Our Team

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The Spark Team

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

Robin M. Keefe
Natalia Bautista
Gabriella Baxter
Claire Newfeld

Robin M. Keefe
Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director: Spark in the Bay

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.


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. 


Gabriella Baxter
Development and Operations Manager


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.  

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, Co-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 Nan Guo, Vice President of Engineering, Zendesk 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, Co-Board Chair; Director, California Health Benefits Review Program, University of California

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