Founder & Chief Creative Officer
For more than a decade, Drew has built multidisciplinary projects, coalitions of partners, strategic communications platforms, and resource mobilization initiatives at the intersection of arts and culture, youth development, education, and global social justice. Drew’s diverse professional experience includes leadership roles in music as one of the founding Directors of Education for the San Francisco Jazz Organization (SFJAZZ) and in international development as the Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships and Communications for the leading US philanthropic organization dedicated to India, the American India Foundation.
Drew holds a Certificate in Social Enterprise Management & Impact Investing from Middlebury College, and Social Sector Leadership from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley; an M.A. in International Development Education from Columbia University Teachers College; and a B.A. in Economics and French from Northwestern University.
Chief Operating Officer
Co-Director, Curriculum Development
A graduate of Music Action Lab 1.0, Derek Beckvold has performed music in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East in a wide range of musical styles as a woodwind multi-instrumentalist, composer and conductor. In addition to an active performance career with a variety of recognized ensembles, he is a committed music educator both in the United States and international settings. He was previously on the faculty at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, Afghanistan and was a trainer with Musicians Without Borders in Palestine. He taught music and was Program Manager for Community Outreach and Engagement at the Music Matters School in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In Delhi, India he taught at the Global Music Institute, where he was also Assistant Director of Institutional Advancement. He was a 2014 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in India, partnering with Music Basti as Curriculum and Teacher Training Advisor and studying tabla with Pandit Shailendra Mishra. He has been on the faculty for programs with American Voices, in collaboration with the US State Department, in Sudan, Turkmenistan, Lebanon and Iraq, and was Artist-In-Residence with the inaugural Music Action Lab program for musical social change.He received his Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory in saxophone performance and was personal assistant to composer, conductor and educator Gunther Schuller. He is Co-Founder of the international music education initiative Teach To Learn and is currently Curriculum Writer for Empowerment Through Integration as well as the Education and Community Engagement Manager for the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.
Co-Director, Curriculum Development
Laura Ward Collins
Director of Development, di Rosa
A nonprofit executive with experience in the arts and international development, Laura is a seasoned fundraising and organizational development leader. Her experience in international development includes fieldwork for Project Hope, launching the National Training Institute in Cairo for the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population, and global fundraising initiatives for the international humanitarian organization Right to Play, for Thrive Network (formerly East Meets West) programs across Southeast Asia, and Living Goods in Uganda. As Director of Development for di Rosa, 200 acres of landscaped grounds that house the most significant holding of contemporary Northern California art in the world, Laura leads the development and partnerships strategy, while designing interactive and engaging experiences for visitors and supporters.
Director of Development, SFJAZZ
A strategic nonprofit executive with more than 15 years experience driving organizational growth, Barrett has been building and engaging audiences for jazz and world music for the past decade. After honing his skills in membership and major gifts for the San Francisco Jazz Organization (SFJAZZ), he became Director of Development in 2013, completing a $64 million+ capital campaign for the world’s first freestanding facility dedicated solely to jazz, the LEED-certified SFJAZZ Center. In this capacity, he has overseen exponential revenue growth in SFJAZZ’s evolution from nomadic organization to city arts institution.
Earlier in his career, Barrett managed strategic planning projects with the Consulting & Research team at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and grants for the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health. Barrett is also active in the local community, serving on the Board of Zambaleta School of World Music and Dance, and volunteering with Refugee Transitions and the International Rescue Committee.
Multimedia Director, San Francisco 49ers Academy
With more than thirteen years working with youth through multimedia and the performing arts, John is a recognized community leader for arts-based youth leadership in the Bay Area. After serving as Performing Arts Director for the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, John founded Design Build Create, where he has led the construction, setup, and programming of multimedia centers across the country with partners including the NFL, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and the Boys & Girls Club of America.
As the Multimedia Director of the San Francisco 49ers Academy, John serves some of the region’s most underserved youth with innovative arts and technology program throughout the school life cycle, and regularly leads major youth-led productions such as an original hip-hop production at the Warfield San Francisco in 2015. John holds a Bachelor’s in Music from Northwestern University with a concentration in vocal performance and jazz studies.
President and CEO, The Nile Project
As President and CEO of The Nile Project, Mina has built a roster of more than 30 musicians representing the 11 countries of the Nile River, inspiring and education an international network to cultivate the sustainability of the Nile ecosystem. Hailed by the New York Times as a “euphoric international coalition, the Nile Project has lead two tours of Africa and a four-month US tour including 25 universities, Lincoln Center and the United Nations.
An ethnomusicologist with background in hospitality experience design, Mina explores new ways to cultivate environments conducive to learning, making, and experiencing music. He specializes in curating and producing innovative musical collaborations across diverse styles. Mina is a Synergos Pioneers of Egypt fellow, a Wired 2014 Innovation fellow, and a National Arts Strategies Creative Community fellow.
Music Program Director, Organization of American States
Award-winning composer, conductor, and cultural leader Mariano Vales has been at the forefront of music initiatives for social change for the past decade across Latin America, the Caribbean, and South America. As Music Programs Director for the Organization of American States, Mariano has designed and led orchestra programs for at-risk youth and violence prevention projects in Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and El Salvador. Mariano is also Music Director of the DC Youth Orchestra Program and its conductor.
He serves on the faculty of the Global Leaders Program of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, and has taught or lectured at leading institutions including Yale University. As composer-in-residence at GALA Hispanic Theatre, the National Center for Latino Performing Arts, his musical “Momia en el closet: The Return of Eva Perón,” received two Helen Hayes Award nominations. Mr. Vales holds degrees from Yale University, Florida State University, and Universidad Católica Argentina.
CEO, Opportunity Collaboration
Topher has been convening and connecting people for the purposes of social change for over a decade, starting with co-founding the Highland City Club, a membership community of 300 change-makers in Boulder, Colorado, to managing Dunton Hot Springs, one of North America’s top all-inclusive resorts and retreat centers, to leading the Opportunity Collaboration, a global network of 1200 nonprofit leaders, for-profit social entrepreneurs, grant-makers, impact investors, corporates and academics building sustainable solutions to poverty, and finally with creating Conveners.org, a group of over 150 fellow conveners and accelerators in the impact space.
His purpose is to convene and connect nonprofit leaders, for-profit social entrepreneurs, grant-makers, impact investors and all other agents of positive change, thereby building the ecosystem for the social sector and creating greater opportunities for international social and economic justice.
Founder & CEO, Wheel Media, and Founder, Heroic
Michael is a veteran creative executive and social entrepreneur with more than 15 years experience in the branding and growth of startup and social good organizations. He’s had leadership and founding roles in industries ranging from finance to marcom, edtech, culture and new media. Currently, he’s the Founder & CEO of the creative agency Wheel Media, and building a seed-stage fashion brand with a social mission called Heroic. Prior to Wheel Media, Michael was VP Marketing of Jel, a mid-sized digital ad agency, and directed Product Marketing for startup CampusEngine, building a national network of 2.2M college students.
Before the Internet, Michael worked in the fields of education and mental health, including the research of culturally diverse and underserved communities, and work at two universities in both an academic and counseling capacity, focusing on cross-cultural communication, therapeutic services, program development, and training.