Meet the Board
Kathy Flynn is a Senior Vice President of Service Operations for Golden 1 Credit Union. During her five years at Golden 1, Kathy has consistently focused on member service and employee development. Her passion for engaging communities and helping people has deep roots that not only extend to 916 Ink, but have grown into a 20+ year career in the Credit Union Industry. Kathy found 916 Ink the first week she lived in Sacramento and joined the Board of Directors in 2016. The combination of supporting at-risk youth who deserve a second chance while also improving literacy is what drives Kathy’s commitment to dedicating her time, talents and treasure to 916 Ink.
DJ Waldow is a husband, parent (of 4, including twins!), writer, public speaker, and former teacher. From NY to MI (GO BLUE!) to IL to MO to FL (back to NY) to NC to UT, DJ and his family officially made it to California in 2012 and have no intentions of ever leaving. Since moving to Sacramento in 2016, DJ has immersed himself in the community with his true passion for education and helping see young people succeed. When DJ is not writing for clients, he can be found helping at his children's school, working out at the gym, or publishing good news at Gimme Some Good News.
Rekha Tejpal works as an Administrative Services Coordinator III at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. For the past 5 years she has been developing training modules, providing education on infection control and workplace safety for staff, and working with Management to improve operational efficiency in Environmental Services. Prior to her work with Kaiser, Rekha served as a science teacher, where she worked with students from grade 7 through grade 12. In her leisure time, Rekha is a writer and believes that stories have the ability to transform both reader and author in unimaginable ways. A native of South Sacramento, Rekha is firm in her belief that it is the stories that connect the people in this community, and that the telling of those stories for Sacramento youth will be important in the future development of the region.
Stacey Powell is the founder and CEO of Finance Gym, a social venture where you and your money get stronger. A lifelong entrepreneur, she is also the founder of Creating Answers, a chief financial officer firm that provides both excellent financials and excellent financial coaching to not for profits and small businesses. In 2013 she left Creating Answers to devote her time fully to writing her first book, speaking, and building Finance Gym. Stacey’s sole (and soul) purpose is to change the way people interact with their money so that they can lead financially healthy lives and have fun doing it. Some of her favorite life moments are reading with her daughter, being published on Forbes.com, playing Euro-strategy games and digging in her garden.
Marcus L. Strother is a father, husband, educator and a youth and community advocate. Marcus is a 19 year veteran in the education field spending 17 years in Illinois and has since relocated to California. Marcus spent 8 years as a classroom teacher. During that time of teaching young people, he taught Language Arts, Life, Social Skills and Advocacy. Marcus also spent 9 years as a high school administrator with a focus on teacher evaluation, PBIS, school culture, and discipline. Marcus is currently the Coordinator of Youth Development at Sacramento City Unified School District. In this role, Marcus oversees Expanded Learning, Summer Programming, and Boys and Girls of Color work. 11 years ago, Marcus and his wife started a non-profit around youth development called Leaders Empowered to Achieve Anything Possible (LEAAP). His non-profit has been nationally recognized and researched (University of Illinois, 2014) as a program that should be used in schools and communities throughout the country. Through this non-profit, Marcus and his wife bring students to the Dominican Republic where they have built schools, water filtration systems and do concrete work for homes in the 3 villages they have adopted. They also have a male and female mentoring program which has served hundreds of young people over the years. Together, they work to heal and build healthy communities and schools!
Rebecca Huval is a journalist and copywriter in Sacramento. Her byline has appeared in publications such as the Awl, GOOD and Sactown Magazine, and she dreams up fresh copy for companies such as PUBLIC Bikes, Zendesk and Indiegogo. In former lives, she had been the managing editor of Communication Arts magazine, an AmeriCorps member with Reading Partners, and a volunteer with 826 Valencia in San Francisco.
Daniel Kaufman is co-founder & Principal of Third Plateau, a strategy firm that partners with many of the world’s most passionate and daring change-makers to reimagine, expand, and realize their social impact. He has worked with a diverse array of clients, including large, national foundations, emerging social enterprises, pioneering nonprofit collaboratives, and impact-driven corporations. In 2006, Daniel co-founded the Giving Circles Fund (formerly the One Percent Foundation), an organization building a broad-based movement of next generation philanthropists (ages 18-39) by making giving accessible, engaging, and meaningful. Daniel is a graduate of Stanford University and the UCLA School of Law. He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Talia, and two children, Mia and Eli.
Chris Worden’s career is a mix of political, legal, public sector, and non-profit service, including work as vice president of public policy for the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber, senior policy manager for the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, and district director for a member of Congress. Chris has managed two successful statewide political campaigns, served as a deputy attorney general and run his own law practice, worked as a volunteer radio and TV political commentator, and assisted many non-profit organizations combating domestic violence. Chris’s focal point now is 916Ink because he is a writing enthusiast who lives in Roseville, CA with his partner, Erica, and their little man, Aedan (age 9), and one of his greatest sources of contentment is writing a killer verse over a hip hop beat.
Shelley Blanton-Stroud has taught college composition for thirty years, most of them at Sacramento State University. She is founder and principal at What’s Your Point? LLC, through which she leads writing workshops for economists at the independent system operator corporations that run the U.S. electrical grid. Her great love is writing fiction and creative non-fiction. Her stories appear in such places as Brevity, Cleaver, and Aethlon literary journals and the anthology, This Side of the Divide, by Baobab Press. She has previously served on advisory boards of The Belize Writers' Conference and Slow Food Sacramento. She lives in Sacramento with her husband and irrepressible beagle. She has two reader-sons, one of whom was previously known as 916 Ink’s Mistah Complainah.
Xenia Schutt grew up in South Sacramento and deeply identifies with 916 Ink's mission. To this day she remembers an experience in the third grade when she was encouraged and complimented for a piece of writing she was brave enough to share. For a shy and reserved little girl the confidence and sense of empowerment that came from having her voice validated was important enough to remain a strong memory into adulthood. A Project Manager at Entercom Radio and former event planner for Raley’s, she loves to help make 916 Ink Book Release Parties special for newly published authors. No matter what she’s involved in, whether she is planning the perfect event, finding the perfect costume, or something else entirely; Xenia is thrilled to support an organization that serves the community she was raised in.
Vince Wong practices commercial real estate law for Murphy, Austin Adams Schoenfeld with an emphasis on purchase and sales, development, conservation easements, and financing. However, his friends think his greatest claim to fame was a brief stint writing cease and desist letters on behalf of Britney Spears and The Simpsons. He suspects his friends don't know what he does for a living. Vince believes that strong reading and writing skills were a key part of his success growing up and can't imagine the obstacles faced by youth who fall behind in these areas. He sees both 916 Ink and the City of Sacramento as entities that are evolving in exciting ways and feels privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to his community.
Katie McCleary, is the founding Executive Director of 916 Ink. Prior to the opening of 916 Ink, Katie served as the Director of Mentoring Services for at-risk youth in the Grant Joint Union High School District and Grant Community Charter Schools. In 2007, Katie earned her MFA in writing and consciousness, completing her first literary novel, Blinded, which is currently being shopped by her agent. For three years, McCleary taught composition at American River College and Sacramento City College, helping underserved students. It was there, that she discovered "the secret sauce" to unlocking youth voice and thus, 916 Ink was born. Katie finds that 916 Ink is the perfect marriage of empowering youth and engaging them in the literary arts.
Katie's dedication and vision brought the 916 Ink model from original concept to execution. Shepherding the project from its very first workshop to the notable Sacramento institution that it is today!
Michael Spurgeon is a tenured professor of English at American River College, where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing and serves as the Editorial Advisor to the American River Review. He has authored two chapbooks and four short stage plays, and his writing has appeared in multiple regional and national journals. Michael’s first novel, Let The Water Hold Me Down, was published in 2013 by Ad Lumens. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation. Michael was instrumental in helping to launch 916 Ink as an organization. Though he is not currently on the Board of Dreamers, he remains an incredible advocate for the organization, www.michaelspurgeon.com
Chris J. Baltzley, a founding board member of 916 Ink, is a Specialist in Organizational and Leadership Development with Continuity Consulting, where he works with public, private and nonprofit sector clients to achieve both business results and promote human flourishing. He has a M.A. in Intercultural Studies, with additional training in a variety of fields, including Experiential Cultural Learning and Leadership (EXCELL) and successful language and culture acquisition. He has worked in a variety of industries, including banking, insurance, and higher education, as well as serving in leadership with NGOs and non-profit organizations in Central Asia and New Zealand. He and is wife Tara have two daughters, named Asia and Maia, and one recycled Terrier, named Milo
Interested in Joining the Board of 916 Ink?
We're always on the lookout for potential board members who have a passion and drive for our vision. Joining our Board of Dreamers brings you a unique opportunity to shape 916 Ink's literacy revolution. As a board member, you'll make an annual contribution, attend ten board meetings, volunteer at book release parties and other events, fundraise, provide strategic direction, and build a strong organization for future generations. Inquiries can be directed to email@example.com.