CommunityImpact

Please Welcome The Crucible’s Three New Board Members For 2023

01.25.2023

As The Crucible continues to expand our relationships across Oakland and the Bay Area, we are thrilled to grow our Board of Directors in 2023. Please join us in welcoming B Byrne Astrella, Ken Cassidy, and Tasion Kwamilele to the team!

All three bring a wealth of experience to their roles, including skills in tech, finance, and communications. Each will support The Crucible’s governance and work with other board members on specialized committees.

A woman stands at a glass blowing kiln

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Your newest Crucible Board members

Tech expert, B Byrne Astrella spent a number of years working at Twitter and founded the cybersecurity company Clef. During the pandemic, he developed a passion for using a 3D printer to create sculptures that he later casts in bronze, a skill he learned in the Digital Fabrication and Foundry class he took at The Crucible in 2019.

Music lover, Ken Cassidy currently works with First Republic Bank as the Director of Financial Strategy and Community Impact Investing where he focuses on long-term sustainable growth and investment in low- and moderate-income communities. He also founded the Bank’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ambassadors program and is deeply passionate about giving back to his community.

Communication specialist, Tasion Kwamilele currently leads Government and Public Affairs for Schnitzer Steel Industries, a partner of The Crucible. She was a member of the inaugural class of Oakland School for the Arts, earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Howard University, and a Master’s degree in Journalism from UC Berkeley.

Before her role at Schnitzer Steel Industries, Tasion served as a local reporter for the Oakland Post News, the District Communications Manager for Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and the Director of Public Affairs for California Waste Solutions.

Scroll down to hear more from our newest board members. In the coming year, B, Ken, and Tasion will help guide our budgeting, upgrades to safety, and strategic planning. If you pass our newest teammates during your next visit to the studio, be sure to say ‘hello’.

Please Welcome Our Three Newest Crucible Board Members

B BYRNE ASTRELLA

B is an entrepreneur and product leader, most recently leading the teams focused on Creative Tools at Twitter. He founded Clef, an Oakland cybersecurity startup that, for many years, hosted weekly community dinners in Jack London Square and received a 2016 East Bay Innovation Award as well as the 2016 Oakland Chamber “Tech Oakland” Award. Throughout the pandemic, B has been working on 3D modeling and printing art pieces to be cast in bronze, skills he learned in the Digital Fabrication and Foundry class he took at The Crucible in 2019.

The Crucible is a cornerstone of art and community in Oakland. I have learned so much from the classes I’ve taken and connected with so many wonderful people. I’m honored to help advance that mission as a member of the Board.

B Byrne Astrella headshot

KEN CASSIDY

Ken is a Director of Financial Strategy and Community Impact Investing at First Republic Bank, where he focuses on navigating macro-environments to drive long-term sustainable growth and investing in low-to-moderate income communities. Ken also founded the Bank’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ambassadors program with the goal of ensuring long-term commitment to ideation, implementation, and lasting change. Ken lives in Oakland and has a passion for playing music, the outdoors, and giving back to the community.

I’m honored and excited to join the Board as I believe The Crucible has a unique and powerful mission to make the industrial arts more accessible to the entire community, especially those that would not otherwise have such an opportunity.

Ken Cassidy headshot 2023

TASION KWAMILELE

Oakland native, Tasion Kwamilele, graduated from Oakland School for the Arts as a member of its inaugural class. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Howard University and a master’s in journalism from UC Berkeley. Tasion formerly served as a local reporter for the Oakland Post Newspaper, the District Communications Manager for Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and the Director of Public Affairs for California Waste Solutions. She currently leads Government and Public Affairs for Schnitzer Steel Industries.

The Crucible is unique, engaging, and allows anyone to unearth a passion or artistic gift they didn’t know existed. I am beyond excited to serve this great organization, which is rooted in the community that has made me the person I am today.

Tasion Kwanilele headshot 2023

Meet the folks behind the scenes!

Our Crucible team includes hundreds of passionate Bay Area community members dedicated to making industrial arts education accessible. From board members, to volunteers, to faculty, it takes a village. Learn more about the community behind The Crucible!

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