Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
Dwayne is a native San Diegan and lifelong resident of southeastern San Diego. His deep knowledge of San Diego’s neighborhoods and his community activism, which began at the age of thirteen, are invaluable in his role as a nonprofit and community leader. As CEO of RISE San Diego, Dwayne Crenshaw is responsible for the organization’s effective management and operation on a day-to-day basis. Read more.
President & Co-Founder
Tony is a former president of the San Diego City Council. He authored the city’s first fair banking ordinance, as well as legislation to create the Gang Prevention and Intervention Commission and the small business contracting ordinance. As president of RISE San Diego, Tony is responsible for building strategic partnerships and advancing the organization’s community relations. Read more.
Director of Operations
Annamarie is a writer and copyeditor with over a decade of program management experience supporting the creation and development of community-based initiatives. Previously, she worked as a senior writer and research and shared learning manager...
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at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. During her time there her work supported the design and implementation of the Center for Community & Cultural Arts partnership between southeastern San Diego and Balboa Park cultural institutions, the development of an NEA-funded arts district plan for The Village at Market Creek, and the facilitation of a community mini-grants program. Annamarie has called San Diego home for over twenty years and volunteers with small, local arts and culture groups where she provides writing and editing, systems development, and research assistance. She enjoys traveling, comics and graphic novels, and spending time with her nieces.
Salina is a mother, transformational leader, and hood scholar raised in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego. She has been an advocate for students in marginalized communities since 2008. After graduating college, she founded the alumni...
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director position at Reality Changers to increase the college retention rates of their first-generation college student graduates and was an academy instructor with their College Apps Academy program, where she worked to demystify the college application and financial aid process while also delivering college survival techniques. She previously worked with Helix Charter High School and at Hamilton College Consulting in her efforts for educational equity and access to higher education. She has been inducted into the San Diego Unified School District Hall of Fame and was recognized by Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins as an Emerging Female Leader. She holds a BA in American studies and rhetoric studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Most recently, she is a graduate of the RISE Fellows program (Cohort III). Salina and her husband, Branden, live in San Diego and have two sons.
Social Media Consultant

Julius strives for innovative approaches to solving social issues. He has over ten years of experience in grassroots organizing, the nonprofit sector, and social entrepreneurship...

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that have crossed intersections of economic development and health disparities that affect communities of color. He received his master’s in organizational leadership from National University and bachelor’s degree in sociology from San Diego State University. In addition, he has professional certificates from Accion and Notre Dame University on entrepreneurship and business strategy. He has been recognized by public officials on the local, state, and federal level for his community services and youth mentorships..

Web & Graphic Design Consultant

Creativity at work and at play. A musician at heart, a home brewer and chef for fun, John focuses his professional time on creating the digital, print, and...

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other marketing and media elements his clients need to reach their goals. A jack-of-all-trades, John’s background is varied with over fifteen years of experience in marketing and communications, project management, graphic design, email marketing, web development, user experience, and more. He will almost certainly catch that detail most assume “nobody is ever going to notice” and loves the process of translating client vision into reality. John graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000 with a BA in music. He currently resides in Long Beach, California with his wife Whitney, son Walton, and dog Buddy.

Nonprofit Trainings Consultant

Natache has worked for thirty years designing and managing nonprofits with budgets from $100,000 to $20 million to have maximum community impact.

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She teaches the next generation of for-profit and nonprofit leaders how to manage effective, sustainable organizations as a professor of business development at San Diego City College and as the founder of The Prep Institute. She is the executive director of Multicultural Health Foundation and previous served as the executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Workforce Preparation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Columbia Union College and a master’s in nonprofit management from Eastern University.

Special Events Consultant

Willy oversees the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) AmeriCorps Program at MAAC where he engages adults in intensive community service work. He has been recognized nationally as...

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AmeriCorps Member of the Year and recently as AmeriCorps Director of the Year. Prior to MAAC, Willy worked in the music industry assisting various record labels in developing and marketing new artists. He is a product of Point Loma Nazarene University, where he received a degree in communications. With his passion in interacting with people in the community he has become an asset in the line of civic engagement and advocacy. He is known for organizing several community festivals throughout San Diego County, serves as a board member at the Jackie Robinson YMCA, and assists the boys basketball team at his alma mater, Sweetwater High School.

Board Chair
As president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Mark has been instrumental in creating a culture of collaboration, bringing together business, trade, and education, as well as community leaders, to cement the region as a key stakeholder in the global economy.
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He has spent the past twenty years designing systems to support career advancement and economic opportunity for American workers. He has served in numerous public-sector leadership positions and been sought out as a consultant on workforce development efforts throughout the country. Mark is a civic-minded community leader who is honored to have been recently recognized as the San Diego Business Journal’s Most Admired Nonprofit CEO and one of San Diego Metro’s Men Who Rock, the Daily Transcript’s Top Influentials for 2011, and U-T San Diego’s People to Watch in 2014. A native of Boston, he earned his bachelor of arts in marketing and communications from Assumption College in Worcester, MA and his advanced certification in performance measurement and nonprofit management from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 2007, he was selected as a Center for Social Innovation Fellow for Nonprofit Leaders at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Mark resides in Point Loma with his amazing wife, Charlene Kakimoto, and their beautiful sons, Kai and Quinn.
Board Member
Pamela is the assistant vice president for digital and media communications at the University of San Diego. Appointed in 2003, she works closely with the university’s president, vice president of university relations, and other senior administrators to develop and implement strategies that advance the university’s mission by educating and...
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informing internal and external constituencies about important institutional initiatives, priorities, and thought leaders.

Pamela leads a professional staff responsible for institutional media relations and digital communications, including the university’s website and social media strategies. As the chief university spokesperson, she is responsible for issues management, crisis planning, and communications. With her unwavering commitment to others, Pamela serves on the boards of Birthing Project USA, La Jolla Country Day School, and the San Diego chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. She is a member of the California Elected Women’s Association for Education and Research, the Public Relations Society of America – San Diego, and the San Diego Press Club. A former Girl Scouts San Diego-Imperial Council board member, she continues to serve the organization as a troop leader. Pamela earned a BA in communications at UCSD.
Board Treasurer/Secretary
Ben is a serial entrepreneur who is recognized as one of the top leaders in the software development industry with a unique approach to software development. He is the CEO and founder of JSX, Inc. In 2000, he began building contact management and government compliance software that allowed for real-time sharing of...
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information between offices, off-site consultants, and clients working from the field; by 2010, JSX created the proprietary application development platform MEANIETM that allows high-performance and high-scalability web applications to be built in a fraction of the time of traditional development models. Ben has been designing and building database systems for nearly twenty years and his products have included a wide range of functionality including robust contact management systems, accounting and regulatory compliance tools, and do-it-yourself website builders. He is also the founder of two companies in the political technology space: CompleteCampaigns.com, which he founded in 1999 and sold in 2008, and Integrated Solutions: Political, which he co-founded in 2015 and continues to serve as its chief architect. Ben earned a bachelor of science degree in political science from UCSD. His interests include nonprofits, parenting, food, San Diego, beer, politics, entrepreneurship, and technology.
Board Member
Pedro is the director of regional public affairs and interim director of communications for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fortune 500 company Sempra Energy, which is based in San Diego. He is responsible for SDG&E’s relations with local governments and special districts...
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in the County of San Diego. His career includes several positions managing external regulatory, legislative, policy, and international affairs in private, state government, and nonprofit sectors. From 2011 to 2015, Pedro was SDG&E’s director of community relations, where he responsible for corporate philanthropy and relations with nonprofit, community-based organizations. From 2007 to 2011, he served as manager of regulatory relations for SDG&E and the Southern California Gas Company, the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States and wholly-owned subsidiary of Sempra Energy. His primary areas of responsibility included advocacy of natural gas, energy efficiency, and customer issues at the California Public Utilities Commission. He also previously served as government affairs manager for Sempra Energy, managing relations with local and state governments and communities in several Western states.

From 1999 to 2003, he held several posts in the California State Assembly. He served as deputy director of the Speaker’s Office of International Relations and Protocol; as principal consultant to the Assembly Committee on Jobs, the Economy, and Economic Development; and as senior consultant to the Assembly Select Committee on California-Mexico Affairs.

Pedro was also program assistant at the Pacific Council on International Policy, an international affairs nonprofit organization in Los Angeles. He is a former research fellow of the Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies and a former Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow of the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies, both on the campus of the University of California, San Diego.

He holds a master of Pacific International Affairs degree from the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies of the University of California, San Diego. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Notre Dame. He serves on the board of directors of the National Conflict Resolution Center, GRID Alternatives, and the San Diego Advisory Council of the California League of Conservation Voters.