Meet Our Staff & Board


Our Staff

Impact Bay Area staff are Certified Impact Self-Defense Instructors, who have each completed over 150 training hours in full-force self-defense techniques. Our instructors are versed in physical, verbal and sexual abuse/assault awareness and prevention. We are committed to ending violence by sharing Impact's empowerment and self-defense classes with as many people as possible.

Our full-force courses are team-taught by a "Whistle" Instructor and a "Suited" Instructor. They work together to provide a comprehensive experience for our students.

The Whistle Instructor demonstrates physical and verbal techniques, facilitates group discussions, models how to fight back against a mock assailant, and coaches students during their fights.

The Suited Instructor wears protective gear and plays the role of an assailant, allowing our students to practice techniques from verbal boundary-setting to full-force blows in realistic scenarios.

Click here to LEARN MORE about becoming a Certified Impact Instructor.

Program Director



Dani Villalobos

Dani took her first Impact class in 2012. Inspired by the strength and community that the Impact curriculum creates, she became involved right away. She’s been an assistant, a greeter and videographer, and has started a charity running program (Running with Courage) the proceeds of which go directly towards Impact scholarships.

In 2014, Dani became the Program Director for Impact. In this position she oversees all public and private classes and ensures that students have the best experience possible when attending an Impact Bay Area class. Dani is also at the mid-way point of becoming a fully-trained Whistle Instructor. Dani is a Stanford alum and a black belt in American Kenpo. When not pitching in at Impact, Dani can be found running, kickboxing, or walking her curmudgeon of a dog around the sights of the bay.


Whistle Instructors 



Nicole DeVito

A cowgirl, skier, dancer, and lover of coconut frosted cupcakes, Nicole is delighted to be part of the Impact team as a certified whistle instructor.  In her own life, she relishes in the experiences of overcoming obstacles, doing things that she thought were impossible, and gently pushing herself out of her comfort zone. 

Nicole is continuously inspired by the powerful and courageous Impact students who do these very things each and every class. Outside of her work as an Impact instructor, Nicole is a licensed mind-body oriented psychotherapist with a private practice in the East Bay, an avid horseback rider, person to one cool kitty named Snoop Dogg, and a huge fan of having fun.



Michaela Pruter

Michaela moved to the Bay Area in 2007 and took her first Impact class in 2012. She was so impressed with the program that she immediately started volunteering as a class assistant.

Inspired by how empowering Impact classes can be, she began training to become an Impact Instructor and has been certified since early 2014. She is very happy to be part of the Impact Team and she enjoys teaching classes for teens and adults alike. Witnessing someone discover the power of their voice is one of her favorite class moments. 



Kathy Turner - Kathy has worked in the field of women's health for over 30 years. She took her first Impact class in 1998 and immediately experienced profound changes in her personal and professional life.

Kathy became an Impact instructor in 2000 and is dedicated to supporting women and girls in experiencing their strength, the power of their voice and their right to say No! 





 Jenny Williams

Jenny is a martial artist who took her first Impact class in 2001. She was impressed at the sense of empowerment and the healing that she gained from that class. It offered so much more than any other self-defense class or seminar she had experienced. This class had such a positive influence on how she lived her day to day life that decided to become an assistant.

Jenny became a certified Impact Bay Area instructor in 2008. With every class she teaches, Jenny feels honored to witness the courage and power that each student brings onto the mat.  



Amanda Wagner 

Amanda took her first Impact class in 2011. The experience was so empowering she immediately signed up to become an assistant and is now a certified whistle instructor and Program Director for Impact Bay Area. She has a passion for working with teens and young adults and sees great value in empowering them.

Amanda is grateful to be part of the self-defense and healing work that Impact does and continues to be inspired by the courage and strength that the students bring to every class. Amanda is on leave through 2015 while she teaches abroad.



Heather - Heather took her first Impact class in September of 2008. She had such an empowering and transformative experience that she became an instructor assistant a few months later. She served as the Coordinator of Assistants for three years, helping to ensure that all of our classes had volunteer assistants to support our instructors and our students.

Heather has logged more hours volunteering for Impact than any other individual, and we're deeply grateful. She was certified as an instructor in 2012. 


 Suited Instructors



Tim Kinney

Tim has studied a variety of martial arts for over twenty years, earning three black belts and numerous full-contact fighting awards. He has been working with Impact since 2007 and has previously served on Impact's Board of Directors.

Tim became involved with Impact after seeing a friend's public celebration. His passion for teaching is sustained by the courage, commitment, and spirit he sees displayed in Impact classes. He enjoys teaching Impact classes because they are practical and healing, and is sustained by the courage, passion, and commitment that Impact students demonstrate in class.When Tim isn't running around in a big padded suit, he and his wife are walking their three dogs.



Dan Waters

Dan earned a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the California State University at Sacramento in 2006. He has been an engineer for a California utility since 2006. In 2010 he became a licensed Professional Engineer.

He began his training to be a suited IMPACT instructor soon after attending his Aunt's Basics class public celebration/graduation and witnessing the power, courage, transformation and healing of each person in the class. He completed his instructor certification in December 2008. Dan lives in the Monterey Bay area with his partner Naomi, two black cats (Metaphor and Magenta), and a chocolate Lab (Sandy).



 Rudy Trejo

Rudy teaches at Impact because he has a 20 year old daughter and nieces of similar ages. He feels women and men of all ages have the right to be safe! He holds a second degree black belt and is certified in Executive Protection through the International training commission.

He is a Tactical Master Instructor in the CDT Non- Deadly Force Training Commission. He currently works in corporate security. Rudy enjoys spending his free time in the great outdoors, if he’s not fishing or gold prospecting you can find him on the firing line at the range.



Robert Oryall

Robert has spent 30 years practicing various forms of martial arts. He taught hundreds of Self Defense courses to law enforcement, military personnel, bodyguards, as well as civilian men, women and children. 

He has instructed martial arts in the Bay Area since 1985, but it wasn’t until he witnessed his first Bay Area Impact class that he said, “this is how self-defense should be taught; scenario based, full impact, and with guidance to students throughout the process in real time.”  He took his first Bay Area Impact class in January 2011 with the intention to become a suited instructor.  Robert joined the Board in April 2012. 

Robert Graduated from Notre Dame de Namur University and majored in Clinical Counseling and Administration of Non-Profits. After spending 20-years working in the Information Technology industry, Robert went to work for an LA based Private Protection firm where he doubles as a Defensive Tactics instructor for body guards. He is married with two children whom he mentors in horseback-riding, martial arts and soccer.   He enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, and golfing.  He is studying Japanese as a hobby and one of his goals this year is to compete in his first Triathlon. 

Class Assistants

Our volunteer assistants provide core support for our teaching team and model Impact techniques for our students. These wonderful Impact grads volunteer their time to assist our classes because they are committed to sharing the empowerment that they experienced with new students. 

If you are interested in becoming an Impact Instructor Assistant, please click here for more information.

Our Board

The Impact Bay Area Board of Directors is responsible for our fiscal health and programmatic quality.


Lisa Scheff, Executive Director

Like so many people, Lisa heard about Impact years before taking her first class. In 2010, after committing to a month of working with women in domestic violence situations in Nepal, Lisa was spurred on to finally attend an Impact Basics class. Not only did she gain skills that made her feel safer on her trip, she left the class amazed by the transformation she saw in herself and in others as a result of Impact Basics.

Drawn to share the empowering experience of Impact with others, Lisa joined the Board of Directors in 2011. After serving as both Fundraising Chair and Board Chair, Lisa became Executive Director of Impact Bay Area in April 2012.



Ruby Reid, Board Chair

Ruby took her first Impact class when she was 19 years old. In the 13 years since then, the skills she learned saved her life several times. After taking the Basics Course, Ruby immediately began volunteering for Impact to give back to this amazing organization that had given her so much. Over the past 13 years, Ruby continued to volunteer in many different roles, including assisting classes, video-taping public celebrations, coordinating fundraisers, and stuffing lots of envelopes. She has served on Impact Bay Area's Board of Directors since 2009. She became Board Chair in April of 2012.

Ruby is a professional social worker. She is the National Data & Analytic Director for Democracy for America, a people-powered grassroots political organization. Ruby and her husband live with two furry felines, Roscoe and Dexter. She enjoys reading, knitting, playing in the great outdoors, and fostering orphaned kittens.


Join Our Board!  Secretary: Open Position

Join Our Board!  Volunteer and Alumni Coordinator: Open Position



Michele Wolpe, At-Large Board Member

Michele Wolpe has is a communications professional and has led employee communications as well as other roles at DHL Worldwide Express, Charles Schwab, Barclays Global Investors, Silicon Graphics and the Walt Disney Company.  Before moving to the corporate world she worked for five years leading language and literacy programs for a nonprofit educational organization, San Francisco School Volunteers. 

She has also worked as a consultant and executive coach. She currently is Director of Employee Communications for Autodesk, a Bay Area software company.  Michele holds a master’s degree in international management and a B.A. in French from UC Davis.  She is fluent in Spanish and French. In her spare time she loves to travel, dance, hike, swim and go to the theater.  She has two grown sons, Nick and Derek and a (mostly) loving cat, Vera.



Rose Yount, At-Large Board Member

Rose took her first Impact class in the beginning of 2014 and felt incredibly moved by the bravery of her classmates, and the care of her instructors. She wanted to help spread the empowerment that she felt. She remained close with her classmates, and felt that the entire community of Impact is full of supportive people that relate on levels of self-care and mutual respect, which are qualities that can be rare to find. She wants to provide opportunities for this community of kind and empowered people to gather and align with other local communities and spread their message.

Rose works in Advertising as a Presentation Designer, so it's her job to care about clean design and developing the most effective ways of communicating information. She has lived in Moscow and Beijing, and she can tell you that communicating in Chinese is far more fun than in Russian.



Casey Shultz, At-Large Board Member

Casey took her first IMPACT basics class in March of 2014 after the traumatic experience of being mugged in San Francisco. After only three days in the IMPACT classroom surrounded by passionate instructors and supportive classmates, Casey learned skills that transformed her ability to live in a city and empowered her to take her safety into her own hands. Casey joined the IMPACT board in June 2014. 

Casey grew up in Alaska where she developed a passion for outdoor adventures and community engagement. Her quest for learning how to build sustainable communities led her to Presidio Graduate School where she received her MBA in Sustainable Management in 2014. She currently manages community and events for the Citrix Startup Accelerator in Santa Clara. When Casey isn’t volunteering for IMPACT Bay Area or working in Silicon Valley she can be found riding her bike along the California coastline or camping in the redwoods with her partner, Bradley.


Board Committees

Committee members are active volunteers who contribute 5-20 hours per month to support Impact's mission in powerful and tangible ways. We welcome new members to Board Committees - we hope you will join us.

Publicity & Marketing Committee

  • Share information about Impact's classes and conduct public outreach.
  • Create materials to promote Impact's classes and mission.

Volunteer & Alumni Committee

  • Engage graduates, supporters and volunteers to become more involved with Impact Bay Area.
  • Organize alumni events to build community.

Fundraising & Development Committee

  • Organize fundraising events and donation drives.
  • Research and apply for grants and other funding sources.

Program Committee

  • Work with Instructors to create new curriculum, including specialized courses for specific communities. 
  • Work with Instructors to evaluate and improve current curriculum.

Join Us!

We are always looking for qualified individuals to join Impact Bay Area's Board of Directors and our Committees. Please visit the Join our Board page and fill out the form. Then email a short statement of interest and/or your resume to