Nicole Sanchez, Founder & Managing Partner
For more than 20 years, Nicole has served as a leading expert on diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. In her current role as Managing Partner & Founder of Vaya, Nicole holistically transforms workplace culture for Fortune 500 corporations, tech companies and mission-driven organizations. Nicole is a lecturer on workplace diversity at the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and consults globally, advising tech executives on best practices in diversity and inclusion. She is known for her extensive experience, historical knowledge, and keen eye for the future of technology. Previously, Nicole served as vice president of social impact at GitHub, the world’s largest software development community, and managing partner for the Kapor Center for Social Impact. Nicole earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She serves on the Board of CODE2040, and has received numerous awards for her work. Nicole is a mother of two teenagers and lives with her family in the San Francisco East Bay, where she was born and raised.
Rania Ahmed, Partner
Rania uses technology to connect people and build community. She is the founder of EveryoneOn Bay Area, which works to eliminate the digital divide and increase access to high-speed, low-cost Internet service and computers. EveryoneOn uses the democratizing power of the Internet to provide opportunity to all Americans – regardless of age, race, geography, income, or education level. Previously, She earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, with a major in science, technology and society; and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Alex Bledsoe, Director of Communications
Alex is a writer, filmmaker and communications strategist whose work is inspired by dismantling exploitive systems. Previously, she managed public relations for Apple, where she was instrumental in the communications efforts to defend global consumer privacy rights. Alex is the co-founder of Breaktide Productions, and has been recognized as a Maynard 200 Fellow and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Fellow. She was previously a guest columnist for the Washington Post, and an Aspen Institute emerging writer nominee. Alex earned her B.S. from Georgetown University with a degree in international politics, and speaks Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic.
BingYune Chen, Partner
BingYune applies expert knowledge, industry experience, and focused energy to solve challenges in business strategy, people operations and data science at scale. BingYune was one of the youngest leaders to serve as a Chief of Staff, strategic advisor and internal lead consultant to Kaiser Permanente management. He addressed over 25 complex, high-risk and high-stakes delivery system issues for 3.9M members, across 21 medical centers in Northern California. He is certified in Lean Six Sigma, Scaled Agile for Enterprise and Management of Technology. BingYune is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a B.S. in bioengineering and a Master of Public Health.
Nadia Gathers, Consultant
Nadia creates content that allows people to express and fulfill their needs and the needs of others. They currently manage internal communications for GitHub and its more than 900 employees. Nadia also teaches design thinking at Stanford’s d.school and beyond, and has taught more than 1,000 students and professionals to date. In their spare time, they're a mental health advocate, an amateur novelist, and queen mother of the University Innovation Fellows at Stanford.
Amanda Gelender is a strategist, writer, and organizational culture expert with 16 years of experience building high-performing, mission-driven teams across sectors. Most recently, Amanda led flagship social impact programs at GitHub. She co-founded one of tech’s first affinity groups for employees with mental health challenges. Previously, Amanda worked at the Kapor Center for Social Impact, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California, and New Global Citizens. Amanda guides leaders from around the world through legal, transformational, psychedelic sessions in Amsterdam to accelerate their personal and professional growth. She graduated with honors from Stanford University and received a Fulbright Scholarship.
Nick Paranomos, Partner
Nick Paranomos is a strategy, operations, and innovation consultant with more than 10 years of experience across industries and verticals. After graduating from Haas School of Business, Nick joined Deloitte to work on a range of consulting initiatives including international product expansion, finance transformation, supply chain optimization, competitive strategy, revenue growth analysis, and tech platform development. While at Deloitte, Nick specifically worked with health care providers to understand and improve their financial and operating performance, capital and technology roadmap, care model strategy, and strategic market positioning. After Deloitte, Nick led several global initiatives for Fortune 500 technology clients as an independent consultant. He has also advised, co-founded, or served as an executive at a number of early-stage and venture-backed technology startups.
Nikolitsa Paranomos, Creative Consultant
Nikolitsa Paranomos is an artist, designer, stylist, and chef from the San Francisco Bay Area. Nikolitsa travels globally as a creative business consultant designing events, spaces, and marketing materials that bring creative vibrancy and artistic vision to her client's products. Nikolitsa studied UX Design at General Assembly and holds a BA from UC San Diego.
She is the Founder of Naturally Niko, a premiere catering company based in Oakland, and the author of Mad Girl Coloring Book, an artistic exploration of trauma and healing.