After events in 2020, BETA took to heart the importance of increasing diversity not only in its organization but within its programming and cohort selection.
We were able to expand our board to include Allison Barmann and Clarence Bethea, diversify our cohort selection committee, and are working to integrate more diverse speakers into our cohort curriculum.
And now, we’re so happy to welcome Shonnah Hughes to the BETA Board of directors. With vast experience creating opportunities for youth and underrepresented professionals in the technology space, we know she’ll help us drive the BETA mission forward.
Shonnah Hughes is a champion for organizations that are committed to innovation, change, and providing solutions. She brings expertise that spans across industries, from finance and medical, to real estate and nonprofit.
After co-founding a nonprofit that aims to help underrepresented adults break into tech, she refocused her life in 2019 to her true passion: introducing youth to the multifaceted technology ecosystem.
Shonnah founded Teen Tech Titans — a program that cultivates the curiosity of underrepresented youth by providing equitable access to support their wonder and knowledge in business and technology — in 2019, and has partnered with her co-founders to fund, scale, and grow the nonprofit in Minnesota and beyond.
Shonnah has also spent more than a decade administering the Salesforce platform and other tools to create technical solutions for streamlining and optimizing processes to eliminate manual dependencies. She works to pioneer solutions that strengthen customer service, and the end user's satisfaction and adoption of software.
Additionally, she created the Women In Tech (WiT) Diversity Chapter at Salesforce to address the unique challenges and stigmas faced by minority women. This group provides support, encouragement, mentoring and opportunities to collaborate and network.
Salesforce's “1:1:1 model” inspired Shonnah to give back to her local and extended community. Her leadership with Teen Tech Titans, PepUp Tech, WiT Diversity and other community organizations has led to multiple awards and recognitions, including the Equality Trailblazer award and a golden hoodie.
Shonnah has also had the distinct honor of signing the White House’s Pledge to America’s workforce along with Marc Benioff. The Pledge to America’s Workers is committed to expanding programs that educate, train, and reskill American workers from high-school age to near-retirement.
On the rare occasion that she is not thinking about new solutions or volunteering, Shonnah appreciates the time she spends with her family and friends enjoying life's simple pleasures: football, basketball, movie watching, hosting game nights and collecting passport stamps with her children.
You can learn more about BETA and other members of the blog here.