Tracey Weaver, Founder & Executive Director

Tracey Weaver, our Chief Dreamer and Doer, is the Founder and Executive Director  and is responsible for all phases of the organization to include organizational fundraising, building partnerships, scaling programs and enterprise, and managing the urban house. Tracey has over 30 years of experience in the profit and non-profit sectors. Passionate about the empowerment of women, Tracey is excited about building urban university’s ecosystem in partnership with uu’s team members, volunteers, board of directors and supporters.  A native of Harlem, Tracey completed the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business,  enjoys painting, cooking her famous collard greens and spending time with her beautiful family and friends.

Rocio Cortez, Enterprise Assistant Manager

Rocio is the A Californian native born to a hardworking Hispanic family, Rocio was exposed early to the the value of helping and giving back to the community. A warm individual, who is passionate about helping our moms develop sharp retail and customer service skills, Rocio “fell in love with the mission,” and is co-responsible for all phases of the enterprise to include sales, merchandising, donations, customer interface and in partnership with Tracey, the development of our single moms. Armed with an Associates Degree in Visual Communications from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Rocio brings a strong retail background and a warm spirit to the team. Rocio enjoys painting, fine dining and thrifting.

Board of Directors

Kimberly Christensen, President of the Board

Kimberly D. Christensen leads the board towards achieving the organization’s strategic priorities.  In this role, Kimberly contributes to the development and goals of uu, and supports single mothers in their journey to overcome poverty. She is committed to enhancing life skills training, mentoring others to grow their abilities, and introducing entry points into today’s expansive healthcare field.  Kimberly currently works as the operations manager for a high-volume outpatient imaging center in Oakland. She is also a cancer committee administrator where she partners with key members of the medical center to enhance quality oncology care for our community. Kimberly earned her degree in Molecular Biology from UC San Diego, worked in basic science and clinical research, and transplanted from southern California to Oakland in 2011.

Shantel Weingand, Treasurer

Shantel Weingand, is urban university’s Treasurer. A San Francisco Bay area native, Shantel has worked in accounting and finance for over 10 years. In her role at uu, Shantel is helping to create a financial model for urban university’s vision, based on sustainability. She earned her BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from San Francisco State University. Shantel currently works in San Francisco at a nonprofit as the Director of Finance. Shantel’s work in the nonprofit sector was something that came naturally, as she wanted to use her skills and experience to improve our communities. She wanted to be involved with urban university because like many, Shantel was raised by a single mother. Seeing firsthand just how vital these types of programs are for single parents, not just for economic reasons but to set an example for the child/(ren), Shantel decided to contribute her finance acumen to advance our mission. “I believe when we show compassion and give people the tools to gain financial independence, not only will a family benefit, but our communities and society as a whole reaps the benefits.”

Marta Del Castillo, Board of Director

Marta Del Castillo copy Marta is an executive leader with 20 years of entrepreneurial experience in the Technology industry worldwide, with a proven track record of transforming and building businesses through turnarounds, M&A Integration and innovative growth plays. Marta is passionate about taking initiatives from ideation to impact.

Sean Lindy, Board of Director

Sean Lindy Sean Lindy grew up in an economically challenged section of Peoria, IL.  As the only child of a single working mom, he attributes his success to the determined will of his mother and the family and community support she received.  Sean received an MBA from the University of Illinois and worked for Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, MI.  During his time in Benton Harbor, Sean was involved with several social impact programs.  He was transferred to Brazil with Whirlpool, where he later helped create the award-winning ACE accelerator in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  A recent transplant to the Bay Area, Sean brings these skills and experiences to uu in recognition of his mother and the belief that a well-timed helping hand can permanently change the trajectory of a family.

Board Advisor Team

Kimberley Yant, urban university’s Retail Guru

Kimberley is urban university’s retail guru.  Armed with over 20 years’ experience in retail merchandising working in the buying offices at Macy’s West and Pottery Barn. For the past 15 years she has worked for Cost Plus World Market as the Vice-President of Home Merchandising, responsible for the leadership of merchandise development and procurement of furniture, lighting and storage. At a young age in Sacramento, Kimberley watched her sister and friends struggle through teenage pregnancy, poverty and domestic abuse. She saw that these young women would never find a way out of the poverty cycle based on current public assistance programs. They needed a program that could interrupt the cycle and provide them a new path. Many years later, walking down Grand Avenue Kimberley came across the newly opened Urban Furniture store. She began volunteering at Urban Furniture and helped to open Urban Boutique bringing her knowledge of business and retail operations to the organization. She is a proud advisor to the urban university Board of Directors.

Mark Elo, Advisor 

Mark_Elo(L) Mark Elo is an executive in the technology sector and currently holds the position Vice President of Marketing – he is also the product of a single parent family and was the sole parent throughout his children’s teenage years. Originally a British citizen, he grew up and was educated in England and holds an Honors Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Salford, Manchester, England and an MBA from Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. He began his profession career in Hewlett-Packard’s and has since held various senior management positions at large public companies such as HP, Agilent Technologies, Keithley instruments and Giga-tronics Inc as well as being involved in a number of eCommerce tech start-ups in the Bay Area. Mark has more than 25 years specializing in product realization, operations and life-cycle management. He has also held a number of technical chair positions, participated in international standards committees and has published multiple papers. Mark’s goal is to bring together his business and single parent family experience to be able to help single mothers to succeed professionally and personally – while also creating a solid foundation for their children to grow and achieve their dreams

Ed Mosley, Advisor

Ed Mosley Ed Mosley serves as an advisor to the  urban university board and operations team.  In this role, he provides advice and support towards the achievement of the organization’s strategic priorities, ensuring that each single mom reaches her full potential. Ed is an attorney who also brings thirty years of management and consulting experience to his role as Advisor. As a Senior Director at Kaiser Permanente’s corporate headquarters, Ed is responsible for large, complex supplier programs with annual spend of over a billion dollars and a directive to reduce cost, enhance quality, and improve health outcomes for Kaiser Permanente’s members. Ed has been active in the public sector since he attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., participated in multiple political campaigns, and worked for the Office of the President. After moving to California, earning his M.A. and J.D., and joining the California Bar Association, Ed has served in multiple roles with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, Oakland Workforce Investment Board, and the Cato Institute. Recognized by the Minority Supplier Diversity Council for developing opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses, Ed, has been an active supporter of urban university for 10 years and is enthusiastic and inspired to be part of urban university’s mission and expansion.

Hou Chia K.,  Advisor

Chia.Kok-Hou_NEW Hou Chia K is passionate about using technology and entrepreneurship to empower disadvantaged communities. Hou is currently a software engineer-in-training. He previously worked as an analyst at a California-based health care policy consulting firm, where he worked on the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Hou has a degree in Religion and Global Health & Health Policy from Princeton University.