Meet the team

Parminder K. Jassal​, Ph.D.

Founder | Chief Executive Officer

Parminder is serving working learners as the CEO of Social Tech Inc., a public benefit corporation headquartered in Austin, TX.  Parminder founded in 2018 and also conducts research as the Founding Director of the Learn and Work Futures Lab (2016) at the Institute for the Future. Parminder’s early perspectives are shaped by experiences at Fortune 50 companies such as at Ford Motor Company, Atlantic Richfield Oil Company, and Lucent Technologies along with co-founding start-ups like Technology Solutions and Consulting, Bombay House Restaurant, and East Indian Trading Cafe.​  Parminder strives to apply foresight to promote positive culture shifts and improve inequities. 

In 2012, Dr. Jassal was named Founding CEO of ACT Foundation where she oversaw the organization’s unique role as an operating foundation, strategic investor, and incubation partner in support of the New Learning Economy and Rise of Working Learners (published). Dr. Jassal previously served as a program officer supporting postsecondary success for low-income young adults at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in Economic Development leading workforce innovation at Greater Louisville Inc.

From being born in London to completing high school in India to graduating as a product of public higher education in the United States, Parminder’s life reflects the world economy.  Parminder fluently speaks three languages and has worked and serves on boards across the globe.  Her post-secondary experiences began with an A.S. from Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa.  While transitioning from the for-profit to the philanthropic sector, Parminder earned her Doctorate in Higher Education with a focus on Technology and Economics from the University of Louisville.

Merrilea Mayo, Ph.D.

Founding Collaborator | Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Mayo’s work focuses on technologies, tools, and concepts that enable the 2/3 of Americans without a 4 year degree to access skilled jobs.  At a tactical level, much of this work involves the assessment and transmission of skills data, and/or the design of software systems that enable skills-based transactions to occur.  At a strategic level, Mayo isolates the financial, education and employment trends that influence new education and work paradigms.

Just prior to her arrival at Social Tech, Dr. Mayo operated a consulting firm specializing in skills assessment reviews and hiring funnel design.  Earlier in her career, Dr. Mayo served as Director of the Future of Learning Initiatives at the Kauffman Foundation and, prior to that, Director of the National Academies’ Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable.  Dr. Mayo has launched two non-profits, ASTRA and the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership, both of which continue to operate to this day.  Dr. Mayo is a materials scientist and engineer by training, having received her doctorate in that field from Stanford University in 1988, publishing approximately 80 technical articles, and serving as the President of the 15,000 member Materials Research Society in 2003.

Julian L. Alssid

Founding Collaborator | Chief Marketplace Engagement Officer

Julian is a nationally recognized strategist who has been at the leading edge of education and workforce development for over 30 years.

Julian currently leads J. Alssid Associates, a consulting group that helps c-level executives develop a powerful workforce through education. Prior to launching the company, Julian served as Vice President of Workforce Partnerships at the Community College of Rhode Island where he transformed CCRI’s low-performing workforce operation into a key driver of workforce and economic development, serving over 25,000 students annually.

Julian has authored major studies on workforce strategy. His views on engaging employers and creating effective workforce development systems have received extensive attention in national and local media, and he speaks and writes regularly on the need for policy and educational reform in the field.

Mary Dixon

Founding Team | Special Projects

Mary has over thirty years of experience in the construction industry. Her experiences are concentrated in the office and warehousing sectors for pipeline contractors in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Former positions include:
 Procurement Manager, Administrative Manager, Material Coordinator, Document Control Coordinator, Warehouse Coordinator, Warehouse Technician, Administrative Assistant and Project Secretary. Mary is a proud graduate of North Central Technical College with an Associate Degree in Data Processing & Accounting.

Denise Greene

Customer Experience Specialist

Denise is an experienced customer service representative with a demonstrated history of working in the human resources and customer service industry. She provides customer support for Unmudl, SocialTech’s course-to-jobs marketplace. Her professional skills include human resources, web content maintenance, accessibility compliance and user experience. Her human resources skills were honed at Insperity where she continues to provide an overview of benefit plan options to prospective and current clients. Prior to coming to Insperity, she held various positions for over 16 years at the National Academies for the Ocean Studies Board, Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, Federal Demonstration Partnership and University-Industry Demonstration Partnership. After departing from the Academies, she held several technical positions as a consultant on contract for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Transportation and State of Maryland.

Denise has a deep connection and appreciation for fundamental humanity. She thoroughly enjoys helping the underdog. Denise’s mission is to return the “human” aspect to human resources by providing a high level of customer service on a personal level and investing in their future.

Mackenzie Matheson

Social Media Coordinator

Mackenzie is an incoming sophomore at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL where she is majoring in both Communication Studies and Political Science. At Northwestern, she is chair of the campus events coordination team for GirlUp, a group dedicated to improving women’s access to education.  Most recently, she became a fellow for a local political campaign and is now captain of voter outreach. Mackenzie has a passion for reading, baking, and public advocacy.

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