Advisory Board

Co-Chair: Elisa Batista
Campaign Director,

photo_ebatista.jpgElisa Batista is an associate campaign director at, a million-member organization advocating for policies related to family economic security, child health and ending discrimination against mothers. She collaborates with the organization’s campaign directors in reaching out to mothers through social media campaigns on the blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

She is also a bilingual journalist and award-winning blogger. She is the co-publisher of the popular parenting website,, which was named a “favorite mom blogger” by Ms. Magazine. In addition, her writing has appeared at the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, FOX News Latino and Wired News. She has also won an award by Latinos in Social Media, an online organization of 150,000+ Latinos, for her use of social media tools to promote causes.

Co-Chair: Trabian Shorters
Founder & CEO, BMe

photo_tshorters.jpgTrabian is founder and CEO of BMe. He began the initiative while serving as vice president of the Knight Foundation. With the full blessing of his board and CEO, and with a generous donation from the foundation, Trabian left Knight Foundation on July 1, 2013 to grow the BMe Community.

Trabian has a long history in building innovative networks for the public good. First as one of the authors of AmeriCorps, then as a founder of an innovative nonprofit technology support network which was backed by both AOL and Microsoft in 1999. He went on to be the director of Ashoka-US, which funds and networks outstanding social entrepreneurs, before joining the Knight Foundation wherein he managed a $300M portfolio and led Knight’s groundbreaking Community Information Challenge. Based upon the research of Daniel Kahneman, Chip Heath, Jonah Sachs, Monique Sternin and Jonah Berger; Trabian devised a community engagement and transformation theory called "Asset-Framing" and through the Knight Foundation he worked with social impact design firm, Context Partners, and marketing giant, Ogilvy & Mather, to apply it regarding black males of Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Troy Carter
CEO and Founder, Atom Factory

photo_tcarter.jpgTroy is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Atom Factory, a pioneering entertainment and music management company. Carter has established the careers of numerous recording artists, including multi-platinum Grammy-Award winner Lady Gaga. Carter began his career in Philadelphia working for Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment, and joined Bad Boy Entertainment in 1995 where he worked with groundbreaking artists such as Notorious B.I.G. In 1999, Carter formed the boutique talent management company, Erving Wonder. The brand quickly became one of the preeminent artist management firms and was acquired by the Sanctuary Group in 2004.

After founding Atom Factory in 2010, Troy has continued his disruptive approach with the creation of various entities. In 2011, he co-founded The Backplane, a silicon valley based startup that redefines social media by allowing celebrities and brands to connect with fans, foster community, and cultivate brand loyalty. The following year, he created A \ IDEA, a product development and branding agency, as well as AF Square, an angel fund and technology consultancy.

Jesse Martinez
Founder, Latino Startup Alliance

photo_jmartinez Jesse is the founder of several influential Latino startup companies, including the Latino Startup Alliance - an organization that aims to unite Latino entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Jesse first joined the tech industry in 1997, where he was part of the sales team for Internet Systems, Inc. It was this taste of Silicon Valley culture that inspired he and his brother, Edwardo, to launch, a bilingual website portal that provided email, chat, news and free internet access to a Latino audience. He and Edwardo also eventually helped found Giggo, a social commerce platform, which serves Latinos in Spanish via mobile devices for brands and merchant partners. Their mission is to help U.S. Latinos save money using their mobile phone via text or Smartphone app.

Jesse also hope to create a Latino venture fund to support budding entrepreneurs and their startups. For Martinez, the bottom line remains the same: to help Latino entrepreneurs gain a better entryway into the world of technology.

Andrea Hoffman
CEO and Founder, Culture Shift Labs

photo_ahoffman.jpgAndrea is founder and CEO of Culture Shift Labs. 

A top-tier marketing and business development veteran whose client base over the years has included BMW, Carnegie Hall, Hachette Fillapacchi, Hermes, Jaguar, Microsoft, Sony Electronics, and Time Life, Scholastic, JPMorgan Chase, Mercedes Benz USA, Andrea took a long hard look at consumer data and GDP and came to the inevitable conclusion that so many C-suite leaders crave to understand: Diverse segments like Influential and Affluent African Americans drive disproportionately large shares of revenue growth.

This knowledge, combined with her vast contacts within the African American Leadership Landscape, inspired Andrea to launch Diversity Affluence in 2006. Over the past eight years, this leading consultancy has contributed groundbreaking content to the conversation surrounding untapped consumer markets and business opportunities and paved the way for countless connections and growth opportunities within this $840 billion dollar market.  

Raquel Romano
Software Engineer, Google

photo_raquel-.jpgRaquel is a software engineer at Google and is currently in where she focuses on technology for positive social impact. She has worked both within and outside of Google on efforts to support those who want to pursue careers in technology but do not have the resources and networks to make that path easy. She helped to found Latinas in Computing, a worldwide community of Latina computer scientists in academia, research, and industry, and has served on organizing committees for the Richard Tapia and Grace Hopper celebrations of computing. She holds a PhD and MS in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA in mathematics from Harvard University.

Kety Esquivel
Principal, Esquivel McCarson Consulting

photo_kesquivel.jpgKety is Principal of Esquivel McCarson Consulting. Her work has taken her to China and Ethiopia with the UN Economic Commission for Africa. She's coached executives for a fortune 100 company on human capital and diversity in the US, Canada and Latin America and directed Latino outreach for a Presidential Campaign. She's been the New Media Manager for the National Council of La Raza, the CEO for LATISM and a Vice President with Ogilvy and Fenton.

Kety is on the board of the Netroots Foundation. She was a founding board member of the Hispanic Public Relations Association NCC and the New Leaders Council and has served on several other boards, including the Puerto Rican Youth Development and Resource Center. She's the founder of CrossLeft and an author. She's a former editor of BlogHer, a current blogger on the Huffington Post and has been a convener for Web of Change, She’s Geeky and TEDxAdamsMorgan.

Gyasi Ross
Author, Lawyer and Civil Rights Activist, Blackfeet Indian Nation

photo_grossi.jpgGyasi is a member of the Blackfeet Indian Nation and also comes from the Suquamish Nation. Both are his homelands. He is a father, an author, a lawyer and a warrior. Through a life of service, listening and living within Native communities, Gyasi profoundly understands the needs of his people and has dedicated his life to forging change within his communities. Whether taking a more nuanced perspective on the Redskins controversy, encouraging self-worth in the community or defending the civil rights of those who can’t fight for themselves, part of Gyasi’s mission is raising the profile of the reservation populace, often viewed with ignorance as a shadowy world, as well as instilling a sense of pride amongst the people.

Gyasi has has written for Huffington Post, Indian Country Today, Deadspin and Gawker, as well as appeared on various talk shows and news programs. He released his second book, How to Say I Love You in Indian, in early 2014.

Denmark West
Advisor, K1 Management

photo_dwest.jpgDenmark works with K1’s portfolio management teams in the areas of business partnerships, operations and strategy. Denmark is a frequent speaker on digital media and has been referenced in social media books such as Stealing Myspace and The Facebook Effect. He was previously an executive at Viacom, most recently as President of Digital Media at BET Networks. Prior to that he was Executive Vice President, operations, global digital media for MTV Networks.