Jill Dineen has fifteen years of community engagement, nonprofit management and fund development experience, most recently as Executive Director at Classroom Central, a nonprofit serving students in poverty in Charlotte, NC. For her work there, Jill was honored as one of Mecklenburg Times 50 Most Influential Women of 2015, a NAWBO Non Profit Leader of the Year in 2014, and one of Charlotte Business Journal's Top Women in Business in 2014.
A Bay Area native, Jill was transformed by her early exposure to the arts, and believes that all children should have the same opportunity to be inspired by and engaged in the arts, to build academic skills and cultivate individual creativity, to be introduced to diverse cultures, and ultimately, to achieve their fullest potential. Jill is also an accomplished blues/jazz singer, songwriter and performer.
Dorian joined the Leap team in 2015 as Program Director, bringing over 10 years of program management, teaching, and nonprofit management experience. A San Francisco native, she remembers participating in quality arts programs throughout her entire public school education. She began her career teaching art to youth and managing museum education programs for many years in California and New York. Recently, she was the director of operations at Richmond District Neighborhood Center overseeing an organizational growth initiative, followed by two years in Honolulu where she worked as a program officer for Hawai'i Community Foundation managing grants in organizational effectiveness. When she's not working, she practices the art of parenting with her husband and two kids in the finest foggy city in the world.
Josie joined the team at Leap in 2011. She has devoted herself to children's art education for the past eight years, both in San Francisco and South East Asia. She has taught in Thai refugee camps, in several after school programs, and in the San Francisco School District. Josie spent a year living and teaching along the Thai/Burma border, where she organized and taught art classes in migrant schools, clinics, and orphanages. Most recently, Josie has been the Artist-in-Residence at San Francisco Community School, where she has taught for the past five years. She has seen first hand the impact of arts education, and how it transforms children's experiences in school.
Julianne joined the Leap team in 2015. She is actively engaged with the Bay Area arts community as an advocate for youth arts education and cultural diplomacy. With over seven years of experience in community engagement, program management, and event production, Julianne seeks opportunities to bring people of all ages together around interactions with the arts.
Julianne is an avid traveler and her love of language and art have brought her to many different countries around the globe. When she's not working, Julianne enjoys exploring new corners of San Francisco through different culinary adventures and supporting creative pursuits at the small-scale performance venue, the Red Poppy Art House.
Christina has five years of publisher management experience at H Code Media and MyLikes. A graduate of UC Davis, she studied Latin American history and Spanish, building upon a passion for language and social justice that began when she was young. From then on, participation in arts has been profoundly transformative. She hopes every child in San Francisco has the same chance to find their voice, partake in and create beauty and community, through art.
Throughout elementary and high school, classical and pop choir, Guys and Dolls and Fiddler on the Roof formed the core of her extracurriculars. At UC Davis she participated in YEP, a mentorship program serving juvenile immigration detainees in Yolo County, and traveled abroad to Havana, Cuba. She still enjoys concerts, crafts, art installations, museums, and a good book.
Anne-Louise Nieto is a Director of Strategy at Ross Stores, which operates Ross Dress for Less and dd's Discounts. Before joining Ross, she was a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, where she supported retail and consumer goods clients throughout the United States, Asia and Australia. Over nearly a decade of strategy experience, Anne-Louise has helped companies develop and execute strategic vision, and build capabilities to support growth - she strives to bring these skills to Leap. Anne-Louise is a strong believer in the power of arts education to inspire creativity and curiosity, new ways of approaching other subjects and foundational skills for a lifetime of learning and development.
Anne-Louise received her bachelor's degree from Princeton University and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a lifelong athlete and sports fan. She is also originally from the East Coast, so she loves her new home in San Francisco where she can get outside and play sports or root for her favorite teams all year long.
Takashi Fukuda is a Principal at Architectural Resources Group in San Francisco. For over 20 years, he has led and managed business components of its operation and has helped guide its growth from a 10 person firm to one of over 50 including offices in Los Angeles and Portland, OR. Currently, Takashi sustains a key leadership role in developing and implementing information management infrastructure, as well as managing the firm's special projects, including contract and project management with government agencies such as FEMA and the National Park Service.
Takashi holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from San Francisco State University. As a San Francisco native, Takashi grew up through the San Francisco public school system and sees both the growth and challenges this system and others faces today. He has been a participant of the LEAP Sandcastle Classic through ARG for the last 15 years and is amazed at the growth of that event and the needed awareness it brings for art in schools. Takashi joined the LEAP Board of Directors in 2011 and is excited for the opportunity to help sustain the success of such a critical and vibrant organization. Takashi feeds his own passion for art through photography and pottery.
Julia Kropp is an associate in Farella Braun + Martel’s Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Groups. Prior to joining Farella, Ms. Kropp served as a clerk for Magistrate Judge Evelyn Furse in the District Court for Utah. During law school, Ms. Kropp was a founding member of Stanford’s first international commercial moot arbitration team and served as a legal intern for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Breena is a writer, marketer, and advocate for empowering communities through creative writing. As the founder of Ink, a boutique content marketing studio, Breena leverages her creative marketing experience and passion for storytelling to help businesses and individuals develop their own narratives. She is also the creator of Mend the Gap, a group focused on providing a safe and social space where key influencers can connect on how to best support the Bay Area’s local non-profit community. Breena graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from Indiana University, with a focus in organizational communication and public relations.
Originally from Philadelphia, Patrick cultivated his love for the visual arts while he was an undergraduate at Harvard University where he majored in visual and environmental studies with a focus on studio painting. During his time as an undergrad, he was also a member of the art board of the Harvard Lampoon, one of the nation's oldest humor magazines.
Patrick currently works for Google as a member of its Business Operations and Strategy team in Mountain View. Prior to joining Google, he was an investment professional in the private equity space, first at Bain & Co. consulting and later as a member of the deal team at Parthenon Capital.
While he is no longer an active artist, the arts were crucial to Patrick's academic development, and he looks forward to ensuring that young students in the Bay Area have access to quality art education through Leap.
A product of public school education and an immigrant family experience in Mississippi, Sumin is passionate about ensuring all students have quality access to creative and educational opportunities. During her time at Teach For America, Sumin transformed the Bay Area region's fundraising gala, raising between $1.1 and a record-breaking $1.7 million to help strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence.
Sumin holds a BA from Princeton University and an MA in International Affairs from George Washington University. She oftentimes can be found providing directions to strangers and acting as an informal tour guide for her friends and family.
Carson has spent his career at the intersection of digital media, technology and the arts. He currently works for Apple, where he is a Business Management Lead for the App Store. Prior to joining Apple, Carson worked as a consultant, advising companies on the valuation and strategic management of their intellectual property assets, with a focus on digital media and copyright.
Carson developed his passion for the music and the arts while growing up in Connecticut. He majored in music and commerce at the University of Virginia, where he spent most of his spare time either performing or working in recording studios. Carson earned his JD-MBA from Northwestern University, where he was named a McCormick Scholar for his leadership in media management.
In his spare time, Carson can be found hiking around the Bay Area, searching for the best cold brew in San Francisco, and helping his kids appreciate the finer points of the Radiohead catalog. He’s thrilled to join Leap and help empower kids in his local community through forward-thinking arts education.
Originally hailing from just outside of London, and going to Architectural school on the south coast of England with a stint in the Mid-West, Samee has over 10 years of experience in the architectural field. San Francisco has been home for the last nine years. He's worked at a several firms, with projects ranging in scope, scale and typology from hospitals to museums and high end homes. In 2013, he made a shift from the design to construction side, taking a position at an established Bay Area general contractor to gain more project management experience. He's also been invited and served to be a guest critic for architectural studios/electives at California College of the Arts.
Samee has been involved with Leap's Sandcastle Contest since 2005 through running teams at the firms he's worked at - which has involved everything from working with the students at partner schools, reaching out to firms in fundraising efforts, leading the sandcastle design process, organizing day of logistics, and even loading and unloading trucks of tools and equipment! He's also been involved with the Sandcastle planning committee since 2006 and has presented at the Fundraising and Sandcastle Building 101 workshops in recent years.
Along with being a strong supporter of Leap's mission, Samee has a passion for design, a love of building things, and an interest in fostering the creative process in students. He joined Leap's Board of Directors in spring of 2014 and is excited to bring his enthusiasm, strategic planning, and insight to assist in developing what Leap is and has to offer. In his spare time, Samee can be found looking working on his project car, a 1964 VW Beetle (a.k.a. El Bugo).
Yelena came to the United States from Ukraine with her family at the age of 6. As a young immigrant student in the Los Angeles Unified School District, she fell in love with math and art - the two ways she could excel and communicate her love, interest, and gratitude for school without having to speak a word of English. Today she is the Director of Evaluation at Homeless Prenatal Program where she utilizes an equity-centered approach as the guiding principle for all her work. As a public health professional, she has committed the last 10 years to supporting nonprofit organizations with program planning, implementation, and impact evaluation. These days, she mostly uses art to express her love and gratitude to friends and family through birthday cards, crafts, and doodles.
Emily Phillips is a long-term educator and artist whose primary focus and practice is grounded in the visual and performing arts. A Detroit native, Emily is a two-time Fulbright recipient, projects which focused on scenic design after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and contemporary hybrid artistic practices of artists of immigrant backgrounds.
Before transplanting herself to the Bay area, Emily lived and worked in Germany, and worked in education in South East Asia and Turkey. Her artistic practice includes scenic design for theatre and opera, which has been seen on stage in the U.S., Germany and Austria, and curatorial projects in Germany. Her commitment to the marriage of education, arts and the public has been the engine behind her professional career. In her spare time, Emily acts and sings on the non-professional stage.
Laura Tarbutton is from the Pacific Northwest. Growing up, she was encouraged to use her imagination and to pursue her love of art. Whether it be drawing, writing, painting, or sculpting, she spent her time creating and exploring new projects. She carried her passion through college, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art. Later, Laura earned an MBA, where she further studied the cognitive effects and importance of exposure to art at a young age.
Today, Laura works as part of a personal CFO team at wealth management firm Brighton Jones. She joined the board of Leap in 2018 and is overjoyed to be able to help students gain access to the subject she loves.