Our Steering Committee is composed of BIPOC who will offer guidance and input on how HWBE can best serve the needs of our black community.
Leandrew is a retail technology entrepreneur who's raised over $2.8M in VC funding (including Y-Combinator) and has generated over $500M in ecommerce revenue. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Leandrew led a very successful social impact program for young Black and LatinX students. He's continued his social impact work as an advant mentor, advisor and consultant with various organizations including the Kapor Center's SMASH.org program.
Kessa Early is passionate and devoted to helping youth feel empowered, and has mastered the skill of creating a safe space for youth to feel respected and cared for while being educated. Born and raised in Marin County, she has devoted 19 years helping advocate and support youth as an educator in Novato Unified School District. Before founding Early Vibes Incorporated in 2018, Kessa served solely as a principal of alternative education for 12 years. She continues in her principal role where she works alongside students who seek an alternative pathway to receive their high school diploma.
Kessa completed her Master’s degree in Educational Administration and earned her Bachelor’s degree, as well as her administration credential from Sonoma State University. She earned her teaching credential from Dominican University. In 2019 she received the Administrator of the year award from CCEA Region 4.
James Norman is a serial entrepreneur who at the age of 16 built his first online company, an aftermarket automotive e-commerce site called MJH Sound.com. Over the past 10 years he has become a thought leader in over-the-top media and consumer video consumption behaviors.
His latest venture, Pilotly, is a consumer insights platform that enables content creators to get feedback from audiences at scale. Today, the platform provides insights to the NBCUniversal, Viacom, Snapchat, Doner agency and others.
James earned his BSE in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan and is a proud member of the 500 Startups family. He was given the OTT Genius Award by the OTT Executive Summit in 2014. In 2017, he was recognized by Next TV as a Rising Star in Media Technology. In addition, he co-founded Transparent Collective, a non-profit that has accelerated 40 startups founded by unrepresented founders (women and people of color) to raise over $35M in early stage funding.
Yonas is an Ethiopian-American born and raised in Maryland, and is Founder & CEO of StackShare. StackShare is one of the world's largest online networks for software developers- with over 500,000 engineers, CTOs, and VPs of Engineering from some of the world’s top startups, including Airbnb, Uber and Spotify. Yonas has raised over $7M in venture capital from Silicon Valley investors. Yonas is a Founding Board Member of Harambeans, an organization that supports high impact African entrepreneurs that have collectively raised over $400M in capital. Yonas also helped create The Black Founder List, and is also a mentor at Transparent Collective, a non-profit that supports underrepresented startup founders.
HWBE Team members
|Misa Beach||Core Team Operations|
|Kinjal Poonatar||Core Team Account management|
|Cathy Liu||Core Team Product Design||Twitter / LinkedIn|
|Tinnei Pang||Core Team Design System||Twitter / LinkedIn|
|Fady Shanow||Contributing Volunteer Graphic Designer|
|Radu Spineanu||Core Team Strategic Guidance|
|Sam Altman||Core Team Strategic Guidance|
|Jamie Wilkinson||Contributing Volunteer Product||Twitter / LinkedIn|
|Adrian Marin||Contributing Volunteer Development||Twitter / LinkedIn|