About us

Meet the team behind DFI.

OUR MISSION

To empower educators, parents and communities with informative, useful resources and solutions to help guide today’s digitally connected youth on making better decisions, mitigating new world risks and using the power of digital, devices and social media for their benefit.

WHAT WE DO

We provide the necessary tools and training programs for educators, law enforcement (SRO’s) and parents to help them instruct kids on safer, more responsible internet and device usage and better manage specific challenges that arise – including substance use, cyberbullying, sexting, online predators, loss of emotional intelligence, distracted driving and more.

HOW WE STARTED

As digital leaders, Marc and Jason had been helping out friends, neighbors and colleagues with ad-hoc, one-off discussions, presentations and advice around digital citizenship and internet safety. They have presented to countless companies, schools, neighborhood meetings, churches, and more over the past decade. It was clear there was a gap in knowledge, know-how and quality researched material.

In 2013, they discovered a program designed by the Douglas County (CO) Sheriff’s office that was the most progressive approach they had seen anywhere in the world at the time and used their curriculum (Youth Education and Safety in Schools) as the foundation for DFi.

Together, they assembled the expertise, platforms and skills to create the foundation of this effort, expanded the methodology, content and curriculum and launched it nationally. The program today is still provided at no cost to any state, school district or school who can use it.

MEET THE TEAM

marc meyer

marc meyer

CMO & Co-founder

As a parent and one of the early adopters and proponents of social media, Marc has seen the generational growth of “social” platforms from a unique perspective. He’s seen the emergence of children as digital natives, and the evolution of parents and instructors as digital immigrants. Through that lens, Marc realized that there was a gap in acumen, understanding and proper usage. He knew that something was needed, and Jason Breed felt the same way. Together they created DFI.

 

 

Sagar Jethani

Sagar Jethani

Director of Marketing & Board Member

With a background in philosophy, education, and computer science, Sagar Jethani has written extensively on the impact of technology on contemporary life. Having led marketing teams across the tech industry, he saw how technology was rapidly changing the way people interacted with each other— and how kids were the least prepared to weather these changes. He helps expand the reach and visibility of DFi to help kids meet these challenges & take control of their digital lives.

 

 

jay martin

jay martin

Director of Training and Curriculum

Jay’s priorities & passion in life are his children, family and the students he teaches. With a degree & license in education, he has been teaching and writing curriculum for his entire 25 year career.

In 2009, he was tasked by DCSO with the creation of a program beyond substance use to include digital technology and teen relationship lessons. The Youth Education and Safety in Schools program was nationally recognized and became the foundation of Digital Futures Initiative. Jay now leads the development and instruction of all DFi programs & lessons.

 

 

jason breed

jason breed

President & Co-founder

With over 18 years corporate experience in digital transformation, Jason has witnessed many strong business leaders struggle to adapt to technology and keep up with the pace of change that is required today. As a parent of three children who are digital natives, he has seen the education system struggle to keep up with the impacts of technology and he knows firsthand the challenges associated it. Jason’s goal is for DFI to lead the charge in teaching responsible digital use; bringing the best information available to students and parents, and helping them prepare for and make more informed decisions in an ever changing digital world.

 

 

Renée Horne

Renée Horne

Board Member

Renée is a digital banking executive who serves as Vice President for USAA Bank Consumer Lending. Prior to joining the Digital Futures Initiative Board of Directors, Renée served in various philanthropic organizations including Technology Chair for the San Antonio Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, volunteering regularly in partnership with the Eastside Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio. Outside of work, Renée enjoys spending time with her husband Kevin, daughter Kayla, and son Joseph. She is an avid reader, CrossFit athlete, movie documentary and drama enthusiast.

 

 

mark newcomer

mark newcomer

Board Member

Mark is a business and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience across market research firms, digital agencies, and management consultancies. Mark is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Mirum Agency (a WPP company). Along with the founding team of DFi, Mark believes that we need to be more proactive in how we help our youth navigate a complex and fast changing digital environment. This will take a collective effort across educators, school resources officers, community leaders, and more. Mark helps support marketing and growth efforts and is a member of the DFi board.

 

MEET THE TEAM

marc meyer

marc meyer

CMO & Co-founder

As a parent and one of the early adopters and proponents of social media, Marc has seen the generational growth of “social” platforms from a unique perspective. He’s seen the emergence of children as digital natives, and the evolution of parents and instructors as digital immigrants. Through that lens, Marc realized that there was a gap in acumen, understanding and proper usage. He knew that something was needed, and Jason Breed felt the same way. Together they created DFI.

 

 

jason breed

jason breed

President & Co-founder

With over 18 years corporate experience in digital transformation, Jason has witnessed many strong business leaders struggle to adapt to technology and keep up with the pace of change that is required today. As a parent of three children who are digital natives, he has seen the education system struggle to keep up with the impacts of technology and he knows firsthand the challenges associated it. Jason’s goal is for DFI to lead the charge in teaching responsible digital use; bringing the best information available to students and parents, and helping them prepare for and make more informed decisions in an ever changing digital world.

 

 

jay martin

jay martin

Director of Training and Curriculum

Jay’s priorities & passion in life are his children, family and the students he teaches. With a degree & license in education, he has been teaching and writing curriculum for his entire 25 year career.

In 2009, he was tasked by DCSO with the creation of a program beyond substance use to include digital technology and teen relationship lessons. The Youth Education and Safety in Schools program was nationally recognized and became the foundation of Digital Futures Initiative. Jay now leads the development and instruction of all DFi programs & lessons.

 

mark newcomer

mark newcomer

Board Member

Mark is a business and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience across market research firms, digital agencies, and management consultancies. Mark is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Mirum Agency (a WPP company). Along with the founding team of DFi, Mark believes that we need to be more proactive in how we help our youth navigate a complex and fast changing digital environment. This will take a collective effort across educators, school resources officers, community leaders, and more. Mark helps support marketing and growth efforts and is a member of the DFi board.

 

 

Sagar Jethani

Sagar Jethani

Director of Marketing & Board Member

With a background in philosophy, education, and computer science, Sagar Jethani has written extensively on the impact of technology on contemporary life. Having led marketing teams across the tech industry, he saw how technology was rapidly changing the way people interacted with each other— and how kids were the least prepared to weather these changes. He helps expand the reach and visibility of DFi to help kids meet these challenges & take control of their digital lives.

 

 

Renée Horne

Renée Horne

Board Member

Renée is a digital banking executive who serves as Vice President for USAA Bank Consumer Lending. Prior to joining the Digital Futures Initiative Board of Directors, Renée served in various philanthropic organizations including Technology Chair for the San Antonio Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, volunteering regularly in partnership with the Eastside Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio. Outside of work, Renée enjoys spending time with her husband Kevin, daughter Kayla, and son Joseph. She is an avid reader, CrossFit athlete, movie documentary and drama enthusiast.

 

 

MEET THE BOARD

JASON BREED
President & Co-founder

With over 18 years corporate experience in digital transformation, Jason has witnessed many strong business leaders struggle to adapt to technology and keep up with the pace of change that is required today. As a parent of three children who are digital natives, he has seen the education system struggle to keep up with the impacts of technology and he knows firsthand the challenges associated it. Jason’s goal is for DFI to lead the charge in teaching responsible digital use; bringing the best information available to students and parents, and helping them prepare for and make more informed decisions in an ever changing digital world.

KIM CROUCH
Board Member

Kim Crouch is a senior privacy attorney for General Motors experienced in privacy and security frameworks, risk management initiatives, and third-party information security protocols.  She is a frequent presenter on data privacy, cyber security, and ransomware issues. Kim believes there needs to be more resources to assist parents, schools, and youth on safe internet usage. Her community leadership includes past service as the President of the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Board of Education, and past Board Member of both the Michigan Philharmonic, and Urban Opportunities, a non-profit that supports urban youth with educational supplies and opportunities.

NIHARIKA HAMMOND
Board Member

Niharika is the Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Integration at Wells Fargo.  As the head of Strategy & Integration within Wells Fargo & Company‘s Conduct Management team, she helps drive Conduct Management’s priorities and agenda, and represents the team on conduct-related and companywide initiatives.
Niharika joined Wells Fargo in March 2018, where she was the chief of staff for Marketing & Brand Strategy within Marketing. Before joining Wells Fargo, Niharika spent nine years in management consulting for North Highland and Accenture, where she supported Wells Fargo across multiple business lines dating back to the Wachovia merger. She has experience in developing business strategy, business process redesign, program execution, and change management.
She is located outside of San Francisco where she resides with her husband and two Great Dane-mix dogs.

JESSICA HARTLEY
Board Member

Jessica is an experienced digital strategist, client service and business development Executive with 19+ years of experience with clients to leverage digital and innovation to transform their businesses.
As Vice President of Strategy for Instrument, a digital product and innovation company, she leads a team of 30+ talented strategists, to partner with the world’s leading brands to transform their digital experiences.
Hartley is extremely passionate and active in supporting the inclusion, development, and advancement of under-represented minorities in technology, advertising and consulting services industries.  She often lends her experience and expertise for speaking engagements and workshops across a variety of topics such including diversity, equity and inclusion within the technology, consulting and advertising industries.
Mantra: “Never dim your light because it’s shining brightly in the eyes of others.”  

RENÈE HORNE
Board Member

Renée is a digital banking executive who serves as Vice President for USAA Bank Consumer Lending. Prior to joining the Digital Futures Initiative Board of Directors, Renée served in various philanthropic organizations including Technology Chair for the San Antonio Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, volunteering regularly in partnership with the Eastside Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio. Outside of work, Renée enjoys spending time with her husband Kevin, daughter Kayla, and son Joseph. She is an avid reader, CrossFit athlete, movie documentary and drama enthusiast.

SAGAR JETHANI
Director of Marketing & Board Member

With a background in philosophy, education, and computer science, Sagar Jethani has written extensively on the impact of technology on contemporary life. Having led marketing teams across the tech industry, he saw how technology was rapidly changing the way people interacted with each other— and how kids were the least prepared to weather these changes. He helps expand the reach and visibility of DFi to help kids meet these challenges & take control of their digital lives.

JAY MARTIN
Director of Training and Curriculum

Jay's priorities & passion in life are his children, family and the students he teaches. With a degree & license in education, he has been teaching and writing curriculum for his entire 25 year career.

In 2009, he was tasked by DCSO with the creation of a program beyond substance use to include digital technology and teen relationship lessons. The Youth Education and Safety in Schools program was nationally recognized and became the foundation of Digital Futures Initiative. Jay now leads the development and instruction of all DFi programs & lessons.

MARC MEYER
CMO & Co-founder

As a parent and one of the early adopters and proponents of social media, Marc has seen the generational growth of “social” platforms from a unique perspective. He’s seen the emergence of children as digital natives, and the evolution of parents and instructors as digital immigrants. Through that lens, Marc realized that there was a gap in acumen, understanding and proper usage. He knew that something was needed, and Jason Breed felt the same way. Together they created DFI.

MARK NEWCOMMER
Board Member

Mark is a business and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience across market research firms, digital agencies, and management consultancies. Mark is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Mirum Agency (a WPP company). Along with the founding team of DFi, Mark believes that we need to be more proactive in how we help our youth navigate a complex and fast changing digital environment. This will take a collective effort across educators, school resources officers, community leaders, and more. Mark helps support marketing and growth efforts and is a member of the DFi board.