About Us

Our story

Your Future Is Our Business was formed in 1993 by a Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce education committee. Ever since our mission is to provide every Santa Cruz County student with opportunities to discover a fulfilling and successful career. In the modern, shifting workplace, students need to make informed decisions that empower them to forge careers. We bring schools and businesses together to support students in becoming Santa Cruz County’s next generation of workers. It’s all about providing young people clear direction in their lives.

We implement work-based learning, the educational strategy providing students with real-life experiences and the opportunity to improve their academic and technical skills while developing their employability. Our work includes building a countywide network of community leaders and businesses who see the talent and potential in our students. With this incredible support, we host monthly career panels and expos at various schools, ranging from K-12th grade. Students receive a real-world setting along with practical advice on planning a career path. We are fully staffed by college interns, supervised by a part-time executive director, all coordinating together to successfully run a non-profit organization.

Meet the team

YFIOB Staff and Board Members

Our talented and energetic college interns have brought new ideas, initiatives, and organization to our mission. I celebrate that Your Future Is Our Business provides work-based learning opportunities for college interns as they contribute back to the community. YFIOB supports the future of our students and our county. I am truly grateful to be doing this work with our college interns.

Mary Gaukel

Executive Director

  • Shareen Bell
  • Stacey Smith
  • Chris McGriff
  • Dave Weiss

The Team

Board of Directors

Tish Denevan

Board Tish Denevan

Human Resources
Santa Cruz Seaside Company

Winston Whittaker

edited Board Winston Whittaker (1)

Architect / Designer
Whittaker Building Design

Michael Marheineke

Board Michael Marheineke


Murry Schekman

Pajaro Valley Unified School District


Nikki Correa

Board Nikki Correa

Branch Manager
Bay Federal Credit Union

Carolyn Auman

Board Carolyn Auman

Territory Sales Manager

Keisha Frost

Board Keisha Frost

Executive Director
United Way of Santa Cruz County

Emily White

R&D Project Manager

Aki Williams

Board Aki Williams

Chief of Operations Officer and Co-founder of Defib This

Nisha Patel

Board Nisha Patel

Principal Personnel Analyst
County of Santa Cruz

Amy Nama

Board Amy Nama

Small Business Development Center

Mark Hodges

Senior Director of The Career and Technical Education Program

Betsy Andersen

Executive Director of Museo Eduardo Carrillo

Gerlinde Brady

Dean of CTE and Workforce Development Cabrillo College


Alan Stormes

Board Alan Stormes

Elements Manufacturing Inc.


Tom Crahen

Board Tom Crahen



Intern Alumni

Our Instagram


Meeting by appointment only

399 Encinal St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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