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Welcoming our New Team Members

By Crislin Christian

Almost a year and a half ago when the shutdown began, we had no idea where we were going to end up. Although our team was preparing to move into our new home, the Covid-19 pandemic had other plans that would bring our own to a temporary stand-still.

Now, we’re picking up where we left off, this time with a better appreciation for the strength of our organizational culture. As we step out of what felt like a never-ending transition into the unknown, we find ourselves optimistic for what we will accomplish in this new chapter, together.

We believe our commitment to our company values is what sustained us through many transitions over the past year. As we settle into our new space, with new faces and exciting new projects, we’re trying our hand at a new way of doing things.

Get to Know Our Newest Team Members

We are thrilled to welcome four new team members who bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to our work, Senior Associates Omar Andrés Alcover-Firpi and Rossana Ramirez, Associate Xiong Lee, and Research Assistant Zoe Bell.

What is your favorite thing about evaluation or strategy work at Informing Change?

OA: I find it rewarding to build knowledge together, collaboratively working with my colleagues towards a more equitable future. I am looking forward to using all this newly acquired knowledge to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

RR: The variety of clients, the focus on social justice, the team approach

XL: Doing the data cleaning and analysis

ZB: I really love how participatory the process is. Project roles and job titles aside, all team members’ and clients’ voices are valued and taken into account. It is great to be in such a collaborative workspace.

What was your main pandemic hobby?

OA: Cooking and trail running

RR: Going out for family hikes

XL: Baking

ZB: Drawing and painting

What is your favorite summer treat or summer dish/meal?

OA: Mangos! I grew up eating a lot of mangos in Puerto Rico and it’s a snack I associate with the summertime.

RR: Froyo

XL: I oddly enjoy eating a warm spicy soup

ZB: Popsicles and dairy-free ice cream!

Do you have a recommended read or listen (podcast, album)?

OA: Dr. Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon is an amazing science-fiction novel. I also highly recommend Louise Erdrich’s The Round House.

RR: I loved Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime audiobook!

XL: Land of the Giants podcast

ZB: Code Switch podcast on NPR

Forging New Partnerships

To our new partners reading this newsletter for the first time, welcome! You’ve become part of a strong and diverse network of social sector professionals learning together about how change happens and how to continuously improve our work and our communities.

Our partnerships inspire us. Recently, The Foundation Review published our work with UCSF Healthforce and the Blue Shield Foundation, and Director Michael Arnold was invited to present on culturally-responsive and equitable evaluation for Expanding the Bench’s CREE Learning Series.

Coming Home (Again)

We understand that things will never quite be the same as they were before the pandemic began, and with this in mind, we return to our (still) new home in August trying out a virtual/in-person hybrid model, where we work in-office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We are grateful to our staff for following official health recommendations and getting vaccinated so that we may come together in-person and strengthen our culture that makes our team dynamic so strong and effective.

We hope that you and yours stay safe and healthy. And, when it’s possible, we hope to connect again in person!