the genesis team
Schlesinger was a Regent scholar at UCLA, who went on to have a thirty-year career in her own interior design and architecture firm, Schlesinger and Associates. Sheri currently serves as a Trustee of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC. Previously, she served as the Lay Chair for One Family Fund, an organization helping victims of terror, and as Board Chair of Aleinu, helping with the creation of a national child safety program.
The Educational Director develops and implements all Genesis STEAM education programming, supervises program staff and volunteers, recruits and manages mentors, delivers training and community programs, and provides reporting as required. The position also develops and manages partnerships with host sits and other community schools and programs. The position is filled by Lauren Rodrigues, a Los Angeles native with nearly a decade of experience in STEAM education. After graduating with a degree in Philosophy from UC Santa Barbra and earning her Masters in Teaching, Lauren moved to Germany where she brought STEAM educatoin to refugee children throughout Berlin. There, she also started a coding studio, where she taught K-12 students topics such as game design, robotics and digital music production. Back in Los Angeles, Lauren continues her efforts to bring critical STEAM skills to underserved populations, withe the goal of closing racial gender and socioeconomic gaps in the STEAM pipeline. Lauren is a regular attendee at the Learning and the Brain, and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conferences, and an active member of the Los Angeles STEAM education and Makerspace communities.
Daniella Simon, a Los Angeles native, serves as managing Director of GENESIS. Daniella has been with the foundation since its inception in 2013, and has over a decade of management and business organization experience.
Daniella is responsible for program development, communications, marketing, and facilitation of partnerships.
Daniella is driven by a passion to see that all students have access to STEAM education. She views GENESIS as an important vector reaching young minds and helping to shape their future. Along with the rest of the GENESIS staff, Daniella is committed to putting state of the art science, technology, and associated educational fields within the grasp of students of all backgrounds.
Hartsoe is a researcher, designer, and educator. As a Fulbright Scholar he studied the educational and creative practices of hip hop artist organizing against gang violence in Honduras. Hartsoe is a creative technologist who explores methods and tools that spark imagination for social good using everyday materials and emerging technology. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The University of the South.
Our Communications Manager is responsible for conveying GENESIS’ internal and external messages. This position is filled by Lizzy Cappell, who additionally has an expertise in social network management and digital strategies. Lizzy is a recent graduate of New York University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy. Lizzy has previous work experience in the nonprofit sector, as well as corporate social responsibility and cross-sector partnerships.
Zainab Ali is the Chief of Staff and Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, the largest and one of the most successful public charter school networks in Los Angeles. Zainab is responsible for working across the organization to execute the highest-priority initiatives, facilitating Alliance's shared strategic direction throughout the school network, managing day-to-day operations of the Home Office, including Marketing & Communications. Prior to joining Alliance, Zainab served as the Chief of Staff and Chief Strategy Officer at the Camden City School District in Southern New Jersey as well as the Special Assistant and Director of Strategic Initiatives to Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott at the New York City Department of Education.
Zainab earned her Master of Public Administration with a specialization in management from NYU Wagner, and her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Public Affairs from UCLA.
Jed is EVP & GM of CXM Solutions at Upland Software (NASDAQ: UPLD), a leading provider of cloud-based Enterprise Work Management software. Jed co-founded Mobile Commons which was acquired by Upland Software in 2014.
Jed is the author of the book The Mobile Marketing Revolution: How Your Brand Can Have a One-to-One Conversation with Everyone, and has produced feature films including Sunday, winner of the 1997 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.
He is also on the board of Eyebeam, the Harmony Institute, and Health Foundation for the Americas. He was previously on the board of Riverkeeper and has advised numerous arts and cultural organizations.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Schlesinger was a Regent scholar at UCLA, who went on to have a thirty year career in her own interior design and architecture firm Schlesinger and Associates. She served as the National Lay Chair for One Family Fund, an organization helping victims of terror. She subsequently served as Board Chair of Aleinu, where she oversaw the creation and implementation of a national child safety program. Currently Sheri is currently serving as a trustee of The Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Mund is a Breast Imaging Specialist with Tower Saint Johns Imaging Medical Group in Santa Monica and Adjunct Faculty Member of the John Wayne Cancer Institute, where she specializes in Breast MRI and interventional procedures and trains surgeons for Saint Johns Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship program. Dr. Mund received her M.D. degree with honors from UCSF and Internal Medicine Internship, Radiology Residency and Breast Imaging Fellowship certification from UCLA. Over the past 20 years, she has authored numerous research papers in the field of Breast Imaging and has done extensive teaching and outreach on topics of Women’s Breast Health. Since 2011, she has also taught at YULA’s Genesis Academy in the Department of Biological Science and currently serves as YULA‘s Genesis Academy Executive Committee Chair.
Fax is a director of research and development at Northrop Grumman, a major defense company. He is the author of multiple technical papers and two patents. He holds a PhD from Caltech in Control and Dynamical Systems and a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University. Alex started YULA’s robotics team and continues to mentor YULA students in robotics and STEM. He and his wife Julie have three children, including one alumnus of YULA Boys High School.
Mackler is a scientist turn businessman who focuses his attention on the development and application of food and agriculturally based sciences to drive health, fight disease, and construct novel consumer products. Ari completed his PhD in Reproductive Physiology & Immunology in the Center for Perinatal Biology at Loma Linda University’s School of Medicine and his Postdoctoral Fellowship in Developmental & Molecular Biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He then obtained his MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Upon the conclusion of his academic training, Ari joined the Pharmaceutical Industry, focusing his attention on Reproductive Medicine (IVF and contraception) and Cancer. After 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry and two mega-acquisitions (Organon Bioscience was purchased by Schering Plough which was then purchased by Merck & Co.), Ari shifted his attention towards new opportunities. In 2011, Ari joined Roll Global as their Vice President of Clinical Development. Roll Global has diverse holdings, including agriculture, consumer packaged goods, floral services, and other business activities. Business units include POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds, Fiji Water, Wonderful Sweet Scarlets, and Halos. The agricultural businesses together are the largest farming operation in North America. Roll Global is headquartered in Los Angeles and has over 5,500 employees worldwide.
President of Edmunds.com, the premier car shopping destination.
Since joining the company in 2000, Seth has been responsible for innovating new products and developing new lines of business for Edmunds. He is a huge proponent of creative business processes such as Design Thinking, Lean Startup and hackathons. Positions Seth previously held at Edmunds include Chief Product Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Business Operations, Vice President of Business Development and General Counsel. Before joining Edmunds, Seth was a Mergers and Acquisitions Associate at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York. Seth received a JD degree from the Columbia University School of Law. He earned his master’s (History) and bachelor’s degree (English) from Yeshiva University. Additionally, he spent time studying abroad at the Har Etzion Educational Center in Gush Etzion, Israel. Seth’s community involvement includes serving as the President of Maimonides Academy in West Hollywood. He is a past President of the Young Israel of Century City and continues to serve on its board. Seth and his wife Ruth live in West Los Angeles with their six children. Ruth is the President of Bnei Akiva of Los Angeles.
Baum is a practicing attorney and a partner of Resch Polster & Berger LLP in Los Angeles. He is a 1972 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with an B.A. in economics and a concentration in mathematics and also received his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 1975 And has been a member of the California State Bar since that date. He has been a member of numerous non-profit boards since 1990.
serves on the Hirshhorn’s board of trustees and is a member of the contemporary art council at the Asia Society. She was previously on the Executive committee of the Aleinu Family Resource Center, designed to reduce children’s vulnerability to abduction, abuse and molestation in Orthodox schools. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and four children.
Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient and Founder, The Girls’ Lounge
Shelley has gone against the grain most of her career, starting in 2000 when she
left the corporate world to pioneer online research. Shelley created OTX (Online
Testing Exchange), which is just nine years became one of the largest and fastest
growing research companies in the world. She sold OTX to Ipsos in 2010, where
she led global innovation in over 80 countries.
As the first female chief executive ranked in the research industry’s top 25, she
changed the game, brought emotion and passion to the boardroom and has
devoted herself to becoming a mentor and friend to women and leaders in her
industry. Her most recent endeavor includes launching The Female Quotient and
Girls’ Lounge which supports and mentors women to find their voice, embrace
their feminine leadership powers and work together to transform corporate
culture. Shelley is also the host of a new Bloomberg series titled “Walk The Talk”
focused on gender equality and the critical importance of women in executive
Shelley is destined to innovate and create meaningful change. She is the Co-
Founder of the ANA’s AFE #SeeHer initiative and a board member of She Runs It
(Formerly AWNY), I Am That Girl, Dress for Success, The Women Economic Forum,
ColorComm, The Foundation for Excellence in Women’s Health and the
Women’s Military Symposium. Shelley has been awarded the Ernst & Young
Entrepreneur of the Year award, Global Marketing Leadership Award, ARF Great
Minds in Innovation Award and AWNY’s Game Changer Award. Shelley has also
been inducted into the IRTS Hall of Mentorship and has been honored by girls inc.
for her achievements as a business leader. A pioneer, a wife and a mother of
three, she successfully juggles between CEO and Mom.
Daryl Niemerow serves as the Managing Director of the Simms/Mann Institute and Simms/Mann Family Foundation. She brings more than 20 years of international and U.S. based nonprofit management and leadership experience to this role. As Managing Director, Ms. Niemerow’s extensive experience in building sustainable partnerships, developing programming, and fostering national and international support and exposure for communities in need, serves to further the mission at Simms/Mann.
Prior to joining the Simms/Mann Institute and Foundation, Ms. Niemerow served as Director of HTA Consulting, leading efforts to advance her clients’ missions to achieve a more sustainable impact in the communities they serve. She also previously served as Vice President of Development for LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program, based in the Mayor’s office in Los Angeles and as Director of Global Programs and Partnerships at the Carey Institute for Global Good, and earlier as Interim Executive Director of the Daniel Pearl International Journalism Institute, based at IDC Herzliya in Israel. Ms. Niemerow has also worked for the British Council, based at the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York and the United Kingdom, to support educational initiatives and partnerships in the Middle East and South Asia.
Ms. Niemerow received her Masters Degree in Organizational Management from Antioch University and her Bachelor of Arts Degree from San Francisco State University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for GENESIS STEAM.