The following post was written by Community Tech Network.

Over the past two years, Community Tech Network (CTN) has proudly participated in the San Francisco Bay Area Encore Fellows™ Program. This unique opportunity matches highly skilled, experienced professionals approaching retirement with social sector organizations in need of capacity building. Fellows are paid a stipend for projects lasting 6 to 12 months.

Launched in 2009, the San Francisco Bay Area program is the flagship Encore Fellows™ program and has delivered close to 200,000 hours of high-impact work to local nonprofits. Organizations hire fellows to add vital leadership talent, boost needed capacity, fill interim roles, and use fellowships to test talent to assure a fit for permanent positions.

Kami Griffiths, executive director and co-founder of CTN, adds her perspective: “We love the Encore program! I have been so impressed by these fellows. I really appreciate their experience and level of professionalism. Because of their help we’ve been able to move many projects forward that would have put on the back burner.”

These three professionals have worked with Community Tech Network.

Carol Simmons. Carol Simmons is CTN’s first Encore Fellow and current operations director. This wide-ranging role has allowed Carol to use her skills as a former public library director and consultant to manage CTN’s Digital Literacy Awards; set up IT support; assist in fundraising, project evaluation, and strategic planning; create and edit policies and partnership documents; and provide support to staff and volunteers. CTN’s mission, “Transforming Lives Through Digital Literacy,” is a perfect fit for Carol’s experience and interests.


Mark Szymanski. Mark came to CTN by way of IBM to develop a project plan for a new revenue stream we hoped to launch. With 40 years of experience in computer science and technology, and possessing a high level of analytical skills and attention to detail, Mark worked closely with the executive director and a board member to develop the requirement documents needed to begin developing a wireframe prototype.


Lauren Cotter. Lauren was looking for the right nonprofit to support with her 40 years of experience in marketing, sales, and communications. She was excited to join CTN as an Encore Fellow just as the COVID-19 pandemic struck. She uses her skills in branding, strategic media and marketing, social media, Google Ads, analytics content and design, and public relations to further spread awareness of CTN’s mission and impact and in promoting CTN’s newest program, Home Connect.


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