Movers and Shakers

Our December Movers and Shakers on the Peninsula

By Julissa James

Seven high achievers on our radar this month, from Bay Area heavyweights to the next generation shaking things up.

Illustrations by Iris Lei.

Brandon Rosen

The San Mateo-based private chef has been selected to compete in the upcoming season of Bravo’s Top Chef. Rosen worked in a number of restaurants as a teenager before his ambitions put him front and center in some of the most highly praised kitchens on the East and West coasts. He plied his craft at the legendary Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in New York, the wine country’s iconic French Laundry, and Benu in San Francisco. Rosen will compete against some of the leading talent in the country, but with his track record, something tells us he’ll do just fine.

Kahlil Joseph

As a visiting artist in Stanford’s Presidential Residencies on the Future of the Arts Program, Joseph presents BLKNWS, a broadcast project that (like much of Joseph’s highly regarded work) explores culture, politics and identity. BLKNWS is a two-channel video projection that “blurs the lines between art, journalism, entrepreneurship and cultural critique,” as described by the Cantor Arts Center. Joseph is known for his distinct music video direction for artists like Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar, along with his emotionally charged short films. Joseph’s temporary exhibition will run through June 16, 2019. May the artists of our world live long and prosper! 

Maria Peevey

Peevey knows what people want: an elegant wardrobe for themselves and their dogs. After making a killing in pet fashion through the wildly successful SimplyDog, the Bay Area entrepreneur set her sights on human closets. She’s now the founder and CEO of The Reset, an online company that supplies versatile pieces for women in transition (change of career, change of city, change of relationship status). The Reset is on the tail end of its IRL pop-up at the Stanford Shopping Center, where customers can nab their in-house R Label until the end of December. Here’s to the success of women entrepreneurs everywhere! 

Aron Wall

The Stanford researcher was awarded the Breakthrough New Horizons Prize in physics during a ceremony held at NASA Ames. For anyone not as well-versed in the wonderful world of black holes, the second law of thermodynamics and theoretical physics — this is a huge deal. Think: the Oscars of science. In 2019, the 34-year-old will move his talents across the pond to the University of Cambridge, where he’ll lecture and do research on quantum gravity and black hole thermodynamics. Congratulations on the immense honor, Aron!

Nicole Taylor

Taylor brings her long history with Bay Area philanthropy to the table as the new president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF). She served as the top boss of multiple Bay Area foundations before returning to her alma mater as both Stanford’s associate vice provost of student affairs and dean of community engagement and diversity. That’s not to mention the number of powerful boards on which she sits. Taylor heads to SVCF from the ASU Foundation, where she was vice president. “I am thrilled to be coming to SVCF and back to Silicon Valley,” she says. Here’s to new (or familiar?) beginnings! 

Hootan Rashidifard and Adina Tecklu 

Led by the dynamic Tecklu, the venture capitalist power duo was named in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for 2019. Together they run Canaan Beta, the seed program operating on $20 million of the firm’s $800 million pool. Both Tecklu and Rashidifard break out of the VC stereotype, and that’s exactly what gives them an edge. “Typically, whenever I enter a pitch meeting or interact with VCs outside of their firms, I tend to be the only one who looks like myself,” Tecklu has said. “Now, two years into the industry, I actually think that it plays to my advantages.” 

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