Tykia Warden, Executive Director
Tykia is the Executive Director for the San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation (SMCCCF). The SMCCCF provides philanthropic support to the students and programs at the three colleges of the San Mateo County College District: Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College. She has embarked on a major effort to increase the percentage of community college students by awarding scholarships aiding in achieving their education goals. This objective is important for San Mateo County because the high cost of living coupled with a wide disparity in income levels prevents many students from maintaining the full-time enrollment that can more than double their rate of completion.
Tykia has over 15 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management. Prior to her current position, Tykia was the Director of Advancement for the Smithsonian Institution. Tykia has raised over $50 million in private and public funding.
Earlier in her career, Tykia served as a consultant where she managed political fundraising campaigns for Maryland congressional officials. Additionally, Tykia worked on the Capitol Hill staff of a member of the United States House of Representatives, and for nonprofit organizations located in the Washington, D.C. area.
Tykia received her Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University and a Master of Arts degree from Bowie State University. Tykia is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and a Charter member of the Omega Upsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in Contra Costa County. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for both Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital and the Network for California Community Colleges Foundation. Contact Tykia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650.358.6860.
Anthony Djedi, Business Manager
Anthony is responsible for the Foundation's business and financial systems. He was previously a Financial Analyst for three years working for a diverse group of companies including Peterson Dean, Stanford Management Company and BDO, USA. Anthony also worked as a Teaching Assistant in Business Law and Corporate Taxation at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Anthony graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and in Economics. He received his Master of Science degree in Financial Engineering from the University of Southern California. Originally from Belgium, he is passionate about multi-culturalism in education. Fluent in French, English, and Spanish, Anthony has lived on three continents, Europe, Africa, and North America. Contact Anthony at email@example.com or 650.358.6849.
Kathleen Harris, Development Director
Kathleen’s advocacy for education, children, youth and their families has spanned more than 20 years and she brings a deep understanding of nonprofit management and philanthropy to her work as Development Director of the San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation. Throughout her career, Kathleen has successfully lobbied for affordable housing, increases in school funding, and better educational options for low-income students. Early in her career Kathleen was appointed to the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Children Youth and Their Families and later served as a program director at the Marin Community Foundation where she led its strategic initiatives for affordable housing and ending the cycle of poverty. More recently she served as the CEO of the Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority in Oakland, a collaborative agency that provides funding and advocacy for the most vulnerable youth. Her commitment to community service began in her teens while attending high school in Japan. Now a resident of Oakland, Kathleen has served on the boards of Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy, the Marin Workforce Housing Trust, and as the development chair of the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund. Contact Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650.378.7293.
Dafna Kapshud, Marketing and Communications Manager
Dafna is responsible for the Foundation's brand identity as well as increasing awareness of the organization's work. She has a long history of marketing, communications, and fundraising roles in both nonprofit and for-profit companies. She has worked in a diverse range of industries from senior services, education, and healthcare to performing arts and workforce management. She most recently spent three years as Development and Communications Manager for Episcopal Senior Communities Foundation, supporting programs for frail, low-income, and isolated seniors. Prior to that, Dafna led all marketing and communications activities for Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School. Under her direction, the school publically launched a successful $14.8 million capital campaign. For over 10 years, Dafna also served in the marketing and development departments of various arts organizations in the Bay Area.
Dafna is passionate about helping her community and has served as a volunteer for a variety of organizations including a Board of Directors position with Meals on Wheels of Alameda County. She is originally from Israel and holds a J.D. from the University of Florida (member of the Bar in Florida and Washington, D.C.) and an M.F.A. in theatre management from Florida State University. Dafna received her B.A. in international studies from the Johns Hopkins University. Contact Dafna at email@example.com or 650.358.6791.
Melissa Rohlfs, Alumni Relations and Development Manager
Melissa is an experienced advocate for education at all levels, with a long history of marketing and communications leadership roles at public and private colleges, and universities, and K-12 schools. Her previous positions feature stints at Summit Public Schools in Redwood City, University of Puget Sound and Renton Technical College in Washington, and Lincoln College in Illinois. Her accomplishments include creating partnerships with key constituents on the state and local level and leading website redesigns and branding campaigns as well as media and social media trainings. Melissa is also an accomplished writer having penned pieces for alumni publications, blogs, social media, and the web. She’s an enthusiastic supporter of equity and access in higher education and is excited about bringing more awareness and support for the needs of first-generation and non-traditional college students. Melissa channels her love of the arts by giving back to her community as a Culture and Arts Commissioner for the city of San Bruno. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Washington in Seattle. Contact Melissa at Rohlfsm@smccd.edu or 650.358.6873.
Felicia Ward, Donor Relations Manager
Felicia most recently comes from the office of External Relations and Development at Columbia Business School, where she was an integral member of the fundraising team. She played a key role supporting the School’s longstanding and largest fundraising event of the year, the Annual Dinner gala; which raises over $3.5 million dollars in unrestricted funds. She has also managed onsite logistics ranging from intimate fundraising festivals to larger scale events. Most notably, the Ocean Institute’s “Million Dollar Laguna Beach Home Raffle.”
With a broad and deep experience as a seasoned project and people manager, Felicia is also adept at directing database systems and client relations. She has been a strategic partner for both corporate and nonprofit organizations in New York and California, working as part of cross-functional teams to cultivate, steward, and build a strong constituency base.
Felicia earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology with an emphasis in business management from Columbia University. A consummate learner, she is currently pursuing a degree in strategic marketing and communications. Felicia is a native Californian as well as a collaborative partner in her family’s foundation. (Photograph by Scott Buschman Photography.) Contact Felicia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650.358.6846.