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

Development Director

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Laurie had a substantial career in the for-profit world, working for large corporations, smaller enterprises and entrepreneurial start-ups. Thematically, she has worked in the space 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 and 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 and has volunteered for many years as an SFMoMA School docent and as an Art Docent for the Goldsworthy sculptures in The Presidio.

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.

Josie Boyle

Josie Boyle

Digital Literacy Instructor

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Originally from Iowa, Josie first realized the importance of giving back to the community in high school, when she volunteered for a therapeutic horseback riding program for adults with disabilities. Josie went on to study biology and Russian, after which she became involved in teaching English as a Second Language. She has extensive experience teaching youth and adults, both in a Russian charter school in Minnesota and in Russia. Teaching has given her rich opportunities to interact with a broad diversity of people, and she finds it extremely fulfilling to build relationships with students and help them improve their lives. Her experience traveling and living as an expat has highlighted the importance of digital literacy for communication and daily life. A newcomer to San Francisco, she's enjoying the mild climate and is especially excited about getting involved in the community and working in the nonprofit sector.

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.

Al Ho

Al Ho

Bilingual Digital Literacy Instructor

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Alex studied for his Bachelor, Master and PhD programs at Union College, Cornell University, and Caltech, respectively. He was a researcher and system/user administrator for the Caltech Supercomputing Facility. He was an IBM developer and researcher in parallel supercomputing. He won IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards (the highest IBM technical award) and other awards. In his career he has played the roles of startup co-founder, product manager, project manager, coder, principal investigator, and researcher. He served in the Organizing Committee for the IEEE International Symposium for Collaborative Technologies and Systems (2008-2011), and was an overseas teacher for PhD students in Osaka Prefecture University (2011-2012). Al is fluent in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin; and recently spends more time on non-profit community service programs.

Erika Jones-Clary

Erika Jones-Clary

Online Communications Consultant

Fredonia, NY

Since 2002, as the principal of MsJones Design, Erika has developed and facilitated web solutions for international nonprofit and public affairs/relations organizations. Erika was a CTN Board member from 2011-2013 and developed an early version of the CTN website. Her projects have included global education regarding the mining effects on native communities in Brazil, community outreach to gather support for a $2.5 billion hospital project in San Francisco and building a comprehensive online insurance resource library for natural disaster survivors. Recently, she relocated from her hometown of San Francisco to Western New York and hopes to buy a goat someday and create a homestead for her family.

Mercedes Marroquin

Mercedes Marroquin

Bilingual Digital Literacy Instructor

Sunnyvale, CA

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mercedes’ passion for helping people can be traced back to High School, where she spent significant time working in the Best Buddy Organization. It was there where she developed a love for working with people with special needs. She also spent some time working with preschool-age children. She is now a current student at San Jose State University, where she is studying Nutritional Science. She is very excited to have the opportunity to work in the digital literacy program.

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.

Carlos Sivira Falcon

Carlos Sivira Falcon

Digital Literacy Program Associate

Sunnyvale, CA

Carlos was born in Venezuela and immigrated to the U.S. in the early 90s. He is a San Jose State University alumnus, raised in the heart of the Silicon Valley. He grew up having hands on experience with different technological advances. Being family-oriented, he assisted family members to use technology. He taught others how to protect their finances, use their emails, reset their passwords, and access their social media while working in field of finance. Due to this passion to serve the community, he branched out and focused on helping others in the nonprofit sector.

John Stock

John Stock

Communications & Marketing Fellow

Austin, TX

Following a fifteen-year career in retail grocery management, John dedicated the rest of his working career to non-profit leadership and management. John spent 23 years with the American Red Cross in various positions throughout Texas; his last four years as the senior Red Cross executive with responsibilities for more than 60 chapters within the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. In 2009, he became the executive director at The Caring Place in Georgetown, Texas, serving in that position for nearly 5 years before retiring. John is currently a Fellow through Leadership Austin.

Mark Szymanski

Mark Szymanski

Encore Fellow

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Mark moved to California on a permanent basis in 1980, settling in the SF Bay Area. Mark has 40 years of experience working in computer science and technology, including stints at the Committee of Bar Examiners, NetManage, CNET, Genetech, and 12 years at IBM/Sterling Commerce. He possesses high level of analytical skills, with a strong sense of organization, logical relationships, and attention to detail. In his spare time he likes to travel, hike, camp, read, cook garden, take in art museums, music, and nature in general. Has coached youth soccer and helped with coastal cleanups.

Sabrina Tam

Sabrina Tam

Senior 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.

Maria Vazquez

Maria Vazquez

Bilingual Digital Literacy Instructor

Sunnyvale, CA

Maria is a native of Mexico City and came to the states 30 years ago. She is fluent in Spanish and have experience working with the Spanish-speaking communities in the non-profit organization sector. She is one of the translators for MADD organization (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and Teaches Spanish at Stratford School in Sunnyvale. She was the Co-Founder for “Organizacion Edificando Vidas” providing Positive Parenting Classes to the Latino Community in the Bay Area. Maria wants to bridge the gap by using her language and technical skills to help, teach and support older adults to get involved with technology as well as using it as a tool to communicate with friends and family in their native country and here in the U.S.

Xandi Wright

Xandi Wright

Training & Development Manager

Denver, CO

Xandi hails from Sacramento, California, but since 2016 has been living and working (remotely) in Denver, Colorado. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and an M.Ed. in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning. She has taught, tutored, and managed academic programs since 2005, but it was during graduate school that she discovered her professional passion: working to close the digital divide, particularly where it impacts people's access to education and economic opportunity. Xandi consults with CTN on curriculum development, volunteer management, and volunteer training.

Board

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. 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

Treasurer

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.

Michelle DeGrate

Michelle DeGrate

Austin, TX

With 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.

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.

Dr. Robert Friedman

Dr. Robert Friedman

Vice Chair

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. 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.

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.

Danielle Pennewell

Danielle Pennewell

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.

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.

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 the Executive Director of EarthShare of Texas, an environmental nonprofit fundraising for over 40 Texas environmental organizations conserving natural resources and building a healthy and sustainable environment. 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.

Partners

Since its inception, CTN has grown its scope from a few partners in San Francisco to over 50 that span the wider Bay Area and Austin, TX. Our partners are housing developments, senior centers, recreation centers, libraries and social service agencies. The common factor among all our partners is they are trusted places where people go for services and support. We recognize the need in both cities for the service we provide (train the trainer, curriculum development, staff capacity building and evaluation) specifically to address the basic digital literacy needs in the community. Here is a list of our current partners:

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

Asian Pacific American Community Center: APACC
Bayview Senior Services
Bernal Heights Neighborhood Centers
Catholic Charities
Center For Elders’ Independence
Centro Latino
Children’s Council of San Francisco
Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC)
City of Oakland
City of Sunnyvale
Curry Senior Center
Department of Disability and Aging Services
Episcopal Community Services (ECS)
FACES SF
Golden Gate Senior Services
Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin
HumanGood
IT Bookman Community Center
Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD)
Mission Neighborhood Centers
OnLok
PRC (Positive Resource Center)
St. Francis Living Room
San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC)
San Francisco Public Library
Sequoia Living
Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center
Tabernacle Community Development Corporation (TCDC)
Tenderloin Housing Clinic
Twitter NeighborNest
YMCA

AUSTIN, TX

AGE of Central Texas
Austin Independent School District
Austin Public Library
Capital IDEA
City of Austin Innovation Team
Family Eldercare
Foundation Communities
Latinita

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
Metta Fund
Microsoft
Mobile Beacon
Monkeybrains
MsJones Design
Polsinelli
Salesforce
SF City & County Department of Aging and Adult Services
Spectrum
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.