Board of Directors
Dr. Matais Pouncil is a Professor of Educational Leadership, in the College of Education, at California State University, East Bay. He teaches Masters and Doctoral students. Prior to his work at CSU, East Bay he was an administrator at Foothill College, California State University, Long Beach, and he taught Multicultural Education at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Pouncil is the author of Notes of a Momma’s Boy: Selected Poems by Matais Pouncil (2001); a contributor to If We Have To Take Tomorrow, edited by Marvin K. White; the dissertation, Acting Black: Black Men and Doctoral Degree Completion (2009), and Transfer Success Stories; Themes, Patterns and Connections (2011). He is an arts advocate and organizer and the former Chair of the City of Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission, appointed by Mayor Ron Dellums. He is a member of 100 Black Men, Inc and founder of the Baldwin Project – an art, culture, and education enrichment institute for black youth – with programming in Oakland and Long Beach. Since 1992 he has been a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Pouncil attended Southern University, in Baton Rouge, LA, California State University, Long Beach, and he is the first African American man to earn an Ed.D. from the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Pouncil recently completed the Management Development Program (MDP) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Kesha Hackett Belcher, a Bay Area native has had an affinity for the arts since a young age. She has performed in musicals, dance and theater, since she was six years old. An avid traveler, music and theatre enthusiast, Hackett Belcher, a USF, School of Management graduate, is a human resources professional with experience in health care, non profit, logistics and entertainment industries. She is currently completing a masters degree at Villanova University.
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, I have been involved in and around the performing arts since a young age. I danced competitively for 12 years and have always had an affinity for the performing arts. I am an alumni of the University of San Francisco, class of 2012, where I studied Accounting. I became acquainted with the African-American Shakespeare Company during a two semester long internship with the company while attending USF. I had a diverse role as an intern for AASC, responsible for tasks spanning from bookkeeping to fundraising appeal writing. Upon graduation, I began working for an auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and am currently an associate. I hope to bring a valuable youth perspective to the board and help develop the business structure of the company.
I have appreciated the arts for almost my entire life: singing in the children’s and youth choir’s of my church, and learning to play the coronet in the 7th grade. Later in life, becoming a director of a 15-voice ensemble in my church, and co-director of an original play: Heaven Has Room For Many Stars. I also became the music director of one of my church choirs (Inspirational Chorus) and on many occasions, directed our church’s mass choir. Currently I sing bass in our mass choir and selectively will direct difficult anthems when requested by the minister of music. Over 30 years I’ve co-founded and directed a holiday chorus at my work: the UCOP Chorus whose repertoire included several Hebrew songs, along with the Hallelujah Chorus form Messiah. I am a member of the UC Berkeley Faculty Club Chorus and participated since 1975 in singing with the UC Monks Chorus directed by Milton Williams.
Wayne Kitchen, a recent retiree, has a professional history characterized by a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Missouri – Columbia and has an undergraduate degree from Lincoln University of Missouri. He has thirty five years of comprehensive administrative staff experience in various educational environments. Wayne has acquired strong administrative and supervisory skills which include coordination and staffing of TRiO. Wayne is a globlal traveler. His community service involvement has been many. Wayne has been the President of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Board of Directors, SF Bay Area Chapter of Lincoln University Alumni Association, and Alpha Nu Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.. Wayne is also a marathoner.
I’ve spent most of my career in law and business development. For the past 2 years, I’ve been working with a small team to develop 1stFriday.com, an online social and professional networking platform for African-Americans. 1stFriday.com leverages the offline First Fridays phenomenon for competitive advantage.
My legal practice focuses on assisting early stage growth companies in the technology industry. I have a special emphasis on helping African-American technology entrepreneurs set up their enterprises correctly and giving them guidance on intellectual property and financing matters.
I enjoy helping managers with the legal and operational issues facing technology companies. I’ve handled a wide range of legal projects over my career (labor, real estate, corporate, patent litigation); however, my specialization is in technology company business development, licensing, operations, and financing transactions.
I’m an expert in technology licensing, having drafted IP licensing agreements for SaaS, hardware, software, wireless, gaming, internet services and enterprise software clients. I have a strong interest in social media. Through Axiom, I served as Acting General Counsel at Twitter, where I participated in the revision of the company’s Terms of Service and led the legal review of various licensing and partnering projects.
Currently, I advise a number of clients on their social media strategies and business development initiatives, including technology acquisition, licensing and business development projects, terms of service and FTC regulatory compliance.
Specialties: technology licensing (outbound and inbound), corporate counseling to emerging growth technology companies, social media, venture capital financing, mergers and acquisitions, in-house legal department management, privacy law, intellectual property licensing, SaaS transactions, open source licensing
Development Director and Consultant for Community School of Music and Arts and formerly Museum of African Diaspora, Ms. Rodgers has proven repeatedly that hard work, determination and passion can realize hard-to-reach goals. The Champaign, Ill., native raised her two younger brothers on her own, but that challenge did not deter her from acceptance into Harvard and Stanford universities, where she majored in civil engineering. Ms. Rodgers sees her role as contributing to the cause of a strengthening the excellence in the arts. Ms. Rodgers likes to see more opportunities for low-income youths to participate in the arts.
Lance Huntley is a life long resident of the Bay Area. He was raised in San Francisco, and raised his family there as well. He attended Pelton Jr. High, Lowell High, SF City College, and graduated UC Berkeley with a degree in Biochemistry. He spent 30 years in Biotechnology in various areas such as laboratory work, Environmental Health and Safety, and Facilities Management. In recent years theatre transformed his life; he has taken acting classes from Studio ACT and elsewhere. He believes in the power of theatre to make a positive difference in people’s lives. A working actor, he has performed in many plays all over the Bay Area; Lance appeared in AASC’s The Taming of the Shrew and 2012 production of A Raisin in the Sun. Lance has been on the boards of several non-profits, including Hillbarn Theatre, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, and the Peninsula Arts Council. He has also worked for a non-profit board as the Executive Director of the South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
Everett “Alx” Alexander has been involved with theatre since first treading the boards in a high school production of The Matchmaker in Washington State. Since that moment, he has participated in local theatre productions ranging from Ft. Lewis, Washington to Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.
Even during his six-year stint as a Navy Journalist, he still found an outlet for his theatrical interests. He co-wrote, produced and appeared in a production commemorating the anniversary of the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-61) that took place in the hangar deck of the ship while at sea on patrol in the Indian Ocean.
His other duties during his years in the military included producing a ship’s newspaper, operating the onboard entertainment system and writing press releases for distribution to newspapers across the United States as well as assisting visiting dignitaries such as Gladys Knight, Suzanne Somers, Marie Osmond and Flip Wilson.
After leaving the Navy and settling in the Bay Area, he has appeared in plays produced by The Masquer’s Playhouse, Contra Cost Civic Theater and Contra Costa College among others as well as several African-American Shakespeare Company productions.
He has been on the company’s Board of Directors and has served a term as its President. His involvement began over a decade ago and he continues to contribute financially and creatively towards the growth and ideals of the company.
If you asked Shauntelle Hamlett to describe herself, she’d say “I’m a teller of tales and creative explorer, on a mission to connect, engage, inspire, and create. Creativity is my obsession. I’m passionate about words, photos, art, theater, design, food, my family, and lifelong learning.” For nearly 20 years now, she’s honed her professional sales, marketing, and promotions skills working at companies as diverse as Turner Broadcasting, CTN Music Network (now an MTV company), NMT Neurosciences, and a private, multi-million-dollar oral surgery practice. An early internet adopter, Shauntelle learned to code websites in Notepad in the mid-90s when she launched one of the first digital magazines for women, JoyOnline.com. After the sale of JoyOnline, she continued to enthusiastically engage in the online world, freelance writing, blogging, and helping to build digital communities for female entrepreneurs, writers, and artists. Combining her love for the online world with her professional marketing experience, Shauntelle currently does freelance work as a digital marketing strategist, developing WordPress-based websites, and helping creative entrepreneurs use social media, video, audio, and content marketing to build their online tribes and grow their sales. In her free time, she geeks out about Doctor Who, spends too much time stalking “ShakespeareisMyJam” on Tumblr, writes poetry, and bullies her friends into signing up for Google+.
762 Fulton Street, Suite 306
San Francisco, CA 94102