2017-2018 Leadership

Leaders and advisors of the SphereUs Foundation are committed to helping students in poverty excel in school and throughout their lifelong learning journeys. A growing team of experts is equipped to fulfill this mission of the SphereUs Foundation:

Christopher Wirkkala, M.B.A. - Executive Director
Mr. Wirkkala is a marketing veteran with experience as a founder, corporate director, and chief executive. Chris' career centers on helping technology companies grow by successfully promoting their systems and applications. His legacy interests surround providing equal opportunities and improving outcomes for students with fewer resources at their disposal. A published author with extensive knowledge of education administration and compliance, Chris is currently researching the impact of charter schools on employee retention in completion of his doctorate in educational leadership.



Roberto Quiroz, Ed.D. - Advisor
Dr. Quiroz is currently the President of Creative Schools Consulting. Emphasizing equity and excellence in public education, Roberto's areas of expertise are vast and many include teaching students learning English as a second language, Title I programs, and whole school reform. His passion is to continue to work collaboratively with dedicated educators in urban schools and charter schools in efforts to help teachers create classrooms where all students can succeed.  Throughout Roberto's 30 years in public education, he has dedicated himself to understanding the importance of teamwork in implementing research based strategies such as peer coaching for professional development, professional learning communities.


Eric Veal - Advisor
A fan of technology from the earliest days of his life, Eric is a Technical Account Manager at Tableau Software in Kirkland, Washington. At Tableau, Eric advises some of the world's largest retail, banking, and government organizations on topics like big data, cloud computing, and visual analytics. Eric has served in leadership roles for numerous companies including acting in the capacity of senior business consultant since 2005. Eric also runs a business consulting company called AppsJack. AppsJack specializes in helping smaller groups adopt modern software application to increase their competitiveness. Eric was foundational in helping create the SphereUs Corporation's vision. Eric holds dual Masters Degrees from the University of Washington's Fosters School of Business in Business Information System and Business Administration. Eric is a certified Project Management Professional as well. 
Eric now lives in King County with his wife Jessica. 
For fun, Eric loves food, cooking, databases, programming, computer programming and enjoying the great outdoors.


Drina Simons - Advisor
Ms. Simons bring more than 20 years of development and community relations experience to the SphereUs Education Foundation. She is currently Campaign Manager for the National Tropical Botanical Garden, headquartered in Kalaheo, Hawai`i. She has provided consulting services for a variety of nonprofit organizations, including Storybook Theatre of Hawai`i, Malama Kaua`i, the Columbia River Mental Health Foundation, Deaf Educaiton Advocates Foundation, the Camas Educational Foundation, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, and the Portland Chamber Orchestra. Her previous positions include serving as a consultant with CCS Fund Raising in New York, New York, Director of Development for the Macdonald Center in Portland, Oregon, and Director of Development for Bonnie Brae Treatment Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Drina served for ten yeas as Director of Community Relations for The Christie School in Marylhurst, Oregon (now Yourth Villages Oregon). Drina grew up in the Portland, Oregon area and is a graduate of Washington State University's Edward R. Murrow School of Communications in Pullman, Washington.


Corinne Gregory - Advisor
Ms. Gregory is the President and Founder of SocialSmarts®, a nationally-recognized program for developing strong social skills, positive character and values in children and adults. 
Corinne is an author, speaker, advisor, and a leading authority on education, business and family-development topics.  Her media appearances include The Today ShowCNNTime MagazineUSA TodayThe Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalParents Magazine, and many more. She was awarded Phi Delta Kappa's Distinguished Educator Award for Innovative Leadership and Dedication. 
Corinne is a highly sought-after speaker, offering business and education-focused presentations and workshops. 
Besides her previously published technology and business-focused books, she is working on several books related to the SocialSmarts program, parenting, and education reform. Her most recent, "It's Not Who You Know, It's How You Treat Them - Five SocialSmarts® Secrets Today’s Business Leaders Need to Stand Out and be Successful", " Breaking the Bullying Culture", and "Education Reform and Other Myths" are  available now. Character Counts - An inspiring study of character traits embodied in Rotary's Four-Way Test for current and new Rotarians.
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