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SF Bay Area

Our Team

  • Hector Ramon Salazar M. Ed.

    Hector Ramon Salazar M. Ed.

    Executive director, SF Bay Area

    Considered a key advisor and subject matter expert on account management, brand visibility, and nonprofit leadership, Hector has established himself as a true bridge-builder in the movement for educational equity. As a fervent pacesetter for mission-driven organizations, his professional efforts have landed him extensive experience in partnering alongside school eco-systems to impact change. He has over a decade of experience developing, managing, and implementing programs targeted at the advancement of underserved groups. Hector has led partnerships with multiple local and nationwide organizations including BACR, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, YMCA, and City Year. In his previous roles with Revolution Foods, Playworks, and most recently Eye to Eye National, Hector built lasting partnerships with multiple institutions with a shared goal of designing programmatic advancement relating to outcomes, impact, and user experience while enhancing leadership, school climate, and action planning. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Oakland, California’s Holy Names University (HNU). Hector is a family man first, spending his free time laughing through life with his wife and four children.
  • Michael Rhodes-Baker

    Regional partnerships manager

    Michael is a program manager in the East Bay. He is a transplant to the Bay Area from Buffalo, New York where in 2011 he earned his bachelor’s from SUNY Buffalo in history and a certification in secondary education. He briefly taught seventh and eighth grade social studies before continuing his career working in the nonprofit sector with Buffalo’s growing refugee population. After working with populations in Buffalo and on the Thai-Myanmar border, Mike returned to the United States to complete his master’s in sustainable development at SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont. He has been serving Reading Partners in the Silicon Valley and Bay Area as a program manager since 2015, and started his role as Regional Partnerships Manager in July 2021. His favorite children’s book, if forced to chose one, is Redwall by Brian Jacques. He loves camping, cars, coffee, and current events. 
  • Peter Cabaña

    Community engagement manager - Operations

    Peter is a Bay Area native and graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in Communications. His strong passion for education led him to find Reading Partners in August 2014. He first joined the Reading Partners Silicon Valley team serving as an AmeriCorps regional site coordinator for two years before moving into the role of community engagement associate in 2016. Peter assists in data collection and analysis for the community engagement and program team while also managing the regional operational systems. Peter’s favorite children’s book is Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.
  • Gardenia Campos

    Program manager

    Originally from Los Angeles, Gardenia moved to the Bay Area to attend UC Berkeley where she promptly discovered the amazing literacy intervention organization called BUILD. It is through this program that she was able to serve as a Reading Partners tutor. After four years at Think College Now/International Community School, Gardenia returned to serve a year as an AmeriCorps site coordinator. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue supporting students as well as AmeriCorps members in her role as program associate. An avid reader herself, choosing a favorite book would be as horrifying a task as choosing a favorite child. However, the Harry Potter series holds a special place in her heart.
  • Lauren Cono

    Program manager

    Lauren grew up in southern California and studied English at university. While getting her bachelor’s degree, she completed a nine-month study abroad in Florence, Italy to go toward her minor in Italian literature. She worked in psycho-education for three years and completed two years of service in Thailand with the Peace Corps, working in rural schools and communities in the south. Upon returning, she moved to San Francisco to join Reading Partners and served two years as an AmeriCorps member. Now she is a program manager at Reading Partners who is passionate about serving students in the Bay Area. She lived inside the Harry Potter universe as a child yet her favorite children's book is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - she currently owns a copy in English, Italian and Thai.
  • Sara Gardner-Heart

    Special projects manager

    Sara hails from Sonoma County and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC Santa Cruz in 2014. After graduating she served in two different AmeriCorps programs in Boston, MA- City Year and Notre Dame Mission Volunteers. Sara taught English and learned Spanish in Spain for six months and then returned to Boston to continue working in urban education as a manager of out-of-school time programming in Dorchester. Her favorite children's books are Holes, Walk Two Moons, and of course, the Harry Potter series. In her free time Sara enjoys running, traveling, vegan cooking, improv acting, and playing with her cat Rio.
  • Shea Krause

    Development associate

    Originally from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Shea graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She gained her passion for service and literacy while serving as an AmeriCorps member and volunteer coordinator at Jumpstart Pittsburgh while in college. Shea joined Reading Partners in 2019, completing two AmeriCorps VISTA terms before joining as full-time staff. Growing up, her favorite books were the A Series of Unfortunate Events series.
  • Kelsey Larsen

    Development operations manager

    Kelsey Larsen joins Reading Partners from Los Angeles, bringing with her over seven years of nonprofit experience in program leadership and development operations. Most recently, Kelsey served as the Director of Training and Data Stewardship for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, where she guided employees through a database upgrade, led database onboarding, and ensured data integrity across the organization. Originally from McLean, Virginia, Kelsey holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in public administration, also from USC (fight on!). Kelsey is thrilled to help support students make literacy gains across the Bay Area. Kelsey always has a book nearby and is a proud AmeriCorps alum.
  • Mareko Prior

    Program director

    Originally from the Chicago area, Mareko is an alumna of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She developed a commitment to getting things done while serving with AmeriCorps VISTA in Kansas City, and later as a City Year San Antonio Program Director. Driven by ensuring young people access the opportunities they deserve to become the change-makers our communities need, she joined amazing teams at The Posse Foundation and iMentor. Mareko most recently served as a director at Moneythink, where she launched a remote coaching program that supported students through texting and apps.
  • Sam Recinos

    Community engagement associate

    Sam is a community engagement associate in the San Francisco Bay Area and originally is from Los Angeles, CA. They studied Chicanx Studies and Political Science at community college before transferring to UC Santa Cruz, graduating with a B.A. in Latin American and Latinx studies. After graduating, Sam joined Reading Partners as an AmeriCorps member for two terms, serving as a volunteer coordinator before their current position. In elementary school, they could be found on a beanbag in the library reading A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Spiderwick Chronicles. These days, you'll find Sam at an art show, biking, or a concert!
  • Allison Rhodes-Baker

    Community engagement director

    Allison is excited to lead the SFBA team’s volunteer recruitment efforts to engage over 1,600 tutors for our region. She has developed a passion for volunteering and service after five years of managing education programming for a nonprofit in Thailand and Myanmar, teaching primary students in Ghana, West Africa, and serving with AmeriCorps teaching resettled refugees in San Diego. She joined Reading Partners in 2015 as a program manager in San Francisco, and is excited to share her love for the reading centers  to community partners and new tutors. She has a bachelor’s in human development and international studies from UC San Diego. Growing up, she loved solving mysteries with The Boxcar Children book series.
  • Clarence Say

    Program manager

    Clarence is a California-based educator with a master’s in teaching and a background in visual arts, music, and dance. He enjoys traveling, learning new languages, and spending time in nature. His favorite books are The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, and The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Professionally, he has dedicated his career to supporting student success - in the classroom as a first-grade teacher in Memphis, TN, abroad as a specialist teacher with EF Kids and Teens in Foshan, China, and through service with both the Peace Corps as a primary education specialist in Satun, Thailand, and AmeriCorps as a distance tutoring coordinator with Reading Partners in the San Francisco Bay Area, where you can still find him living and learning today!
  • Hong Thach

    Development and external relations director

    Born in Hong Kong and raised in Oakland, Hong graduated from Cal State East Bay with a BS in Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism. He is proud to have come up through Oakland public schools, and graduated from Oakland Senior High School. Before joining Reading Partners, Hong worked at the Oakland Ed Fund where his love of development began, as development manager before transitioning to a major gifts officer, where he qualified, identified, cultivated, and solicited prospects through extensive local work. Working for the Reading Partners is his chance to realize his dream of tying career to roots, of giving back to the community where he grew up riding the BART from west to deep east and attending the very schools he is working to support today. He looks forward to continuing to serve the Bay Area and the opportunity to develop a successful business here. When he is not at work, Hong loves spending time with his wife and two daughters, traveling, and eating out, or cheering on his favorite sports team, the Golden State Warriors! His favorite book to read to kids is Dim Sum for Everyone by Grace Lin.

Our AmeriCorps team

Site coordinators and literacy leads 

East Bay:

Anna Santa Elena, Site Coordinator, Bella Vista

Callum Goetz, Site Coordinator, Berkley Maynard Academy

Nia Whitaker-Little, Senior Site Coordinator Bridges Academy

Ashlyn Thomas, Site Coordinator, Cox/Reach

Magda Gutierrez, Site Coordinator, Emerson

JeJuan Narcisse, Site Coordinator, Fruitvale

Joselyne Loaiza, Site Coordinator, Futures/CUES

Alexia Lamarque, Senior Site Coordinator, Hesperian

Elli Berz, Senior Site Coordinator, Hillside

Zach Alexander, Senior Site Coordinator, Laurel

Akilah Watkins, Senior Site Coordinator, Madison Park

Natalie Quinn, Site Coordinator, North Oakland Community Charter

Mary Fernandez, Senior Site Coordinator, Think College Now/International Community School

Niesha Colbert Junior, Site Coordinator, Vincent Academy

San Francisco + South San Francisco:

Jaycee Pilpe, Site Coordinator, Bessie Carmichael

Cindy Gonzalez-Arriaga, Senior Site Coordinator, Cesar Chavez

Alondra Garcia, Site Coordinator, Flynn

Franz Mangonon, Site Coordinator, Hillcrest

Jamie Kim, Site Coordinator, Jean Parker

Karen Zhang, Senior Site Coordinator, Rosa Parks

Eyra Dordi, Site Coordinator, Sanchez

Carina Casissa, Senior Site Coordinator, Sherman

Payton Onesti, Regional Site Coordinator, Spring Valley

Eden Phillips, Site Coordinator, Spruce

Sofia Cristiani, Site Coordinator, Tenderloin 

Distance Tutoring Coordinator section

Catherine Castillo, Distance Tutoring Coordinator

Catalina O’Connor, Senior Distance Tutoring Coordinator

Simone Moore, Distance Tutoring Coordinator

Alexis Miller, Distance Tutoring Coordinator

Sydney Grove, Distance Tutoring Coordinator

Aminah Habib, Distance Tutoring Coordinator

Lola Collins, Distance Tutoring Coordinator

Anita Ayala, Distance Tutoring Coordinator

Volunteer coordinators

Noelle Clark, Volunteer Coordinator

Raul Chavez, Volunteer Coordinator

Tiffany Yang, Volunteer Coordinator


Cathy Cockrum Dean, Education Philanthropist

Durell Coleman, On-Air Talent, IHeartMedia SF

Michael Dechert, Analyst, Farallon Capital Management

David Ellis, Sales Director – Mid-Market & Enterprise North America, LinkedIn

Jennifer Friedland, Golden Gate Mother’s Club, Volunteer Chair

Zachary Hill, Director of Community Relations, Golden State Warriors

Chris Lambert, Chief Technology Officer, Lyft

Brad Lightcap, Chief Financial Officer, OpenAI

Tom Low, Managing Director, Pivot Consulting

Kimberly Mayfield, Dean, School of Education at Holy Names University

Jenee Palmer, Director, High Potential Program at Saint Mary’s College of California

Emma Parkerson, Associate, Network Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Evan Schwartz, Director of Philanthropy, Golden State Warriors Foundation

R. James Slaughter, Partner, Keker & Van Nest LLP

Kristin Sverchek, Lyft, General Counsel

Tom White, President and CEO, Co-founder, Triact Therapeutics Inc.


Thanks to our partners

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