Lisa Smusz is a creative problem-solver with a knack for combining data and out-of-the-box thinking to produce measurable outcomes. Lisa brings nearly 20 years of senior-management-level experience in developing, executing, and evaluating community mental health initiatives on local, statewide, national, and international projects. She provides content expertise and project management services to mental health and educational organizations across California, with a focus on stigma reduction, working with college-age young adults, and culturally responsive approaches to promoting mental health in diverse communities.
Lisa is also an Instructor at California State University, East Bay where she has been teaching mental health, women’s studies, and social justice coursework for the past 13 years. Her training and content development topics include: stigma reduction, integration of mental health and primary care, implementation and training for peer support workers, wellness (social, physical, occupational, and intellectual), social justice, career counseling, law and ethics, group counseling, community mental health, and technology.
Nicole Jarred is a communications strategist who is passionate about building community-driven campaigns for social change. Nicole brings innovative leadership and marketing expertise to all her projects. A hallmark of her work is the successful engagement of the target audience, particularly underserved and/or inappropriately-served populations (i.e., cultural and ethnic communities in California, youth and young adults, mental health consumers, veterans, and system-involved persons) in meaningful and authentic roles in the campaign development and implementation process.
For more than 15 years, Nicole has lead public health and social justice efforts in the nonprofit and public sectors, both in Washington D.C. and her native California. Nicole’s past work has addressed a diverse array of issues, including youth development, community health/wellness, environmental justice, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration, school climate, and mental health.
Aubrey Lara is a hands-on, results-oriented professional with a talent for implementing world-changing ideas. Aubrey got her start in grassroots youth development and community-based social services, which inspired her to pursue an MBA with a focus on helping nonprofits build capacity, grow sustainable programs, and increase effectiveness and impact.
Aubrey has a successful record in administration and development including organizational and project management, capacity building, grant writing, evaluation, policy advocacy, workforce development, and public/private collaboration. She brings her expertise in business development, operations, and leadership development to support The Social Changery and our clients.
Emily Bender is a skilled community advocate with a talent for building inclusive, diverse coalitions. As a native Spanish speaker with
25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Emily brings expertise in cultural responsiveness, program development, training design, facilitation, event planning, and community organizing.
Emily’s approach to community engagement is based in active learning and listening, serving the most marginalized, and
providing collaborative leadership. She brings an awareness of cultural differences and intersectionality to a wide array of public
health and social justice issues, including mental health disparities, youth development, LGBTQ+ communities, and affordable
housing in the Sacramento region.
Heather is an education and community engagement professional who is passionate about reducing barriers and increasing opportunities for historically underrepresented Californians to reach their fullest potential. She brings a wealth of experience working with higher education programs and initiatives focused on student equity, including health and mental health, basic needs, foster youth, student veterans, and public benefit access to CalFresh.
In addition to her expertise developing programs at the statewide level, Heather spent more than a decade working in the Sacramento community, where she honed her skills in building community coalitions, leading task forces and implementing peer-based support and youth development initiatives around alcohol, drug, marijuana and violence prevention and early intervention.
Jasmin Flores is a socially minded communications and marketing professional with a passion for making a difference in the lives of others. She began her career working on social marketing campaigns in the public health space for local government and community-based organizations. Jasmin brings a wealth of experience in project management as well as helping to
build campaigns that are equitable and effective.
In addition to her communications and marketing background, she’s a public relations practitioner who has run large local and national media relations efforts and developed integrated social media strategies. Jasmin brings experience from both the private sector and the social justice area for a well-rounded approach to serving The Social Changery’s clients.
Megan Sapigao is a project manager and community organizer who specializes in racial equity-based strategies and community-centered solutions. With an education background in ethnic and gender studies, Megan leads with a lens on deconstructive learning; brave, community-led healing; and equitable systems-change. She brings thoughtful, diverse leadership expertise to her projects, and values collaborative relationships and community engagement. Megan has worked and lead on a range of projects and campaigns, including diversity/equity/inclusion, organizational & leadership development, state & local advocacy, and communications work. Megan also has a background in non-profits, event planning, political campaigns, and public service.
A proud activist and mother, Megan believes that cross-solidarity and experiential validation are of the most valuable approaches to movement-building and social change. She has learned that these produce the strongest relationships and the best outcomes, and she makes a point to introduce and foster these values in her projects.
Noelani Dennis is a public relations specialist with experience in state-wide digital marketing campaigns, social media management, event planning, community outreach and media relations. Noelani is instrumental in helping clients of all sizes achieve their goals.
Noelani began her career at a local government agency where she helped to create a more equitable and inclusive region. Afterwards she joined a global team that supported state-wide education initiatives to improve funding for millions of students.
She approaches all things with a service-oriented mindset and aims to improve the lives of those in her community while championing inclusion and diversity. She has a background in nonprofit sector work, client relations, research, reporting and a variety of communication disciplines.