StrivePartnership Staff

Byron White serves as KnowledgeWorks Vice President and Executive Director of the StrivePartnership. Most recently, Byron was Vice President for University Engagement and Chief Diversity Officer at Cleveland State University with responsibilities for oversight and strategic development for the University's civic engagement, workplace engagement and inclusion & multicultural engagement. Prior to that, he was a Vice Chancellor for Economic Advancement at the Ohio Board of Regents and Vice President for Community Engagement at Xavier University.   

Geoff Zimmerman serves as Senior Director, Impact & Improvement, leading data strategy for StrivePartnership and data and research efforts across KnowledgeWorks. Geoff has worked in the nonprofit and education sectors throughout his career. He has worked to support data utilizations and data infrastructure efforts across the StriveTogether network, and has previously held positions at University of Cincinnati and United Way of Greater St. Louis. He has a bachelor's of science in business administration from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio a Master's in business administration from the University of Cincinnati.


Sherri Boone serves as Executive Assistant/Coordinator for the StrivePartnership. In this role, she provides support to the Executive Director and the entire team. She provides administrative support including calendar management, setting-up complex meetings, coordinating travel arrangements, completing monthly expense reports, updating the website and providing support on specific projects.

Before joining StrivePartnership, Sherri worked in Real Estate as a Client Services Assistant at CB Richard Ellis, supporting up to eight brokers in an administrative capacity. Prior to that, she was a Property Manager with Colliers Turley Martin Tucker, managing a portfolio of nine properties. Responsibilities also included day-to-day operation of the properties, tenant relations, contract negotiations, accounts payable and receivable, monthly and quarterly re-projections and yearly budgets for each property.


Melissa McCoy serves as Director of Collaborative Continuous Improvement for the StrivePartnership, where she is responsible for incorporating continuous improvement methodology into the Partnership's collaborative networks and community-based initiatives, as well as facilitating the development and testing of action plans aligned with Partnership outcomes. Melissa received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Tennessee, and a J.D. from the NKU Chase College of Law.

Before joining StrivePartnership, Melissa practiced law in the private sector and sought out opportunities to serve the non-profit community in her free time. Ultimately, she decided to make the transition to the non-profit world, and build a career out of impacting the community and its education system on a broader scale.


Angie Okuda serves as Senior Manager of Early Learning Success for the StrivePartnership. Angie helps implement and promote consistent adoption of workflows that articulate transitions of data-related information across The StrivePartnership staff and partners including collaborators, funders, school Districts and providers.

Angie worked for seven years as the Resource Coordinator for Pleasant Ridge Montessori in Cincinnati Public Schools where she engaged community members, parents, program partners, and multiple stakeholders in developing a premier Community Learning Center and showcased her site to the U.S. Department of Education, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, National Conference for State Legislatures, and Council of Chief State School Officers. The National Center for Summer Learning featured the work of Pleasant Ridge in its 2010 policy agenda and the school was recognized numerous times nationally. Angie taught English in Japan and received her Bachelor's of Science in Communications and Business from Bradley University in Peoria, IL.


Marina Hopkins serves as Senior Manager, Middle & High School Learning Success for the StrivePartnership. She serves as the expert on strategies and outcomes related to learning and education achievement for children age 10 to 18 that occurs within the ecosystem, which includes Cincinnati and the cities of Covington and Newport, Kentucky.

Before joining the StrivePartnership, Marina worked as the Community Resource Coordinator with the Urban League. She spent two years at Burton Elementary and the last six years at Woodward Career & Technical High School. In this role, she was responsible for connecting the school and community, managing all the partnerships within the school, and identifying additional resources for students. She is a 2012 graduate of the National Urban League Emerging Leaders Program.


Rolando Fernando is StrivePartnership's new Education Pioneers Performance Analytics Fellow. He is very passionate about improving education and brings a rich and wide variety of experiences with him. He is very excited about being in Cincinnati again and hopes to make significant contributions within the education sector. he spent a couple of years here after college when he started his career with Procter & Gamble - the City has changed! He comes to us most recently via Los Angeles and the Philippines, whee he has been working as a Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow for over 20 years. His most recent research and advocacy engagements focused on climate change resilience and disaster and risk reduction management. He obtained his M.A. in Socio-cultural Anthropology and Development Studies from Brown University and his B.S. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University.