Member Profile: Kenia Perez, Parents Helping Parents

Member Profile: Kenia Perez, Parents Helping Parents

Kenia Perez is a Family Resource Specialist at Parents Helping Parents (PHP), a non-profit organization that supports, educates, and inspires communities to build bright futures for people of all ages with special needs. Kenia helps manage resources and information for families facing a diagnosis or seeking an evaluation for a loved one. She supports and guides them through the complex systems of education, region, and community.

Kenia got her start in this field while teaching a parenting class throughout the Gilroy School District. Parents frequently asked her for more special need support for their child with an IEP (Individual Education Program). Not having the knowledge, Kenia took it upon herself to learn and acquire information about resources for these families. She joined a support group and was hired by PHP.

Kenia has been working with PHP for four years now. Her biggest influences are the parents. “When I listen to them speak about the lack of support and their love for family members in need, it sparks my determination to continue my efforts.” She is excited that PHP has established neighborhood offices on the east side of San Jose and in South County, Gilroy. Her hope is to establish another office for even more informational training and resources for families in Gilroy.

When looking for a space to work, one of Kenia’s supervisors suggested she try Greenhouse Coworking. “It is a very convenient and pleasant open space. I really like that it is clean, that it has a nice open spacious feeling, and green colors, which make me feel at home – but better! Wifi connection and free coffee are a must. The staff is very friendly and helpful.

Kenia balances work and personal time by keeping these two parts of her life separate. “At work, I like to focus – music helps”. Once Kenia leaves the office, she only spends time on her personal life. “I love spending time with my dog, a mixed wire-haired terrier!”

Member Profile: Ahmad Takatkah, KingsCrowd Capital

Member Profile: Ahmad Takatkah, KingsCrowd Capital

Hi. I am Ahmad Takatkah, General Partner at KingsCrowd Capital. I joined them as Senior Vice President of Investment Research, first to build quantitative ratings to evaluate investment opportunities in the online private market, then to manage venture funds.

My background in venture capital and data science is perfect for this work. I earned my MBA, was a Kaufman fellow, and spent eight years working in venture capital. I have enjoyed employment with N2V, Leap Ventures, and ArzanVC. I spent three years at Carta as a data scientist. They are a leader in cap table management and private equity technology.

In my free time, I run my own VC and data science blog — VCpreneur.com, reaching thousands of readers.  Hopefully, the education goes down easily when mixed with my own brand of entertainment!

I came to Satellite and found it offered the flexibility I needed. I can come in and grab a desk without booking weeks in advance. Previous coworking spaces didn’t have that. This flexibility allows me to be more spontaneous. Also, Ann R. Mejia makes the place feel like home. She is genuinely happy to help all of the time and spares no effort to make sure everyone has what they need.

I am new at Satellite, but look forward to meeting people and making new friends. This is what I miss the most about working at a big company’s office — building relationships, having lunch together, kitchen and water cooler conversations. Most kept to themselves at other coworking places. I look forward to making new friends here!

Soon, I will bring my dog to work. Taffy is the cutest dog you will ever meet! She is a full-grown Chihuahua + Yorkshire Terrier and just 5 pounds…smaller than a cat! Come ask me to show you her pictures!

Finally, did you know that you can now invest as little as $100 in startups?! Most people now dedicate a couple hundred dollars each month to invest in a new startup. On KingsCrowd.com we aggregate all crowd-investing opportunities, conduct thorough data-driven research, and give scores to help you decide where to invest. If you’re interested, come to me for a free 3-month trial.

Member Profile: Tony Martinez, negozee

Member Profile: Tony Martinez, negozee

Tony Martinez is a very active Satellite member! He is one of the founders of negozee, a startup that supports Hispanic business owners. He guides them in launching, organizing, and scaling their businesses for success in America. And he loves what he does.

How did you get into your career and business? How did it all start?

I used to work at a Hispanic tax/accounting association where I met many Hispanic tax professionals across the nation. Many of them told me that their clients (Hispanic small business owners) needed help organizing their business finances. There wasn’t much information in Spanish about entrepreneurship in America. So I decided to build a social learning company for Hispanics to learn how to launch, organize, and scale businesses in America.

What brought you to Satellite Workplaces Campbell?

After working from home all of 2021, I needed to find a place where I could focus. I first looked at a Regus but it was too dry and “corporate”. Then I looked at a WeWork but I hated that it was Downtown with limited parking and a lot of traffic.

I love Satellite Campbell because it’s at The Pruneyard in the middle of all the action. There’s plenty of parking and 20 minutes away from home.

What is your favorite thing about Satellite Workplaces?

The staff (Mia and Marissa) are super nice and helpful. It’s available 24/7 so I can show up anytime. It’s always chill and it’s never overcrowded. The location is great and the price is very affordable for an early-stage startup like ourselves.

What is the biggest influence on your life?

My biggest influences are my parents and millions of people like them who made the treacherous journey to immigrate to America in search of a better life. This is why our startup is focused on helping Hispanic immigrants launch businesses in America. We’re helping them overcome the language and cultural barriers of launching a business in a foreign land. 

What’s something you’re personally excited about right now?

Every year there are 1 million Hispanics in the US who start businesses. I’m excited about this huge market potential for our startup to serve. We’re getting some traction with 1,000 members on our platform and a few sponsors/partners.

How do you balance work and personal time?

It’s been a bit hard because the business is asking so much from me at this early stage, but I try to make sure at least Sunday is personal/family time. I understand that to have a productive work week I need to recharge and rest during the weekend. I also take random days off during the week when I don’t have meetings.

Do you have a website?

Yes, negozee.com. And we have an app launching Thursday, September 29th at 4:30 pm! It will be a virtual launch party – stop by and join! You can utilize many free learning tools on negozee’s website including setting up a FREE profile. Or start a subscription for $28/month.

I also host a Facebook Live event every Friday!

Member Profile: Matt Milburn

Member Profile: Matt Milburn

Felton member Matt Milburn settled into our downtown Satellite for his new ‘non-commute’ job in January 2020. His position in semiconductor equipment manufacturing involves design and invention. He has 4 independent patents and a fifth ‘collaborative’ in the works. Matt’s dad, who is his biggest influence, was an engineer. So, his nature has always been unassembling and reassembling…. Everything….since he was a kid.

Now, with his international company, Hamlin, based in Israel, Matt works in Felton until on-site work with teams is necessary for the test phase of projects. He calls himself a “plumber for the semiconductor manufacturing process”, designing intricacies of systems that safely carry gas, liquid, and vapors through the semiconductor manufacturing process.

After 20+ commuting years to UTC (Ultra Clean Technology Systems) in Hayward, his new ‘remote’ employer became a subsidiary of UTC within 2 years! He chuckles, “They didn’t have to buy the whole company to get me back”. Matt remains a remote worker for Hamlin, and the three hours he gained from not commuting goes to friends, family, hobbies, and quarterly community work. He shares his talents with the Twin Lakes Church as a Saturday mechanic for the ’Mom’s Angels’ program supporting widows and single moms, then provides leadership with their team for the DivorceCare program.

One of Matt’s favorite things about working at Satellite is having access to high-speed fiber-optic internet. It’s a necessity for his job and hard to come by in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The backup generator is also a plus!

Member Profile: Kirk Donnan

Member Profile: Kirk Donnan

I am the principal and lead content strategist at our B2B digital marketing agency, Donnan. We’ve always operated virtually, even before remote work was in vogue. Most of our writers are in Silicon Valley, but our current roster of strategists, art directors, and digital designers are in Berlin, Budapest, Krakow, London, and Oslo.

I earned a Master’s in Creative Writing and was sure every major magazine would buy my short stories. After filling an entire apartment wall with rejection letters, I realized  I needed to find a way to make money fast. Advertising seemed the natural choice. So I put a fake portfolio together and started interviewing at agencies and tech companies.

My two major influences are: The spiritual leader Eckhart Tolle, and the advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners. One keeps me in the moment,  the other keeps me on the edge of my profession.

Currently, I’m developing a 12-month content map for a software client. This will serve as the guide for all blog, eBook, whitepaper, case study, and webinar deliverables we develop over the next fiscal. Creating the overall vision is the best part.

I came to Satellite looking for a quiet place to have an emergency meeting. Both my good yard folks and cleaning folks arrived on my doorstep at the same time one Tuesday, seven years ago. I Googled “Sunnyvale work sharing space” and Satellite came right up.

My 3 favorite things about Satellite Workplaces Sunnyvale are: The design of the space, the high ceilings, and the unending quiet (most of the time). I have made networking connections easily here. I’ve hired several people I’ve met at Satellite on a project basis as contractors for our agency.

I would like to see the return of something from my early days at Satellite: meet-and-greet gatherings where we gave very short presentations to our coworking colleagues. They kept my presentation skills polished and I enjoyed them.

These days, I don’t let myself work past 6 pm. I’m in an industry that commands horrendous hours, and I have pulled my share of all-nighters while paying my dues. Now, I’m resentful when the workday looks like it might encroach on my new hobby: digital illustration. And that is a good thing, after being a workaholic for too many decades.

Member Profile: Timothy Lydgate, Mountain Mediator

Member Profile: Timothy Lydgate, Mountain Mediator

Hi Timothy. How did you get into being a mediator and why?

I’ve always been a good listener; it’s just natural to me.

I first trained back in the 1980s in Seattle as part of a Juvenile Diversion program, an early Restorative Justice model. (Note: Restorative Justice brings together people impacted by a crime — victim, community, perpetrator, mediator — to look at impacts and develop restorative consequences.) Before that, I’d lived in Hawaii and was introduced to a similar Hawaiian model, Ho’oponopono, or “drawing out the righteousness,” which made quite an impact on my young self. At this point in my life, this is the work I want to do.

I’ve worked and lived all over the world. I spent my senior year of high school in France, drove from London to Nairobi in 1969 and missed Woodstock because I was crossing the Sahara. I lived and worked in India and Nepal. I was going to be a photojournalist, interned at National Geographic. But (laughing) I didn’t have the ego for it.

I was a volunteer at the Conflict Resolution Center in Santa Cruz when I first trained in divorce mediation. This was 2010 or so. I loved it and have sat with nearly a hundred couples since, learned what to do and what not to do. I’ve trained people in community and divorce mediation locally and at Monterey College of Law and am now in my 2nd term on the board of the National Association for Community Mediation.

What brought you to Felton’s Satellite Workplace?

I live close by in Forest Lakes. It’s amazing here. I’ve been in Santa Cruz for 30 years and finally found a house in Felton, just before Covid. I try to keep costs down for divorcing couples, and the Satellite helps me do that — it’s a quality space with an easy to use scheduling interface and 24/7 access.

And in your spare time?

I’m a woodworker who makes heirloom accessories using figured hardwoods. I’m also a musician, playing guitar, with my wife who’s a singer. We’re both very happy to be part of the mountain community!