Team & Board

One of our teammates explored the Canadian wilderness for 45 days. Another was at a party for three hours before realizing it was a funeral. As for our Board, they help connect us to our north star as we chart into new waters, helping us stay on the right path, and advising us throughout the entire journey. Learn more about us, what we value, and which one of us was at the funeral.

Ash DumfordAsh Dumford
Ash Dumford

Marketing Manager

Ash Dumford

Ash Dumford

Marketing Manager

As Marketing Manager at Uncharted, Ash highlights our new model of accelerating ventures towards problem-centric outcomes, and shares the impact of our entrepreneurs, ventures, and broader network. She holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Communications—and has chased a variety of careers in the many, many years since. While her experience is broad, Ash’s true passion lies in amplifying stories that invoke wonder and inspire empathy.

What Inspires You? 
Ordinary people who throw caution to the wind and salty food at the end of a trail.

Fun-fact:
Ash once ate a dozen blazin’ chicken wings in under three minutes.

Banks BenitezBanks Benitez
Banks Benitez

Co-Founder and CEO

Banks Benitez

Banks Benitez

Co-Founder and CEO

As CEO, Banks leads the organization’s strategy and manages the team. A Denver native who joined Uncharted in the spring of 2012 as an unpaid intern, Banks has served in a variety of roles for the organization: from leading entrepreneur selection, to managing the mentor network, to leading the expansion of the Institute around the world. Prior to Uncharted, Banks had a few other jobs and graduated from just enough schooling to land the unpaid internship. He holds a Bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University, a Masters degree from the University of Sydney in Australia, and five fantasy football titles.

Outside of work, Banks is taking piano lessons, learning how to be a good neighbor to the folks on his block, and is involved with the faith community in Denver. You can usually find him near the snacks at a party, or wherever there are snacks.

What Inspires You?
People who are intentionally telling a story with how they live their lives.

Fun-fact:
Banks cries more than anyone else on the team, and gave a talk about how to embrace awkwardness.

Emily ScottEmily Scott
Emily Scott

Program Director

Emily Scott

Emily Scott

Program Director

Emily joined the team in July of 2015 and works as our Program Director. She is responsible for managing our Uncharted partnership programs, and previously our global expansion efforts. Since joining the team, Emily has supported 40 Lab Teams in implementing 5-day Labs and is continuing to lead our problem-focused Uncharted programs- an opportunity to work with everyone! She holds a B.S. from the University of Colorado in Aerospace Engineering, is a part-time astronaut, and is credited with giving Elon Musk the idea for interplanetary colonization.

What Inspires You?
I am inspired by the believers- the people who really think that a difference can be made if enough people get involved. The conviction and motivation of believers MAKES me a believer.

Fun-fact:
As an 18-year-old with 7 other women, Emily spent 45 days canoeing nearly 700 miles in Nunavut, Canada. They lost their maps… talk about Uncharted territory!

Gayle Karen Young
Gayle Karen Young

Board Member

Gayle Karen Young

Gayle Karen Young

Board Member

Gayle Karen Young is a culture-builder and a catalyst for human and organizational development. She comes from a rich organizational consulting background with both corporate and nonprofit clients. She was in the process of becoming a monk when she became an executive instead, taking on the role of Chief Culture and Talent Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia and its sister free-knowledge projects) until early 2015, when she decided to return to private practice as a rogue provocateur. Born in the Philippines to Chinese parents and raised in the United States, she has a multicultural perspective, an adventurous spirit, and a deep commitment to expanding human freedom.
Gayle works to create dynamic organizational cultures in which people can thrive and thus make greater contributions. She acts as the interface between individuals and the systems within which they work, and fosters the development of both. From high-level strategic thinking to practical implementation, her skills include leadership development, change management, instructional design, training, strategic communications, team building, and personal and organizational transformation. Gayle has a rare capacity to hold multiple perspectives at once, remaining sensitive to the needs of diverse stakeholders and working for higher synthesis. Combining wisdom and warmth with expertise and effectiveness, she elicits trust and inspires transformation. Her clients have ranged from McDonald’s Corporation to Kaiser Permanente to Yale University to Ernst & Young.
Gayle is passionate about global women’s issues and supporting women in leadership. She has worked as a facilitator for the Stanford Graduate School of Business Interpersonal Dynamics course and their Women in Management program, and mentors for programs such as Uncharted and Singularity University. She is keenly interested in the intersection of technology and human rights and supports futurist humanitarian causes.
GusGus
Gus

VP of People Operations

Gus

Gus

VP of People Operations

Joe SantiniJoe Santini
Joe Santini

Venture Support Specialist

Joe Santini

Joe Santini

Venture Support Specialist

As the Venture Support Specialist, Joe lays the groundwork to ensure participating ventures have everything they need before an accelerator begins. This meant becoming a programming know-it-all by leading start-ups and the Uncharted team through recruitment and selection processes. Prior to Uncharted, Joe worked as a glorified beach bum helping local businesses in Sri Lanka for over a year. He is a Colorado native and holds an honors B.S. from Colorado State University in Business Management. Additionally, he holds the world record for individual Goldfish cracker consumption (we assume).

What Inspires You?
Joe imagines his threshold for inspiration as this flimsy piece of plastic wrap punctured by anyone with a dream or passion. He is inspired by the inspired.

Fun-Fact:
Joe’s Uncharted application was written directly to our office dog, Gus. Despite our better judgment, Gus insisted we give him a chance.

Laura SchwecherlLaura Schwecherl
Laura Schwecherl

Director of Program Marketing

Laura Schwecherl

Laura Schwecherl

Director of Program Marketing

As Director of Marketing & Communications, Laura’s role is to bridge Uncharted’s internal work with the outside world—creating a powerful gravitational pull of people, resources, and partnerships to help further Uncharted’s impact. Prior to joining the team, Laura led marketing at the global health organization Possible, managing a team in New York City and South Asia to help improve access to healthcare in remote areas of Nepal. She believes in the power of data-driven messaging to spur smart engagement and growth, and is passionate about connecting communities to impact-forward organizations. Outside of work (aka her laptop) you can find her trail running, reading Murakami novels, or writing amateur poetry.

What Inspires You?
Authenticity, ultra runners, and taco Tuesday.

Fun-fact:
She loves alpacas more than humans.

LunaLuna
Luna

Director of Compliance

Luna

Luna

Director of Compliance

Marie HathawayMarie Hathaway
Marie Hathaway

Logistics and Operations Manager

Marie Hathaway

Marie Hathaway

Logistics and Operations Manager

Marie is in charge of leading and managing all program logistics and operations from start to finish. From recruiting entrepreneurs to managing day-of details, Marie’s the one to go to if you have questions about the small stuff. Marie graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a major in Applied Math and a minor in Minesweeper, but loves drinking water above all else. Her most valued nickname is C.H.O. (Chief Hydration Officer).

What Inspires You?
Fresh air, positivity, and people who cling tight to their values and work hard.

Fun-fact:
Marie wrote an original Christmas song when she was 16.

Megan BarryMegan Barry
Megan Barry

Events Coordinator

Megan Barry

Megan Barry

Events Coordinator

After graduating from the University of Denver with a degree in international studies, Megan began working in Eastern South Africa with rural communities in health care and development. She returned to the U.S. and completed her Master’s of Science in Global Health at University of California at San Francisco. Since then she has lived in New York, Berkley, and Boston until recently returning home to Colorado Springs. Her favorite thing to do in her free time is plan vacations.

What Inspires You?
When people live authentically by the South African idea of Ubuntu, “I am, because you are.”

Fun Fact:
I might be the only person in the world, but I love United Airlines.

Mike WestcottMike Westcott
Mike Westcott

Partnerships Associate

Mike Westcott

Mike Westcott

Partnerships Associate

Mike loves learning and collaborating. Between that, his background in health and wellness, and his growing interest in sustainability, the Partnerships Associate position was pretty much made for him. If you’re reading this and have any inkling that your company, nonprofit, or foundation and the folks you serve might benefit from connecting with Uncharted, drop him a line at mike@uncharted.org. Born and raised in beautiful Michigan, he’s into biking, cooking, reading, brewed beverages, and dogs. He’s even been likened to a dog, which he takes as one of the highest possible compliments.

What Inspires You?
Questioners and action takers who “live deliberately…and suck out all the marrow of life.”

Fun-fact:
Bitter foods and drinks are Mike’s favorite, including asparagus, walnuts, blackberries, IPAs, dark coffee, and darker chocolate.

Nick Fellers
Nick Fellers

Board Member

Nick Fellers

Nick Fellers

Board Member

Nick is the co-founder of For Impact and president of The Suddes Group. In the last 10 years, he’s raised over $125 Million for causes in 30 countries and trained leaders from over 1000 organizations in how to use a sales process to maximize funding opportunities.

An entrepreneur, Nick started his first business while a student at the University of Notre Dame. Studying biology and philosophy, Nick would leave the labs early to make sales calls for his business – the first-of-its-kind student social network (and a precursor to Facebook). Upon graduation, Nick and his business partners sold their business to focus on ‘scaled impact in the social sector.’

Nick is passionate about family, social entrepreneurship, running, and all things web. An avid runner, Nick is currently working on running marathons in all 50 states. He and his wife, Anna, live in Columbus, Ohio, with their children, Will, Molly, and Rosie.

Sara RodriguezSara Rodriguez
Sara Rodriguez

COO

Sara Rodriguez

Sara Rodriguez

COO

Sara is originally from Spain and joined the Uncharted team in November 2014. As the COO, Sara ensures the day-to-day operations of Uncharted align with the organization’s strategic goals. Additionally, she makes sure the team has all the financial metrics, projections, and scenarios needed to make solid management decisions. She also leads Uncharted’s Capital Partner network with 500+, investors, foundations, funds and family offices, manages our loan program, and helps ventures get ready to take on investments. Prior to Uncharted, Sara was the Associate Director at Rockies Venture Club.

What Inspires You?
The brave people who takes chances and do not live in the “what if” world.

Fun-fact:
Sara was at a party for three hours before realizing it was a funeral.

Teju RavilochanTeju Ravilochan
Teju Ravilochan

Co-Founder, Board Member

Teju Ravilochan

Teju Ravilochan

Co-Founder, Board Member

Teju is co-founder of Uncharted (formerly Unreasonable Institute), which he started immediately after college with Tyler Hartung and Daniel Epstein. Before Uncharted, he spent nearly a year as executive assistant to Paul Polak, founder of iDE, which has impacted over 20 million people. He conducted university-funded research (via the University of Colorado) to learn about the effectiveness of NGOs in tackling rural poverty, which deeply inspired his passion for Unreasonable’s mission. He is a Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur, an Inc. 30 under 30 entrepreneur, and a TEDx speaker. His family hails from India. And he was born in Cleveland. So we like to joke that he’s a Cleveland Indian.

What Inspires You?
People’s courage to move forward when the chances of success seem so low inspires me.

Fun-fact:
I try to keep a running list of 15-20 bad dad jokes memorized, for deployment at any moment.

Will Seamans
Will Seamans

Former Chief of Staff, Teach for America

Will Seamans

Will Seamans

Former Chief of Staff, Teach for America

Will grew up in a low-income family in rural Colorado, and became the first in his family to attend college. While in college, Will was fortunate enough to discover his two life passions: entrepreneurship and education. During his senior year he founded a start-up aimed at making college more affordable for students like himself, and led that organization as CEO for the next 5 years, growing the company from 3 to 15 employees, and revenues 2.4x each year on average. He then joined the staff of Teach For America, where he held a number of leadership roles as the organization grew from impacting 80,000 students nationwide to over 500,000 students nationwide during his tenure. While at Teach For America Will solidified his belief that solving socio-economic disparity is the root solution to a majority of the problems in our society. He also discovered a unique strength in helping others reach their full potential, and has been coaching and mentoring management teams and CEOs to create the conditions for success in their organizations ever since.

Zach StromZach Strom
Zach Strom

Venture Funding Director

Zach Strom

Zach Strom

Venture Funding Director

As the Venture Funding Director, Zach leads Uncharted’s Capital Partner network with 500+ investors, foundations, funds and family offices, in addition to helping ventures get ready to take on investments. Prior to Uncharted, Zach worked with a variety of early and growth stage startups in partner-focused roles. Zach also launched a food truck, which he learned was much harder than expected. He holds a BSBA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a lifelong Tar Heel fan.

What Inspires You: People that live with a sense of wonder and curiosity.

Fun Fact: I injured myself on my first Colorado ski trip after falling in the parking lot.

Step Into Our Office

From daily hugs and monthly team outings, to snack strategies and sticky notes, learn what it’s really like to work at Uncharted and check out our job opportunities!

Our Culture & Jobs