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Empowering Tomorrow: Introducing Our Visionary New Board Members


Promising times are ahead for Wevise in 2024, and we are thrilled to share our exciting news with you. We have recently welcomed five exceptional individuals to our board, each bringing a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a shared vision for our organization’s mission.

Mission Possible:

Wevise has implemented a unique board structure that fosters direct collaboration with staff members. Rather than relying on the CEO as the intermediary, our board positions are assigned to one of three strategic teams according to the board member’s expertise: External Relations, Operations, and Product/Programs to drive strategic direction and ensure a proactive response to emerging challenges/opportunities in their respective domains. Additionally, these specialized teams ensure that strategies developed in board meetings are effectively translated into actionable plans at the staff level.

Our new board members have extensive experience, are leaders in their respective fields, and are uniquely qualified to play a pivotal role in guiding our organization toward ambitious goals, including securing investments from corporate sponsors and partners, forming strategic partnerships with nonprofits to increase impact for Wevise mentees, expanding the program function beyond the platform, and supporting the growth of our remarkable team of volunteers. Their dedication to our mission and visionary approach will guide us as we embark on this exciting journey of development and impact.

Join us in extending a warm welcome to them, as together, we create a brighter future for Wevise and the communities we serve.

Meet Our New Leaders:

Jon Leinen, Avery Bullock, Ted Emerson, Cyrus Zulkarnaian Kazi, Kim Lonas, Megan Mulholland, and Casey Smirniotopoulos

Jon Leinen
Focus: President

Jon Leinen is the new President of our esteemed board of directors. With over 25 years of successful experience providing entrepreneurial, business development, marketing, technical, and strategic leadership, Jon brings a wealth of expertise to our organization. His dynamic and detail-oriented approach and strong track record of performance in turnaround and high-paced environments make him the ideal candidate to lead our board.

Jon’s passion for driving revenue to new heights and his results-oriented leadership style have been evident throughout his career, spanning from start-ups to public sector organizations to Fortune 500 companies.

As the Founder and President of Global Orbital Imaging AI Systems & Technology (GOIAST8 LLC), Jon has demonstrated his ability to lead and innovate in advanced satellite imaging applications, leveraging the latest AI technologies to support government intelligence agencies’ missions. Additionally, his commitment to community service is evident through his role as Committee Chair Emeritus to Scout Troop 589 in Victoria, MN, where he has played a vital role in promoting inclusivity and youth leadership development.

Jon will focus on leading our board in partnership with the CEO and team.

Photo of Board member Avery Bullock
Avery Bullock
Focus: External Relations: Connections with VCs and Sustainability

Avery Bullock is a start-up operator passionate about working with early-stage ventures and crafting order from the chaos. Throughout her career, she has seen the benefits of strong mentorship programs for personal and professional development. Having built mentorship and peer support groups within companies and among peer networks, she is excited to support an organization bringing this service to professionals at scale. Avery enjoys digging into the challenges organizations face as they mature and is happiest when watching teams level up to expand their roles and professional networks. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Avery has focused her career on the digital health community, working to tackle blockers to access and affordability in the US healthcare ecosystem. Like many type-A operators, she wears many hats, and outside of work, she can usually be found baking, mom-ing, and/or traveling.

Avery will focus on connections with VCs and growing sustainably.

Photo of Board member Ted Emerson
Ted Emerson
Focus: Programs

Ted Emerson is an experienced HR executive from Greater Orlando with a career spanning over two decades at companies like Amazon and Disney. Specializing in Talent Development and HR Management, he’s fluent in English and conversational Spanish. Ted’s experience covers diverse sectors, including technology and hospitality. At Amazon, he managed HR for a large group, focusing on improving efficiency. His other roles at Flexport, Bloomin’ Brands Inc., Verifone, and Disney involved enhancing HR processes and people management. Ted holds an MBA and Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems from the University of South Florida. He is adept with tools like Workday, Lattice, and Tableau and has a history of streamlining management and advancing learning programs. Beyond work, Ted enjoys family life, spending time with his spouse, their dogs, and extended family. He and his spouse, pet parents for 20 years, are in the process of adopting their first child. This personal dedication adds depth to his understanding of work-life balance and inclusive work environments.

Ted will focus on supporting our programs beyond our platform strategy.

Cyrus Zulkarnaian Kazi
Focus: Program Partnerships
Board Secretary

For over two decades, Cyrus Kazi has passionately pursued social impact through systemic changes and technological innovation in emerging communities. Born in Bangladesh and a new immigrant to the US, Cyrus has worked with tech companies, nonprofits, NGOs, philanthropies, and governments in over 25 countries, has successfully launched and scaled multiple ventures, and advised hundreds of organizations on sustainable social impact. He has a BA in Economics from SUNY Purchase, an MPA in Public Policy & Evaluation from Marxe School of Public & International Affairs, and an Executive MBA from Zicklin Business School. He’s the CEO/Co-Founder of Quantibly, the first platform to operationalize impact data for the global impact ecosystem.

Cyrus will focus on supporting our program partnerships strategy.

Kim Lonas
Focus: Corporate Partnerships

Kim Lonas is a professional in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Currently serving as the global diversity and inclusion program lead for DCC Technology / Exertis Group, she has been instrumental in developing and implementing Exertis’ DEI strategy, impacting approximately 5000 employees. Her role emphasizes embedding ownership and accountability within business units through local leadership and Exertis’ global diversity & inclusion council. With a rich cultural experience encompassing numerous countries such as France, Ireland, Sweden, the U.K., and many more, Kim brings a global perspective to her work in DEI. Her speaking engagements are marked by practical knowledge, drawing from her extensive experience in various cultural contexts.

Kim holds a Stanford University certificate on “Leverage Diversity and Inclusion for Organizational Excellence.” This program has equipped her with advanced strategies and insights into leveraging diversity to drive organizational success. Additionally, Kim earned a certificate from Cornell University in “Diversity and Inclusion for HR,” which underscores her deep understanding of integrating diversity and inclusion principles in human resources practices. Complementing these achievements is her SHRM-CP designation.

Kim will focus on supporting our corporate partnerships strategy.

Photo of Board member Megan Mulholland
Megan Mulholland
Focus: Product

Megan Mulholland is a product and education executive. She has worked in online education and ed-tech for over 10 years as a teacher, instructional designer, product manager, and most recently as the Chief Product Officer at a career change education school for tech fields. She’s interested in improving educational outcomes and creating equitable experiences for learners from all different backgrounds. She believes that helping people move forward in their careers is incredibly rewarding and important, especially in increasing representation at all levels of organizations.

Megan will focus on supporting our product strategy and direction.

Photo of Board member Casey Smirniotopoulos
Casey Smirniotopoulos
Focus: Operations

Casey Smirniotopoulos is a neurodivergent ops nerd passionate about building teams and supporting people-centered change. She currently works within Mastercard’s Cyber & Intelligence division as a Vice President of Strategy and Operations. Casey lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and spends her free time reading, seeking out dark roast espresso cappuccinos, and taking in the stunning local scenery.

Casey will focus on supporting our operations efforts.

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