Our team’s strength is in its diversity, but we are united by our passion and commitment to effecting social impact.
- Jane Leu Founder & CEO
Jane is an internationally recognized serial social entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow with over 20 years of experience building successful start-up ventures, including Smarter Good, Upwardly Global, Ashoka U, craigslist nonprofit venture forum, RefugeeWorks, and Harvard’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations. Passionate about socio-economic, ethnic, and geographic diversity in the social sector, Jane teaches social venturing to MBAs at Stanford and mentors changemakers in the US and globally. She holds an MA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA cum laude from Tufts University. When not working across every global time zone, she enjoys hiking in the hills of California with her husband, Ted Levinson, a social finance professional, and their dog, Tully.
- Priscilla HeffelfingerManaging Director
Priscilla is excited to share her 20 years of development expertise with Smarter Good’s clients. She arrived in Manila following a lead role on a USAID-funded project at BRAC University in Bangladesh. Priscilla is the co-founder and President of Thrive, a nonprofit organization that delivers healthy food to children living in the slums of Dhaka and Manila. Before moving overseas, Priscilla conducted research and fundraising for NORC, universities, and nonprofits. Priscilla has a Master’s from the Erikson Institute. When not at work, you will most likely find Priscilla seeking outdoor fun with her family of six.
- Geo CornebyDevelopment Manager
Geo brings seven years of experience in business development and corporate philanthropy to Smarter Good. Most recently she managed Microsoft’s grant giving strategy in the Philippines and implemented nationwide projects that provided tech solutions to schools, NGOs, and communities. Earlier in her career, she built the CSR arm of outsourcing firm MicroSourcing. In that role, she created a signature “impact sourcing” program that connected out-of-school youth to stable, higher-paying employment. Geo holds a degree in BS Management from the Ateneo de Manila University. Apart from work, Geo enjoys riding her bike and exploring mountains.
- Carl JavierCreative Director
Carl is an accomplished writer and editor, who began writing as a beat reporter when he was a college freshman. Over the past 16 years he has written for print and online publications, contributed to projects ranging from technical writing and reports to biographies and coffee table books, and worked in television and film. He has authored books of fiction, essays, poetry, and comics. He holds a BA in English Studies and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines. He is also Managing Editor of Anino Comics, which won two National Book Awards in 2016.
- Tin PalomoDevelopment Manager
Tin has 25 years of experience in social work. She served as Assistant Director of Programs for a New York-based nonprofit working to improve the quality of life of older persons. She also founded the Corporate Social Responsibility consulting group, Full Responsibility, where she consulted clients, including the Asian Development Bank, ABS-CBN, and sequa gGmbH under the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation. She holds a Masters in Social Work from New York University, and is pursuing her Doctorate in Social Development at the University of the Philippines, where she also teaches. Tin is a proud mom to daughter, Aimee, and two Pomeranian pups.
- Mark PinedaFinance and Accounting Manager
Mark brings 15 years of experience in accounting, auditing, and advisory services to nonprofit and for-profit companies, both start-up and established, across an array of issue areas and industries. He worked for Ernst & Young for more than seven years in the US and abroad. His nonprofit clients included the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, The Parish of Trinity Church in the City of New York, and Books for the Barrios. He has helped organizations and companies effectively outsource their accounting function. He holds a BS in Business Administration and Accountancy (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines. Mark enjoys reading, golfing, biking, gardening, and hanging out with his wife and two kids.
- Jerrie AbellaEditor
Jerrie has been a writer and educator for several years now. Before joining Smarter Good, he was a reporting officer for the Intl. Committee of the Red Cross, an executive producer at GMA News and Public Affairs, and a part-time lecturer for various educational institutions. He holds a journalism degree from UP Diliman, where he was the editor in chief of the weekly Philippine Collegian. He travels solo at least once a year, and folds paper cranes to take his mind off things.
- Marian CarlosJunior Writer and Researcher
Marian brings her experience in development communications to Smarter Good. Previously she worked with Bloomberg’s Global Road Safety Partnership pilot news surveillance team in the Philippines, and at the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office where she designed campaign materials for the 16th World Conference on Tobacco and Health. In 2015, Marian conducted a research on transgender women’s self-medication practices in the Southern Philippines through a cross-university program with the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Social Science Research. Marian holds a cum laude degree in Anthropology at the University of the Philippines, and enjoys quiet afternoons with her dogs.
- Jennet CastroAccounting Associate
Jennet brings to Smarter Good data processing and accounting experience, particularly in Accounts Payable and Payroll Recording. She holds an Associate Degree in Information Technology from the Asian Institute of E-Commerce and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (major in Financial Management) from the City College of San Fernando, Pampanga. She is also a Certified Xero Advisor. Jennet loves to explore new things and is fond of reading novels, doing arts and crafts, watching movies, and going to the beach.
- Alyssa CaugmaSenior Development Associate
Alyssa joins Smarter Good with experience in research, communications, and community mobilization. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Development Communication (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines. While at the university, she was a staff writer at the campus newspaper, UPLB Perspective. She was also an active member in UP Model United Nations, a student organization that promotes international cooperation. If Alyssa is not at work, you’ll find her reading mystery and crime books, watching TED talks, and playing with her dogs Nala and Lucas.
- Paola CeriolaWriter & Researcher
Ola brings five years of experience in video production, PR, and research. She was a Producer for Green Living on ANC, and worked on PR campaigns for USAID, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), and the Department of Health (DOH). She assisted in the review of the National Marine Policy of the Philippines while completing her Masters in Philippine Studies, with a major in Development at the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UPD). She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication, also from UPD. Ola is an active volunteer for NGOs and social enterprises that work to protect the environment while promoting social welfare and livelihood for Filipino communities.
- Geonah CornebySenior Development Associate
Gee brings her passion and interest in research and social development work. She was part of Gawad Kalinga, where she organized and facilitated community immersions for volunteers. A Psychology graduate from Ateneo de Manila University, she was in charge of coordination and communication work for Baliklaya-Ateneo, where she supported inmates at the National Bilibid Prison in self-rehabilitation. She continues to utilize her psychology background as she engages in volunteer work and community development. When not working, you’ll find Gee reading books at a coffee shop or immersing herself in music and theater.
- Ma. Emille dela CruzAssociate Development Manager
Emille brings over five years of combined writing and program management experience to Smarter Good. Her work has primarily focused on advancing international cooperation and development via education, notably at the United Nations’ University for Peace and Campus France Philippines. She graduated magna cum laude from UP Diliman with a BA in European Languages, and studied in France as a European Union scholar. On weekends, Emille explains the wonders of French irregular verbs at the Alliance Française de Manille and helps Sinag Microfunds support underprivileged Filipino college students as a volunteer writer and fundraiser.
- Cyrene Joy ElaWriter
Cye’s professional and educational background and experiences are rooted in literature, languages, and education. She has so far primarily worked in the publishing industry, where she was a writer and editor for a publishing house that specializes in travel and another which focuses on learning materials development. A Creative Writing graduate of the University of the Philippines, she is now working towards a Master’s degree in Linguistics at the same university. She likes writing things by hand and once got submerged ankle-deep in wet cement while lost in thought and walked off laughing.
- Rima GranaliWriter & Researcher
Rima has over five years of experience in journalism and PR. Before Smarter Good, she was an editorial assistant and news reporter at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, covering the police beat, local government, and NGOs. She also developed PR campaigns for UNICEF and Greenpeace, and planned CSR activities for Haier and Procter & Gamble. Rima writes feature stories and profiles of social entrepreneurs and businessmen for the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship and the Inquirer’s business section. She is completing her masters in Sociology at the University of the Philippines, where she graduated cum laude with a BA in Journalism.
- Friena GuerreroEditor
Friena has over 10 years of experience in media and in writing/ editing roles for various international organizations. For UNICEF Philippines, she traveled across the country to interview and share stories of Filipino families benefiting from education and disaster relief activities. She also helped formulate and implement the International Organization for Migration’s communications plan relative to issues of migrant workers and displaced people, and served as a reporting officer for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Friena is a literature graduate from De La Salle University, and enjoys playing with dogs and learning how to longboard.
- Venus Mae GatdulaTalent Management Associate
Venus joins Smarter Good with her fervor and enthusiasm for social impact. She previously worked for IBM as a Recruiter supporting North America in Talent Acquisition Optimization. She has a degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Venus has also been a dedicated church youth leader for over seven years. She has held various leadership positions in ministry, and is currently the Executive Vice President of the National United Methodist Youth in the Philippines. In her free time, Venus enjoys reading books and watching TV series like ‘Friends’.
- Elyse JordanSpecial Projects Officer
Elyse brings more than eight years of experience in marketing and communications. She has worked for small businesses in Austin, Texas, and Palo Alto, California for most of her career. Most recently, she ran a team at the interior design company, Houzz,and was responsible for more than 500 events a year. Elyse studied Communications at Brigham Young University in Utah. When Elyse isn’t working, she is chasing around her son or planning a home remodeling project.
- Michelle MaglasangSenior Development Associate
Michelle joins Smarter Good with a background in environmental education and conservation. She was one of the delegates of Save Philippine Seas’ youth conservation leadership program, where she co-founded Project Kaliklasrum, an environmental education initiative. After graduating with a BA in Behavioral Science from the University of Santo Tomas, she completed a cultural education internship with AIESEC in Brazil. When she’s not busy traveling or writing lifestyle articles, you can find her freediving or performing improvisational theater. She is motivated by social good, inspired by the ocean, and powered by chocolate.
- Mirel ManapatSenior Writer & Researcher
Mirel holds a decade of experience in government and corporate work. She drafted in-depth reports and managed special projects as a Central Bank of the Philippines Recruitment Specialist. As Associate Team Lead at IBM Business Services, she managed relocations of P&G expatriates. She holds a BA in Psychology from Ateneo de Manila University and a Master’s in Development Policy from De La Salle University. By interrelating these fields of study, she aims to gain a deeper insight into philanthropic behavior. Mirel enjoys movie marathons and food trips with her husband Chad, and is a proud mom to Lucas.