New Alumni Advisory Board Members

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Alumni Advisory Board (“A.A.B.”) was formed in 2006 by alumni Scholars to help support the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation’s mission and goals. Currently 15 alumni serve on the A.A.B. on a three year rotation. This year they voted on four new members, Jolene Loetscher (1997), Jorge Casimiro (1994), Kevin Chung (1990) and Lindsay Hyde (2000). Let us introduce you to them.

jolene_AABJolene Loetscher, a 1997 Coca-Cola Scholar, grew up among the farm fields of Nebraska and now calls South Dakota home. She graduated as the top broadcast journalism student from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and received her MBA in Global Executive Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Starting at age 19, she worked as a television reporter/anchor for KTIV-TV (NBC) in Sioux City, IA and KELO-TV (CBS) in Sioux Falls, receiving regional and national awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award, for her writing and live reporting. Her work appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN and The Weather Channel. Jolene moved into public relations, working in media relations at Sanford Health, handling media requests from across the globe as the organization received more than $400 million in donations.

An entrepreneur at heart, Jolene and her husband, Nate Burdine, started DooGooders®, a dog doo removal and dog waste DNA testing business, in 2007. They also run Mud Mile Communications, a marketing and video production company. In 2013, she received three Regional Emmys for her work, along with recognition from the International Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts and two Telly awards.

In 2011, Jolene first spoke publicly about being sexually abused by a family friend. She founded Selfspiration, an organization which holds day camps for children who have been sexually abused. And in 2014, the state of South Dakota passed Jolene’s Law, to create a task force to look at child sexual abuse in the state. Jolene and her husband live in Sioux Falls with their pugs, Mayhem Awesome and Moonshine Jerry.

Casimiro_AABJorge Casimiro, a 1994 Coke Scholar, is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NIKE’s Global Community Impact team and Vice President of the NIKE Foundation. In this role, Jorge provides leadership, stewardship and operational excellence to advance NIKE’s global portfolio of community activities to deliver greater and more sustained impact worldwide.

Before joining NIKE in January 2013, Jorge was Group Director, International Public Affairs at The Coca‐Cola Company and co‐chair of a global food and nonalcoholic beverage industry group. He held positions of increasing responsibility across Public Affairs, Communications and Operations, including two international assignments in Latin America and serving as Chief of Staff to the former Chairman & CEO, over the course of almost 12 years at Coca‐Cola.

Jorge began his professional career in higher education. A graduate of Brown University, Jorge earned his master’s degree in public policy from Rutgers University.

He and his family, including two of the sweetest kids you’ve ever seen, reside in Portland.

Chung_AABKevin F. Chung, a 1990 Coca-Cola Scholar, is the Director, Corporate Compliance and Employment Law, Legal and Business Affairs at Sony Computer Entertainment America (aka PlayStation).  He is responsible for ethics and compliance programs, trainings, and policies, as well as employment law matters.  He also assists with government and regulatory affairs.  Prior to PlayStation, Kevin worked as an attorney at two national law firms based in Northern California.

Kevin frequently speaks on legal topics including employment law, corporate compliance, and social media. Throughout his career, he has been an ardent supporter of pro bono legal services, volunteering hours to indigent clients and non-profit organizations. Kevin is an active member of the Asian American and in-house legal communities. He currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Labor and Employment Committee of the National Asian American Bar Association.  Kevin also serves as Co-Chair of the Labor and Employment Committee and Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee of the S.F. Bay Area Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

Kevin enjoys working with students of all ages. His past and ongoing community activities include coaching high school mock trial teams, mentoring high school and college students and coaching youth basketball and Little League baseball. He is an active volunteer with the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and currently serves as a Mentor for the Earl Woods Scholar Program, part of the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Since 2003, Kevin has been the Official Scorekeeper for the Stanford University men’s basketball program.

Kevin graduated from Stanford University (B.A., with Honors and Distinction; M.A.) and the UCLA School of Law.

Lindsay Hyde_AABLindsay Hyde, a 2000 Coca-Cola Scholar, is an avid entrepreneur, most recently launching The BarkStop, a company that establishes dog daycare centers inside corporate office buildings.

Lindsay graduated from Harvard Business School in 2014. While in school, she served as a research associate to Professor Janet Kraus on a study of women entrepreneurs who had risen $25M or more in venture capital financing. Additionally, she served as the team lead for 21DTLV, an apprenticeship initiative launched in Downtown Las Vegas in partnership with Zappos founder Tony Hsieh and The Downtown Project. Finally, she served as the team co-lead for the Harvard IdeaCorps team, which partnered MBA students with innovative start-up companies helping to grow the New Orleans economy.

Prior to starting business school, Lindsay was the President and Founder of Strong Women, Strong Girls, a nationally recognized mentoring program that fosters high aspirations among girls and provides them with the skills they need for success. Headquartered in Boston, Strong Women, Strong Girls impacted over 10,000 constituents and grew to provide mentoring services in 5 cities globally under Lindsay’s direction. Her leadership of Strong Women, Strong Girls has been recognized in Seventeen Magazine, Glamour Magazine, and Harvard Magazine.

Lindsay is originally from Miami, Florida and currently resides in Boston.

Alumni Accolades August 2014

_MG_6518Kelsey Tainsh (2008) spoke recently at The Coca-Cola Company’s Atlanta headquarters on persevering through cancer and more! Check out this article on Coca-Cola’s Journey site about her speech and story.

Simone Ridgeway (2008) received her MS in biotechnology at the University of Alabama Birmingham and was highlighted on the school’s website. She will be working at Lilly Pharmaceuticals in Indianapolis.

Rachel Melson Blanks (2003) was selected as one of thirty All-Star Teachers by People Magazine with Target and Major League Baseball!

Alumni Connections August 2014

CCSF had a busy summer with lots of visits from our Scholars!  We had the pleasure of catching up with:

Mpaza Kapembwa (2011) and Alison Mansfield (2013)

ali hartman and familyAli Hartman (2001) with her husband and son

Maddie Dill (2014)

Julia and AmeetAmeet Kallarackal (2014)

visit from nadiaNadia Kemal (2012)

Anna Jo Julian Ranni and StephenAnna Jo Cowan (2011), Julian Plowden (2010), Stephen Fowler (2012) and Ranni Tewfik (2005)

clara TsaoClara Tsao (2009) and her mother

Grant meansGrant Means (2012)

Mehul visitMehul Patel (1994)

Trent and business partnersTrent Bigelow (2004)

Heather and girlsHeather Tell (1992) and her daughters

Alumni Celebrations August 2014

alice and family2Alice Park (1999) and her husband Kyu welcomed their daughter Elise Tsui Tin Park on July 26th!  She joins big brother Lyon, and her Coca-Cola Scholars family can’t wait to meet her!

Tyrha LindseyTyrha Lindsey (1990) married Sidney Warren on August 16th.  They received this shout out in the New York Times!

Alumni Accolades July 2014

alex cody and peyton manning2014 Scholars Alex Crockett and Cody Sain have been named recipients of the Peyton Manning Scholarship at the University of Tennessee.

Lauren Kuhn (2009) was crowned Miss Massachusetts last week! Read media coverage here and here. Several state representatives have been Coca-Cola Scholars over the years, including 2004 Miss America Ericka Dunlap (2000). Lauren is a student at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and her platform is “The Opportunity of Education: Encouraging Today’s Young Women.” Cheer her on in the Miss America Pageant on September 14th!

Derek Berkshire (2014) was elected to the 2014-2015 Indiana FFA State Sentinel.

Zachary Certner (2014) has received a $5,000 TruFit Good Citizen Scholarship, which recognizes and rewards students whose volunteer efforts have made a lasting impact in their communities. Zachary created a nonprofit organization called SNAP, Inc., which provides special needs children with athletic and social programming.

IMG_1614Kelsey Tainsh (2008) received her Professional Speakers Association designation from the National Speakers Association. Recently, Coca-Cola employees and local Scholar alumni had the opportunity to hear Kelsey share her story at The Coca-Cola Company headquarters in Atlanta. If you are ever looking for a speaker for an event, Kelsey would love to talk to you!

More about her at: KelseyTainsh.com

Alumni Connections July 2014

Julia and HeatherJulia Rasooly (2002) and Heather Bowerman (2002) met up in June to share a Diet Coke at the BIO Conference in San Diego.

Rocio and Ericka with Nury MartinezRocio Ortega (2012) and Ericka Jones (2011) both have an internship with Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez this summer. Rocio realized Ericka was a Coke Scholar when Ericka pulled out her notebook from the 2013 Coca-Cola Scholars Leadership Summit! Ericka goes to UCLA and Rocio is attending Wellesley College.

mehul and daron in NYC.jpgDaron Roberts (1997) met up with Mehul Patel (1994) while on a recent business trip in New York City. The two met while serving on the Leadership Development Institute Committee during the 2014 Coke Scholars Weekend.

Leia and JillianJillian Roberts (2011) and Leia Schwartz (2014) volunteered together last week at Camp Boggy Creek, a camp for chronically and seriously ill children.

neal and meganNeal Fox reunited with fellow 2007 Scholar Megan Millard while visiting Elon University for a research workshop. Megan works for Procter & Gamble in Greensboro and Neal is working towards his PhD in Cognitive Science.

ros and ashley at googleRosalyn Menon Kennedy (1997) ran into Ashley Chang (2006) at Google Headquarters in California last week. Rosalyn just started working there and loves running into Coke Scholars on campus!

Alumni Accolades June 2014

Obama_visit_libmall10_7588Steven Olikara (2008) has been named “Millennial of the Year” for his work founding the Millennial Action Project! Read about the Millennial Action Project and his award in the Washington City Paper.


Thomas King (1989) and his a cappella group DeltaCappella won Contemporary A Cappella League Best Album and tied for Best Country Song at the CARAS awards in Boston on May 12 for their album Ain’t No Doubt. Watch the video above of DeltaCappella singing “Renegade” from their CD release concert.

Florida State University has chosen Wendi Adelson’s (1997) book This is Our Story to be read by all incoming freshmen this year. Wendi’s book follows the lives of Rosa and Mila, two young women from different countries who become victims of human trafficking in the American Southeast. If you know of a way that Wendi may bring this story about human trafficking to more college students and educate others about the dangers of dehumanization and commodification of human beings, please email Carolyn.

Karina Plascencia (2010) discusses her experience as a first-generation Mexican-American at Georgetown University and her post-graduation plans in Mongolia in this article in the Albany Democrat-Herald!

Jide Omekam (2014) received the Gates-Millennium Scholarship! Jide recently graduated from Benjamin Banneker Academic High in Washington, D.C. and will be headed to Brown University this fall.

Mpaza Kapembwa (2011), a junior at Williams College, who has been awarded a Pickering Fellowship, which provides academic and professional preparation for a career in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service.

Logan M. Skelley (2006) recently graduated with high distinction from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, Kentucky. While in school, he received the Joseph P. Kennedy Student Development Council Scholarship, the David Felt Scholarship, and an Academic Excellence Scholarship. Following graduation, Logan will complete a transitional year residency program at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, IN, and then a 3-year dermatology residency at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education in Rochester, MN.


Jackie Rotman (2008) presented “Everything you think you know about Millenials is wrong” at TEDxStanford. Read about it here and watch her TEDx presentation above.

Suneil Kamath (2012) won a small business scholarship essay contest through Insureon! Suneil wrote about his foundation Music of the Heart, which aims to use the power of music as a tool to promote holistic healing and music education. Read about it here on Yahoo! Finance.

Alumni Connections June 2014

daron and colbyColby Lufkin (2012) is spending his third summer working with 4th and 1 (an organization founded by 1997 Scholar, Daron Roberts) as a football coach for their camp in East Texas. Here they are with the Powerade coolers that were generously donated by their local Coca-Cola bottler.

tyler sanchez and alex wespiTyler Sanchez (2006), on the left, and Alex Wespi (2012), right, got together in San Francisco recently while Tyler was in town on business.

hilary and tim in austinHilary Corna (2003) met up with Tim McCallum (1991) over dinner in Austin and posted this photo in the Coke Scholars Alumni group on Facebook, where she wrote “Theorized social structures, shared international experiences, and contemplated life last night in Austin with this goofball. You may recognize him from Carolyn’s ‘Punked’ video at the Leadership Summit!”

IMG_9101photo 1The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation loves when Coke Scholars remember to stop by their offices when visiting Atlanta. This month they received visits from Jaime Broadhead (2002), above, Micaela Connery (2004) and Lindsay Hyde (2000) and took these “selfies”.

Alumni Accolades May 2014

Patti Ross (CCSF), Ali Hartman (2001) and Ali’s 8 month old son Austen stopped by a Music for Autism event while in New York City to support Robert Accordino (1999), founder of Music for Autism.

Patti Ross (CCSF), Ali Hartman (2001) and Ali’s 8 month old son Austen stopped by a Music for Autism event while in New York City to support Robert Accordino (1999), founder of Music for Autism.

Congratulations to Dr. Robert Accordino (1999), U.S. Founder of Music for Autism, for being named New Yorker of the Week. Click here to watch the segment about Music for Autism and an interview with Robert.

Congratulations to Stacey Edmondson (1989), who will become Dean of the College of Education at Sam Houston State University this July!

Karissa Jackson (2010) was awarded a Fulbright and will be spending the 2014-2015 school year in Moldova!

Arpan Prabhu (2010) received a research fellowship from the Center for Latin American Studies at The University of Pittsburgh and will be studying intercultural medicine abroad in Bolivia this summer!

Jackie Rotman (2008) is the new Executive Director of Spark, the largest network of Millennial donors in the world. Spark has 11,000 young professional members who have invested over $1.5M in grants and services to 136 grassroots women’s organizations around the world. Jackie will continue to be a board member of Everybody Dance Now, an organization she founded in 2008.

Ogechi Oparah (2009) is running for the Board of Education in Fayette County, GA. She is unopposed in the primary and will be running in the general midterm election on November 4.

Congratulations to Neha Gupta (2014) who won the Hasbro Community Action Hero Award for raising more than a million dollars since 2009 for her organization Empower Orphans!

Kylan Nieh (2010) is the first undergraduate to win Haas’ GSI Teacher of the Year Award (Cheit Award)!  He is a senior at Berkley and is a Coca-Cola Scholar Alumni Regional Coordinator in the San Francisco area.

Pitsco Education Company has selected Merry Willis (2000) as Teacher of the Month!  In this interview, she discusses her background in education and why she loves teaching.

KUTV in the Salt Lake City area interviewed Valerie Sanchez (2014) about her determination to excel in school and become the first in her family to go to college.

Congratulations to two 2014 Scholars who were selected as Robertson Scholars: Michelle Moffa from Linwood, NJ, and Andrew Brennan from Lexington, KY. Michelle will be attending Duke University and Andrew will be attending UNC Chapel Hill in the fall.

Three 2014 Coke Scholars Rajet Vatsa (AZ), Ryan Dahl (KS) and Nina Srivastava (SC) became 2014 Presidential Scholars!