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PEOPLE

WALTER DARIO DI MANTOVA

FOUNDER, CHIEF CONVENER AND GENERATION ENGINE

My work mission: Save lives, build jobs and disrupt poverty through learning. Never changed; never will.

I’ve been an educational entrepreneur for thirty-five years – but not the same year thirty-five times — and lucky enough to create and lead teams building some of the world’s most successful and transformative businesses in higher ed.

Now I see myself as an interdisciplinary technologist, a comprehensive anticipatory system scientist, a futurist and contributor towards change for good.

My obsessions? Creativity, innovation, transformative communities. The next wave of learning and social change. Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Virtual Reality, Biotechnology. My current “enthusiasms”? The neuroscience of free will, hacker culture and history, the life of Thomas Alva Edison and where to find good pizza in Sacramento.

Formal education? B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Colorado, Master’s Degree in Ethnography from the University of Michigan (with the first Distinguished Pass for his doctoral preliminary work) and living large as the Senior Scholar at University College, London. Because I’m such a nerd, I’ve written for the Cambridge University Journal of Society and History, the Proceedings of the American Society for Quality, the World Futures Society, and 2300, The World Hacker Quarterly.

Real learning? Six startups, two successes, working in steel plants In Saginaw, Michigan, teaching for ten years, being part of intensively progressive non-profits.

I’ve been truly fortunate to have spent his life surrounded by three extraordinary women. I live in northern California with my wife of forty years and a cat about which I have mixed feelings.

DR. COLEEN MOREHEAD, FOUNDER OF CLEAR STRATEGIES

STRATEGIC PARTNER

Dr. Coleen Morehead, Founder of CLEAR Strategies, promotes the philosophy that collaboration leads to empowerment, action, and results. CLEAR Strategies provides a focus on community impact and results with an emphasis on improving lives through sustainable

economic prosperity measures. Utilizing the CLEAR Strategies approach, the delivery of a well thought out comprehensive approach ensures opportunities for strategic collaboration. The resulting effect will be measurable impacts through leveraging existing systems; public, private, community-based organizations working with industry, education and service providers. Dr. Morehead’s diverse career spans over 25 years in business, nonprofit and government sectors with areas of expertise include community coalition building, establishing strategic partnerships, program development and implementation, public policy research and advocacy and public relations. Coleen holds a Doctor of Education from Drexel University where she majored in Educational Leadership and Management with a concentration in Education and Public Policy, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of San Francisco.

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GINA LUJAN

MASTER CREATOR

Gina Lujan loves people and believes that we are all born with natural gifts to create prosperity for ourselves and enrich our lives. It has been Gina’s life’s passion to help create opportunities for people to find their potential for their best life. Having left home at 14, she’s driven

by the mission of helping the disenfranchised and those left behind.

Gina is the Founding CEO of the Hacker Lab, a hacker/maker space and community located in Sacramento. The Hacker Lab foster local startups and technology enthusiasts with community driven forums, events, education, and mentorship. We strive to ignite innovation in local government, education, and corporations.

Gina has been an entrepreneur all her life and have used her DIY education to hustle the income needed to raise my six children.

Her superhero powers are creating community, making something from nothing, breaking down the box, and strategy. Her mantra: Let’s break the status quo and reap havoc.

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LINDSAY SUSSKIND

COMMUNITY BUILDER

Upon completing her BA in Psychology, I worked for seven years in the exciting biotech industry, managing all sides of operations, sales and service. I moved to the Sacramento area from Orange County six years ago, and immediately fell in love with the large startup community

within the city.   Upon completing the Master’s in Business Administration for Executives program at Sacramento State, I realized MY passion for business was due to a love for helping organizations realize the value of employees. 

After working hard to earn a Professional in Human Resources certification I soon started working with non-profit startups helping the North Highlands based “Culturally Creative Art Program” be implemented throughout the city, giving the community access to low cost art classes.  Big achievement for change: created a business plan for Stockton Boulevard Community Development Corporation to bring a social enterprise to help drive economic development and train those with barriers to employment within the community.

My passion for non-profits gave me the opportunity to volunteer at the National Brain Tumor Society and Mercy Coalition’s Winter Warming Centers.   

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WILLIAM RYAN

WORKFORCE INNOVATOR

I am the Principal Consultant with Ryan Consulting, LLC developing high performing people through the use of strategic learning and performance solutions to engage, develop, and retain a skilled workforce.  My experience includes academic, private industry,

and government experience as VP of Education, VP of Technology/CIO, National Leader of Curriculum & Technology Solutions and as the Executive Director of the nationally known Learn on Demand competency-based initiative.  My insights include how to apply innovative learning methodologies and technology (augmented reality, simulations, microlearning, blended & cohort learning, etc.) meeting the need of all learners. I’ve worked in competency-based design and development at the national level as part of the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN), developing the initial CBE conceptual model.  I’ve published a number of articles centered on competency-based design and delivery on The evoLLLution online journal.  My degrees?  An M.S. from Ithaca College focused on Instructional Design, and a Ph.D. in Computing Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University.

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KAREN MILLS

LEARNING FUTURIST

My vision is for a seamless transition for students from K12 into community colleges, with entering students knowing what they want to study and why. To help make this happen I co-authored a middle school career readiness curriculum to get students excited

about career exploration in high school. I have worked with K12 and college systems to mend broken pathways and create new ones, ensuring students receive early college credit. I strongly believe students having early access to career and labor market information is an equity issue that can counterbalance lack of social capital. I also believe the way they are taught has a massive impact on their learning, and I have worked with community college faculty across the state to share best teaching practices with them. I speak four languages (two on a daily basis), and have lived in three countries, with California being my home for the last 25 years. 

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TERI MUNGER

LEARNING CHANGE LEADER

I am a 30-year tech industry professional working for companies such as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Intel in positions ranging from Regional and National Sales Manager to External Affairs, Public/Media Relations, Community Development, Education and Government

Relations. My Capstone role: Managing corporate donations to nonprofit and educational organizations.

My more formal education? BA Political Science University of California Santa Barbara (go Gauchos!), K – Adult Ed Teaching Credential, San Jose State. I used my teaching credential working for ten years for the CA Community College Chancellors Office under a grade 9 – 14 grants to the Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento, California. My work focused on Early College Credit and Vocational Education advocacy.

What do I do best? I identify experts and collaborate to maximize results. A hidden talent: I am a unicyclist.

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TRACEY SCHAAL

TECHNOLOGY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENURSHIP INNOVATION MASTER

I’ve worked for over 20 years of economic and community development table – and this has brought me a unique ability to assess all the components, analyze the facts and then put together a strategy to create dynamic, actionable plans. These plans have taken

organizations and jurisdictions to their highest levels of performance through measurable outcomes and step-by-step process to get there. I’ve called myself a “strategic economic development thought leader and champion for manufacturing and industrial communities”. My B.A. in Public Administration is from Miami University.

What I do best? Engage stakeholders and community members and help them bring their vision to life.

I’m proud to be a driven, high-energy advocate for the rescue dog community and always keep a leash in the car, just in case there’s some creature who needs help. I adore France and go there as often as I can. My family means the world to me. And my biggest passion is to make something better than when you found it.

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WOUT DINGENOUTS

EXECUTIVE ADVISOR, INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMMING

I am of Directeur bij MeetIn in Zwolle, Overijssel Province, Netherlands organizing trade missions, innovation missions and study visits to countries such as China, Kazakhstan, Georgia, the United States and other countries for over ten years.

I believe “Fear is only temporary, regret is forever.” This slogan characterizes me, inspiring me to push boundaries and explore the new. While doing my MA in Geschiedenis (Midden- en Oost-Europese Studies) History at the University of Groningen, and by leading MeetIn – and coming into contact with so many leaders and doers- I came understand the world surrounding me in new and different ways. I strongly believe in learning from and with each other. During the study visits I organize for MeetIn I facilitate this by discovering new places together and embracing the unknown. Because, after all: fear is only temporary, regret is forever.

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SCOTT REED

MASTER DATA SCIENTIST

By profession, I’m a data scientist (but I prefer to be called a data “enthusiast”). What do I do best? Find insights and trends and use machine learning and predictive analytics. My entire career has been anchored in different facets of data; from architecture and metadata

management to artificial intelligence and making predictions. I truly believe data is the most powerful storytelling tool and my vision is to drive change by crafting one story at a time. I have an M.S. in Applied IT from George Mason University and a B.A. in International Relations from Bucknell University. Originally from Washington, D.C. area, I now live in California and spend my free time soaking in the superior West Coast weather, enjoying the local food scene and listen to my favorite true crime podcasts.

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PAUL DE LA CERDA, MBA

MASTER OF INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENT

I’ve been Dean of Academic Affairs overseeing Advancement, Economic Development, & Innovation and Executive Director of the ELAC Foundation at the Office of the President for East Los Angeles College in the Los Angeles Community College District. I founded the

LA Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, which launched a first of its kind business incubator program serving women, minorities, veterans, formerly incarcerated and LGBTQ entrepreneurs. My administrative portfolio? Sixteen years of experience in academic affairs, student services, workforce and economic development, CTE and STEM/MESA programs, K-16 partnerships, and marketing.

I’ve initiated and managed non-profit, economic development, student services, employment, and job service grants including over $75 million in funding from both corporate partners and state/federal sources. Before then while at the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office I procured and managed over $100 million in workforce, economic development, public safety and community-based grants.

I’m proud to say I was elected to public office in 2005 and served for 13 years as the first Latino elected School Board Member for the Saugus Union School District in North Los Angeles County.

I’m and All-American and NCAA National Champion athlete in Cross Country and Track. My formal education? Civil & Environmental Engineering Degree and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Oklahoma State University and an Executive Management Degree from University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. I am also currently pursuing a Doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership at the USC Rossier School of Education and a member of the American Association of Community College as a fellow with AACC’s affiliate program -the National Community College Hispanic Council.

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DR. RENAH WOLZINGER

I’m a data-driven decision-maker focusing on understanding how educators and workforce partners are using data to inform practice. I’ve been the statewide director responsible for creating and integrating new statewide data accountability tools for the California ‘s

114 Community Colleges, focused on economic and workforce development. I’ve been lucky enough to have been a faculty member for the past 15 years teaching commercial music and digital media and I’ve always had a strong passion for helping students find their pathway to success. I’ve been is a 20-year voting member of the Recording Academy, and very involved in the Grammy Awards. (in fact, I have XXXXXX Grammys myself). My doctoral research and publications focus on equity in career and technical education transfer pathways in California community colleges.

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LINDA L. ZORN, MA, RD, FAWHP

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PIONEER AND MASTER STRATEGIST

I have over 30 years’ experience in sector strategy implementation, economic and workforce development, and community college

education. I served as the statewide director of the Health Workforce Initiative – one of the ten sectors of the Workforce and Economic Development program, California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO). In this role, I coordinated the work of the ten Health Workforce Initiative Regional Directors. I also served as the lead nursing and allied health subject matter expert for the CCCCO. I have an excellent reputation for getting things done and knowing how to make things happen!
I am a certified trainer and facilitator working with the Butte College Office of Contract Education as a trainer since 1995. My areas of expertise include conflict management, organizational development, communications, job analysis, and leadership development.

Educational Highlights:

  • University of Wisconsin-Stout, B.S. Dietetics and Food Service Administration, Minor in Business Administration
  • Marquette University, M.A, Communications and Rhetorical Studies
  • Dietetic Internship, Hines Veterans Administration Hospital, Hines, IL
  • Development Dimensions International, Certified Trainer
  • Certified Conflict Management Trainer
  • Certified DACUM facilitator, The Ohio State University
  • CCCAOE Leadership Academy Master Trainer

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MITCH WEATHERS

LEARNING PIONEER AND INNOVATOR

I am an educator who profoundly believes we must take the teaching of academic skills as seriously as we do content standards and objectives. In order for all students to succeed we must offer daily exposure to the skills, habits, and mindsets that research indicates

moves the needle for learners – which happen to be the same for those in the workplace. Focusing on content standards alone will continue to yield meager results. I created a content agnostic, analog education success platform called Organized Binder, evolved from my own teaching practice. Said another way, educators remain wildly unique while guaranteeing they give their students practice with the skills they need to succeed.

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PIONEER AND MASTER STRATEGIST, INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

BROOKS D. OHLSON

HONORARY CONSUL GENERAL OF BULGARIA

Until recently, I have been Executive Director of the Sacramento Regional Center for International Trade Development and the California

Mexico Trade Center, developing and hosting over 200 international business conferences, workshops and training seminars with a total attendance of over 11,000 people with over $3 million in public and private sector funding. Before that great opportunity, for eight years I was Executive Director of the Northern California World Trade Center (NCWTC), and as the Executive Director of the US State Departments International Visitors Program for the Sacramento region.

Until 1997, I was the District Director for the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Service in Sacramento and prior to that appointment I served as the Regional Director of the South Western Regional office of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement, Los Angeles.

My experience as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for the Foreign Commercial Service, serving principally in Scandinavia and as an instructor and evaluator for the Department of Commerce Foreign Service selection panel. Of course, I’ve been lucky enough to have made frequent trips to Europe, the Middle East and Asia for the Department’s non-proliferation offices in partnership with the DOD, CIA and US Customs.

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International Innovation Master Strategist

JEFF WILLIAMSON

I’ve had a unique career in international trade and development, including currently leading strategic development, resource development and execution of California’s (the world’s sixth largest economy) export promotion plan that has served more than 800 exporters, in 150 events on 5 continents around the world.

I spent ten years in private sector business development success in consumer products, electronic entertainment (video games), and medical products. Customers included world’s largest retailers in Europe, Asia and Americas – and I’ve conducted business in more than 50 countries.

My most extensive experience in Emerging Markets (China and ASEAN). I’m a recipient of the President’s “E-Award” for Export Service Excellence and an Expert Panelist for the Brookings Institution with Guest Appearances on CNBC Asia Squawk Box, Nightly Business Report, Bloomberg News and Wall Street Journal. Right now, I continue to develop Strategic Partnerships with the #2 and #3 largest internet companies in the world for cross-border E-Commerce.

My formal education? California State University-Fullerton – College of Business and Economics MBA and a B.A. in Economics, Arizona State University.

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Emerging Digital Futurist

JACKSON FORAN

I’m currently a sophomore at Georgetown University studying Philosophy and Mathematics. I know major changes are coming whether we want them to or not, so the most we can do is make sure

these changes are for the better. I’m most interested in the increase of agential existential risks and the connection between agents of risk and nihilism. I’ve studied transhumanism, existential risks, psychoanalysis, existentialism, and terror management theory. I also write satire and play the baritone saxophone in the Georgetown pep band. Right now, I conduct research for the Mathematics Department at Georgetown University and I’m excited to do more research as part of The Gen Lab.

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Dr. Jeffrey Mrizek, EdD

SYSTEMS VISIONARY

I’m a wholehearted caring and compassionate servant leader of leaders called to manifest an ethos that unlocks the neural diversity of others to stoke equitable transformational change. As a connector, broker, and complexity theory junky, I create and develop specialized distributed artificial intelligence (AI) assisted multi-dimensional strike teams. Using emergent creative compassionate leadership

I’ve catalyzed learning and inquiry to solve seemingly impossible complex problems, puzzles, and mysteries. I see myself as imaginative visionary leader, an entrepreneurial dreamer of possibilities, and a teacher facilitating learners asynchronously across the physical, digital, and virtual. I’m also a Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. I believe humanity’s best weapon of mass destruction is Love, best applied to deconstruct structural violence in every moment by redistributing learning and teaching into the ever-present classroom: the multiverse. If credentials matter more than competency, I’ve a Bechtel Fellow with the following earned degrees: Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Master’s in Business Administration, and Bachelors in Psychology.

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Jeff Ferreira-Pro

SERVANT LEADER, CHANGE AGENT & INNOVATION EVANGELIST

I should have died in 1976. My journey since then has been to discover why I didn’t. My path has been anything but a straight line: Concert pianist -> near death experience -> software developer & program manager at Hewlett Packard -> community organizer in my home town of Folsom -> desperately underemployed whatever -> innovation lab cofounder & innovation/entrepreneurship coach at VSP -> and now Human Centered Design consultant.

innovation lab cofounder & innovation/entrepreneurship coach at VSP -> and now Human Centered Design consultant. Interspersed along this journey has been my ongoing obsession with building collaborative teams from diverse groups that don’t trust each other. My two current projects are: 1) create a history museum that evokes empathy for every strand of the multi-ethnic fabric of players that changed the world during the California Gold Rush, and 2) find innovative ways to help people mindfully discover, accept and then move beyond their implicit biases.

My credentials:

  • California State University Sacramento – B.S., Computer Science -1984
  • Extensive management and leadership training at Hewlett Packard – 1985-2005
  • Folsom Leadership Academy – 2009
  • American Leadership Forum – class of 2016
  • ALF Implicit Bias training – 2016-2017
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship self-training – my whole life

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