1. Alfonso Wenker, Co-founder and Principal, Team Dynamics LLC
@alfonsowenker | Minneapolis, MN
Wenker is a dynamic, engaging, practical and highly sought after trainer and facilitator. His work focuses on strategy development, diversity/equity/inclusion, team building, leadership development and self-awareness.
His recent clients include Open Arms of Minnesota, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Minnesota Public Radio, The McKnight Foundation, AiA Minnesota and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Wenker’s organizational homes have included: Bush Foundation, Minnesotans United for All Families and PFund Foundation.
Wenker just completed his tenure as the vice president at the Minnesota Council on Foundations. In that capacity he served as lead trainer for the Council’s professional development programs, consults with leaders and organizations interested in advancing equity and inclusion and leads internal organizational development.
Additionally, Wenker currently serves as the board chair of Pollen and serves on the leadership teams for Solidarity MN and the Better OUTcomes Initiatives, two funder collaboratives focused on advancing equity in the state of Minnesota.
2. Bina M. Patel, CEO and Founder, Saathi Impact Consulting
Bina has more than 20 years of global cross-sector experience in advancing social good and justice. She has extensive experience building and leading collaborative efforts, and enjoys seeing big ideas take shape in communities. Bina has led strategic initiatives to help communities transform themselves through innovative, inclusive and sustainable efforts in the areas of asset building, public health, civic engagement and economic development. Her projects have included a revitalization of the community-based small business lending market post-2008 recession, an actionable cross-sector civic plan to advance gender equity, mobilizing residents to collaborate on developing solutions to persistent community challenges, and advancing racial equity through addressing structural racism.
The journey into consulting started in the nonprofit sector, and continues to be an illustration of her commitment to centering community power and betterment. Since she launched Saathi Impact, her consulting practice continues to be of service to the collective social good.
3. Bomani Johnson, Founder and Principal, Emergent Pathways LLC
@EBomani | Atlanta, GA
Grounded by a racial and gender justice philosophy, E. Bomani Johnson is committed to building environments that allow all people, especially young Black people and their families, to thrive.
A native of Chicago, Bomani has 25 years of organizing, programming, organizational development and advocacy experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in local, national and international arenas. He possesses a unique blend of competencies and perspectives that has resulted in a strong track record of successful programming and impactful philanthropic investment throughout his career.
In 2015, he founded Emergent Pathways, a management consulting firm that builds strategies for racial equity, gender equity and social justice with organizations working to increase positive life outcomes for children, youth and families of color. Bomani has worked with several grantmaking organizations, influencing the awarding of more than $400 million to improve life outcomes for low-income Black, Latinx and immigrant communities of color throughout the nation.
Known for his keen insights and analysis of the influence of systemic racism on our culture, he takes great pride in having directed and leveraged resources to build partnerships that have served to both build new realities for oppressed Peoples, and deconstruct the racist policies and practices that are the roots of their oppression.
4. Crystal Echo Hawk, President and CEO, Echo Hawk Consulting
@CrystalEchoHawk | Denver, CO
Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee) advises clients on grantmaking, program development, strategic partnerships and policy change strategies. Areas of expertise include charitable giving in Indian Country, food sovereignty, nutrition, health, early childhood development, and issues related to tribal sovereignty, Native cultures and youth.
Currently, Echo Hawk Consulting is co-leading an unprecedented national initiative, Reclaiming Native Truth. The project is conducting unprecedented public opinion research and will develop a national strategy to eradicate damaging stereotypes and invisibility that impact Native Peoples within popular culture, government and American society.
Prior to leading Echo Hawk Consulting, Crystal served as the Executive Director for the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation from 2009-2014. During her tenure, Crystal helped grow the NB3 Foundation from a small grassroots organization to an organization that reinvested more than $9.7 million to fight the health epidemic facing Native children that benefitted more than 50 Native American communities, tribes and 24,000 Native children.
Crystal received both her Masters Degree in Social and Political Thought and Bachelors Degree in European History from the University of Sussex at Falmer, England.
5. Cynthia Renfro, Principal and CEO, Civis Consulting
Cynthia Renfro is the principal and CEO at Civis Consulting LLC in Seattle, Washington, a consulting firm launched in 2012 to support philanthropic institutions and community-based organizations in developing and implementing strategic and intentional programs. Civis Consulting has expertise in grant-making, organizational development, comprehensive human resources development and program implementation at local, state and national levels. Currently she works with the Laughing Gull Foundation managing its LGBTQ Equity program; and as a fund development coordinator for the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact (BEA) Initiative.
Until 2012, Ms. Renfro was the director of programs and evaluation for the Marguerite Casey Foundation, where she was responsible for overseeing the foundation’s core grant-making activities and evaluation strategy. Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. Renfro served as a program officer at the Beldon Fund and a consultant to the Iraq Peace Fund of the Tides Foundation.
Ms. Renfro served on the board of directors of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy for nine years, and serves on the board of the Public Citizen Foundation, as well as the Development Committee for the Endangered Species Coalition.
6. Elizabeth Myrick, Principal, Elizabeth Myrick and Associates Consulting
Elizabeth Myrick has studied and worked in the philanthropic sector for over 20 years, beginning as program officer, then program director for the Maine Community Foundation. From 2000-2008, Elizabeth held senior positions with The Aspen Institute, first with the Community Strategies Group and later, as assistant director of the Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program.
Since 2008, Elizabeth has worked as an independent consultant assisting nonprofit and foundation clients to learn, build networks and implement policies and practices to achieve lasting impact. Since 2009, Elizabeth has provided curriculum and design consulting to the Council on Foundations Career Pathways Program, a year-long, cohort-based leadership program for senior foundation staff representing diverse backgrounds. Other clients include family and private foundations, as well as national associations of foundations and affinity groups.
Elizabeth has identified topics, researched and written extensively on philanthropy, foundation operations and community change efforts for community-based organizations, the Aspen Institute, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and PEAK Grantmaking.
Note: Elizabeth served on the POWER MOVES advisory committee, and authored the Philamplify assessments of the Hess Foundation and Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.
7. Elizabeth Tan, Founder and Principal, E-Tan Consulting
San Francisco, CA
Elizabeth Tan has worked for more than 20 years in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to advance environmental, social and economic justice. In 2011, she launched her consulting practice to help social change leaders achieve more meaningful and lasting impact within their organizations and the communities they serve.
As a consultant committed to advancing equity, Elizabeth looks for opportunities to engage leaders within multiple sectors – nonprofit, philanthropic, public and private – to support greater innovation and collaboration. Moving forward, it will be increasingly important to explore and nurture efforts that leverage relationships, resources, knowledge and strategies, outside of the predictable networks.
Elizabeth’s practical, results-driven consulting approach encourages clients to ask the hard questions about their priorities, methodology, role within the larger landscape and overall effectiveness. Together, they examine the strength of the client’s current structures, strategies and campaigns within the changing political and economic landscape, make practical and informed decisions about how, when, and why to invest in the organization, and build the leadership and internal capacity needed to be successful.
8. Gita Gulati-Partee, Founder and President, OpenSource Leadership Strategies
Gita Gulati-Partee is a native North Carolinian and the daughter of immigrants from India. She founded and leads OpenSource Leadership Strategies, Inc., a national consulting practice that amplifies the work of social justice groups as both units and agents of structural change. OpenSource researches, designs and evaluates racial and social justice efforts, as well as builds capacity of organizations, movements, and leaders to advance racial and social justice.
Gita brings expertise in structural power and equity, organizational and movement strategy, adaptive leadership and change, organization and network development, systems change advocacy, and strengths-based inquiry and engagement. She has published and presented extensively on racial equity, advocacy and philanthropy, and she consults regularly to a number of foundations, funder networks, nonprofit advocacy organizations and coalitions, and leadership development programs around the country.
She was a 2001-2003 William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations and a National Fellow on Racial Equity and Healing in the first class of W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network. Gita is a staff blogger with EmbraceRace, a multi-racial online community about raising kids to be racially conscious and resilient, and recently presented the TEDx talk, “Death by Racism … Leading for Equity.”
Note: Gita served on the POWER MOVES advisory committee, and authored the Philamplify assessments of The California Endowment and Walton Family Foundation.
9. Jara Dean-Coffey, Founder and President, Luminare Group
@jdeancoffey | San Francisco, CA
Jara Dean-Coffey is Luminare Group’s fearless and funny founder and former founder of jdcPartnerships. She has spent the past 25+ years working with leaders who hold one thing in common: a commitment to challenging themselves and their organizations to have a transformative impact on the individuals, communities and systems they touch.
Jara is passionate about elevating our collective understanding of the relationship between values, context, strategy and evaluation and shifting our practices so that they are more fully in service of stated aims. The Equitable Evaluation Project is one such manifestation of her thinking and vision.
She is an advisor to the Center for Evaluation Innovation and the Philamplify Toolkit, is a member of the Steering Committee of National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, and began her first term as an American Evaluation Association Board Member in January 2018. Jara holds a BA in Communications and Political Science from Temple University; a MPH from the University of California, Berkeley; and a certificate in Organizational Development and Evaluation from Fielding Graduate University.
Note: Jara served on the POWER MOVES advisory committee.
10. Jessica Bearman, Principal, Bearman Consulting
@jbearwoman | Moscow, ID
Jessica Bearman works with foundations and other mission-based organizations, focusing on organization development, facilitation, planning and project R&D to help them become more intentional, effective and responsive to the communities that they serve.
As a consultant and in her prior role as deputy director of New Ventures in Philanthropy, Jessica has written and spoken widely about new and established philanthropy, especially collective giving practices. Much of her current work focuses on organizational culture and practice within foundations. She has been the lead consultant to PEAK Grantmaking’s Project Streamline since its inception, helping grantmakers understand and minimize the burden and power implications of their practices on nonprofits and communities. Jessica designs and facilitates knowledge building and sharing experiences ranging from short workshops to intensive learning communities, including GEO’s Change Leaders in Philanthropy Fellowship.
Prior to her work in philanthropy, Jessica spent nine years doing environmental nonprofit work. She has an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a Masters in Organization Development from American University/National Training Laboratory. Jessica loves living on an organic farm in Idaho with her husband, two wild boys, forty philosophical chickens, and thousands of industrious bees.
Note: Jessica served on the POWER MOVES advisory committee.
11. Marcelo Bonta, Principal, The Raben Group
As a Principal with The Raben Group, Marcelo brings almost two decades of experience working on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues. Originally trained as a conservation biologist, Marcelo decided to dedicate his career to DEI after finding himself the sole person of color at a national conservation organization.
He founded the Center for Diversity and the Environment and ran it for a decade, providing coaching and transformational trainings for thousands of leaders, facilitating change work with hundreds of organizations, and speaking to audiences across the country. During this time, he also started the Environmental Professionals of Color network. Later, he turned his focus on philanthropy with the Oregon-based Meyer Memorial Trust, where he co-developed a new funding strategy with equity at its core and supported the internal DEI change work for a private foundation DEI leader. During this time, he coached change agents and provided DEI process consulting services and trainings for other foundations. He also penned popular blog posts, including “Equity in Grantmaking: Walking the Walk and What We Can We Do About Environmental Philanthropy’s White Privilege?”
Marcelo is driven by his vision of a future where his daughters may thrive in whatever occupation and lifestyle they choose; the need to break down institutional and systemic barriers; and his faith.
Note: Marcelo served as a reviewer of POWER MOVES.
12. Molly Schultz Hafid, Associate Director, TCC Group
New York, NY
Molly is a social justice-minded philanthropic strategist and respected thought leader in strategic foundation practice. Passionate about the role foundations can play in supporting community-led social change and movements for social, racial, economic and environmental justice, she has grantmaking expertise in civic participation, immigrant and refugee rights, and community-based policy and advocacy organizing.
Molly is an important contributor to the design and execution of TCC Group’s philanthropy sector research agenda and thought leadership. She brings her social justice philanthropy lens to exploring how strategic equity commitments and internal institutional practices can align and reinforce each other. Her past work has included innovative new funder initiatives, multi-party partnerships, and both issue- and place-based funder alignment strategies.
A dynamic leader in social justice philanthropy, Molly recently received the Neighborhood Funders Group Award for Excellence in Philanthropy. Molly is part-time faculty at the New School for Social Research and New York University, where she teaches Strategic Management, Strategic Philanthropy and Fundraising and Development. She has published widely on topics related to foundation management and sits on several boards within the philanthropic sector including NCRP’s. Molly is also a member of the Power Moves advisory and peer learning group for consultants.
Note: Molly is a current board member of NCRP.
13. Sindhu Knotz, Partner, The Giving Practice at Philanthropy Northwest
@SindhuKnotz | Seattle, WA
Sindhu Knotz brings fifteen years of experience across the public and private sectors to her consulting work at The Giving Practice, where she is a partner. In addition to advising philanthropic clients on all aspects of strategy, planning and leadership development, she also leads special initiatives for The Giving Practice, including the design and launch of the first diversity pipeline fellowship and facilitating learning cohorts for CEOs advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
Prior to The Giving Practice, Sindhu led performance assessments for funders nationwide at the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and she advised federal agencies on strategy and operational improvements as a senior consultant with Deloitte Consulting LLC. Sindhu began her career in community development, through work with the Community Housing Partnership serving San Francisco’s formerly homeless.
Sindhu holds an MPA from Columbia University, and a B.A. from UC Berkeley, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Sindhu is a former board member of 501 Commons, and enjoys the outdoors, international travel and spending time with her two small children.
14. Takema Robinson, Principal, Converge
@Takema_Robinson | New Orleans, LA
As a principal and co-founder at Converge, Takema leads the firm’s philanthropic strategy practice, which intentionally connects local and national philanthropic investments with social justice initiatives across the country.
Previously Takema served as the senior program associate for education and community change at the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. In 2013, Takema was awarded the Association for Black Foundation Executives Connecting Leaders Fellowship and in 2004, the Echoing Green Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs.
Currently, she is a senior fellow at the Community Democracy Workshop. Takema serves as the director of the Greater New Orleans Funders Network (GNOFN). Her philanthropic clients include Foundation for Louisiana, the Surdna Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Funders for LGBTQ Issues. Takema is board member of New Orleans Arts Education Alliance and a former founding board member of the New Orleans Parent’s Guide.
Takema received a B.S. in Political Science and B.A. in African American Studies from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and completed postgraduate studies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Takema is fine art curator and a certified yoga instructor. She practices radical self-care as a runner and is the proud mama of two boys.
Meet the Funder Learning Group.