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Board of Advisors

David McKinnis
Founder, David McKinnis Consulting

David McKinnis worked for over thirteen years at Microsoft. He started as a Software Design Engineer on Microsoft Word for the Macintosh. He later became a development team lead and eventually a development manager in Microsoft Office for Windows leading a development team of twenty-five people. After shipping three versions of Microsoft Office, David became a developer trainer in Microsoft's Internal Technical Education group to improve the proficiency of development teams.

After leaving Microsoft to be a stay-at-home dad for a couple of years, David re-entered the technology world as a consultant to use his experience and skills to help non-profits use technology more effectively. He is a big believer in Open Source products since he uses an Open Source Content Management System Joomla for the non-profit websites he has set-up and has worked on several Open Source components for Joomla.

David is on the Board of Directors of Dwight Hall at Yale, the only college community service organization in the country that is independent from it's university, and nationally recognized for developing students who are committed to civic engagement and ethical leadership.

Adam Aberman
Director of Global Online Strategy, Youth Venture

Prior to becoming Youth Venture's director of global online strategy, Adam Aberman was the executive director and founder (and currently board member) of, the nonprofit Internet-based career mentoring program that has served over 5,000 teens nationwide and in Tanzania. Adam is also the principal and founder of The Learning Collective, a consulting organization that strengthens practices of youth-serving organizations. Prior to establishing, Adam was a regional coordinator for the New York City Department of Education.

Adam began his career in education as a Spanish bilingual public school teacher in Los Angeles. Adam received a bachelor's from Vassar College and a master's in Public Policy, with an emphasis in Education, from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Outside of work, Adam enjoys hanging out with his lovely wife, Karlene, and his dog, Sausage, and doing yard work at their home in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.

Anita Salem
President, SalemSystems, Inc

Anita Salem is the founder of SalemSystems Inc., a user research and design company. Since 1995, Anita has helped organizations align their product strategies with business goals and user needs. Working with companies as diverse as The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cisco Systems,, and the City of Seattle, she has led organizations in a customer-driven design process. Using qualitative research and participatory design methods, Anita helps companies create products that are useful and easy to use. Anita is also a corporate trainer and a lecturer at the University of Washington.

Denise Ryan
Founder, Blue Marble Marketing

Denise Ryan is widely recognized for her ability to successfully launch new ventures. Denise's strength is her capacity to quickly understand a new venture's formidable goals and to partner with CEO's in developing effective market strategies. Denise's background includes VP Worldwide Marketing, Director of Channel Marketing, International Major Accounts Marketing and Line of Business Product Marketing for several companies including Oracle, MicroPro International, The Santa Cruz Operation and Stallion Technology. Prior to that, Denise served as Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Services, for The Enterprise Network, one of Silicon Valley's most successful non-profit entrepreneurial advisory and incubator services.

Denise serves on the Board of Advisors for Women in Technology International (WITI), where she contributed to the establishment of the WITI Invent Center at Smith College. Denise also serves on the Board of Directors for Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE), the Marketing Committee of MIT/Stanford VLAB and the Advisory Board of the Marina Small Business Incubator in Monterey, CA. Denise is a frequent speaker and moderator on topics including: Marketing, PR, Strategies for Start-Ups, Building Strategic Partnerships, and Investor Relations. Denise has also had several articles on effective marketing strategies and programs published. {hidetags}

Radha Blackman
International Educational Development Consultant

Radha Blackman
worked for over seven years at iEARN (International Education and Resource Network), the world's largest non-profit global network that enables young people to use the Internet and other new technologies to engage in collaborative educational projects that both enhance learning and make a difference in the world. While there she helped expand programs to the Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.

As the recipient of two Fulbright grants, Radha has done research on citizenship education in Bulgaria, and worked in UNESCO's education sector at their headquarters in Paris. She has an MA in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University and received her BA from Smith College. Radha has volunteered in various educational contexts, perhaps her favorite was the New York Botanical Garden's International Family Garden.
Vic Desotelle
Founder, InKNOWvate

Vic Desotelle is an Organizational Design Architect, his firm inKNOWvate acts as a center for entrepreneurial ventures, organizations, and communities seeking new forms of innovation and identity transformation. His charter is to enable enterprise innovation using the principles of whole-system processes, collaborative learning, and sustainable design - all centered on stakeholder values. Through his work, he is supporting the making of sustainable businesses, innovative technologies, and healthy communities that align with an emerging globally-conscious society.

Jackie Brookner
Ecological artist

Jackie Brookner works collaboratively with ecologists, design professionals, city governments and grassroots community groups on water remediation/public art projects in the United States and abroad. Her collaborative works foster healthier ecosystems, while providing pleasure and raising awareness that the vitality of any community depends upon the health of the natural systems that sustain it.

Recent and current projects in West Palm Beach, Florida; Cincinnati; Toledo, Ohio; San Jose, California; and New York City, as well as in two towns outside of Dresden, Germany, range from BiosculpturesTM-living sculptures that filter water to municipal planning where local water resources become the focal point of community revitalization. In 2002 through 2003, as winner of the NEA/National Park Service Art and Community Landscapescompetition, she worked closely with three towns in the Pacific Northwest, providing conceptual planning assistance on stream daylighting, restoration and trail projects, as well as designing public art.

Jackie is the recipient of numerous awards, including The National Endowment for the Arts, The Nancy H. Gray Foundation for Art in the Environment, the Trust for Mutual Understanding and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Recent solo exhibitions include "Native Tongues" at the Joan Mir Foundation in Barcelona, Spain, and "Of Earth and Cotton," which traveled throughout the United States from 1994 to1998. She is on the advisory boards of The Center for Urban Watershed Renewal, The Fresno Metropolitan Museum and EcoArtSpace. Jackie lectures internationally and has been a visiting artist at many institutions including: Bates College; Bennington College; the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Graduate Center, The City University of New York; Maryland Institute College of Art; University of Pennsylvania; Syracuse University and Yale University. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at Wellesley College and holds a Master of Arts and is a Candidate for Doctor of Philosophy from Harvard University. She teaches at Parsons School of Design in New York City and was visiting faculty in visual and environmental studies at Harvard University in 2002.

Her work can be viewed at




Earth Fest Quotes

“The future is in the hands of the teens right now, and it's important to educate them,” said Sam Adelson, 19, from CSUMB. “The planet is sick and we need to try our hardest to be sustainable in our practices every day.”
“I've never made biodiesel (fuel) before,” said Robert Hernandez, 14, of Salinas High School. “I like chemistry and this is very interesting.”
“I'm having fun,” said Ian Jones, 16, from Gilroy High School as he helped build a model solar car.  “Solar power is totally realistic for real cars. I really believe it will work.”