Meet the movement makers, rabble-rousers, and just plain inspiring folks making change happen.
Anna Castro (she/her/hers) is the Manager of SolidarityIs with the Building Movement Project, where she focuses on strengthening cross- movement bridges, training emerging movement and nonprofit leaders on using solidarity as a strategy to cultivate power, and storytelling that centers the collective resilience of our people. She’s worked as a consultant with Deepa Iyer on the SolidarityIs project since 2018.
Anna has extensive experience spearheading strategic communications campaigns. Her past work includes fighting back against the disenfranchisement of formerly incarcerated people in California, reuniting families separated by deportations, and turning out the Latinx vote in battleground states. Most recently, as the senior communications manager at Transgender Law Center she demanded #JusticeforRoxsana, a transgender woman from Honduras who died in ICE custody, and launched the Trans Agenda for Liberation, a blueprint for liberation for all. She’s previously worked for Mi Familia Vota, the ACLU of California Voting Rights Project, and the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties.
The proud daughter of Salvadoran and Peruvian immigrants, Anna is a first-generation college student and graduated from Amherst College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Black Studies.
I am a Chicago-bred, NY/NJ transplant. I am a creative with almost ten years of experience as a communications + marketing professional in the social impact space, working for small and large social enterprises and non-profit organizations.
Erez (pronounced ‘EH-rez’) Yoeli is a research scientist at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he directs the Applied Cooperation Team. His research focuses on altruism: understanding how it works and how to promote it. He collaborates with governments, nonprofits, and companies to apply these insights to address real-world challenges like increasing energy conservation, improving antibiotic adherence, reducing smoking in public places, and promoting philanthropy.
Erez teaches the undergraduate Game Theory course at Harvard and regularly publishes theoretical and applied academic research articles. He shares his research highlights through frequent talks, including a TedXCambridge 2018 talk with over two million views, as well as through featured articles in the New York Times, the Economist, Quartz, StatNews, and Behavioral Scientist. His research has also been profiled nationally and internationally in publications like TIME and the Huffington Post.
Erez received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Before founding the Applied Cooperation Team, Erez was an economist at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and served as an expert witness in cases against companies that defrauded consumers. In an earlier, ‘pre-economist’ life, he was a classical percussionist. He enjoys spicy food, hiking, and spending time with his two very cuddly cats.
Dr. Joe Smyser is the CEO of PGP, a public health nonprofit that designs large-scale health programs and campaigns. PGP is led by experts in health, business, and communications. Dr. Smyser has designed some of the United States' largest health campaigns to date, for the CDC, FDA, Kaiser Permanente, Humana, and others.
He holds a PhD and master’s in public health and did his post-doctoral training at the CDC.
Before the pandemic, Dr. Joe traveled Monday through Friday every week, and he’s looking forward to airport terminals and train stations again.
His love for the field of public health is closely followed by a love of California burritos, Target t-shirts, and Tiki cocktails. And he doesn’t care who knows.
Curtis serves as CEO of Main Street One, where he aids progressive causes and campaigns in changing outcomes by changing the narrative online. Main Street One pioneered the deployment of micro influencers in politics for Latino Victory Fund, Biden 2020, and American Federation of Teachers, among others. Curtis Hougland is also the founder and director o f the Defeat Disinfo PAC.
Previously, Curtis defended democracies from Russian interference for the U.S. Government; mitigated ISIS propaganda for tech giants such as Google and Facebook; and protected U.S. elections for NGOs. In 2014 Curtis founded the not-for-profit The Social Good Foundation toto improve mental health and public safety through the intermarriage of first-party data and peer-to-peer content. Curtis founded one of the first new media marketing agencies in 1991, and he founded one of the first social marketing agencies in 2003, both named Attention
Founder and Organizer-in-Chief
At heart, Mira is an organizer. She partners with members, volunteers, activists and leaders to create authentic stories that build relationships and move people to action. She believes that messages should sound like a person, not a news release. She puts this philosophy to work with social justice organizations to help craft their social media and traditional media messaging and strategy. Previous work includes the LGBTQ Center of Orange County (CA), the Service Employees International Union and an insurgent candidate for California state assembly.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Laurie Ehrlich joined CESJDS in 2014 as its first-ever Director of Marketing & Communications. Her expertise lies in digital strategy, content curation and marketing, and social media. Prior to CESJDS, Laurie spent 12 years in non- and for- profit marketing and communications, including 4 years at the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) where she built the organization’s social media presence and engagement strategy, and created a system in which to analyze web, email, and social media metrics. Laurie holds a M.B.A. from Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business in New York City and a B.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Coach and Consultant
Shawn is the host of the popular podcast, “Surviving Creativity.” He’s a founding author of www.thenerdsofcolor.org, and a founding organizer of The Black and Brown Comix Arts Festival. Shawn is a recognized scholar and sought-after speaker in the areas of pop culture and participatory culture studies, mythology, folk and netlore, experimental theater and media studies. In his other life, he spent twenty years in non-profit adolescent mental health and juvenile justice work. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Pop Culture Collaborative. Currently he works as a coach and consultant for individual creatives and organizations, and is a lecturer at SFSU.
Kyle is the co-creator and Executive Director of Our Wave. He created the nonprofit to provide a means for survivors to share their stories, find healing within a supportive community, and empower change across the globe. Kyle graduated from North Carolina State University in 2014 with a degree in business administration and has worked in the software industry for 8 years since.
Digital Strategy Manager
As the Digital Strategy Manager, Lindsay Humbert is the 'online voice' for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. When she's not sharing food puns on social media, she is gathering stories, updating the website, and editing emails. Prior to hunger relief she worked for the Atlantic Coast Conference in the same capacity, including launching their Instagram account. Lindsay graduated from Elon University's School of Communications after growing up in Waltham, MA where she was the first of her high school friends to switch from MySpace to Facebook.
Head of Team CommUNITY
Sandra Ordonez has over 20+ years of experience working at the intersection of technology, community engagement, and human rights. She was one of the first Latinas to occupy leadership positions in the open source community, notably having served as the first Director of Communications for the Wikimedia Foundation. As a native New Yorker and daughter of immigrants, throughout her career she has worked towards elevating the voices of marginalized communities. This experience led her to envision and create the very popular Internet Freedom Festival, of which she currently serves as director.
Ordonez is a sought-after expert in community building and is often tapped to give workshops for industry leaders looking to incorporate best-in-breed practices in diversity and inclusion; innovation and creativity; community engagement; and event design and facilitation. She is a recipient of the prestigious Hispanic Leadership Award by Fundacion Carolina, and currently serves on the board of the Media Innovation Collaboratory, that researches, creates and tests ideas for innovative communication, media and technology products and business startups. She is a graduate of American University with a double degree in International Relations and Public Relations.
Managing Director of Development
Andi Ryder is the Managing Director of Development. With more than 20 years of experience as a development executive, Andi has worked for organizations ranging from local community and direct service groups in Buffalo, NY, to social justice organizations working at the national scale. Her guiding principle has always been a passion for justice and opportunity for all communities.
As an activist and professional fundraiser, Andi has supported a range of issues including women’s reproductive health care, immigration reform and criminal justice reform. She has worked for such organizations like Planned Parenthood, the Democracy Alliance and Center for Community Change, where she helped to launch a $50M campaign to support their poverty work. Prior to joining Advancement Project, Andi was the Chief Advancement Officer at Brave New Films where she helped to raise the necessary support to produce narrative changing content on a range of social justice issues.
Andi was born and raised in upstate New York and currently lives in Washington, D.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Niagara University.
Anna Mullen is a community food advocate, narrative storyweaver, and Communications Director for National Farm to School Network – a national movement building and systems change organization working at the intersections of food, health, education, environment, and economy to cultivate a racially just food system. She has over seven years of experience in digital content market, project management, and success in building up a fully-remote nonprofit communications department. Anna is happily based out of her home office in Des Moines, Iowa.
Assistant Marketing Director
Annalee grew up in Carrboro, North Carolina. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, specializing in editing and graphic design.
When not at the Poe Center, Annalee can be found painting, baking, drinking way too strong coffee, traveling with friends, watching the NBA with her boyfriend, or hanging out with her family.
A lifelong resident of North Carolina, Annalee is excited to help spread the Poe Center’s messages across the state, helping children become healthier adults and make choices that increase positive health behaviors.
Consultant/ Digital Marketing
Emily Patterson founded Bee Measure in 2016 to help nonprofit organizations create fundraising and communications campaigns that target the right people with the right messages. Emily focuses on helping teams understand their metrics and make data-driven decisions.
Before starting Bee Measure, Emily was the Sr. Manager for Digital Analytics at Public Broadcasting Service. There, she helped PBS get insight into their digital audiences and understand the online marketing and viewership of their programming. As a consultant, Emily has worked with the UN Environment, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, American Forest Foundation, Better Business Bureau, World Wildlife Fund, Smithsonian, and more.
Emily has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University and a master’s certificate in digital marketing from the University of Virginia. She is a PMI- certified Project Management Professional, a board member for the Social Marketing Association of North America, and a DC chapter lead for the Digital Analytics Association.
Jennifer earned her bachelors in communication and masters in counselor education from North Carolina State University. She served NC State for 17 years and is credited for establishing NC State’s Office of Parents & Families Services. During her tenure, she helped create the national Association of Higher Education Parent/Family Program Professionals (AHEPPP). Since, Jennifer has worked at Meredith College as the co-Director for First Year Experiences and joined the Poe Center in 2014 as director of marketing.
Communication has been a consistent and prominent thread throughout Jennifer’s professional experiences. She is passionate about creating effective communication which meets specific audiences’ unique needs and establishes a positive brand for the organization. Jennifer enjoys using her personal skills in art, photography, and gardening to help tell the Poe Center’s story.
Jennifer Crews is a retired Navy Administrator and Family Ombudsman. She is the founder and Executive Director of Desert Sounds Performing Arts, a nonprofit organization in Arizona that provides children equal access to music education. When founded in 2008, Desert Sounds launched the Jeremy Project and provided musical instruments to only seventy children. Over the past twelve years, Desert Sounds has expanded their programming to include music lessons, Mariachi bands and an Electric String Ensemble. Across all programs, they serve over 526 children.
Her passion is to help you to dream big and challenge yourself to grow and achieve more than you ever thought possible.
The desire to help ALL children learn music began when her own son overcame a learning disability by playing in his school band. Once she saw firsthand how music rewires the brain, she made it her mission to make music education accessible to all students, regardless of their ability to pay. Desert Sounds is creating positives in a child’s life where negatives are often the norm while paving the way to a world of musical opportunity, personal enrichment, and happiness.
As a child, Jennifer played the violin and holds a degree in Secondary Education.
Director of Strategic Communications
Seth Palmer is a seasoned public affairs professional with a passion for communications. For more than a decade, he has used his skills and experience to translate engagement into action for public and private sector entities.
A native North Carolinian, Seth started his career in the North Carolina General Assembly on the House Majority Leader staff, where he worked on the state’s seminal legislation on smoking in bars and restaurants. From there, he went on to work for former North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton before joining the team at the North Carolina Department of Transportation to tackle issues like intermodal logistics and international trade.
Before joining NP Strategy, Seth served as the Director of Regulatory Affairs and External Communications for NC REALTORS®, one of the state’s largest trade associations. In this role, he bridged the gap between lobbyist and communications professional, engaging the Association’s membership in advocacy through strategic communications tools.
A graduate of North Carolina State University with a BA in Political Science, Seth has been recognized with numerous fellowships, including NLC North Carolina, the Truman National Security Project, and the NC Institute of Political Leadership. He regularly presents on advocacy, lobbying, and communications topics and currently serves as a faculty member of the NC Institute of Political Leadership.
An Eagle Scout who continues his service with involvement in numerous organizations across the Raleigh area, Seth spends his free time with his wife and their daughter while continuing his quest to start his own barbecue sauce company.
Major Gifts Officer
As a Major Gifts Officer for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, Chandler Rock has the privilege of raising support for the vision of “no one goes hungry” from individual donors. A rare Raleigh native and graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Chandler’s extensive experience working with students in youth development and higher education programs inspires her to combat food insecurity as a barrier to being our best selves. She loves running, cooking, reading, and spending time with partner Diego and their two pups. Talents include speaking Spanish, singing the 50 states in alphabetical order, and cultivating a mean garden.
Manager of Communications and Development
Kate is currently on staff at Teach for America Eastern North Carolina as the Manager of Communications and Development.
Her favorite parts about the job include: sharing the stories of eastern North Carolina’s diverse
communities and building relationships with colleagues, donors, and community partners to further educational equity for every kid in North Carolina.
Kate is originally from rural southern Illinois and is a proud alumna of Eastern Illinois University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in History. Before joining the Teach For America team, Kate served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and Development Associate at Reading Partners South Carolina.
Outside of work, Kate enjoys buying house plants (some thrive, some do not) and baking an assortment of cakes, cookies, and sweet treats.
Martha Elder has been the executive director of Second Chance Foods, a Putnam County based food rescue, since August 2016 and is one of its founders. She created the organization’s innovative program which upcycles recovered food into soups, sauces, entrees etc. Second Chance Foods then donates these meals to local soup kitchens and food pantries.
Martha has a varied professional background which started in the corporate world working with A.C. Nielsen where she provided marketing and sales guidance to companies such as Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal and Colgate. She moved on from there to Clairol where she provided data analysis to Clairol marketing organizations around the world.
While at Clairol, Martha volunteered with a domestic violence agency and a hospice, but came to realize that she wanted to give back to society in her professional life too. She went on to earn her Masters in Social Work at Hunter College and then worked at a residential center with foster care children who were dually diagnosed with a mental illness and an intellectual disability.
Martha’s work at Second Chance Foods combines her interests in nutrition, protecting the planet and service to underserved communities. When not working, Martha likes to spend time outdoors with her husband, two teenage sons and dog.
Director of Statewide Marketing and Communications
With a background in graphic design and passion for strategy, Molly found her sweet spot to be translating ideas into reality and making missions come alive through great, strategic design.
After majoring in graphic design at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Molly worked in higher education food service with Aramark branding local restaurant concepts and building marketing templates. For the past five years, she has worked for Teach For America to build marketing and communications messaging across North Carolina. Outside of nonprofit design, Molly works with entrepreneurs on visual design and business systems.
When not tackling visual design and marketing projects, Molly is entertaining (and training) her rescue pup, Riley, or enjoying an evening bonfire.
Senior Digital Strategist
A member of the Firefly team since 2016, Monica is driven by the opportunity to work with numerous nonprofits and to support them as they tackle issues she is passionate about. With expertise in Google Ads and Analytics, Facebook ads, and email marketing strategy, she helps organizations survey their current digital marketing plans and gets them where they’d like to be. Monica has a B.S. in Computer and Information Science from ECPI University.
Nathalie Ray is the development director for Burning Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh, North Carolina. She double majored in Arts Administration and Theatre at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. At Burning Coal, her primary focus has been building donor relationships and sponsorship programs. As a speaker, she aims to bring her experience from the nonprofit arts sector and expand those concepts to bridge across the nonprofit industry.
Chief Executive Officer
Nat Kendall-Taylor serves as Chief Executive Officer at the FrameWorks Institute. Nat oversees the organization’s pioneering, research-based approach to strategic communications, which uses methods from the social and behavioral sciences to measure how people understand complex socio-political issues and tests ways to reframe them to drive social change. As CEO, he leads a multi-disciplinary team of social scientists and communications practitioners who investigate ways to apply innovative framing research methods to social issues and train nonprofit organizations to put the findings into practice.
An expert in psychological anthropology and communications science, Nat publishes widely in the popular and professional press and lectures frequently in the United States and abroad. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Science Communication, Human Organization, Applied Communications Research, Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Annals of Anthropological Practice. He has presented at numerous conferences and organizations in the United States and around the world, ranging from Harvard University and the National Academy of Sciences to the Parenting Research Centre in Australia, the Science and Society Symposium in Canada, and Amnesty International in the United Kingdom. He is a senior fellow at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, a visiting professor at the Child Study Center at Yale School of Medicine, and a fellow at the British-American Project.
Nat joined FrameWorks in 2008; since then, he has led work across the FrameWorks portfolio, with a special focus on issues related to early childhood development and mental health, criminal justice, and aging. He has also led the expansion of FrameWorks’ work outside the United States, working in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Prior to joining FrameWorks, Nat’s research focused on understanding the social and cultural factors that create health disparities and affect decision-making. He has conducted fieldwork on the Swahili coast of Kenya, where he studied pediatric epilepsy, traditional healing, and the impacts of chronic illness on family well-being, and in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, where he studied child marriage and higher education. He has also conducted ethnographic research on theories of motivation in “extreme” athletes. Nat holds a BA from Emory University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Chief Analytics Officer
Stefan is a data evangelist, specialized in analytics and the uniquely complex needs of the non-profit sector. His career has centered around the use of technology in communications portfolios, including experience in programming, design, and digital strategy. He has played the role of client as well as the role of consultant, and works to close the gap between the two.
Social Media Manager
Samra is the social media manager at Save the Children Action Network (SCAN), the advocacy arm of Save the Children. Her background includes doing social media work at a federal arts agency and a PR firm where she managed digital portfolios for various clients. During her time in college, she interned at a handful of news outlets at the local and national level, like WTVR and CNN, where she played a role in producing social media content. She is a Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) alum and proud, native DMV resident. Ask her about her love for Nutella and you will surely get along!
Sarah Olivieri is a nonprofit business strategist, #1 International Best Selling author, and former Executive Director. She is a frequent presenter at conferences and online trainings and has been a featured expert on more than 50 podcasts. Sarah is the creator of the Impact Method™ - a framework that helps nonprofits simplify their operations, build aligned teams, and make a bigger impact without getting overwhelmed or burning out.
Sarah received her BA from the University of Chicago with a focus on globalization and its effect on marginalized cultures, and holds a master's degree in Humanistic and Multicultural Education from SUNY New Paltz.
Sarah has over 15 years of nonprofit leadership experience. She was the co-founder of the Open Center for Autism, the Executive Director of the Helping of War Foundation, and co-author of Lesson Plan a la Carte: Integrated Planning for Students with Special Needs.
As the founder and heart behind PivotGround, Sarah helps nonprofits make a big impact with relative ease.
Founder and President
Shaun Adamec is a storyteller and communications strategist who specializes in helping mission-driven organizations shape conversations, build brands, and tell their stories, so they can attract more awareness, resources, and support for their causes. Over his twenty years in the field, Adamec has worked with some of the world’s most noteworthy nonprofit and philanthropy brands advocating for the most pressing issues of today – combating climate change, improving education systems, reforming healthcare, reducing addiction, making housing more affordable, and many more.
Sheri is the new Executive Director of Student Television Network, a non-profit international association of high school and middle school broadcast journalism, film, and multimedia programs. With a 20-year background in TV Producing and Event Planning, Sheri looks forward to empowering future storytellers with STN.
Associate Director for Communications
Frannie Noble is an Associate Director for Communications at Save the Children US. She manages global partnerships, website development and communications for the International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA). Her work promotes the use of open source tools that make data collection, analysis and dissemination more accessible and equitable.
Senior Marketing & Digital Engagement Strategist
Julia Toepfer is the senior marketing & digital engagement strategist at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). Julia has more than ten years of experience working in nonprofit communications, management, and fundraising for organizations around the country. She is an experienced storyteller, writer, marketer, campaigner, fundraiser, and digital strategist. She has spoken at national conferences and provided training and consulting services for nonprofits, unions, and organizations to strengthen their social media channels and develop impactful online campaigns. Julia lives in Denver and likes exploring the mountains with her husband and their dog, Bernie.
Chief Marketing Officer
Heidi Gollub started playing Frogger on the Apple IIe and has been hooked on computers ever since. From blogging to social media management to influencer marketing, she built a career on her love of digital engagement. Heidi now serves as the Chief Marketing Officer of Marathon Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to getting kids moving. As Nike’s community running partner, Marathon Kids provides free programming to schools and community organizations in all 50 states.
A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.
Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.
Things that make Brian happy: hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.
Most of Brian’s spare time is spent with his amazing family and his six-year-old daughter. Otherwise, he’s usually tinkering or getting into some other nerdy A/V trouble.
The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 50+ hours a week make the world a better place.
These days Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.
Things that make her happy: Chai tea in the morning or a glass of champagne at quittin’ time, Basecamp, living in the South, her daughter’s giggle and a well-formatted spreadsheet.