Digital NEST is excited to announce the appointment of two new members to the Board of Directors. Rubén Dario Villa of the San José area and Scott S. Smith of Santa Cruz will begin their terms in January 2022.

Rubén is a first-generation Chicano born in San José, CA to Mexican immigrants. A first-gen college graduate of Santa Clara University, Villa fell in love with graphic design and landed a job at Apple during an economic recession after having applied for a “Photoshop Expert” role without knowing Photoshop. After a few years, Villa quit his full-time role in tech and launched his creative side-hustle Fúchila Fresheners. Now a UX Designer and Global Brand Lead at Google for over six years, Villa continues to devote 120% of his time to empower minority and women-owned businesses and youth in underserved communities looking to break into tech in Silicon Valley. Moved to Gilroy in 2000, Villa proudly lives with his wife and kids in the Garlic Capital of the World.

Scott has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and has spent his career in the technology industry, in roles ranging from product engineering, project leadership, and consulting.  He has served on boards including Encompass, UCSC’s Seymour Marine Discovery Center, as well as other advisory roles for nonprofits.  Scott has served in technology-related advisory roles at the NEST for much of the time since its founding in 2014.

Scott is a California native and has lived in  Santa Cruz County since 1986. He is an avid supporter of the diverse Central Coast community as well as its ocean and mountain wildlands.

Both leaders have an impressive track record of expertise in their field while serving others in their community. Their mentorship and deep dedication to supporting youth are sure to advance the mission of Digital NEST during a time of active expansion for the organization.