Director of Community
Shaina is responsible for building a dynamic ecosystem of partners and entrepreneurs to optimize VELA’s reach and impact. She is inspired by the innovative and divergent ways that the VELA community approaches learning and uses her background as an educator and artist to help facilitate growth and understanding of nontraditional education models. Shaina currently lives in Denver with her husband and daughter.
Manager of Strategic Initiatives
Serena oversees key strategic priorities that drive VELA’s innovative vision forward. She works to share stories of education entrepreneurs through events, storytelling, and partnerships, and manages special projects including finding new ways to share resources with the VELA community. Her experience working in the fields of education and entrepreneurship informs her excitement to support founders who are reimagining how education can better serve all types of learners. Serena lives in New Orleans, where she loves listening to live music, baking, and reading.
Director of Programs
Lauren leads the implementation and management of VELA’s investment programs. She’s a fan of lifelong learning, engagement, and being genuinely thrilled about learning. She is excited to use her background in philanthropy to drive programming and opportunities designed to support programs and founders that give learners and families agency over their education. Lauren lives in West Michigan and embraces spending time outdoors in all four seasons.
Manager of Programs
Alex supports VELA’s grants and community programming. Her background in museums, classrooms, and libraries has illuminated the many ways that youth learn, grow, and contribute to thriving communities. Alex believes in the power of people and takes pride in supporting VELA’s growing community of entrepreneurs. She is based in Denver and enjoys making art, watching television, raising chickens, and thrifting.
Director of Brand and Communications
Lindsay leads brand and communications at VELA and is passionate about elevating the stories and storytellers that bring an organization to life and spark new conversations and connections. She has spent most of her career designing communications, marketing, and public relations strategies for education non-profits and K-12 schools and is deeply inspired by the VELA founders who are redefining where, when, and how learning takes place. Lindsay is based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but escapes to the Atlantic Ocean with her two daughters whenever she can.
Meredith leads VELA Education Fund, where she is determined to serve brave, creative people who are boldly reimagining education in their communities and beyond. Meredith is inspired by everyday entrepreneurs who are willing to let go, listen, and learn from children as they discover their magic spark. Meredith and her husband are raising their family of four children in Wichita, Kansas.
Director of Product Strategy
Ashley leads the implementation of product development, helping VELA to achieve its reach and impact objectives. She is motivated by the VELA community and their relentless dedication to improving unconventional learning opportunities for children in their lives. Ashley calls upon her background in business strategy and as an entrepreneur to optimize VELA’s efforts. She lives in Wichita with her two sons and two puppies.
Chief of Operations
Beth leads operations for VELA, ensuring that its bold vision for the future of education is translated into action through its team, investments, and programming. After 20 years in the education reform and school choice space, Beth is passionate about enabling an alternative education market where parents and community members can implement education solutions that work best for them. Beth lives outside of Chicago with her husband and three kids, where she enjoys running, cooking, and Saints football — WHODAT!