Welcome to the Turkish American Association of California (TAAC).
TAAC is a California 501-c(3) public non-profit corporation - donations are tax-deductible. It was founded in December 1975 in San Francisco.
- Increasing, improving and promoting public knowledge and understanding of Turkish culture, history and people;
- Fostering friendship and communication among the American and Turkish cultures;
- Facilitating exchange of the arts, culture and cuisine of the United States and Turkey;
- Maintaining and promoting Turkish traditions;
- Providing humanitarian assistance to Turks living in the United States and abroad.
In order to achieve our objectives, TAAC endeavors to:
- Provide and/or participate in cultural and educational activities and seminars,
- Participate in major festivals and exhibitions,
- Promote networking with other organizations and businesses at a local and international level,
- Promote and publicize Turkish heritage, culture and the people of Türkiye through brochures, book donations to libraries, schools and provide guest speakers to established social clubs and organizations,
- Provide information to those who intend to visit or live in Türkiye.
President Nihat Yetkinler has been living in the bay area since 1994, and has been involved in several voluntary Turkish community functions in the Bay Area including: CFO of Bay Area Turkish School, TAAC Board member, and Turkish Silicon Valley Chapter member. Professionally, he has worked and established several orthopedic device companies throughout his career. Currently, he is cofounder and CEO of 3D Biomaterials, Corp, a research and development company for 3D bioceramic implants in Orthopedic applications. Previously he was the President of Skeletal Kinetics, LLC, a Colson Associate Company and a leading provider of Calcium phosphate-based cement used in orthopedic fracture repair and reconstruction. Outside of his industrial experience, Dr. Nihat Yetkinler serves as a faculty member for the San Jose State University Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, an advisory board member for the Ohio State University Biomedical Engineering Program, and a reviewer in C-DOCTOR (Center for Dental, Oral & Craniofacial Tissue & Organ Regeneration) which is a collaboration among UCSF, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, USC, City of Hope, and Stanford University. He is an author of over 50 Abstracts and peer-review publications, and more than 20 patents. Dr. Nihat Yetkinler received his MS (Bioinstrumentations and Biosignals) and Ph.D. (Biomaterials and Biomechanics) in Biomedical Engineering from Ohio State University, and his M.D. from Hacettepe Medical School in Ankara, Turkey. He is married and has two children: Eren 21 and Jenni 20.). He’s been serving on the TAAC board since March 2019.
Vice President Nalan Güngör Özışık has been residing in the Bay Area for over 25 years. She received her MBA in international business, worked for Intermax, GE, and taught Turkish at Stanford University for 5 years. Nalan has been quite active within the Turkish Community in the Bay Area, she had established TAAC Silicon Valley chapter, founded ABD-ANA Mothers Club in 2008*2010, and represented Turkey at a number of international events, and served on the TAAC Board in 1998-99. She also led April 23rd, Children's Day celebrations in the Bay Area for several years. She is married to Metin Ozisik, and they have 2 children, Ata and Selin. She’s been serving as the president of TAAC Silicon Valley chapter since April 2019 and on the TAAC board since August 2018.
Treasurer Nurdane Molla was born in Bulgaria and has been living in the U.S. for 27 years, and works as an accountant and currently lives in Folsom. She is married and has two grown children, Aynur and Nuray. She is a TAAC member since 2000, and member of the TAAC Sacramento chapter board since 2004 and TAAC board since 2012. She has been serving as the TAAC board treasurer.
Sacramento Chapter President Demet Candaş Green was born in Trabzon in 1982, graduated from Istanbul Bosphorus University, and received her phD in Molecular biology and BioChemisty from UC Davis. Currently works for the UC Davis Research Center. She is married and has two children. She’s been TAAC member since 2010 and serves as TAAC Sacramento Chapter president and TAAC Board member since 2016.
VP of Communications Dilşad Üvez Simons was born in İstanbul, attended Üsküdar American Academy and received her BSc in Industrial Engineering from Bosphorus University. After working in the computer field in Istanbul, she moved to Redmond, WA to work for Microsoft. Dilshad is a technology industry veteran with extensive experience in product innovation and delivering market leading software. She most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Product at TriNet. Prior to joining TriNet, she was the Senior Vice President of Product Management at CA Technologies. During her career, she held leadership roles at Jive Software, Apigee, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Avaya. She’s been living in the Silicon Valley for more than 20 years with her husband Greg and two daughters. She served as the head of Bay Area Turkish School and taught at the school in the 2000s.
VP of Membership Orgül Eroğlu was born in Ankara and grew up in Kastamonu. She graduated from Istanbul Technical University, with a degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering. She moved to California from Istanbul with her husband and their first child in 1997. She lives in San Jose with her husband and their three children. She has been working in IT field at various high tech companies in Bay Area. She is currently working at Samsung R&D center. She is organizing and helping Turkish community events. She is actively involved establishing TAAC Silicon Valley Chapter. She’s been serving on the TAAC board since December 2018.
Özden Matsu received her bachelor degree on history in 1998 in Turkey, Necatibey Education Faculty. She worked at the Rifat Dagdelen Anatolian High School as a history teacher for 2 years. In 2000, she moved to the United States and started to work at the Defense Language School as an Associate Professor in 2004, and later as a Diagnostic Assessment Specialist. In 2008, she received her master degree in curriculum and instruction. She has been an active member of the TAAC Monterey Chapter and Monterey Turkish Festival committee for over 15 years; took part in opening and teaching at the Monterey Bay Turkish Community School. She is the soloist of Monterey-based "Hadi Hadi " Turkish music group, and participated in many events such as Turkish Festival, Fund Raising Events and Turkish Republic Day Dinner Dances. She’s been serving on the TAAC board since August 2018.
Koray Öner has been involved with TAAC affiliate Bay Area Turkish Community School since 2010. He’s been serving on the TAAC board since 2016. Koray's primary mission moving forward to revitalize TAAC's Silicon Valley chapter and improve its relationship with the greater Turkish community throughout the Bay Area by organizing activities for the community like picnics, dinners, etc.. Koray has been very involved with various community groups in the Bay Area. In the early 2000s, Koray and fellow Turkish colleagues founded the Turkish HighTech Professionals group, which held monthly gatherings of Turkish professionals in the South Bay. He was on the board of directors and president of FEEF, the Faria Educational Enrichment Fund, at his daughters' elementary school. He received his BS from METU '89 and MS from USC '90. He pursued his PhD at USC, but during the Internet boom in 1996 he decided to move to Silicon Valley as a chip designer with Sun Microsystems. He then worked at Broadcom between 2000-2016. After Broadcom, he joined Cavium, and is still working there. Koray lives in Cupertino and is happily married with three daughters. He enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, beach volleyball, scuba diving, and overall spending time with family.