LightBox Collaborative’s work is driven by a deep bench of smart consultants. Our collaborators have worked with advocacy groups, nonprofits, social entrepreneurs, and philanthropists; produced in print, on screen, and online; and stood on the front lines and behind the scenes.
Meet our players:
Holly has spent her entire career helping do-gooders do better.
She launched the LightBox Collaborative to harness fresh talent operating in an increasingly networked world. Together, the LightBox Collaborative jump-starts creative thinking, builds strategic clarity, and sparks action to advance causes that matter.
Holly has served as long-time communications counselor to the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, and enjoys working with the Ms. Foundation for Women as well as a range of community foundations across California. Her work has been honored by the Council on Foundations for Excellence in Public Policy Communications.
Holly was named by PR News as a creative practitioner in the industry. She was editor of “Loud and Clear in an Election Year,” a guidebook created to help nonprofits convey their messages in the crowded election environment. She is a frequent speaker for nonprofit and academic audiences alike, and her efforts to launch the LightBox Collaborative were featured in Chris Guillebeau’s recent business book The $100 Start Up.
Amanda comes to consulting after more than a decade working on communications from within organizations, and in both roles has always relished being an “inside-outsider” i.e., the person who works with an organization, but can maintain enough critical distance to evaluate the message like an outsider.
Amanda is always challenging herself and the people she works with to ask the tough questions about communications, making sure they are reaching the right people with the right message at the right time. She has recently provided this service for clients like the Ms. Foundation for Women, Forward Together’s Strong Families Initiative, Demos, Transgender Law Center, and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
She has more than fifteen years of experience working with organizations in labor, legal rights, children’s services and food insecurity. She has placed thousands of stories in every medium of the mainstream press and created buzz for campaigns in social media and progressive media.
She worked as a communications director and press secretary for labor organizations, providing critical strategic and tactical support to dozens of successful organizing, corporate and political campaigns. She used the latest opinion data to create media strategies, messages, and even picket signs and chants with broader appeal. She revolutionized the training of worker spokespeople, bringing workers inside the strategy to become more focused, passionate, and effective.
Before joining the labor movement, Amanda was the media relations manager for the Brennan Center for Justice, and her early career included roles in public relations and development for the Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, NY and for the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank.
Amanda is proud to serve on the Board of Directors of the Guttmacher Institute, which advances sexual and reproductive health worldwide.
Amanda is one of the only people she knows who actually uses her undergraduate degree, having earned a B.A. in communications and political science from UCLA. She lives in Alameda, California with her husband and daughter.
What Alexis loves to do — and what she does best — is support those who are accomplishing extraordinary feats. She first developed this skill as a network television producer for CBS Atlanta, Turner, and Speedvision.
Feeling that those feats weren’t quite extraordinary enough, she turned her attention to the theatre, working as a stage manager and joining Actors’ Equity Association. Having managed everything from actors to chickens, Alexis then transitioned to nonprofit administration.
Alexis spent close to a decade as a development director, raising millions of dollars for causes she believes in, before pursuing an independent career as a nonprofit operations guru. In addition to heading up operations for LightBox Collaborative and designing client engagements, Alexis currently serves as project director for SPIN Academy, and as an operations and management consultant for other clients working with nonprofits.
Alexis is a past board member of Atlanta Nonprofit Professionals, a founding member of Collective Works, Inc., and a member of the United States Equestrian Federation.
A southern transplant to the left coast, Alexis lives in Oakland with her husband, infant son, and a big-eared dog that is often mistaken for a dingo. She holds a B.A. in journalism and a M.A. in nonprofit management from the University of Georgia.
When Renée Alexander hears a good story, her first reaction is to share it with other people.
Renée develops and executes customized communications campaigns for cutting-edge clients working on behalf of public transit, public health, and countless other forms of public good. Recent clients include Clif Bar, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, and the award-winning Family Fun Zone in central Oregon.
Previously, Renée wrote, assigned, and edited local news stories as managing editor of The Source Weekly newspaper in Bend, Oregon before taking a position as editor of one of the web’s first online press release distribution services. While at Internet News Bureau, she developed and maintained relationships with foreign partners in seven countries who translated, localized, and distributed press releases in their respective corners of the globe. She has continued to write freelance articles for Wired and other lifestyle magazines, and is a featured blogger for 7X7 Magazine.
Renée holds a M.A. in speech communication from UNC-Greensboro and a B.A. in communication arts and psychology from Catawba College in North Carolina. She moved to Bend, Oregon in 1996, where she sustained multiple, self-inflicted mountain biking injuries both on and off the trail before relocating to the “Big City” of San Francisco on her 40th birthday. After several months of repeated navigational mishaps involving bikes, trains, and automobiles, she adopted her current mantra: “I’m not lost; I’m just sneaking up on my destination.”
Catherine J. Brozena has been serving the non-profit, public health, environmental, and education sectors as a communications professional for more than 15 years. As a creative, with both an undergraduate and graduate education in theology, religion, and cultural studies, Catherine brings a deep understanding and respect for how people’s spiritual and cultural orientations operate beneath the surface of our daily interactions and influence how we find meaning and communicate with one another.
Catherine is the founder and creative director for ColorThisWorld Communications, mission-driven, creative communications agency dedicated to building a healthier, more just, and more vibrant world. Her work includes public relations, communications, and outreach support for Community Health at Kaiser Permanente, the Greater Good Science Center at U.C. Berkeley, Health Care Without Harm, and numerous other social good efforts and organizations operating both nationally and internationally.
Catherine’s communications work has involved everything from developing communications strategies for broad organizational initiatives to being a “Jane of all trades” in the creative arts. Her expertise includes writing and poetry, graphic and web design, video production, media outreach, public relations, social media, storytelling, music composition and performance. She brings a unique balance of passion, technical expertise, humor, sensitivity, and intellect to everything she touches. When not enmeshed in the virtual world of her computer, Catherine can be found adventuring through the more tactile world around her. She enjoys outdoor sports, culinary adventures, and playing music with her husband. She is a practitioner of regular meditation and yoga. And she makes killer pies.
Taylor Campbell has founded and built success as an entrepreneur with digital communication consulting practices in Los Angeles, CA and Washington, D.C. She has re-entered the consulting space after working for President Barack Obama at the White House. There, she served as the Director of Correspondence Systems Innovation. She brought a human-centered design perspective to government and public service, and lent her expertise in coding and technical product management to improve President Obama’s correspondence with public constituents. She managed the Obama Administration’s high-volume database cloud software, built web apps that improved internal operations, and examined data analytics to inform White House operational strategy. She guided senior leadership through the process of assessing business problems and regularly brainstormed tech resolutions. She co-led the White House CS4Gov Coding 101 courses, effectively training staff on understanding the world of code and motivating them to utilize technology and data projects in their work. In addition, she volunteered as hospitality staff for White House social events, and as planning director and brand designer for Black44, the affinity network for African-American appointees and alumni of the Obama Administration.
Previously, she introduced disability-accessible web and mobile content to the Federal Courts for the Judiciary’s Office of Public Affairs, and worked internationally in Santiago, Chile as Latín América Digital Communications and Social Media Coordinator for TECHO, a multi-lateral non-profit organization. Other past clients include Celebrity Chef José Andrés’s global charity organization World Central Kitchen, national higher education network Achieving the Dream, and national community development organization Emerald Cities Collaborative.
Taylor has been actively involved with mentoring and coaching youth, and she is an advocate for women, minorities, and unconventionally-trained techies in STEM. She is passionate about navigating social differences and human behavior, and understands the theory and practice behind relating to others. Taylor earned her M.A. in Intercultural Communication from American University, where she researched cross-cultural communication in social enterprises, and designed a global network web platform as her graduate thesis project. She earned her B.A. in Communication from Howard University and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She speaks proficient Spanish and is a Salesforce Certified Administrator.
Anna Castro is a nonprofit consultant, currently based in Austin, Texas. She has extensive experience spearheading strategic communications campaigns using Spanish-language media and social media to promote immigration reform and protect voting rights. She’s previously worked for Mi Familia Vota, the ACLU of California Voting Rights Project, and the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties.
As a consultant, she works with organizations who are looking to mission shift from serving impacted communities to creating transformational change alongside communities. She is currently the coordinator and lead communicator for a campaign designed to improve conditions for LGBTQ immigrants in the United States, anchored by Transgender Law Center, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, and Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement. In collaboration with South Asian activist Deepa Iyer, she also launched the Solidarity School, an online training series designed to foster cross-movement solidarity by providing tools that bridge the gap between theory and practice in combating anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiment.
Anna Ghosh has a two-decade track record of leading successful communications programs and campaigns for a wide variety of businesses, nonprofits, and events. Before collaborating with LightBox, she was a communications director for national nonprofits focused on place-based economic development, sustainable and equitable food policy, and direct action organizing; namely the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and Food & Water Watch. Before that, she worked with filmmakers, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, clean technology scientists, tech startups, and Fortune 500 Companies. Throughout her work and personal life, Anna is committed to amplifying the important voices and stories neglected by dominant culture, and cultivating understanding, critical thinking, and action toward a more equitable and compassionate society. She serves on the board of the San Francisco community cooking school 18 Reasons and is a founding member of the social justice advisory committee of her daughter’s nature-based school, Golden Bridges. She has a B.S. in public relations from the University of Florida, and has lived in San Francisco since the turn of the century.
Convinced that stories have the power to change the world, Robert Pérez uses narrative to inspire action, strengthen support for a cause and transform people and organizations. The son of migrant farm workers, Robert has dedicated the last 20 years of his life to working with people and organizations to achieve change within their walls and out in the world.
Working exclusively with social causes, Robert partners most often with organizations working to advance LGBT equality and racial justice and equity. Robert’s past and present clients include the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, American Values Institute, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement and the Justice Fund at Open Society Foundations, Transgender Law Center, Basic Rights Oregon, The California Endowment and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Previously, Robert was a senior vice president and director of West Coast operations at Spitfire Strategies and a senior vice president at Fenton Communications. When’s he’s not developing storytelling strategies, Robert can be found out on an urban hike in San Francisco with his husband, Robert Francoeur. Two married Roberts make life interesting!
Cynthia is incorrigibly curious, and she taps her curiosity to help people learn, engage, and influence their world on issues that matter. For the past 15 years she has helped foundations, public agencies, and nonprofits engage in respectful, meaningful conversations that deliver results. She asks insightful questions and listens carefully, while skillfully including diverse perspectives and interests in the conversation. She has helped community-based organizations and philanthropies tell their stories through projects that include research, community outreach, brand and messaging, policy, and content for a variety of media.
Cynthia believes clients are best served when consultants work collaboratively. She is proud to have been a part of LightBox Collaborative for the past eight years, working with smart, creative, talented people forming teams tailored to each client and project. With LightBox Collaborative, she has worked on research, brand, messaging, and strategy for clients including the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, California Faith for Equality, Lutherans Concerned North America, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.
Before establishing her consulting practice, Cynthia was a director of public affairs and communications at Casey Family Programs. There, she built a community outreach team, led the start-up of a national consumer advocacy organization, and managed a portfolio of grants focused on constituency organizing. Previously, she spent seven years in the high-tech industry, including five years at Adobe Systems, during which she managed teams and initiatives in customer support, knowledge management, training, business development, and consulting.
Cynthia earned her bachelor’s degree in communication from California State University, Fullerton, and her master’s degree in adult education and training, with an organizational development emphasis, from Seattle University. She is a founding member of the board of directors of Foster Care Alumni of America and was recognized with their Vision Award. She and her husband live and work in Seattle with two office cats, and occasionally get away to travel by train, participate in the theater community, or keep score at a baseball game.
Irene has worked for nearly fifteen years promoting social justice stories and solutions in the United States and internationally. She draws on extensive experience in philanthropy and the women’s human rights arena to partner with foundations and non-profits in crafting communications strategies for social change. Irene is also a freelance writer and researcher and has contributed to a number of publications, from annual reports and websites to in-depth investigations of LGBTQI social movements and Indigenous women’s health and human rights.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Irene spent six years as a senior communications manager for the Ms. Foundation for Women where she created and led a capacity-building program for grantees—grassroots organizations advancing reproductive, racial and economic justice throughout the U.S. Irene also spearheaded investment in communications research and planning for the Ms. Foundation and helped develop messaging and campaigns on issues like health care reform and child sexual abuse. Irene served as the interim vice president of marketing and communications for the Ms. Foundation in the spring and summer of 2013.
Before joining the Ms. Foundation, Irene worked for MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization, where she conducted research, public education and press outreach on U.S. foreign policy and gender justice in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to MADRE, Irene conducted research for the CUNY Law School’s International Women’s Human Rights Clinic.
Irene holds an M.A. from New York University where she studied the role of dance in social movements in Latin America. Irene also has an extensive background in arts education and dance performance. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family and is proud to hail from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
With much respect to Gil Scott-Heron, Claudette believes the revolution will be televised.
For the past 15 years, Claudette’s work has blended progressive politics with music and popular culture. She regularly works on event production, fundraising, message development, and communications strategy for nonprofits and musicians alike. Her clients have included Gloria Steinem, Perry Farrell and Lollapalooza, People for the American Way, The New Yorker Festival, Bioneers, Lilith Fair, The Breast Cancer Fund, and Julia Butterfly Hill, among others.
With a strong emphasis on using events and public performances to deliver the message, Claudette creates cause-related communication strategies that reflect the individual needs of each client. From developing GOTV events for Gloria Steinem during election years to designing an alternative fuel plan for Lollapalooza tour that was covered by MTV, Claudette creates compelling public programs that deliver the message effectively and with integrity. Claudette is also interested in the connection between thriving local economies and healthy communities and serves on the steering committee for the Asheville Grown Business Alliance’s “Go Local” campaign.
Prior to her foray into communications strategy and public event production, Claudette received her B.A. in design from the American University and taught art in the D.C. public school system. She currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina. While she’s never been asked to prove this, Claudette boasts that she can sing every word to the Jesus Christ, Superstar soundtrack.
Alicia Walters believes in building effective movements from the inside out, which she does through transformative facilitation, creating messages and campaigns that shift narratives and culture, and supporting organizational collaboration. As a consultant, Alicia has worked with organizations to develop innovative programs, create strategic and bold messaging campaigns, and sustain thriving networks. Some recent clients include ACLU of Northern California, Forward Together, CoreAlign, and the Center for Media Justice, among others.
Her most recent organizational post was as the Movement Building Director at Forward Together, where she managed Strong Families—a network of 200 organizations working at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. Trained initially as an organizer, she now knows the stuff movements are made of – networks of people willing to bridge divides, say it plain, and take risks for the benefit of the whole. As an organizer and policy advocate, Alicia has focused on developing campaigns and initiatives that challenge the dehumanization of Black people and other people of color. She has authored groundbreaking legislation to prohibit the shackling of pregnant people in California jails and prisons, and co-authored Who Pays: the True Cost of Incarceration on Families, based on the participatory research of 23 organizations across 13 states.
For five years she directed Echoing Ida, which she founded to raise the visibility of Black women’s expertise through the media, generating narratives that affirm Black people’s humanity. Through this intensive fellowship, Alicia has trained 25 Black women who have published more than 350 articles in over 70 online and print media outlets.
Alicia has worked closely with Lightbox Collaborative on a number of projects and campaigns as a client. Now on the other side as a collaborator with the team, she is adding value with coalition building, facilitation, and strategic organizing/media campaigns to round out the team’s strengths.
Eliza Wee is the lead pixel pusher at Dogmo Studios, a collaborative design studio that uses their powers for good.
With over 25 years experience in design that runs the gamut–print, web, and mobile–Eliza combines a thorough understanding of technology, production, and business issues to develop comprehensive strategies that work with the client’s mission, strategic goals, and budget. She brings to the team a broad combination of visual design skills, knowledge of front-end development and a thorough understanding of business goals and best practices.
She is honored to have worked with some of the world’s most incredible and inspiring clients, including the Astraea Foundation, Amnesty International, the ACLU of Northern California, the California State Labor Commissioner’s Office, and Code for America.
Eliza received her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Amherst College, where she established a strong foundation in painting, printmaking, and illustration. Her creative practice uses landscape to explore the interactions between community, time, and memory. At her Tol (돌) ceremony, she grabbed a pen and has spent the rest of her life living up to it.
Whether developing strategic communications plans, managing outreach, or advocating for a cause, Isobel helps nonprofits be heard. She’s a seasoned writer, editor, and strategist — and she loves nothing more than helping an organization shape a compelling agenda for change.
Isobel has over 15 years’ experience in communications, and has served as communications architect for multiple campaigns to achieve legislative and public policy victories and to promote public engagement. She’s written everything from action alerts to op-eds that have appeared in top publications around the country. Isobel’s diverse array of recent clients include First 5 San Francisco, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, and the Environmental Literacy Steering Committee.
Formerly a communications director with the Service Employees International Union, Isobel managed communications and media campaigns to fortify the organizing efforts of janitors, nursing home workers, and other low-wage workers. She also previously worked with the ACLU of Northern California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Mi Familia Vota, in each case using communications to further an agenda for equity, inclusion, and civil rights.
Isobel’s academic background — including a B.A. in public policy from Brown University and M.A. in urban planning from UCLA — provides her with just enough understanding of policyspeak to translate it into language that resonates with grassroots constituents, journalists, and bloggers.
When she’s not writing, pitching, or strategizing, Isobel finds ways to grow the resistance, plots what to plant next in her garden, and cultivates equanimity.
Janna A. Zinzi is a communications expert with an extensive background in media relations and digital strategy. She is the Principal of Swirl Public Relations, a boutique communications consulting agency working with social justice organizations, media personalities, entrepreneurs and artists to maximize visibility. She has provided digital and media support on numerous legislative campaigns in New York and California particularly around human rights and reproductive justice issues. Janna has trained thousands of people in using digital strategies to win campaigns, pitching media and being an effective spokesperson. She is also a travel and culture lifestyle writer who has contributed to various publications including The Root, Rewire, DailyWorth, AlterNet and Feministing, in addition to ghostwriting for organizations. In her spare time, you can find Janna dancing (tap, hip-hop and Afro-Caribbean) or traveling, or both!