Pree Walia is a co-founder and CEO of Preemadonna. She spent four years in the hardware space working at high growth venture backed start-ups focused on LED lighting and building automation services. Previously, Pree raised capital, managed political outreach and worked for Steve Westly, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other progressive campaigns between 2003-2008. She holds a MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA in History and Gender Studies from Northwestern University. She is passionate about causes that impact women and girls and is a certified volunteer domestic violence counselor. Pree serves on the Board of Advisors for MakerGirl, a nonprofit that inspires young girls to pursue STEM fields.
Casey Schulz is a co-founder and Head of R&D of Preemadonna. Casey has diverse systems engineering experience building quadcopters, satellites, cartesian robots and small motion control systems. Casey has worked at NASA Ames, the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Accel Biotech and Techshop. Casey holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Santa Clara University. She loves crafting and is passionate about teaching girls and diverse communities about technology, especially robotics, through her work.
Kyra Wayne: Design Engineer, Product Manager & Artist in Residence
Kyra Wayne is a design engineering intern and resident artist at Preemadonna. Kyra expects to graduate from Santa Clara University in 2017, with a BS in Web Design Engineering and a double minor in Computer Science Engineering and Studio Art. Kyra has a diverse work background in web and iOS app development, as well as in teaching and design. Kyra’s can-do attitude and friendly personality serves her well in being a mentor to others and in spreading Preemadonna’s mission. Kyra is passionate about programming and the arts and hopes to inform more girls that there is a future in technology for them, regardless of whether they can code or not (though to not be afraid of coding, either). Kyra hopes to continue learning and diversifying her skillset so that she may combine her two loves in her future work.
Devin Collins: Digital Media Intern
Devin Collins is a Digital Media Intern at Preemadonna who joined after hearing about her friend Kyra's great experiences with us. Devin's career in film started at a young age, when she would make crazy dance videos with her friends in high school. Her love for story telling has since compelled her to transfer to Santa Clara University as a communications major and to take intensive writing courses. Now at Preemadonna, she hopes to return to her roots in film and video editing to share the magic of the Nailbot as well as the Preemadonna story.
Stella Ge: Web Development and Design Intern
Stella is a Web Development and Design Intern at Preemadonna. She is currently studying computer science at the University of Pennsylvania. While she loves programming, Stella is also very passionate about design as well, and aspires to work in the intersection of art and technology. She is also involved with the Made by Girls program at Digital Media Academy, teaching girls how to code, and is all about empowering women to pursue STEM fields! Stella is excited to gain more experience in web development and to exercise her creativity during her time at Preemadonna.
Charlotte Israel: Engineer, Community Organizer & MakerGirl
Charlotte Israel is an engineering intern and community organizer at Preemadonna. Charlotte is studying Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring all that this University has to offer. On campus she is involved in Material Advantage and the Underwater Hockey team as well as MakerGirl! Her passions include music, cooking and volunteering. She is very invested in women's education and encourages people to always pursue their passions. As part of the Preemadonna team, she is excited to inspire young girls and introduce them to STEM fields!
Veronica Carr: Social Media Manager
Veronica is the Social Media Manager for Preemadonna. Originally from Chicago, she moved to New York in 2004 to attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts as an Acting Major. After pursuing an acting career for several years, Veronica realized that it was way more fun to promote others than it was herself. Thus, her transition into Social Media Marketing. Veronica is passionate about all things fashion and beauty related. And she loves working for a company that inspires so many young women to be creative and embrace being dynamic.
Marie Millan: Engineer, Community Organizer & MakerGirl
Marie Millan is an engineering intern and community organizer at Preemadonna. Marie is a Senior studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is originally from Northern California and decided to come to Illinois to explore a different part of the States. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in Product Development. Outside of MakerGirl and Preemadonna, she is part of the BAJA SAE club that designs, builds and races their own off road vehicles. In her spare time she likes to volunteer for organizations such as First LEGO League where she has been part of the panel as a Robotics Judge. Marie loves being outdoors and going on adventures, as well as reading, painting and cooking. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be able to inspire girls to be a part of STEM and spark their curiosity for the world around them.
Sommar Veverka: Intern & Lead Ambassador
Sommar Veverka attended Miramonte High School in Orinda, California. Sommar was the broadcast and social media editor for Miramonte’s paper, The Mirador. Sommar was also the starting goalie and captain for MHS’s Women’s Lacrosse team, which won NCS 2015 championships, & is involved in numerous philanthropies & school leadership programs. Next fall, Sommar will be moving to Colorado and attending The University of Denver. Sommar will be studying at The Daniels College of Business and will Minor in Arabic and Leadership. This will be Sommar's second summer as an intern with Preemadonna. Founders, Pree and Casey, have inspired Sommar to take a coding class at her high school and study entrepreneurship in college. She has also enjoyed watching the company grow and seeing the process of building the Nailbot.
Jackie Nichols: Intern & Lead Ambassador
Jackie Nichols is a high school intern at Preemadonna. Jackie is a senior at Acalanes High School and very involved in the school’s clubs and programs. She loves soccer, travelling, computer science, digital art, and being a Preemadonna! After high school, she plan to attend a four year college where she will continue to study computer science and digital art.
Julia Hindle: Intern, Nail Artist & Rockstar Coder
Julia Hindle is an intern for Preemadonna and a current senior at Marlborough High School. Along with her interests in Math and Computer Science, she runs the nail art account @nailsofjulia on Instagram where she posts original designs and tutorials.
Helen Greiner is the CEO of CyPhy Works. She commands a presence in the field of robotics. Co-founding iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) in 1990, Ms. Greiner served as President until 2004 and Chairman until 2008. During her tenure, Ms. Greiner guided iRobot into its position as a global leader with the release of the Roomba™, the PackBot™and SUGV military robots. She built a culture of practical innovation and delivery that led to the deployment of 6,000 PackBots with our troops. In addition, Ms. Greiner headed up iRobot’s financing projects, raising $35M in venture capital for a $75M initial public offering. Greiner holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in computer science, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Diane Donald is a philanthropist and supporter of girl powered initiatives. She resides with her partner, PGA golfer Luke Donald, and her three daughters in Illinois and Florida. Diane holds a BS from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
SOSv is the “accelerator” venture capital and investment management firm that provides seed, venture and growth stage funding to startup companies in the technology sector. SOSv runs a number of accelerators including the HAX hardware accelerator in Shenzhen, China.
Steve Westly is the Managing Partner of the Westly Group. Prior to founding The Westly Group, Steve Westly served as the Controller and Chief Fiscal Officer of the state of California - the world's sixth largest economy. As Controller, he chaired the State Lands Commission and served on 63 other boards and commissions, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nation's two largest public pension funds, which together invest more than $350 billion. During his four-year term, Mr. Westly spearheaded innovative tax programs that helped close the State's budget deficit and also led an effort to commit more than $1 billion to clean technology investments. In the 2008 election cycle Mr. Westly served as a state co-chair and a National Finance Committee member of the Obama for America campaign. Before running for office, Mr. Westly helped guide the online auction company eBay through its period of most rapid growth, serving as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Business Development, M&A and International.
Mr. Westly helped bring eBay to Europe and Asia and developed the marketing and acquisition strategies that paved the path for the firm's exponential growth. Mr. Westly holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business, where he served on the faculty for five years. Mr. Westly and his wife, Anita, run the Westly Foundation, which provides education and health care services for children and underserved communities throughout California.
Lon Chow is a Managing Director at Sandbox Industries. Prior to joining Sandbox, Lon was a partner with Mercer Management Consulting (formerly Strategic Planning Associates), where he developed and implemented growth strategies for clients in computing, media, and telecommunications industries. He also held various operating management positions with Pacific Telesis. Lon received an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Davis.
Lon currently serves on the boards of Analyte Health, ALI Solutions, Appolicious, Current Analysis, Sittercity, TargetData, and Timelines. He is a board observer of Trunk Club. Lon's outside board membership includes Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and Viewpoints Network. Lon's previous investments included ICON Solutions (acquired by AnswerThink), KnowledgeStorm (acquired by TechTarget), PlaceWare (acquired by Microsoft), Shoebuy.com (acquired by IAC/InterActiveCorp), Thinque Systems (acquired by MEI), Tradex Technologies (acquired by Ariba) and WorldPrints (acquired by At Home)
Andre Neumann-Loreck, Operations & Manufacturing
Andre is Founder and General Partner of Ops On Tap, providing Operations services to hardware startups. Previously, Andre was Vice President of Engineering, Manufacturing and Operations for Cisco Consumer Products. Andre has built and led successful teams at Pure Digital Technologies, Photo Access and Auction Watch. All three companies were venture backed start-ups and Andre served as Chief Operating Officer at all three firms, and delivered industry leading products on-time.
Jan Dolphin, Engineering
Jan is is a serial entrepreneur with 15+ years working with start-ups and General Manager of XC Spec. She leads all aspects product development and deployment working with engineering and outside partners at XC Spec - from concept through high volume manufacturing. Her vision is to extend connected HVAC energy solutions, based on the Internet of Things (IoT), including mobile apps, cloud computing and various connected hardware devices. Currently Jan is active member of the WHPA Title 24 activities for economizers. Jan started her electronics career as a radio technician for Motorola, so she has an appreciate of fixing things in high and often exposed conditions. Jan's background includes working with ARPA and Berkeley during development of many of the Internet protocols. Jan holds an undergraduate degree from University of Illinois and a Masters from Illinois Institute of Technology. When not trying to think about new appliances to add radio technology into, Jan enjoys cooking and supporting her family.
Jan D’Alessandro, Partnerships
Jan is a partnership builder, focused on harnessing the power of digital media to make the world a better place. She has held senior positions at AOL, Yahoo, Topspin Media (acquired by Apple), The Find (acquired by Facebook) and Place, a mobile and web platform (founded by Lady Gaga) that enables anyone to create, join and discover communities of like-minded people.
Rohini Pandhi, Product Management
Rohini is the Product Lead at Square and spent a number of years as the Senior Product Manager at PubNub, a startup providing a global Data Stream Network for developers. In her free time, she also advises tech startups in the Bay Area. Her previous experiences have been in building new products with entrepreneurs, developing and marketing existing product lines for startups, and creating innovation strategies for larger corporations. Rohini is from the Midwest and studied Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and completed her MBA from the University of Chicago. Read more about Rohini’s journey here.
Stan James, Computer Vision
Stan is an expert on computer vision, developing fluorescent-based technologies at Relevant Play. He also developed Super Selfie Dance, a party-game for iOS where the player makes hilarious faces in sync with the music. Stan has built many other amazing projects over the years, which can all be found on his project page. Stan started his career co-founding Lijit Networks and as CTO, Stan and his team raised $3mm in VC funding and grew to 25 employees. After Lijit, Stan was co-founder and CTO of the revolutionary online dictionary Wordnik.com.
Ravi Apte, Mobile Application Design & Development
Ravi is a creative technologist at heart and feels passionate about bringing value to people & businesses in a way that is simple, useful and empowering. Having graduated with honors with a Bachelors & Masters Degree in Computer Science from University of Texas, Ravi is a full stack software engineer with hands on expertise in distributed computing in Java & mobile app development in iOS. He has held several engineering positions and is exposed to a broad range of technologies & systems prior to heading Left Right Mind, a mobility solutions design & development consulting firm.
Ethelbert Williams, Brand Marketing
Ethelbert is the CMO of InstaNatural and previously led global brand strategy, integrated marketing and communications planning at Kimberly-Clark Professional. Ethelbert’s brand marketing experiences span some of the largest consumer product corporations in the world, including Procter & Gamble and Unilever. While at Starcom MediaVest Group, he drove integrated marketing communications planning for a range of multinational brands. Ethelbert holds a BS from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Joyce Shen, Finance
Joyce Shen is the Director of Emerging Technology Partnerships & Investments at Thomson Reuters. She leads the enterprise CTO efforts on emerging technology strategy, partnerships, and investments globally. Before joining Thomson Reuters, Joyce was the founding member of the Cloud Platform Services division at IBM, serving as the CFO and managing all aspects of operations that enabled the successful launch of the industry leading platform-as-a-service solution (Bluemix) onto the market. Before that, she helped transition the billion-dollar enterprise social software division to a cloud model, working closely with product management and sales & marketing teams to structure business model, market positioning and sales compensation plans. Joyce also spent several years in Corporate Development where she led M&A strategy projects and executed numerous acquisitions globally. Joyce holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Statistics from the University of Chicago and an MBA degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Heather Hargreaves, Field Organization
Heather Hargreaves is an experienced political professional who currently serves as the Vice President, National Program for NextGen Climate, a non-profit that works on climate change advocacy. Prior to NextGen, Heather was a vice president at Mercury Public Affairs, executing grassroots campaigns across the country. Heather has extensive experience on political campaigns across the country, including President Obama's campaign in 2008 serving as the General Election Director for the battleground state of Nevada.
Christina Trampota, Product Marketing
Christina leads dynamic companies as they continue to innovate and evolve with the mobile and digital technologies of today and tomorrow. As Senior Director of Global Marketing Innovation at Visa, she is responsible for shaping Visa’s marketing innovation agenda to drive brand and business results. Her previous experiences include AT&T, Motorola, and a variety of mobile startups. She holds a MBA from the University of Chicago and a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Christina also teaches Digital and Mobile Marketing as an Adjunct Faculty Member at San Francisco State University.
Marne Pike, Digital Strategy
Marne, Veracity's COO & Senior Digital Strategist, hails from New York's North Country. After working with international development agencies abroad and on political campaigns here in the U.S. Marne joined Veracity to lead the digital strategy for campaigns and non-profits that she’s passionate about. Beyond helping hold down the fort at Veracity, Marne’s focus is on getting more women elected to public office by advising and leading the digital campaign efforts of women candidates, PACs, and organizations fighting to get more women elected.
Adriana Gascoigne, Coalition Building
Adriana is the Founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a non-profit organization, launched in February 2007 devoted to empower, educate, and mentor women in the tech industry across over 47 chapters internationally. Adriana has also served in Executive roles at RxMatch, (VP of Product Marketing) and QwikCart, (CMO), Ogilvy & Mather (VP of Digital - Intel), and SecondMarket (VP of Marketing), the largest secondary trading platform, where she was responsible for branding strategy, event production and digital media efforts. Gascoigne has not only worked in the technology start-up space for companies like, Indiegogo, Roost, Algentis, Democracy.com, Swyft, ImpulseFlyer, Poliwogg, hi5 (Tagged), SocialGamingNetwork (SGN), Jambool’s SocialGold (Google) and GUBA, but also serves as a Strategic Advisor. Jetway, StartupStockExchange, Involver (Oracle), Numiyo Technologies, Palindrome Advisors, CharityBlossom, DooChoo, and Change.org are some of the organizations she has had her hand in.