Our Board

The IMPACT Bay Area Board of Directors is responsible for our fiscal health and programmatic quality. We are always looking for qualified individuals to join IMPACT Bay Area's Board of Directors. Please visit the Join our Board page to learn more. Then email a short statement of interest and/or your resume to stephanie@impactbayarea.org.  


Stephanie Somersille, Board Chair

Stephanie joined the board in May, 2018 after taking the 24 hour Basics class the previous November. She is excited about IMPACT’s mission and committed to helping as many people as possible learn to keep themselves safe and secure.

Stephanie has expertise in mathematics, finance, teaching methodologies and game theory including strategic planning. Through her consulting work, she has experience bringing varied groups together to achieve common goals.

Stephanie holds a BA in Economics from Yale University and a PhD in mathematics from University of California, Berkeley. She does math research and consults in various areas including machine learning, data science, math education and mathematical finance.

In her free time Stephanie can be found surfing, volunteering at the ballet and symphony, taking ballet classes or helping care for the animals at The Marine Mammal Center. You can reach Stephanie at stephanie@impactbayarea.org.


Erica Chesley, Board Secretary

Erica is a Program Manager with the Oracle Education Foundation, a non-profit funded and staffed by Oracle. She holds a BA in Math and Classics from Carleton College in Minnesota and an MA in Learning, Design, and Technology from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. Prior to working at Oracle, Erica taught Math and computer science at the secondary school level and supported her colleagues in implementing technology in effective and meaningful ways. Born and raised in San Francisco, Erica took an IMPACT Basics class during her senior year of high school and the sense of empowerment, strength and camaraderie that she discovered there has stayed with her to this day. In joining the board, she hopes to help more people have access to that experience. In addition to her work with IMPACT, Erica volunteers with the Computer History Museum, the DSE Running Club, and the Oracle Women’s Leadership team. She enjoys travel, board games, young adult literature, and recently took up pottery! Erica joined the IMPACT Bay Area board in April 2019.



John Tudor, Board Treasurer

John joined the board in September of 2017 after attending an introductory training session with his wife. He was impressed by importance of the mission, the quality of the instruction, and IMPACT’s commitment to the empowerment of women. John was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, where he graduated from the University of Cape Town with a degree in finance. He left South Africa as a Rhodes Scholar to attend Oxford University where he received his MA. After working in Europe and Asia as a business strategy consultant for Monitor Company, John came to the US to attend Harvard Business School. Having graduated with his MBA, he worked for Bain Capital’s private equity fund in Boston. John left Bain Capital to join FFL, a private equity firm in San Francisco where he was until he retired. Since leaving his career in finance, John has been volunteering time at various non-profits in the Bay Area. John and his wife live in Marin with their two sons, and a Labrador.


Nicole Avshalomov, At-Large Board Member

Nicole joined the board in early 2020, not long after her first Women's Intro to Self-Defense class. Nicole was blown away by how much she learned and was inspired by her training, and she believes the skills IMPACT is providing are skills that should be available to everyone. 
Nicole works as a licensed clinical social worker with people suffering from trauma, depression, and anxiety. When she's not working at her private practice or volunteering at IMPACT, she can be found running Lake Merritt, connecting with friends, and trying to decide what hobby she wants to focus on.


Nav Gill, At-Large Board Member

Nav was so impressed by the IMPACT model and training when she took the 24 hr Basics class, that she joined the Board right away. 
The IMPACT vision of 'everyone deserves to be safe so they can live a fuller, more confident life' resonated deeply with her.
Inspired by her teacher Sensei Fukuda (the first woman to achieve 10th Dan) who broke the glass ceiling for women in martial arts, Nav had setup a grassroots organization in India to teach at-risk girls self-defense and judo. She now hopes to spread the IMPACT training model and take it to India.
She has a bachelors in Economics from Punjab University and MBA from University of Massachusetts/SF State. She has worked in Finance, Tech, AI, and is currently a Product and Tech strategy consultant. 
She is a PADI dive instructor, novice sailor, and volunteers all over the world to protect endangered species. 


Shawneshia Hoover

Shawneshia Hoover, At-Large Board Member

Shawneshia Hoover is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist who earned her Masters degree in Community Mental Health Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. They specialize in working with system impacted youth and families who experience histories of complex trauma.  They have over 7 years of experience in the clinical non profit sector of the greater bay area. Shawneshia has offered services to dual diagnosis treatment centers for youth and Families, Clinical support to foster care youth and families as well as mental health support/advocacy for African American and POC queer and trans youth. They currently work as an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant and Family Therapist in partnership with the city and county of San Francisco. 

Shawneshia Hoover joined the Board July of 2020, after serving 5 months as a board candidate. They participated in the Women of color three day intensive basic training February of 2020. They were thrilled to discover the course allowed for them to exercise full force. Navigating the world as a masculine of center, full figured and strong individual; they have found themselves in countless high risk situations. When confronted, they have been expected to act as the protector in their intimate partnerships. Impact has allowed for them to process the harm and lasting effects of these traumatic events and role expectations in a safe and nurturing space. Furthermore allowing for them to discover the totality of both their physical and internal strengths.

You can find Shawneshia spending their free time sewing/designing clothes, creating some cool art and researching Totem animals.


Michelle Lee, At-Large Board Member

IMPACT Bay Area is a non-profit that teaches self-defense, personal safety, conflict management, and verbal boundary setting with a focus on women, LGBTQ, and teens/young adults. It’s a safe space for anyone who has been made to feel small or vulnerable — and it has personally been one of the most transformative and empowering experiences for me. 

As someone who tends to be self-critical and uncomfortable with conflict, I came out of my Women’s Basics class in 2017 walking 2” taller down any street and into any meeting room at work, knowing that I have the skills and strength to navigate conflict and protect myself. In 2019, I returned to take the Multiple Assailants class and felt more powerful with my voice and body than ever before -- this time, knowing that I can defend myself against 3-4 attackers at a time under an adrenalized state. Through Impact, I've been able to find my voice, set boundaries, and defend myself with strength and courage that I never thought I had.

I attribute so much of my personal happiness and professional success to my learnings on that mat. It's the best investment I've made in my own growth, and my hope is to scale the transformative power of the Impact experience, particularly among women of color who are in need of a safe space to discuss their unique experiences with safety and violence in their communities. I invite you to join me in expanding the reach of this program to help more individuals and communities find their voice and strength again.



Jessica Pocalyko, At-Large Board Member

Jessica Pocalyko is a Senior Learning & Organization Development Consultant for Dignity Health, a California-based non-profit healthcare organization. She received her Master of Science in Organization Development (MSOD) from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Jessica has worked extensively with non-profit organizations in both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Jessica specializes in change management, group facilitation, cultural awareness, meeting and conference design, strategic planning, and leadership and team development. As an Impact Bay Area board member, Jessica hopes to support growth and expand community partnership while staying true to IMPACT's mission and values. 



Monica Stone, At-Large Board Member

Monica joined the board in November 2016, motivated by her passion for empowering women and the LGBT population. She wants all people to be able to defend themselves verbally and/or physically. Monica and her two adult daughters have felt empowered by their IMPACT training and want to make the training available to everyone across the Bay Area.

Monica works as a marriage and family therapist with couples and individuals suffering from sexual difficulties as well as depression, PTSD, and anxiety. She mentors younger therapists and is active in her neighborhood organizing for carbon reduction and emergency preparedness. Monica loves bringing together her large extended family with her husband of 35 years as well as hiking, body surfing and reading about the world.



Jonathan Wang, At-Large Board Member

Jonathan Wang became a suited instructor with Impact Los Angeles back in the mid-90s after his future wife, Heather - an IMPACT graduate and instructor herself - introduced him to the program. Jonathan joined the board of Impact Bay Area in 2019. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer at FACES SF which provides early childhood education and workforce development services to San Francisco families. Jonathan’s career also includes time as the Director of Finance and Administration at New Door Ventures, and many years in IT, Operations, and Human Resources at the San Francisco Chronicle. He earned his BA in Political Science from UC Irvine and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Jonathan and Heather live in San Francisco and have two sons in college.