Our Advisory Board is comprised of individuals with expertise in many sectors, who share their talents and energy with YAX. Our legal board is the Board of our fiscal sponsor, Tides Center. Tides’ Board is not involved in the organizational or program development of YAX. Our Advisory Board functions as a full working board except in the case of legal functions. To learn more about joining the Advisory Board, please contact Reed at reedATyouthartexchange.org.
Eleanor has designed for our cities’ essential sites since 1999. Principal and founder of EPDesign, Eleanor is widely trained in architecture, urban design, landscape and planning. She excels at bringing large, multi-disciplinary teams together on complex sites and envisioning the possibilities of our future public spaces. Part of Eleanor’s success is her ability to see and think from macro to micro — from essential vision, to strategy on efficiency and buildability, to the design of urban installations for active spaces.
Her current work includes the redevelopment of sublime, post-industrial sites such as the Potrero Power Plant in San Francisco and Kaiser Steel Napa Pipe Site in Napa, building on her experience reimagining Pier 70 and the 5M Project in San Francisco. Before founding her practice, Eleanor was a Partner at SITELAB urban studio, an Urban Designer at SMWM, Inc and Urban Planner at The Cecil Group in Boston. Her work focuses on large, urban waterfront projects—for sites such as Russia Wharf and the Central Artery/Tunnel in Boston, Piers 92-94 in New York, downtown San Pedro in Los Angeles, and Hunters Point Shipyard and Treasure Island in San Francisco.
Eleanor has a BA from Harvard University, a MA in architectural theory from UVA, and a M.Arch from UC Berkeley. While at Berkeley, she received the John K. Branner Traveling Fellowship, a year of self-directed research on the architecture and ecologies of water systems. An innovator in the field, Eleanor has been featured in The Atlantic Cities, Archinect, Pruned, and Wired Magazine for her exploratory research and design installations. An adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley, she teaches architecture and lectures on design and research. An east coast transplant, Eleanor has lived, worked, and surfed in San Francisco since 2005.
Mannie is the CEO of Pnyka, a communications platform that bridges divided communities by using respectful interactions. He is a recent graduate from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Previously, he worked for TPG Growth, a private equity firm in San Francisco, and Morgan Stanley in New York, after graduating from the University of Virginia with a major in Commerce. He was born in Vancouver, Canada and spent some time living in Dubai before moving to Philadelphia during high school. During his free time, Mannie likes to travel, is an avid reader, and supports the Vancouver Canucks.
Robin is an Urban Designer with the San Francisco Planning Department. His current and past scholarship has focused on the production and performance evaluation of small urban open spaces; including design and implementation of a longitudinal assessment of pilot parklets in southern California (with the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and UCLA Lewis Center) and triangle parks in Washington, D.C. (with Harvard University at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Gardens). Prior to assuming his role at the San Francisco Planning Department, Robin was engaged as a complete streets advocate and researcher in Los Angeles; authoring Parklet and Plaza Application and Evaluation Manuals for LADOT’s award-winning People St Program. Before his work in Southern California, Robin served for several years as a Project Manager with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy; working on cultural landscape projects on Alcatraz Island, the Presidio, Fort Mason and Fort Baker. Robin has been involved in several of YAX’s projects and has been a great advocate and friend of our work.
Jessica is a newish transplant to San Francisco and was very excited to learn about Youth Art Exchange from colleagues at TPG Capital that have participated on our Advisory Board previously. The organization’s mission really resonated with her because of personal exposure to the arts in high school as a member of the after school “art club”.
After high school, she attended Harvard University and studied economics and government. Since graduation, she has been working in finance, first at Goldman Sachs’ Consumer Retail / Healthcare group in New York and now at TPG in San Francisco. She is excited to work with people with diverse, creative perspectives and a passion for the arts. She knows first-hand the profound impact of a robust arts education on young people, and looks forward to the opportunity to further this mission and serve the youth of San Francisco.
Cassie is an urbanist who found her niche in San Francisco's local government. She has had the good fortune of leading initiatives that support equity-driven, community-building projects for the neighborhoods, public spaces and people of San Francisco.
Cassie's currently serves as a Project Manager with the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development where she is responsible for the implementation of the Mayor's Central Market/Tenderloin Strategy, a visionary plan to coordinate and manage public and private investment, while building stakeholder relationships throughout the diverse, growing and thriving mixed-income neighborhood. Prior to this role, she worked for the San Francisco Office of the Mayor and the San Francisco Planning Department’s City Design Group.
When she's not wearing her bureaucrat hat, Cassie is a Fellow with the New Leaders Council San Francisco Chapter and spends time with her Little Sister she met three years ago through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Cassie graduated from the University of Washington where she studied Journalism and Liberal Arts. She has been a longtime partner and advocate for YAX.
Steve grew up in Wisconsin building skateboard ramps, doodling imaginary landscapes, and challenging teachers with unconventional homework. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in Mechanical Engineering along with taking art classes with an emphasis on printmaking. He worked as an engineer at Honda, troubleshooting the ‘96 Civic and at Bryte Technologies, testing aerospace materials, before deciding to start volunteering at the Exploratorium 15 years ago.
For six years, Steve managed exhibit design and engineering staff and led over 100 projects, including creating some of the first hands-on exhibits at science institutions around the world. In ’99 Steve helped establish the first Science of Skateboarding program which matured over the years to involve curating two exhibitions, professional demos, a website, a TV show, and a mobile exhibition. He took a one-year sabbatical to work at Pèndulum and design the Jardi de les Percepcions, an outdoor exhibit area in Parc de Vallparadís, Terrassa, Spain. Upon returning to the Exploratorium, Steve managed a National Science Foundation project to build and study twenty outdoor exhibits at Fort Mason, a National Park on San Francisco’s waterfront. He enjoyed the nature of this work so much that he spent the last eight years in the Studio for Public Spaces leading a team of designers, engineers, and architects, focused on creating social learning environments in public spaces. He especially appreciates the potential impact of site-specific exhibits in public space, reaching a more diverse group of people and igniting their interest in the world around them.
Yukiko is not only a dedicated and passionate supporter of YAX, but she is also the parent of one of our program participants, Miles. Yukiko is a career development and communications director and is rooted in her native San Francisco. She previously was the Director of Development for the Lycée Français de San Francisco and Alumni Director for School of the Sacred Heart. Yukiko earned her Bachelors in Management from USF and is a CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive). Yukiko lives in the city with her husband and three children and has been actively involved with many non-profit groups.
Our Youth Advisory Board (YAB) demonstrates the highest rung on the ladder of leadership at the organization and is a group of high school students who help create, lead, and support the programs. YAB members have been program participants, interns, classroom and teaching assistants- or those who have just stood out as exceptional- and have aspired to inform program development, implementation, and strategic initiatives. YAB members select staff and faculty members, evaluate programs, and provide the youth perspective to our work. YAB members write grants, plan events, and are the voice of young artists in San Francisco.
Clyde is a photographer and visual artist from Oakland, California. For more than 5 years he has been passionately engaged in the pursuit of authentic photographic expression. From processing film in the darkroom to editorial fashion shoots on the streets of Manhattan, he can be found collaborating with other young artists and challenging himself to grow as an artist. Whether it’s an interior design shoot or a photo essay of the latest national student walkout Clyde strives to create emotional photographs that spark wonder and creativity. Clyde’s goal is to change mind, and open eyes through his photography, and he hopes to gain a larger platform to affect this change during his time as a YAB member!
Fiona is a senior at Mission High School. She is in YAX’s Printmaking class and has been a part of Youth Art Exchange since fall of 2015. She has been on the Youth Advisory Board since the fall of 2015. She was born and raised in San Francisco. She has also been dancing with Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco for over 10 years and is invested in the Bay Area’s arts scene. Fiona is inspired generally by nature and she expresses that in her artwork. She joined YAB to expand her leadership experience and positively impact Youth Art Exchange. She plans on attending a 4 year university.
Jasmine is a 12th grade student at Lowell High School who is currently taking the fashion design class at YAX. She has previously taken the filmmaking class as well. Jasmine finds her inspiration through nature and enjoying other forms of art. She joined YAB because she wanted to help expand the arts for youth and make a difference in her community.
Jennifer is a 9th grader at City Arts and Tech High School and is in her first semester in YAX’s Fashion Design class. She grew up in the Excelsior District. She likes eating, watching movies, hanging out with friends and family and shopping. She wants to be either a pediatrician or lawyer.
Jodi is a freshman at Abraham Lincoln High School. She is part of the Industrial + Product Design class at YAX. She is also in the ACE Program (Architecture Construction Engineering) at Lincoln and volunteers with Heart in Motion. She loves Bob Ross and David’s Vlogs. Her dream is to visit Japan and own a dog one day.
Lillian is a 12th grade student at Mission High School. She is part of the printmaking class at Youth Art Exchange. She is inspired by music, other people’s stories, and nature. Lillian joined YAB to increase her leadership skills and to meet and make new friends. She likes being part of something she thinks is important and enjoys the ways YAX impacts communities.
Mia is a senior at Lowell High School and has been a part of YAX’s Fashion Design Class for four years. Her inspirations are SZA, Princess Nokia, Solange, Tara Chandra, and the world around her. She writes poetry, paints, and listens to R&B and rap. She joined YAB to interact more with the community and gain leadership experience in an organization she loves. Mia has a lot of appreciation for the encouraging and artistic vibes that YAX and its community exudes. She looks forward to going to school for fashion design and having her own brand one day.
Maria is currently a senior at Mission High School. She has been a Printmaking student at YAX since her freshman year and a member of YAB since her sophomore year. She was born and raised in San Francisco. Her art is inspired by the stories and experiences of those who have been excluded from mainstream media. She is also interested in film editing, playing and listening to music, and photography. She joined YAB to meet new people and gain valuable leadership experience. She enjoys seeing everyone’s voices make a difference and wants to help make sure everyone in YAX feels supported and proud of their work. She plans on attending a 4-year college next year.
Michael is a filmmaker and visionary from San Francisco, Academy high school. His entire life he has been in love with cinema. In 2017 Youth Art Exchange gave him the tools and resources to learn and make short films. After that point on he has won multiple youth grants, made more than 10 short films and has a team of filmmakers now. His life long dream is to be the youngest person to win an Oscar for directing. While growing up in the Excelsior District Mike didn't think he would ever get a chance to do what he loves at a adolescence and to do it near his home. He is so grateful for Youth Art Exchange and wishes to continue to spread art everywhere he goes.
Vernard is a senior at Lowell High School and is a member of YAX’s Architecture Firm. He was born in the Philippines but was raised in San Francisco. He is passionate about influencing others with art and design. Outside of Youth Art Exchange, he does a lot of fine arts- drawing, paintings, etc. He aspires to reshape the built environment by emphasizing culture, history, and community in design.