Our Team

Ripple Effects management team

Alice Ray
Cofounder and CEO

Lew Brentano
Vice President

Kerry Pifer
Operations Director




Alice Ray, Cofounder and CEO

Alice Ray, MBA, is a visionary leader who has founded, led, and grown a number of mission-driven organizations, including two that are still thriving after 30 years. A Pahara-Aspen Institute Fellow and an early advocate of “double bottom line” organizations, she has served as a business consultant and trainer to more than 100 other public, private and non-profit organizations, helping them make good works, good business as well.

Ray is an expert in social learning, and operates at the intersection of research, practice, and media design. She designed Ripple Effects’ research-based, Whole Spectrum Learning System, which is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices with documented positive impact on grades, behavior and resilience assets. She is the Content and Creative Director for the Company’s training software. This work has been recognized with 29 national awards from the health, software, education and communications industries.

Previously, while head of Committee for Children (1982-89), she conceived and oversaw development of Second Step, a clinically validated violence prevention curriculum, now in more than 27,000 schools. She has authored books, published articles and made numerous national and international presentations on subjects related to social justice and social-emotional learning in school, community, and corporate environments.

Ray’s leadership has been recognized with several national awards, among them the Distinguished Public Service Award of the Association of Federal Investigators, a Presidential Letter of Commendation for Child Safety Leadership for President Reagan, and Health Educator of the Year Award from the Comprehensive Health Education Foundation, as well as leadership awards from two business schools and the National Association of Women Business Owners, She has received distinguished appointments, including an appointment by President Clinton to the Academic Advisory Council of the National Campaign Against Youth Violence.

A master of short form communication and engaging media that translates esoteric concepts into engaging experiences, Ray has received eight regional Emmys and a dozen national film awards. Her projects have been featured in major national print and broadcast media, including Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The New York Times, USA Today, The Today Show, Dateline NBC, ABC Nightline, CNN, and MTV. CV for Alice Ray

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Lew Brentano, Vice President, Educational Alliances

Lew brings to Ripple Effects 20 plus years in the development, marketing and sales of technology products, ranging from computer hardware to e-commerce software to security software.

His experience includes senior management positions with a leading classical software company as well asa leading internet-based application service provider. Before joining Ripple Effects,Lew was Vice President for engineering & product marketing at McAfee.com, the leading (and profitable) on-line application service provider for anti-virus and security software. Previous experience includes being on the founding team of BEA Systems, Inc. and serving as Director of Product Marketing and Director of Product Management for that company. Lew also managed consulting and services groups for Gartner Group, as well as holding senior marketing positions for a high-performance graphics company, a leading computer systems manufacturer, and a CAD/CAM software company. Lew has a BS in Mechanical Aerospace Engineering, from University of Notre Dame, and an MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University.

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Shakeel Ali, National Trainer

A nationalcadre of certified trainers bring Ripple Effects into schools and other youth serving organizations across the country. Leading this effort is San Francisco educator, youth advocate, artist and social entrepreneur, Shakeel Ali.

Adult advisors A circle of key advisors and long term contractors help keep us up to date on business and technology issues, and tuned to advances in the cross cutting fields of education, prevention science, and social-emotional learning. Among this cross-disciplinary team, we are most grateful to: Social emotional learning experts and researchers, Maurice Elias and Robin Stern; Implementation expert Linda Bruene; student services and restorative justice advocate, Barbara McLung; cultural artists, Suaro Cervantes (graffiti) and Susanna Bettag (guide illustrator), technology expert and original Ripple Effects system architect, Chris Thorman; Programmer, JB Tellez; System’s admin expert, Amro; writer, Heidi Raykeil; child psychiatrist, Carol Rockhill; videographer, Stefan Cluver; technology entrepreneur, Todd Brechmann

Youth advisors A diverse, continuously changing group of young people contribute ideas, critique, stories, acting, voice talent and production services to Ripple Effects. Too numerous to name, they are collectively recognized in the electronic guides who speak with their voices, and follow their trends in fashion.

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