADanielle 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.
San Francisco Bay Area, CABarrington 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. McDermottTreasurer
San Francisco Bay Area, CAJohn 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).
Austin, TXCharles 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.
San Francisco Bay Area, CACurrently 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.
San Francisco Bay Area, CALauren 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.
Austin, TXWith over 16 years of experience in social work, nonprofit leadership, community administration, training, fundraising and resource development, Michelle DeGrate, LMSW, holds her Master of Social Work from UT Arlington. As the Director of Development for Goodwill Central Texas, the digital divide is evident in the work she champions daily. As a servant leader, outside of CTN board service, she mentors for Academy 4, volunteers fundraising support to local nonprofits, and is a reoccurring guest lecturer for UNT’s Social Work program. Michelle defines success by the ability to vulnerably leverage personal testimony to uplift others.
Dr. Robert Friedman
Austin, TXRobert 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. 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.
San Francisco Bay Area, CASarah 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.
San Francisco Bay Area, CAJanyka 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.
San Francisco Bay Area, CAIrina 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.
San Francisco Bay Area, CASushma 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.
San Francisco Bay Area, CAEmmie 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
Austin, TXFrancoise 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.
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!
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
Junior League of San Francisco
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.