By Rebecca Enonchong
As the world continues to celebrate the historic achievements of women this March. We took an in-depth look at the I/O Spaces members based out of our innovation space in Downtown Silver Spring, Maryland and we are proud to present this inaugural group of leaders.
This list of 8, have a track record in Healthcare Technology to connect patients to the critical care they need, Education experiences for students on the Autism spectrum, Running for office in Montgomery County, Mental Health Support, Education Technology, International Business Strategies, Non-profit management and Youth Entrepreneurship.
Dr Charlene Brown
Dr. Charlene Brown, a Harvard MD and the CEO & CoFounder of ReciproCare. Insights gained through her family, coupled with her more than 10 years of public health leadership and experience, led Charlene to question why two-thirds of professional caregivers are not working full-time when the demand for senior care is so high. She founded ReciproCare because she saw how technology and recruiting innovation could help the paid caregivers.
Since founding the company, Charlene has led ReciproCare to win the Aging 2.0 Baltimore pitch competition two years in a row, a 2017 WeWork Creator (Incubate) Award and both TechNoir and MMTC pitch awards. She is a graduate the Halcyon Incubator, AccelerateBaltimore, Google for Entrepreneurs and the CivicX accelerator where peer companies selected ReciproCare to win one of 2 investments from the Points of Light Foundation. Dr. Brown is a graduate of Princeton University, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Monica Martinez joined the Board of Directors of Partnership for Extraordinary Minds in 2012 and now serves as President. Partnership for Extraordinary Minds (xMinds) is a local non-profit organization that works to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of autistic students in grades K-12.
Monica earned a MA in Slavic Literature from Columbia University and a MLS from the University of Maryland. She worked as an analyst at the MITRE Corporation until one of her twins was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in 2008. Soon after the diagnosis, Monica discovered xMinds and has been an integral part of the xMinds community ever since. In addition to leading xMinds, Monica currently works as a substitute reference librarian in the Montgomery County Public Library system and is training to become a special education advocate through the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates.
Sheila is the CEO of FutureFIRST, a company that launched DC Youth Corps, a program that has raised $500,000 in funding to end the economic divide of the youth of color in Washington, DC. She is also the Director of Programming for I/O Learn, a tech and lifestyle education platform engineered by culture.
Sheila “Esi” Kasasa a third generation woman-preneur and a leader driven by her passion to connect the international and domestic communities into a cohesive network through inclusive education. Her passion is working in minority youth entrepreneurship development in opportunity communities. Sheila graduated from American University’s School of Public Affairs and the School of International Service.
Elisabeth O’Bryon, Ph.D., is the co-founder and the Head of Research at Family Engagement Lab, a nonprofit that creates digital products to help schools ignite the potential of millions of families to support their child’s learning. Previously, Elisabeth was the Director of Research and Evaluation at GreatSchools, a national nonprofit empowering parents to unlock educational opportunities for their children.
Elisabeth holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Hamilton College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology, with a specialization in School Psychology, from the University of Rhode Island. She received postdoctoral training at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Elisabeth lives in Silver Spring with her husband and 1-year-old son.
Brandy has served as a senior nonprofit manager and board member for organizations in Maryland, DC, the Boston area, and across the country. She has also been an instructor or guest lecturer at the Boston Architectural College, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, MIT, Suffolk University, and Tufts University. Brandy holds a Master in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Suffolk University, and a Bachelor of Design Studies with a concentration in Design Computing from the Boston Architectural College. She is also an alumna of Harvard College.
Brandy is bringing that commitment to her campaign this year for Montgomery County Council At-Large, and she is opening her campaign office here at I/O Spaces because of her passion for supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs. Brandy is excited to engage residents and business owners across the county that puts working people and their families at the center of policy decisions.
Heather is the founder of Globally Social, which works with entrepreneurs and contractors to develop sustainable strategies for startups in resource constrained environments. After a decade of working with government officials, aid workers, and scrappy entrepreneurs, Heather understands the power of data to inspire change and create strong business models.
She was part of team that developed the ProCapacity Index. Combining her experience in international development, Heather worked closely with to create unique, data-backed solutions such as a clinical management curriculum for LifeNet International, and an investor-ready business plan for a Kenyan edtech startup. Heather received her MBA, with a specialization in Business Analytics, from the Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College; she also has a certificate in Social Enterprise Management and Impact Investment from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
Ms. Lewis is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) and Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) serving as a contractual Subject Matter Expert (SME) with the Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE), a component of the Defense Health Agency (DHA). Prior to joining PHCoE, she has worked with various populations in various capacities and has a great deal of experience in the areas of inter-agency collaboration, Behavioral Health Disaster Services, trauma, crisis intervention, and counseling.
She has developed, supported and directed initiatives related to substance abuse, mental health, HIV/AIDS, reentry programming and homelessness to name a few. She has also collaborated with state agencies conducting research and prepare reports used to direct statewide initiatives regarding trauma, mental health/substance, recidivism, and homelessness.
Alarice Vidale de Palacios
Alarice Vidale de Palacios is a skilled entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience. The daughter of South American immigrants, Vidale de Palacios studied criminology at the Catholic University of America. Her next ventures were to open a contracting firm, a transportation service, and an asset
management firm which was able to capitalize on the real estate crash of 2008.
Alarice has been recognized for her work as a mentor with President Barack Obama’s Young African Leader’s Initiative (YALI). “The Urban Mulata Show” on WLVS was critically acclaimed by The Washington Hispanic for representing Afro-Latinos/Caribenos in the DC metro area. Her series on BlogTalk Radio®, “Power Talk with Alarice,” was noted as relevant and garnered attention from Booz Allen Hamilton.
Alarice is an accomplished motivational speaker, always willing to share her wisdom to any and all, who are receptive. She also takes time to travel the country and create awareness for Domestic Violence through education.
About I/O SPACES
I/O SPACES is an awarding winning innovation work space in Downtown Silver Spring which connects diverse founders with a home and an ecosystem to grow their business. I/O Spaces provides office space, Tech Classes & Business Acceleration. Since its launch 3 of its members have raised over $600,000 in capital.
About The Author
Rebecca is the cofounder I/O Spaces. She is also the CEO of Appstech Group Inc and sits on the board of the Salesforce Foundation, ActivSpaces and Chairs Afrilabs a pan-African network of innovation hubs. Forbes magazine listed her as a top female tech founder in Africa.She was listed as one of 2017 most influential Africans.
Rebecca has spent much of her career promoting technology in Africa. She has carried out the work in both the U.S. and in Africa. She was the founder and Chairperson of the Africa Technology Forum, a non-profit dedicated to helping technology startups in Africa. She is also a founding member of the African Business Angel Network (ABAN). Rebecca was recognised as one of the 100 New Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.