Thanks for Joining Us September 29, 2016

Our 10th Annual In Harmony with Hope Awards Ceremony was September 29, 2016 at 6:30pm at Kohl Mansion in Burlingame, California. If you missed it, you can still join us by watching the video, above, as we celebrated the accomplishments of three Bay Area social entrepreneurs who are creating local change with national impact.

About Elfenworks “In Harmony with Hope: Elfenworks works for hope in America by fostering creative and technology solutions that advance change. Elfenworks identifies chasms, creates change, and amplifies success, whether cultivating thousands of student social justice filmmakers in partnership with Campus MovieFest, promoting peace initiatives, assisting nonprofits safely navigate IT security, or helping people cope with stress through the Breathing Butterfly project. Visit for big and small ways to make a difference.

2016 In Harmony with Hope Honorees

Press Release 2016 (PDF)  |  About IHH Award   |   Post Event Press Release

Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, Founder and CEO,
Redwood City, CA ~ BUILD

2016headshot-klahrSuzanne McKechnie Klahr crafted BUILD’s curriculum of entrepreneurship to engage disenfranchised students in under-resourced high schools and to prepare them for college and career success. Klahr had the vision to marry Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial spirit with young people who were eager for programming that was relevant to them. Students develop business plans and take their products to market. Today, BUILD’s experiential teaching model, which incorporates business and life skills, reaches more than 1,400 students in 24 high schools across the country, and boasts a 97% on-time graduation rate.

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Laura Weidman Powers, Co-Founder & CEO,
San Francisco, CA ~ CODE2040

2016headshot-powersLaura Weidman Powers cofounded CODE2040 to build pathways to success for people of color in the tech industry. CODE2040 creates opportunity for Blacks and Latinx, who earn 18% of the computer science bachelor’s degrees, but who make up less than 10% of the tech sector workforce. CODE2040’s flagship program places paid Fellows at scores of Bay Area companies, and supports them with a full complement of wrap-around services. Additional programs expose hundreds of minority students each year to the possibilities of innovation economy career paths and train them to succeed in those careers.

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Doniece Sandoval, Founder & CEO,
San Francisco, CA ~ Lava Mae

2016headshot-sandovalDoniece Sandoval’s Lava Mae provides showers for San Francisco’s 7,000 homeless people. Six days a week, Lava Mae’s distinctive blue buses (transformed, retired MUNI buses) are strategically stationed in front of a partner nonprofit, providing easy access to complementary services, in addition to a welcome opportunity to privacy and cleanliness. The model is being replicated around the country, and services in San Francisco are expanding to include things like monthly “pop-up” care villages, easing access to the full range of services their guests need, and further delivering Lava Mae’s unique brand of radical hospitality.
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kayleGUEST EMCEE: Charly Kayle

Local radio personality Charly Kayle began her career in the Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and hosted morning shows across the country before landing in the Bay Area. A strong animal advocate, she is mom to two dogs and three cats, and is an active and involved volunteer with local animal rescue organizations. She finds sanctuary at Ocean Beach, where her German Shepherd is also in heaven, or at one of the area’s renowned local vineyards, where everyone is a happy camper.

Performing Artist: Kathleen Elle

2016headshot-elleKathleen Elle is a singer/songwriter who recognizes the incredible power of music and strives to make a difference with hers. She is the grand prize winner of the 2016 Elfenworks Campus MovieFest Social Justice Prize for her original anti-bullying song, “Don’t Let Them In.” Her music has also been recognized for its social impact by Seventeen Magazine and Abercrombie & Fitch. She is a 2015 National YoungArts winner in the singer/songwriter category. Kathleen is currently attending Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University for Music Composition and Music Education. In her spare time, she visits schools to perform and talk about anti-bullying and the power of music. Visit to learn more.

Performing Artist: Jonny Shorr Band

2016headshot-shorrJonny Shorr is a singer/songwriter and producer born and raised outside of Chicago. A recent graduate from the University of Southern California Music Industry program, Jonny won the Elfenworks Social Justice award with his song “Grace” in 2014. The song was also part of a charity campaign that raised more than $20,000 for therapeutic arts programs dedicated to individuals with special needs. In 2015, he lived in London and wrote with Rollover Records. Currently, Jonny resides in Los Angeles, where he writes and produces with a variety of artists at TEN Music Group and works on music for television and film. He is extremely excited to be back with Elfenworks to perform his rendition of “For Our Time.”

Corporate Partner: Wells Fargo Bank

For the sixth year in a row, Wells Fargo has committed to supporting the awards program with a generous $10,000 contribution – and this year we were also assisted backstage by a Wells Fargo employee volunteer (thanks, Alan!). Beyond the financial award that is given to honorees, the event also provides an opportunity for an exciting exchange of ideas when past and current honorees meet and discuss their shared vision for a better America.

PR / Media Downloads

About Our Founding CEO, Dr. Speeth

Lauren SpeethFilmmaker, educator and social entrepreneur Lauren Speeth has spent all her working life in the Bay Area, primarily in software engineering, from startups to the Fortune 50 level, but also as an educator, teaching mathematics and statistics at the graduate and undergraduate levels.  She leverages a Silicon Valley mindset, the power of partnership, and a gift for storytelling to foster creative solutions on the cutting edge of hope.  Dr. Speeth holds an undergraduate degree from Mills College, various graduate degrees including a DMin from BGU, a lifetime California Community College Teaching Credential (Finance, Management, and Computers), and an Advanced Computer Security Professional Credential from Stanford, where she also completed both an Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders and her CPE (chaplaincy training). Speeth serves an External Advisor to the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, where she was an architect/programmer for their website, orchestrating their launch with A Concert for Hope. Speeth is a Lifetime Member of the Board of Councilors at The Carter Center, a Regent Emeritus of Saint Mary’s College of California, a former Trustee of Mills College of California, and Violin I Emeritus with The Peninsula Symphony.

Speeth’s works in various media – web, film, books, music, multimedia – have garnered critical acclaim (see Elfenworks Productions) and she is much sought after as a public speaker and judge of media content. For her work as a social entrepreneur, Speeth was named one of 40 Women of Influence by Saint Mary’s College and awarded a Doctor of Law Honoris Causa from Golden Gate University. Lauren and the team believe that YOU can make an exceptional difference. That’s why her greatest passion is fostering student changemakers (See the Global Glance), reminding them to ...never underestimate your ripple!  


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