Our mission is to provide top quality affordable services to help nonprofits and socially-responsible businesses leverage Salesforce effectively, while providing job opportunities for people who are under-represented in the technology industry.
The tech industry has been a major contributor to the current economic divide, and StrideForce believes the industry has the responsibility and capacity to also help close that divide. Salesforce recently released their hiring demographics disclosing that 71% of their workers are male and only 2% are Black and 4% are Hispanic.
The fact that they chose to release these numbers is a positive sign that they are at least aware of the problem. We plan to be a part of closing this economic divide by making training and real life work experience available to underserved populations. We accomplish this by running a social enterprise that creates jobs for graduates while providing much needed services to nonprofits at affordable prices. Salesforce, the largest provider of web-based Contact Relationship Management tools, gives away their product for free to nonprofits. It is an incredibly powerful tool that is used by companies large and small around the world.
However, given the power of the program, many small nonprofits are not able to take advantage of the free offer due to their lack of technical resources to customize the program to their needs and to get adequate training and support.
We have engaged with Salesforce in an Academic Alliance Partnership where they have made all of their curriculum available to us for the first year at no cost. We are currently training our first cohort in the Salesforce Admin 201 course. The standard 1-week/40-hour Salesforce class is spread over 8 weeks to allow for extensive hands-on experience and the incorporation of resilience building activities.
In return for the free course, the graduates will be required to perform volunteer hours and will then be offered internships. Depending on the number of clients we can generate, some graduates will be hired on full-time. The initial services will include data entry, data migration, contact center support, and CRM customizations. Over time we will also be developing add-on applications that can be integrated into Salesforce, for example volunteer management and grant tracking.
Michele is the founder of Strideforce, a nonprofit building a bridge over the economic digital divide for underrepresented people in technology, specifically black, latino/a and women. She brings with her 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and founder of both technology startups and nonprofits. Michele is committed to closing the digital gap for blacks and latinos, through Strideforce’s hands-on tech training and paid internships with non-profits. Michele’s first endeavor into the tech space was founder and developer of Tailored Solution a database application for law schools. Over 40% of the law schools around the country used her software, with clients including Stanford, Yale, and Harvard. She sold the company and with proceeds from the sale, founded a nonprofit to address the mounting digital divide by providing work opportunities to inner-city youth by running a data entry and web development enterprise. Michele then founded Solar Richmond and served as the Executive Director to bring the economic advantages of the emerging green economy to her community. Since 2013 Michele has returned to her passion of closing the digital divide and serving communities through nonprofit work at Strideforce. Michele holds a degree in computer science.
E.Q. Trainer and Consultant
For close to 10 years, Devin worked in the corporate technology field for companies such as Sony and Clorox as well as several Internet start-ups in many different roles including Call Center manager, Help Desk Team member, Network Administrator and New Technology Installation coordinator. He serves as a founding board member of Mindful Peacebuilding. A meditation practitioner since 1999, Devin is a graduate of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher training practicum. His clients have included schools, hospitals and non-profits. He has worked with a wide variety of groups from children and teens to young adults and elders; using culturally and trauma informed approaches. For the last decade Devin has worked with many renowned youth organizations including Stepping Stones, The Mosaic Project and Mindful Schools, designing and implementing curricula, teaching and facilitating groups of all ages based in mindfulness practices. Devin recently co-designed and co-lead a course for African-American elders, and has been co-facilitating trauma-informed, ancestral healing workshops. After completing the training in Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) in 2014, he co-founded the Transforming Historical Harms Project of the Bay Area. Devin can be described as an engaging, humorous storyteller who uses poignant anecdotes to convey powerful truths and a breadth of life experience.
Director of Program Strategy
An accomplished general and project manager, Kandea comes to StrideForce with a strong background in social enterprise management in the solar and workforce development industries. Kandea has over seven years of nonprofit and program management experience and has a passion for sustainable community development. Before becoming a social entrepreneur, Kandea worked as a journalist and as a daily newspaper reporter in New York. She received her MBA from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University in 2009, and has received professional and academic awards for outstanding service and achievement. Kandea strongly believes in the StrideForce mission and is proud to join the startup team.
Director of Business Development
Colleen is a geologist by training, she has used cutting edge technology in her field of study for over twenty-five years. Her skills have included database management of environmental data, three-dimensional rendering modeling subsurface geology and groundwater, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In 2005 Colleen made a shift from hands-on modeling, GIS, and database management to managing technical staff and project management. As part of this role she was responsible for bringing in projects for her group, she quickly learned the ropes of business development. Colleen brings to Strideforce acumen for business, as a hiring manager in the science and engineering field she has always been frustrated by the lack of diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers, Colleen is ready for a change! She’s driven to see social change, in particular blacks and Latino(a)s elevated in the socio-economic scale. Along with other Striders Colleen sees the world as it is, but is fueled by a vision of equality.
Software Architect / Technical Instructor
RJ (Ron Jennings)
RJ (Ron Jennings) is an Integral Coach, and he can be found at his company www.soulfulview.com. He is a student of Aikido (a spiritual martial art) with a deep connection to Embodiment International. RJ uses his abilities as a coach to navigate unpredictable business and life waters, and to empower his clients to grow and succeed.
Kara Chanasky | Founder of Empower Interactive
Bill Duane | Senior Manager of Well Being and Sustainable Performance Development at Google
Nicole Guthrie | Hope Lab – Research and Development
Madan Kumar | Co-founder APT Life Sciences
Missy Longshore | Longshore Consulting
Pat Patterson | Salesforce, Principal Developer Evangelist
Jon Plax | Salesforce Director, Customer Centric Engineering
Kanak Rai | Hewlett-Packard, Account Delivery Manager
Ezra Roizen | Ackrell Capital
Sid Singh | Tellabs Access, Sales Account Manager