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Katie spent eight years in global workforce development building competency models and helping companies and policy organizations prepare for the future of work. She regularly speaks and writes on a variety of topics including diversity hiring, AI ethics, and automation impact on the workforce.
Having worked in many types of jobs - cleaning hotel rooms, making sandwiches, and assembling windows on a factory line, she believes valuable competencies are used in every role every day, everywhere. the problem isn’t people, it’s the hiring system.
Katie holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, an MPA from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and a BA in Political Science from Hope College.
Prior to joining Claira, Ian spent nearly 20 years in the semiconductor industry, leading large cross-functional global teams. Most recently, he has held roles as an executive and product management director with expertise in strategizing, developing, and launching leading-edge and innovative products.
Ian has had bad experiences on both sides of the broken hiring system, as a job seeker and an employer seeking diverse talent.
As a lifelong learner, Ian received an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, with a business analytics certificate. He also holds a Master's degree in electrical engineering, and an undergraduate degree in computer engineering, from McGill University in Montreal.
Elan joined Claira after more than a decade as a founder, director, and consultant at major nonprofits. Across multiple multi-million dollar program portfolios, he founded initiatives, built digital experiences, and developed growth strategies that impacted hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries.
Outside of Claira, Elan advises promising early stage startups on growth, go-to-market strategy, and product development as a mentor at MassChallenge, a top international startup accelerator. At MassChallenge, he also serves as an accelerator judge. A lifelong entrepreneur, Elan has worked in an array of positions. In college, he was a freelance photojournalist and included the Wall Street Journal, Harvard University, and the Times of Israel on his client list.
Elan holds an Masters in International Economics and Finance from the Brandeis International Business School and a Bachelors in Business from Brandeis University.
Pete is an expert sales leader, with over two decades of experience across a range of industries and verticals. He excels in go-to-market strategy, complex technical sales, and building high-performing teams.
Pete worked his way up from washing cars while managing a rental car business after college to the forefront of tech leadership, so he knows how important it is to recognize talent early. He loves to travel with his wife and two daughters, play tennis, and root for Boston sports teams.
Pete earned a BA in geography from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.
Melody has spent over 15 years at the cutting edge of computer programming and database management. A talented engineer, she discovered programming when analyzing and visualizing large datasets of lithic technology. She earned the AWS solutions architect associate certification after being a forerunner in using AWS technologies to modernize information technology at two Washington state departments.
Until her junior year of college, Melody was determined to be an archaeologist and also dreamt of being a writer. She has raised a family, four dogs, and five chickens while doing it all!
Melody holds an MS in management information systems from Western Governors University and a BLA in Computer Science from Evergreen State College.
Prior to Claria, Rick founded and led his own digital agency. He has over 25 years of experience as a UX professional—working across various industries and assisting organizations from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies with their digital needs.
Rick is a systems thinker, researcher, digital strategist, information architect, designer, and teacher with a passion for creating simple and intuitive experiences.
During his career, Rick has built and led highly effective cross-functional teams which have consistently delivered award-winning work for their clients. A student of design, Rick enjoys studying architecture and urban planning. He lives in Vermont with his wife and three children. He is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded several successful start-ups. He loves hockey, lacrosse, and traveling.
Rick holds a BA in English from the University of Vermont.
Kelly is a seasoned customer success leader with an expertise in launching and scaling support teams in the teach industry. With a background in psychology, she is a keen champion for maximizing value and impact for clients and users.
When not working closely with Claira's clients, you can find Kelly hanging out with her beautiful Chihuahua LuLu, exploring the world, and relaxing on Florida's sunny beaches.
Kelly holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and a Bachelors in Psychology from Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu in Romania.
As a former barista in Washington, Amber realized that the part of her work that she really enjoyed was the ability to manage lots of incoming information. That made the transition into managing large datasets and developing applications for a diverse user set easy. She began her engineering career as a data manager for the state of Washington, where she was one of the few experts in AWS relational database systems—today, she remains at the forefront of cloud infrastructure. Amber is a lifelong learner and was previously selected for a prestigious intensive language and cultural exchange in Japan.
Amber studied political science and history at Evergreen State University, with a minor focus in economics.
Amy Clanahan is a consumer solutions strategist first and B2B Account Executive of Enterprise Solutions second. Having been on both sides of selling, there’s something to be said about understanding the needs of the clients whom you’re approaching. With over 15 years of experience in the sales industry (including running her own high-end women’s boutique), Amy is helping our clients understand why the most innovative companies invest in the future of their people.
Ann brings over eight years of experience in both internal and external communications. She's an experienced writer and collaborator with a demonstrated history of working in food & beverage, medical, tech, and telecom industries. Ann attributes her industry knowledge in communications and marketing to her earlier roles working at agencies. In her free time, she enjoys baking banana and zucchini bread and spending time with her husband and her three cats.
Ann has a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in public relations from Georgia State University.
Having spent the last 3 years in the customer service field, Ariana thrives on opportunities to turn small details into significant stories for her clients by creating the most efficient and enjoyable experience for them. When she’s not working from her (home) office, Ariana can be found supporting her local NFL team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ariana is currently studying for her MBA in Finance & Accounting, with a minor in Leadership, at the University of North Florida.
Prior to joining Claira, Bobby spent the past 6+ years working in Customer Success across multiple SaaS organizations. During that time, he spent multiple years working alongside his clients in the Talent and HR space to ensure that they were achieving results through data analysis and strategy execution. He prides himself on being a strategic partner to his clients and working alongside them to create a collaborative area for success.
Bobby graduated from Butler University with a BA in Marketing.
As a lover of the great outdoors and an avid sewer, Elena’s attention to detail and inclination to create with the intention of making a positive difference translates well in her role as Claira’s QA Automation Engineer. With over three years of experience in web application testing automation using Cypress, Elena applies her knowledge of manual testing, automation frameworks, API testing, and various tools to improve Claira’s functionality and meet the needs of our clients. Elena thrives in the fast-paced, dynamic nature of startups and is passionate about seeking out new challenges and opportunities to learn. When she’s not at her desk, she’s fulfilling her duties as a hockey mom to her two children, or taking walks along the ocean and listening to the sounds of the waves.
Elena graduated from Moscow State University of Design and Technology with a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc)
Jade is a front-end developer who is passionate about inclusivity and accessibility, on the web as well as in the workforce. Jade first explored web development at the age of ten and quickly started pushing the limits of early social media platforms before moving onto standalone sites and applications.
Jade’s journey spanned game development, application development, and marketing and design. Before working as a developer, Jade also worked as a specialist in a print shop, a newspaper editor, and a freelance designer. These experiences have helped to form Jade into a versatile developer and reliable teammate. In college, Jade considered pursuing social work or psychology, but ultimately, the joy of programming won. Now, Jade applies her skills to make a difference at Claira.
Jade attended DigiPen Institute of Technology and Bellevue College in Washington State, and holds a BAS in Information Systems and Technology.
Going door-to-door to sell your pressure washing business takes courage—and as Claira’s Senior BDR, Joe’s cheerful and optimistic attitude translates well into the startup space. Having previously worked behind the scenes as a data engineer at Fifth Third Bank, and in a client-facing role as a BA at Western & Southern Financial Group, Joe understands the ins and outs of generating value for his clients. If his brief-but-fun entrepreneurial venture taught him anything, it's tenacity, which he uses in his approach to ambitious goals. When he’s not at his (home) desk, Joe loves to travel, spend time with family and friends, and eat lots of food.
Joe graduated from Ball State University with a BA in Computer Information Systems.
Student. Digital Marketing Associate. Varsity athlete. Friend. If you ask whether these are the ingredients for a busy life or valuable learning opportunities, then the answer you’d get is both. A team player by heart, Kyra enjoys learning about the strengths of her peers and helping them see beyond their current capabilities—even in a sport as “individual” as distance running.
As a Business and International Global Studies double major and Climate Justice, Science and Policy and East Asian Studies double minor at Brandeis University, Kyra is curious about how the complex processes of globalization profoundly shape the world we live and work in today—and how people drive these changes. Outside of her work, expect Kyra to be on the track, in the social part of the library, or getting inspired by Instagram cooking reels to make with her friends.
Prior to Claira, Marko worked on numerous projects regarding machine learning and backend engineering. Around computers from a very young age, software has become natural to him. He has worked in and around data, development and people his entire career.
People are Marko’s passion. He uses his engineering background with his passion for modernizing the hiring system to help make Claira the best it can possibly be. Outside of engineering, he is passionate about Geography, History, and Physics.
Alongside Claira, Marko is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and Engineering at Miami University.
Nick’s path to Claira began with the belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed in life, no matter what their background. As a student who hustled his way through college, working countless overnights, and cramming in as many classes as possible, Nick began his career as an overnight stock boy and eventually moved up the ranks to the role of National Account Manager. Having spent the past 15 years in various sales roles, Nick has helped both large and small companies focus on solving workforce challenges and takes an urgent, disciplined approach to create solutions that align with client needs. Persistence is key when it comes to both sales and hiking, especially if you’ve hiked as uneven terrain as Green Sand Beach in Hawaii as Nick has. To keep busy, Nick enjoys taking on DIY projects (he recently built a large deck extension), and cooking all types of foods—especially chimichurri steak.
Nick graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor's in Business Management and a minor in Marketing.
One of Susan’s early experiences made her aware that a career can take an unexpected turn. She was recruited, as a theater major, to manage manufacturing collaboratives at the Industrial Technology Institute. She had never been in a manufacturing facility and was woefully ignorant. However, Susan’s boss was intrigued that as a theater director/actress, she could “read the room; the text and subtext” and asked her to attend high-level meetings between the Department of Defense, major national and international manufacturers and technology companies who were developing manufacturing and e-commerce standards. It was an aha moment!. Skills matter. Skills are transferable. Susan’s career changed – dramatically.
Since that experience, Susan has always been passionate about how what people know and can do translates to work. In her over 30+ year career, working for and with an array of private and public sector organizations spanning education, manufacturing, technology, government, non-profits, and the arts, Susan has led and implemented myriad practical and sustainable initiatives – all designed to create a borderless system of work and learning where competencies are currency, where talent is drawn from everywhere, and where what people know and can do matters most. Armed with an eclectic portfolio of experiences and products, Susan brings unique competency expertise tools, techniques and models to Claira. And she’s thrilled to support a company that’s at the forefront of using competencies to unleash human potential. So many possibilities.
A lover of design, nature, and art, Susan spends as much time as possible immersed in all three and traveling to the East and West coast to spend time with her daughters and grandchildren.
Susan holds a Masters in Organizational Communication and Performance Studies and a Bachelors in Developmental Drama, both from Eastern Michigan University. She participated in a doctoral program in Knowledge Management at Walden University.
Kevin brings over 37 years of expertise in the technology industry, spending the past 25 years as a board member and a Chief Customer Officer for startups and Fortune 250 companies. His passion for leadership, diversity, and helping customers has always been at the center of his work. He has led global teams as large as 15,000 and businesses that exceeded $6.5b in annual revenue.
Kevin currently shares his wealth of industry knowledge through his firm KR Advisory Services. There he supports C-Suite executives as they develop strategic goals, build a diverse leadership team, and develop strong communications skills for achieving customer, financial, and team goals.
Kevin graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Management and Marketing.
Mark Newberg is the founder and President of Stockbridge Advisors, an impact and ESG-focused consulting firm. He brings over a decade of experience in the impact economy and works directly with senior leaders of organizations and high-growth companies, embedding impact and ESG into the core of their enterprises in order to solve problems worth solving.
Prior to founding Stockbridge Advisors, Mark was a policy advisor to the New Orleans City Council (post-Katrina) and a senior policy advisor at the United States Small Business Administration, where he was actively involved in the federal government’s initial impact policy efforts, high-growth innovation initiatives, and both economic and disaster recovery program. He also served as the Director of Impact Strategies for a transatlantic law firm, and as the Deputy Director of the Global Innovation Summit.
Mark has been a MassChallenge mentor and a judge since he returned to Boston and is actively involved in both the FinTech program and MassChallenge’s early-stage initiatives. He is also an Innovator-in-Residence at the Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, a mentor at the Harvard Innovation Labs, and a judge for the Louisiana Startup Prize. Mark was also the lead author of the Desktop Manual for Impact Policymakers.
Mark holds a BA from Tulane University, and a JD from Tulane Law School.
Richard Kosowsky is passionate about leveraging technology, AI and data science to affect and lead change. He enjoys early-stage opportunities where, as a visionary he plots the path forward, as an engineer brings his intense focus to bear, and as a leader manages the growth from zero to scale. His current area of interest is data- driven AI/ML software companies with unique datasets, strong management teams and SaaS business models.
Rich has extensive experience in management, business development, technology development and financing through a variety of C-suite roles at companies ranging from technology giant QUALCOMM to small startups. As a serial inventor, Rich has proactively protected intellectual property through multiple patents and trademarks. Rich has also mentored 50+ companies through MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service, focusing on storytelling, go-to-market strategy, the financial model and fundraising.
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