Born and raised in New York City, with the tragic loss of her father as an infant, Deborah’s hardship resulted in establishing her path of giving a voice and serving those in need both within the US and internationally. With a graduate degree, Deborah became an advocate for children with autism and other special needs.
Charles is Self-motivated and has led and developed a mature and professional approaches using technology tools to impact the lives of young people and rural community in IT resources including Technology training, web development, online advertising, social media strategy, video, and multimedia, working with the local community to integrate information technology systems to solve their challenges.
He joined U-TOUCH in 2011 and has demonstrated a history of working in the information technology and services industry. Community Empowerment focused on women and children, Skilled in Research, business development professional with over 10 years experience.
Victoria Oakes joined the U-Touch team in April 2023 and joins us from Microsoft where she was Chief of Staff for Sustainability and Social Impact. Victoria brings her corporate skills to the non-profit world and was astounded at the impact U-touch has had over the past 2 decades. She was a non-exec on the board for a homeless charity for over 4 years in the UK and also supported an African Social Enterprise with their social impact strategy.
Victoria is working on a growth strategy that will focus on 4 pillars.
A self-sustaining financial plan
A robust and modernized marketing and communications plan
A renewed focus on partnerships
Driving forward our IT infrastructure plans
Dr. Ron Plotkin earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Rochester. In addition to several decades of clinical practice, Dr. Plotkin has assumed a leadership role in several nonprofit organizations. He served as part of the executive leadership team at the San Diego Regional Center addressing professional development, strategic planning, and organizational development. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies in their professional development activities. He has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Sister Schools of San Diego and is currently the Chair of the Board of U-TOUCH.
Joshua M. Searcy is an attorney in private practice since 2010. He received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law and his Bachelor's degree from the University of California Irvine. Beyond providing legal counsel, Joshua Searcy shares his passion and deep interest in empowering individuals and societies to overcome all obstacles and improve the quality of their existence.
Having spent the month of January in Uganda was the single most touching experience of my adult life. The Ugandan people were the most hospitable and kind people and the rich Ugandan culture is beyond captivating. The Ugandan’s need our help and I truly believe that we can make a difference in their everyday life as U-TOUCH has proven to us all. A little bit about me and my background: Cynthia is a businesswoman and divides her time between her Design Business in San Diego, DRP International Design Inc., and running a Hospitality Business in Key West Florida, Palms Hotel, and Palms Sugarloaf. Her Design business has afforded her the opportunity to travel and design both residences and commercial properties around the world. Her education was in Child Development with a graduate degree in Psychology. She paid for her education by designing clothing and later began designing fabrics for interiors which was the launching of her Interior Design Business. Cynthia is a perfectionist very detail-oriented and a successful entrepreneur. She is a great communicator and an excellent listener. Cynthia is a gift to U-TOUCH and is delighted to work with the team to help U-TOUCH grow and prosper.
Jeffry B. Schafer, MD, FRSM is a cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon practicing since 1973. He has taught at the University of Alabama's School of Medicine and at the University of California at San Diego. He is an active member of the nonprofit community as a board member of Mainly Mozart, the San Diego Opera, and Partners Against Crime. He is a supporter of many children's charities and has volunteered his plastic and reconstructive skills for the Rotary Foundation's Thousand Smiles in Mexico.
I am a Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor in the Psychiatry Department at UCSD. A clinical psychologist specializing in gerontology and behavioral medicine, I work with seniors facing loneliness, cognitive decline, grief and loss, and age-related health problems, among other concerns. I also work with women struggling with adaptation to chronic health conditions, often rare disorders. I train graduate students to work with these populations and give lectures on age-related topics. In my spare time, I enjoy water aerobics, gyrotonics, walking my dog, family time, cooking, travel, volunteering for CERT and U-TOUCH and running my book club.
Emma Silvera is an accomplished entrepreneur, educator, mother, and wife. She has worked in the non-profit sector and is passionate about giving back, receiving numerous awards for her leadership in the community. As a special education teacher and program specialist for the San Diego Office of Education, Emma helped pioneer a successful model serving young children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. She co-wrote ‘The World of Autism’, a video produced by the San Diego County Office of Education and ITV, receiving a Telly award for the documentary. In recent years, Emma built a successful business with her husband and has been instrumental in bringing philanthropy to their daily operations. After traveling to Uganda in January 2020, Emma witnessed firsthand the impact U-Touch had in the communities it serves. Her diverse background provides Emma a unique understanding of the U-TOUCH mission.
Dr. Norman Jacknis, Director of Cisco’s IBSG Public Sector Group (the company’s strategic consulting think tank), is a globally recognized expert in government innovation and transformation. Dr. Jacknis has extensive executive and leadership experience in local and state government, including Westchester County, and other technology and innovation organizations. Prior to his public service, Dr. Jacknis had diverse experience as an executive in the software industry, with emphasis on Internet applications and distributed computing. Government Technology Magazine selected him as one of the nation’s “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers who, using technology … broke bureaucratic inertia to better serve the public“ – a list which included not just technology leaders, but elected officials as well.
In 1987 Chuck founded Industrial Computer Source (ICS), which grew to $22M in sales with over 100 employees. It was acquired by Dynatech which kept Chuck as a Group VP . With his sharp business acumen he has been involved in several seed investments. Chuck balances his life with his dedication to his family and his wise counsel to non-profits.
Noah is an experienced business executive, entrepreneur and inventor, with several start-ups and a venture backed business to his credit. He started a web based company in 1999 and grew to generate millions in online revenue in the past decade and is currently CEO of SearchBug, Inc. and Intelligent eCommerce, Inc.
Jess has been supporting U-TOUCH since June 2023. She volunteers her skills as a digtial marketer and creates content for all our digital channels and social platforms.
While undertaking a BA and MSc in anthropology, Jess gained an appreciation for the power of communications to mobilise action and drive meaninful change. She’s a social impact champion at her current organisation and fundraises for local charities.
Olivia grew up as the oldest of eleven children in Northern California, and was instilled with humanitarian values at a young age. After years of volunteering with Invisible Children, she co-founded a non-profit focused on sustainable community development in Uganda. Through her project, KumiKonnect, and with seed support of the Global Citizens Fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles, she refined her mission in Uganda to center on internet access, digital literacy training, and addressing the needs of government hospitals and medical facilities through ICT solutions.
Olivia is passionate about bridging the digital divide and looks forward to expanding her work to Uganda’s refugee and refugee-host communities.
Anita is a project Assistant and a Facilitator for the Women Empowerment program at U-TOUCH with 8 years’ experience specializing in Training management and research (Data collection, Data Entry, Microsoft Office, Report writing, and data analysis.)
Anita uses that experience to provide training to youth and girls/women with business skills/knowledge to see that they become self-sustainable. With the Business/Entrepreneurship Training, Anita has been able to help over 100 trainees develop business plans and became sole business owners. Young girls can now stand up for their rights and are now self-sustainable.
Anita holds a professional qualification in Business Administration.