Spark Announces New Executive Director in Los Angeles
Spark Promotes Managing Director of External Affairs
Spark LA's Janine Berridge advances to senior regional leadership role
Spark announced the promotion of Janine Berridge from Managing Director of External Affairs of Spark Los Angeles to Executive Director of this local office. Berridge will lead the regional team, deepen partnerships with the business community and oversee strategy and execution of fund development.
Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004, Spark inspires students in the middle grades to succeed in high school and beyond by connecting them with mentors in leading workplaces and supporting their academic journey with skill-building and resources.
Berridge joined the organization in 2015 as a Director of External Relations and Events in LA. Since that time, she’s spearheaded landmark events, including the Spark a Dream Gala, which raised more than $300,000 under Berridge’s direction, and Spark Los Angeles’ inaugural Stakeholder Convening, a forum for thought-leadership and community building. She also revamped the region’s corporate partner strategy. By increasing the number of mentorships per partner, Berridge streamlined program operations and lowered the cost per student, building Spark LA’s capacity to increase enrollment by 15%.
“Spark has benefited exponentially from the team-oriented leadership style and strategic approach Janine brings to each and every project,” said Yoon S. Choi, PhD, Co-President and Chief Strategy Officer for Spark. “From helping the organization map its long-term growth strategy to expanding Spark’s corporate partner portfolio, Janine skillfully brings together staff, companies and communities to help students succeed.”
Prior to joining Spark, Berridge partnered with the Clinton Foundation in New York and was the Senior Executive in the Major Partnerships Unit in the United Kingdom at Plan UK, a leading international child development organization operating in 50 countries. There, Berridge was responsible for securing multi-million dollar donations from Fortune 500 companies, and managing the relationships through multi-year, international development programs. Specializing in business development and cross-sector collaboration for 10 years, Berridge’s passion is to contribute to sustainable social change, working strategically across sectors to maximize partnership impact.
“Bridging the gap between businesses and communities is an inherent part of Spark’s program. Since my first day at Spark Los Angeles, I’ve been continually inspired by the families, educators, executives, mentors and funders who make Spark’s career exploration and self-discovery program possible,” said Berridge. “It’s my privilege to grow these partnerships and unite diverse communities to bring these experiences to more students each year.”
Berridge holds a BA in Journalism from Cardiff University and a Masters in Public Policy from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.