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I Informed Change: Staff Memories from 25 Years of Informing Change

By Informing Change

As part of our 25th anniversary festivities, we asked current and former staff to leave a comment with these three things on this LinkedIn post:

1) Your association w/ Informing Change (role and year(s))

2) A gratitude, memory, or key lesson learned from your time working with Informing Change

3) Where you are now! (as of September 2023)

Below are the preserved comments from those who responded, arranged in alphabetical order by last name:

Ria Bhatt

  • Then at Informing Change: Project Director and Senior Associate (2011-16)
  • Now: Director of Public Policy at College Futures Foundation

Happy 25th, Informing Change! A quarter century!!

1) Project Director and Senior Associate from 2011-2016

2) Continued gratitude for all my colleagues who taught me to be a better team member and leader

3) College Futures Foundation!

Natalie Blackmur

  • Then at Informing Change: Communications Coordinator (2014-16), Communications Manager (2016-20)
  • Now: Independent Consultant

1) I followed in the amazing footsteps of Amanda Guslani supporting all things writing and comms from 2014-2020.

2) I’m so grateful for the community of Informing Change staff (past and present!) and clients. It really is a village of friends and allies doing important and pressing work at the crossroads of learning and social change, all led by the formidable Gail Camacho, AnnJanette Rosga, Ph.D., and Michael Arnold who have modeled graceful, justice-centered growth and achievement in the face of ever-evolving challenges.

3) Independently consulting with nonprofit clients on communications, messaging, and narrative projects. I know I wouldn’t be here if not for the lessons I learned during my years at Informing Change.

Jill Blair

  • Then at Informing Change: Founder & Owner (1998-2007)
  • Now: Strategy & Organizational Consultant and Owner at Jill Blair Consulting

It is really amazing to see what an incredible community has been built around BTW/IC. I think some of you know that Ellen and I met at a firm called Communication Sciences Group. I was new to the Bay Area (from NYC) and had been hired as a senior consultant. Ellen and I shared an office. She was not a happy camper. Before I got there, Ellen had her own office. But soon we found ourselves literally closing our office door and dancing around the office – sometimes leaping on our desks – laughing and enjoying one another’s company. When I left to join Harder & Company I asked Ellen to come with me. At Harder, I met Fay. In 1997, in partnership with our beloved friend Paul, we began to plan for a new kind of firm serving nonprofits and philanthropy. We adopted our three core values of Integrity, Intelligence and Compassion, and off we went. First stop was asking Ellen to join us! Between then and now so much has happened. Ellen assumed ownership in 2007 and in partnership with all of you, took the firm to new levels of contribution. I couldn’t be more proud. I miss Ellen deeply and daily and yet I know she couldn’t be more proud either. I stand now with gratitude and love.

Rebekah Blume

  • Then & Now at Informing Change: Operations Assistant (2017-19), Research Assistant (2020-22), Associate (2022-present)

I’ve been at the company for over five years, starting as an Operations Assistant and now working as an Associate. Informing Change has made me realize my passion for program evaluation and mixed methods research. Thank you to everyone–clients and coworkers–who have helped me learn along the way!

Cynthia Bott, LCSW

  • Then at Informing Change: Field Supervisor (2000-06)
  • Now: Associate Professor at Siena College, Psychotherapist

Hi all. I was looking to make a change in 2000. Fay Twersky invited me over for lunch at the loft and over a delicious chicken salad offered me a position at BTW that changed the trajectory of my life. It gave me access to a whole other world and pushed my growth as an academic and a clinician. More Importantly, I came to love the Blair Twersky family and can’t imagine my life without them; and I have friendships that I still hold dear. Thank you.

Ayenna Cagaanan

  • Then & Now at Informing Change: Research Assistant (2023-present)

I’m a new kid on the Informing Change block with 6 months under my belt as a Research Assistant! It’s great reading these messages from alumni over the years. Thank you to those who have contributed to this amazing organization, and thank you to all my current colleagues who continue to help me grow in so many ways.❤️

Lauren Callahan

  • Then at Informing Change: Publications Associate and Project Assistant (2008-09)
  • Now: Chief Storyteller at Public Utility Commission of Texas

Happy 25th, Informing Change!!

1. Publications Associate and Project Assistant, 2008 – 2009. I had the unenviable task of replacing Leslie Patron. Between the two of us, Karissa Y. and I handled all of the project comms and scheduling.

2. I was brand new to California on an early adulthood adventure. I didn’t have any family or friends when I arrived. I will forever be grateful to Ellen, Lande Ajose, and Tina Cheplick for taking a chance on hiring me. I learned so much from the entire team, but better yet, gained a whole California family I still lean on today (ahem Gail Camacho, Kris Helé, MPH, MSW). I will always be so proud to be an IC alum, even though my time at the company was short.

3. I describe myself as a recovering journalist (I left IC to go to journalism school) and a professional storyteller. I currently work for the State of Texas and get to be a storyteller for the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

Gail Camacho

  • Then & Now at Informing Change: Director of Finance & Administration (2008-12), Chief Operating Officer (2012-present)

So great to see our alumni celebrating 25 years with us!

I will be celebrating 15 years at Informing Change. I clearly remember when Ellen and Lande Ajose hired me to oversee finance and operations and can’t believe I’m still here today. It’s been amazing to see how this company has evolved over the years. We have been through a lot and we are still here! This team inspires me every day with their dedication and commitment to our clients, communities, and each other. This team is passionate about creating positive change and I am grateful to learn from you all, past and present.

Informing Change gave me the opportunity to grow as a leader and lead with Ellen, AnnJanette Rosga, Ph.D. and Michael Arnold. It also gave me a professional home and community that shares my values of justice and compassion. Also, I wouldn’t have met my husband if it weren’t for Theresa Esparrago Lieu.

It has been an honor to work alongside you all.

Tina Cheplick

  • Then at Informing Change: Project Director and Senior Consultant (2000-22)
  • Now: Happily retired!

Happy Anniversary, Informing Change! I loved all my years of working with and learning from the people of BTW Informing Change, starting with learning in huge bounds from company founders Jill Blair, Fay Twersky and Paul Wisotzky (the B, the T, and the W!) all the way through to my retirement last year.

Got to give a shout-out here to national service, service-learning and AmeriCorps, which was how I met Jill and the focus of my work when I began as Senior Associate in 2000.

My knowledge and skills in evaluation and strategy development were honed by doing project work with great directors of the company’s first decade: Ellen Irie, Kim Amman Howard, Lande Ajose, and of course Jill and Fay and Paul. I am so grateful for those opportunities (and for the chance to acquire an unbelievably high level of skill in formatting Word documents, thanks to all the wonderful, talented RAs I supervised! )

Inti Chomsky

  • Then & Now at Informing Change: Research Assistant (2018-21), Associate (2021-present)

Happy anniversary !!!

I started at Informing Change in 2018 and am currently an Associate working with an almost entirely new crew of wonderful colleagues.

I am so appreciative of all of the current and former staff that have helped me grow and improve over the years. Thanks to former Senior Associates Theresa Esparrago Lieu and Dina de Veer for really supporting my development early on, and to the current crew of Senior Associates and Research Assistants that come together on each project to bring valuable insights to our clients. 🎉 🎉

Dina de Veer

  • Then at Informing Change: Associate (2014-16), Senior Associate (2017-21)
  • Now: Associate Director, Consulting Services (Health and Human Services) at

Happy 25th anniversary, Informing Change!

1) Senior Associate & Associate (2014-2021)

2) I am grateful in many ways, big and small, for my years with Informing Change and for the embodied values of Informing Change’s leadership and staff (past & present). The way in which the Informing Change team leads with integrity and compassion, while centering equity, in their work with clients and communities continues to influence my life and day to day.

3) RDA Consulting, SPC

Thieu Do

  • Then & Now at Informing Change: Operations Manager (2018-22), Senior Operations Manager (2022-present)

I am currently the Senior Operations Manager for Informing Change. This month marks 5 years with company! I am grateful to be at a workplace that actively upholds its values and is filled with such genuine, compassionate, and curious colleagues. Happy 25 years Informing Change!

Theresa Esperrago Lieu

  • Then at Informing Change: Senior Associate (2016-21)
  • Now: Strategic Learning Officer at College Futures Foundation

Happy 25th anniversary, Informing Change!

1. Senior Associate, 2016-2021

2. I am forever grateful to have worked for such a values-driven organization with a strong company culture. I will always remember our internal culture tagline: “we live our values, and we value each other.” And that was true day-in and day out. It truly was a blessing to have worked with some extremely intelligent, curious, compassionate, kind, fun, and amazing human beings – many of which I still call my friends today. Under the leadership of AnnJanette Rosga, Ph.D., Michael Arnold, and Gail Camacho, I felt supported and challenged to grow both personally and professionally. I continue to use the knowledge and skills I gained from Informing Change in my work everyday.

3. Strategic Learning Officer at College Futures Foundation

Evan A. Gattozzi

  • Then & Now at Informing Change: Research Assistant (2010-13), Associate (2013-21), Senior Associate (2021-present)

I *love* seeing this alumni parade – including so many talented people I’ve had the honor of working with and so many names that live on at the company years past your departure!

I started as a Research Assistant with BTW informing change in 2010 when I’d just moved to the Bay Area with wide eyes from across the country, and I grew to my current role as a Senior Associate with the Informing Change crew 13 years later.

Watching the company grow and evolve, meeting incredible leaders near and far, and working to create a better world drive my commitment and memories. Today, I’m remembering our 20th-anniversary celebration, rounds of March Madness with current and former staff, creative analysis collaborations, and learning alongside clients. I honor the compassionate decades of leadership from Jill, Fay, Paul, Ellen, Michael, Anjie, and Gail.

Amanda Guslani

  • Then at Informing Change: Administrative and Communications Coordinator (2009-13), Communications Manager (2013-2014)
  • Now: Director of Institutional Communications at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Happy 25th Anniversary Informing Change!

1) All things communications from 2009-2014.

2) HUGE gratitude for the people and the values that drive the work. Informing Change is truly a values driven organization with incredibly smart, kind, data-driven folks working with changemakers to create equitable, thriving communities. I am so grateful for my time there and for all of the memories made with this incredible bunch! Special thanks to Gail Camacho, Lande Ajose, Kris Helé, MPH, MSW, Ria Bhatt, Natalie Blackmur, Tina Cheplick, Evan A. Gattozzi, and of course Ellen for the endless impact you have had on my career and life!

3) Currently @ The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Michael Hannaman

  • Then at Informing Change: Research Assistant (2016-19), Associate (2019-21)
  • Now: JD Candidate at New York University School of Law

Happy Anniversary Informing Change!!

1. I was at Informing Change for 5 years, first as a Research Assistant 2016-2019, then as an Associate 2019-2021.

2. I’m grateful for the spirit of curiosity that pervaded every aspect of our work, for the lasting friendships I made, and for the generous mentorship I received from Leadership, the Directors and Senior Associates–too many names to list! It was a gift to work with a team that pushed each other to constantly ask better questions, and to find answers that were as useful as possible to the people making social change happen. There’s simply no better place to work.

3. I’m in my third year of law school at NYU, focusing on environmental law.

  • Then at Informing Change: Associate (2005-08), Senior Associate (2008-13), Project Director (2013-14)
  • Now: Independent Consultant and Listen4Good Feedback Coach

1) Associate – Senior Associate/Consultant – Project Director, 2005-2014 (plus some bonus projects in recent years!)

2) I’m especially grateful that the stellar Informing Change team recognized in me and amplified the core values of integrity, intelligence, compassion and the pursuit of social justice in all that we did. I learned so much from my work family that I apply every single day in my work – and I’m so thankful for the enduring friendships and partnerships that I was able to cultivate in this special place (too many to name after all these years, but you know who you are!). Plus – we still have the best social hours, March Madness pools, assorted competitions and life celebrations thanks to Gail Camacho.

3) I’m an independent evaluation/measurement consultant and a Listen4Good feedback coach.

Xiong Lee

  • Then & Now at Informing Change: Associate (2021-present)

Hi everyone! I had such a lovely time reading everyone’s comments and replies. I am happy to be a part of a previous and current work family.

I am one of the latest (newest?) members at Informing Change. I am an Associate, and I started in May 2021. So many memories and learnings already within the past two years! I’m grateful to have met Dina de Veer and learned from her about Informing Change’s culture around integrity and compassion. Thank you, Dina! Fond memories of Informing Change are our Happy Hours. It is always a fun and good time to share laughter and joy with the peers I am working with.

Andrea Leitereg

  • Then at Informing Change: Research Assistant (2016-18), Associate (2018-21)
  • Now: Data Scientist at US Department of Labor

I worked at Informing Change as a Research Assistant and then Associate from 2016 to 2021. I have so much gratitude to the team at Informing Change for truly embodying a learning culture. Without the opportunities leadership gave me to really stretch myself and my skills, I would not be where I am today. At the end of my tenure at Informing Change, I earned an MS in Data Science, which, along with my experience at Informing Change, helped me land my current role as a Data Scientist at the US Department of Labor.

Big big congratulations to Informing Change on this amazing milestone! 👏👏

Naomi Orensten

  • Then at Informing Change: Senior Consultant (2011-14)
  • Now: Senior Director of Programs and Strategy at Dorot Foundation

Happy 25th, Informing Change, what a milestone!

1. Senior Consultant from 2011-2015

2. Gratitude for thoughtful, values-driven, fun, and super smart teammates, from whom I learned so much – from being a good teammate to project management to rigorous and actionable data to leadership and much more. An extra shout out of appreciation to Ellen, Lande Ajose, Gail Camacho, Tina Cheplick, Evan A. Gattozzi, Ria Bhatt, Amanda Guslani and Nadia Salibi

3. Currently @ Dorot Foundation

Leslie Patron

  • Then at Informing Change: Publications Associate and Research Assistant (2001-08)
  • Now: Content Marketing Manager at Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST)

1) I joined Informing Change as a 19-year-old community college student in 2001, and left in 2008 when I moved to Rhode Island for graduate school (Jill Blair wrote one of my letters of rec!). At first I was a temp worker answering phones and doing odd jobs. I then got hired full time as a research assistant, entering loads of survey data (from enormous paper survey packets!) into a database alongside Dr. Cynthia Bott, LCSW. Eventually, I took on a communications role, formatting and copyediting our many publications, designing charts and infographics, and more.

2) It took a lot of mentorship on my colleagues’ part and learning from mistakes on mine, but I really honed my attention to detail. I would mark up a report, and then Ellen or Tina Cheplick would mark up my mark up. Eventually, I had our style guide memorized. On a personal level, it made a huge difference to me as a young person to work for an LGBTQ-led organization.

3) After ten years working for a research center in Stanford’s GSE, I recently transitioned to the marketing team at Peninsula Open Space Trust. I also do freelance writing work and I’m working on a book manuscript.

Laura Peck

  • Then at Informing Change: Consultant
  • Now: Principal at Laura Peck Consulting

Consultant over many years, many years ago.

Grateful to have been witness to the evolution of Informing Change, the many wonderful folks I got to work with, and the enduring kindness and thoughtfulness that is captured in the value of Integrity.

I continue to work with amazing leaders dreaming into and co-creating a more just world.

Anjie Rosga

  • Then & Now at Informing Change: Director (2015-present)

Happy Anniversary to us! I’ve been at Informing Change since I started as a Director here in 2015 (though really I started by attending the 2014 holiday party – the one and only time I started a job by getting handed an adult beverage!). Among my random memories: having to speed-pair baby socks at a colleague’s shower.

All my gratitude goes to current and former staff and clients. When new staff candidates ask me what I like about working here, I always talk about how honored I am to work with such smart and dedicated teammates, and to support the work of so many incredible and varied change makers. Thanks to you all for sharing more than 8 of these 25 years with me!

Regina Sheridan

  • Then at Informing Change: Research Project Assistant (2005-07), Associate (2007-12), Senior Associate (2012-15)
  • Now: Senior Advisor, Sustainability Strategy, Impact & Disclosure at BMO

1. Research Project Assistant — Senior Associate (2005-2015)

2. I’m grateful for the many opportunities that BTW/IC provided to take on new projects, develop skills, and grow careers. And, of course, I am grateful for all of the incredibly intelligent, dedicated, and passionate colleagues/leaders I worked with over the years!

3. Currently on the Sustainability Team at Bank of Montreal (BMO)

* I love hearing what everyone is doing now. Happy anniversary IC! 🎉

Caitlin Stanton

  • Then & Now at Informing Change: Senior Associate (2019-23), Associate Director (2023-present)

I’ve been part of the Informing Change team for almost five years now. And consider it truly a blessing to work with so many talented (yet filled with humility) and insightful (yet focused on listening to and making spaces for the voices of others) colleagues both within our team and our colleague organizations and the truly awesome nonprofits and foundations we get to work with! Happy 25th to all!

Kevin Stine

  • Then at Informing Change: Data Analyst (2018-19)
  • Now: Data Engineer at Cloudrizon GmbH | IT-Beratung

Congratulations Informing Change!

I worked at IC 2018-19 as a survey data analyst.

My favorite part of IC is how it treats its employees and clients – with care and attention (thank you Ellen & Gail). I feel lucky to have had time at IC 🙂

I’m currently living in Berlin, Germany and working as a Data Engineer.

Fay Twersky

  • Then at Informing Change: Founder & Owner (1998-2007)
  • Now: President at Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

As the T in the original BTW -informing change founding team, I am incredibly proud of planting the seed, nurturing it for nine years and handing it on to Ellen and new team members so they could grow it and evolve it over time. Bravo!

I remember setting up our original office on ninth street In Berkeley, Monday staff meetings, growing project lists, lots of learning, fantastic staff retreats and fantastic staff members— wonderful people who lived our values in all we did. And we informed a lot of decisions and a lot of change along the way. We did it with a great culture and with great care.

Congrats on all the continued success —on informing change and managing a lot of change too!

Sheila Walsh

  • Then at Informing Change: Associate, Senior Associate (2011-18)
  • Now: Operations & Evaluations Manager at Conservation Corps North Bay

Happy Anniversary Informing Change! The quality of the alumni and current staff speak to the enduring awesomeness of this organization!

1 — Associate/Senior Associate from 2011-2018

2 — I’m late to the game because I’ve been busy hiring for 3 positions, using the skills I developed at Informing Change to thoughtfully select high-caliber staff to join a team. It was such a delight to be part of many of your initial impressions to Informing Change and knowing that we were attracting and selecting such amazing individuals that were only going to continue the legacy.

3 — Operations and Evaluation Manager at Conservation Corps North Bay

Karissa Yee

  • Then at Informing Change: Research Project Assistant (2007-09)
  • Now: Director of School Portfolio Planning at San Francisco Unified School District

Congrats on 25 years! 💙

1. Research Project Assistant, 2007-2009

2. Setting high standards for work product, process, and what to expect from a healthy workplace and a manager (Tina Cheplick!) Also, the way Informing Change – especially Gail Camacho – has cultivated a community of alumni that still supports each other.

3. Director with SFUSD

Sending much love to Ellen Irie today, too.