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Communications Team

Renee Gonzalez
Sr. Advisory Board Member

renee_gonzalezRenee Gonzalez is a Senior Advisory Board Member and was the Director of North American Communications for About The Kids Foundation. Renee grew up in Santa Cruz, California and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the University of San Francisco in 2011. During her last semester, she interned at Entercom Communications Corporation as a programming assistant for 95.7 The Wolf. She also interned with Friends of the Urban Forest to raise support for the non-profit organization in the Central Richmond district of San Francisco and presented her work for the organization at the 82nd Annual Convention for The Western States Communication Association (WSCA).

Throughout her studies, Renee was a student caller who received the awards for spending the largest amount of minutes raising funds for the University, and raising the most amount for Business and Professional Studies in the Spring of 2011. In addition to raising funds, she was an active member of the University’s Ad Club in 2010, which participated in the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) in 2010 to create an ad campaign for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Furthermore, Renee received an overall GPA of 3.6 and was honored numerous times on the dean’s lists in 2010-2011.

In her spare time, she performs as a vocalist in a rock/pop band that plays regularly at The Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz and trains annually for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco and the Wharf to Wharf race in Capitola, California.


Michele Mehl
Sr. Advisory Board Member

Michele Mehl is an Senior Advisory Board Member with About The Kids Foundation. A mother of 2 children, Michele’s experience spans 14 years of traditional and “2.0” public relations and corporate communications experience in enterprise and internet technology. Prior to starting Buzz Builders, Michele was director of PR at Aventail (purchased by SonicWall). 

Prior to Aventail, Michele served as director of communications for Ask Jeeves’ enterprise software division, Jeeves Solutions, which was purchased by Knova Software (now Consona). Prior to going “in-house” working for Ask Jeeves, Michele worked with InterActive Public Relations (acquired by Porte Novelli) which was an aggressive PR firm for emerging technology companies. At InterActive, Michele worked with multiple start-up vendors to help define and aggressively communicate their stories to market, including Ask Jeeves, Brightmail (purchased by Symantec), Fast Forward Networks (purchased by Inktomi, which is now part of Yahoo!), Seeker Software (purchased by Concur Technologies), Sendmail, Network Appliance, Collabnet.

There’s not a top-tier business publication, technology trade, or blog where Michele hasn’t successfully place coverage, including securing visionary or leadership status for clients in market defining analyst reports.

Michele holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from University of the Pacific.


Anna Swanson
Advisory Board Member

advisory_board_anna__swanson_jan_2011Anna Swanson is an Advisory Board Member with About The Kids Foundation.  She brings drive, dedication and message design experience to our team. Swanson is currently interning for Alpha Bird, a search engine optimization company where she wrote a manual on SEO and is working on expanding the manual to include methods for increasing organic click through rates on a non-share through rapper. 

In 2009, Swanson was part of the USF Student Ad Campaign for the Salvation Army and created a brief, strategy, theme, lines, billboard, promotional event, print ad, radio ad, TV ad with story board and web banner ad with storyboard. In 2008-2010 she was honored by the USF Dean’s List and received a 4.0 GPA award. Swanson co-founded, edited and published the Ink Well Literary magazine at Folsom Lake College from 2006 through 2008. In 2005 Swanson received a Presidential Student Award from the United States Government for being in top four percent of students on nationally ranked basis.

Anna Swanson graduated from University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, Magna Cum Laude in May 2010 with a degree in Communication Science.


Alexandria Leavenworth
Advisory Board Member – Digital & Social Media Manager

Alexandria LeavenworthAlexandria Leavenworth is an Advisory Board Member with About The Kids Foundation. Currently, Alexandria oversees the Afterschool and Playground Programs within the City of Monterey Recreation Department. She is a graduate of California State University, East Bay where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications with a major focus in Media Production. While attending CSUEB, Alexandria was a Communications intern for Independent Television Service in San Francisco, Sports Anchor for Pioneer WebTV and Arts & Life Editor for The Pioneer Newspaper in Hayward, California. Her previous work experience has given Alexandria knowledge in all aspects of media and empowers her to never stop learning. In her free time, you can find Alexandria at many sporting events or country concerts with her friends and family.