About StrideLabs

The Mission

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 Background

The tech industry has been a major contributor to the current economic divide, and StrideLabs 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.

The Direction

We have created training and internship opportunities for people who are underrepresented in the tech industry. Now, we are exploring new social enterprise models and fresh approaches that will allow us to deepen our impact in the lives of people and at the nonprofits we wish to serve. We currently provide affordable Salesforce and other IT services to community-based nonprofits.

OUR TEAM


Kandea Mosley
Co-Director

An accomplished general and project manager, Kandea comes to StrideLabs 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 StrideLabs mission and is proud to be a part of the startup team.


Cynthia Billops
Co-Director

Cynthia Billops is a 16+ year veteran of the IT tech world. She has built a career providing organizational and strategic leadership to large and small organizations; designing efficient and effective business systems and optimizing operational practices by leading efforts around: “mission-vision” alignment, strategic planning, infrastructure design, systems assessments, and creating relevant and necessary policies and procedures.

Cynthia fully supports the idea that Technology (thoughtfully engineered, distributed and supported) can foster strong relationships, effect systemic change and enable users to access new, better opportunities. She is deeply invested in finding ways to bridge the “gaps” that exist in the IT tech industry – believing that some of the brightest minds in our country are being overlooked because they exist in communities that are currently marginalized and/or vastly underrepresented in Tech. It is Cynthia’s personal mission to open as many doors as possible (or “build as many Tables as it takes!”) so that as large a number as possible of people form diverse backgrounds are able to being their “whole” selves to careers and conversations in the IT Tech industry.

In her role as Codirector, Cynthia is looking forward to using her skills in business system expansion and building capacity (motivating, inspiring and aligning individuals and organizations) to promote professional growth, organizational reach and partnerships between individuals who are growing IT tech skills and organizations who would benefit from having “regular” and reliable IT application assistance.

Mostly, though, Cynthia is humbled and honored to be trusted with this new role for the organization – she is ready to take StrideLab’s mission to the next level and is excited to kick off this next phase as we “crush the digital divide!”


 

Michele McGeoy
Founder

Michele is the founder of StrideLabs, 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 StrideLabs’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 StrideLabs. Michele holds a degree in computer science.


Lana Smorodina
Director

Lana brings a significant understanding of traditional fundraising as well as business system analysis, optimization and environment support. Having spent the last 8+ years working at the JCCSF (with the Development team before moving into Business Systems); Lana’s time is divided between managing cloud-based SaaS applications; testing and optimizing enhancements to the Salesforce and MindBody; understanding and translating business requirements into platform features; designing and creating the underlying data structure and data flows to support apps and integrations; overseeing UAT/QA for on-going development; performing regression testing; creating and supporting fields, views, reports, dashboards, campaigns and other Salesforce.com objects and functions; monitoring project development; leading training through webinars and onsite sessions for staff and customers; optimizing client system performance, promoting client programs and implementing and maintaining policies and practices around client confidentiality. Lana is a Salesforce Administrator with an Advanced Certification. She is unmatched in her ability to thoroughly understand, document and test system changes.


 

Irina Hayrapetyan
Director

Irina Hayrapetyan serves as StrideLabs Salesforce expert. She is a 10XCertified Salesforce Business Analyst/Salesforce Administrator and is capable of creating and optimizing processes in Salesforce. Irina is a Trailhead enthusiast who is proficient in troubleshooting Salesforce processes and able to work with a variety of data importing tools. Passionate about helping others, Irina not only dedicates her time to StrideLabs but to other nonprofits as well.


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Devin Berry
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.


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Joy Dixon
Software Architect / Technical Instructor

Joy Dixon is a Software Architect/Technical Trainer with an entrepreneurial spirit. Joy holds a Master’s degree in Software Engineering, Certified Force.com Developer, Sun Certified Java Programmer and Web Component Developer professional certifications, as well as certifications in UNIX/Open Systems and various programming languages. In the course of a diverse career, Joy has lead development teams, designed and developed applications using several languages including Apex, Visualforce, Java, Python, C++, Shell Scripting, Perl, SQL, and JavaScript. In addition, she has configured and administered networks for global companies. Joy loves learning new technologies and has a great deal of passion for training. In 2008, Joy decided to move into technical training in order to assist people with successfully utilizing technology. Joy has designed and delivered an online Java course for the University of Virginia and in­person web and game development courses at the Art Institute of California­ San Francisco, Academy of Art University as well as AcademyX (professional training center). In summary, technology and training are Joy’s bliss!


 

Ron Jennings

RJ (Ron Jennings)
E.Q. Instructor/Coach

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.


 

OUR PARTNERS

THINKING PARTNERS

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