Leaders in their Field

The Ignite Center Faculty are some of the top thought leaders in their field. Together they bridge ancient and modern wisdom, design thinking, and Silicon Valley’s best business practices into a unique curriculum that teaches leaders to navigate through difficult problems and uncertain futures.

Ignite Center Faculty

Dave Epstein

Dave Epstein

Advisor, Investor, Board Member and Management Consultant, Epstein Advisors

Dave is an advisor, investor, and management consultant at Epstein Advisors. Specializing in matching markets, teams, strategies and funding in the areas of clean tech, semiconductors, and medical device technologies, he is active today with several early stage companies. Dave shares his knowledge and network to help entrepreneurs focus on success while navigating the treacherous start-up waters. Currently, Dave’s investments include: Neruametrix, non-invasively detecting Parkinson’s and other degenerative brain disorders; Left Lane Networks, supporting the sharing economy; Orbital Systems, Watty, and Enersize in the water and energy saving business; CrowdOptic combining intelligent live streaming with location data and wearables; Single Technologies, a superfast 3D single molecule microscope advancing genomic diagnosis; and others.

Dr. David Vasquez-Levy

Dr. David Vasquez-Levy

President, Pacific School of Religion

David is a sought-after speaker who addresses issues ranging from immigration to sacred story-telling. As President of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, he is a recognized leader in efforts to rethink the structures of higher education to meet the challenges of demographic shifts and economic sustainability for the twenty-first century.

Derene Allen

Derene Allen

Ignite Faculty

Derene is an experienced growth strategist, working with Corporate Marketing, Human Resource and CSR Departments, nonprofits and entrepreneurs. She has extensive experience working with early-stage entrepreneurs in refining their business models and helping nonprofits develop more sustainable financial models, devising social enterprises, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment strategies that result in increased earned income, engagement, and volunteer participation, particularly from multicultural communities.

Donald R. Proctor

Donald R. Proctor

Founder and CEO, Bk97 Digital; Former Sr. Vice President, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Bk97 Digital provides advisory services to companies and government agencies on product strategy, innovation, technology policy, and cybersecurity. Prior to founding Bk97 Digital, Don held a variety of leadership positions in the company’s enterprise, commercial, and service provider businesses, including as a Senior Vice President in Cisco’s Security and Trust Organization and Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s software engineering group and was responsible for development of Cisco’s IOS software, network management, VoIP, web collaboration, and global government businesses.

Dr. Dorsey Blake

Dr. Dorsey Blake

Faculty, Ignite Institute

Dorsey brings with him a long history of social-justice leadership stretching back to the Civil Rights
movement with Martin Luther King, Jr. He teaches courses and seminars on community-based
leadership relying on models rooted in partnership and collaboration.

Dr. Filipe Maia

Dr. Filipe Maia

Faculty, Ignite Institute

Filipe, a Brazilian theologian, studies and teaches the religious dimensions of economic systems to imagine different ways of organizing human communities. He is particularly interested in how traditions of ancient wisdom help us to engage with the unpredictability of the future.

Dr. Jay Johnson

Dr. Jay Johnson

Lead Faculty, Ignite Institute

Jay is a Christian theologian who draws on ancient spiritual practices to analyze and envision contemporary social structures for the common good. Jay’s published work deals with the development and sustaining of vibrant communities of social justice and ecological thriving.

John Stoddard

John Stoddard

Chief of Innovative Service and Product Design, YouSpace - Former Sr. Designer, IDEO

John Stoddard is a designer and teacher specializing in new service and product innovation. As Chief of Innovative Service and Product Design at YouSpace, a Silicon Valley startup, he focuses on new applications of machine vision and artificial intelligence. He teaches Design Thinking methodology, and applies it in his projects, to help maximize business impact. Until 2014 John Stoddard served as Senior Designer at IDEO, the global design and innovation firm, where he led innovation projects for corporate and start-up clients in the USA, Europe and Asia.

Jonathan Reichental, PhD

Jonathan Reichental, PhD

Chief Information Officer, City of Palo Alto

For over 25 years, Dr. Jonathan Reichental has been successfully helping organizations leverage the value of information and communications technology to solve business problems, increase effectiveness, and support revenue growth. He has experience in both the private and public sectors. He spent over 15 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in a variety of technology-related roles including leading technology innovation by delivering specific expertise in emerging technologies and the impact of macro trends such as demography on organizational success.

Kenneth (Hap) Klopp

Kenneth (Hap) Klopp

Executive Chairman, Obscura Digital Founder, Founder - The North Face

Among his many exploits, Mr. Klopp was the founder of The North Face, where he served as President and CEO for 20 years. During that time The North Face was honored with many awards for being the best managed company in its industry, including being lauded by Business Week Magazine for providing one of the highest quality products of any company in the United States. Mr. Klopp led The North Face to its position as the largest and most technically advanced company in its industry and one of the largest privately held companies in the San Francisco East Bay.

Mahsea Evans

Mahsea Evans

Faculty, Ignite Institute

Mahsea facilitates workshops to help students identify both skills and obstacles in their personal and communal histories for the sake of enhancing their effectiveness as leaders. As an educator, artist, and community organizer, Mahsea equips communities to overcome conflict through deeper levels of honesty and transparency.

Peter Macdonald

Peter Macdonald

Senior Design Lead, IDEO

Peter MacDonald joined IDEO in 1993 and serves as a senior design lead. He is experienced in product development process from initial user observations to concept generation, concept development, industrial design, mechanical engineering design, prototyping, detailed design, and engineering documentation. Prior to IDEO, he worked at Aerobie, Inc. (formerly Superflight, Inc.), Wang Laboratories, Inc., and Group Four Design, Inc. as an industrial designer.

Dr. Sharon Fennema

Dr. Sharon Fennema

Faculty, Ignite Institute

Sharon explores the intersection of social-justice advocacy and ritual practices. As a scholar and activist, Sharon analyzes the cultural consequences of racial, sexual, and gender identities in the public square.

Dr. Susan Abraham

Dr. Susan Abraham

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean Pacific School of Religion

Susan, a feminist scholar originally from Mumbai, India, investigates trends in popular culture to study
the relationship between spirituality and economics in a secular age. Susan has a wide range of teaching
experiences across the country in various types of institutions and has taught courses, for example, in
the ways contemporary sporting events resemble ancient religious practices.