SLO Partners is a non-profit organization and innovative initiative of the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. Our team is working to bring talented, diverse and ambitious Central Coast residents into the tech industry while supplying a skilled talent pool to local businesses.
James Brescia, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
James Brescia is the San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools and a clinical faculty member in the Educational Leadership and Administration Program at Cal Poly. James has served as a teacher, principal, and district superintendent in North County since 1989. Dr. Brescia’s writing and research interests include school leadership, instructional leadership, and organizational problem-solving-based-leadership.
Executive Director, SLOCOE & SLO Partners
With over two decades in education leadership and experience, Michael Specchierla is an Executive Director for the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education and the founder of the SLO Partners program. An entrepreneur at heart, Michael promotes the importance of innovation and hands-on learning, which is reflected in the programs he oversees.
Paula Mathias Fryer
Director, SLO Partners
Experienced in HR, Technical Recruiting and business development, Paula strategically plans and drives the SLO Partners team to succeed at their mission of creating career pathways for local residents while supplying talented workers for local businesses. Focused on results, Paula forges relationships, designs new training opportunities and oversees the branding and identity of the program.
Operations and Marketing Consultant
Luke serves as an integral part of the team in his role as Business Operations Consultant. He is a proven asset in strategically advancing the organization to expanded technical effeciency and overall growth and maturity. Luke’s expertise in Digital Marketing drives the success of student enrollment.
Operations, SLO Partners
As a member of the SLO Partner’s team, Kenny utilizes his experience in serving as an operational multitasker to provide essential backend support to the program, as well as creating and implementing solutions that improve organizational efficiency, and operational integrity with passion, dedication, and a consistent focus towards innovation.
The Advisory Committee is a collective group of individuals whose experience and abilities represent a cross section of a particular occupational area in which SLO Partners operates. The Committee informs staff members on matters relative to industries linked to SLO Partners. This vital connection ensures the relevancy of the program and that course curriculum satisfies the desired skills for today’s employers.
Josh Tang, Amazon
Director, Kindle Ingestion eXperience (KIX)
Josh Tang is a director of technology at Amazon, leading teams building software for Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service, Print-On-Demand technology, and other foundational technology to empower sellers around the globe to earn a living with their craft. He is a site lead for Amazon in San Luis Obispo, playing a leading role in the establishment and growth of local Amazon offices. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Central Coast Economic Forecast and is committed to the economic success of the central coast region, particularly through investing in the diversity and size of the local tech workforce.
Loreli Cappel, EVC
Senior Project Director
Loreli Cappel serves as Senior Project Director for the Economic Vitality Corporation supporting the growth and prosperity of our local business community and County economy. A graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Loreli brings over 20 years of experience in City Planning and Urban Design to the nonprofit world of Economic Development. Her current professional focus includes facilitating the EVC’s Industry Clusters, managing a Regional Economic Strategy & Implementation Plan, supporting the development of our future workforce and working directly with businesses to help grow and diversify the economic makeup of our County and communities.
Lee Johnson, City of San Luis Obispo
Interim Economic Development Manager
Lee combines his management experience and his background in manufacturing, solar, consulting, and international business to direct the Economic Development activities of the City of San Luis Obispo. He draws on 20+ years of experience in international business. Lee’s local experience includes his time as partner at Collaboration, LLC, a management consulting firm, President and CEO at Mainstream Energy and its subsidiaries REC Solar and AEE Solar. Most recently, Lee worked as the CEO AccuAir Control Systems LLC, a high-performance suspension manufacturing company with more than 70 employees.
Rachael Hendricks, Trust Automation
Human Resources Manager
Rachael Hendricks has a Master’s of Public Administration with a Leadership focus and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Rachael’s career in human resources started in 1999 at Oregon State University in faculty training and development. Upon returning to California, she worked for the City of San Luis Obispo as a Human Resources Analyst before becoming a Human Resources Manager at a general engineering construction contractor. She has found her home as Human Resources Manager at Trust Automation. Along with a great team, Rachael is responsible for all aspects of resourcing humans, including duties that often seem to fall under “other duties as assigned,” which enjoyably keeps her on her toes.
Matt West, Wildnote
Software Engineering Manager
Matt West is the Software Engineering Manager for Wildnote, Inc. and the Founder of CodeSLO, LLC. He is passionate about technology education and helping people improve their quality of life. He lives in Atascadero with his wife, Lynne, and their children.
Naoko Ott, Entegris
With over ten years as a Human Resources professional in a manufacturing & engineering environment, Naoko Ott is currently the Human Resources Business Partner at Entegris. Headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, Entegris employs approximately 5,100 people worldwide, with a facility located in San Luis Obispo, CA. Entegris provides customers with innovative, science-based solutions to their toughest technology challenges. A champion of company culture, and accomplished at strategically aligning human capital support and guidance with the key priorities of business, Naoko focuses on mitigating risk for the company, and elevating the performance and job satisfaction of a business’s most valuable asset – their employees
Steve Burnside, Clever Ducks
Steve is Director of Development and Marketing at Clever Ducks. His passion for technology started with an Atari 2600 and has grown from there. Steve holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and an MBA with a Strategic Management emphasis.