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Digital NEST Board of Directors welcomes three new members

Digital NEST, the local nonprofit providing free technology access and training to youth in Watsonville and Salinas, has announced the addition of Donna Murphy, Matthew Payne, and Sonny Pulido to its board of directors.

In making the announcement, board president Michele Bassi praised the new directors for their strong community activism and professional expertise. “Donna, Matt and Sonny bring deep experience and many skills to our board,” Bassi said. “I know their contributions will advance the work of Digital NEST.”

Digital NEST membership –open to youth from high school through age 24- has grown to more than 1200 across its two locations, in Watsonville and Salinas. The two Digital NEST centers are activity-rich, education-focused environments where youth are trained in digital arts, web and information technology, and workforce ‘soft skills’ such as project management and communications. All programs and services are free, supported by individual donors, local businesses, and foundation grants.

Donna Murphy brings to the Digital NEST board a passion for helping young people achieve their highest potential. During her professional career, Donna held senior leadership positions at two international organizations and three research universities, most recently as Vice Chancellor for University Relations at UC Santa Cruz. Now retired, she provides pro bono consulting to several local and regional nonprofit organizations and is active in regional economic development, transportation, housing and environmental activities.
Matthew Payne is a product manager at Santa Cruz-based Plantronics. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Matthew’s connections to local tech businesses and the gaming industry as a whole will help Digital NEST expand its access to these areas.  With his engineering background, Matthew will focus on bringing the latest and greatest technology trends to the NEST.
Sonny Pulido is the Director of Product Integrity for Naturipe Berry Growers Inc., in Salinas. She is a Salinas native and a California Polytechnic State University graduate. As her career in Agriculture progressed, Sonny had a desire to give back to the community that supported her throughout her educational career, and found Digital NEST to be that calling.

Since opening its doors in 2014, Digital NEST has supported hundreds of youth along the path to higher education and well-paying careers. NEST youth are finding good jobs, internships, and entrepreneurial opportunities in technology and tech-related fields because of the mentorship and training provided by Digital NEST.