We are the manifestation of our company values and living proof of why diversity matters. We are an identity-conscious bunch of fun, passionate people on a mission to develop inclusive leaders and teams.
These are the people who make Awaken so special and beloved!
Scroll down for individual bios and our Company Values!
Michelle Kim, Co-Founder & CEO
Michelle Kim graduated from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business with a passion for social entrepreneurship and social justice.
Prior to Awaken, she had a successful consulting career working with C-suite and VP-level executives at high-performing companies around the world, helping them set ambitious business goals and align their teams to achieve them. While working in management consulting and technology startups, she experienced and validated first-hand the urgent need for modern, up-to-date education that empower leaders to be more empathetic, agile, and culturally aware. Michelle's expertise in organizational change management, strategic goal setting, and social justice activism set the groundwork for Awaken's multidisciplinary and action-oriented learning programs.
As an immigrant queer woman of color, Michelle has been a lifelong social justice activist and a community organizer, serving on a variety of organizations such as the San Francisco LGBTQ Speakers Bureau, UC LGBTIQ Association Steering Committee (commissioned by the UC system’s Office of the President), San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Advisory Committee, and LYRIC youth nonprofit’s Board of Directors.
She has been a public speaker for over a decade and has spoken about the importance of social justice activism at events hosted by renowned entities such as Amnesty International, and was nominated as San Francisco Pride’s Community Grand Marshal for her work around low-income queer youth empowerment and her efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the corporate and tech world.
Michelle lives in Oakland, California and enjoys boxing, traveling, and creating to-do lists incessantly.
Recent & Upcoming Speaking Engagements: Tech Inclusion San Francisco, Grace Hopper Celebration Keynote and Panel with Dr. Anita Hill, Adobe Principal Scientists' Summit D&I Keynote, Women in Leadership Conference by Haas School of Business, Marketo's Marketing Nation Summit, Culture Summit, AT&T Panel on #MeToo, NPR Marketplace interview on Unconscious Bias Training, Backbone Conference, etc.
Want to book Michelle for a speaking engagement? Contact us.
Liz Van Lente, Program Consultant & Facilitator
Liz’s work in social justice and equity started at UC Berkeley where she focused on global social transformation and change. Prior to Awaken, she worked in a variety of industries including public education, nonprofit, and tech.
As a White Woman working predominantly with Latinx and African American student populations while in the public education space, Liz was challenged to identify the ways in which her power and privilege could cause harm and impact the education system at large. This is where she began her commitment to doing anti-racism work within herself and fighting for intersectional social justice in solidarity with those she seeks to serve. She took this perspective to her work in Recruiting and People Operations teams in tech where she co-led the development of DEI strategies, helped to found a Diversity and Inclusion Council and worked to implement inclusive recruiting and cultural practices.
At Awaken, she’s focused on being a strategic thought partner to our clients to roll out effective diversity, equity, and inclusion programming in workplaces. She partners closely with our facilitation team and actively works to scale the program management function to ensure the success of every key stakeholder.
Outside of Awaken, she practices self-care by connecting with nature and spending time with her dog, Darrow.
Kimi Mojica, Senior Facilitator
(Pronouns: she/her, they/them)
Kimi Mojica is a skilled facilitator, mediator, speaker, and martial artist. She holds a Masters degree in Conflict Dispute Resolution from the University of Oregon School of Law and has worked in the fields of higher education and philanthropy for over 15 years with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, leadership and team development. Guided by a love of experiential learning, Kimi joined Awaken in early 2017 as a curriculum developer and facilitator and has been supporting organizations initiate positive change. Kimi currently serves as the Director of Programs at the International House at UC Berkeley and has been invited to speak, train, and facilitate nationally at Wisdom 2.0, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, and the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation among others.
Dr. Joel A. Brown, Esq., CLC., Senior Facilitator
Best known for his critical analysis, creativity, humor, and his ability to build consensus, Joel has partnered with Fortune 500 Companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to help them achieve sustained growth and organizational breakthroughs. Joel is the Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumos, a management consulting company based in San Francisco, CA, specializing in cultural intelligence, leadership, and organizational strategy. As a change agent, Joel works strategically with organizational leaders to cultivate innovative, inclusive, and adaptive environments where the cultural genius of everyone can be harnessed and leveraged successfully. He is certified in the Cultural Detective suite of intercultural tools and is finishing his doctorate in global leadership. Joel is passionate about helping companies create inclusive space for LGBTQ people and is a nationally-recognized spoken word artist with over 300+ poems to date.
Lynne Maureen Hurdle M.Ed., Facilitator (NYC)
Lynne Maureen Hurdle M.Ed. is a communication expert and conflict resolution strategist with over 35 years of experience in blending the connection between communication, conflict, and culture into her unique style of engagement for leaders.
She is the author of the best seller, Closing Conflict for Leaders: How to Be a Bold Leader and Develop a Kick-Ass, High-Functioning, Happy AF Team. Known as The Conflict Closer, her expertise is in engaging people with creative processes designed to create dialogue and teach skills that can be used in the most difficult leadership situations, most especially the conversations around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She passionately writes about Breaking Culture: Conflict and Cultural Breakthroughs for Psychology Today. She has had the privilege to deliver trainings, workshops, and deep coaching to leaders in a variety of settings from Harlem to Hong Kong and from the South Bronx to South Africa.
Cindy Joseph, Senior Facilitator (NYC)
Cindy Joseph has spent the core of her career finding and developing diverse talent. For nearly two decades, she managed human capital programs for two of the world’s leading financial services and consulting companies, Goldman Sachs and Accenture. Her key areas of competency include recruiting, inclusion & diversity and performance management. Regardless of her role, title or mandate, Cindy has always felt a strong connection to personal and professional growth, mentorship and inclusion & diversity efforts, and has passionately used her platforms to support the career development of others and inspire high-performing teams. She’s the founder and Managing Partner of The Cee Suite, LLC, where she advises organizations in varying stages of their talent management and inclusion & diversity journeys, helping to transform their critical people processes. She also works with individuals one-on-one as they seek to elevate their professional brands and careers.
When Cindy is not at home in Brooklyn, NY, she spends much of her personal time traveling the world. She’s a graduate of Howard University, where she earned a degree in Psychology.
Kay Martinez, M.A., Facilitator
Kay is an Afro-Latinx Gender Non Conforming educator & disruptor originally from Boston. Kay has a Masters degree in higher education from Boston College and they have led a variety of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives at Harvard University, Stanford University and Tufts University. As a writer, they have published research and articles on the current climate for Queer Trans BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) in NASPA's Gender & Sexuality Journal, Campus Diversity Triumphs and in the on-line publications, Racebaitr and Wear Your Voice Magazine. They love boxing, dancing, food and clothes. They were recently named to DapperQ’s 100 most stylish list of 2019.
Carol Regalbuto, Facilitator
Carol is a Mexican American engineer originally from the suburbs of Chicago but has called the Bay Area home since 2011. She has a Bachelor's and Master's in mechanical engineering and spent 3 years working at Tesla before moving to a battery materials startup called Sila Nanotechnologies. Since college, Carol has been a strong advocate for underrepresented groups in STEM and has taken that passion with her to her workplaces today, where she is committed to building gender and racial equity by diversifying corporate workforces. Carol now resides in Oakland and when not in the office or the lab, you can find her dancing bachata, looking for the next pair of sneakers to cop, listening to music and podcasts, or taking in a view.
Kiely Hosmon, Facilitator
Bio coming soon!
Serian Strauss, Facilitator
Over the past 20 year Serian has honed her facilitation skills in multiple industries with a focus on equity, diversity, inclusion and team building. She has a unique approach for creating safe and playful learning spaces where challenging conversations can happen. As a Coach and Facilitator she has supported foundations, companies, nonprofits and government organizations create sustainable culture shifts towards connection, equity and overall joy in the workplace. When she is not brainstorming new curriculum ideas, she trains as a Martial Artist, gardens and tries new recipes. She has a Masters in Education from UC Berkeley.
Christine Wang, Facilitator
Christine is a coach, consultant, and facilitator working at the intersections of equity, organizational development, and leadership. She began her career in corporate finance in New York City and transitioned to working in philanthropy in San Francisco in 2012. Prior to starting her independent consulting practice, Christine was the associate director for a philanthropic program focused on leadership and organizational development for nonprofit grantees. She is committed to partnering with organizations as they navigate system-wide culture change and shifts in practice.
She holds a B.S. from New York University and is a certified coach through Leadership that Works. She sits on the board of the Asian Women's Shelter, a multilingual, multi-ethnic organization working to eliminate domestic violence by promoting the social, economic and political self-determination of women.
Erin Carter, Facilitator
Erin is a Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager and Consultant who works with companies to create more inclusive, compassionate, and joyful workplaces. She has worked across the non-profit, professional services, and tech sectors and has led teams to hire more diverse workforces, establish inclusive practices, and create space for thoughtful organizational change. Her background spans both corporate as well as start-up culture--with over a decade of experience as an actor, writer, and director, she brings a unique combination of creativity and flexibility into all of her work.
Erin earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and is trained in Unconscious Bias, Ally Skills, and Diversity & Inclusion Strategy. On the weekends she can be found kicking a soccer ball with her 3-year-old son.
Patrick Ford, Facilitator
Patrick has been co-facilitating personal and interpersonal group work for over a decade. He’s co-presented workshops on diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace to organizations such as Microsoft, UC Berkeley and Stanford business schools, and across many different industries spanning advertising to tech. He founded and coordinates MBA Allies, a coalition of allyship programs spanning 30+ top business schools globally that share resources, best practices, and new ideas. He also works with companies to help them start their own allyship programs. Patrick has a BS and MBA from UC Berkeley, and in addition to his D&I work, he’s an ICF certified coach and consultant for nonprofits that assist people with developmental disabilities.
Bie Aweh, Facilitator (NYC)
Bie Aweh is a talent developer focused on instructional learning and facilitation, skill-based training, and equity and inclusion geared towards helping professionals evolve behaviors and advance skills. She uses learning as a vehicle to solve business problems!
Bie is also passionate about connecting underrepresented populations to the innovation economy. As technology continues to drive economic growth, she is a firm believer that the most vulnerable population should be contributing. Bie has nearly a decade of experience in coaching adult learners, building sustainable partnerships, designing and facilitating training, fostering long-term professional relationships through meaningful networking opportunities, and driving social change by providing career pathways for underrepresented groups. As a founding team member of HBCU.vc and formerly of Devbootcamp, Bie consults and develops relationships that result in greater access for Black & Latinx populations.
Erinn Wong, Undergraduate Intern
Erinn is a second year at UC Berkeley studying Business and Media Studies. Erinn realized she had a passion for social justice issues and D&I when she started a club in high school, called Club H.E.R.O., Helping Everyone Reach Out. Erinn is currently a facilitator for a student-run class at Berkeley called Bear Closet, where she leads conversations with middle school and high school youth on experiences around LGBTQ+ identity, coming out, and allyship.
Stacy Parson, Executive & Board Coach
Stacy is an executive and board coach who consults with senior and C-level executives and board members of Fortune 50 companies and emerging teams with big aspirations. She works with people who are determined to change the world and are committed to inclusion and equity.
Stacy is known for navigating provocative discussions, facilitating insight, inspiring others to action, and strengthening organizational capacity for delivering results. Her background in individual and team coaching, individual effectiveness, organizational change, and strategic communications are a powerful combination for executing comprehensive programs that translate business strategy into action.
She was a part of the Stanford Women’s Basketball 1990 NCAA Champion Team, is a 2nd-degree black belt in Taekwondo and is an essential oil and herbal enthusiast – a student of how aroma cultivates emotions and mindsets that inspire action.
Stacy is a Principal of Knowetry Consulting, and a Partner at The Dignitas Agency.
Beatrice Kim, Co-Founder & Advisor
As a Korean-American woman executive in Silicon Valley, Bea Kim has seen first-hand the power that a diverse and inclusive culture can bring to a company and the devastating consequences for companies without one. As witness to this power along with her desire to educate, empower, and wake people up to their full potential, Bea co-founded Awaken with Michelle.
Bea is living her life purpose by inspiring others to live big and unapologetically through her life coaching practice. She is an angel investor and her portfolio includes startups in the financial, technology and media space. Bea has her bachelor’s from Stanford University and coaching certification accredited through the International Coaching Federation.
Kiyeon Lee, Admin & Michelle’s Mom
Kiyeon is living life to the fullest after years of juggling being a single working mom and caregiver to her children and elderly parents. She is learning new skills at Awaken (when she is not hostel-hopping around the world, that is) and inspiring others to continue their personal growth journey and quest to feel joy. As a new immigrant to the U.S., she loves learning about different cultures, engaging with people on Facebook, reading Yelp reviews, and going bar hopping.
Awaken Company Values
Balance compassion and criticality
We understand being socially conscious is a continuum and a never-ending journey. We always strive to meet people where they are on their journey, with both compassion and criticality.
Live what we teach
We live with integrity and model behaviors we teach our clients. We embrace discomfort and grow from tension. We take care of each other and allow all of our humanity to be seen and celebrated.
GSD: Get Shit Done
We are dependable and practice accountability by getting shit done as promised with integrity, highest quality, and professionalism.
Win as a community
We are bigger than our company. We seek to impact and empower the larger community in which we belong. We always remember our roots and lift up our communities through our work.
Don’t give up on joy
We believe it is an inalienable human right to feel a deep, revitalizing sense of joy. We strive to feel joy in our work and find opportunities to share it with others.