Hailed a “national treasure” by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Suzanne brings a unique blend of private and public sector experience as both a founder and operator. She is a sought after consultant, speaker, panelist, moderator, coach and advisor. She is a member and moderator of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
Suzanne founded www.BUILD.org taking the idea from concept to a multi-site organization with over 100 full-time employees, and raised over $50,000,000 for underserved students and communities. She assembled a world-class board including Jack Dorsey (Founder of Twitter/Square), Gideon Yu (former CFO of Facebook)), Baratunde Thurston (Author of “How to Be Black”), Jim Ellis (Co-founder of Asurion), and Emily Chang (Bloomberg West Anchor and Author of Brotopia). Additionally, she brought into the BUILD ecosystem Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Ben Silbermann (Pinterest), Aaron Levie (Box), and Katrina Lake (Stitchfix).
In 2019, Suzanne founded Mayacamas Partners, a unique consultancy that propels clients to achieve audacious goals in strategy, communication, impact and diversity. Mayacamas works with a select group of diverse clients from grass-roots organizations to multi-billion dollar public companies to unlock innovation, inspiration, and impact. This work includes helping CEOs and management teams identify which ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) principles crucial to their organization.
Suzanne started her teaching career at Stanford Law School and currently teaches at Harvard Law School and Northwestern. She attended Brown University and Stanford Law School and Completed Harvard Business School’s Executive Education in Strategic Management.
Director, Impact Initiatives
Whitney Smith has over a decade of experience partnering with corporations on their social responsibility and philanthropic strategies and initiatives. Whitney has founded and scaled a social enterprise, counseled public and private companies, celebrities, philanthropists and thought leaders. She is a strategist and advisor who blends profit and purpose seamlessly with an ability to walk in juxtaposed worlds.
Able to support clients beyond just their impact strategies, Whitney has designed and executed large scale projects including marketing and branding campaigns, new product launches, start-up business development, investment cultivation, partnership development, corporate social responsibility, crisis management and philanthropic strategy.
She has successfully designed CSR and Philanthropy initiatives for Fortune 500 companies, large foundations, small innovative startups, and individual philanthropists, demonstrating her ability to work across a wide diversity of culture and resource availability. She regularly guides organizations in strategy and crisis response in areas where business intersects with social, cultural and human equity.
MARK TAFOLLA, ESQ.
Director, Education Law and Equity
Marc Tafolla is an expert in issues of educational equity, special education, education law and policy, communications, and school district transformation. Marc’s passion is working for underrepresented students and spearheading the community organizing necessary to make meaningful change.
Marc is currently works at the Oakland Unified School District supporting communications and strategy. Previously, Marc was the Policy Director for GO Public Schools Oakland. He successfully blended policy analysis with broad-based community organizing and worked on an array of topics such as district budget and finance, teacher quality and supports, charter/district relations, and school board advocacy. He successfully led several coalitions, created a teacher policy fellowship, and helped pass numerous Oakland education policies.
Following law school, he was awarded a Skadden Fellowship at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. There, he created and supervised the Education Opportunity Project which implemented the Williams v. California settlement agreement (a landmark education equity lawsuit). This project also addressed issues such as the school-to-prison pipeline and protecting the rights of immigrant children in schools.
Prior to law school, Marc taught high school history in both California and Oregon and spent two years in AmeriCorps coordinating a youth violence prevention program.
Social Media Specialist
Isamar Ochoa runs all of Mayacamas Partners Social Media feeds curating content that is most helpful to our clients and followers. Currently, she is working at the intersection of real estate & social change to transform the socioeconomic status and trajectory of some of the most vulnerable families in the Bay Area and San Joaquin County. Isamar’s passion for real estate, social mobility, and the spiritual healing of low income and marginalized communities have equipt her to be a trusted real estate consultant. She works diligently to promote financial literacy and educate families on their journey to homeownership, combating gentrification, and putting an end to cycles of poverty. In addition to real estate consulting, Isamar works at Fathers & Families of San Joaquin where she is executing and managing a reentry housing program for those who have been victims of trauma and incarceration. Her outreach efforts within the community and with real estate partners are changing the narrative around homelessness, the formerly incarcerated, and undocumented families. Formerly, she worked at BUILD as a Program Associate.
Isamar is a proud alum of the University of California, Berkeley, the European Innovation Academy, Founder Gym and the Latino Board Leadership Academy through the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley.