Elisa Orona is the Executive Director at Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County. She holds a B.A. in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley and an M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Elisa’s Masters concentration in Geographic Information Systems served her well in Peace Corps Guatemala, where she trained fellow volunteers and their Guatemalan counterparts in the creation and analysis of digital maps. Elisa has worked across multiple sectors, including non-profit healthcare, local government, and the arts, with a focus on community empowerment and collaboration. She is honored to serve as a Santa Cruz Community Ventures Board member and supports the meaningful work the organization does for the community.
Kayla Kumar is the Development Director at Food What?! She holds a Master of Arts in Applied Economics and is passionate about solution-generating policy research that addresses wealth disparities. Kayla’s work has mainly been with youth of color, ranging from environments like music classrooms, basketball courts, juvenile halls, and farmlands. She believes marginalized communities have the expertise, vision, and initiative needed to solve the problems they face. The purpose of her work is to clear barriers erected in our current society that prevents marginalized communities from unleashing their brilliance and developing community space where all are cared for.
David Brown is a Senior Administrative Analyst at the County Administrative Office in Santa Cruz County. He is also the Administrative Co-Director of the Hub for Sustainable Living and Co-Founding member of Co-op Santa Cruz. Brown is an advocate in the community to help build more inclusive and equitable local economies. Throughout his career in Santa Cruz County, he has served on a variety of nonprofit Boards and committees including a preschool, a veterans’ cultural service center, a home-owners association, and a school site committee. Brown is proud of Santa Cruz Community Ventures economic development work and is excited to contribute his talents, resources, and connections to further the organizations work.
Dr. Chris Benner is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, and a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He currently directs the Everett Program for Technology and Social Change and the Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation. His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment. Benner’s goals in joining the Board would be to: 1) help provide feedback and guidance; 2) share some of his experience and work on similar issues in other parts of the state and country that might be useful for the work locally; and 3) gain a deeper knowledge of how SCCV's work develops so that he can share this exemplary work with other people and organizations. (Chris' Term to begin in January 2020)