The Charity Blossom Team

Wayne Yamamoto

Wayne is Charity Blossom's CEO and Co-Founder. Prior to Charity Blossom, Wayne co-founded and was CTO at MerchantCircle - the largest online network of local businesses. Previously, he was the Vice President of Engineering and architect at BroadVision, a leading enterprise software company and Internet pioneer. Wayne has also been a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington and Entrepreneur in Residence at Rustic Canyon Partners. He earned a BSCS and MSCS from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Jason Culverhouse

Jason is the Chief Architect and Co-Founder at Charity Blossom. Previously, he was the Chief Architect and first engineer at MerchantCircle where he led technical development. He was responsible for building www.merchantcircle.com-the largest social networking website for small businesses, with over 1 million members. Before MerchantCircle, Jason was a Principal Software Engineer at BroadVision. He has a BS in Computer Science from Louisiana State University.

Jeff Lee

Jeff is Charity Blossom's in-house designer. Corn-fed and farm raised from the state of Michigan, he traveled far to be a part of the Charity Blossom team. Well as far as Mountain View, where he was also a key member of the MerchantCircle team. Jeff has a MS in HCI and BS in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.


Advisory Board

Chris Tolles

Chris is the CEO of Topix, the leading news community on the Web. Prior to Topix, he co-founded Spoke Software, a business social networking company, where he was the Vice President of Marketing. Before Spoke, Chris was a Director of Marketing at AOL/Netscape for AOL Music, Netscape Search and Directory Products. Chris was a co-founder and VP of Marketing at NewHoo, and led the sale of the company to Netscape. After the acquisition, NewHoo was relaunched as the Open Directory Project at Netscape. He has also held a variety of sales, marketing and management positions at Sun Microsystems. Chris graduated from the University of California at San Diego with degrees in Computer Science and Economics, where he was awarded the Michael J. Addison award for his senior thesis about the online information industry.

Lisa Rose

Lisa is the CEO of the 1:1 Fund. Previously, she was the Senior Donor Relations Officer at the San Francisco Foundation where she was responsible for managing donor relationships, to ensure the foundation met the philanthropic goals were achieved and communicate the vision and outcomes of the Foundation. Lisa graduated from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts with B.A.s in Philosophy and Critical Social Thought.

Rich Skrenta

Rich is CEO of Blekko, a new search engine startup. Previously he was founder and CEO of Topix, the leading online news community. Rich has headed up engineering for a variety of products within AOL, including AOL Shopping, AOL Music and Netscape Search. He was the co-founder and CEO of NewHoo, which was acquired by Netscape and renamed the Open Directory Project. The ODP is the world's largest human edited directory of the web and used by Google, Yahoo, AOL and many other companies. Rich holds a patent in network security, and has authored many well-known pioneering software efforts, including early multi-user online games. Rich graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Computer Science.

Mike Markson

Mike is the Vice President of Marketing at Blekko. Prior to Blekko, Michael was a founder of Topix, where he was responsible for the company's initial product marketing and launch. As VP Business Development of Topix, he closed deals with many top tier media properties (NY Times, Wash. Post, CBS, CNN, etc.), each of the major wire services (AP, Reuters, etc.) and many large sites (Yahoo, Ask, AOL, etc.). He led the process of selling the company to Tribune, Gannett and Knight Ridder in March of 2005. Prior to Topix, Michael was the General Counsel and Director of Business Development for Terraspring, Inc. where he created valuable alliances with entities such as HP and EMC and led the sale to Sun Microsystems. He has a BA in Economics from Wittenberg University, a JD from Capital University Law School and an LLM from Georgetown University Law School.

Adriana Gascoigne

Adriana is the Vice President of Marketing at SecondMarket, the global marketplace for illiquid assets. Prior to SecondMarket, Adriana spearheaded marketing, communications and analytics at a variety of technology start-ups including: hi5, SocialGamingNetwork (SGN), Jambool's SocialGold, and GUBA. Adriana served as Vice President of 360 Digital Influence at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and was Vice President of the Digital Group at Edelman. Adriana launched Girls in Tech, an organization focused on the empowerment, engagement and education of women in tech, and, in 2009, she launched SmittenWithMittens, a 501(c)3 providing fair trade mittens, clothing, uniforms and resources to orphans in developing countries. She is an "Intel Insider" product advisor, and an advisor to start-ups including Involver and Change.org. Adriana holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology and Economics from the University of California at Davis and a degree from El Tecnologico de Monterrey in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She is currently enrolled in USF's MBA 2012 program.

Zaw Thet

Zaw is CEO and co-founder of 4INFO, the largest independent mobile media company in the US. Zaw is also an angel investor, board member, and advisory board member for a select group of private technology companies in the mobile, social networking, and media/advertising sectors. Zaw is committed to nonprofits, serving on the national board of After School All Stars (ASAS). He is also Chairman and founder of Palindrome Advisors, a company dedicated to helping NGOs and nonprofit organizations leverage the power of mobile and social media to build communities, to raise awareness, and to increase funding. Prior to founding 4INFO, Zaw was Director of Business Development at Spoke Software and a special consultant to the San Francisco 49ers. Zaw was a President's Scholar and graduated from Stanford University with degrees in Political and Computer Science. He was a Soros Fellow and has his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Mark Hull

Mark is the Director of Product Management for LinkedIn and Co-Founder of Riley Inc, a mobile developer of socila lifestyle applications. Previously, he was VP/GM Partnerships for CrowdStar, the world's second largest social game company, where he is responsible for distribution and the company's global business. Mark was also the VP Product Management for Vivaty, which was acquired by Microsoft. Mark began his career at Yahoo where he ran the company's community and games product lines. Mark also has held executive roles at iWin and MerchantCircle. Mark's favorite charities are Heifer International and Little Kids Rock. Mark holds degrees from Pepperdine University and the University of California, Berkeley - Walter A. Haas School of Business.