Rockwood Staff

Akaya Windwood, President

Akaya is internationally recognized for elevating the effectiveness of leadership and collaboration in the nonprofit and social benefit sectors. Her vision for our global community includes infusing a sense of purpose, delight and wonder into everything we do. She has a life-long commitment to working for a fair and equitable society, and believes that Rockwood’s network of over 5,000 powerful, collaborative, and interconnected leaders will help lead the way. Ext.108.



Julie Besaha, Director of Finance and Operations

Julie oversees the finance and operations functions at Rockwood. She has over a dozen years of experience in financial management of nonprofit organizations. Previous to coming to Rockwood, she was the Director of Finance and Administration at California Ocean Science Trust, and at the Oakland Schools Foundation. She has a strong background in office operations, human resource management, information technology integration, contract negotiation and management, risk analysis and mitigation, quality assurance, fund development, client/customer service, customer resolution, board/volunteer management, program administration, and communications planning/media strategy.  Ext.118.



Nicole Boucher, Director of Advancement

Nicole oversees the resource development and communications departments at Rockwood. A Bay Area native, she has over a decade of experience working with policy, advocacy, and community development organizations working at local, regional and national levels. She has developed and implemented programs and services for low-income housing communities in the East Bay, and has contributed to research efforts around juvenile justice and education for Asian American and Pacific Islander youth. Prior to joining Rockwood, Nicole led fund development efforts at Urban Habitat and managed all fundraising and development activities at PolicyLink. Ext.101.



Tyson Casey, Program Manager

Tyson oversees Rockwood's Leading from the Inside Out Yearlong Fellowship, and supports other programs and internal systems. Prior to Rockwood, Tyson was the Managing Director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, of which he currently serves on the advisory board. He is a graduate of the MA program in Social Change at Starr King School for the Ministry, where he focused on education, collaboration, sustainability, and organizational change. He has worked with interfaith and secular justice communities and organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, North Carolina, and Florida. Ext.105.




Virada Chatikul, Program Manager

Virada manages the BCORR program, the Fellowship for Arts and Culture, and the Fellowship for a New California. Prior to joining Rockwood, she led various youth and workforce development programs in San Francisco. She also volunteers with youth and performing arts projects at the Berkeley and Fremont Thai temples. She holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco and a BA in Sociology from Smith College. Ext.119.





Maddie Flood, Development Manager

Maddie manages foundation relations and individual donors. Growing up in Santa Cruz, CA, Maddie developed an interest in the influence of politics on individuals' lives and the inequities in wealth and health throughout the world. At the University of San Francisco, she explored these interests by studying politics along with African American and African Studies. After working in direct services at The AIDS Support Organization in Uganda, Maddie went to experience the policy approach to social change in the California Legislature as a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow. Ext.103.



joi foley, Communications Manager

joi manages Rockwood’s communications and social media. She’s all about connecting people with causes they care about and experiences they cherish. Before joining the Rockwood team, joi ran her own business developing communications strategies for nonprofits, higher-ed institutions, small businesses, and artists. She also worked as a producer and director in the NYC area film and television industry, creating music videos, documentaries, news programs, and award shows. Ext. 110.


Eileen Hazel, Senior Finance and Operations Manager

Eileen supports the work of Rockwood by providing thorough, accurate management of its accounting and operations functions. Eileen has worked with numerous social change and nonprofit organizations including The International Forum on Globalization, The Oakland Institute, East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Changemakers, and KPFA Radio. She earned her degree in International Relations from the University of Minnesota. Eileen is also a singer-songwriter with two CDs of her original music (www.eileenhazel.com). Ext.109.



Stacy Kono, Director of Programs

As the Director of Programs, Stacy oversees Rockwood's Public Trainings, Fellowships, and Organizational Partnerships. She participated in the Art of Leadership in 2007, and in the Advanced Art of Leadership in 2009. Before joining Rockwood, Stacy worked with Asian Immigrant Women Advocates (AIWA) building the leadership and collective power of low-income Asian immigrant women workers and their families. Stacy is a certified coach, working primarily with emerging leaders and community organizers, and is on the Board of the  Chinese Progressive Association (CPA). Ext.113.



Darlene Nipper, Chief Impact Officer

Darlene Nipper joins Rockwood as Chief Impact Officer after being part of the training team since 2012. She has over 25 years of leadership and advocacy experience, having previously served as Deputy Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, Executive Director of the BET Foundation, founder of the Multicultural and International Outreach (MIO) Center, Chief Operating Officer at NAMI, and Director of LGBT Affairs in the Executive Office of the Mayor of D.C. Darlene, a native Washingtonian, is also an ordained interfaith minister, practices mindfulness meditation and yoga, and has practiced both near and far, including in India and the Bahamas. She is located at Rockwood's D.C. office. Ext.112.


Ronald Pineda, Enrollment Manager

Ronald coordinates enrollment for Rockwood's Art of Leadership and Advanced Art of Leadership, and informs Rockwood's partnerships. A native of the Bay Area, Ronald has touched a diverse range of organizations, including Oakland Unified School District, Center for Third World Organizing, Zero G Software, and The Utility Reform Network. Previously, Ronald led an international marketing team for a Silicon Valley startup; prior to that, he managed communications for Children Now for over a decade. Ext.115.



Sharon Price, Associate Director of Programs

Sharon's purpose at Rockwood is to support the personal growth and well-being of transformative leaders in order to build a unified progressive movement. She manages several Fellowship programs, including the Cross-Movement Yearlong, special programs with SEIU, and the Fellowship for Human Rights and National Security Reform Leaders. Previously, she worked in international conservation building networks of local environmental leaders. Before that, she studied Religion and Anthropology in Washington, D.C. and Kathmandu, Nepal. Sharon is certified as an Integral Coach® through New Ventures West. Ext.106.


Liz Telschow, Salesforce Manager and Executive Assistant

Liz is Rockwood's Salesforce Manager and Executive Assistant. A Midwest transplant, she spent 10+ years in Chicago working in continuing education administration, first at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and then Northwestern University. When not supporting the efforts of Rockwood's staff and Board, she spends much of her time exploring the world. From weekend jaunts to Marrakech and Rio de Janeiro, to longer trips through Namibia and southern Spain, she's always up for adventure and discovery. Ext.114.