OUR TEAM

Collaborative Community

 

Board of Directors

Thea La Grou's career embodies a deep-rooted passion for the natural world, channeling her talents into visual storytelling that highlights the fragility of our planet and galvanizes community efforts in conservation and ecological restoration. Her roles as Founding Director at Compathos Foundation, and Managing Director of Films for the Planet illustrate her dedication to fostering compassionate action and systemic change towards a future of planetary regeneration. Thea's proficiency in producing and directing award-winning media projects and educational programming positions her uniquely as a visionary leader at Compathos Foundation. Her work is characterized by multidisciplinary exploration, seamlessly synthesizing ideas across various domains to address complex problems with insightful solutions. Additionally, she excels in fostering collaboration across diverse disciplines, all while skillfully navigating the rapidly changing global landscape. Thea’s design of innovative media platforms leverages the arts to drive meaningful social impact. At the heart of these initiatives is a powerful emphasis on storytelling that resonates intellectually and emotionally. She has led a range of projects, from film events in the San Francisco Bay Area to international media projects originating in countries like Ethiopia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Indonesia. Her expertise as an author, speaker, media strategist, and executive producer is evident in her creative portfolio. Projects include award-winning films, books, media expeditions, impact reports utilizing data visualization, and influential streaming film events. Beyond her professional realm, Thea's personal endeavors reflect her diverse talents. These include architectural and interior design of her previous family home in the California Sierra foothills and, with her husband, she co-founded Millennia Music & Media, a leader in critical audio recording products. Their passion for viticulture is evident in their award-winning non-commercial wine-making venture. Thea's art and design portfolio is showcased at the 12th Muse.

Thea La Grou

Co-founder, Executive Director & President

LinkedIn

Sherry S. Handel is an accomplished nonprofit executive, serial entrepreneur, and business leader with over 25 years of experience focused on organizational leadership, strategic planning, business development, community building, and driving strategic partnerships to achieve growth objectives. Sherry's expertise encompasses launching and guiding multiple mission-driven startups, coupled with over 20 years of experience serving on nonprofit boards, spearheading strategic initiatives, and fostering meaningful impact. Her skill in navigating complex challenges, fostering collaboration, driving innovation, and building partnerships has been instrumental in her own ventures' success and the organizations she has supported. Sherry has been an enthusiastic volunteer, contributing substantial experience guiding nonprofit organizations and startup businesses. Her adaptable leadership style and her ability to forge connections across sectors have translated inspiration into tangible results, blending innovation with compassion. In addition to serving as Board Chair of the Compathos Foundation, Sherry remains actively involved in mentoring startup founders, generously sharing her experience, insights and guidance mentoring high-impact entrepreneurs. Sherry earned a BS in Business Administration degree from Northeastern University, and a Certificate in Sustainable Business Practices from the University of Vermont.

Sherry S. Handel

Board Chair

LinkedIn

Tina Marie Labruzzo has led high-impact partnership sales, marketing and communications teams for global media and financial services organizations including American Express, Financial Times, and Showtime Networks, for whom she developed multi-channel communication strategies, negotiated corporate agreements, implemented marketing and engagement plans, and leveraged partnerships to exceed revenue targets. As a senior Management Consultant for Fortune 500 companies, she has developed global marketing and communication strategies, and guided market expansion efforts to support a $1 billion product portfolio. Passionate about giving back to the community, Tina Marie is the Chair of the Development Committee at Films for the Planet, working with partners to provide audiences access to the best in environmental and social action films. In addition to Films for the Planet, Tina Marie advises small businesses, startups, and nonprofits in under-resourced communities. Tina Marie holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Columbia University and a BA in Business Communications from the University at Albany.

Tina Marie Labruzzo

Chair, Development Committee & Development Director

LinkedIn

Mike Purcell is a seasoned Director of Digital Strategy with a distinguished career in digital marketing and sales management. Currently providing strategic vision at QStart Labs, Mike's expertise lies in creating and executing digital marketing strategies, managing integrated campaigns, and identifying industry trends for new growth opportunities. His commitment to achieving KPI targets and implementing marketing automation platforms has significantly contributed to the success of many portfolio companies. In addition to his professional pursuits, Mike is also committed to giving back to his community. He serves as the volunteer eSports coach at Harbor Beach High School, where his two teen boys are students. This experience has not only allowed him to connect with the younger generation but also foster their growth in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Before stepping into these roles, Mike held key positions in several companies, including Wright-Patt Credit Union and Clearwire, where he demonstrated his knack for boosting product sales, brand recognition, and team performance. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in Animation from Westwood College and a certification in Web Development from Bow Valley College. With a unique blend of skills in branding, change management, KPI tracking, and campaign development, Mike continues to drive growth and innovation in his field. His dynamic career, commitment to community service, and results-driven approach position him as a key player in the digital marketing landscape.

Kevin Michael (Mike) Purcell

Chair, Marketing Committee & Marketing Operations Director

LinkedIn

Chiko Scozzafava has over 25 years of diverse strategic, operational and risk management experience in the nonprofit, technology, and government sectors. She has been responsible for driving strategy and spearheading new initiatives, building global programs, leading diverse teams, and serves on several boards. During her 20-year law enforcement career, Chiko spent approximately 13 years as a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service where she managed multiple critical priorities to include, fraud, internet and financial crimes investigations, threat management and intelligence, physical security assessments, major event security, and the protection of individuals from the President of the United States to Former US Presidents, US Secretaries, and visiting Head of States. She spent 10 years assigned to Oceana, South, Central, and Eastern Asia and has extensive experience as an international instructor. Since transitioning from law enforcement, she has spent time in the tech start up and nonprofit spaces, continuing to build programs and teams within operations, strategy, risk management, physical security, facilities management, talent development, internal audit, event production, business continuity, sustainability, as well as competitive and threat intelligence. She has also been at the forefront of leading change management and innovation efforts at an enterprise level. Chiko holds a Master of Business Administration (Accounting) and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration degrees, is a climate fellow with Terra.do, and considers herself a lifelong learner who is passionate about technology, climate sustainability, social impact, and community building.

Chiko Scozzafava

Board Secretary

LinkedIn

Lynn Christiansen Esquer is a seasoned Silicon Valley marketing executive focused on revenue growth and demand generation. As Sr. Director of Demand Generation and Digital Marketing at NovoEd, a transformational learning technology company in the Fidelity portfolio, she has helped propel the company to consecutive revenue-breaking years by aligning marketing initiatives to growth goals. A long-time SaaS marketer, Lynn was at the forefront of two successful startup exits in a three-year period, heading demand generation and digital programs. She co-founded and served as CEO/COO for a digital marketing agency for more than five years and has held roles ranging from Vice President of Client Services to Marketing Director at prominent Silicon Valley marketing and PR agencies. In her prior life as a journalist, Lynn worked as a reporter and editor at news organizations in the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles regions, including The Oakland Tribune and The Contra Costa Times. She founded the Central Coast Press Club to provide media support and continuing education for television and print journalists, and public relations professionals in a four-county region. She is an alumnus of USC (University of Southern California), where she studied journalism and cinema-television. In addition to being a working board member of the Compathos Foundation, Lynn serves on the digital marketing executive education Advisory Council for California State University, Chico; on the board of directors for a digital media startup; and is highly involved in public education initiatives.

Lynn Christiansen Esquer

Digital Marketing Director

LinkedIn

Saira S. Yasir is certified Public Accountant with over 12 years of experience overseeing fiscal strategy, budgeting, forecasting, compliance, audits, and reporting for public and private corporations. Her financial leadership spans Fintech, Logistics, and nonprofit sectors. She actively gives back to her community by serving on the boards of multiple nonprofit organizations focused on education and empowerment initiatives. Saira also serves as a financial advisor for various nonprofit foundations. Saira holds a Masters of Accounting degree and a BBA degree in Accounting from Kennesaw State University.

Saira S. Yasir, CPA

Financial Officer

LinkedIn

Amanda Fernandez is a communications strategist and ghostwriter dedicated to effectively engaging global audiences through impactful messaging. With more than 10 years of experience as a copywriter, content marketer, and public speaker for clients across sectors, she leverages the power of storytelling to translate business needs into people-first results. Amanda has delivered communications guidance, partnership development and community building for prominent national organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Keep America Beautiful, aligning vertices in sustainability education and strategic outreach paired with the state of healthful living through past roles as a Healthy Eating & Green Mission Specialist with Whole Foods Market and Alumni Community Leader for the nature education startup Tinkergarten. Amanda thrives on empowering diverse groups and conscientious causes to increase their impact through communications. Passionate about community service, she actively volunteers with hunger-based initiatives in South Florida and contributes to global efforts, leveraging her expertise to make tangible differences in food-related challenges. Amanda studied Biological Sciences at Florida Atlantic University, Business Management and Marketing at Nova Southern University, holds dual AS degrees in Business Management and Baking & Pastry Food Science from Johnson & Wales University, as well as Certificates in Holistic Nutrition from Purchase College.

Amanda Fernandez

Communications & PR Director

LinkedIn

A multidisciplinary international marketer (B2C and B2B), Bipasha oversees strategy and marketing at Dali Spaces (a global community for women entrepreneurs. She also helps her enterprise clients navigate the AI landscape (from education to strategy development and from change management to implementation of AI strategies) and advises startups on business, go-to-market and growth strategies. Bipasha has extensive experience in leading cross-functional teams to develop strategies, leverage data & technologies, and capitalize on cultural moments to build and monetize global media (CNN, BBC World, Reuters, SYFY, USA Network, and Cartoon Network) and esports (Universal Open Rocket League) brands, franchises, communities, and fandom. She is one of the early metaverse marketers. Bipasha serves on the board of several tech/e-commerce/media startups and regularly speaks on AI, the Metaverse, and Marketing at cross-industry conferences. She is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business (where she teaches Reimagining Marketing with Emerging Technologies) as well as Borough of Manhattan Community College (where she teaches Digital Marketing). Bipasha has worked and lived in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, London, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and New York. She uses her knowledge and experience of working in leadership roles across the world to mentor startup founders and students. She also helps senior members of her community understand the promise and perils of using AI in their daily lives. Bipasha has served as a Member of the Board of Directors at Compathos Foundation since 2019. Bipasha holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management (UK) and an MSc. in Zoology (major in Environmental Biology) from Calcutta University (India). She holds Executive Education certifications in Management and Leadership (with emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, Data Strategy, Blockchain, Applied Analytics, and Predictive Analytics) and Digital Strategy from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Bipasha Ghosh

Marketing Director

LinkedIn

Sherese Chee Mook has over 10 years of business consulting and human resources leadership experience attracting and developing top talent while fostering inclusive and empowering organizational cultures. Her skills encompass talent acquisition, managing HR functions, leadership training, business coaching and driving employee engagement and retention initiatives. She is a certified mediator, published author and trainer in the design and delivery of various business incubator programs for multinational clients. In addition to her corporate experience, Sherese actively gives back by serving on the boards and committees of multiple companies focused on education, energy sector initiatives and corporate social responsibility. This allows her to apply her expertise to purpose-driven organizations facilitating access, empowerment and education for underserved groups. She also volunteers pro bono services to support small-scale private sector initiatives to engage youth leadership and entrepreneurship. Sherese holds a MBA degree from Nagoya University of Commerce, Japan; a LLM Degree with distinction from the University of Westminster, UK; a MA degree with distinction from Coventry University, UK, and a BA with first class honors from University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago.

Sherese Chee Mook

Volunteer Recruitment & Engagement Director

LinkedIn

Core Team

Paul Bobier has been a Nonprofit Executive Leader for 40 years, with a background in Human Resources Management and President of his Interior Design firm for 13 years. Paul’s nonprofit expertise focuses on Organizational Governance, Community Partnership Growth and Development, HRM and Relationship Building, Fund Development, Strategic Planning, Budget and Finance Management and Program Development. He has collaborated with the Arthritis Society, Meals on Wheels, Canadian Cancer Society, Organization for Autism Research, FOOTPRINTS 4 Autism, and locally assisted Community Arts and Culture, United Way, and Unity for Autism to name a few. Paul is passionate about helping others achieve their maximum potential, and is a strong advocate for planetary stewardship; preserving the planet for future generations, with a keen focus on conservation education, diversity and inclusion, and using the power of experience and education to help create healthier communities that empower local and national initiatives, organizations, stakeholders, and individuals to restore and protect the environment.

Paul Bobier

Development Associate

LinkedIn

During her 20+ years in the semiconductor industry, Judy has led various aspects of the communications function, from PR, IR, and M&A to product launches, brand management, trade shows, and digital marketing. From July 2020 to May 2023, Jude served as vice president of communications and government relations at Infineon Technologies, a leading semiconductor IC manufacturer. In this role, she elevated the company brand in the United States through strategies that helped secure both local and national broadcast and media coverage. Prior to Infineon, from 2011 to 2020, Jude was the vice president of global marketing communications at Advantest Corporation, the semiconductor test equipment leader from SoC and memory applications. In this role, she managed a global communications team that influenced and implemented change in a highly matrixed, multinational organization. Prior to Advantest, Judy served as vice president of marketing communications and investor relations at Verigy until the company was acquired by Advantest in 2011. In this role, she was instrumental in the integration of the communications and branding activities across the two companies. In addition to managing the integration activities for branding and communications of more than 50 companies throughout her career, she has been directly involved in three of the semiconductor industry’s largest M&As, including the merger of KLA Instruments with Tencor Instruments, the acquisition of Verigy by Advantest, and the acquisition of Cypress Semiconductor by Infineon Technologies. Active with several non-profits, Judy has served as a Board Member of the San Francisco SPCA – an organization that provides care and protection of animals and advocates for their welfare, and a Board Member of the Saint Francis Foundation – an organization that focuses on supporting healthcare services for its communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Raphael House of San Francisco – an organization that helps families experiencing homelessness strengthen family bonds by achieving stable house and financial independence. Judy enjoys adventurous travel, completing a week-long climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in 2012 and hiking nearly 60 km through Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia in 2014.

Judy (Jude) Davies

Strategic Advisor

LinkedIn

Jack Mittemeyer is a dynamic Content Producer at Films for the Planet, leveraging his deep passion for documentary storytelling and environmental advocacy to enhance the platform's social media presence through compelling written and video content. With a rich educational background from the University of Southern California (USC) and Indiana University, Jack holds a M.A. in Specialized Journalism and a B.A. in Journalism, with a minor in Environmental Science. Throughout his career, Jack has consistently sought to merge his expertise in journalism with his commitment to environmental science, aiming to educate and inspire appreciation for the natural world. His work not only showcases his skill in creating educational content about nature and sustainability but also reflects his belief in fostering deep connections between individuals and their environment. Beyond his professional endeavors, Jack is an avid lover of the outdoors, engaging in surfing, hiking, and biking, activities that further fuel his creativity and commitment to promoting environmental awareness.

Jack Mittemeyer

Content Producer

LinkedIn

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