Pree Walia, CEO
Pree Walia is the CEO and Founder 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.
Pamela Cheng, Community Manager
Pamela is a Community Manager and Artist in Residence for Preemadonna and a third year student at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her major is Information Engineering and Media which exposes her to both the technical and design aspects of software and electronics. It is where ‘art meets technology’. Pamela is excited to be part of Preemadonna where she’ll get to be part of the efforts in encouraging young girls to be part of STEM, and to witness the creative designs of nail art. Coming from a tropical country, she’s ready the embrace the chilly weather she never had! Pamela aspires to continue expanding her skills in both the technology and the arts, and hopes to use the combination of these two diverse skills to provide an opportunity for girls who have little to no access to education, one, in the future.
Marie Millan, Project Engineer
Marie Millan is project engineer at Preemadonna. Marie studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is originally from Northern California. 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.
Julia Hindle, Intern, Nail Artist & Rockstar Coder
Julia Hindle is an intern for Preemadonna and a sophomore at Tufts University studying Computer Science. 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.
Alan Phung, College Intern & Entrepreneur
Alan Phung is an intern for Preemadonna. He is a Freshman at Denison University. In High School, he got very involved in the Chicago community. He worked on the executive board of both the Chicago Youth Alliance for Climate Action and the Junior Economic Club. These student led non-profit organizations focused on teaching youth on how to become better leaders. Alan also loves meeting people and that stemmed from being part of the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program and Yale Young Global Scholars. Both these programs allowed him to meet people from around Chicago and the world. He is passionate about showing people that having long and attractive nails is also masculine. Alan refuses to accept the stereotypical model of masculinity.
Elise Voglewede, High School Intern & Star Ambassador
Elise Voglewede is a sophomore at St. Joseph High School in Michigan. In 2017, Elise was a delegate at the National Girl Scout Convention in Columbus, Ohio. At the convention, she was able to meet so many empowering women, including Preemadonna’s founder Pree Walia. In 2018, Elise was one of a few students selected to go to Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland for a Girl Scout NASA training. Through the next two years, Elise will be bringing space science back to her community by creating a Girl Scout astronomy club where girls can learn more about space science through hands-on activities. Elise loves how science can be applied to almost everything. Elise was also awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award because of her volunteer work at her local library with its summer reading program.
Jesse Draper is founding partner of Halogen Ventures as well as creator and host of 2015 Emmy nominated television series,The Valley Girl Show. Draper is a 4th generation venture capitalist focused on early stage investing in female founded consumer technology. Her portfolio also includes the Skimm, Laurel & Wolf, Carbon38, HopSkipDrive, The Flex Company& Sugarfina. Through her show she’s helped pioneer the way in digital media and started the initiative to interview 50% women in technology. Previously a Nickelodeon star, Draper used her comedic talents to bring an approachable feel to the technology world, has produced and distributed 500 interviews with some of the greatest minds in technology and beyond (including; Ted Turner, Mark Cuban, Sheryl Sandberg, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Jessica Alba, MC Hammer and Eric Schmidt). Draper was listed by Marie Claire magazine as one of the ‘50 Most Connected Women in America’. USA Today called the show “Must see startup TV”. Draper has been a contributor to Marie Claire, Mashable, Forbes, and is a regular investor and tech personality on shows including TLC’s Girl Starter, The Katie Couric Show, Fox’s Good Day LA, CNBC’s Who Wants to Be the Next Millionaire Inventor? & Freeform’s Startup U. She stars on Meet the Drapers with her Dad and Grandfather on SET. She proudly sits on the board of directors of Werk, the non-profit board Bizworld and is on the Chairman’s board of SurfAir. Draper supports the Parkinson’s Institute and is very involved with growing UCLA’s female entrepreneurship community. She is a mom of 2, a graduate of UCLA and a Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Founders Factory was established to help early stage companies rapidly become viable and sustainable businesses. They have a blend of what early stage companies require: expedited pre-seed funding, agile technology development, lean acceleration and world class mentors. Founders Factory works with its corporate partners, including L'Oreal, to accelerate the growth of its portfolio companies.
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.
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.
Casey Schulz, R&D
Casey Schulz is a co-founder at 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.
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 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.
Kyra Wayne, Design Engineer & Artist in Residence
Kyra Wayne is a design engineering intern and resident artist at Preemadonna. Kyra graduated from Santa Clara University 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.
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.
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.
Grace Quinn, Community Manager
Grace Quinn is a marketing intern and community manager for Preemadonna. Grace is studying business marketing and psychology at Indiana University. Having always lived in California, she is adjusting to the Midwest lifestyle and enjoys being immersed this new and diverse college culture. On campus she is involved in Psychology Club and the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority. She is passionate about equality and empowerment for women. She highly values the company’s mission to promote the idea of intelligence and beauty as complementary traits for women everywhere!
Jodie Cheung, Business Development and Marketing MBA Intern
Jodie Cheung is a Business Development and Marketing Intern at Preemadonna. She is an incoming MBA student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Jodie worked as a management consultant with Accenture for four years, focused on helping leading Consumer Products companies deliver strategic cost reduction and restructuring initiatives. Her previous experiences also include roadmap planning, operating model design, and change management across the CPG, Retail, and Healthcare industries. Jodie holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.
Sneha Ramesh, Preemadonna Computer Science Intern
Sneha is a rising junior at Santa Clara University and a new intern at Preemadonna, currently working on the web development and design of Nail the Code, and hopefully taking on new projects in the future! She’s excited to work with Preemadonna because she absolutely loves everything the company stands for and is working towards, on top of being able to learn so much here. Sneha is interested in Computer Science research and has worked at NASA Ames in Summer 2016 and is also a TA for Intro to CS at SCU. When she’s not doing anything programming related, you can find her binge watching dog videos or playing the guitar while singing her heart out.
Ankita Upadhyay, Computer Science Intern
Ankita Upadhyay is currently a rising junior at UCSC and is pursuing a B.S. in computer science. She is involved in clubs at UCSC that encourage women in STEM including Project AWESomE: Advancing Women’s Education in the School of Engineering and WiSE: Women in Science and Engineering. She was also a web developer for her team in Hack for Humanity 2017 where she worked on the front end aspects (using Bootstrap, HTML, CSS) to render a web app. Ankita is passionate about coding and programming and aspires to expand her portfolio by engaging in challenging, yet rewarding projects. As an intern, she will be in charge of administering Premadonna’s Github, helping out with the Maker Kit tutorial, and assisting with the “Code Your Own Nail Art” website. In addition, she loves jogging, playing softball, coding, reading, and doing anything beauty related. Ankita loves what Preemadonna stands for and is excited to empower young girls to strive for what they believe in. She hopes to be a software engineer after graduating college.
Aastha Upadhyay - Coder Intern
Aastha Upadhyay is a junior at Cupertino High School, hoping to major in Computer Science. After taking the offered Computer Science class at her school and developing several game projects outside of class, she has developed a strong foundation in Java programming. She is also familiar with HTML, CSS, and Python programming. At school, she is involved with basketball and various honor societies - such as National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation, and Spanish Honor Society. She cares strongly about women’s involvement in STEM-related careers, making Preemadonna the perfect place for her.
Anisha Tavva - Coder Intern
Anisha Tavva is a rising third year, pursuing a BS in Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is involved in clubs that empower women to join the technology industry such as Project Awesome and Society of Women Engineers. She started to code as a first year in college and started out small by creating websites and introducing herself to different languages such as Java, C, and C++. Anisha is beyond excited to be an intern at Preemadonna this summer and be able to empower women through her coding skills. She is thrilled to work with other interns to learn more about tech industry as well as improve her technological skills through this amazing experience. She will be assisting with the “Code Your Own Nail Art” website. Outside of interning, she loves to spend time with her family&friends, shop, and enjoy the nature. Anisha loves the feminist movement and is beyond excited to empower women to join the technological field as well as empower them to gain confidence to do anything they want.
Jacquelene: Coder Intern & Artist in Residence
Jacquelene Pham is an upcoming junior at UCSC pursuing a BS degree in Computer Engineering. She is involved in school clubs that encourage women to pursue STEM such as Project AWESomE (Advancing Women’s Education in the School of Engineering) and SWE (Society of Women Engineers). She is also involved in MAGIC (More Active Girls in Computing) where she mentored a high school student by building a mobile app. Jacquelene learned coding her freshman year of college as she created interactive games on an Arduino PicKit using Java, C, and C++. As an intern, Jacquelene is extremely excited to help code and design the “Nail the Code” website with her coding skills and artistic eye. Besides interning, she loves drawing, playing music, exploring food, doing anything beauty-related, and finding beautiful nature. She loves what Preemadonna stands for and hopes to share her passions while empowering other women to do the same!
Megan Farley, Graphic Design Intern & Artist in Residence
Megan Farley is a Graphic Design intern for Preemadonna. She is a Junior at California Polytechnic University Pomona in Southern California. Although it is part of the same state, Southern California is a whole new culture that she is learning to adapt to. She is majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Marketing. At school she is a member of the Chi Omega women's fraternity and is apart of the AIGA, the American Institute of Graphic Arts. In her free time, she loves to paint, go to the beach, and visit Disneyland. She is working on various design aspects within the company. She is thrilled to be working with a company that empowers girls as such a young age to pursue science and art!
Tugba Rona, MBA Intern
Tugba Rona is a Business Development and Marketing Intern at Preemadonna. She is an MBA student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Tugba started her career in Investment Banking, initially with a focus on General Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and later with a focus on Consumer / Retail specific M&A. She focused on helping leading Consumer brands through creating detailed operating and valuation models, designing strategic cost reduction initiatives and facilitating due diligence. Most recently, she worked as an Account Planner at a high-growth Cosmetics company. Tugba holds an A.B. degree in Economics, Cum Laude from Princeton University. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, running, dancing, practicing yoga and exploring new coffee shops.