Meet the Team
Amy Gardner, Co-Chair
Amy graduated from UC Berkeley, where she was a member of the women’s water polo team and received a BA in Economics and Psychology. Amy recently returned to her alma mater as the Director of Project Affairs for UC Berkeley's University Business Partnerships & Services. Prior to returning to Cal, Amy was the Director of Corporate & Community Affairs for the San Francisco Bowl Game Association, a role that brought her closer to GLIDE and the Tenderloin. She quickly fell in love with the spirit and unconditional love of the GLIDE family.
A Bay Area native, she is honored to have the opportunity to give back to her wonderful community. She would like to give special thanks to her parents, Artyn & Max Gardner, who have taught her what it means to respect and care for others, and who instilled in her an unparalleled competitive drive. Back to the top.
Laura Thompson, Co-Chair
Laura Thompson currently works at Google[x], Google’s semi-secret research lab, bringing “moonshot” projects such as self-driving cars and cancer-detecting nanoparticles to market. Born in Chicago, Laura attended Brown University where she was a founder of the Social Innovation Initiative, an incubator for social entrepreneurs and changemakers on campus, and a co-founder of Runa, an Amazonian beverage company. She is an alumna of the Civic Education Project, a program that promotes civic action amongst young leaders, and recently created a scholarship fund for top students who would not otherwise have been able to attend. Laura is back in San Francisco after 3 years abroad working in London and traveling extensively throughout Europe and Africa. She is passionate about innovative models to increase social impact, and is excited to carry on her mother’s legacy of involvement with Glide and to bring her experience to a community she considers family. Back to the top
A Bay Area native, Tamara grew up in Burlingame and attended nursing school at San Francisco State University. GLIDE was one of her father’s companies’ first customers and he regularly took her to serve meals to the homeless as a kid. During her community rotation in nursing school, Tamara requested to be placed at GLIDE. There, she identified a need for diabetic counseling and piloted a food delivery program aimed to educate and serve the needs of the community. Tamara currently works as an Emergency Room Nurse at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto California. She previously worked in the Emergency Room at Saint Francis Hospital in the Tenderloin where she frequently referred patients to GLIDE for health/rehabilitation services. In her free time, Tamara loves to travel; her latest adventures include Vietnam, Hong Kong and South Africa. Back to the top.
Emily Cohen is a political advisor with a career built on service for others, trust, integrity and sincere relationship-building.
Emily is currently the Director of Government Relations for United Contractors, California’s largest union-affiliated contractors association. As a key advisor to their CEO and Board of Directors, she is responsible for legislative, grass roots and political action strategies. In this regard she has emerged as one of the most influential next generation leaders in the industry. Before working for United Contractors Emily was a Jesse M. Unruh Fellow in the office of Assembly member Kevin de León, the current Pro-Tempore of California’s State Senate.
Emily has lived in San Francisco for 5 years. It is her love of the city itself combined with her passion for social consciousness and activism that motivates her to give back through GLIDE and promote their mission to build a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.
Emily is a Bay Area native, raised in Petaluma. She is an alumni of Chico State with a degree in Political Science and International Relations. Outside of Emily’s professional life and service with GLIDE, she is a passionate and active supporter of our communities animal rescue organizations including Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, an urban-hike enthusiast, and enjoys the food, art, music and cultural experiences that San Francisco has to offer. Back to the top.
A native Californian, Stephanie has lived in San Francisco since graduating from the University of California, Davis in 2007. A passionate community leader, Stephanie has previously volunteered with multiple local organizations including Share Our Strength and the Junior League of San Francisco, an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving local communities. She is thrilled to bring her talents, energy, enthusiasm and passion for the people and places of San Francisco to the GLIDE Legacy Committee. Back to the top.
Born and raised in the boogie down Bronx, Paloma Figueroa came to San Francisco in 2009 looking for a short break from her fast-paced East Coast life. Instead she fell in love with the city, its endless quirks, and its inspiring residents. With a Bachelors in Social Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University, and a life long fascination with how people work best, she's dedicated her professional life to creating more equitable and meaningful workplaces at early stage tech companies in the Bay Area. For the past two years, she has run People Operations at Mode Analytics, a data analytics startup in the Design District of San Francisco. There she collaborates closely with the leadership team to build and develop thoughtful People programs, helping to spearhead forward-thinking diversity and inclusion initiatives, and stewarding cultural structures that encourage a values-driven environment for everyone who walks through Mode's doors.
When she's not working, she spends a good portion of her time chasing after unique and unusual experiences across the globe, sharing a good meal with friends, or geeking out over her favorite nerdy fandoms. She continues to be involved in the local community through organizations like No Kid Hungry, SMART, and Compass Family Services. After having admired the passionate and inspired work of GLIDE for many years, joining the Legacy Committee has been a dream come true. She hopes to match that passion in spades in the work that they will do together. Back to the top.
Brenton Gieser is a social entrepreneur working to bringing higher consciousness and a deeper sense of humanity to leadership in the business sector. He is currently the CEO of Connect Group Enterprises, a technology company bringing mobile charging to venues nationwide and is a founding member of Profoundly Human. He is also the Co-founder and Board Chair of the New York based non-profit, Be Social Change. Previously, Brenton served as the Director of Business Development at Change.org, the world's largest online platform for social change. Prior to his work at Change.org he was a Co-Founder of JoynIn and the CEO of ConvoSpark.
Outside work, you can either find Brenton exploring San Francisco with his wife Cat and dog Oreo, or on the mats training jiu jitsu at Romulo Melo BJJ. Back to the top.
Colson Griffith graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has since transitioned to a career as a professional photographer focused on weddings and events in the San Francisco Bay area. He has been actively involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area acting as a big brother for the last three years, leading their Silicon Valley Young Professionals Committee as President for one year, and most recently holding a leadership position on their Junior Board Committee helping plan and organize four fund raising events in 2012/2013. Currently he is training for a marathon through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training and is stoked for all the snow falling in Tahoe! Back to the top.
Alissa Grier Kargbo
Although a recent transplant to the Bay Area, Alissa has called San Francisco home for many years. As the daughter of a San Franciscan native, she has a strong tie to the city and its communities. With an established background in marketing and non-profit management, she has previously harnessed her skills at Girl Scouts, the Junior League, and Bolder Options- a non-profit mentoring program that encourages youth to incorporating healthy eating and physical activity in their daily lives. She is excited to bring her passion for giving back to the Glide Legacy Committee and to the Glide community.
Alissa is a proud alumna of Howard University where she received her BBA in Marketing. She recently completed her MBA at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Moses Ike is an Investment Manager within Dignity Health’s Strategic Investment Fund- a $50 million program that invests between $1-$5 million in healthcare startups that have the potential to radically innovate and disrupt the current healthcare landscape. As a first generation American and son of Nigerian immigrants, Moses is passionate about using technology to positively impact the health and quality of life for low income communities. Moses is originally from Washington D.C., and has lived in the Bay Area for 3 years after completing his MBA at USC in Los Angeles.
Since moving to San Francisco, Moses has worked with a variety of faith-based organizations that are tasked with impacting diverse communities through generosity and collaboration. In his spare time, Moses enjoys pick-up basketball games, outdoor concerts, and enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. Back to the top.
Rebecca is a third-generation native Californian with a bicoastal spirit who is thrilled to be working with such an iconic Bay Area organization as GLIDE. After graduating with a film degree from Wesleyan University and spending a few years working in TV production in New York, she moved to the Bay Area where she currently works as an editor and content strategist at Google. As a board member of the neighborhood organization Nob Hill Coalition in addition to the Legacy Committee, she aspires to integrate the spirit of this city and its long history of social justice into her daily life. She can’t wait to introduce more people to GLIDE through the awesomeness that is Sunday Celebrations. Back to the top.
After spending her childhood in the Bay Area, Nicole moved to New England to pursue a BA in History at Dartmouth College and a JD at Harvard Law School. She returned home to San Francisco in 2008 to begin a career in commercial litigation at Latham & Watkins. Nicole has also participated in her firm’s pro bono program, helping clients with a wide variety of legal needs, including through GLIDE’s legal clinic. Nicole is excited about the opportunity to contribute to GLIDE’s restorative efforts in her community as a member of the Legacy Committee. She also enjoys attending San Francisco Giants games, playing mediocre golf and volleyball, singing, and learning to cook. Back to the top.
Ali moved to San Francisco in 2014, carrying a firm intention of investing in her new city. In being given the opportunity to serve the GLIDE community, Ali is excited to bring her considerable energy, enthusiasm, and talent to build meaningful relationships across the Bay Area. For more than ten years, Ali has worked with youth and adults in Arkansas and Oregon to build their confidence and skills—taking a practical approach to community engagement as a way to advance social justice. With her background in social good marketing and communications in small businesses and nonprofits, she is eager to engage GLIDE staff, program participants, partners, and volunteers in support of its social mission. Ali works in advancement at Earthjustice, the nation’s original and largest nonprofit environmental law organization, where she focuses on developing effective work processes to improve her team and inventive communications to further donor engagement. Previously, she worked extensively in event planning, grassroots community organizing, fundraising, and program creation, development, and implementation across sectors. Back to the top
Originally from Minnesota, Mary chose the California sun by way of Santa Clara University and happily moved to San Francisco after graduating with a BA in Marketing. She started her career in digital advertising with a focus on retail and the Millennial audience. With a desire to create an impact through her work, she moved to the Gap Foundation team at Gap Inc. and is currently overseeing their global employee volunteer program. One of her favorite parts of the job is bringing employees together through volunteer events like the GLIDE Grocery Bag Giveaway, tutoring at Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Adopt A Family program around the holidays. For fun, Mary likes to try out new restaurants, explore the city, and travel back to Minnesota to see her family and friends. Back to the top.