California State  Recognition Awards

San Francisco Chapter


Lisa Towles, MBA and IT Senior Manager. Lisa is an award-winning crime novelist, with six novels in print, and she also loves Sherlock Holmes, math, physics, chess, and helping people.

Lisa Towles is a Senior Manager leading client advocacy for a global tech firm. With an MBA in IT Management, she’s been working in the tech industry since the early 2000s. Along with her extensive experience in software engineering is a deep passion for supporting, connecting, and empowering people to realize their true potential. As a leadership coach and mentor, she specializes in employee engagement, peer support, and customer advocacy. Outside of her technical career, Lisa is an award-winning crime novelist, with six novels in print including her latest, The Unseen. 


Her deep commitment to community engagement includes personal and corporate group volunteering to support Bay Area nonprofits, such as Oakland Digital, Project Homeless Connect, and Covenant House. She is a pro bono career counselor for local nonprofits, has facilitated benefit and fundraising events, secured community grants from local corporations, and she is a Board Member for BridgeGood, a visionary Bay Area nonprofit that aligns community college students with sustainable technical careers that build economic independence and future tech leaders. 


Shaun Tai is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of BRIDGEGOOD, an award-winning design studio. He dedicates himself to enhancing tech literacy and opportunity among under resourced Entrepreneurs and multimedia Students.   


Shaun also leads the direction and product strategy for, a web application that connects Creatives to professional opportunities. The platform is supported by, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, and Golden State Warriors Community Foundation.


Shaun received an MA in Architectural & Urban Design (Interdisciplinary Studies, 4.0 GPA) and a BS in Advertising (Magna Cum Laude, 3.8 GPA) from San Jose State University. Prior to SJSU, he graduated with honors from Cal State East Bay with a BA in Digital Arts and was named “Distinguished Young Alumnus” of the academic year 2014-15.


In September 2016, Diablo Magazine ranked Shaun #6 in their prestigious 40 Under 40 campaign. In March 2017, SF Business Times named Shaun 40 Under 40 alongside the Bay Area’s brightest CEO’s and Directors. In April, Cal State East Bay recognized Shaun as a 40 Under 40 “Civil Service & Activism” Recipient, Class of 2017.


Additionally, through his work with, Shaun has dedicated his time to enhancing digital literacy and professional opportunities among underserved, minority, and at-risk populations.