Nikhil Arora co-founded Back to the Roots in 2009 as a senior at UC Berkeley and gave up a potential career in consulting to become an urban mushroom farmer. Nikhil oversees the marketing, product development, and operations of half of the business, and with his co-founder, Alejandro Velez, has led the company to triple digit annual growth over four years. Since co-founding BTTR, Nikhil has been named one of BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25, Top 25 Social Entrepreneurs in America, UCLA’s Opportunity Green Top 25 Green Company Leaders, 2010 Social Venture Network Social Innovation winners, and 2010 Hitachi Young Entrepreneur Winners. Nikhil is currently on the Board of Directors of the Sage Mentorship Project and Social Venture Network. Nikhil graduated summa cum laude from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, during which he spent six months in Africa creating a profitable recycling program for the University of Ghana. Follow him on Twitter at @nikhilarora.
Kathryn Bader manages social media for the Office of Communications and Public Affairs. Before moving to higher education, she acquired over 10 years of marketing experience at Winston-Seabury Press, The Johnson Institute, IDG Books, and HarperCollins. She began her career at UC Berkeley in 2002, as a freelance graphic and web designer. She worked for eight campus units before making the leap to full-time employment in 2006, becoming managing editor of the General Catalog. A wearer of many hats, she also served as project manager of the UC Berkeley Perception Study which began our rebranding effort. These experiences, and the institutional knowledge they gave her, prepared her well for her latest challenge: telling the Berkeley story via social media. In 2013, she formed the UC Berkeley Social Media Advisory Team, aka Social Slice, in an effort to engage students. Follow her on Twitter at @kathbader.
Joel Boardman is a UC Berkeley alumnus, a Berkeley resident, and the Principal of Sidecar, an integrated marketing agency located in west Berkeley. His career hasn’t been entirely Berkeley-centric, however, and includes stints as a data analyst, writer, IT administrator, painter, programmer, and a one-day gig on a facilities maintenance crew at the Louvre. Among marketers, Joel qualifies as a digital native, yet he has repeatedly used online campaign analytics to demonstrate that single-channel communications are rarely as effective as integrated programs. The agency he leads is dedicated to helping organizations of all sizes move beyond the live/dark campaign model by creating work that spans various media and continually builds on itself in order to make a more complete and nuanced brand impression.
Claire Holmes is the associate vice chancellor of the Office of Communications and Public Affairs for UC Berkeley. She oversees media relations, internal communications, issues and crisis management, visitor and parent relations and supports the Chancellor and his Cabinet with strategic communications programs. Prior to joining UC Berkeley in May 2008, she was vice president, national media, public relations and stakeholder management for Kaiser Permanente. In this role, she led and directed national public relations and media relations for Kaiser Permanente, the largest not-for-profit integrated health plan with more than 8.4 million members, 150,000 employees and 14,000 physicians nationwide. Before assuming this position, she served as vice president of corporate communications, where she led the national internal communications activities and programs for Kaiser Permanente. Previously, she owned a consulting agency for 10 years that served national and regional clients such as Charles Schwab, IBM, Pacific Telesis, Pacific Gas and Electric, Bellcore, Chevron and Bank of America. In 2010, she was named PR Person of the Year by the national organization, PR News, and has won a number of international awards from the International Association of Business Communicators and the Public Relations Society of America. Follow her on Twitter at @ClaireBerkeley.
Kayla Green, a self-proclaimed mobile geek girl, currently spends her time working on one of her life’s passions – cars – overseeing the digital enterprise strategy for SaatchiLA’s largest client, Toyota of North America. Kayla joined the Saatchi LA team from iconmobile, a WPP-owned mobile technology and marketing organization where she ran Strategic Engagement for some of the organizations’ global clients, including Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, Kimberly-Clark and Microsoft. Named one of Mobile Marketer’s “25 Women to Watch,” Kayla is also the Los Angeles chapter co-chair and San Francisco chapter founder of SheSays, a global organization for women in digital communications. Recently, Kayla has been spending time teaching mobile strategy at universities and through digital online courses to those looking to further their skills and understanding of mobile marketing. Follow her on Twitter at @kaylam.
Ram Kapoor is executive director of marketing and digital communications for the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at UC Berkeley. In his marketing role, Ram is revisiting the messaging and identity standards of the university, while also providing support for campuswide initiatives such as Cal Day. In his digital role, he manages the university’s main websites—from the UC Berkeley gateway site to the NewsCenter and The Berkeley Blog. He also runs social media for the university—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and more. In his past life, Ram was an advertising copywriter/creative director, with awards at Cannes Lions, New York Fests, London International Awards and Asia Pacific Awards. In a future life, he would do it all over again. Follow him on Twitter at @heyram.
Fawn Kazati loves fast cars, loud bands and absurdist photos of everyday objects. A fifteen-year veteran of digital advertising currently at Saatchi & Saatchi LA engaged in everything Toyota, Fawn has also worked on successful OEM integrated campaigns for Ford and Porsche. In 2011 she helped popularize Taco Bell’s “Fourth Meal” via FaceBook and Twitter and in 2009 engaged parents in Pampers and Luv’s large scale integrated digital and social campaigns. A musician at heart, her festival photography has appeared in Rolling Stone and High Times magazines and MTV.com. Follow her on Twitter at @fawnforce.
Kim Jarboe LaPean specializes in marketing communications and customer relations in higher education. She received her BA in corporate and organizational communications from Western Kentucky University. LaPean began her career at UC Berkeley in 2003, after four years at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She served as marketing coordinator for Residential and Student Service Programs (RSSP), supporting Cal Dining, the campus card office and other residential student programs until 2007, when she transitioned to a communications role for University Health Services, expanding her skills to include health care marketing and crisis communications. Follow her on Twitter at @klapean.
Dan Mogulof is the Executive Director of the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at UC Berkeley. In that capacity he serves as spokesperson for the campus and leads the development and execution of communications strategies designed to support the campus’s priorities and protect its reputation. Before coming to Cal, Dan spent 20 years in broadcast journalism, in the U.S. and abroad, as a producer for CBS News, National Geographic Television, New York Times Television and PBS. During that period he was the recipient of four Emmy awards for his news and documentary work.
Lyle Nevels is Deputy Chief Information Officer at UC Berkeley where he is responsible for day-to-day operations of the University’s central IST organization and leads Enterprise Application Services, Telecommunications, Infrastructure, Data Management, Enterprise Data Management, and Intercollegiate Athletics IT. Lyle has more than 25 years of experience in information technology, including past positions as Haas School of Business Chief Information Officer, Interim Chief Information Officer, UC Berkeley, and Chief Information Officer at Merrill Lynch.
Janet Noe works in the hills above campus in the giant mid-century spaceship that is home to the Lawrence Hall of Science. She and her small but mighty team support the Hall’s 22MM operation through marketing, advertising, public relations, web, print and social media. Janet has twelve years experience managing marketing programs for both established and evolving technology, consumer, and education brands. Most recently she worked at McCann Erickson where she helped manage global business-to-business advertising for Microsoft’s Server and Tools unit. She believes that great communications work stems from diversity, creativity, intelligence and trust. She grew up in Hawai’i, went to college in New Mexico, and found her heart in San Francisco. She lives in Oakland, is a yogi, a painter, a dog owner, a foodie, a science lover, and a mom. Follow her on Twitter at @planetnoe.
Mike Robbins is the author of three books, Focus on the Good Stuff, Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken, and his latest Nothing Changes Until You Do. He has spoken at TEDx, Wisdom 2.0, and many other events where his keynotes and seminars empower people and organizations to be more successful, appreciative and authentic. Mike graduated from Stanford University where he played collegiate baseball before playing professionally for the Kansas City Royals. An Oakland native, Mike was a big Cal Bears fan as a kid, and to this day the rule in his house is that they always root for Cal (unless of course they are playing Stanford). Follow him on Twitter at @mikedrobbins.
Barry Shiller is Associate Vice President of Communications & Marketing at San Jose State University where he and his team oversee brand management, media relations, community & government affairs, marketing services, digital platforms (web and social), internal and executive communications, and crisis management. Prior to SJSU, Barry was chief spokesperson for AAA, worked at an e-commerce startup during the dot.com boom and collapse, served as the first communications and marketing director at Saint Mary’s College, and led strategic communications at UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis amid rising tension over budget cuts, tuition and fee increases, numerous campus protests, building occupations, police actions, and@mdash;yes@mdash;tree-sitters! A San Francisco native and USF graduate, Barry and his wife Jane live in the same Burlingame home in which they raised their three now-adult children. He is a passionate fan of his hometown 49ers and Giants, closely follows politics, and has an active presence on Twitter. Follow him at @barryshiller.
Tiffany Shlain is a filmmaker, artist, founder of the Webby Awards, and co-founder of The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. She was honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century,” and lectures worldwide on the Internet’s influence on society, the creative process, innovative filmmaking, and what the future may bring. Tiffany was the on-air Internet expert on ABC’s Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer, is a Henry Crown Fellow of The Aspen Institute, is an advisor to The Institute for the Future, and was invited to advise then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the Internet and technology. Four of her films have premiered at Sundance, including her acclaimed feature documentary, Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology. Her most recent work is a new hit film series on AOL called “The Future Starts Here.” Follow her on Twitter at @tiffanyshlain.
Jason Simon is a Partner and Vice President of SimpsonScarborough with more than 15 years of experience leading marketing efforts in higher education. He was the Executive Director of Marketing Communications for the University of California System and previously served in a similar position at North Carolina State University. Jason began his career as a sports writer and editor, then was the Associate Director of Media Relations for the NC State University athletics department, serving in the lead PR role for the men’s basketball team. He also has industry and agency experience from his time spent as a brand strategist where he worked with corporate clients such as Red Hat, IBM and Sony Ericsson, among others. Named the 2013 American Marketing Association (AMA) Higher Education Marketer of the Year, he is an expert in the increasing role and importance of marketing in higher education and has a keen understanding of the unique institutional dynamics of the industry. He is a regular speaker on branding, social media, marketing strategy and other topics, having presented for AMA, CASE, AASCU, Academic Impressions and PRSA, both nationally and internationally. Jason currently serves as co-chair of the AMA’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education.
Matt Skinner has managed paid media efforts for Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Levi’s, Virgin America, Union Bank, and others. While working at advertising agencies, he led digital advertising training programs in San Francisco, Beijing, and Kuala Lumpur, and as a graduate student, he created and taught an undergraduate class in Communication Through Web Design at San Diego State University. Matt currently works full-time as an eCommerce marketing manager and is a student in the Evening & Weekend MBA program at the Haas School of Business.
Ashley Villanueva is a communications specialist for Student Affairs at UC Berkeley. In her role, she manages the Office of Undergraduate Admission’s social media, print, and web communications. She has worked on multiple initiatives including the office’s social media strategy, rollout of the redesigned Admissions website, rebranding of publications, and implementation of student communications intern program. Outside of the office, Ashley is a freelance graphic designer for various local and nonprofit organizations. Follow her on Twitter at @APVillanueva.
Anthony Yuen works in one of UC Berkeley’s newest units, Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning, where he manages strategy, communications, web, print, social media, events, and relationship-building as part of five-person marketing team. Anthony’s career experience integrates student affairs, international education, and communications. He has worked in research, teaching, and staff positions at a number of public universities including UC Berkeley, UCLA, CSU Northridge, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a Cal grad (and former transfer student) and holds master’s degrees in Asian American Studies and Counseling & Student Affairs from UCLA. A Bay Area local, Anthony grew up next to SFO airport, whose constant air traffic ignited his interest in international travel while also rattling his family’s windows. Anthony lives in Oakland, and most weekends can be found in a museum, hiking in the GGNRA, or leading walking tours for SF City Guides. Follow him on Twitter at @anthonyyuen1.