Our team brings together a diverse and highly skilled group of professionals, all of whom combine outstanding experience and a passion for public service. Click on a team member photo to see their description.
Aaron provides overall leadership and guidance for the GPG team and projects. Aaron is an experienced facilitator and writer and has managed a number of collaborative initiatives for GPG clients, particularly in the areas of economic development, education, and closing the digital divide. Aaron provides clear analysis and leadership to projects, advises clients on how to maximize stakeholder engagement, and is skilled in designing and analyzing surveys that inform engagement processes. Aaron also has extensive experience developing and implementing web-based tools for clients, including websites, meeting portals, online surveys, and funding opportunity trackers. Projects Include:
- Planning and coordination support for the development and implementation of Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: Implementation Plan for the State of California.
- Planning and implementation support for the California Labor-Management Initiative.
- Design and facilitation of a multi-year learning community of project partners and subgrantees of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF). Proposal development support for CETF to successfully secure over $14 million in federal funding for broadband awareness and technology career training initiatives in California.
- Strategic and business planning for Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP).
- Business planning for the Center for Powerful Public Schools.
- Support for the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) to plan the Mission Promise Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA which contributed to a successful Promise Neighborhoods Implementation Grant proposal for $6 million. Support for MEDA to plan a SparkPoint Center at Plaza Adelante in San Francisco.
- Strategic planning for the Contra Costa County Community Services Bureau.
- Development of a web-based funding forecaster system for the Annenberg Foundation’s LA n Sync initiative.
- Support for the development of a successful proposal from the Sonoma County Energy and Sustainability Division to the California Energy Commission’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure grant program, resulting in a $500,000 award.
- Stakeholder input and planning survey design, administration, and analysis for a range of organizations including First 5 California, LAUP, Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department, Contra Costa County Workforce Development Board, Family Justice Center Sonoma County, San Mateo County Office of Education (as part of stakeholder engagement efforts to inform the development of the California Comprehensive Early Learning Plan), and others.
Skilled facilitator and project organizer, Caitlin leads effective strategic planning, partnership development, and proposal development processes with an emphasis on convening multiple organizations, often across sectors. Caitlin works extensively in support of Family Justice Centers (FJCs), and has contributed considerably to the launch, growth, and resource generation efforts of FJCs in California and beyond. Caitlin has supported successful local and statewide initiatives and campaigns in the public education sector in California, including statewide education task forces. She is also experienced in developing and supporting large-scale grant proposals to local, state, and federal public agencies, as well as private foundations. Caitlin manages operations at GPG and provides direction for a variety of GPG projects. Projects include:
- Coordination, communication, research, and document development support for the development and implementation of Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: Implementation Plan for the State of California.
- Providing coordination, facilitation, research, and writing support for statewide education task forces including those that developed A Blueprint for Great Schools (2011), Greatness by Design (2012), A Blueprint for Environmental Literacy (2015), and A Blueprint for Great Schools Version 2.0 (2015).
- Providing research and coordination support for the Human Exploitation And Trafficking (HEAT) Institute, a project of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. This work included the development of a set of brief reports on the context, successes, and challenges in addressing human trafficking and exploitation in each region of the state.
- Providing ongoing strategic planning support to establish the Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance, the first countywide network of Family Justice Centers in the country.
- Developing collaborative grant applications submitted to public and private funders on behalf of the Alameda County Family Justice Center and Family Justice Center Sonoma County.
- Conducting a feasibility analysis to determine the viability of a potential Domestic Violence Response Center in the City of Seattle.
- Working with the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation to provide ongoing backbone support for statewide education coalitions including the California Common Core State Standards Communications Campaign and the California Labor Management Initiative.
Facilitator for a number of large-scale community planning processes that required consensus-building, identification of measurable project outcomes, and creation of an implementation plan. Sample projects included development of a broadband access strategy for an inner-city non-profit collaborative, a homeless services initiative for a rural county, a public school mental health plan for a partnership of community-based mental health providers, and a preventive health action plan for a large urban county. Responsible for obtaining over $20 million in grant funding for local government and community based organizations. Projects include:
- Development and submission support for successful grant applications. Recent examples include applications to:
- The U.S. Department of Justice Second Chance Act Smart Reentry program, on behalf of the Contra Costa Probation Department, resulting in an award of $1,000,000 (2016).
- The California Board of State and Community Corrections Strengthening Law Enforcement and Community Relations Grant program, on behalf of the City of Richmond Police Department, resulting in a $600,000 award (2016).
- The California Workforce Development Board and Employment Development Department Supervised Population Workforce Training Program 2.0, on behalf of the Contra Costa Workforce Development Board, resulting in a $400,000 award (2016).
- The California Workforce Development Board and Employment Development Department Workforce Accelerator 3.0 program, on behalf of the City of Richmond Workforce Development Board, resulting in a $150,000 award (2016).
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Assessment Grant program, on behalf of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission, resulting in an award of $392,000 (2016).
- Strategic planning for the Richmond Workforce Development Board (2014).
- Fund development support for the County of Sonoma, including funding opportunity monitoring, grant-seeking training sessions, and semi-monthly e-newsletters (2008 – present).
- Ongoing funding opportunity monitoring for LA n Sync (2015 – present).
Christopher Szecsey (“say-chay”), GPG Senior Associate for over 13 years, is a consultant, trainer, and facilitator, with over 20 years of professional consulting experience in the USA and over 40 years of worldwide work in international development. Christopher specializes in strategic and action planning; multi-stakeholder collaboratives and partnerships; organizational and project effectiveness and capacity building; leadership/management and team development; and project development, management, and monitoring. His clients include nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies, including city, county, and statewide departments. Recent examples of Christopher’s GPG work include:
- Meeting design and facilitation support for ConnectEd California’s sustainability planning process (ongoing).
- Meeting design and facilitation support for Mission Promise Neighborhood’s sustainability planning process (ongoing).
- Process and meeting design and facilitation support for the development and implementation of Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: Implementation Plan for the State of California.
- California Department of Education, Early Education and Support Division Strategic Plan: GPG worked with the Early Education and Support Division (EESD) to develop a strategic plan that best capitalizes on the opportunities facing the newly formed EESD. GPG supported the development of an overarching Guiding Framework for the division (vision, mission, values, and key strategic priorities); a Strategic Framework that articulates the EESD’s expected results and strategies for achieving them; and an Action Framework providing a short-term implementation plan.
- California’s Environmental Literacy Task Force: GPG facilitated a group of leaders from informal and outdoor education; science education; classroom teaching and formal learning environments; key statewide education stakeholders, and organizations focused on increasing access to environmental education to creates a Blueprint to recommend how environmental literacy resources should best be coordinated, supported, improved, and utilized to improve the environmental literacy of all of California’s students.
One of Christopher’s specialties is designing and facilitating participatory processes for team and task force meetings, workshops, trainings, and events, using approaches such as Appreciative Inquiry, for strengthening stakeholder buy-in and ownership for positive change.
Maggie Steakley brings a strong passion and commitment to public service to her work at GPG. She excels at writing; facilitation; planning, organizing, and management; and synthesizing large bodies of information. She enjoys convening stakeholders and presenting findings to diverse groups. Maggie’s experience as an elementary educator, teacher leader, and literacy coach gives her a unique perspective on the issues facing children, families, and communities. Maggie applies this perspective, along with the skills and tools she developed at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, to support GPG clients improve the social welfare of their constituencies. Maggie’s selected recent work at GPG includes:
- Los Angeles Grade Level Reading Campaign, School Readiness Workgroup: Maggie is supporting multidisciplinary stakeholders in the L.A. area to develop an action plan, using the collective impact model, to increase the school readiness of children in L.A. County, as a means to increase the number of children reading at grade level by third grade.
- First 5 IMPACT: Maggie planned and facilitated stakeholder engagement sessions to collaboratively design First 5 IMPACT (Improve and Maximize Programs so All Children Thrive). First 5 IMPACT is an innovative approach that forges partnerships between First 5 California and counties to achieve the goal of helping children ages birth through 5 and their families thrive by building a system to increase high-quality early learning settings, including supporting and engaging families in the early learning process.
- Blueprint for Great Schools, 2.0: Maggie provided writing and facilitation support to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, to convene a group of statewide education leaders to provide recommendations for refining and implementing the vision put forth in Torlakson’s first term plan, Blueprint for Great Schools.
Meredith Willa has a passion for equipping nonprofits and public sector agencies with the tools, resources, and supports they need to be effective and efficient solvers of social problems. At GPG, she contributes to multi-stakeholder facilitation, research, writing, and planning efforts. Meredith’s specialization is with programs and policies that address early childhood education, health, and welfare issues. She has served a variety of roles supporting work in those areas, including as a federal grants specialist for the Head Start program, a researcher for a federal technical assistance project supporting state and local legislators, a service coordinator for the Early Intervention Program in New York City, and as an author of published research on child welfare. Meredith holds a Masters of Public Policy from UC Berkeley.
Associate; Senior Editor
Norah has demonstrated broad accomplishments in writing and editing, project management, group facilitation, training and conference development, needs assessment, and research. She has worked in the nonprofit and public sectors in management, fund development, strategic planning, organizational development, and board/volunteer development.
Mara Mahmood, PhD
Mara is a developmental psychologist with a background in research methods and evaluation. She has extensive experience designing, implementing, and integrating quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation methods, and provides research and evaluation expertise to GPG strategic and business planning, organizational development, and fund development projects. Mara has served as the lead evaluator for a number of 21st Century Community Learning Centers and has contributed to the design, administration, and analysis of stakeholder interviews and surveys as part of strategic and business planning processes for Los Angeles Universal Preschool and the Center for Powerful Public Schools. Mara also provides strong writing expertise and worked with the GPG team to develop a successful Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership proposal for the state of California. Recent sample projects:
- New Generation of Educators Initiative (2015): Designed and co-facilitated a two-day Learning Community Convening for the California State University (CSU) New Generation of Educators Initiative in April 2015. Engaged an interdisciplinary team of stakeholders, including CSU and K-12 faculty and administrators and funders, to build and deepen CSU campus and K-12 district partnerships to support teacher preparation and improved data use for continued project improvement.
- Center for Powerful Public Schools (2014-15): Developed and implemented interviews and surveys of staff, clients, funders, and other stakeholders to inform the development of the Center for Powerful Public School’s (Center) three-year business plan. The plan, adopted by the Center’s Board of Directors (June 2015), incorporated dynamic financial forecasting tools developed by GPG and outlined clear pathways for increasing and diversifying revenue.
- Los Angeles Universal Preschool Strategic and Business Planning (2013-2014): Conducted an intensive discovery process and thorough market analysis that included the analysis of existing data and the development and implementation of stakeholder surveys and interviews. Analyzed quantitative and qualitative data, including potential revenue sources, to assist in the development of its successfully adopted multi-year strategic and business plans.
Gaby provides writing, research, analysis, facilitation and coordination on a range of projects at GPG. Gaby has focused in particular on facilitating large stakeholder engagement processes, including meeting and event design and facilitation, writing, survey development, project management, and synthesizing large quantities of stakeholder input into clear recommendations. Prior to GPG, Gaby worked in environmental education and completed the yearlong Residency in Social Enterprise (RISE), a fellowship through the New Sector Alliance. During her residency, Gaby worked in a top performing charter school in Boston, coordinating their student recruitment program, and helping them to improve their strategies around student recruitment. Gaby has also conducted research to address strategic questions for non-profits, including field research in Vietnam on climate change adaptation and research in northeast Ohio on methods for increasing purchasing of fresh food. Sample projects Gaby has been involved with at GPG include:
- Facilitation and report development for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s Environmental Literacy Task Force.
- Coordination of the California Labor-Management Initiative, including planning for a statewide Symposium in May 2015.
Katie brings her flexibility, clear communication, and passion for social justice to her work at GPG. Katie contributes writing, research, and analysis to a range of GPG planning, stakeholder engagement, and research projects. She excels at synthesizing and presenting information for diverse audiences, and performing high-quality research and analysis in support of client projects and initiatives. Prior to GPG, Katie’s work included nonprofit management, college access, and program creation. As a second year student at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, her studies bridge the gap between government policies and the disadvantaged communities they hope to serve. Katie’s recent work at GPG includes:
- Supporting the Oakland Starting Smart and Strong Task Force in developing a better understanding of the support programs for Family, Friend, and Neighbor caregivers in Oakland. Her work on this project includes the development of a landscape analysis and an interactive resource map, as well as providing support for task force convenings.
- Providing research and technical writing support for the statewide H.E.A.T. (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) Institute, an effort led by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to engage a multidisciplinary team of state leaders to collaboratively respond to human trafficking and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).
Angela provides research assistance and organizational, logistical, planning, and general project support on a range of GPG projects, particularly around coordinating and managing the event planning process. Prior to GPG, Angela interned at a public opinion research firm that specialized in progressive policy issues, providing research support for the entire report process. She also interned at a non-profit organization that works to increase participatory budgeting processes in North America, assisting with planning and coordinating their annual conference as well as with research and administrative tasks. As an undergraduate, Angela completed research on China’s global image and sense of nationalism, including its self-perception as an emerging power in the international order, and its awareness of Western response to this rise. During this time, Angela also assisted with research projects on the effects of increasing minimum wages in Santa Clara County.
A results-oriented consultant and community leader with broad experience in stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, collaborative development, consensus building, financial development, training, advocacy, and high-impact program design. Extensive successful results with multi-cultural, multi-sectoral initiatives, campaigns, and collaborative activities. Primary team leader for efforts to raise over $1 billion dollars for the capital and program needs of client government agencies and national and international non-governmental organizations. Excellent facilitation, presentation, written, and electronic communications skills. In 2015, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson appointed Glen as Chief Deputy of the California Department of Education, and he is not currently involved in the governance or day-to-day operations of the Glen Price Group.