Neil Webber, Chair

Chair, Webber Family Foundation

Board Chair, Breakthrough Austin

Austin, TX

Neil Webber is chair of the Webber Family Foundation which was formed in 1999 and has distributed over $11 million in grants to organizations targeting the educational needs of under-resourced youth. Neil has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from MIT and has worked at a number of technology startup companies throughout his career, culminating with Vignette Corporation where he was the co-founder and chief technology officer. He is the current board chair of Breakthrough Austin. Save

Margot McClendon Pinto, Vice Chair
New York, NY and Denver, CO

Margot McClendon Pinto has served on the Breakthrough national board of trustees since 2015.

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Elaine Weng M.D., M.S., Secretary

Radiation Oncologist  

Englewood, CO 

Dr. Weng is a board certified radiation oncologist who grew up in New York and California. She completed both her undergraduate and master’s degrees in biology at Stanford University and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles Medical School and Residency Program. She began working in Colorado in 2000 where she was an assistant professor and clinical faculty at the University Hospital in the Radiation Oncology Department prior to joining a private practice group, Medical Radation Oncology Consultants in 2010.  During her many years at the university, she participated in many clinical trials and clinical protocols for both pediatric and adult radiation oncology and has focused on advances in radiation oncology for head and neck cancers, and stereotactic radiosurgery. 

Dr. Weng also served on various committees at the university including ethnic minority affairs, the Protocol Review Committee, faculty senate representative, and the CU Medical School Curriculum Reform Committee. During her time at the University of Colorado, she received the prestigious K12 Grant, which was a clinical oncology research development program for junior faculty in oncology disciplines.

Outside of her practice, Dr. Weng is active in supporting numerous medical and community outreach programs. She has served on the operations board of the Bonfils Blood Center since September of 2007 to 2013, the board of directors for the Children’s Museum of Denver for which she is vice chairman this year, the Stanford Colorado leadership committee for Alumni Interviewing, Stanford Special Gifts Committee Member and the Breakthrough Kent Denver organization. She balances her practice with a busy family schedule. Together they love skiing, hiking, and biking in Colorado, as well as travel.

Lucy Johns, Treasurer

Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Dodge & Cox

Larkspur, CA

Lucy Johns is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Dodge & Cox, an investment manager. She received her B.A. degree (magna cum laude) from Williams College in 1996 and her M.B.A. degree from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2004.  Prior to graduate school, she worked for approximately two years each at Merrill Lynch as a financial analyst, Dodge & Cox as a research assistant, and NBC Internet as a Senior Product Manager. Lucy rejoined Dodge & Cox in 2004.  Lucy is a shareholder of Dodge & Cox and sits on the firm’s two fixed income investment policy committees.  She grew up in Oregon and currently lives in Marin County with her husband, Todd, and their two children  

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Allan Dowiak

Human Resources Consultant, Allan Dowiak Consulting, Inc.

Hackettstown, NJ

Allan Dowiak is a human resources consultant who helps businesses achieve their strategic imperatives by working with their senior leadership team on organizational effectiveness, talent assessment, development, coaching, performance management and training. Prior to starting his consulting company, Allan served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for the Investments Group and corporate areas of New York Life and held a number of human resources roles at both ADP and Macy’s. Allan has a BA in Sociology from Rutgers University. He and his wife, Judy, have four teenage and adult children.

Kerin Fredman

Director, Fredman Family Foundation 

Coral Gables, FL 

Kerin McCarthy Fredman graduated from Brown with an AB degree in Human Biology and then received an MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She specialized in psychiatry at NYU/Bellevue Medical Center. She has worked as a psychiatrist at Hillside Hospital in New York and St. Brendan’s Hospital in Bermuda. She is president of the Fredman Family Foundation, which has an emphasis on education, health and the environment.

She has volunteered for Brown as an alumni interviewer for over 15 years and has co-chaired her 30th reunion fund. She has been a member of the Brown Parents Leadership Council for the past 4 years.

She is actively involved in Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Florida where she currently serves on the Board of Trustees, as a member of the Education Committee and the Executive Committee. She also serves on the Parent’s Association Board.

She has served as an 11th Judicial Circuit Guardian Ad Litem for foster children and as a grant reviewer for Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade. She currently serves on the advisory board of Breakthrough Miami, the advisory board of the UM Center for Ethics and Public Service and the United Way Center for Excellence Policy Council.

She lives in Coral Gables, Florida, with her husband Andrew and three children, Zachary B’17, Alexander B’18, and Natalie.

Russell Glass

Chief Executive Officer, Ginger

San Francisco, CA 
Russ is a serial technology entrepreneur and author, having founded or held senior positions at four venture-backed technology companies and authoring The Big Data-Driven Business. He sold his last company, Bizo, to LinkedIn where he ran the Marketing Solutions products group, driving more than 2x growth to over $800 million in revenue. As founder and CEO of Bizo, a B2B audience marketing and data platform, he built the company from its founding to 160 employees and over $50 million in revenue. He is on the board of Rock the Vote and is focused on using his experience with technology, data science, and narrative/branding tactics to develop novel strategies to increase engagement and turnout among young voters. He believes that great cultures make for great companies and loves his wife, three daughters, Duke basketball, golf, and just about anything in VR.

 

Aditya Kaddu

Founder, Edstruments

Redwood City, CA
Aditya Kaddu‘s experience as a 2010 summer teaching fellow at Breakthrough Fort Worth transformed his career focus from engineering to education. He spent his early career as a Teach for America Corps Member, teaching AP Calculus and PreCalculus at Yes Prep in Houston. 
 
Aditya left the classroom to attend Stanford for a joint MBA and MA in Education, with a certificate in Social Innovation. He then spent 20 months as a consultant at McKinsey & Company’s San Francisco office, serving a diverse set of clients across several functional areas.
 
He founded Edstruments in 2019 to provide K12 leaders with tools and training to more effectively manage their financial resources on behalf of students and staff. His vision is a public school system where resources are used equitably across all students and where administrators are empowered to make the best decisions they can. 
 
Aditya also sits on the board of Hatua Network, a non-profit breaking poverty cycles in Kenya through educational and career opportunities for low-income youth. He’s excited to get involved with Breakthrough once again!
Miho Kubagawa, Ed.L.D.

Partner, NewSchools Venture Fund

Oakland, CA

Miho Kubagawa is a Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, where she invests in entrepreneurs who design and launch new, innovative public schools.

Prior to joining NewSchools, Miho spent eight years at KIPP NYC as the director of talent, the founder and director of the teacher residency program and as the founding 7th grade math teacher of KIPP Infinity Middle School in Harlem. In addition, Miho is the co-founder of Breakthrough Collaborative’s chapter in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama and is a board member for New Schools for Alabama. 

She received her Doctor in Education Leadership (Ed.L.D) from Harvard University, her B.S. in Economics from Duke University and her M.S.T. in Adolescent Education from Pace University. She currently resides in Oakland, CA.

Jason McCune

Chief Operating Officer, BVF Partners, L.P. 

San Francisco, CA

Jason McCune is Chief Operating Officer at BVF Partners, L.P., a biotech focused investment management firm. Prior to joining BVF in 2019, he was a Managing Director at Hall Capital Partners LLC where he was a senior member of the investment research team overseeing the firm’s investments in absolute return and credit strategies. Mr. McCune graduated cum laude from Northwestern University with a B.S. in industrial engineering. He also earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. 
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Michael Griffith

Executive Director, Breakthrough Central Texas

Austin, TX

Michael Griffith has close to 20 years’ experience as an educator and nonprofit leader. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas and a Master of Education degree from Texas State University, Michael started his career as an elementary teacher, honing his skills in teaching, learning, curriculum development, and student assessment. He earned distinctions for his teaching and took on leadership roles as a mentor teacher and team leader. He supported students in and out of the classroom to fulfill their potential, and envisioned a future career as a school and district administrator. He joined Breakthrough Central Texas as the Director of Programs in 2008. During his six-year tenure as Director of Programs, Michael managed a three-fold increase in students served, the organization’s first expansion to Manor ISD, the buildout of its college completion programs, and the creation of the a customized Salesforce database to monitor the progress of students on their path to college graduation. In 2011, Michael was honored by Bank of America with the distinction of Emerging Leader. In 2014, Michael took on the mantle of Executive Director at Breakthrough. Since that time, he has supported Breakthrough as it has expanded extensively to serve more students in multiple school districts in Central Texas. Michael has expertise in educational best practices, partnership development, research and reporting, project planning, and organizational leadership. Michael is a founding member of the Austin College Access Network and is widely respected in the Central Texas nonprofit community.

 

JuliAnne McDowell
Coral Gables, FL

JuliAnne McDowell’s background is in corporate marketing and advertising as well as community volunteerism. After earning a BA in French Studies from Stanford and an MBA from INSEAD in France, JuliAnne worked for advertising agencies, as well as L’Oreal and McDonald’s. In her hometown of Miami, however, JuliAnne has focused on community engagement in educational and arts organizations, particularly in fundraising and friendraising. JuliAnne has served on numerous boards, frequently as Chair/Development Committee chair – serving in both capacities at Breakthrough Miami. JuliAnne and her husband, Derek, have three teenage and adult children.

Alex Serna

Executive Director, Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano 

San Juan Capistrano, CA

Alex Serna joined Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano as the Program Director in 2014 and was appointed Executive Director in 2018. After graduating high school with a 2.1gpa, he become a father when he was 17 and enrolled into community college to provide his daughter with a better future. A transfer-student from Santa Ana College and the first in his family to graduate college, he earned his B.A in American Studies from UC Berkeley in 2011, later enrolling at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education where he received his master’s degree in urban education and secondary social studies teaching credential. He completed the College Advising Program at Teachers College, Columbia University and Seth Godin’s altMBA workshop.

He’s a 2017 New Leaders Council, Los Angeles fellow and served on the Millennial Commission on Education as a Senior Fellow where he supported the development of key policy recommendations in advancement of education reform. An Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development 2017 Emerging Leader and serves on the advisory boards for the UCI School of Social Ecology field study program and Hispanic Education Endowment Fund. His thoughts on college access, educational policy and equity have been published in The New York TimesWashington PostThe HillThe Hechinger ReportDiverse Issues in Higher Education and NACAC’s Journal of College Admission. He is a father of four and when he’s not chasing them around, he can be found training Brazilian jiujit-su or discovering the best vegetarian food in southern California.

Monique Shields

Executive Director, Breakthrough Atlanta

Atlanta, GA
Monique Shields became Executive Director of Breakthrough Atlanta in 2018. Monique has spent more than two decades in the nonprofit sector, motivated by opportunities to serve children. Prior to joining Breakthrough Atlanta, she was Chief Operating Officer for Hands On Atlanta, where she directed one of Georgia’s largest school-based AmeriCorps programs. Monique also served in roles with The Carter Collaboration Center, National CASA and Cool Girls, Inc. Monique is a Colorado native, an alumna of Iowa State and Georgia State Universities, and a proud wife and mother.
Chris Porter

Governance Consultant, The Governance Group

Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN

Chris Porter has been widely recognized for her communications work and facilitation skills. In 1976, she founded Writing Consultants, a national firm focused on improving organizational communications and facilitating communications training. There, her clients included Delta Airlines, Wells Fargo, IBM, and Prudential Insurance, among many others. After selling the firm in 2002, Chris founded The Governance Group to assist nonprofit boards in successfully leading their organizations. She has received excellence awards for her facilitation skills, and has served on many boards, including those of Breakthrough Twin Cities, the American Society for Training and Development, Gillette Children’s Hospital, Mounds Park Academy, Children’s Home Society of Minnesota, the Waldorf School of Minneapolis, and Unity Church Unitarian. Her background includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in English language studies.

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Patrick Talamantes

Chief Executive Officer, Talamantes Strategies and former Chief Executive Officer, McClatchy

Santa Fe, NM 

Pat Talamantes is a corporate executive with over 30 years of experience in media and finance. Pat runs a management consulting practice advising companies on transformational and financial strategies. He was the president and CEO of McClatchy, the publicly traded news and information publisher with 30 daily newspapers, from 2012 to 2017 and also served as the company’s CFO for 11 years. He has served on the advisory board of Breakthrough Sacramento since 2016 helping to deepen its connection to the community and increase its fundraising capabilities. Mr. Talamantes holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Elissa Vanaver, Chief Executive Officer

Executive Director, Breakthrough Collaborative

Coral Gables, FL

Elissa Vanaver became the CEO of the Breakthrough Collaborative in 2017, after more than a decade of leading growth at the Collaborative’s Miami affiliate. At Breakthrough Miami, her roles included volunteer, founding board chair, director of strategic development and CEO.  In spring 2018, Elissa was a judge for the New York Life Foundation’s Excellence in Summer Learning Awards. Before joining Breakthrough, Elissa was an award-winning newspaper editor and media executive, holding a variety of positions, including managing editor, vice president of human resources and chief of staff for The Miami Herald, which publishes in English and Spanish. Her 25-year journalism career also included management, editing and news-writing at the Dallas Times Herald and the San Jose Mercury News.

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