The AYLX Team

Tony Nguyen

Executive Director 

Tony focuses on mental health; teaching and refining team communication processes; and the intersection of communities. He enlisted as a Mental Health Specialist in the US Army. He later studied Mandarin Chinese at the United States Military Academy at West Point, after which he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer. Tony completed Ranger School and deployed to Iraq during the surge of 2007 where he led two platoons and commanded a company in combat. Afterward, he earned his MBA from Columbia Business School and went on to lead product teams in building applications for groups at Apple and Kaiser Permanente. Concurrently Tony became green dot Black Rock Ranger, a volunteer who specializes in helping participants experiencing physiological and emotional distress at large public gatherings. He fills his spare time screenwriting, SCUBA diving, and camping.

You can read more about my background on LinkedIn


Trang Cao, PhD

Head of Leadership Curriculum

Trang devotes her energy to advancing programs that change the way we see and act in the world. She earned her doctoral degree in Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. There she received the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award for her innovative course design and teaching of active learning techniques. Over the past 10 years, she has worked concurrently as Managing Editor for UC Press, Media Consultant for the IUCN (Oceania), and Content and Communications Specialist for numerous organizations focused on building community capacity and resilience. With the Olohana Foundation, she co-creates curricula for immersive and experiential leadership programs that empower youth with diverse knowledge systems, cultural insights, and innovative tools. She is an avid traveler and mother of two charismatic pups: Chip and Lucy.

You can read more about my background on LinkedIn

Gabriel Nikias

Head of Marketing & Creative Content

Gabriel works behind the scenes managing AYLX’s online presence and digital infrastructure. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of San Francisco in 2014. Since graduating, he has worked almost exclusively in digital marketing—working his way up from unpaid copywriter to junior designer, to helping brands, start-ups, and nonprofits with high-level content strategy and branding. He enjoys finding creative solutions to the myriad of bizarre and kafkaesque problems that arise from working in unconventional industries. Gabriel spends his free time pursuing photography, frequenting used bookstores, and sampling San Francisco’s vast variety of cappuccinos. 

You can read more about my background on LinkedIn