The Social Enterprise Alliance is the champion and key catalyst for the development of the social enterprise field in the United States. We empower social enterprises with the tools and resources they need to succeed, and work to foster a social enterprise ecosystem in which they can thrive.

Meet The SEA Staff

The Social Enterprise Alliance team supports its members and the national social enterprise movement by convening the field, providing necessary social entrepreneurship tools and resources and raising awareness around the country. Our vision is for social enterprise to reach its potential as a force for more effective and sustainable social impact.

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    Lauren Dekleva

    Community Engagement Coordinator
    Lauren Dekleva

    is Social Enterprise Alliance's Community Engagement Coordinator. Lauren previously served as a summer communications intern and, after graduating from Belmont University in December 2016, the interim Communications Coordinator. Prior to rejoining the team in September 2018, she received the Lumos Travel Award to complete a six month internship with anti-trafficking NGO Urban Light in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Lauren has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Entrepreneurship with minors in Music and Political Science from Belmont University. In addition to the pursuit of social justice, she is passionate about sharing experiences through music, and is active as a musician and singer-songwriter.

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    Mirah Alix

    Interim Communications Manager
    Mirah Alix

    Mirah's first involvement with SEA was as a Communications and Outreach Intern in 2017. Since then, she returned as a contributing writer for the Toasting Good blog, The Review, and is now serving as the Interim Communications Manager. Mirah graduated from Vanderbilt University after specializing in Sociology, Communications, and Business. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mirah spent a year working in San Francisco as an eCommerce Merchandiser at Walmart.com, where she developed her drive to implement socially responsible business practices on a global scale.

Meet The SEA Board

Social Enterprise Alliance’s Board of Directors is composed of experts in the areas of social enterprise, impact investing and social entrepreneurship. As varied as the field itself, their combined experience supports Social Enterprise Alliance as it builds the field and guides the organization’s overall direction.

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    Antonio Aguilera

    Chairperson
    Antonio Aguilera

    works at Coworker.org, where he supports and coaches workers of tech companies organizing around ethical tech, equal rights and worker voice. He has started and directed for-profit and nonprofit social enterprises in technology, staffing and other services to create jobs and increase health access for people living with mental health disabilities, with HIV, elderly women, single moms and immigrant workers, and he helped develop a digital app for domestic workers to organize. Antonio is co-founder of the Social Enterprise Alliance San Francisco Bay Area chapter, and he is passionate about the individual transformation and collective power of the marketplace and technology for social justice.

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    Belinda Li

    Vice Chair
    Belinda Li

    is Founder & Chief Consultant of CiTTA Partnership, a boutique management consulting firm with a mission to empower leaders of purpose-driven organizations to implement their ideas and scale their social & environmental impact in a financially sustainable way. Belinda’s expertise is in business strategy, business modeling, market research and feasibility assessment. She specializes in helping nonprofits add new revenue streams through social enterprise business activities and guiding purpose-driven businesses with their go-to market strategies and implementation plans. Prior to CiTTA, she was Associate Principal with Civic Consulting Alliance, with a primary role as the Program Manager of the Chicago Climate Action Plan. And before that, she was Senior Associate with McKinsey & Co., a global management consulting firm, advising Fortune 100 and prominent Social Sector clients on strategic issues. She has also held R&D managerial roles at General Electric Healthcare, and has worked in the academia as a researcher prior to that. In addition to the Social Enterprise Alliance National Board, Belinda also serves on the Boards of the Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund and the Social Enterprise Alliance Chicago Chapter. Belinda holds an MBA degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a Ph.D. degree in Medical Physics from the University of London, UK. Originally from Hong Kong, she now calls Chicago home.

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    David Gaines

    Co-Vice Chair
    David Gaines

    is the CEO and Chief Visionary for La Terza Artisan Coffee Roasterie, a full service coffee resource that provides the highest quality coffee for consumers, equipment and education for restaurants and coffee shops, and more. After working for years in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, David felt pulled toward social enterprise and the way La Terza provided phenomenal coffee while positively impacting workers worldwide. David believes in the power of coffee to foster human connection, and knows that coffee shops play an important role in the social health of our communities. It’s not just through coffee though. David sees a new type of business model where we can not only make a profit, but also better the lives of people involved in our supply chains, our local community, employees, customers, competition, planet, and even ourselves.

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    Matthew Gale

    Treasurer
    Matthew Gale

    is the Vice President of Growth at SimpleCitizen, an immigration technology company. In his role at SimpleCitizen, he has helped 10,000+ immigrants from 180+ countries achieve legal status in the U.S. Before working at SimpleCitizen, he worked at a nonprofit venture capital accelerator and a boutique investment bank. Matthew is also the co-founder of the Social Enterprise Alliance Utah chapter. Matthew is passionate about social entrepreneurship and sees business as a means of achieving social good. Matthew has given seminars at startup hubs across the globe including iHub in Kenya, Start-up Chile in Chile, MassChallenge in Mexico, and Station F in France. Matthew lives in Park City, Utah and enjoys skiing, mountain biking and cycling. Matthew received a Master's Degree in Social Innovation from the University of Cambridge and Bachelor's Degree in Management from Brigham Young University.

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    Rebecca Dray

    Assistant Treasurer
    Rebecca Dray

    is the founder of Society Profits L3C, a social enterprise that offers the first social enterprise certification in the United States. Originally from the United Kingdom, Rebecca started her career in the hospitality industry working for Marriott Hotels. She then went on to work in the charitable sector, supporting mental health advocacy groups. She started her first social enterprise in 2006. In the coming years she carried out a merger with a nationwide nonprofit then started and oversaw seven further social enterprise companies as Managing Director of the group’s social enterprise arm. Rebecca sat on the Board of several social enterprise membership organizations and travelled the country giving presentations, training and mentorship in the social enterprise sector. In 2019, she partnered with 2 others to start Buy Social USA, offering social procurement support services to large corporations, governments and anchor institutions. She became Chapter Leader for the Michigan SEA Chapter in 2018 and is looking forward to working with the other national SEA Board members to develop collaborative, ground-up approaches to the local, national and global social enterprise movement.

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    Niki McCuistion

    Secretary
    Niki McCuistion

    is a serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO, and producer/ executive producer of the McCuistion TV program, now on Dallas PBS and other venues for the last 30 years. Her consulting work with nonprofits focuses on helping organizations develop and implement strategies that achieve profitable, sustainable results. A prolific writer, she has authored /co-authored several business books on sales and leadership. The latest two are specifically directed toward strategy and development, Women Wealth and Giving and The Nonprofit Guide to Social Enterprise: Show Me the Unrestricted Money, a how-to manual on earned income and sustainability.

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    Cecily Jackson-Zapata

    Assistant Secretary
    Cecily Jackson-Zapata

    is an attorney and nonprofit leader specializing in nonprofit law, management, and governance. She played a key role in developing Public Counsel’s Community Development Project and served as Senior Staff Attorney there for over five years. Since then, Cecily has directed a capacity building program for nonprofit leaders and small business counselors, co- founded Sustainable Law Practice, P.C., a Certified B Corp law practice serving nonprofit and for profit social enterprises, and founded Social Innovatus, a nonprofit program that provides legal, governance, and strategic planning assistance to nonprofit organizations. Cecily joined the PHASE ONE board in 2011, and serves as PHASE ONE’s Secretary. Her personal fight against cancer and the tragic loss of her father in 2002 has profoundly impacted her advocacy for allocating resources to treating cancer and eradicating this scourge. In addition to PHASE ONE, Cecily is Secretary of Social Enterprise Alliance and director of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), Inc. Cecily received her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1997 and B.A., cum laude, from University of Southern California.

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    Charles Ajemian

    Board Member
    Charles Ajemian

    is the Founder and CEO of Mediaflux Benefit Corporation, a digital innovations company dedicated to the principles of purpose-driven economies. He has also served on the board of United Virginia Education Fund, a micro-enterprise development and advocacy organization that serves under-resourced social enterprise owners and sector champions in Virginia, since 2017. Charles has been a digital developer and strategy consultant for more than two decades, consistently operating on the leading edge of technology, design and enterprise community-centered development. He has held leadership positions in technology and venture start-up associations and most recently co-founded and served as President of the Virginia Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance. His vision and leadership led the formation of the Richmond Unite Social Business Initiative event that headlined Richard Branson, Buzz Aldrin, local NPOs and B Corp founders on the same stage. He remains highly engaged in local and regional social entrepreneurship movements, dedicating his time and experience to The Better Day Than Yesterday Initiative Program, assisting families that have suffered the separation trauma of divorce, incarceration and military deployments. Through Mediaflux and his board affiliations, Charles strives to enable mission-driven individuals and organizations to succeed through adaptive use of responsible technology solutions and the promotion and utilization of shared resource collaborations for a common wealth.

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    Patty Hampton

    Board Member
    Patty Hampton

    has dual leadership roles with Nonprofit HR. As an executive leader of the firm's social enterprise collaborative, Patty is recognized for driving multiple strategies and expanding the footprint for the firm's talent management service offerings. Patty is a passionate and committed professional who always exhibits a can-do approach to challenges. She has a deep appreciation for innovation backed by over 25 years of extensive human capital management and executive recruitment and consultation expertise. With a keen focus on talent management strategies, Patty is also considered the firm's resident expert in employee engagement and communication, executive talent recruitment, and transformational leadership. Patty's expertise includes developing and delivering training programs and facilitating focus groups that result in an enriched employee/supervisor relationship and engaged workforce culture. As the managing partner, Patty co-leads the firm's business and financial strategies and is a member of the senior management team. Patty has been with the firm since inception and successfully led the firm's executive search and staffing divisions. Before joining Nonprofit HR, Patty served as Director of Human Resources with ASAE, The Center for Association Leadership (formerly known as the American Society of Association Executives). Before ASAE, Patty dedicated more than ten years of her career to a large trade association. Patty received a bachelor's degree in Communications from Trinity University in Washington, D.C., and she is a Certified Staffing Professional, a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and an advocate for the Women in Leadership Council with the American Staffing Association. Active in the community, Patty is an ardent volunteer and donor with nonprofits in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and Los Angeles, California.

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    Chuck Brown

    Board Member
    Chuck Brown

    is the founder of Orion Advising, a consultancy that supports social entrepreneurs and impact funders to achieve greater alignment in their vision for a new economy. Chuck has been working in social enterprise and philanthropy for his entire career, from co-founding a nonprofit social enterprise as an undergraduate in 2007 to Kiva.org, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and now Orion Advising. He is also a member-leader with the San Francisco Bay Area chapters of Social Enterprise Alliance and Resource Generation, two national organizations seeking to create a more just and equitable economy. When life's got him down and he gets hung up on his mistakes, he just remembers this saying: "Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most."

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    Sean Tennerson

    Board Member
    Sean Tennerson

    is a program manager at REDF where she oversees the development of community- building programs and services for more than 150 employment social enterprises, including REDF’s annual Partner Retreat. She believes deeply in the value of an inclusive economy that provides opportunities for everyone to fully participate and a just society that more evenly distributes power to all individuals. She is inspired by the social enterprise leaders fighting for these values every day. Before joining REDF, Sean was a community manager at NationSwell, working with business and social impact leaders to develop strong networks and generate cross-sector solutions to social and environmental challenges. Prior to that, Sean worked in philanthropy in Washington, DC at the Case Foundation where she focused on ecosystem building within the impact investing and social enterprise field, and led the foundation’s millennial civic engagement program. Outside of the office, Sean enjoys running, reading, crocheting, boxing, practicing French, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog Blue. Sean holds a BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

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    Jared Lewis

    Board Member
    Jared Lewis

    is the Founder of the South Side Annex, a social impact food hall opening in 2021 on the Southside of Chicago. He is a native of South Shore and works at the intersection of economic development, small business, public policy and social enterprise. He is the Chairman of SSA#42 a local tax district that funds expanded services and programs through a localized property tax levy. Jared worked as a Global Program Manager for Airbnb where he led a global user education and mobilization program in nine countries and eight regions. Jared holds a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Chicago and serves as a board member for Howard Brown, an organization that exists to eliminate the disparities in healthcare experienced by LGBTQ people and allies through research, education, and the provision of services promoting health and wellness. Finally, Jared is the inaugural Congressman John Lewis Social Justice Fellow for Science and Technology, where he will be working with the United States Congress Black Caucus on a portfolio of legislation centering technology and innovation in urban communities.

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    Lucy Jodlowska

    Board Member
    Lucy Jodlowska

    is the executive director of the Wallace Center at Winrock International, a nonprofit focused on advancing solutions to strengthen communities through resilient farming and food systems in the United States. She is also an adjunct professor at John's Hopkins University's Advanced Academic Programs, teaching courses on social enterprise and financial management. Prior to transitioning her focus to domestic initiatives, Lucy worked internationally in Africa and Latin America in developing, launching, and building social enterprises – from a cacao farm in Nicaragua to a poultry operation in Zambia, to consultancies on revenue diversification and infrastructure projects in Peru, Uganda, and El Salvador, Lucy is passionate about merging business models with social and environmental objectives. A native of Kraków, Poland, Lucy immigrated to the US with her mother at the age of 9, growing up in rough neighborhoods of Chicago's west side and moving frequently. What was a tough starting point, with few resources and no community, became a formative experience that shaped many of Lucy's decisions and future work. Today she speaks fluent Polish, Spanish, and English, can get by in French, and is starting to learn Chinese. In a side life she moonlights as a photographer and loves to travel to cold destinations. Lucy got her BA in Political Science and Spanish from University of Illinois at Chicago and an MPA and MBA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

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    Dhairya Pujara

    Board Member
    Dhairya Pujara

    is the Founder and CEO at Ycenter - a global Learning, Innovation consulting and Design organization. Dhairya's work spans across 4 continents in the last 7 years and includes designing experiential learning programs for universities and incubators, delivering consulting solutions for organizations, and foster the creation of impact-driven startup companies. He is a public speaker on topics of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Design Thinking. From being a featured mentor at SXSW 2018 in Texas to deliver a keynote at The Presidential Precinct 2019 event in Virginia. From speaking and conducting workshops at top schools like Stanford University, Cornell University, Wharton Business school to offering Innovation consulting to some of the global organizations. In 2015, Dhairya was awarded an O1A Visa by the US Government - a visa reserved for individuals of extraordinary abilities. He was a contributor at The HuffPost, ex-curator for World Economic Forum's Global Shaper Philadelphia HUB and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at 1776 incubator.

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    Dr. Stephanie Raible

    Board Member
    Dr. Stephanie Raible

    is an Assistant Professor and Faculty Director of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware, Founder of Central Impact, and the outgoing Chair of the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship's Social Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group. In addition to her roles as a social entrepreneurship educator, Stephanie has served in several consulting, research, and fellowship roles in the U.S. and abroad, including her work through the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship with the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie, BMW Foundation, Pro boneo, and the Global Entrepreneurship Summer School. She previously held roles as the Co-Founder of the International Network for Innovators in Education (INIE), Co-Leader of the REALISE IT and ESAA+ Incubator programs, and board member for several social enterprises. She holds a doctorate from Northeastern University in Organizational Leadership and two master's degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and UCL-Institute of Education/University of Deusto.

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    Rachel Christensen

    Board Member
    Rachel Christensen

    is a common good and economic development practitioner investing in people's potential to use their good minds & hearts to be 21st century do-ers and bridge-builders especially through local & sustainable business development, asset building, placemaking, and neighborliness. Her days are spent at University of San Diego's Brink Small Business Development Center, an innovation-oriented accelerator named #1 in San Diego by the SD Business Journal. She speaks on and facilitates workshops in bi-national governance, business, social innovation, social entrepreneurship, design thinking, networking, prototyping and social impact measurement for universities in San Diego and Tijuana and international organizations like the Do School and for platforms like TedX. She is a small business owner(JoinedByRae) and the co-founder of a few community initiatives like USD's Tijuana Hub, Normal Heights Women's Giving Circle and The LCLC Family Impact Fund that makes small investments in the community. She is a member of Business for Good San Diego, the chair of the US board for the bi-national non-profit social enterprise, Create Purpose and advises social entrepreneurs from Uganda to Nigeria, Mexico to the USA.

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    Chairs Emeriti

    Board Chairs
    Chairs Emeriti

    :
    Tim Robinson, VP of Human Resources for Global Business Services, UPS
    Chuck Lief, President, Naropa University
    Charles King, President and CEO, HousingWorks
    Jim Fruchterman, President and CEO, Benetech
    Bill Strathmann, CEO, Network for Good