OMID Bay Area: Meet the Committee
We believe all people are created equal; but the reality is that not everyone receives an equal opportunity. Our desire and commitment is to raise awareness about the challenges faced by young women in Iran, and to mobilize people and resources to bring them HOPE. Hope through education; hope through counseling and self-affirmation; hope through new experiences and above all, hope through a compassionate and unconditional love.
So, who are we? We are a mix of young professionals in technology, marketing, graphic design, architecture, some of us mother, we are from all walks of life living in the Bay Area. We are committed to supporting focused projects and programs that aim to empower and make a genuine impact in people’s lives, and OMID Foundation does just that.
You too can bring a glimmer of hope! Contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can practically and tangibly support OMID Foundation and these young women.
Shiela is a first generation Iranian-American who was born and raised in Sacramento, California. She currently manages the success of all Enterprise customers at ClearSlide Inc., both pre and post sale. Previously she was at SlideRocket by VMware where she oversaw all customer management. Prior to her work at SlideRocket, she managed the sales team at Kugamon, an ISV Partner of Salesforce.com. Shiela earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Marketing from San Francisco State University. During her time at SFSU, she worked at CNN International, for the office of Mayor Gavin Newsom, and volunteered for several congressional campaigns. In addition, she was Founder and President of the Iranian Culture Club, and played an integral role in launching the Persian Language Program at SFSU. Shiela currently resides in San Francisco, California, and enjoys practicing yoga, cooking, reading non-fiction books, and studying philosophy.
Roya is a first generation Iranian American who was born and raised in Stockton, CA. She is a Corporate Communications Manager at Google where she focuses on the company’s People Operations, Diversity, and Culture. Roya is also a lead Google Trends analyst, highlighting trending topics across Google on radio and media across the country. She holds a Masters degree in Middle Eastern studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and her Bachelor’s in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Before joining Google, Roya spent five years in Washington, DC, where she worked for the University of California Washington Center, Voice of America’s Persian News Network, and the Albright Stonebridge Group, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s global strategy firm. Roya is involved with several community organizations, including iBridges, the Iranian American Women’s Foundation, the OMID Foundation Bay Area Committee, PAAIA NexGen’s National Organizing Committee, and more.
Neda was born and raised in Sacramento, CA, and currently resides in San Francisco. She currently does part time Marketing for an early stage software startup, and spends the rest of her time being a mother. As a first generation Iranian-American, she has been exposed to numerous philanthropic projects and programs for Iranians, and has had the pleasure of performing as a vocalist at many of these events. Upon receiving her B.A. in Marketing at Santa Clara University, Neda spent a number of years in a variety of industries, including consumer packaged goods, advertising and technology. She worked in various roles from account management, project management, sales and marketing. She also lived in Sydney, Australia for two years with her husband, Sati, and got to travel throughout Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. Neda has many hobbies, including cooking, traveling, reading, exercising and Yoga, and singing. Neda is thrilled to be able to dedicate her free time to helping raise funds for the disadvantaged young women in Iran.
Sogol graduated from University of California, Davis with a Bachelor degree in Managerial Economics and Spanish. Before joining VMware, Sogol had some great work experience in healthcare consulting until she discovered her love for technology. Sogol works with some of the company’s largest clients across the Americas and Europe, including many non-profit organizations. Sogol is eager to join the Omid Foundation to support an organization that helps disadvantaged women in Iran, to raise awareness about the centers and also create positive change in the Bay Area. While not at work, Sogol enjoys spending time time with family and friends, reading, exploring new healthy recipes, traveling when given the opportunity and running.
Mahshid is an architect with more than three decades of experience. Born in Tehran, she moved to Seattle in 1972, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Architecture in 1977, and a Masters of Architecture in 1980 from the University of Washington. A member of the American Institute of Architects, Akhavan has served as the chair of AIA/ Seattle Times Home of the Month program where select homes in the Northwest were awarded for design excellence, published and opened to public for one day. Akhavan moved to California in 1997 and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she runs a practice designing and developing residential projects. She is a member of the US Green Building Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction. She has advocated green design and construction from the early days of her career. Since 1997, Akhavan has served as a volunteer and managing member for Kahrizak Foundation, a non-profit California corporation dedicated to helping the elderly and the disabled. Among the various fundraising events, their annual Norooz Bazaar/Festival has been very successful in bringing the Iranian-American community together every year in the Bay Area.
Neda graduated from Santa Clara University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. She was born in Palo Alto, CA and spent most of her childhood in Iran. She is currently an Investment Associate at Plug & Play Ventures, sourcing early stage startups for investment. Her particular area of focus is on finding investments at the intersection of health and technology. Prior to Plug & Play, she worked at a wearable technology company called Zamzee focused on getting kids more physically active. She also worked at a mobile payment company Zong, which was acquired by PayPal. She has been involved in volunteering at nonprofit organizations such as Kahrizak, Noor, Kiva, and OMID Foundation.
Maryam is a second generation Iranian American born and raised in San Francisco. She is currently serving on the board of Children of Shelters (COS) as the Co-President of the organization and has chaired the main fundraising events for the past few years. The mission of COS is to provide enrichment and educational opportunities for children and families living in transitional shelters in San Francisco. In the past 10 years, she has also worked with and served on the board of trustees of several non-profit organizations and schools in the Bay Area, including Compass Family Services, Town School, The Little School and the Bay Area Discovery museum Council & Board; all of which focus on youth education and empowerment programs for children. Prior to becoming a mother of two boys and serving in the non-profit world, she was in sales of healthcare IT for over 10 years, received an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and BA from University of California, Davis. Host Committee and Sponsor.
Shanna is a second-generation Iranian American, born and raised in the Silicon Valley. She received her B.A. in Business Marketing from the University of San Diego and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Social Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, in Los Angeles. Early in her career, Shanna gained experience in market research, corporate communications, and event planning while working at technology companies, Qualcomm and InvenSense. Now, Shanna manages her family’s charitable foundation, the Nasiri Foundation, and has been operating it since its establishment in 2013. Shanna also serves as a Board Member for Wishbone.org, an organization with a platform that allows low-income students to discover and access quality and affordable summer programs through scholarships and crowdfunding.
Yasamin is the co-founder and co-owner of the Boromand Sisters studio in Los Angeles, was born in Tehran, Iran two years after the Iran-Iraq war ended and just a night after the tragic 1990 Manjil-Rudbar earthquake. Yasamin is today an artist and designer in Southern California, currently enrolled at the prestigious Art Center of Design in Pasadena, among the top ranked industrial, product and design schools in the world. One of her designs is also currently exhibited in the student show at the Art Center’s Williamson Gallery. Yasamin is a committed social activist, determined in her cutting edge art and volunteer activity to raise international awareness of the relationship between gender inequality and violence against women. She is now at work on a controversial art portfolio and book that highlights contemporary public atrocities committed, tolerated, and unavenged made against women across the globe. The first elements of that controversial production were first put on public view in June 2015 at the ABRA Gallery show in Southern California.
Paria was born and raised in Iran until she was 14 years old. She immigrated to the US with her family and started a new life here. Paria’s dream upon arriving to America was to join her high school basketball team. And she managed to be part of the varsity team after few short weeks of being in the states. She graduated from UC Davis, with a bachelor’s in Biochemistry hoping to go to dental school. However, she always had a passion for nutrition and feeding people around her, so she decided to continue her education in Nutrition Sciences from San Jose State University. Paria currently resides in San Francisco. She is in a process of starting her own food business. Paria’s mom got her involved in many philanthropic projects from early childhood, and she admits those charitable events were the highlights of her life and made her realize the importance of being compassionate, caring, and kind. Paria is thrilled to be able to dedicate her free time to helping raise funds for disadvantaged young women in Iran.
Samia was born in Sacramento, CA. She moved back to Iran at a young age and experienced Iran’s beautiful culture first hand. At a young age, Samia was drawn to the arts and loved to dance. When she moved back to Sacramento, she fell in love with the art of drawing. She attended UC Davis and majored in Design and Architecture. She studied abroad in Spain and France and fell in love with their language, music, arts, and dance. Her passion for the arts led her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Being in the heart of Silicon Valley, Samia is passionate about integrating design with technology. She is a UI/UX designer currently working at a startup in San Francisco. She loves reading, dancing, teaching yoga, exercising and being in nature. In January 2015, Samia visited the Omid Foundation Center in Tehran, Iran. She also represented the Omid foundation at the 2015 Iranian-American Women’s Leadership Conference in San Francisco. Samia is honored to dedicate her time to help the Omid Foundation raise funds for the disadvantaged women of Iran.