Staff

The Long Beach Accelerator staff is a team of skilled innovators and entrepreneurs with the hands-on experience and industry expertise needed to help you grow your business.

Meet Our Staff

Andrea
White-Kjoss

Managing Director

Andrea is an accomplished senior executive, serial entrepreneur, advisor, board member, startup mentor, and thought leader with more than 20 years of business success in diverse industries and verticals. She is passionate about creating successful companies and making existing ones better. Companies led by Andrea have generated double and triple-digit growth, every year, for the last 15 years of her career.

Through her work in her companies and mentoring startups, she has built a network of entrepreneurs, angel investors, family offices, accelerators, early stage VC, high net worth individuals, and service provider partners, and has significant experience sourcing quality technology startup companies and participating in due diligence processes. In addition, Andrea has served as a guest lecturer, giving presentations at global conferences, universities, and councils.

  • Andrea and her family are proud 17-year residents of Long Beach
  • Currently serves as an Innovation Advisor at UCI’s Beall School of Applied Innovation and as is a Commissioner on the City of Long Beach’s Technology and Innovation Commission; and has served as a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization.
  • Achieved recognition as the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s “Woman of the Year” as well as Chapman University’s “An Entrepreneur Making a Difference.”
  • Andrea’s companies have been featured in Businessweek, USA Today, and Fast Company
  • She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Saint Cloud State University and an Executive MBA from the University of Southern California (USC)

Joseph Shair

Business Development Manager

Joseph was born and raised in Queens/ Long Island, New York to Afghan parents.  Joseph’s passion for the tech scene began in his graduate school years while interning at UBS and focusing on alternative assets. Joseph has worked in business development and has helped leaders achieve big milestones, particularly in the US and MENA regions, including Modus Capital in their New York and Dubai offices.  Joseph has also built and launched tangible online technology products for web and mobile.  He has traveled 50 countries to date, speaks 3 languages fluently and speaks 3 more not so fluently, but reads and writes in them fluently.

In his free time, Joseph enjoys martial arts (Judo), playing goalie in ice hockey, and writing and playing music, both guitar and vocals. 

  • Licensed Registered Representative (series 7 & 63); previous Asset/Wealth Management Representative
  • MBA with a focus in International Finance from The New York Institute of Technology 
  • Founder Institute Silicon Valley Accelerator Program, 2020 Graduate
  • Former Interviewer for the Afghan mission to the UN/previous Afghan Government

Janelle Cronk

Program and Operations Coordinator

As an entrepreneur, Janelle seeks to solve societal dilemmas through strategic innovation, matching her passion for addressing communal needs with business acumen. A dedicated human rights advocate, Janelle’s intersectional work has addressed issues spanning gender and sexuality rights, racial justice, social and economic equity, environmental activism, and voting rights. With an interdisciplinary background in gender studies, human rights, and global business, Janelle’s brings a unique and needed perspective to conversations of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Janelle is a strategic thinker that deals in nuance and impact, understanding that minor details can have a major impact on outcome. Janelle has expertise in web design, graphic design, event planning and strategic communications. Prior to joining the Long Beach Accelerator, Janelle worked as a National Organizing Manager overseeing 300+ organizations’ advocacy efforts nationwide. 

  • Originally from Southern California, Janelle has called Long Beach home since 2020. 
  • Rotary Global Grant Recipient for Peace and Conflict Resolution 
  • Holds a Master of Science with Distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science 
  • Earned a Bachelor of Science in Global Business from the University of Redlands spending time abroad in England and Peru
Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

Are you an expert or leader in your field? Join us.

We welcome experts and leaders from all industries and sectors to become mentors; as well as investors and partners to support our companies.

BECOME A MENTOR