This section is under development, as we collect biographies from everyone on the team. In the meantime, we also linked the profiles of each person to their LinkedIn profiles, so that you can check them out there, as well!
Kristine Poptanich serves as Chief Executive Officer for Launchpad23, where she has the privilege of coordinating the amazing (and growing!) team of individuals dedicated to its mission of getting humanity firing on all cylinders.
Kristine is RAD (raising awesome daughters), homeschools, and is building Launchpad23 to create the amazing generation of friends and future colleagues she wants for her children.
A former U.S. government official, and Vice President at an ed-tech startup, Kristine hopes to encourage a new generation of thinkers, creators, and do-ers, and to enjoy the journey along the way.
Kristine earned her MA in International Relations, with distinction, from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and her BA, magna cum laude, in International Relations from the University of California Irvine.
When not trying to build the future, Kristine enjoys gardening, photography, travel, and watching her girls rock climb.
Finance and Technology
Jo Stolp serves as Mission Specialist - FinTech, where she has the fun of finding fitting ways to finagle tech into supporting our mission to equip the next generation for future ingenuity.
She is a mother and a jack-of-all-trades, usually finding fascinating learning in whatever currently needs doing. As a result, she has accidentally worked as a bookkeeper, IT support, construction QS auditor, and written a couple of books after giving up on glitzy big corporate.
Jo reserves Mondays for puttering around and finding educational meaning in changing plugs, becoming an adequate (slow) plumber, and trying to stop killing pot plants. She often falls into internet rabbit holes about systems, anthropology, physics, protocols, the meaning of life, and the apparent aim of the universe to evolve into increasingly complex stable equilibria, which it appears to succeed at randomly.
Gerda Dizon serves as the Chief Community Officer for Launchpad23 and is driven by her passion for education.
Her goal is to create a thriving community for both students and teachers, where they can pursue their individual definitions of life purpose and success. As she works towards this goal, Gerda herself is also on a similar journey of growth and fulfillment.
With extensive experience in teaching global students of various ages, Gerda continuously supports them in understanding themselves and turning their aspirations into reality. She is a strong advocate for empathy in education.
Professionally, Gerda is a licensed professional teacher specialized in the Biological Sciences. Currently, she is pursuing her masters in Educational Leadership and Management.
In her cherished free time, Gerda indulges in binge-watching and reading dramas, anime, manhwas, and webtoons. Whenever in need of stress relief and a serotonin boost, she finds solace in dancing and watching concerts.
Elizabeth Morelli is a teacher (aka co-pilot!) for Launchpad23. Living a serene rural life alongside her family, she is driven by her passion for recognizing and fostering the distinctive potential in every individual, particularly children. Her mission is to help them identify their unique motivations, talents, and interests, empowering them to build a brighter future for themselves and their generation.
Formerly, she has been a military intelligence sergeant, a cognitive science researcher, and a teacher for another ed-tech startup. She is currently pursuing an MS in Curriculum and Instruction, and holds a BA in History with a minor in Linguistics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and two AAs in Intelligence Studies and Arabic.
Shobhana serves as a Program Director overseeing and nurturing a strong mentor community for students.
Her academic journey recently led her to achieve her second Masters from the University of Toronto, specializing in Curriculum and Pedagogy. She takes pleasure in immersing herself in diverse educational marvels, a passion that continues to fuel her professional pursuits.
Having collaborated with innovative start-ups, Shobhana embodies an educator's spirit, emphasizing engaging platforms for the younger generation. Her conviction centers on empathetic innovation as the key to the future.
Away from her impactful work, Shobhana finds solace in nature, often embarking on exploratory journeys, while her love for hosting gatherings and playing sports speaks to her vibrant social and active life.
Alejandro Chavez is an always-learning product manager, entrepreneur at heart, and philosopher. He primarily supports Fuse23, where he is building the future of multigenerational education.
Alejandro is a curious Product Manager who enjoys learning about how other people have grown and scaled startups, how people can improve their hard and soft skills, and how to help the LATAM Startup Ecosystem grow.
On the other hand, Alejandro spends most of his free time philosophizing about our human experience in the world, the challenges that next generations will face and examining the past with the hope to find answers for the future.
Prashanth is the Chief Gremlin Trapper at Launchpad23, where he works across teams to keep the machinery well-oiled and also keep a lookout for Gremlins. Yes, every organization has them.
Prashanth is curious about these things - why the world works the way it works, why people behave the way they behave, and why things break the way they break. These things are threaded together by Operations, which is what Prashanth manages for his manufacturing firm in India. His best friends are a stopwatch, a pen, and a notebook - to make things work effectively.
When there are no Gremlins around, Prashanth can be found riding his bike, taking long walks with his wife, or having conversations about books, founders, or movies with his daughter.