National Leadership Team
Amy H. Saxton, Chief Executive Officer
Emily Edwards, Deputy Chief Development Officer
Kevin Gay, Chief Financial Officer
Liz Hurst, VP, Marketing & Communications
Guadalupe Nickell, Chief Development Officer
Stacey Thompson, Senior Director of Talent
Jessica Vibberts, Chief Operating Officer
Janice Yang, Director of Program Quality

Site Leadership
Hagar Berlin, Executive Director, San Francisco
Amanda Jefferson, Executive Director, Philadelphia
Liz Marino, Executive Director, Boston
Deidre McCormack Martin, Executive Director, Seattle
Karina Saltman, Executive Director, New York City
Kait Schroeder, Executive Director, North Bay

National Staff
Marina Arsovska, Senior Financial Analyst
Stacy Barr, National Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations
Andrea Carnegie, Executive Administrator and Board Liaison
Casey Cohen, National Development Associate
Mia Ellis, Summer Program Coordinator
Seth James Ellis, National Director of Alumni Relations & Development
Rangsiwan Fasudhani, ETO Database Administrator
Amanda Graham, Director of Development Operations
Keith Hough, Office Manager
Katherine Kennedy, Major Gifts and Events Specialist
Shelby Lewis, Development Database Administrator
Matt Osgood, Summer Program Coordinator
Natalie Strickler, Director of HR and Talent Management
Alyssa Tecklenburg, Staff Accountant and Business Analyst
Sonia Torres, National Senior Marketing & Communications Manager
Nana Xu, Strategy Analyst
Carol Yang, Accounts Payable Specialist
Sharla Pidd, National Manager of Annual Giving

national Leadership Team

Amy H. Saxton, Chief Executive Officer
Amy Saxton joins Summer Search because of her passion for youth development and commitment to scaling impact of organizations that transform the lives of low income and students of color. Prior to Summer Search Amy spent seven years as a Consulting Manager with the Bridgespan Group . At Bridgespan Amy developed growth strategies for several leading youth-serving nonprofit organizations, foundations, and school districts. In her last three years at Bridegspan Amy spent half her time as Diversity Manager, where she led firm-wide efforts to improve recruiting and increase retention of Black and Latino staff. Amy has co-authored several articles:  The Challenge of Organizational Learning (published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2011), Going for the Gold: The Secret of Successful Charter Schools (published in Education Next, 2009), and has also written case studies published at www.bridgespan.org: Aspire Public Schools: Building the Organizational Capacity for Healthy Growth (2008), The Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans: Focusing for Impact (2006).

Before joining Bridgespan, Ms. Saxton was a Summer Associate with The Broad Foundation, where she conducted due diligence on potential investments and assessed the feasibility of an executive education program for school district central office staff. Prior to working with Broad, Ms. Saxton was Director of Retention Services at Springboard Forward, a workforce development nonprofit organization, where she provided direct services to low-income clients, and managed grant writing and marketing initiatives. Prior to Springboard, Ms. Saxton directed the corporate communications team of a technology start-up company. Ms. Saxton began her career consulting with Monitor Company, where she worked with nonprofit organizations in the education and youth services sectors, as well as with private companies.

Ms. Saxton holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, an MA in Education from Stanford University School of Education, and a BA in English from Harvard University.

Emily Edwards, Senior Director of Development & Executive Recruitment
Emily graduated from Philadelphia's Central High School and from Wesleyan University with a Bachelor's degree in African American Studies. Both of these educational experiences sparked her interest in helping young people break the cycle of poverty. Emily began working at Summer Search Boston in 1999 as a Program Associate and became Executive Director in 2002. In 2004, the Junior Chamber of Commerce named her one of Boston’s Ten Outstanding Young Leaders. Under Emily’s leadership, Summer Search Boston grew to partner with every public high school in Boston and tripled the number of students served. In 2008, Emily was promoted to serve on the national management team and she’s done so for the past five years, as the one Boston based member of the San Francisco headquartered team. Since then, Emily’s focuses have included fundraising and management coaching, as well as program quality and innovation. This year, Emily is pleased to serve as our Deputy Chief Development Officer supporting our national and local teams to hit our fundraising goals in our ambitious five year growth strategy through developing excellent fundraising strategy and through successfully coaching our fundraising teams. Emily lives in Jamaica Plain, MA with her husband and three sons.

Kevin Gay, Chief Financial Officer
Kevin joined Summer Search in February 2009 with over twenty years of banking, consulting, and financial management experience. He played financial roles in the building of several private equity financed companies, including Universal Fibers, Inc., Davidson Cotton, and Astor Corporation. Earlier Kevin was an associate at WSGP partners, a Los Angeles based private equity firm, and a manager in the management consulting division of KPMG in San Francisco, specializing in mergers and acquisitions. He began his career as a corporate banking officer at Mellon Bank. Kevin grew up in Philadelphia and attended Villanova University, where he was a member of the varsity track and cross-country teams for four years, and earned his MBA from Indiana University. He currently serves as a board member of Youth Movement Records in Oakland, CA and lives in San Francisco with his wife Mona Hanes.

Stacey Thompson, Director of Talent and Training
Stacey was born and raised in San Francisco and has a long history with Summer Search. She was accepted into the program as a student in 1994, and participated in an art camp in Massachusetts, and Outward Bound in Oregon. In college, with a scholarship through Summer Search, she taught environmental education in a small village in Ecuador for three months. While attending Sonoma State University, Stacey interned in the San Francisco office and served as the Project Manager of the North San Francisco Bay office. In 2001, she became the first in her family to graduate from college, with a bachelor's degree in women and gender studies from Sonoma State University. In 2003, as program director, Stacey helped launch Summer Search New York City. After three committed years in New York City, Stacey is thrilled to bring her unique experience to the Summer Search national team by training new staff members and supporting new Summer Search sites.

Jessica Vibberts, Vice President of Operations
Jessica grew up in the rural foothills of Northern California, where only a third of her high school peers graduated college-ready. Jessica attended Sonoma State University as a first generation college student and earned her BA in Gender Studies. This experience made her acutely aware and determined to make an impact on the pervasive lack of opportunities and education available to many high-potential youth. After college, Jessica ran the Prevention Education/Community Outreach Department at UASA of Sonoma County (now Verity), where she developed a comprehensive Prevention Education curriculum for youth that became widely used across the county’s high schools. In 2002, Jessica joined Summer Search North Bay as a Program Associate and rapidly advanced to become the Executive Director in December 2005. Under Jessica’s leadership, Summer Search North Bay increased its annual student enrollment over 60% and more than doubled revenues. Jessica joined Summer Search’s National Leadership Team in 2009. As COO, Jessica oversees the success of local sites, program quality and implementation, and leads talent initiatives across the organization. Jessica was a participant in Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives on Non-Profit Management course and is currently a Gap Inc. Leadership Initiative fellow. Jessica serves as Board Chair for Daily Acts.

Janice Yang, Director of Program Quality
Janice joined the Summer Search team in 2003 and has been a mentor, the Program Director (2004-2006), and the Executive Director (2006-2008) of Summer Search New York City. In her current role as National Director of Program Quality, Janice is focusing on program evaluation and the implementation of systems to maximize program quality, training, and staff recruitment. Prior to Summer Search, Janice worked in the curatorial department of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and at the East Bay Community Foundation in Oakland, CA. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Cornell University and an M.A. from New York University.

Liz Hurst, National Director of Marketing & Communications
Liz joined Summer Search in 2012 with almost 20 years of communications experience at lead advertising agencies in the San Francisco region.  Most recently, Liz was SVP, Managing Director at Draftfcb where she led energy efficiency and conservation campaigns on behalf of the State of California and several utility companies.  Making the move into helping a non-profit with their communications strategy has long been part of Liz’s desired career path and she is especially pleased to be working in education.  Liz lives in Marin County with her husband and two daughters.

Guadalupe Nickell, Chief Development Officer
Guadalupe joined Summer Search in February 2013 with over fifteen years of leadership, management and strategic planning experience across the non-profit and private sectors. Most recently, Guadalupe held leadership positions at Room to Read, a global literacy organization, where she managed the organization’s North American and European development programs. She has also served in major gifts roles at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and The Nature Conservancy.

An Oakland, California, native and the first in her family to graduate from college, Guadalupe is deeply committed to channeling the resources, creativity and influence of the private sector toward lasting social change. Guadalupe is an alumna of The Thacher School, Princeton University and the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program. She is a trustee of the Vistamar School, serves on The Thacher School’s Alumni Council and is the incoming chair of the Development Council for UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Guadalupe lives in San Francisco.

site leadership

Hagar Berlin, Executive Director, Summer Search San Francisco
Hagar was born in Israel and lived in the Netherlands as a young child, but spent most of her youth growing up Queens, New York. Hagar attended college at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. After graduation, she returned to New York where she began her fundraising career at Urban Education Exchange, a non-profit that partners with inner city schools to improve reading instruction. In 2004, Hagar relocated to San Francisco where she joined the development team at Jumpstart for Young Children, a national early childhood education non-profit. Hagar served as Jumpstart’s Development Director, securing the organization's operating budget in California and Washington States and spearheading Jumpstart’s annual Read for the Record Campaign. In 2009, Hagar left Jumpstart to pursue a Masters of Education with a focus on Policy and Organization Leadership Studies at Stanford University. Upon graduating from Stanford, Hagar was thrilled to join Summer Search as the new Bay Area Director of Development, charged with supporting fundraising efforts in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the North Bay.

Amanda JeffersonExecutive Director, Summer Search Philadelphia
Amanda Jefferson received a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Maryland. During this time, she studied abroad in Spain and Chile, which ignited her love for travel and adventure. After graduating from Maryland, she moved to Washington, D.C. and began working in the international education arena, working with Youth for Understanding International Exchange and Hostelling International. Amanda then joined Chemonics International to support international development projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Her travels then led to her to Santiago, Chile, where she lived for two years while working at the Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce and pursuing her MBA from the Universidad de Chile in conjunction with Tulane's Freeman School of Business. Upon moving back to the U.S., she joined the Wharton School’s Executive Education division where she served as Director of Partnerships for Social Impact. After several years volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Summer Search Philadelphia’s Young Professional Network, she joined Summer Search as Executive Director in March 2011.

Liz Marino, Executive Director, Summer Search Boston
Liz graduated from Boston College with a BA in English and Women’s Studies (2005) and went on to receive her MA in Teaching from Pace University (2007). She spent two years teaching English and ESL to eighth graders at a middle school in the South Bronx through the Teach For America program. Liz joined Summer Search as the Outreach Director in 2007 and grew the number of students Summer Search Boston serves annually from 231 in 2007 to 350 in 2010 while focusing the recruitment on the highest need schools in Boston. She rapidly advanced to become the Associate Director 2010, and then the Executive Director in 2012.

Deidre McCormack Martin, Executive Director, Summer Search Seattle
Deidre is originally from California, where she attended Santa Clara University and received her B.A. in History and Ancient Studies. In search of her life work, she moved to Seattle in 1999 and joined an AmeriCorps program called City Year. Her City Year placement was in a high-need elementary school where she witnessed firsthand the inequities in our educational system. Since then she has held positions in non-profit fundraising, operations and program management in the youth development and educational fields. She joined Summer Search in September 2008 as Associate Director and stepped into the role of Executive Director in July of 2010. Deidre lives in West Seattle with her husband and three daughters.

Karina Saltman, Executive Director, Summer Search New York City
Karina received a B.A. in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from Brown University. After graduating from Brown, Karina went on to the New York City Teaching Fellows Program where she taught 3rd and 4th grade in the South Bronx while also receiving an M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Lehman College. After completing the Fellows program, Karina joined the Summer Search team as a Program Associate. She became the Program Director in 2006 and stepped into the role of Executive Director in May 2008.

Kait SchroederExecutive Director, Summer Search North Bay
A native of New England, Kait graduated from Haverford College in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in education. After college, Kait spent three years at Millbrook School in New York State teaching chemistry, working as a dorm parent, coaching field hockey, and guiding a community service group. This reinforced for her the importance of a holistic approach to helping high school students develop their leadership. In the summer of 2004, professional development funds allowed Kait to travel to the Samburu region of Kenya with the Earthwatch Institute as part of a conservation research team. This expedition strengthened her firsthand understanding of the power of experiential education. After moving back to Boston in 2005, Kait joined Summer Search as a Program Associate. In 2008 she became Associate Director of the Boston site to oversee programming for 300 students and 600 alumni, as well as lead mentor training for a staff of 14. In April 2010 Kait was thrilled to move to California and step into the role of Executive Director for Summer Search North San Francisco Bay.

national staff

Stacy Barr, National Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations
Stacy Levitt Barr joined Summer Search in early 2013 and is committed to providing greater access to quality education for low-income and at-risk youth.  Most recently, Stacy served as the Manager of Foundation and Corporate Philanthropy for the national headquarters of Big Brothers Big Sisters where she collaborated on innovative initiatives and partnerships with institutional investors to support youth mentoring programs. With an MPA from NYU Wagner and a background in marketing from Random House, Inc., Stacy brings a dynamic perspective on foundation and corporate relations to Summer Search. Stacy is passionate about Summer Search’s mission to empower students and provide them with the tools to become college graduates and community leaders. She is working to raise the necessary funds to help scale Summer Search’s program to serve more youth.  Stacy is a graduate of the University of Florida and also worked in development at Jewish Family and Children Services in Philadelphia. She is based in the Summer Search New York City office and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Jordan.

Casey Cohen, National Development Associate
An East Bay native, Casey joined Summer Search’s National Development team in early 2013 and is dedicated to closing the achievement gap for disadvantaged youth. Casey brings a broad background in project management to Summer Search’s national development efforts. While earning an MPA from USC, Casey was inspired to work in this field after conducting research into the challenges of the education reform movement and spending a summer with KIPP Bay Area Schools. Before joining Summer Search, Casey managed the special projects of the Executive Director at the USC Shoah Foundation, working to promote tolerance through the first person testimonies of genocide survivors. Prior, she served on the communications and fundraising team at the Jewish Community Relations Council in San Francisco, and has not looked back from the nonprofit sector since. Casey holds a BA in History from Claremont McKenna College and lives with her partner Matt in San Francisco’s Mission district.

Mia Ellis, Summer Program Coordinator
mellis@summersearch.org
Mia graduated from the University of Colorado in 1997 with a degree in Interpersonal Communication. After college, she worked for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming and Alaska, and then for Deer Hill Expeditions, a wilderness leadership & service program, in Colorado. At Deer Hill, Mia was the Program Manager and a Field Leader and worked with many Summer Search students as they transformed their lives and unlocked their potential in the wilderness. Mia joined Summer Search as the Founding Executive Director of Summer Search Seattle in September 2003. In 2010, she transitioned into a new role at the Summer Search Support Center working to coordinate Summer Search’s efforts around summer programs nationally. She is thrilled to be working in an area of Summer Search that first drew her in - creating opportunities for all students to access experiential education. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two young daughters.

Seth James Ellis, National Director of Alumni Relations & Development
sjellis@summersearch.org
Seth joined Summer Search in early 2013 as the first National DIrector of Alumni Relations and Development. He recently relocated to San Francisco from southern California and comes to Summer Search with six years experience in alumni relations and development most recently at his alma mater, UC San Diego. Seth is passionate about serving youth, building community, and encouraging a stronger culture of philanthropy among young people. In the past he has volunteered for civic engagement and community service organizations such as the New Leaders Council, the San Diego LGBT Community Center, and the Trevor Project. Seth looks forward to working with alumni across the country to create opportunities for engagement, volunteerism, and philanthropy. In representing the voices from the largest and most permanent stakeholders in the Summer Search community, Seth looks forward to deepening the relationship between Summer Search’s seven program sites at its more than 3,000 alumni nationwide. In his free time, Seth loves to cook, practice yoga, explore his new hometown of San Francisco, and travel to faraway places with his husband, Jared.

Amanda Graham, Director of Development Operations
Amanda was born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She attended George Washington University in Washington, DC, and during her junior year, she studied abroad. Her spring semester, Amanda was a student of the Semester at Sea program where she studied aboard the S.S. Universe Explorer. During this time, Amanda participated in global fieldwork and cultural exchanges in countries such as Brazil, South Africa, Kenya and China. In each port, she was able to learn about and assist local communities with some of their challenges including hunger prevention, family planning and wildlife preservation. Amanda graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in marketing. Her lifelong interest in volunteering and her experience on Semester at Sea, brought Amanda to Boston to work for United Way of Massachusetts Bay. After four years with United Way, Amanda joined Summer Search in 2007 to support organization-wide development efforts.

Katherine Kennedy, Major Gifts and Events Specialist
Katherine was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in African American Studies. She first discovered the field of summer experiential education when she taught in a village in Kenya after her freshman year at Penn. Upon graduating in 1993, she joined Teach For America and taught middle school in Baltimore. In 1995, Katherine joined Founder Linda Mornell as her first staff member to teach and train the unique mentoring methods. After five years as Program Director, Katherine became the Executive Director of the San Francisco office in 2000. In 2005, Katherine joined Summer Search National to apply what she has learned as a director and mentor to the training and building of a growing staff.

Shelby Lewis, Development Database Administrator
Shelby was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She earned her B.A. in English (with minors in Biology, History and Political Science) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After returning to Omaha, she worked for Metropolitan Community College as a Library Assistant while studying Web Support Technology. In 2002, Shelby joined The Salvation Army Western Divisional Headquarters where she was the Data Management Coordinator and Online Communications Specialist. She remained there until moving from Omaha to San Francisco in September 2008 to begin her work with Summer Search.

Matt Osgood, Summer Program Coordinator
Matt grew up in Kansas City, but he has been traveling the world off and on since high school, experiencing different cultures in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. He graduated with majors in Biology and Spanish from Hanover College in 2004. He has been interested in improving the lives of others ever since the summer of 1999, when he lived and worked in a rural community in Paraguay. Before joining Summer Search, Matt worked at various non-profits, including Children International, the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, and Amigos de las Americas, where he first heard of the amazing things that Summer Search does for young people. Observing the drive, energy, and maturity of Summer Search students and how it spreads to other teenagers was always a highlight of his job at AMIGOS. Matt enjoys his role in creating new opportunities for such deserving students.

Natalie Strickler, Director of HR and Talent
A native of California, Natalie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English & Women’s Studies from San Diego State University and begun her career working for Qualcomm, providing staffing, recruitment & HR generalist support.  After several years working in the corporate environment, Natalie decided to fulfill her dream of living and traveling abroad.  For over two years Natalie traveled and lived in Spain and Argentina where she taught English while learning to speak Spanish.  Her travel and living abroad experiences provided a new perspective that influenced her future career to focus on work that would impact social change.  When she returned to the US, Natalie made her foray into the nonprofit sector by joining InterExchange as a Program Manager in New York City.  In 2009 she returned to San Francisco and joined the Taproot Foundation as the Senior Talent Manager.  She was selected to participate in the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy in 2010 and is currently serving as an Advisory Board Member for Good World Solutions.  Natalie joined Summer Search in 2012 to lead the design and implementation of strategic HR & talent programs and initiatives for the organization nationwide. 

Sonia Torres, National Senior Marketing & Communications Manager
Sonia Torres joined Summer Search in 2013 with over 10 years of strategic communications planning and media relations experience. A California-grown, Los Angeles-bred education advocate, Sonia most recently worked as the communications and media relations manager for Room to Read, an award-winning global nonprofit organization working to improve literacy and gender equality in education in Africa and Asia. Over the last decade, Sonia has served as a communications expert primarily for nonprofit organizations—providing the tools necessary to help small-to mid-sized groups achieve their strategic communications goals, and communicate their message passionately yet effectively. Previously, Sonia worked at the California Charter Schools Association and Hispanic Scholarship Fund, where she led grassroots outreach and marketing campaigns aimed at breaking the cycle of under-education within minority communities. A self-described Mariachi-music enthusiast, Sonia received a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley and currently serves on the board of directors of Heyday, an independent, nonprofit publisher in California.

Nana Xu, Strategy Analyst
Nana joined Summer Search in August 2012 as an Education Pioneers Fellow.  Prior to Summer Search, she was a Strategy Consultant at Bain & Company and also worked in the mobile and digital division at Nielsen.  She graduated from the undergraduate Wharton program at the University of Pennsylvania. Nana is inspired by Summer Search's mission and values, and she is excited about the opportunity to use data and research to improve educational outcomes for low-income, high potential students.  Nana is focused on developing the tools and processes to successfully implement Summer Search's strategic plan; she is also involved in various program, fundraising, innovation, and marketing initiatives. 

Sharla Pidd, National Manager of Annual Giving
spidd@summersearch.org
Sharla joined Summer Search in January 2014 as the National Manager of Annual Giving. She was raised in Tucson, AZ where she earned her BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. After graduation, Sharla moved across the country to teach English Language Arts in Brooklyn, NY with Teach For America, where she also received an MST in Secondary ELA. During this time, Sharla developed a passion for social justice and a life-long commitment to providing transformative opportunities for low-income youth. After her two-year commitment, she began her career in philanthropy as a staff member at Teach For America--Bay Area, and has worked most recently in Major Giving at KQED. With over six years of non-profit annual fund administration in the Bay Area, she’s excited to apply her expertise in creating and managing high-yield giving programs with our nationwide donor base. Sharla lives in and loves Oakland, where she is an avid dancer and lake-walker. She is also a certified jewelry technician and enjoys silversmithing in her free time at her studio in Emeryville.

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