OUR STORY

ProsperCity was launched in July 2018 by a diverse team of community leaders fiercely committed to creating a more just and equitable world.

Our story starts with questions. What if we aren’t all looking at life through the same lens? What if our definitions of success are different? What if we need different resources to get where we are going, even if we are headed to the same place?

How do our histories, backgrounds and experiences play into all of these questions?

The color of our skin, where we grew up, the abilities of our bodies, the gender we identify as, the cultural beliefs we subscribe to, and the languages we speak are just a few examples of the myriad qualities that make us unique as individuals.

They define us as human. Vivid, complex humans.

These same attributes that make us wildly beautiful can also become the basis for bias, discrimination and injustice. In the workplace, this can translate to salary disparities, unequal pay, secrecy and mistrust.  The absence of trust can create walls between people, interfering with opportunity, prosperity and the pursuit of happiness.

Our story hinges on these walls coming down.

We begin today, by dismantling the barriers at the starting line, holding up the truth and shining a light on the information that helps people get paid what they’re worth while working for companies that care.

ProsperCity was invented to catalyze meaningful, vivid and complex change. This is how we make the world a better place. This is how we become prosperous, together.

Leadership Team

Rebecca Channer

Founder/CEO

she / her / hers

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Rebecca Channer

Founder/CEO

she / her / hers


Home town: Chicago, IL
Current town: Portland, OR

Rebecca believes that resilience is the secret ingredient that increases the surface area of one’s heart.

Having endured adversity and trauma during her childhood and young adult years, Rebecca funneled these early learning opportunities into her work as an advocate, activist, teacher, manager, director and eventual founder of UpCity Consulting, a nimble firm bent on helping NGO leaders shift from a posture of scarcity to possibility.

Rebecca also spent numerous years working overseas, including as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Namibia, an experience that sparked as much perspective as it did internal conflict, and ultimately shaped her belief that making meaningful change in the world is dependent on our ability to talk less and listen more.

In 2017, ProsperCity was born from Rebecca’s imagination in response to growing evidence that pay discrimination and disparity still exist in most workplaces. The business model was vetted by a group of university students as their capstone project, and fully developed during Rebecca’s participation in Seth Godin’s altMBA program.

Rebecca’s magical utility is her trusting relationships with leaders and changemakers all over the globe.

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Dean Bardouka

Technical Product

he / him / his

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Dean Bardouka

Technical Product

he / him / his


Home town: Paterson, NJ
Current town: Sacramento, CA

For many years, Dean lived a dual life – working his day job which gave him great experience in marketing, branding and business development, while saving his activist/community organizing work for all the other waking moments of his life.

A few years back, he realized that his professional life had slowly creeped more and more into the time that was meant for doing good work. Almost to the point of completely eliminating that work from his life – the work he knew he should be doing.

That’s when he founded Element Five, a San Francisco based creative agency (and B Corp) serving nonprofits and social enterprises. It would be his way of finally integrating his profession with his love for social justice in a real and meaningful way.

Today Dean is still an organizer in San Francisco’s Arab/Muslim community and also volunteers teaching graphic design to incarcerated individuals at San Quentin State Prison with thelastmile.org.

Dean’s magical utility is his curiosity and passion for storytelling. Follow his journey back to Syria through ice cream here.

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Kennedy Stonehawk

Operations

she / her / hers

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Kennedy Stonehawk

Operations

she / her / hers


Home town: Waller, TX
Current town: Austin, TX

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away called Terlingua, Texas, Kennedy discovered her passion for working with marginalized and fringe communities while reenacting scenes from Shakespeare’s greatest works in the middle of the desert with high school students, many of whom had illegally crossed the river to attend school that day.  

During the early parts of her career, Kennedy was drawn to teaching and designing culturally-responsive curriculum for alternative school students, many of whom had developmental disabilities, were English language learners, and came from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. She also worked closely with members of the Navajo, Hopi and White Mountain Apache tribes who lived on Reservations in Arizona.

At some point the beauty and complexity of social constructs, sustainability and strategy turned Kennedy’s head. During the past decade, she has worked as a program director, operations director and consultant in Portland, Oregon. Today she resides in Austin and serves as the 21st Century Director of IDEA Public Schools.

Kennedy’s magical utility is her love for detail and insightful ability to collect, sift and humanize data.

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Support team

Alex Waters

Startup Advisor

he / him / his

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Alex Waters

Startup Advisor

he / him / his


Home town: PG County, MD
Current town: San Diego, CA

Alex believes the universe rewards bold action. He has spent years occupying the space between education, technology and client services and delivers a unique brand of training, support and program management.

Currently, his focus is on connecting the early-stage entrepreneur community in San Diego with the resources needed to ensure their business ideas, confidence, and money lead to results. He’s working to answer the question, “What would it look like to be able to find resources as easily as a coffee shop with a Google search?

A secondary focus for Alex is helping organizations understand and leverage the myriad skills of their employees. He is exploring what it would look like to have a database of these skills that could be matched to changing organizational needs.

Alex is originally from Maryland, the home of Old Bay Seasoning (he’s not sure why everyone doesn’t use it) and the best crab on the planet! He has a fond love for track jackets and thinks we underestimate how powerful our minds can be in creating the future we want.

Alex’s magical utility is linking entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed.

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G Cruz

HR Advisor

they / them / theirs

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G Cruz

Human Resources Advisor

they / them / theirs


Home town: Bakersfield, CA
Current town: Portland, OR

A 30-something queer HR Professional working in Portland, Oregon, G grew up in sunny California working in their dad’s barber shop. They learned a lot about work ethic and a fair amount about human behavior. This also means that G never leaves streaks when cleaning mirrors, can spot a good fade from 100ft out, and completed a course in How to Talk Smack 101.

Their career has been typical of many in the HR field, with experience in organizations of different sizes, different industries, and differing core values. G is passionate about improving the employee experience and providing more value to the HR recruitment space.

G’s magical utility is their knack for connecting humans to resources that spark resilience and positive outcomes.

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Laura Tyson

Content Advisor

she / her / hers

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Laura Tyson

Content Marketing Advisor

she / her / hers


Home town: Talking Rock, GA
Current town: Redwood City, CA

Laura trains dragons.

Not literal dragons, but those dragon-like negative emotions that are powerful and unruly. She helps people turn their emotions into courageous empathy – the kind that transforms conflict into connection. She writes and coaches to help people have civil conversations with others who may believe differently.

Laura is a marketer by trade and storyteller at heart, currently working her content marketing magic with Bluedot Innovation. In previous years, she’s made data science easy to understand at a London startup, helped launch a marketing apprenticeship program for recent grads, facilitated a mentorship program to connect early-stage startups with established corporations, and self-published a book (Engaging Difficult People: 100 Practical Lessons on Empathy and How It Transforms Our Relationships).

With Southern roots, Laura grew up in Georgia and still cooks with more butter than is healthy. She believes life is too short for bad coffee and can often be found working and writing from one of her favorite coffee shops, Blue Bottle.

Laura’s magical utility is meeting people where they’re at and bringing empathy and compassion into every interaction.

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Mark Dyck

Biz Dev Advisor

he / him / his

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Mark Dyck

Business Development Advisor

Preferred prounouns: he / him / his


Home town: Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada)
Current town: same

Decades of business experience has taught Mark to stop trying to figure out where he fits and what he does. Instead, he is focused on being helpful and accepting that he’s done some pretty cool things. And he knows there’s more to come.

There’s a line in Seth Godin’s Your Turn book where he describes Neil Young as the fifth hammer: “The fifth hammer doesn’t contribute beauty and magic by fitting in. The fifth hammer makes a difference by standing out.”

That’s his aspiration. To be the fifth hammer. Here, there and everywhere.

Mark has worked for large corporations, built his own business, created joint venture partnerships, and developed product strategies. He’s also repaired walk-in coolers, built a brick oven and helped raise two amazing humans.

Mark hosts a baker podcast (Rise Up!) and those who like it, love it.  He also works with his friend Bernadette Jiwa on The Right Company, an online community where like minded people help each other build companies with purpose.

On weekends, you can find Mark at his brick oven, baking bread for his friends and neighbours.

Mark’s magical utility is helping people come together and work together.

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Zeke Swepson

Software Engineer

he / him / his

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Zeke Swepson

Software Engineer

he / him / his


Home town: Rhode Island
Current town: San Francisco, CA

Zeke Swepson started coding when he was in the 3rd grade and never stopped. With a degree in Computer Science from Brown University, Zeke spent the first decade of his career in the exciting world of startups. He was drawn to small teams moving at high speeds to develop cutting edge technologies.

During this time, Zeke became jack of all trades within the tech world developing a wide range of skills which allowed him to fill many roles although his title usually remained “Software Engineer”.

Often the only black engineer on his team Zeke developed a passion for helping underrepresented junior developers find their footing. To that end he founded CodeWalker Institute.

Zeke’s magical utility is his ability to find elegant solutions to tough technological problems.

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Emilia Contreras

Network Builder

she / her / hers

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Emilia Contreras

Network Builder

she / her / hers


Home town: Miami, FL
Current town: Portland, OR

Emilia is a lover of people and animals, an active social networker, a queer Latina advocate, and a freelance data analyst specializing in SQL (Structured Query Language).

Raised by rad humans, Emilia’s father was a Nicaraguan revolutionary who embodied a hard work ethic, and her mother was a passionate food grower who always shared the harvest with others. Both were worldly people who encouraged individualism and freedom of thought.

Aside from her self-taught obsession with SQL, Emilia is passionate about human connection and believes that vulnerability is a pillar of connection and happiness. Emilia leans into discomfort and learns from it. She challenges the status quo when it comes to the oppressive power dynamics in our world, and she shows up for our communities in a positive, compassionate way.

With a deep love for problem solving, Emilia loves a good challenge, especially in the world of data, and lives the mantra: always learning, always absorbing.

Emilia’s magical utility is her ability to treat humans as lovingly as she treats animals.

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CONTACT US

Ph (503) 381-4635 | hello@prospercity.org

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