Keeva Kase, Executive Director

“Empathy is the source of creativity. When we see ourselves in others – human and nonhuman, alike – we innovate for the greater good.”

Veteran child advocate, community organizer, and small business owner, Keeva leads Bull City Forward toward a world in which our toughest challenges are solved through social innovation. He envisions Durham and the Triangle region as a global leader for innovative solutions to systemic social problems. Keeva has directed numerous community investment initiatives and championed education and child welfare reform efforts. He holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, owns a small truffiere, and serves as a director with Odell Education. Keeva credits his faith, family, and friends for his continued inspiration and drive to serve.


Roshen Sethna, Associate Director

Roshen is an entrepreneur and community leader with experience in strategy and operations for early-stage ventures. She is passionate about using business, technology, and design to make a materially positive impact on the world. Her experience spans everything from working on water purification technology and solar-powered bikes to studying private military companies to founding a chapter of Nourish International, a social venture focused on international development. Roshen was born in India, grew up mostly in Durham, and has a degree from Duke in Public Policy and Global Health. You can find her downing a donut at Monuts or just follow her @roshensethna.


Nanda Chalam

Nanda Chalam, Innovation Adviser

Nanda brings eight years of start-up leadership, senior management and legal services experience to his role as Innovations Adviser. His expertise includes the provision of digital content monetization, intellectual property protection, and user-base scaling services to new media companies and online social networks. His areas of interest include the development of tools and methods to improve organizational communication and workflow as well as the application of mobile technology to serve people at the base of the pyramid. Nanda is currently an Asia Pacific Scholar at Berkeley Law where he is completing an LL.M. in Law and Technology. He holds a joint degree in Law and Business from the University of Warwick, U.K., and is primarily based in Chapel Hill.


1374080_10101583749290548_1350860147_nJohn-Paul Smith, Chief Innovation Officer

John-Paul served as Replication and Scaling Manager for Bull City Forward in Durham and Manager of Small Business and Entrepreneurship for the Greensboro Partnership. He helped launch Queen City Forward in Charlotte and spearhead the Piedmont Triad’s first Startup Weekend. He served on the NC Institute for Emerging Issues Co-Working Task Force, contributes to the NC Fourth Sector Cluster Initiative, and supported the NC Entrepreneurship Summit. John-Paul has served as a Trustee to Forward Communities and is a member of Leadership North Carolina.


Beatrice PhotoBeatrice Parker Diaz, Community Relations

Beatrice is a self-proclaimed GRIT (girl raised in the south) with global tendencies, foodie, advocate, hostess, and entrepreneur. A North Carolina native, she is a wife and mompreneur of four. Beatrice has worked as an outreach counselor for Hurricane Floyd victims, taught ESL, tutored secondary Spanish, worked as a Bilingual Victim witness legal assistant, collections agent, and office manager. Beatrice is active in her community by serving on various advisory/executive boards, mentoring children, parent support groups, coordinating events, and serving in her church. Her degrees are in Political Science and Spanish from UNC Chapel Hill.


Bull City Forward

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