Leadership

Where Oakland community & arts meet.

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

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 also 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 volunteers. Greg is responsible for managing logistics, staff and permits for the event; booking performance and activities; and coordinating staff, intern and volunteer efforts.
Venessa McGhee
Accounts Manager, KONO Lounge Lead

Venessa McGhee shares her family’s passion for small businesses and community engagement with more than a decade working for agencies including OMLF (Oakland Merchant Leadership Forum) and the Membership Coordinator for Oakland Grown. An Oakland native, she’s been part of  First Fridays since 2015, establishing the festival’s first outdoor bar and growing into the current KONO Lounge on Sycamore Street, which she still manages. She also handles vendor relations, registration and placement, and is so gifted with arts and crafts that we wouldn’t be surprised to see her vending at the festival too.
Christina Serna
Digital Marketing and Communications Manager

Oakland First Fridays is a program of the KONO Community Benefit District, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Oakland, CA.


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