Where Oakland community & arts meet.

We're a team of passionate, community-conscious individuals.

Our Team

Shari Godinez
Executive Director, KONO Community Benefit District

Shari is a third-generation Oaklander and since 2010 has been Executive Director for the nonprofit KONO Community Benefit District, which produces Oakland First Fridays. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a BA in Political Science. Prior to joining KONO, Shari was the Programs Manager/Executive Director for the nonprofit Oakland Merchants’ Leadership Forum (OMLF), served on the Oakland Grown marketing committee, spent 15 years as a private business owner of a retail store and has worked as a property manager for the past 22 years. Shari loves this city and has spent the last 17 years advocating for Oakland and Oakland’s small businesses. Shari has overseen staff and production of Oakland First Fridays since it was taken over by KONO in 2013.
Greg Harris
Festival Director

Greg has run When In Need (W.I.N.) MC/DJ services for 27 years, working around the world with artists ranging from the Temptations to Snoop Dogg. He’s been an engineer, producer and writer with more than a decade of experience in event coordination, including a run as Oakland First Fridays’ Sound and Stage Manager before stepping up as Festival Coordinator. Aside from managing event logistics and security, his work includes implementing outreach strategies, securing sponsorships and establishing collaborations with artists, donors and other external partners. Greg is responsible for managing logistics, staff and permits for the event; booking performance and activities; and coordinating staff.
Venessa McGhee
Accounts Manager, KONO Lounge Lead

Venessa McGhee, an Oakland Native shares her family's passion for small business and community engagement have more than a decade of experience working with agencies such as OMLF (Oakland Merchants Leadership Forum) and Oakland Grown. In 2015 she joined the Oakland First Fridays team starting out at the front gates. Shortly after she helped establish and manage the festival's first ever outdoor bar, the KONO Lounge which has grown 3x in size over the years and is currently located on Sycamore St. In addition to running the KONO Lounge she also handles vendor relations, registration and placement. She is so gifted with arts and crafts herself that we wouldn't be surprised to see her vending at the festival too.
Michelle Ortega
Digital Marketing and Social Media Manager

Michelle is a Bay Area native who is into anything and everything social media and marketing! As our social media and marketing manager, she is in charge of putting together campaigns and post that resonate with our target audience, expanding our reach and impact through our online presence. Her expertise in both fields has been a great help behind Oakland First Fridays' online success. So when you engage with us online on any of our social media platforms, just know you're talking to Michelle!
Oakland First Fridays is a program of the KONO Community Benefit District, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Oakland, CA.

Office Location: 2633 Telegraph Ave Suite 109, Oakland, CA 94612
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 9:30am-3:30pm
Office Phone:
(510) 361-0615
EVENT DAY: We do not check phone calls and emails on the day of the event.

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