Bill Heiser is currently the Director of California Operations at the Center for Employment Opportunities. Bill joined CEO in 2010 to establish their presence in California and currently oversees CEO’s operations in CA, beginning with the Golden State Works Project in Oakland. He has over 7 years experience in the reentry field. Prior to joining CEO, Bill served as the Coordinator of the Community Safety and Justice Program at the Urban Strategies Council in Oakland, where he managed a number of county-wide reentry and violence prevention initiatives. Bill also has an extensive background in reentry research and policy analysis having focused on this issue while serving as a research associate at both the Illinois Division of Mental Health and the Columbus Children’s Research Institute in Columbus, OH. He holds a M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Hampshire College.
Niema Jordan, is a storyteller, content strategist, producer and award-winning filmmaker from Oakland, California. She began her career in media as an undergraduate at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism studying magazine writing and editing. Later she received her Master of Public Health and Master of Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
Niema has written for numerous publications including ESSENCE, EBONY, The Undefeated, The Crisis, and Glamour. Her production credits include Oasis (producer/director), The Chosen Life (associate producer), Fatherless (associate producer), Bobby Kennedy for President (researcher) and The Force (impact producer). She is on the Board of Directors at Reel Stories and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is currently an editorial associate at Square crafting content to support entrepreneurs.
Phoumy Sayavong, Treasurer
Phoumy Sayavong serves as the Treasurer for the Oakland Kids First board of directors. Phoumy is currently the Interim Dean of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Applied Technology for Laney College. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and was a researcher and evaluator for over 10 years. His professional experience includes serving as the Senior Researcher for the Oakland Unified School District, Research Associate at the Metiri Group, Evaluator at NASA Ames’ Educational Technology Team, and Researcher for the Center for Education Diversity and Excellence. He has also worked as a private consultant and evaluator on topics such as teacher professional development programs, community mental health needs assessment, after school programs, and survey development.
Ijeoma Arum is an Oakland native, Ijeoma graduated from OUSD, earned her bachelor’s degree from UCLA and her MBA from Columbia University. She joined Google in January 2019 and is currently Head of Product Data and Assortment for gTech supporting Google Shopping. In her role, Ijeoma leads a team that supports product management and engineering with the launch of new features. She held prior roles at Target and Nike focused on improving operational efficiency, identifying consumer insights, and capturing market opportunities.
A strong believer of giving back, Ijeoma is most passionate about working with underrepresented minorities to help minimize the achievement gap caused by socioeconomic disparities. This manifests itself through her volunteering and mentoring activities with various organizations, including Self Enhancement Inc. and now Oakland Kids First.