SEED Impact Staff
Omera Begum | SEED Visual Marketing Designer
Omera Begum joined SEED as a Communications/Social Media Intern, prior to coming on staff three months later. She is a graduate of Queens College, CUNY with a Bachelor's in Graphic Design. Omera hungers for innovation and loves to create visual products that represent meaningful change in the community. Omera says she is "energized about the work of SEED. I am enthusiastic to contribute images and graphic design behind SEED's mission to unleash the power of shared leadership in smaller, community-based organizations.”
Gabriel Gallego | Operations Assistant
Gabriel Gallego is volunteering at SEED Impact as an assistant, gaining knowledge and experience while offering a helping hand. A recent high school graduate, Gabriel will be studying Photography & Sociology at City College aiming to gain a deeper understanding of how societies function, and of how photography can be used to tell stories that will bring humanity closer together through empathy, honesty, and ccompassion.
Barry Kibel | SEED Director of Innovation and Research
Barry Kibel, Ph.D., is SEED Impact’s lead methodologist for evaluation and impact assessment. He contributes more than four decades of experience devising evaluation and planning instruments to support transformational work. His long-time passion has been the puzzle of how to nudge and quantify transformational work.
Dr. Kibel is a pioneer in the field of cloud-based evaluations. Journey Mapping, his earlier iteration of SEED’s current technology, was the first-ever attempt to capture client data in real time on-line. It engaged more than 100 programs (youth development, leadership training, substance abuse treatment and prevention, health and fitness, parish nursing, music thanatology, community resource centers, AmeriCorps volunteers, senior centers, and spiritual development) to reflect on their work, capture hard data and enrich their storytelling.
Together with John Grove, Barry co-developed the EvaluLEAD framework for the Kellogg Foundation and US AID, for guiding leadership programs step-by-step in the design of comprehensive evaluations. Barry and his colleagues developed an “open systems” approach to evaluate community-based prevention programs—where strict causal models are inadequate.
For more than twenty years, Barry was a senior scientist and project manager at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, one of the nation’s leading prevention research organizations. Among his efforts, Barry directed the evaluation of a multi-year, federally-funded training and technical assistance initiative for The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which placed special emphasis on culturally sensitive evaluation applied to community-based and statewide prevention programming. This was delivered through diverse training offerings (1-hour presentations, weekend retreats and year-long learning communities) for individuals and groups concerned with community health and prosperity. As an offshoot, he teamed with Al Stein-Seroussi to produce a handbook, Effective Community Mobilization: Lessons from Experience, for helping communities self-assess their relative strengths and shortfalls relating to community action.
For the Buell Foundation in Colorado, Barry devised tools for assessing the impacts of a state-wide leadership development program focused on early childhood development. For Baptist Community Ministries, the largest foundation serving New Orleans, he directed evaluation studies of a multi-year health promotion effort, a substance abuse treatment program, and rebuilding of the education structure of the metropolitan area post-Katrina. For the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, he designed and coordinated the implementation of a three-year study of five Family Resource Centers focused on reporting their wide-ranging results. He also directed multi-year evaluations of community partnerships in Tucson, AZ, Berkeley, CA, and Santa Clara County, CA.
He has introduced hundreds of professionals to the transformative approach to planning and evaluation at numerous prevention and evaluation conferences. At SEED Impact, Barry has become adept at building Quickbase applications to meet the needs of diverse organizations. He enjoys combining a range of cloud tools to create customized evaluation systems that support organizations to discover efficiencies in their work and capture change that sticks. SEED Impact clients are guided to integrate evaluation into everything they do, and supplied with credible reports that combine hard data with lively images and stories.
Melinda Lackey | SEED Executive Director and Co-Founder
Melinda K. Lackey is Executive Director and Co-Founder of SEED Impact. Formerly a professional ballet dancer, Melinda holds a Master’s degree in Social Research and was a Kellogg National Leadership Program fellow.
Melinda contributes to the design and delivery of SEED tools and client services, trains trainers, and serves as an executive-life coach to select SEED clients.
Melinda co-founded two successful non-profits prior to SEED. She helped expand a group of six women living with HIV to a network of 600 women doctors, lawyers, service providers, students and caregivers, cultivating fertile collaboration to create Iris House, Inc: the first multi-service support center designed by and for women affected by HIV/AIDS, located in East Harlem. Early in the epidemic, Melinda assisted this group to lobby the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and they succeeded to change the CDC definition of AIDS to include the symptoms of women.
She next helped establish the Hunter College Welfare Rights Initiative and created a Community Leadership program at its core, which she taught for ten years. It provides college credit for low income students to become effective agents of community empowerment and systemic change. WRI is now staffed primarily by the women it was designed to serve.
As a founding director for over 30 years, Melinda has benefitted personally from technical assistance. She gained a good sense of what was helpful to nonprofit leaders and what was missing that they really needed. To fill that gap, The New York Women’s Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, United Way of New York City, a number of corporate matching gift programs, and hundreds of visionary donors, investors and nonprofits have partnered with SEED Impact in responding to the unmet needs of more than 250 organizations, and we are just getting started.
Asha Malate | Contract Designer
Asha Malate is a Visual Communication Designer with over a decade’s worth of design experience. She specializes in brand identity and editorial design. Asha is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design and a minor in Public Relations. She is excited to support SEED Impact’s mission and help make a difference through design.
Norma Medley | Visual Marketing Designer
Norma Medley enhances our visual marketing efforts by designing and managing social media platforms. Norma has over 15 years of agency and in-house art department experience in both print and web design. She also has over 6 years’ experience in content marketing and brand management.
Norma has an art degree from Rhode Island School of Design and studied Mass Communication at University of Missouri-St. Louis. She lives in South Florida with her husband, two daughters and dogs, named Thor and Loki. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, drawing, and writing. She is delighted to work in the nonprofit sector and use her talents to help others.
Phoenix Medley | Community Service Intern
Phoenix Medley is volunteering at SEED Impact as a community service volunteer, gaining a deeper understanding of the needs of “people outside of her own bubble.” Phoenix is a sophomore at Alexander Dreyfooes School of the Arts and is majoring in communications with a specialization in creative writing. She is a designer for her school’s literary magazine, Seeds, and is on the speech and debate team. She has a passion for social justice and inclusivity for all no matter sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. She is also an avid reader and loves to draw.
Stephanie Acosta Mohammadi | Contract Designer
Steph is a senior designer with over 18 years of in-house experience. She has a true passion for design and is experienced in both print and digital design. She has a broad range of design experience in areas such as corporate identity, layout and composition, visual communication, and digital design. More than ever, Steph has felt the strong urge to help others and what better way than providing her skills to nonprofits. Combining her true passion of design with a true purpose is how she hopes to fulfill her career as a designer.
Steph has a design degree from San Francisco State University where she emphasized in graphic design. She lives in Southern California with her husband, funny and dependable son and daughter, and crazy dog named Mulligan. When not working, she loves watching her kids play sports, enjoys working out, BBQ’s with friends, drinking lattes, and has a love for soccer.
Morgan Platt | Senior Data Analyst & Methodologist
Morgan has dedicated his life to improving the lives of students by equipping and supporting leaders as decision-makers. He recently served as Director of Testing, Research, & Accountability at a progressive school district in the midlands of South Carolina. Prior to that, he was the Senior Coordinator of Research and Evaluation at a large school district in central Florida serving nearly 100,000 students. Morgan taught at a four-year university in central FL for ten years as a full-time faculty member. In 2006, he completed all coursework (over 80 semester hours) towards a Ph.D. in Educational Research and Measurement at the University of South Florida. In 2005, he founded and served as the principal investigator for a software and consulting company focused on data collection and program evaluation for non-profit organizations that he later sold in 2018. Morgan possesses over 25 years of experience in the measurement and evaluation field, serving non-profit and education organizations.
Morgan has a strong background in managing and conducting evaluations of various programs and initiatives. He has published educational research and evaluation studies in national publications such as the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals and the National Association of Special Education Teachers: Special Educator e-Journal. He has also presented at numerous state, regional and national conferences such as the South Carolina Association of School Administrators’ Innovative Ideas Institute, Florida Educational Research Association Annual Conference, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference, American Educational Research Association Annual Conference and the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum Research Conference. As part of the SEED team, Morgan is excited to provide evaluation design, analysis and reporting services for under-resourced nonprofits doing amazing work.
Tracey Thomas | Deputy Director
Tracey Thomas, PsyD, has held a variety of leadership positions prior to joining SEED Impact as Deputy Director. She has counseled, taught and coached people of all ages from over 30 countries. Tracey was previously founder of a successful community mental health facility and has over 15 years’ experience supporting individuals to find their voice, express their views with confidence, and implement positive changes. Her passion for individual development extends to listening in ways that assist organizations to clarify vision, discern strengths and needs, and put their thoughts on paper. She is delighted to coach the heart of SEED Impact partner organizations. She enjoys the great diversity of community and organizational cultures engaged by SEED Impact. It feels like traveling the world to help organizations be successful, which Tracey longs to do.
Tracey has a strong belief that you don’t know how impactful you are until you know, which is what excites her about working at SEED Impact. Being able to provide objective evaluations to see how much you contribute to others’ lives is what motivates her.
Tracey currently lives in Central Florida with her husband, dogs, and a cat. She has two college-age sons attending school in Virginia and Pennsylvania. She travels to their academic and sporting events whenever possible. She enjoys learning, reading, writing, music, dancing, cooking, and spending time with her family.
Steven Gomez | Senior Director
Since 2011, Steven has evolved from SEED client-partner, to special advisor, to his current role as Senior Director on staff. Steven Gomez was most recently the Program Development Manager at the Martin Tuchman School of Management (MTSM) at the New Jersey Institute of Technology(NJIT). There he developed non-credit training programs, corporate engagement, consultancy projects, and professional training initiatives. As a Professor of Practice, he taught courses in Accounting, MIS, Finance, and Management. Before coming to NJIT, Steven was Executive Director at Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides financing, small business counseling, and training services to entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout northern NJ. Steven was also the Director of Special Initiatives at the Business Outreach Center Network, a CDFI serving NYC and surrounding counties. In both capacities, Steven was a SEED client, experiencing firsthand the value that the SEED methodology and approach can have on organizations. Steven has a passion for using technology to create equity and access for underserved communities and to build nonprofit capacity for financial sustainability and scalable impact.
Steven holds an MBA from Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business, an MA from Seton Hall’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations, and undergraduate degrees in International Business and Management Information Systems from Caldwell University. He is also a graduate of the Prudential Foundation’s Nonprofit Executive Fellows Program and the Ethical Leadership Certificate program from the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers University Business School. Steven serves on multiple board, including as Chair of HANDs, Inc, an economic and community development entity located in Orange, NJ; as Board treasurer for Shelterforce Magazine, a national publication covering the worlds of community development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization, and as Board finance committee member for La Casa De Don Pedro in Newark, NJ. Before working with GNEC, Steven held a career in information technology, focusing on support services, training, and project management. He has also started, owned, and operated several successful small business ventures.
Above all else, Steven enjoys being a dad to two brilliant and spirited girls and experiencing life and adventures through their eyes. As a family, they enjoy hiking, exploring, playing music, dancing, science, cooking, and eating foods from all over the world. His dedication to people and social causes is fueled by being an example to his family and contributing to a just and kind world for generations to come.
"I am most excited to help bring SEED Impact to more organizations doing amazing work, and see them realize more of their potential.”
SEED Impact Board and Special Advisors
Daniel M. Bloomfield M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer of Anthos Therapeutics where he leads an extraordinary team of clinical scientists and clinical operations professionals. In last 2 ½ years Anthos has moved quickly into Phase 3 trials with a novel anticoagulant. Prior to joining Anthos, Dan helped create Cardurion Pharmaceutical in May 2017 as its first Chief Executive Officer where he operationalized the company, filed its first Investigational New Drug (IND), and advanced the clinical program to a study in patients with heart failure.
Prior to moving to Cardurion, Dan had a 14 year career at Merck and Co. culminating as Senior Vice President, Global Clinical Development at Merck Research Laboratories, Therapeutic Area Head for Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Endocrine, and Women’s Health Programs. He was also responsible for the central coordination and strategic oversight of Merck’s R&D organization in China across all therapeutic areas. Dan joined Merck Research Laboratories in 2003 and enjoyed a diverse career that included leadership roles in cardiovascular Discovery, as well as early and late clinical development, active involvement in business development, acquisitions, and numerous licensing opportunities.
In addition to his executive duties, Dr. Bloomfield created the first Cardiac Organ Specific Safety Board at Merck, and was a founding member and co-chair of the Cardiac Safety Research Consortium (a public private partnership with the FDA, academia and industry) an organization devoted to advancing scientific knowledge on cardiac safety for new and existing medical products by building a collaborative environment based upon the principles of the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative, as well as other public health priorities. Dr. Bloomfield also served as Rapporteur for the ICH E14 implementation working group for 9 years.
After finishing a BA in Chemistry at Haverford College, Dan took a Master's degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Upon his return to the US, he attended Harvard Medical School and subsequently did his Internal Medicine and Cardiology training at Columbia before joining the faculty upon graduation. As an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology, his academic research was supported by grants from the NIH (K08, R01, K24), multiple foundations, and industry. He became recognized internationally as an expert in syncope (fainting spells), as well as novel methods used to identify patients at risk for sudden cardiac death.
Dan has created and been involved in a number of charitable organizations. In 1986 he created the American-South African Scholarship Association which provided university scholarships for disadvantaged students in South Africa, and went on to become the Founding President of the Friends of Mandela Rhodes Foundation (USA). Dan was a Founding Member of the Board for SEED Impact, an organization which has built tools designed for exceptional, under-resourced nonprofit organizations which equip them to achieve the outcomes they seek, and unlock their potential for growth. Additionally, Dan is a Board Member of the New Jersey Center for Performing Arts, and previously served on its Executive Committee and as Chair of the Arts Education Committee.
Andrew Co-Founded Wright Place Partners to acquire and operate a small business. Before founding Wright Place Partners, Andrew spent six years at Empyrean Capital Partners. At Empyrean, Andrew’s responsibilities encompassed various activities from sourcing, conducting in-depth industry research, interviewing industry experts, presenting to the investment committee, and monitoring portfolio investments. Before Empyrean, Andrew spent time at Catalus Capital, leading several small business acquisitions. During his time at Catalus, Andrew served as a Board member and CFO for a portfolio company. Andrew started his career at Prudential Capital Group, lending capital to help small businesses grow. He is also active as an SEO Alternative Investment Fellowship Coach.
Christopher A. Duda
Christopher is a Vice President with Goldman, Sachs & Co., working in the Private Wealth Management Group. Christopher received his MBA from the Yale School of Management in 2001. Prior to graduate school, he was employed with ICG Communications as Vice President of Political Affairs. Previously, Christopher served as Finance Director of the New York State Democratic Committee and as a regional Finance Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and the Clinton/Gore 1996 Presidential Campaign. Christopher also worked in the White House Office of Health Care Reform Policy. Christopher graduated from the University of Maryland where he received both a B.A. in English Literature and a B.A. in Government & Politics in 1994. Additionally, Christopher serves as a National judge for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Program, and is involved with several non-profits including MicroVest and SEED. Christopher lives in Greenwich Village in New York City.
Rachel Howard is an Executive Coach and Consultant with over 30 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and executive roles. Her work combines a deep understanding of the nonprofit sector, effective facilitation, and critical thinking with empathy, intuition, and compassion.
Before launching River House Consulting, Rachel served as the Executive Director of Resources for Children with Special Needs, leading its transformation to INCLUDEnyc, a leader in the New York City disabilities community. She has served in executive and leadership roles in several nonprofits serving children and adults with disabilities and their families, designed and initiated programs for young people transitioning to adulthood, served in policy-related roles in the public sector, and as an adjunct professor in Educational Leadership.
Rachel earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago, where she went on to earn her master’s degree in Social Service Administration. She is a Licensed Social Worker in New York and New Jersey and holds Certificates in Nonprofit Board Consulting and Leadership Coaching for Organizational Development. She lives in Frenchtown, New Jersey.
During his fifty years in the Boston area, Hubie has worked to create, nurture, and assist leadership in at least thirty community organizations across Boston. He is well-recognized for his appearances on local television, particularly as a panelist on WCVB’s public affairs discussion show, “Five on Five.” Most recently, in his retirement Hubie founded the Boston Children’s Chorus, which is already performing to great acclaim internationally, with a mission to bridge racial divides. Hubie was a Kellogg National Leadership Program Advisor. Read more about Hubie: http://www.bostonglobe.com/
Anat Lechner is a Clinical Associate Professor of Business Management at the Stern School of Business, New York University.Professor Lechner's research focuses on structural and managerial requirements for developing companies' innovation capabilities and outcomes. Her work encompasses various areas including leading strategic change, the effective leverage of multidisciplinary teams, and embracing work environments supportive of creativity and innovation.A former Research Fellow at McKinsey & Co. and the founder of a boutique management consulting firm, Professor Lechner is also involved in Management Consulting and Senior Executive Action Learning. Her client list includes global Fortune 500 firms in the Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, Energy, Food, High Tech, design and Retail industries.Professor Lechner holds an MBA and a PhD in Organization Management from Rutgers University, NJ.
Ellen joined SEED in 2019 and brings 15+ years of nonprofit experience. She has provided guidance to nonprofits and individuals on philanthropy and creating meaningful impact around the world. Prior to her work in development and philanthropy in Asia, Ellen provided consulting services in strategic planning, capacity building, program development, fundraising, and marketing in the U.S. Now back in her native New York, she is helping SEED outreach to a greater number of organizations and donors.
Mog is an expert in the new technology space. He has a strong understanding of Robotics & Advanced Technologies solutions (Cognition, AI, Machine-to-Machine, Natural Language Processing, Internet of Things) in the BPM industry. Mog has built or overseen the creation of more than 50 automated processes, saving customers millions annually while reducing errors, streamlining mission-critical processes, improving customer satisfaction, boosting employee morale, and adhering to regulatory compliance. An Aerospace & Mechanical Engineer by training (with emphasis in developing Simulation Software for practically any type of aircraft), Mog has been in the technology industry for over 18 years. He has worked with clients in the Aerospace and Mechanical Industry, Supply Chain, Healthcare, Government, and Interactive Marketing for Nonprofits, including fortune 500 companies such as NASA; Lockheed Martin; L-3 Communication; Google; Bell Helicopter; as well as smaller entities.
In his spare time, Mog enjoys reading, thinking of business ideas, mentoring young people, exercising, traveling, and learning new languages and new technologies in the area of mobile devices, simulations and market strategy. He also enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
Gil Ozir is Managing Partner at Beringer Capital, a private equity fund based in New York, focused on the digital, marketing and communications sectors. Gil has over 15 years' experience in M&A and business strategy. He spent five years as Managing Director at boutique strategy consultancy AMR International, where he led their New York office. Prior, he worked as Executive Vice President for a family office in New York. He began his business career at McKinsey & Company. Gil holds a JD from New York University School of Law, and has a BA in History from Lafayette College.
Louise is currently engaged in a variety of volunteer and non-profit consulting projects after retiring from the position of founding executive director of Trinity Boston Connects in October 2019. She previously held senior development roles at Trinity Church, Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School and the Central Park Conservancy (NY). Early in her career she served as associate director of undergraduate admissions at Yale University. Louise was a featured speaker in a 2011 lecture series on Social Entrepreneurship at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and contributed a chapter for the ensuing book, The Real Problem Solvers; Social Entrepreneurs in America (Stanford University Press). Louise received her BA from Yale University and an MA in English Literature from Middlebury College. She is currently on the boards of Roxbury Presbyterian Social Impact Center, SEED Impact, and the Black Ministerial Alliance.
Anthony W. Palma
Anthony W. Palma, a partner at Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel, is a Board Certified Wills, Trusts and Estates attorney. Since receiving his certification in 1988, he has built a successful practice that is among the largest wills, trusts, and estates practices in Florida. Mr. Palma has received numerous awards and accolades. His experience includes all aspects of estate planning, trust administration, estate administration, probate litigation, asset protection, multi-generational planning, dynasty planning, dynasty trusts, and estate plan malpractice. He has successfully represented numerous clients in cases against the Internal Revenue Service resulting in millions of dollars in savings for the clients.
Jeff is the co-founder of Wright Place Partners, a private investment fund that focuses on home health services. Before Wright Place Partners, Jeff was a private equity investor at Webster Equity Partners, a healthcare-focused private equity firm in Boston. Jeff began his career as an investment banking analyst at Bank of Merrill Lynch, advising clients on mergers and acquisitions. Jeff earned his undergraduate degree at Baruch College.
Maria Romano joined the SEED team in May 2014. By 2016 she earned a Master’s of Education at Queens College, while working at SEED Impact. She now works for the New York City Department of Education as a Bilingual Schools Psychologist. Maria has a background in psychology and business administration. As an undergraduate she worked as an ePortfolio consultant at LaGuardia Community College, helping students develop online portfolios and conducting workshops on new technologies and assessments. She likes the idea that nonprofits—and businesses—can produce and promote social change. So, it is not surprising that she found her way to SEED Impact. Maria loves discovering new technologies that facilitate learning, understanding, and change.
Jim is retired and lives with his wife Dianne in Evanston, Illinois. He is currently writing a book on Jesus and the early church titled Jesus, We Hardly Knew Ye. Jim has a wealth of firsthand experience in executive leadership-having served as Executive Director to create the Tampa Bay Florida Aquarium, President and Chief Executive Officer of Val-Pak, President and Chief Executive Officer of Needlecraft Corporation, and Vice President, Sales and Marketing, the Quaker Oats Company of Canada. Jim holds a BA, from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard University. He served as an officer in the US Naval Reserve during the Vietnam War.
Susan Nichols Wagner (Sukey)
Sukey is SEED's board chair emeritus. Sukey initially became involved as a major donor, and then led the formation of a Growth Board focused heavily on business development to assure SEED’s long-term financial stability. Sukey is the widow of Rodney Wagner, former international financier and Vice Chairman of the Board of JP Morgan. She and her husband supported numerous causes related to education and poverty throughout the world. She currently serves on the board of a school in South Africa, Wheaton College in Massachusetts, Robert College in Istanbul, and the Colebrook, Ct. Land Conservancy. She was the founding president of Iris House, and recently stepped down from that board after nearly 20 years of service. Sukey received an MA at American University of Beirut. One of her proudest volunteer achievements was setting up a learning center/library in the Brooklyn House of Detention in the early 70's. She has taught and tutored disadvantaged kids in many extra-school venues, including a settlement house in Brooklyn and extra-public school settings in NYC.