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Board of Directors

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Ruwani Biggers

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Ruwani Biggers advocates for women and other marginalized groups.  She promotes new technologies as the Director of Customer Digital Enhancements at Cisco Systems.  She is an active member and former leader for different Employee Resource Organizations (ERO) for over a decade.  She is a staunch advocate for hiring and promoting female engineering talent at Cisco and is excited to build the next generation of engineers through Her Spark, Inc. As President of Her Spark, Ruwani guides the overall direction of the organization and mobilizes the board, partners, resources and volunteers to execute key initiatives for the organization.


Sweetie Browne

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Vice President

Sweetie’s passions lie in helping women of all ages feel empowered to accomplish their goals. She thrives on cultivating a platform for others to see their potential and go after their goals. She's a creative who works as the Chief of Staff for the Global IoT Sales at Cisco. As the Vice President of Her Spark, Sweetie will evolve the strategy of the organization, foster new partnerships, and drive business outcomes while creating a safe space for young girls to thrive and get excited about technology. 


Deandra Scott Hill

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Deandra has been an educator for 15 years in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Durham Public Schools, and, most recently, with Duke TIP. Primarily focused on special education and special populations, Deandra has taken an interest in equity and diversity, especially in education. Deandra specializes in student self-advocacy and engagement, giving presentations throughout the region. During her last year in public schools (2016), she was named Teacher of the Year at her school.  As the Secretary for Her Spark, Inc., Deandra organizes information and meetings for the organization to ensure operational efficiency and compliance.

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Aylin Phelan

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Aylin is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a member of the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants. She is a Senior Director in the Controller’s Office at RTI International, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that serves out its mission to improve the human condition with more than 3,000 projects in 70+ countries. She serves as the Finance Lead on RTI’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.  As the Treasurer of Her Spark, Inc. she is responsible for all aspects of tax compliance, banking, financial planning, and budgeting.  

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Damien N. Perez

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Strategy Lead

Damien is a veteran serving over 20 years in the field of aviation.  He has led projects in the military, held leadership positions in several nonprofits, and teaches STEM courses at Project-Based Learning charter school.  Additionally, he serves NCPMI as VP of Certifications and PMI Educational Foundation Liaison. 

Originally from NJ, Damien now calls NC home. He enjoys time with his five children and wife of over 15 years. Hobbies include volunteering, recreational sports, and running. As the Strategy Lead for Her Spark, Inc. he identifies short-term and long-term goals to sustain forward growth of organization.


Meagan Raviele

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Events and Program Lead

Meagan Raviele is a product of STEM outreach. By participating in STEM opportunities that companies and universities brought to her public schools, her interest in STEM was able to fully grow and flourish. She went on to graduate from NC State University with a dual major in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Today she works as a Systems Engineer at Cisco, helping cities and schools find solutions to meet their networking and technology needs. In her free time, she seeks ways to give back to the community that gave to her. She also has been a leader in groups such as Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Women and Science and Engineering (WISE) where she was able to foster the same type of STEM outreach opportunities for others. As the Events and Program lead, Meagan directs the development, integration and execution of Her Spark events, camps, and collaborations.

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Tess Bradford

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Tess Bradford is the Founder and former first President of Her Spark.  After voicing the need for STEM support for girls during a March 2017 women’s leadership conference, Tess reached out to local women leaders to establish what is now known as Her Spark. Tess continues to support the organization as a consultant. Tess is the CEO and owner of The Bright Insight Group, a management consulting firm that helps clients with business strategy and growth optimization.  Tess Bradford is an accomplished executive who retired from a 19-year career at Bank of America and in her former role as a Senior Vice President she developed and implemented strategies for digital banking, mobile services, artificial intelligence, and social media platforms. Tess has held leadership positions in strategy, compliance, operational risk management, and online product innovation. Tess is a community leader and an advocate for STEM education for children.


Shannon Ralich

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As Co-Founder, Shannon assisted Tess in 2017 with developing Her Spark.  She moved on to her next venture in 2020.

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