Meet The Directors

If we want to train young people to change the world, they need to be guided by world-class people to help them along their journey. Our TKS Directors are incredibly talented people with unique backgrounds and experiences.

"We cannot solve today's problems with yesterday's thinking. Collaboration and creativity are key to integrate ideas across traditional silos and perspectives. We need more intersectional innovators."

- Michael

Michael Raspuzzi, Boston & Virtual

Michael Raspuzzi is a serial entrepreneur who focuses on innovation in digital health and global food systems. Formerly, as CEO/Co-Founder of Culinary AI Labs, he helped build algorithms to personalize nutrition support; and as Design Instructor for both the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Harvard University John. A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, he focuses on applied learning and curriculum development at the intersection of design, engineering, and entrepreneurship. Raspuzzi received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and an inaugural Master in Design Engineering from Harvard University—where his project EMMA: Maternal Healthcare Coach, earned him the MDE 2018 Thesis Prize. He serves on the board of directors for Life Changing Labs supporting the Cornell startup community and on the executive board for the Boston Hub of the Global Shaper Community from The World Economic Forum.

"Mastering the ability to teach yourself anything, especially anything technical, is the most valuable skill you can invest in right now. Memorizing information for a test won't help you solve problems in the real world, whereas being able to teach yourself anything challenging and learning how to apply that knowledge will enable you to maximize your impact on the world."

- Hayley

Hayley Caddes, New York

Hayley worked as a genetic engineer designing iron-oxidizing bacteria and a bioreactor system to produce sustainable biofuels. Before launching the TKS New York program, she was the lead data scientist at BerlandTeam (now Decode_M), a market research firm where she founded and built their data science practice and developed analytical tools with natural language processing for companies like Lyft, Airbnb, WeWork, Nike, and Illumina. Hayley has a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University.

"True technical leadership requires a deep understanding of the underlying technology itself, along with a keen intuition for the operational and strategic tradeoffs that must be constantly evaluated. Aspiring leaders need to train themselves to be able to talk shop to anyone in their organization, from engineers to front line operators. There are few who truly excel at this skill - those that do are invaluable and visionary leaders."

- Brandon

Brandon Jennings, New York

Brandon is a passionate technology strategist, focusing on enterprise applications. A mechanical engineer by training, Brandon has held a variety of technical and operational roles in his career. Formerly, as the CEO/Co-Founder of JS Operations, he worked with clients in the consumer product space to integrate technology into their supply chain operations through developing novel applications of IoT systems. Brandon also worked as a Product Manager for Bowery Farming, helping define and build the future of precision agriculture. Brandon has worked at McKinsey, SpaceX, Raytheon, Li & Fung, and the US Army R&D center. He received his MBA from MIT Sloan, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and his BSE in Mechanical Engineering from Penn. At MIT, Brandon was a Leaders for Global Operations Fellow, where he published work on leveraging technology to solve operational challenges in companies located in developing economies. He is an avid endurance athlete, and loves to train for triathlons and ultramarathons.

“Humanity is still in its technological infancy with a future that could be marvellous — our creative limit is nowhere near being reached. To underutilize the opportunity we each have to contribute to what humanity could one day become would be a tragedy.”

- Steven

Steven ten Holder, Vancouver & Virtual

Steven conceived of and founded Acorn Biolabs, a bioengineering startup accelerated by Y-Combinator, incubated by Johnson&Johnson’s JLABS, and funded by over $3.3M of venture investment from top Canadian VC investors including Real Ventures, Telus Ventures, and Globalive Capital. Acorn non-invasively collects, transports, and cryopreserves young cells directly from consumers to help superpower future longevity therapeutics like 3D bioprinting. During his time at the University of Waterloo, Steven used CRISPR to design an anti-viral immunity system for Arabidopsis plants. Steven co-led the work to bring that design to life in the lab and his team received a gold medal in synthetic biology from MIT (iGEM). He’s also a published scientific author who implemented a mathematical model of antibiotic resistance into a bacterial system by engineering plasmid incompatibility.

"Instead of saying that we need more people that do good in the world, why not be the one that does the good? We must change in order to make a difference in the world, let us be the inspiration."

- Raj

Raj Jhaveri, Los Angeles & Virtual

Raj is a technologist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He obtained his Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Biology at The Ohio State University and continued his graduate studies at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His focus has been in the Digital Health, Medical and Biotechnology Industry, as well as in the Clean Energy sector more particular to Electric Vehicle Charging infrastructure. He has worked with Bio-Reference Laboratories, Sage Science, Bio-Genex, Pfizer, Abpro Labs, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Genentech, and the Department of Defense in the past. Raj has played a role as an advisor, founding member, investor or the Chief Technology Officer at multiple companies such as Safe Health, Face2Face Health, Opu Labs, VX Partners, EV Connect, Zoom, Pinterest, Chewy, Slack, and many more. He was previously an in-house mentor at Techstars, an industry consultant for General Catalyst Partners, and an advisor for IBM Watson Health’s Oncology Project.

"If we create the right environment for the right people, then we will unlock a better future for everyone. Right now we should be building things, or enabling others to build."

- Noel

Noel Hurst, Las Vegas & Virtual

With experience building billion-dollar companies and creating multiple new lines of revenue for Las Vegas local business, (an Amazon subsidiary), Noel Hurst has spent her career understanding systems and customers. Noel continues to help Zappos develop new lines of business, even creating an internship program for TKS students that enables students to get first-hand experience in business development with industry experts.

"Life isn't going to be spoon-fed to you. You need to realize that you own your success, no one else. The faster you realize this, the sooner you start your life."

- Ian

Ian Lockhart, Ottawa

Ian Lockhart is an energetic entrepreneur and public speaker who started his own investment fund prior to joining TKS. During that time, he invested in dozens of young entrepreneurs to help them turn their ideas into profitable businesses, including multi-million dollar revenues. Early in his career, Ian was focused on a series of startups that raised over 15M dollars in funding. Ian has worked with Fortune 500 brands in media, manufacturing, automotive, and e-commerce. Previously, Ian was a part of a Private Equity Fund, managing portfolios and leading acquisitions. To this day he continues to invest in entrepreneurs financially and through advisory positions

"Have a growth mindset. Recognize that your intelligence, social skills and athleticism didn't come at a fixed level - and neither did anyone else's. Our brains are plastic enough to recover most functions even after removing an entire hemisphere! Use that potential for growth to your advantage."

- Amna

Amna Hyder, Boston & Virtual

Amna Hyder has spent several years working with Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) and developing diagnostic tools for various brain disorders including autism, concussions, eating disorders and cerebral palsy among many more. She got her graduate degree in neuroscience at the University of British Columbia. As the founder and CEO of the company BabyChild, she was able to apply her neuroscience background to the development of educational kids’ toys and bring the companies revenue to 1 million dollars in a year while developing research backed developmental products for kids.

“Applying concepts and methods learned under the umbrella of one specialty to a completely new field has birthed many of the greatest innovations we’ve seen. It’s important to explore broadly, but also to go deep in a few select areas - this is the playbook for generating intersectional ideas, yet so few people follow it.”

- Kim

Kim Parnell, Toronto

Kim is a serial entrepreneur that has been involved in a wide variety of ventures – from organizing conferences & events to TV hosting & production to founding, and later successfully exiting, a commercial cleaning company. Kim’s most recent venture was co-founding the data architecture startup Truebase. Using the internally developed, open source data notation “Truth”, Truebase works with many different types of companies across Canada, the US and Australia, to create highly structured data models in the form of ontologies. These ontologies are used to power various business systems such as knowledge graphs, semantic networks, intuitive search, recommendation engines and various machine learning models. Kim loves working with creative & curious individuals, specifically, the young ambitious ones. She has served as an entrepreneurship coach for organizations such as YES (youth entrepreneurship arm) and as a mentor to the startup incubator, Founder Institute. She works closely with educational institutions like Georgian College (Big Data Analytics Program) as an industry advisor, and helps provide students with real world project experience. She is a frequent speaker on technology topics and shares much of her entrepreneurial journey on her various social media accounts.

"Effort is not a metric of success. Want to break the mould? Want to do things others thought were impossible? Stop measuring your success through your efforts and start measuring it through your impact. This mindset alone will help you become successful, influential and happy in life."

- Harrison

Harrison Nolan, Toronto

A serial entrepreneur from the age of 17 Harrison has built, grown and acquired multiple service based and technology businesses over the course of his career. Harrison has scaled businesses to manage hundreds of employees, has personally consulted with fortune 100 brands, and has taken on opportunities ranging from advertising and marketing, to neuroscience and chronic stress.

"Live your life with complete intentionality - you get to choose your friends, the problems you want to commit to solving and how to react to whatever life throws your way."

- Nadim

Nadim Nasser, Toronto

Nadim has spent over a decade in the education and development sectors across East Africa, Central Asia and India. As part of the founding team of the University of Central Asia, Nadim was responsible for leading Student Recruitment, Curriculum Development and Academic Operations for the first three University campuses launched in the mountain areas of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan (valued at over $200M). Nadim has also launched and led summer camps and youth development programs for kids 9 – 18 years in areas of emerging technologies, service and leadership. He finds passion in leading workshops and facilitating sessions in a way that is interactive, child-centered and activity based.

Education is one of the only tools of the 18th century that is still recognizable today - and it shouldn't be. One of the most important challenges we face right now is redefining what is means to educate young people in a way that empowers them to learn independently, problem solve, and reason critically through novel and complex situations.

- Kelle

Kelle Snow, Las Vegas

Kelle is an educator and curriculum designer focused on disrupting traditional education and training models to provide more effective learning support to students and professionals alike. Kelle is an experienced education researcher with a Master of Science in Educational Psychology and has successfully developed and launched multiple learning support, training, and mentoring programs in higher education and private industry. She has additionally served as the Director of Assessment and College Effectiveness at UNLV where she leveraged qualitative, quantitative and action research models to support effective and fair instructional practice and outcomes across the college.