Our Team

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The Spark Team

We are a passionate, innovative and collaborative team focused on celebrating students and promoting possibility.

Natalia Bautista
Nicole Bruno
Jesse Dueñas Delgadillo
Meera Patel

Natalia Bautista
, Program Manager in East Palo Alto

Hailing from the south side of Chicago, Natalia Bautista graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She began working in the nonprofit sector soon after graduating and moved to the Bay Area in 2012. Throughout her career as a support counselor, bilingual case manager, and academic advisor, she provided high-school students with academic and social-emotional support to promote a growth mindset and emotional wellbeing. 

In her leisure time, she explores the historical landmarks and colorful neighborhoods of San Francisco with her partner and friends. She enjoys reading psychological books, especially by her favorite researcher, Dr. Philip Zimbardo. She hopes to attend graduate school to further her education in Marriage and Family Therapy and become a role model for other Latinxs. 

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Nicole Bruno
Development Manager

Nicole is a New York native, who came to San Francisco in July of 2018 after graduating from Binghamton University with her B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature. She will also complete her M.A. in Public Administration in December 2018. Nicole has worked in development in a variety of capacities, including fundraising for her alma mater. She hopes to one day attend law school and continue working to promote a more equitable society. 

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Jesse Dueñas Delgadillo
, Fellow

Raised in San Bernardino Jesse graduated from the University of California, Berkeley where he studied Cognitive Science with an emphasis in education. He became interested in education when he learned about the various disparities currently present in the educational system. He then became involved with educational research that focused on Adaptive Pedagogy, a student centered approach to teaching. In addition, he worked on creating material for a Gratitude intervention that aimed to help probation and parole officers reduce work burnout and reduce bias practices. He is currently looking to becoming a teacher in one of the STEM fields with the end goal of opening a new school that takes a holistic approach to education. Jesse also enjoys playing soccer, meditating and drinking Slushies from time to time.
 
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Meera Patel
, Development and Operations Associate

Originally from England, Meera packed up her bags and moved to the Bay Area shortly after graduating from Flagler College, located in the oldest city in America. There, she received her BA in Criminology and Law. Meera’s future endeavors lie in public interest law. However, her pull towards children and empowerment through education brought her to Spark, where she hopes to learn about the inter-workings of a non-profit organization. Meera will be attending law school next fall and intends to return to serve the Bay Area and its community upon graduation. 
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Claire Newfeld
Robin M. Keefe

Claire Newfeld
, Fellow

Originally from Tempe, Arizona, Claire graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Philosophy in May 2019 and joins Spark as a Program Fellow during her gap year between college and law school. Her professional mission is "to enact the greatest change through its most fundamental catalysts," and this mission has guided her through various positions with non-profit organizations such as Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona and Amnesty International. She believes that education is one of those fundamental catalysts for change and is excited to pursue educational equity and enrichment through her work with Spark. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, art museums, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.  
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Robin M. Keefe
Executive Director

Robin M. Keefe was the founder and President of BookEnds. Through her passionate and focused leadership, Robin developed a community of people to grow BookEnds as a distinguished Los Angeles leader in introducing children to philanthropy as they worked to fill the barren bookshelves in their neighborhood schools and youth organizations. More than one million children learned the power of community service through the donation of over three million books to create nearly 700 libraries throughout Los Angeles.

BookEnds’ programs were successfully transitioned into three nonprofit organizations in 2015 to drive scale and economy in support of the national initiative for sustainable nonprofit organizations.

Robin then assumed the position of Interim CEO for The Beauty Bus Foundation and then for Karma Rescue, tasked with reorganizing these emerging nonprofit organizations to position them for strength and scale in the delivery of their missions.

Robin’s early career was in the real estate development and finance field, including industrial brokerage, corporate site acquisition for a national bank and a national restaurant chain and commercial real estate development. But she found a growing passion for philanthropy and children as she served on numerous community boards of directors. Robin joined these passions in 1998 with the founding of BookEnds.

Robin continues to focus her passion on the development of our youth in community service.  She is an active participant and guest lecturer at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Policy and Pepperdine University’s School of Business and Communication, engaging students in entrepreneurial nonprofit leadership. Robin has served on the boards of directors of 14 diverse nonprofit organizations.

Among her numerous honors is her most cherished:  “The Angel Award for Service” presented to Robin by Oprah Winfrey.

Robin graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Finance and a minor in Art History.  Robin joined Spark in the Bay Area as Executive Director in 2018.

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Bay Area Board Members

Executive Board
Alan Braverman, Founder & CEO, Textline Amanda Valentino, Head, Talent Acquisition and Mobility at Genentech, Inc. Anjai “AJ” Gandhi, Vice President, Sales Strategy & Operations at RingCentral Christina Kosmowski, Head of Customer Success at Slack Garen Corbett, Board Chair; Director, California Health Benefits Review Program, University of California Kalpana Chandrasekhar, VP of Customer Experience, HotelTonight MR Macgill, President, MRM Consulting Nan Guo, Director of Engineering, Adobe Prakash (Venkataraman) Raman, Senior Consultant, Executive Development at LinkedIn Susan Salop, Director, APAC and Japan Advertising Cloud, Adobe
Advisory Board
Anthony Overstreet, Product Specialist, Facebook Ashley Quintana, Community Outreach Coordinator, Facebook, Spark Alumna Brendan Chan, Program Manager, Google Jennifer He, Program Manager, Visa's Innovation Center Jessica De Leon, Senior Manager, HR, Salesforce Michael Davis, Healthcare Risk Advisory Manager, Wipfli LLP Nicole LeBlanc, Content Strategist, Facebook Odette Go, VP and Treasurer, Lam Research Shireen Javandel, Research Coordinator, UCSF Spencer Anderson, Business Operations, Atrium LTS Tom Yankowski, President, Center for Career Evaluation
Board of Directors
Garen Corbett, Board Chair; Director, California Health Benefits Review Program, University of California

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