Board of directors

Alphonsine Imaniraguha Anderson

Chief Executive Officer & Founder

Alphonsine Anderson was born and lived through the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. She received full scholarships to college in Rwanda where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering and a master’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering in Rochester, New York. She currently works at Cisco in Systems Engineering where she leads cutting edge technology solutions for Enterprise Networking customers.

From tragedy to triumph, Alphonsine feels blessed to be the person she is today. In 2012 she founded Rising Above the Storms (RAS) nonprofit, armed with a passion to be a blessing to those who are not as fortunate. She currently serves as its CEO and board chair.

Anisha Sivakumar

Board Member

Anisha Sivakumar is Vice President of Customer Success and Acceleration at Cisco. Her team drives the strategy to create a simple and unified experience for our customers and partners to drive adoption of Cisco’s portfolio, and accelerate their time to value – enabling company growth overall.

Prior to joining Cisco, Anisha led Customer Success Strategy & Analytics and was the Chief of Staff to the COO, Customer Success at Salesforce. Her experience also includes years in business operations, marketing analytics, and consulting at Salesforce and IBM.

Outside of Cisco, Anisha applies her expertise as a Board Member and Chief Strategy Officer of Rising Above the Storms (RAS). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance, and a Bachelor of Science in Statistics & Operations Research from New York University.

Gwendolyn F Turner

Board Member

With a proven track record in corporate social responsibility (CSR), environmental, social, and governance (ESG), and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Gwendolyn is a seasoned leader dedicated to driving transformative change across global organizations. She specializes in building consensus, effective communication, and rigorous strategic management. From her impactful role as VP of ESG, Inclusion, and Learning & Development at Myriad Genetics, Inc., where she enhanced brand recognition and boosted employee engagement, to pioneering a Health Equity mission impacting thousands in underserved communities, she brings a holistic approach to leadership. 

Beyond Gwendolyn’s corporate endeavors, she contributes to positive change through board positions, currently serving as the Board Chair at PDX Jazz / Jazz in the Schools and having been an Executive Board Member at Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest. She is a newly elected board member of Rising Above the Storms (RAS).  Her journey includes notable leadership roles at Pfizer, Kellogg, and Kaiser Permanente, each contributing to her rich tapestry of experience. As a proud mom of two boys, her commitment extends beyond professional success to fostering a positive impact both personally and in the communities she serves.

Harry Cocciolo

Board Member

Harry Cocciolo is the Executive Creative Director at ServiceNow.

Harry is the son of a career Air Force officer. He was born in California, raised in the Midwest, and went to High School in Tokyo, Japan. He graduated from the Art Center College of Design, where he studied advertising, design, and film.

Harry has been a writer and creative director at agencies like Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, and Leagas Delaney SF. He spent 15 years as a commercial and content director. He has worked in the non-profit and for-profit space on brands like Got Milk?, The ARC, Apple, Adidas, AT&T, Budweiser, Southwest Airlines, EA, and Major League Baseball, to name a few.


Harry lives in the bay area with his wife Patti, their two sons, and a Labrador named Obi-Wan.

Kathryn McTighe

Board Member

is a proven leader whose experience spans Marketing, Operations and Communications. Kathryn has built global teams who achieve break-through results, quickly moving ideas from concept to implementation.

Kathryn spent over 20 years at Cisco Systems, Inc. working across the enterprise and, within Marketing, orchestrated revenue generating campaigns, drove strategic planning, and built inventive event and digital experiences. She has also served as a trusted Chief of Staff to executive leadership team members at both Cisco and Workday. Kathryn is currently with Workday, Inc. where she is the head of Learning & Development for the global Marketing organization.

Kathryn earned both a B.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in History from U.C. Berkeley. 

Ken Kula

Board Member

Over 30 years of experience in leading the finance and operations of start-up to global Ad Agencies.


Started career with Ernst & Young in Chicago. Joined FCB Corporate Audit and M&A, spent several years working with South and Central American agencies, before transferring to Europe and working with Publicis (Paris) and FCB (London) alliance. Then spent five years as CFO of FCB San Francisco before going back to Europe with DDB Eastern Europe, including one year as Managing Director of DDB Romania. And since then spent 23 years with independent shops, Leagas Delaney and Eleven, before selling Eleven to Plus Company, based in Toronto.


Now doing fractional CFO work and nonprofit work – I’ve been volunteering for Centro Infantil de Los Angeles daycare center in San Miguel de Allende, and Insight Prison Project at San Quentin State prison.


Cynthia and I have two kids, Kalina and Ben, both currently in college, at Tulane and Wisconsin.

Michele Day

Board Member

Michele Day is a Manager of Strategy and Planning for the Customer Success and Acceleration team at Cisco. She leads strategic priorities and manages key cross-functional initiatives to accelerate customer adoption all while maintaining a human-first focus.

Outside of Cisco, Michele serves as a Board Member and the Chief Operating Officer of Rising Above the Storms. Furthermore, Michele is a Platinum Tier #IamRemarkable facilitator, which is a global initiative that aims to empower women and underrepresented groups to overcome cultural, social, and gender related issues in the workplace, and volunteers as a trained Crisis Counselor for the Crisis Text Line.

Michele holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Clinical Psychology and Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing her MBA at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley. She resides in the Bay Area, CA where she enjoys the outdoors and fixer-upper projects with her fiancé.

Tschudy Smith

Board Co-Chair

Tschudy Smith is ForgeRock’s Chief People Officer (CPO), bringing more than twenty years of human resources experience for large enterprises. Tschudy leads with the mission to see others at their best, building programs that help organizations recruit and retain top talent. As CPO, Tschudy leads talent strategy, including employee experience, rewards, attraction, retention, development diversity and inclusion globally. Previously she was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Cisco, where she spent 16 years providing strategic consulting to leaders and teams. Tschudy graduated from the University of Denver and earned her master’s degree from San Jose State University.