Before Ello, Tom was the head of impact and adoption programs at Google for Education, where his team was responsible for ensuring that Google tools were used effectively in classrooms worldwide. He is on the board of GO Public schools, an organization dedicated to giving voice to families in the most underserved communities, and on the advisory board of Education Reimagined, the movement builder of learner centered education. He has also worked as an intelligence officer, a product manager, founded an EdTech company (with Catalin), and has built a mini-golf course in Cambodia. Tom graduated from Cambridge University with first-class honors in maths and psychology and has an MBA and MA (Education) from Stanford. He has won the Lamor prize at Cambridge, the Queen’s medal at Sandhurst, the Intelligence top student award, and was a Siebel Scholar at the GSB. He loves running, rugby, and lives with his wife and son in San Francisco.
Favorite Children’s Book: Little Blue Truck
Elizabeth is a clinical psychologist who specializes in child development, child behavior, and working with children and families in community settings, schools, clinics, and hospitals. She has worked with children and families for over 15 years. She provides training and education to students and professionals, has presented at national and international conferences, has published articles and book chapters on child development, and has been interviewed by magazines and radio programs on a variety of parent topics. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, two children, and labrador.
Favorite Children’s Book: Where the Wild Things Are
Catalin previously developed an AI-based augmented reality therapy for children with autism which is currently pursuing FDA clearance. He is currently on a leave of absence from the PhD program in Artificial Intelligence at Stanford University where he led a project using natural language processing to identify racial disparities in the California criminal justice system. He previously graduated from Stanford with an MS in Computer Science. He also co-founded machine learning companies DukaConnect and Sension (with Tom), both acquired.
While in high school, Catalin built a mobile payments system at PayNearMe with Macintosh-father Steve Capps. He has won the Lemelson-MIT Graduate Student prize, Stanford's Kennedy Medal, Forbes’ 30 under 30, and Business Insider’s 40 under 40. Originally from Germany, Catalin moved to Silicon Valley at age 17 and now lives in San Francisco with his partner Ruby.
Favorite Children’s Book: Die Kleine Raupe Nimmersatt (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)
Terry Winograd is Professor Emeritus in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. During his 40 years of teaching and research, he created and directed the Human-Computer Interaction Group and the teaching and research program in Human-Computer Interaction Design at Stanford. He was a founding faculty member of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the "d.school").
Winograd did pioneering research in artificial intelligence, in particular natural language understanding, during his PhD program at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab in the 1960s. His 1986 book with Fernando Flores, Understanding Computers and Cognition, marked a major departure in the philosophy underlying AI. He was a founding member and National President of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. He is a member of the ACM CHI Academy and an ACM Fellow. He received the 2011 CHI Lifetime Research Achievement Award. He is a Fellow of the Stanford Human-Centered AI Institute and is on the board of Corporate Accountability International and is Vice-Chair of the board of Bend the Arc, A Jewish Partnership for Justice. He has been a consultant to a number of companies, including Google, founded by Stanford students from his projects.
Winograd has been married to Prof. Carol Hutner Winograd, MD for 54 years. Together they have two daughters, Shoshana and Avra, and five grandsons.
His favorite children's books were A.A. Milne, including Winnie-the-Pooh, and the poetry in Now We Are Six.
Michael Auli is an industry scientist based in Menlo Park, California. His work spans machine learning, speech, and NLP, and he helped create projects such as wav2vec/data2vec, the widely used fairseq toolkit, the first modern feed-forward seq2seq models outperforming RNNs for NLP, and several top-ranked submissions at the WMT news translation task in 2018 and 2019. Before that, Michael was at Microsoft Research, where he did early work on neural machine translation and using neural language models for conversational applications. During his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, he worked on natural language processing and parsing.
Favorite children's book: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Lauren has been teaching and tutoring in the reading field since 2004, and has worked with students from preschool through college. She has a B.A. in English from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and her M.S. in Education with an emphasis in Reading Instruction from California State University, Fullerton. Lauren has training in the Orton-Gillingham method of instruction and is actively involved in the Science of Reading movement so that all children, including those of diverse backgrounds and neurologies, can become strong, motivated readers.
She lives in Southern California surrounded by a large extended family, including 8 nieces and nephews under age 4. They are all budding bookworms, at least according to their doting aunt.
Favorite Children’s Book: Charlotte’s Web
Victoria is a Software Engineering graduate from the University of Sheffield. During her time in university, she worked on building a social platform to allow for restaurant retailers and tourists to interact. She also worked on a data collection system to support animal survey schemes.
Victoria covers both front-end and backend software development for Ello and has an interest in machine learning. Victoria's goal is to build software systems that improve people’s lives and she strongly believes that software has the power to change the world for the better.
Victoria lives in Nairobi, Kenya and she enjoys spending time with friends and family, sketching, and photography.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Nancy Drew Mysteries
Anish is a software engineer who studied Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) at UC Berkeley. In the past, he has worked with ion thrusters for space flight, financial communication systems for loss mitigation, and tools for early-age autism diagnosis using wearable technology. Anish has a newfound interest in human-computer interaction (HCI) and wants to bridge the gap between novel research and impact. He loves to stargaze, watch the sunset, collect vinyls, and explore the corners of the cities around him.
James is a full stack software engineer who has worked for both startups and innovation labs for local and international companies. These include Dukaconnect a machine learning startup that was later acquired by Mastercard. This led to him joining Mastercard Labs For Financial Inclusion where he continued working on the product together with contributing to other projects that helped with financial inclusion for farmers, schools, and small retailers in Africa and India. He also worked for Safaricom Alpha an innovation lab for Safaricom, the leading communications company in Kenya where he helped work on an instant messenger that integrated payments using MPESA a mobile money transfer service in Kenya. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya.
Favorite Children’s Book: Aesop’s Fables
Andrew is a software engineer who previously worked at Apple before joining Ello. While at Apple, he was able to make major contributions and lead projects delivering wide impact in many areas including data privacy & access, health & research, and developer education. Andrew received his master’s degree in Electronic and Information Engineering from Imperial College London.
Andrew is passionate about education and building products that can deliver a positive social value. Outside of work, Andrew enjoys basking himself in the outdoors and can commonly be found enjoying himself on a bike or a pair of skis. Andrew is currently based in San Francisco.
Favorite Children’s Book: Clifford the Big Red Dog
Before Ello, Jackie co-founded three organizations focused on empowering individuals to achieve their potential: Dent Education, edwell, and YaYa. She has worked across early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary education as a teacher, consultant, and startup leader. As a former high school English teacher, Jackie was named an "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" by Baltimore City Public Schools in 2010. She received her MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University, her MA in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University, and her BA from Princeton University. She loves spending weekends outdoors with her husband, son Sawyer, and dog Kepler.
Favorite Children’s Book: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Alena graduated from Samara State Aerospace University with a BA in Informatics and Computer Science. She has been working primarily in Unity with C# ever since she started programming in the Game Industry in 2014, and participated in the development of a large number of hyper casual games.
Unity isn’t just work for Alena, but is also her main hobby. She’s an indie developer who has already published her own game.
Alena was born and raised in a village in Russia and now lives in Berlin with her husband, daughter, and two cats. She enjoys reading and is crazy about house plants, which she tracks caring for using a Trello board in true engineering style.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Moomins and the Great Flood
Eliachim previously worked for Mastercard Labs in Nairobi as a Lead Field Operations Manager, and later for a stealth Venture Capital firm based in San Francisco as a junior analyst, where he helped process and close 300+ early-stage investments.
Eli loves meticulous work and never gives up. Outside of work, he loves listening to music (he used to make music), and hanging out with family and friends. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya with his family.
Favorite Children's Book: Goat Matata
Sergii was born and raised Kharkiv, Ukraine. He graduated from Kharkiv National University of Civil Engineering and Architecture with a master's degree in civil construction and engineering. After graduating, he spent several years figuring out what to do next, including taking a couple of years to tour with his band.
His design career began with creating artwork and merchandise pieces for the band, and he quickly shifted from designing for other musicians to freelancing full-time. In 2021, his main project became developing Ello’s brand identity, as well as web and app design. Sergii lives in Ukraine with his wife Maria and their cat Slash.
Favorite Children’s Book: Kyrylo Kozhumyako
Andrew is a customer support agent with over 5+ years of experience in the field. He began working for the US Army immediately after high school where he found his passion in assisting people and being a big team player. Moving on, he worked with computer hardware companies like NZXT and Gigabyte in Customer Support as computer hardware is a big passion of his.
Currently, Andrew fields the customer support and service front of Ello. Answering customer questions, fixing account issues, and communicating problems to other departments are just some of his duties here. He lives near Los Angeles, California, and enjoys spending time playing video games, hanging out with his friends/family, and watching Japanese anime.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Percy Jackson Series
Doli works closely with the CEO providing administrative assistance. Before joining Ello, she worked as a customer service representative and as an assistant operations manager of an e-commerce business. She likes baking, and has a passion for singing. She enjoys teaching kids how to sing. She lives in Quezon Province, Philippines
Favorite Children’s Book: Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang (The Stories of Grandmother Basyang)
Lauren Barbaran is an Industrial Engineer who previously worked in a Social Media Marketing Agency as administrative and customer support. She also focused on social media content creation during her time at this agency, creating visuals and designs for different companies in different industries around the world.
Born in Perú but raised a few minutes from San Francisco, Lauren has always had an inclination for languages and helping others, as she often acted as an interpreter for her parents growing up. As a first-generation immigrant, Lauren began learning to read, write, and speak English at the age of four, making her passionate about education and helping those who may not have access to help at home due to language barriers.
During her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her family & friends, watching old 90’s shows (Boy Meets World is her favorite), traveling, and trying new foods!
Favorite Children’s Book: The Cat in the Hat
Before Ello, Zac worked in strategy consulting, electoral politics, and higher education. Most recently, he served as Director of Strategic Initiatives at Sarah Lawrence College, working closely with the president on institutional strategy. After starting his career in consulting at EY-Parthenon, Zac left for an internship in the U.S. Congress and worked his way up to state director for a presidential campaign before exiting politics for higher education. Zac received degrees in History and Public Policy from Duke University.
Zac is passionate about mission-driven organizations and improving education outcomes. He is a Kentucky native, an avid reader, and an enthusiastic outdoorsman, and he lives in Philadelphia with his partner Lauryn and their dog Finn.
Favorite Children's Book: Where the Wild Things Are
Brian is a full-stack developer and a mobile web specialist with 3+ years of experience building and maintaining business-critical applications. He loves creating tools that make people more efficient in their tasks. He is a creative professional with a diverse background that includes aircraft maintenance, graphic design, and marketing. He enjoys applying his varied knowledge to build reliable, maintainable, easy-to-use systems.
Favorite children’s books: Alice in Wonderland, Tales of Abunuwasi, Alibaba and the 40 thieves, and Icarus and Daedalus.
With over 13 years of experience in game development, Marllon started his career in his first semester at UniFacisa university, when he decided to use Unity as his main development tool. Since then, he has had the opportunity to work at companies like Stairs Graphics & Games, Yupi Studios, Spicy Rocket, Kaipora Digital, Universal Games Online, Prosperity Games, Instituto Alfa e Beto, Goodgame Studios and U4Hero!.
Marllon lives in Uberlândia, Brazil with his wife and daughter and loves playing multiplayer games, watching movies, studying the Bible and talking about Jesus.
Favorite children's book: "Heróis do Futuro" from the Geek magazine series.
Since childhood, Phillipe developed a love for digital games and solutions by playing Super Mario World with his parents.
He followed that love after four years of serving in the Brazilian Army and being decorated with the MINUSTAH Medal with an honorable mention by the UN for completing the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti over eight months.
After that, he began his studies in Analysis and Systems Development at UNIPAC Uberlândia, which allowed him to perform general and gaming software engineering services and application development.
With over eight years of experience in software development, he has worked at companies like Algar Tech, Cedro Technologies, and Instituto Alfa e Beto.
Phillipe was born and raised in Uberlândia, Brazil, and he now lives with his wife. He enjoys spending time with relatives and friends, playing video games, and having a good meal together.
Favorite Children's Books: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien and The Ranger's Apprentice Series by John Flanagan
Derlene runs the Brooklyn warehouse and loves packing up your Ello boxes each day! She began her career in early childhood education working at a local family daycare center, and she is enjoying leading warehouse operations for Ello.
Outside of work, Derlene is a proud aunt who loves reading with her nephew. She comes from a big family from the Dominican Republic. In her free time, she loves going for nature walks, working out, listening to music, and seeing animals at the aquarium or zoo.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin