CORE Welcomes Six Board Members and Elects New Chair
June 28, 2022
Left to right: Chris Ryan, Sanjiv Waghmare, Trevor Seiden, Bobby Bermudez, Andrew Howard, Chris Burke, Melanie Prestridge, Executive Director Donna Walker James, Board Chair Allison Chase, Abel Mera, and Nagia Kurabi.
ALEXANDRIA, VA | June 28, 2022 – Computer CORE is pleased to announce the election of Board Chair Allison Chase, Director of Corporate Development at tech company Alarm.com; and the addition of six new members, growing the size of CORE’s board to 12 members.
Executive Director Donna Walker James, who has worked toward this day for months, says, “We’re excited to expand our board with six new directors who will bring diverse expertise and provide the guidance to fulfill our mission to prepare adult students in Northern Virginia for greater employment opportunities.
“CORE historically has worked to ensure that the board represents a variety of experts across technology, finance, and fundraising sectors. Our new additions are no exception and we welcome them knowing they will add great energy and experience to our already strong group of dedicated board members.”
Computer CORE, along with the rest of the world, experienced a period of transition during the last few years. Barely six months into James’ tenure as Executive Director, pandemic safeguards required the closure of all in-person classes early in 2020.
Volunteer instructors and students pivoted to an all-online delivery for the training program, which typically begins by teaching students how to use computers and get online. This now needed to be handled by phone, while also coordinating socially distanced, individual equipment distributions to those students without home computers. Enrollment rose due to increased need, and in-house computer refurbishment was boosted, keeping pace thanks to fortuitous contributions from key connections, donors, and volunteers.
The board’s attention, expertise, and vision will be even more crucial as Computer CORE continues to evolve to meet the needs of the community.
Now fully up to speed with online program delivery, CORE is expanding training options with a new focus on coding classes and providing pathways to certification.
CORE has also deployed a Digital Access Help Desk (www.computercore.org/helpdesk) for Alexandria residents where staff, student interns, and volunteers serve as digital navigators, assisting with computer and internet inquiries. These Help Desk responders answer questions, guide residents to information about the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and help with set-up, navigation, access, and basic hardware or software issues.
Newly approved board members include:
- Bobby Bermudez, President, Symposit, LLC
- Andrew Howard, Director of Technology, Huntington Ingalls Industries
- Abel Meri, CEO, Notice Enterprises, Inc.
- Melanie Prestridge, Partner, West Monroe
- Karen Price, CFRE, Chief Development Officer, Eno Center for Transportation
- Trevor Seiden, CPA, In-Charge Auditor, Renner & Company
The new directors join current board members Allison Chase, Chair; Chris Burke, Vice Chair; Chris Ryan, Secretary; Craig Jarvill, Treasurer; Sanjiv Waghmare; and Billi Taylor.
We thank outgoing directors Adam Schau and Salvador Bezos for their contributions during the past six years which spanned considerable transition in the organization. We are grateful both will continue their valuable leadership as they move to Computer CORE’s Advisory Board.
Left to right: Donna James, Billi Taylor, Andrew Howard, Karen Price, Chris Burke, Melanie Prestridge, Abel Mera, Bobby Bermudez, Trevor Seiden, and Sanjiv Waghmare.
Donna Walker James
About Computer CORE
Since 1999, Computer CORE has prepared underserved adults to realize career aspirations with foundational digital and professional skills. Computer CORE (Community OutReach and Education) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to prepare underserved adults in Virginia to realize career aspirations with foundational digital and professional skills. Immigrants and women make up a high proportion of Computer CORE’s students and 99% are people of color.