Cyndy leads Kramden talent and focuses on sustainable practices, financial resources, and mission achievement. Her passions include environmental protection, DEI, and community service. Cyndy worked in public affairs roles at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lenovo, and AECOM. Prior to Kramden, she was Executive Director of National Association of Asian American Professionals, a national leadership development organization. Cyndy has a human biology degree from Stanford University and a masters in international relations from UC San Diego. Her family also operates a karate dojo that has produced dozens of world class competitors.
Cari is charged with overseeing Kramden’s events, volunteers and Scholar Program. Kramden welcomed Cari to the team in February 2010. Following her undergraduate studies at Grand Valley State University, Cari served two years as an AmeriCorps member in the communities of Elkhart Indiana and Grand Rapids Michigan. Cari continued her education at Grand Valley State University receiving her Master of Education in 2009. Cari’s graduate and professional work offers valuable experience in the areas of volunteer management, program development and grant writing.
Director of Programs
Jason manages Kramden’s internal software and IT processes for the refurbishing process while supervising our warehouse operations and spearheading our Tech Equipment Program and Surplus Sales. Jason graduated in 2006 from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in computer science. Prior to joining Kramden, he worked in IT for a distribution company in Charleston and as an IT support specialist for Avery Engineering. Jason has spent his adult life volunteering with various non-profit organizations to stay busy and give back, including Habitat for Humanity, Charleston Crisis Ministries, and at Kramden Institute before joining the staff in 2013.
Director of Technical Operations
Kristina first joined Kramden in 2015 as Office Manager and in 2018 she transitioned to a Development role. Originally from Chicago, she graduated in 2008 with a BA in Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to moving to North Carolina, she spent several years traveling and working within a variety of educational settings with children of all ages. Kristina assists in interpreting for Spanish-speaking families at Kramden and is responsible for grant writing and fundraising for the organization. She enjoys getting to know Kramden’s volunteers, recipients, and class participants and sharing their stories.
Director of Development
Marshall manages Kramden’s educational initiatives and develops and leads classes. He began volunteering at Kramden in 2013 and became a member of the management team soon after. He joined the staff in 2014 to launch Kramden’s education programs. Marshall received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. He has worked with non-profits from the very start of his career as a web developer and project manager in Washington, DC. He brings his deep technical knowledge and a dedication to making technology inclusive and approachable to his work at Kramden.
Tom graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2014 with a degree in Media Studies and a concentration in Documentary and Television production. He was hired as a Master Control Operator out of school and eventually moved into the engineering side of broadcasting where he worked as a Broadcast Systems Specialist at ABC11 WTVD.
Gabi Saez Capo
Lead Technology Instructor
Katie McNeirney was raised in Raleigh, NC. She attended Barnard College in New York and returned to North Carolina after graduating with a degree in English in 2012. She worked for libraries (public, nonprofit, and digital) for several years before joining Kramden in 2020 as a Technology Instructor. She also works part time as a florist.
Thijs’ passion for technology led him to Kramden Institute in 2021. As the Lead Computer Technician, Thijs is responsible for providing technical support to Kramden’s computer recipients, software deployment, and helping to manage hardware inventory. He brings to the team extensive customer service experience and a love for helping others.
Thijs van de Kamp
Lead Computer Technician
Ian graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2018 with a degree in Information Technology. He was hired as a Level2 Production Support Analyst at Credit Suisse out of college before moving over to work on one of their Release Management teams. Ian joined the Kramden team as a part-time staff member in 2021 and is now a full-time employee.
Mitchell Geiss joined Kramden in July 2020 as a Computer Technician helping refurbish computers for students, families, and nonprofits across North Carolina. Mitchell graduated Guilford Technical Community College in 2018 with an associate degree in Information Technology and is currently taking additional courses at UNC-Greensboro. Mitchell first came to Kramden as a High School intern. He enjoyed helping Kramden with its mission, and he continued to volunteer at Kramden before joining the staff.
Alex first came to Kramden as a volunteer in 2016. He is currently a student at Johnston Community College and is excited to join the staff part-time. As Production Associate, Alex leads volunteers and assists with all aspects of the technology refurbishing process.
Kramden Board of Directors
Mark brings to the Kramden Institute a strong background in management of technology, education, non-profit management, and entrepreneurship. In June 2003, he and his son Ned began the Kramden pilot project in their basement. He was founder and President of two companies, BioAbility, LLC (1994 to present) and Strategic Outcomes Services, Inc. (1998, until its sale in 2001). He served as a Fellow of the Wharton School from 1986 through 1988, and from 1986 through 1998 was an adjunct associate professor on the faculty of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he taught courses on entrepreneurship and management of technology.
His not-for-profit organization experience includes serving as a Vice President of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center from 1986 to 1994. He holds a Ph.D. in neurobiology and pharmacology from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, an M.B.A. in strategic planning from Widener University, and a B.A. in physiological psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked as a researcher in neuropharmacology and cell biology at the Univ. of Colorado Medical School and the Univ. of California at San Diego, and later for six years as a principal scientist at E.I. DuPont and Co. Mark is the author of 13 books on technology management and biotechnology in the United States and Japan, and over 120 published articles. He has served on numerous boards of directors, including those of companies, non-profits, and editorial boards. Mark and his wife, Elaine live in Henderson and Raleigh, NC.
Founder & Chairman
Derek joined Kramden Institute’s Board in March 2014. He has more than 12 years experience in the telecom and internet industry. Derek is the Manager of Market Development for CenturyLink’s Eastern Region, with responsibilities for public relations, media activities, and support of marketing and sales across 14 states. Derek was also instrumental in launching Kramden’s partnership with Martin County Schools; which ensured every 3rd-12th grade student in the system had a working computer at home. He also serves on the Beaufort County Community College Foundation Board of Directors and the Advisory Board for the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.
Dick is an entrepreneurial financial executive with over 30 years experience in accounting, finance, and operations in public, private, and nonprofit organizations. He has focused his more recent career serving start-ups through their growth stage in life science, technology, and healthcare organizations. Dick’s broad range of business experience has involved organizations in a variety of industries including financial institutions, hospitals and other healthcare providers, biotechnology, specialty pharmaceuticals, informatics, manufacturing, retail, and numerous others. Dick has specialized experience in areas including intellectual property valuation and prosecution, managing in highly regulated environments, healthcare facilities reimbursement, accessing capital markets, SEC reporting, strategic partnering, and government contracting. Dick holds a Master’s Degree in accounting from Virginia Tech, and is a CPA licensed in North Carolina. He is an active member of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, and supports fund raising efforts involved in a number of nonprofit organizations including of the North Carolina Ballet as a patron, and more recently the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Tracy Sternberg joined the Kramden Board of Directors in February 2020. She is currently the Director of Programs and Sponsorship at NC TECH and is responsible for developing and executing content and programming, and securing sponsorships to support those efforts with the goal of ensuring that NC TECH members have meaningful and productive engagement with the organization and its members.
Luis is the Vice President of the PC&SD Integrated Development Center at Lenovo.
Kurt Schmidt is an entrepreneur, advisor, and investor passionate about startups, entrepreneurship, and innovation. His experience spans all stages of startup operations from founder to successful exit. Kurt has spent nearly 20 years in the entrepreneurial ecosystem serving in operational, advisory, and investor roles with multiple entrepreneurial endeavors. He has also served as a board member, chairman, and advisor to technology innovators globally from San Francisco to Shanghai to Sydney. Having spent years working with Silicon Valley and West Coast-based companies, Kurt is deeply connected in the technology industry. He is a member of the Executive Committee at Triangle Angel Partners, an angel investment fund that invests in technology startups. As a TRW fellow, Kurt earned his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from The University of Southern California and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. At Duke University’s School of Law, he honed his skills in mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, private equity and entrepreneurial transactions. Kurt is also an inventor on numerous issued and pending U.S. and foreign patents.
Mia is the Director of Government Affairs for Charter Communications’ Triangle and Triad regions in North Carolina. Her responsibilities include making use of the 15+ years of experience that she has gained working with local governments and the NC General Assembly to coordinate and implement strategies on the local and state level. In addition to the Kramden Board of Directors, Mia is a Board Member of the NC Cable Television Association, Executive Board Member of the Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation (DHIC), YMCA SE Raleigh Advisory Board and the SE Raleigh Promise Board. A graduate of Shaw University and North Carolina State University, she lives in Raleigh with her family.
Tom graduated in 1984 from Penn State Capitol Campus with a Bachelor of Humanities majoring in Multi-Media Journalism. He joined IBM in 1994 after spending nine years in retail and merchandising with Silo/Dixons, plc. During his career at IBM, Tom has held management positions launching Options by IBM in the consumer business worldwide, sales operations, brand management, and e-business Internet strategy and execution. As the Director of Marketing and Merchandising for US Direct, he was responsible for all marketing with IBM Direct including merchandising, offerings and promotions, segmentation, and web strategy and execution. Tom was promoted to Vice President, Global SMB TeleWeb Sales in January of 2003. He was responsible for all aspects of the Small / Medium business Worldwide through the tele-web organization of ibm.com. Tom then moved on to be VP of Inside Sales at IBM responsible for the Lead Development Reps generating leads for IBM, the marketing team, and the Online Commerce group which delivered 18 of 18 quarters of over achievement to plan. He later became VP of Global Marketing Volume Demand Systems in Global Technology Services. He was responsible for the Volume Demand System Program and driving demand through events and agencies for Global Technology Services.
Tom currently is Vice President of IBM Global Digital Sales Acceleration where he manages a lead development team, a group of data scientists, the private digital commerce function, and the sales acceleration/marketing teams. His focus is on social selling, developing talent, and new business opportunities. Tom is an advisory board member of AA-ISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals) where he was named a 2010 Top 50 Most Influential Inside Sales Professional and received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Inside Sales.
Tom and his wife Natalie (1985 Penn State Capital College, Bach of Hum) have two daughters, Maire and Anna, and live in Chapel Hill, NC
John Wilson brings with him, 15 years of experience in technology strategy and execution spanning pharmaceutical, banking, and insurance industries. He currently leads IT Costing and Performance Management for MetLife’s Global Technology organization.
Within the capacity of IT Costing, his department is accountable for the financial management of +$1B in global technology annual spend which includes budgeting, approval, forecasting, regional transfer pricing, multi-year optimization initiatives, and internal billing mechanisms. The underpinning driving force and thematic element for this organization is enterprise operational and strategic enablement through financial transparency. In the role of Performance Management, his organization is accountable for numerous enterprise systems for IT all with the focus of increasing performance awareness through analytics. In addition, the group facilitates all IT executive reporting presented to the IT Operating Committee, Board of Directors, and CEO.
Prior to joining MetLife in 2014, John supported the build-out of Credit Suisse’s global service desk strategy, designed Credit Suisse’s first Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) views of IT Services, and facilitated Merck Pharmaceutical’s build-out of an internal IT Help Desk environment.
Kramden Volunteer Team
Kramden Advisory Council