The Visible Network Labs team brings over ten years of experience as network scientists, evaluators, and technologists with a track record of building and scaling services and technology for communities (read Our Story). The founding team is supported by a diverse network of mentors and advisors who support growth and impact.
Danielle Varda, PhD
CEO and Founder
Danielle is a scientist turned start-up founder, leading the VNL team as CEO. Her combination of 20 years as a network scientist studying social connectedness and health, 10 years as a tenured professor, and her successful launch and scaling of the Center on Network Science came together in one big idea to start VNL. Danielle spends much of her time building partnerships, managing resources, finding opportunities, and staying on top of the latest science and findings that lead the company to new products and services. She is lead fundraiser, a regular keynote speaker, and the mother of three spirited girls.
Sara Sprong, MPA
Sara is responsible for making sure VNL’s suite of products are running smoothly. She was a champion of the roll out and adoption of the PARTNER tool, successfully achieving adoption in all 50 states and 13 countries. She provides amazing customer service and support while keeping tabs on all the moving parts of the product life cycle. She has customer understanding of our products to meet user needs, coordinates ongoing requests from partners and customers, and collaborates with team members on strategies to integrate new features into the products. Sara is an organizational wizard with an interest in technology that brings social impact to individuals and communities.
When not managing products or helping users, Sara is outside enjoying nature with her husband, children, and two dogs. Her favorite hobbies include snowboarding, hiking, camping, listening to live music, and traveling.
Mike Cooper, BA
Director of Engineering
Mike has been with VNL for 10 years, starting out as a student and moving easily into the role of chief engineer a decade later. Mike has been the brain behind the development of the PARTNER Tool and PCN App, working tirelessly to ensure that our complex data environments all work together to provide high quality user tools, complex data analytics, and a constant desire to be sure our customers are never without immediate technical support.
Malinda Mochizuki, MPA
Director of Community Partnerships and Training
Malinda is the link between VNL and the suite of training, workshops, and events that our customers desire. She manages outreach, coordinates an endless amount of ongoing requests from partners and customers, and keeps the team up to date on the ways to integrate and collaborate with our community partners. Malinda is a logistics extraordinaire with a specialty in curriculum development.
Stephanie Bultema, MA
Senior Research Scientist
Stephanie is our lead researcher, specializing in network analysis, research design, and application. She also directs the Network Science Fellowship. Stephanie has a long history working in the public health sector, giving her a special ability to translate data to practice. She brings creativity, innovation, and knowledge of the latest data analysis systems to VNL. All this while earning her PhD!
ALEX DERR, BA
Marketing Strategy Coordinator
Alex helps maintain and coordinate our online presence and SEO across numerous channels, aligning our marketing strategies with our company priorities and values. He leads our content creation process and provides graphic design experience to the team. He also supports our research and evaluation efforts through data analysis and visualization, while assisting with coordinating and promoting our training workshops and events. He is currently working on his MPA with a concentration in environmental policy & management. When not working or studying, Alex spends his time gardening, visiting breweries, and climbing 14ers.
Luke Klifman, MPA
Luke provides project support on data management and network analysis studies. He is an integral part of the Network Science Fellowship - both by participating as a fellow and helping to direct its operations. Luke works to improve our processes, keeps our programs and projects running smoothly, and contributes his public practice-oriented perspective to our work.