Michelle Cotta has been with the SEMI Foundation since 2002. Michelle is currently managing the SEMI Mentoring Program which matches university students and developing professionals with industry managers, directors and executives. Michelle also handles program coordination for the SEMI High Tech U program. Responsibilities for this role include program announcements, student registration, activity kits and materials and student scholarships.
Michelle enjoys spending time with her family in the Bay Area and in Southern California. She also likes trying new restaurants (pre-COVID) and attempting to recreate her favorites at home.Michelle enjoys spending time with her family in the Bay Area and in Southern California. She also likes trying new restaurants (pre-COVID) and attempting to recreate her favorites at home.
Bryson Gauff has been with SEMI since April 2018 as Program Manager, SEMI High Tech U. In this position, he is responsible for the planning, delivery, and scaling of the hands-on STEM and industry awareness program. With some 10 years in education and non-profit sectors, Bryson loves being able to use his engineering background to create innovative and engaging experiences for youth that take them out of the classroom and introduce them to career opportunities.
When he is not thinking how to best inspire youth, Bryson enjoys spending time in the kitchen. He loves baking, mostly cakes and cobblers, and riffing on Italian recipes (ask him about his lasagna).
Margaret Kindling joined SEMI in September 1988. After many years overseeing all aspects of meeting management for the Americas, including ASMC, university engagement and regional programs, she is now the Senior Program Manager for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programming for the SEMI Foundation. Margaret continues to manage the Women in Semiconductors (WiS) program which was the first SEMI event developed and managed by women. In addition to WiS, she will manage the Spotlight on SEMI Women, Veterans and other DEI related activities.
Near and dear to her heart are the many industry volunteers with whom she has had the honor to work over the years. She owes a debt of gratitude to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) students attending ASMC for an ‘aha’ moment which led her on the DEI path. In 2007, she was awarded a SEMI Global Recognition Award for her work on ASMC. An Upstate New York transplant, Margaret works out of her home in Northern Virginia. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in German from Georgetown University.
Shari Liss is the Executive Director of the SEMI Foundation. Shari is responsible for driving the SEMI Strategic Initiatives for Workforce Development. Specifically, she provides leadership to the SEMI Foundation with sustainable programs that attract and fill the global electronics industry talent pipeline. Shari is also responsible for leading our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.
Shari joined SEMI from Ignited, where she was the Chief Executive Officer. At Ignited, she recruited, trained, and placed more than 400 educators in summer fellowships at top companies for transformative professional development that grew the Bay Area’s STEM talent pool and workforce pipelines. Prior to Ignited, Shari piloted an alternative high school for at-risk students, taught college calculus, and developed a mathematics programs to serve both gifted and challenged students in the Bay Area. She was also named a Woman of Influence in 2017 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal for her long-standing service to the education and nonprofit communities.
Shari received a Bachelor of Science, Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Master of Science, Mathematics from the State University of New York at Albany.
Michelle Williams is the Deputy Director of the SEMI Foundation. Michelle is responsible for the organization’s storytelling and communications, resource generation, and working toward diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Foundation, within SEMI, and for the industry.
Michelle’s diverse professional background includes working as a professional musician and performer, published writer, Emergency Medical Technician, emergency services responder in disaster relief, and in wine education. For the last 15 years, Michelle has served at the helm of nonprofit organizations dedicated to strengthening local communities and positively impacting policy and program development on regional, state-wide, and national levels.
Most recently she served as Executive Director at Arts Council Santa Cruz County, where she led an institutional turnaround and oversaw systemic and programmatic overhauls to address equity, sustainability, and greater community impact. At the core of Michelle’s work is devotion to equitable and supportive workplace culture, and the cultivation and nurturing of powerful and successful cross-sector partnerships.
Michelle recently relocated to Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband and two young sons, and where she is still getting used to looking for alligators on a daily basis.