Empower the Future

The Team

Make it happen


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Cristina Cismas Florea

Cristina teaches at Henry M. Gunn High School.  Prior to Gunn, she taught at Saratoga High School.  Cristina holds a double degree in Mathematics and Marketing, teaching credentials in Mathematics and Business, and Masters Degree in Education Technology from Santa Clara University.  She also received a certificate from The Wharton School of Business regarding teaching business to high school students.  Cristina spoke on applied learning at The Wharton School of Business and advised Knowledge@Wharton High School by reviewing resources, material, and content.  She also serves as member of the board of directors for Neighbors Abroad in Palo Alto, where she oversees, advises, and runs educational partnerships with Smart and Sister Cities around the world to promote worldwide learning and collaboration.  In her free time, Cristina enjoys ballroom dancing, traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends

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Board member

Tom Berquist 

Tom is the Chief Financial Officer of TIBCO Inc.  He is responsible for TIBCO’s worldwide financial operations and reporting, as well as investor relations, sales operations, and maintenance renewals, and the implementation of Vista's transformation initiatives. Prior to joining TIBCO, Tom held CEO and CFO roles at software companies including Saba, Corel, and Actian. In addition, he has spent 10 years on Wall Street with Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Piper Jaffray, and six years at Deloitte. Tom earned a BA degree in Accounting and a MBA in Management & Marketing from the University of St. Thomas.

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board member

Russ Atassi

Russ Atassi is Head of Technical Operations for Augmented & Virtual Reality Operations at Facebook where he is responsible for Contract Manufacturing Operations, Manufacturing and Test Engineering, Quality, Reliability, Product Safety, Compliance and Product Lifecycle Management.  Prior to Facebook, Russ was Director of Supplier Operations at Google where he was responsible for Technical Infrastructure supply operations supporting Google’s data centers.  Prior to joining Google, Russ was Director of Worldwide Operations of Mechanical Enclosures at Apple Inc, and responsible for Mac Desktop, Accessories, and Glass Divisions.  There, Russ led a global team in support of end-to-end supply chain management, which was dedicated to ensuring Apple products, met the highest standards of quality.  Prior to Apple Inc, Russ held several manufacturing operations roles at General Motors and Ford Motor Co, with over 17 years of automotive experience.  Russ holds a BSE (Industrial and Systems Engineering) from the University of Michigan Dearborn, an MSE (Industrial & Operations Engineering) from University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and a MS in (System Design & Management) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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board member

Masha Maslova

Masha brings a wealth of non-profit knowledge and passion to her role as a Board Member of BEAM. She has over 10 years of experience working at the intersection of public and private sectors.  She began her career working with the U.S. State Department-funded civil engagement initiative between the U.S. and Russian business leaders. She later co-founded a non-profit organization to provide housing and education benefits to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Most recently, as the Engagement Manager at Silicon Valley Talent Partnership, she worked with the school districts and local government agencies in Santa Clara County to bring in private sector talent and resources to bridge the opportunity gap in Silicon Valley. Masha managed SVTP’s Education Portfolio working to advance and scale innovative project-based STEM programs across schools and districts in the Bay area.  Masha holds M.A. in International Relations from San Francisco State University.

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BOARd member

Troels Smit

As US Industry Manager, Troels Smit heads up client facing teams in the Education group at Facebook. Prior to Facebook, Troels served as VP of Sales for LiveRail and Managing Director at Sizmek. Mr. Smit holds a Master Degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Denmark.

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BOARd member

Bob Wenzlau

Bob Wenzlau is CEO of Terradex and President of Neighbors Abroad of Palo Alto.  Bob founded Terradex in 2002 to introduce web technologies to modernize land stewardship.  He holds patents, has propelled best practice in protecting land vulnerable to uniformed land use.  As President of Neighbors Abroad of Palo Alto he oversee relationships between eight cities around the world.  The themes of engagement include education, commerce, culture and sustainability. Through Neighbors Abroad he became introduced to BEAM, and with BEAM has worked to create connection through BEAM to each of the sister cities.  Bob is a resident of Palo Alto, California, is a professional civil engineer, and attended Stanford University.

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BOARd member

Julia Tanase

Julia Tanase has over 15 years of legal experience in a variety of private law firms and corporate companies.  Julia has a strong interest in education and helping the community and has followed BEAM from its inception. She believes that the key to the future of success is through building interlinked communities of our students to provide future career growth opportunities.  Julia Tanase further holds a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a J.D. from Fordham University.


BOARd member

Donald Olgado

Donald is the director and co-founder of DFarm, an educational non-profit that uses design thinking and project based learning to develop critical thinking, innovation and love of learning in teens.  He is also a mechanical design consultant focused on medical, semiconductor, and consumer products. Before branching out, he had a long career designing semiconductor capital equipment. He holds a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the Philippines. He has been a Palo Alto resident since 1994 and known as mr. Fixit among neighbors and friends. He has 2 teenage children, and is an avid sailor. 

Advisory Committee

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Rob Krolik

Rob Krolik is a senior-level finance executive with over 25 years of experience. Rob served as Yelp Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer for five years. Prior to joining Yelp, Rob served as Chief Financial Officer of Move, Inc., an online real estate company, known for their brand Prior to Move, Rob served in several roles at eBay, most recently as Vice President, Global Finance Operations and as CFO at, Inc., which was acquired by eBay in 2005.  He also had several management roles at DigitalThink, Inc., an online learning company, including most recently as its Chief Financial Officer. Rob currently serves on the board of directors and audit committee chairman of Shazam Entertainment Ltd and Sun Basket, as well as the Finance Committee of BBYO, a non-profit. Rob holds a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and is a certified public accountant (inactive).

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Victoria Thorp

Victoria Thorp is a writer and editor who is passionate about using communications to build community engagement and support. A native of New York, Victoria has been living in the Bay Area since 1988 and moved to Palo Alto in 2007. She is a senior writer for the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund in San Francisco, where she supports the work of KIPP charter schools and other public education organizations that work with underserved children. Victoria is also the founder and editor of Palo Alto Pulse, a website that aims to shine a light on the people and ideas that make Palo Alto a great place to live.  Victoria has a BA in English from Tufts University and Masters in Education and Secondary Teaching Credential in English from UCLA.  Victoria is on the Board of the Palo Alto Community Fund and the advisory board for Palo Alto Partners in Education, and she is a leader for Palo Alto’s Cool Block Challenge.  Victoria lives in Crescent Park with her two teen-aged daughters, her husband, Jim Migdal and her dog Abby. When she’s not writing or editing, Victoria found riding around town on her bike, reading, hiking or playing tennis


Oscar Garcia

Oscar Garcia has a unique background with over 10 years of technology and nonprofit management experience.  Oscar is the Founder & Chief Engagement Officer of Aspira, a community relations, workforce development and training firm that empowers, engages and educates its clients.  Oscar's career journey includes business development roles at five startups, co-founding a nonprofit, Chamber President & CEO, TV host of Silicon Valley Business and Community Relations Manager at LinkedIn.  He has received various prestigious awards recognizing his leadership and community work, including the La Familia Award from the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, the NFL Hispanic Heritage Award from the San Francisco 49ers, and was nominated for Chamber Executive of the Year for the Western Association of Chamber Executives, recognizing his successful and innovative efforts to strengthen the bonds between businesses, community, nonprofits and education in Silicon Valley. As Chief Engagement Officer, his goal is to empower and engage others so they perform at their peak, which results in the organization performing at its peak.

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Hayley Krolik

Hayley Krolik is currently a sophomore at Northwestern University, working toward her double major in Learning Sciences and Political Science and Spanish minor. She plans to pursue a career in education policy or consulting with school districts Hayley served as a student CEO of Gunn BEAM her junior and senior year of high school. She credits BEAM with inspiring her interests in nonprofit consulting and education systems, and hopes to stay involved with the organization as long as possible. To Hayley, BEAM represents the future of high school education and she is excited to help spread the program to thousands of students worldwide.


Jordana Siegel

Jordana Siegel is a student at Brown University, concentrating in Behavioral Decision Sciences (a brand new concentration that is a combination of Computer Science, Psychology and Economics) and Urban Studies. Outside of the classroom, she is a leader of the first year peer advising program at Brown and is training for a half marathon! She was one of the founders of BEAM when it began as a club at Gunn High School.


Tim Sun

Tim Sun is a BEAM alumnus and former Co-CEO of Gunn BEAM. He is currently a student at the University of California, Berkeley, studying Computer Science. On campus, he is involved with Berkeley Consulting, the Undergraduate Finance Association and the Daily Californian. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing basketball and reading.  

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Ron Miasnik

Ron Miasnik is the founder and former President of Mountain View BEAM. He is currently on a gap year in China, where he is learning Mandarin, working, and backpacking around Asia. Next year, he will be starting school at Princeton University, where he plans to study computer science and economics.



Steffen Haschler

Steffen Haschler is a teacher in Heidelberg, Germany, and head of the science department at the English Institute. Together with his students, Steffen wants to discover our world by doing interdisciplinary projects like BEAM based on his motto 'Teaching means learning'. As a science teacher, he focuses on STEAM fields including media competence for children. He implemented media scouts, together with the EU funded organization Klicksafe. By peer to peer education, the media scouts help younger students to stay safe online. Steffen does volunteering in many IT-related and social projects. In 2015, he built free wifi hotspots for the refugees arriving in his region with the Freifunk organization. Steffen is a proud member of the Chaos Computer Club, Europeans biggest Hackers club, and plays a part in its educational project 'Chaos macht Schule', where hackers visit schools and talk to students, parents, and teachers about technology. Also, he gives free cryptoparties for the citizens of Heidelberg and other towns nearby. He organizes youth hackathons together with the German American Institute in Heidelberg and Jugend hackt, a non-profit project of the Open Knowledge Foundation Europe.