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Home About Us Our Team

Our Team


Staff names are listed in alphetbetical order by last name within each location.

Our Headquarters Team

Programs Division

Renaissance Bayview

Renaissance Marin

 
Our Headquarters Team
 

Aracely

 Aracely Barrios, Finance Coordinator, has been with Renaissance since 2007; when not working to keep our finances in order she assists other members of the Operations Team in supporting the 30 business tenants at our Central Office on 5th Street. Born in Guatemala and raised in San Francisco, worked in her father's business for many years. Aracely resides in Bayview with her husband and two kids, and is passionate about the support we provide to Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  | (415) 348-6208] 

Wendy_Guzman

 Wendy Guzman, Facilities and Operations Associate at Renaissance's SoMa location has provided programmatic and administrative support on economic development projects in our Bayview office since 2007. In 2011 she moved over to become part of the Operations Department at our SOMA location.  As a San Francisco native, the vitality and success of the San Francisco small business community are very dear to her. She is proud to know that her city believes and supports small business owners.  As an entrepreneur herself (Wendy is a make-up artist), she understands what it takes to have a business and the importance of having a community of experts to nurture, foster and help you grow your business. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  I (415) 348-6228

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AHarris

Amy Harris, Development Director, is responsible for overseeing all fundraising activities that aim to strengthen a diverse funding base and grow the organizational budget in support of programs and activities focused on economic and social justice through entrepreneurship. Amy is passionate about issues related to anti-oppression and her career in non-profit development spans over 12 years for organizations such as Breast Cancer Action and the Arthritis Foundation. Most recently, Amy fulfilled a lifelong dream of service in the Peace Corps (2011-2013). As a Social Entrepreneurship and Organizational Development Volunteer in the NGO sector in the Republic of Georgia, Amy worked to increase the sustainability and organizational capacity of Georgian NGOs striving for gender equality, conflict resolution, youth development, and anti-oppression for minority communities. Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Amy has also lived in the Philippines, Oregon, and Boston. However, since 2001 she has called the San Francisco Bay Area her home. Amy holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology and English Literature from the University of Oregon. In her free time she enjoys volunteering, yoga, jogging, hiking, camping, cooking, drinking wine, music and dancing, volunteering, and spending time with dear friends and family. [email I (415) 348-6207

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113ac76

  Jon Jimenez Macuso, Marketing and Evaluation Assistant, born and raised in northern Spain (San Sebastian), joined the   Renaissance team in January 2013. Jon holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a passion for social and   economic justice. He was involved in entrepreneurship programs during his university years and his experience in the Social   Services field made him realize that social entrepreneurship was the path he wanted to take in his life. He came to the San   Francisco Bay Area excited about its entrepreneurship culture and was ready to immerse himself into the non-profit sector. He   admires all entrepreneurs and small business owners that come to Renaissance and truly transform their lives. Jon is positive about every aspect of life. He lives in the heart of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco and there are many things he likes to do, see and experience. He likes to think, dream, laugh, talk and listen, travel, practice sports, hike, run in the Golden Gate Park and smell the wind coming from the Ocean. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / (415) 348-6203]

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maria

 Maria Kelly, Manager of Marketing, Evaluations & Special Projects, joined Renaissance in 2011. Originally from Eastern Europe, Maria has spent most of her adult life studying and working in various parts of the United States. Prior to joining the Renaissance team, Maria has worked and volunteered for a number of nonprofits, including a museum and an international human rights organization at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, Switzerland. Maria holds a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University. New to the Bay Area, she is excited about discovering local treasures and admiring the Golden Gate Bridge when she gets a chance. Her favorite saying and inspiration is from Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” [  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  I (415) 348-6223]

 

Lisa_9

Lisa Kirvin has been with Renaissance since 2000, initially as Development Director and currently as the Managing Director of Finance, Operations and HR. She enjoys working with her team to foster smooth internal operations so that the rest of the crew can concentrate on "transforming lives thru entrepreneurship"! Prior to Renaissance, Lisa worked in international education and conflict resolution, and had a very brief stint co-owning a small enterprise as part of her undergrad program. Lisa earned her Masters in International Economic Development at George Washington University. When not at Renaissance, you can find her in one of the City's parks with her son or volunteering in San Francisco's newest Spanish-immersion elementary school program. Fluent in German, her Spanish gets better every day. [  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  | (415) 348-6247]

 

Sharon_Photo_BestSharon Miller is the Chief Executive Officer of Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. She has served in this position since 1999. During Sharon’s tenure, Renaissance added its second location, Renaissance Bayview (formerly the Bayview Business Resource Center) merged with Start Up, the only micro-enterprise organization in the Mid-Peninsula, expanded its small business incubator from 14 to 30 tenants, became a US Small Business Administration Women’s Business Center, launched an instructor-led online business planning class to reach potential entrepreneurs regardless of their geographic location, and will be opening our fourth center in San Rafael to serve Marin County. In 2012, under Sharon's leadership, Renaissance opened its fourth location -- a small business development center in San Rafael. In addition to her 25+ years of experience in the non-profit sector, Sharon co-owned and co-founded Travel Systems, an international travel wholesaler in New York City. Sharon is the past Chair of CAMEO (California Association of Micro-Enterprise Organizations), a founder and former co-chair of the San Francisco Economic Development Association (SFEDA) a board member of the Association of Women’s Business Centers and a member of the JP Morgan Chase Community Advisory Board. Sharon received the 2011 US Small Business Administration Women’s Business Champion of the Year Award, a 2010 National Women’s History Month History Makers Powerful Women of the Bay Award, and the 2009 National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), San Francisco Chapter Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  | (415) 348-6243]

 
 
Philip Smith, Finance Manager, joined Renaissance in January, 2013. He holds degrees in business and English literature from Pacific Union College and an MBA in Finance from Babson College. Since grad school Philip has worked in nonprofit organizations, first at the Boston Center for the Arts and then at Babson College. He enjoyed working with entrepreneurs, artists and artisans at both organizations. A Bay Area native, Philip is excited to be back in San Francisco after 10 years in the Boston area. He is still surprised that he can walk outside in January without a coat. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | (415) 348-6259
 
 
 
Programs Division

 

Renaissance Bayview

 

YamiYamilet Gonzalez, Renaissance Bayview Program Coordinator has been with Renaissance for over thirteen years. Yamilet coordinates Renaissance’s Individual Development Account program and provides programmatic, administrative and outreach support. She also tracks client outcomes and maintains our client database. Yamilet is a Notary Public, and is a graduate of the Renaissance Business Planning class. Born in Nicaragua and raised in San Francisco, Yamilet is bilingual in English and Spanish,and a mother of six busy and bright children. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | (415) 647-3728]
 
 
 

Marcus Tartt is the Center Manager for Renaissance Bayview. As a native San-Franciscan, born and raised in the Bayview District, Marcus has worked throughout his career to help improve underserved communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has worked to secure employment and educational resources for high risk youth in San Francisco and affordable housing for low-income families in the City of Alameda. As a Senior Project Manager for Pinole Redevelopment Agency, Marcus led multiple teams to redevelop underutilized property along the city's main commercial corridor. More recently, he has worked with property owners, government officials and community stakeholders to help revitalize the Eastmont Commercial District in Oakland, CA. During his free time, Marcus likes to ride a bike and coach basketball. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it I (415) 647-3728]

 

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Renaissance Marin

falvarez

Fermín Álvarez, Renaissance Marin Program Manager, is a native of Cuba from where he holds both a B.A. in Education, with anemphasis in ESL from Universidad de Ciencias Pedagogicas Felix Varela and a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Universidad Central de Las Villas. An entrepreneur himself, Fermin is the executive chef and co-owner of Our Cuban Kitchen, an Oakland-based catering company, serving authentic Cuban cuisine to the Bay Area community. He created his business in 2010 after completing an entrepreneurship training program (Urban FIRE) along with his wife, Sandra. Fermin has also worked as a radio journalist, teacher, administrative assistant, accountant, translator, carpenter, salesperson, website developer, and graphic designer. In his free time, Fermin loves backpacking, traveling, sports, and cooking for fun parties he hosts at his place in the East Bay. Among his interests are education, languages, community work, andof course meeting new people. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  | (415) 755-1115 x 1010]

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darmstrongDebra Armstrong, Training Manager at Renaissance Marin, brings a unique perspective to entrepreneurial training with a background in both business and education.  Born and raised in Clovis, California, she graduated from Fresno State University with a degree in Business Administration and began her career in retail banking.  She later worked in chain retail management, small services business management, human resources and with her husband opened a small marketing and fulfillment business. Debra continued her education at Dominican University of California, where she received both her teaching credential and masters of education.  Her career continued as an educator for eight years with the Regional Occupational Programs at the Sonoma County Office of Education.  Among her curriculum, she taught entrepreneurship, marketing and employment skills.  Debra and her husband reside in the Black Point area of Novato with their cats, Buddy, Cleo and the ‘block cat’, Cody. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  | 415-755-1115 x 1026]

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LDeLeonLucero De Leon, Marketing Associate at Renaissance Marin, was born in San Francisco and grew up in San Rafael. Her family moved to Richmond, CA in middle school but she continued to go to school in San Rafael. She graduated from San Rafael High School and recently earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Spanish and a minor in Latin American Studies from Santa Clara University. While in college, she volunteered in different non-profits in San Jose and Santa Clara; joined the salsa team, and was a member of the MECHA club (Latino club). She studied abroad in the Dominican Republic and did volunteer work at a Street School in Guatemala. She also worked for the Multicultural Center at SCU as the social/cultural coordinator. Her mother is from El Salvador and her father is from Guatemala. Lucero loves learning about other cultures and heritages including her own.  She is excited to see Marin transform into a new community full of entrepreneurs, especially excited to offer access and entrepreneurship resources to the underserved population in Marin county. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  | (415) 755-1115]

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Jane-Gibson

Jane Gibson is the SBDC Administrator Assistant at Renaissance Marin. Jane grew up in the Bay Area and is knowledgeable about different aspects of business. For 10 years, Jane owned a bed and breakfast in the Napa Valley. For 11 years, Jane was Chair for the Silent Auction portion of the Napa Valley Wine Auction, the largest fundraising event in the US. She also worked as Finance Manager at Marin Luxury Cars, a consultant for Great Western Assurance and as a National Sales Manager for Headquarters Companies – fun fact – she sold Bill Gates’ first ten office locations in the US.  In her free time she volunteer’s at the Marin Humane Society and has two cats of her own, Mr. Big and Mojito.[ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | (415) 755-1115

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MKarell

Miriam Karell, SBDC Manager at Renaissance Marin, is passionate about supporting small-medium enterprises as she believes they are the backbone of our society helping redesign our systems with innovative ideas. For the past 8 years, Miriam has worked with over 50 organizations assisting them to communicate authentically, build their leadership capabilities, grow their organizations and develop initiatives/products that create win-win-win scenarios (good for the business, the community and the environment).  Miriam has a Masters in “Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability” from Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden, BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley, and a BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. She is a native San Franciscan who still drops her mouth in awe at the beauty of the first sight of the Golden Gate Bridge when passing through the rainbow tunnel on her way home. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  | (415) 755-1115 ext 1143]

RKendall

Ruth Kendall, Evening Receptionist at Renaissance Marin, was born and raised in San Francisco. She later moved to Marin and currently resides with a roommate and her cat, Ms. Kitty. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Dominican University. Ruth has a grown daughter, Jenny, who lives in San Francisco and is her pride and joy. In her free time, Ruth enjoys meals out, movies, and enjoys taking day trips. Ruth feels passionate about working for Renaissance Marin, an organization that promotes economic self-sufficiency.

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bkodama

Boku Kodama is the Center Director for Renaissance Marin. He has been an entrepreneur for 40 years with ten for-profit and nine non-profit businesses. Since 1999, he has devoted thousands of hours in research and development of visual-based training to assist non-business individuals to launch their own micro-businesses using a concept he calls “generative entrepreneurship”–creating businesses that serve the individual, promote long term sustainability and improve our communities and environment. His entrepreneurship programs are unconventional yet designed for our 21st Century Economy using collaboration, creativity, and referral marketing. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  (415) 755-1115 ext. 1025]
 
 

Renaissance Mid-Peninsula 

JesusMaganaJesus A. Magaña, Program Assistant at Renaissance Mid-Peninsula, is responsible for audit preparations and maintaining client files for all the business classes taught at all Mid-Peninsula locations. He is a student at CSU East Bay and is working towards his B.S in Business Administration with a focus in finance. He is an East Palo Alto resident and an Eastside College Prep Graduate. He started working with Renaissance as an intern in the summer of 2012, after the summer he became a part time employee. He has a great passion for helping people and enjoys seeing their lives change through entrepreneurship. In his free time you can find Jesus in any local soccer field playing soccer with friends. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | (650) 321-2193 ext. 1100]

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timrussell

Tim Russell, Program Director, is responsible for overseeing program staff, consultants, and operations in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Daly City, San Mateo/Foster City, Redwood City and Richmond. Tim joins Renaissance with a great deal of experience including as an Executive Director of a faith-based nonprofit and as an Education Director and Dean of Students for the National Training Institute and Sequoia Institute respectively. Tim's passion in life is helping people's dreams and visions come to fruition through education and training facilitation. Tim is a published author and an accomplished motivational speaker [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | (650) 321-2193 ext. 1102]

 

 

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crasmussen

Crystal Rasmussen, Program Associate, joined Renaissance in June 2014. Crystal is a Bay Area native, born and raised in the East Bay. She joins Renaissance with an extensive background in accounting and finance. She spent the last decade in Aviation Finance working for a private airline at the Oakland International Airport.   Crystal is new to the non-profit sector and looks forward to embarking on a new venture to help promote and transform lives through entrepreneurship. She works closely with her husband building their own business in Insurance. Crystal enjoys spending time with her family. Her hobbies include, playing softball, writing poetry and attending A’s, Giants and Warriors games.  [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (650) 321-2193ext 1100 ]

 

nora.bio   Nora Razon, Program Coordinator for Renaissance Mid-Peninsula. Originally from a rural town in Mexico, Nora has spent most of   her adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area but enjoys visiting her hometown in the summer and staying afloat of current events remotely. Nora is passionate about creating spaces that nurture the leadership, agency and personal development of underserved  populations. Prior to joining the Renaissance team, Nora worked and volunteered for a number of organizations creating sustainable practices to engage and empower adults and young people in schools and their community. Nora is a founding member of the College Track Alumni Association, Nuestra Casa board member and provides consulting around authentic family  engagement in educational settings. Nora holds a BA in La Raza studies and Sociology from San Francisco State University. When not working or volunteering her time, Nora enjoys interior design, Pinterest, wine tasting, dancing, riding horses, reading and spending time with her family. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | (650) 321-2193 x 1103 ]

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Luis Vizcardo, Program Coordinator for Renaissance Mid-Peninsula, provides enthusiastic outreach targeted luis vizcardotowards East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park's communities - increasing awareness and enrollment in our programs and services. Originally from Perú, Luis holds a degree from the University of San Ignacio de Loyola as a computer analyst and programmer, as well as a certificate in Multi-cultural Community Health studies from El Concilio of San Mateo County. An involved resident of the East Palo Alto community, Luis is a member of One East Palo and the East Palo Alto Measure C Oversight Committee, and sits on the board of Nuestra Casa. A part of the Start Up team since 1999, Luis loves to join his wife in road trips and overseas travel. [  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  | (650) 321-2193 ext. 1101].

 Renaissance Richmond

 
Caitlin_photo

  Caitlin Watkins, Program Coordinator in Richmond, has been with Renaissance since March 2014. She has worked at a number of   non-profit organizations, advocating for consumer protection, criminal justice reform, and access to fresh and healthy produce to  underserved communities. Caitlin is particularly passionate about social entrepreneurship, food justice, and economic   empowerment. Before Renaissance, she started a social enterprise called Fallen Fruit from Rising Women, a business that sells   value-added food products and provides entrepreneurial skills to formerly incarcerated women. She is particularly excited to be working with such a diverse and vibrant community in Richmond and providing access to local business development by  establishing our first center in the East Bay. Originally from Austin, Texas, she now calls the East Bay her home. In her spare time,  she loves to garden, hike, cook, and explore what the beautiful Bay Area has to offer. She graduated with honors in Environmental  Analysis from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges.  [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it |  ]

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Renaissance SoMa & Women's Business Center

 
kareenKareen Boncales recently joined the Renaissance Headquarters team in 2014 as the Program Associate. She holds a degree in Economics and has entrepreneurial dreams of starting a retail business in beauty. Originally born in the Philippines, her diverse international background includes studying abroad in Seoul, S. Korea, joining the Peace Corps in 2009 as a Small Enterprise Development volunteer in Cameroon and then later, residing in Paris, France to improve her French and start her own business. She is looking forward to settling down in San Francisco and becoming part of the community. Her various hobbies include playing chess, gardening, reading books, and blogging about health and beauty. [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | (415) 348-6227]

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Paula Connelly is the Program Manager and Director of our Women's Business Center at Renaissance’s SoMa Office. Paula helps clients navigate all of the wonderful programs Renaissance has to offer, including our intensive Business Planning class, our Incubator programs, skill-building workshops, and more. Originally from New York City, Paula got a crash course in the politics, arts, and culture of San Francisco during her 4 year stint as the Publisher’s assistant and Calendar Editor for the SF Bay Guardian, where she became passionate about the positive impact that spending locally has on communities. Paula has a BA in Psychology and Literature from SUNY Purchase and enjoys live music, art galleries, and eating and biking her way around San Francisco. [  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  | (415) 348-6248 ]

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PetraOPetra Ostermuenchner is the Program Coordinator for our Renaissance Soma location. With a background as a business entrepreneur in fashion design and native of Austria, Petra independently immigrated to the States at age 19. In 2008 Petra was one of eight fashion designers to be featured in Fashion Week San Diego, and has since organized and hosted over fifty fashion shows and trade events to promote and grow her business. With multiple Associates degrees from San Diego Mesa College in Fashion Design and Merchandising as well as a Bachelors Degrees from San Francisco State University Petra has formed a diverse education for herself enabling her to focus on the many different aspects business ownership has to offer. As our Program Coordinator Petra emphasizes on our effective business planning class, and is always enthusiastic about meeting new entrepreneurs and their wonderful ideas.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  | (415) 348-6212 ]

 

Mr. Jackson has been welcoming attendees of our evening programs for over a decade and continues to enjoy each new client and their entrepreneurial dreams. If you come to one of the many classes and workshops we offer at our SoMa Office on 5th Street, you are sure to be greeted warmly by Mr. Jackson, our door monitor. A native of Louisiana and long-time Bayview resident, Mr. Jackson has long retired from military service, and spends as much time as he can fishing in the Delta.

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