Design Strategist, Owner at Basak Altan Consulting
For over 20 years, Başak has been providing strategy services in a variety of roles, her approach rooted in the philosophy that successful product and service design must be linked to a organization's core strategy.
As an independent consultant she advises on product and design strategy. Başak has worked on a variety of projects with a diverse client base.
Başak holds a Bachelor’s of Industrial Design from Syracuse University, and an MBA from Presidio Graduate School. Her work has been published and presented in TED, Architects Journal, Architecture Magazine, Architectural Record, Daily News, Metropolis, Van Alen Report, Surface Magazine, New York Times, Van Alen Institute in New York City, Royal Institute of British Architects in London, The French Institute of Architects in Paris, USAID Head Quarters in Washington, DC, ICFF in New York City, Triple Pundit. She also teaches design research as an Associate Professor at CCA's Industrial Design Program. Basak is also the chair of Industrial Designers Society of America.
Başak is the mother of an inquisitive eight year old who has been the main inspiration behind the Berkeley Turkish School. She is passionate about integrating design thinking principles into the curriculum of the school and leads the strategic efforts to bring creativity to the core of the program. You can follow more of Başak's professional work and her other design strategy, new business development and non-profit initiatives at her website: http://www.basakaltan.com/
Başak Çakıcı - Co- Founder, Vice President
Başak is a passionate architect, inspired by leading integrated and collaborative sustainable design solutions with like-minded colleagues and clients. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, and a Masters in Architecture degree from the University of Oregon. After working at architecture firms in San Francisco, she started her own business in 2015. She’s worked on a variety of project types including Higher Education. Master Planning and Feasibility, Wineries, Custom Homes, Multi-family housing, Mixed-Use, K-12, Retail and Hospitality, Healthcare, Interior Design and Project Programming. She's a LEED accredited professional and an active leader in promoting green business practices and design.
Basak has two daughters, and has been serving as a Board member at her daughters' school since 2012, leading the efforts for concept design and fundraising for 21st century classroom renovations and landscape projects. She is also a member of 'The Missing 32% Project', a research and community building organization to help advance women in the workplace.
Her interests include photography, traveling, music, passing on skills and knowledge to others, organization and research, and nurturing her daughters’ development and education.
Yeşim Erim - Board Member
Born and raised in Turkey, Yeşim lived in Istanbul until she was 24 years old. She has been passionate about food and cooking since middle school and always preferred experiences over possessions. She calls Berkeley home since 1999. While living and raising her two boys in Berkeley, she started to appreciate the beauty and the power of diversity. Yeşim believes that connecting people of diverse backgrounds through meaningful experiences can make the world a better place and strives to create such opportunities by uniting people through cooking, dancing, and other forms of art.
Yeşimholds a Master of Science degree in Construction Management from Clemson University and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Istanbul Technical University. After a 10+ year career at URS Corporation (now AECOM) in San Francisco, in 2011, she started her own consulting practice in construction scheduling. She is passionate about organizing and putting things of various scales in order; from kitchen drawers to the task sequence of multi-million dollar construction projects. She can be reached at email@example.com
Erol Çobanoğlu - Board Member
Erol Çobanoğlu is a senior paralegal, and has over 15 years combined experience in corporate, equity, intellectual property, and litigation practice areas. Erol holds a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from California Polytechnic State University and is a commissioned California Notary
On a personal note, Erol enjoys travelling , spending time with his family, researching new technology and ventures, winemaking, volunteer law enforcement and restoring classic Cars.
Alpay Soyoğuz- Board Member
MEHMET ÜNAL- FOLK DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Mehmet was born in Ankara. He studied civil engineering in Middle East Technical University and then came to the US to earn a PhD degree at Penn State University. After completing his PhD, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher and since August 2017, he has been working in a catastrophe risk modeling company in Oakland as an earthquake engineering expert.
Despite a highly technical engineering education, Mehmet has always been an outdoor and outgoing person. Mehmet likes running, skiing and cycling. He has completed 3 ultra-marathons, 6 full marathons and many half-marathons. He was a licensed orienteering athlete and trainer when he was in Turkey. He served as track and field, and orienteering coach for children aged 8 to 16 years old in several high schools such as TED Ankara College High School, METU College and summer camps in Turkey.
Mehmet has been involved in several folk dance groups for the last 10 years. In 2012, he joined Penn State Turquoise Folk Dance group where he performed dances representing different regions of Turkey including Ankara, Ege (Harmandali), Trakya, Artvin, Trabzon, and Bitlis. He served as a folk dance instructor from 2015 to 2017 and taught dances to many Penn State students from different nationalities. Mehmet’s dance group performed in big East Coast festivals such as Washington DC Turkish Festival, Philadelphia Penn Museum International Days, Penn State Turkish Republic Day Celebrations and many local events. Mehmet leads our Folklore Dance Practices for the Berkeley Turkish School.
Beril Guvendik Maples, User Experience Advisor to BTS
Beril Maples is the Director of User Experience at Rodan + Fields, re-imagining social commerce and creating digital experiences for thousands of entrepreneurs and transforming how the world buys skincare. Prior to Rodan + Fields, she was the head of Analytics User Experience at Salesforce.com where she built and led the user experience team for Salesforce Analytics Cloud (Wave) winner of multiple awards including Red Dot Award in Communication Design category. She has a Master of Advanced Architecture degree from Columbia University and a BArch from Istanbul Technical University.
As a design leader she’s passionate about creating simple, meaningful and delightful products that help users achieve their goals and aspirations. She believes in fostering an engaging, challenging, collaborative and fun work environment because happy teams design and build awesome products.
Beril lives in Piedmont with her husband and son. She likes to spend her free time with her family, reading anything she can lays hands on and listening to true crime and social justice podcasts.
Fatosh Arabacioglu- Advancement Director
Fatosh was born in North Cyprus, where she studied violin performance at Eastern Mediterranean University. For 20 years Fatosh traveled Europe and America representing Cypriot Folk Music at international cultural festivals. In 2009, Fatosh continued her study at University Arizona before completing a degree in music performance for flute at Middlesex University in London.
In 2014, Fatosh began working as a Program Coordinator at the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) -- the country’s largest Turkish-American umbrella organization, representing 500,000 Turkish Americans throughout the United States. Based in Washington, DC, Fatosh worked with over 60 local chapters to support strong U.S.-Turkish relations, including the organization of ATAA’s National Leadership Conference, with more than 500 attendees from the U.S., Canada and Turkey.
Fatosh is passionate about supporting the Turkish American community, and has been an advocate during Ambassadorial events and with the U.S. Congress. Fatosh also participated the TCA’s 2015 Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress, and served on the Washington D.C. Turkish Festival Preparation Committee for three years.
As the Berkeley Turkish School’s Director of Advancement, Fatosh leads community outreach, networking and fundraising events. Fatosh lives in Berkeley with her husband, baby boy, and their dog Kopuk.
Berkeley Turkish School by Bay Area Turkish Society is a secular 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization and is not associated with any other non profit or political movement.