Denise Yamamoto

Board President

Denise is a pioneer and consultant in the field of social entrepreneurship, and has been at the forefront of the movement since it began. While receiving her MBA from University of California at Berkeley, she helped organize the very first Haas Social Venture Business Plan Competition, a global competition for mission-driven business ventures that promote social responsibility and economic profitability—that is now the largest such competition in the world. After receiving her MBA, Denise went on to help define the very meaning of social innovation in a number of critical positions: She was a Farber Fellow and business director at CVE, Inc., a San Francisco nonprofit that provides jobs and training to people with mental health disabilities. She also worked with the Grameen Fund, Bangladesh’s first venture capital fund, the National Park Service and the National Parks and Conservation Association, and is currently the chairperson of the Advisory Board of BUILD. Denise has a background in finance and before finding her passion for social enterprise, she worked for Barclays Global Investors and was the international equity portfolio manager in the firm’s Alpha Strategies Group. An Oakland resident and mother of three, Denise says that playing outdoors and getting muddy was a critical piece of her childhood while growing up on a farm in Oxnard, CA. She is passionate about Pogo Park not only for providing safe and enriching play spaces, but for the transformation that can happen when children, families and the community are involved in a project that brings everyone together.