BUILD Newsletter

BUILDing Diversity and Inclusion A Letter from Our CEO & Founder

Dear BUILD Friends and Family,

For almost two decades, BUILD has worked to address the racial and economic inequity that disproportionately impacts the communities we serve. We see the debilitating effects of deep-rooted, institutionalized racism, and we acknowledge that what is happening in our country requires a more intentional approach from our organization.

To further our mission, BUILD has codified “Promoting Diversity” as a fundamental organizational core value and developed a Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

By adopting this statement now, BUILD seeks to create a space for all BUILD students, staff, volunteers, parents, schools, funders and partners to celebrate and promote our diversity, as well as examine the inequities across our society and work toward solutions that will directly benefit the students and communities we serve.

Click here to read BUILD’s Diversity and Inclusion statement.

There are many challenges ahead in the diverse communities we serve and I invite you to join us as we model BUILD’s Spark Skills (collaboration, communication, grit, innovation, problem solving and self-management) to create opportunities for our young people that will bring them success in school and career.

Suzanne McKechnie Klahr

Golden State Warriors to Receive 2017 Pitch Prize for Entrepreneurial Spirit at Gala in San Francisco This March

The Golden State Warriors, the first team to receive BUILD’s annual Pitch Prize, have demonstrated true entrepreneurial and innovative spirit by transforming themselves into one of the best, as well as one of the most valuable, franchises in NBA history. The Warriors have also been recognized off the court for their dedication to diversity and inclusion, to community building, and to education and youth development.

Since its inception, this award has been given to a line-up of entrepreneurial luminaries, including Jack Dorsey, Reid Hoffman, Marissa Mayer, Ben Silbermann, Nick Woodman, and, most recently, Brian Chesky. Click here to hear from the previous winners of the Pitch Prize. For more information about the 7th Annual BUILD Gala, please visit

BUILD is having a FLASH SALE!

We are offering a limited number of tickets to the 7th Annual BUILD Gala for $500 each—half price. The flash sale is only available online at There is a limit of two discounted ticket purchases per person.

Giving Tuesday and End-of-Year Success

Thank you to everyone who supported BUILD during #GivingTueday and our End-of-Year Campaign! Together we raised over $70K to help support BUILD students in all of our regions.

BUILD in the News

BUILD Founder and CEO Suzanne McKechnie Klahr was recently featured in an Inc. magazine column on BUILD’s Spark Skills and leadership development.

“Many people make the mistake of buying into persistent
leadership myths: Leadership is an innate skill you either have or you don’t and only a select few are capable of learning the needed skills to excel. In fact, most great leaders develop through the pursuit of skills over a long career. Some even start practicing in their youth.”

Board Spotlight

Ralph Kindred, Strategy & Innovation Leader, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Michael Farb, Chief Revenue Officer, Blue Star Sports and Founder of CaptainU

The BUILD: Bay Area Board is pleased to announce two new members:

Michael Farb, Chief Revenue Officer, Blue Star Sports and Founder of CaptainU, the leading youth sports technology platform, former University of Pennsylvania computer science major, Chicago Booth MBA, husband and father of two-year-old twins: “I have a deep passion for entrepreneurship and firmly believe in its ability to motivate, inspire and lift our youth’s educational track and move them into better life situations.”

Ralph E. Kindred,  Strategy and Innovation Leader, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, previously served as a technology strategist for Deloitte Consulting and in technology leadership roles leading the innovation of technology product, processes, and information technology infrastructure: “I am a testimony to the impact that education can have on changing generational circumstances. In addition to education as a transformative factor in my life, I’ve also had the benefit of many mentors and advisors who not only guided me and provided excellent counsel, but who I think even more importantly believed in me, and encouraged me during my journey.”

BUILDer Spotlight

Greg Cox joined BUILD in January as Vice President of Regions. Greg began his career at Score Learning, a forward-thinking company dedicated to making learning fun. At Score, Greg created a partnership with schools serving East Palo Alto that helped a significant number of low-income students to join his center. Greg then moved to Sylvan Learning, where he spent a decade working in operations and franchise services. He ensured that students received a world-class experience in every center, created profitable business plans with franchisees, and delivered some of the most fun sales trainings. He took pride in building relationships with franchisees across the country and world, all of whom were entrepreneurs serving students in their communities.

After his stops at Score and Sylvan, Greg was eager to apply his skills to create opportunities for underserved students. Given his passion for entrepreneurship, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a non-profit founded on the idea of teaching entrepreneurship as a path to opportunity, was a natural next step. Greg served as the Vice President of Regions at NFTE, where he helped grow the reach and impact of the program across the country.

Greg earned a B.A. from Northwestern University in economics and linguistics. He is finishing an MBA from NYU, with specializations in entrepreneurship and business analytics. Greg and his wife live in Brooklyn with their adorable son. When not spreading BUILD’s mission, he enjoys running, reading, and relaxing with his family.