We believe that the power of philanthropy is amplified
when it is strategic and managed for results.
Amplifier Strategies was created to help philanthropists and social enterprises become more strategic and impactful. At first, we focused on program research, design and performance measurement, and with each engagement, we saw that our clients also wanted support in the next steps of implementation: communication, partner engagement and collaboration, and managing knowledge and data for learning and decision making over time. Today we are a team of strategists, designers and technologists working together to deliver an integrated set of capabilities across the entire program management lifecycle. Each one of us shares a common commitment to apply our professional and technical skills to the mission of creating a more humane and sustainable world.
We customize our engagements to each client's unique context and stage of development, investing deeply in learning about the mission, history and current challenges your organization is facing. By offering a comprehensive package for philanthropists, mission investors and social enterprises in each stage of the journey, we are able to be very flexible. For example, some clients approach us with a request for proposal to address a specific aspect of their organization, and others come to us with a passion or programmatic theme that they would like to research and fund over time. In either case, we operate in a partnership model, where we define success for the project for our firm, as well as for how the project will advance the organization's mission and priorities. Then we stay the course from design to implementation.
Most of our work products are delivered directly to external audiences. We are willing to operate on the front lines or behind the scenes. In either case, we align our interests with our clients and deliver a high quality solution every time.
Allison Duncan is an industry leader and advisor to global changemakers on philanthropy, impact investing and social entrepreneurship. Her passion to modernize philanthropy and make a difference on the world’s most urgent challenges led her to launch Amplifier to build and scale mission-driven programs. Since its inception in 2007, Amplifier has offered a partnership with an integrated team that imagines, designs and implements strategies that change social and economic systems. By activating capital, building strategic capabilities and inspiring networks, Amplifier aims to achieve audacious results in our lifetime.
Since 2007, Amplifier has activated more than $500 million and launched new ventures, portfolio strategies, and cutting-edge solutions for influential foundations and organizations around the world. Its clients include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Erol Foundation, The Skoll Foundation, The Libra Foundation, Battery Powered, Arcus Foundation, Resources Legacy Fund, Swift Foundation, BRAC, Barefoot College and The Nature Conservancy, among others.
Allison began her career in philanthropy with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. She served as the Program Director for a $400 million environmental investment and as the Director of Program Finance, where she created a practice to conduct due diligence, measure outcomes, and structure $1 billion in grants and program-related investments. Prior to joining the Moore Foundation, Allison worked at Deloitte in the Carolinas, Russia, New York and Silicon Valley
Chantal Buard has more than 20 years of experience in digital media production including online design, print design, audiovisual production and motion graphics. That driving focus led her to become a Partner and Head of Digital at Amplifier. Before coming to Amplifier, Chantal founded Mana Productions in 2005, an audiovisual and design production company based in San Francisco, which merged with Amplifier in 2012. Previously, as a Media Producer for NBC/Quokka Ventures, she co-produced the online version of NBC’s coverage of the Sydney and Salt Lake City Olympics. Her expertise in design and video revolutionized the use of the Internet as integral to a worldwide media event. She spent extended time in Tanzania as an activist and documentary filmmaker for France Television. Chantal co-founded Picture Earth, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to using art to inspire sustainable living. Originally from Paris, France, Chantal has been living in San Francisco for 15 years. She graduated from the Sorbonne and holds an MBA from IAE, Aix en Provence and York University, Toronto, specializing in Media and Arts Management.
University of California, Berkeley, alumni Todd Thille learned much of what makes him so good at his current job while managing Utrecht Art Supplies in San Francisco, “hacking on the SCO Unix POS system in the backroom.” Those basic problem-solving skills remain the lynchpin of his work today as Amplifier’s Lead Developer. It’s not a pride thing, but he likes that tech problems rarely stump him. On the rare occasion that they do, he welcomes them. “I love solving a wide array of problems across an expanding set of technologies toward bettering the world. I love a new challenge that builds on previously solved ones.” In the ever-changing and constantly emerging field of tech, that’s a rare gift. Todd was a contributor to the Drupal CMS project, and also built a modular web scraping tool to obtain user data from multiple NOAA regional monitoring systems. Todd’s fingerprints can be seen on every aspect of Amplifier’s digital presence, including video creation, a skill he developed in part due to his time shooting documentaries in places like East Africa and Eastern Europe. He now works remotely from Istanbul “while enjoying a view of the Bosphorus,” he says. Todd once made a cameo in Tears for Fears’ “Pale Shelter” video. As an experienced VJ, he won the one and only Maker Faire VJ Battle of 2006. Now that is a pride thing.
Todd would like to be the cover story in Holo magazine. An interview of his favorites would include:
Favorite movie or book: “‘Holy Mountain.’ It is a visceral journey of spiritual transformation.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Cheeses. The funkier the better.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “I’ll be at Merigan’s having a sandwich, listening to Gimmik’s ‘Thing on a Spring.’ Call me when the game is over.”
Barbie Lucio-Bartoli loves experiencing life. Case in point: the time she spent a night in the Sahara Desert and decided to roll down the massive sand dunes. When she took the job as Amplifier’s Program Manager for Battery Powered, she felt that everything came together, allowing her to spend her days sparking people’s passions for important causes. Focusing on Battery Powered allows her to collaborate with inspiring people as they work toward making the world a better place. This speaker of four languages has always been driven to make a difference. She excelled in earning a master’s degree in change management and built a diverse resume working in social impact dating back to her college days. “I’m driven to work on things that make me happy,” she says, “and I’ve always been driven to work on social impact.” When she’s not working, she spends time with her husband, often exploring the city without a specific destination in mind. “Everyday’s an adventure.” she says. She brings this adventurous mentality with her when she travels, always inclined to try new cuisines and converse with interesting strangers.
Barbie’s dream interview would be the cover story in Monocle – and she’d probably want to share her expertise on cheap tapas bars in Barcelona. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “Cookbooks.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Breakfast burritos.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “‘Live your Life,’ by T.I.”
When it comes to local knowledge, you can’t get much better than Jill Minkus, a third-generation San Franciscan with a strong sense of place. But don’t think she’s only committed to this side of the Bay. “I grew up in the city but I’m now a devoted Oakland resident of 12 years,” she says. Jill’s sense of place extends to Amplifier. She came aboard in 2008, which pretty much makes her the keeper of institutional knowledge for us all. She has worked with some of Amplifier’s closest partners. Jill helped build the thriving Erol Foundation from the ground up and designed Battery Powered’s organizational outreach, assessment and grantmaking. As our Consultant of Family and Individual Philanthropy, she remains motivated by other team members. “Each is brilliant, dedicated, conscientious, humble and just plain nice to be around,” she says. After earning a master’s degree in Russian literature, Minkus shifted into nonprofit work. She and Allison’s work connection date back to a time when both worked for other organizations. “I asked her for a reference and she offered me the gig,” Minkus said. She’s been a vital part of Amplifier’s growth ever since.
Jill’s dream interview would be the cover story in The New York Review of Books. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “‘Singin’ in the Rain.’ I’ve always harbored fantasies of learning to tap dance. Plus: Gene Kelly. ’Nuff said.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Swensen’s Mocha Chip Ice Cream.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “‘Debaser,’ by The Pixies.”
Kavita Gupta an avid world traveller has lived across 16 countries and travelled over 35. She has over 8 years of experience in investment strategy and financial modeling via McKinsey, The World Bank, HSBC and IFC. She has handled multiple impact driven funds across Middle east and Africa. She developed India’s first indie film fund and co founded Cine-roost capitals and WeMynd as a continued impact investment mission.
She has an Engineering degree in computer science along with a MIT-D fellowship and Masters in International Trade & Economics. She has developed and headed World Bank’s youth innovation fund and is passionate about social impact investments and impact measurements. A recent recipient of UN social impact innovator award (finance) for her environment impact measurement model – she is passionate about sustainable investments and new innovation models. A trained Kathak dancer (indian traditional dance) and a national swimming champion- her ideal vacation would be anything to do with beach with some back pack traveling and local vegetarian cuisine.
Like any number of San Francisco-based millennials, Nicolas Funke can work his way around a digital platform. But other than his title (Web Engineer) and his degrees (one of which is a major in computer science) there is nothing typical about a man whose skills as a DJ and music producer may outshine his formidable skills solving tech-related problems for Amplifier’s clientele. After working for technology firms, the French native joined Amplifier to support its focus on positive change. “I love this job because I can put my skills to something meaningful and not the next dating app,” he says. He developed the Amplifier website, quickly putting his artistic stamp on the company. Funke spends his free time teaching and practicing the martial art of Capoeira. He also loves music. If he suddenly discovered a hidden treasure, he would use the money to create “a free, highly curated music festival.” If he’s going to brag, it’s not about his significant contributions at Amplifier, but his ability to captivate an audience with music. And the one concert or event he’d dream of standing in line to see? Bob Marley jamming with Daniel Avery. Who wouldn’t?
Nico’s dream interview would be the cover story in Wired magazine. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “‘The Little Prince.’ You can read it at every age and learn something from it.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Red meat.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want,’ by The Rolling Stones.”
Abbey Banks likes to explore possibilities. She’s a dreamer, but a pragmatic one, she insists. That pragmatism does nothing to quench her belief that if you get the right people together, have a vision, set clear goals and pursue them relentlessly, amazing positive change will result. “I believe we can and will shift society for the better in our lifetime. This is an amazing moment to be working on social impact,” she says. She has the perfect job to prove her point. As our Director of Family and Individual Philanthropy, Abbey leads a team that partners with those committed to the same goals. Each step in her career has added another building block toward Amplifier, and what ties it all together is a deep belief in the power of networks and relationships to make a difference. She began in tech startups and learned how to bring new ideas to new audiences. She shifted to nonprofit and philanthropic work to apply her skills to issue areas she cares deeply about. As Director of Membership at Net Impact, she grew membership by 60 percent to 15,000 members, doubled the size of the chapter network to exceed 200 chapters and opened up international expansion in Asia, Latin America and Africa. At the East Bay Community Foundation, she led donor engagement programs to build giving communities for impact. Her hobbies now include playing dress up, building castles and having tea parties, because when you’re the mom of two girls under the age of four, their hobbies are your hobbies. The good news is that her kids must rub off on her, because Abbey’s energy is infectious, as is her certainty that Amplifier’s lofty mission to solve so-called unsolvable global problems is possible. “We can do this!” she insists.
Abbey would love nothing more than to rock the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “‘Love in the Time of Cholera.’ It transports me to a world I must have lived in once upon a time.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Bread. It’s true. So bad for me.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “‘Don’t Stop Believin,’ by Journey”
Though Garance Rey is new to San Francisco, the French native already has her San Francisco Giants walk-up song picked out. She is going to fit in just fine around here as an intern working on climate change. Garance worked in Africa for the World Bank Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, where she worked to ensure transparency. After completing a master’s degree back home and working with NGOs in developing countries, she accepted an internship at Amplifier to enhance her business skills and broaden her experience. As a vital connection between Amplifier’s San Francisco and Paris offices, Garance brings first-hand knowledge to preparations for Paris-based events. As a key part of the team working on our Climate and Capital Initiative, Garance helps develop investment research in the low-carbon economy. “I am always learning here to be proactive, self-rewarding and useful at the end of each day,” she says. Someday she simply wants to travel around the world sailing. She’s also learning Romanian, which would be yet another new language spoken among Amplifier staff. As we said, she fits in just fine.
Garance would choose to be the cover story in Rolling Stone magazine. An interview about her favorites would include:
Favorite Book or Movie: “‘Le Enfants du Paradis.’ I got my name out of it.”
Favorite Guilty Binge: “Big Mac.”
SF Giants Walk Up Song: “‘Jump,’ by the Pointer Sisters.”
Maybe at some point everyone thinks about packing in their well-paying job and hitting the road. Unlike everyone, Maria Caprio is one who did it. She interrupted her career for a self-financed three years of international travel and volunteer work. She visited 30 countries and pursued lifelong goals that included: summiting two 18,000-ft. peaks in the Himalayas, navigating across Mongolia on horseback, working as Dive Instructor in Cartagena, Colombia, and traveling on her own across Southeast Asia, Central Asia and South America. Her career spans philanthropy, impact investing, state-level policymaking, grassroots health advocacy, global business development and finance. An avid social justice advocate and strategist, Maria seeks to inspire, educate and connect individuals and communities to innovative effective mission-driven causes. She has high standards, which is precisely why this former investment banker and director of a vital nonprofit came to Amplifier as a Lead Consultant. Here, she partners with clients to develop strategic impact investing frameworks that increase positive social and environmental change. She loves seeing results “almost immediately” and working with “amazing change makers.” Before coming to Amplifier, Maria was the director of a grassroots advocacy program, Shanti’s Margot Murphy Women’s Cancer Program. As a Women’s Policy Institute Fellow with the Women’s Foundation of California, she crafted a bipartisan lobby coalition in support of the Healthy Babies Act of 2014, which became law. She has been diving into the deep-end of life for as long as she can remember. “I’m getting to do things I never imagined being able to do,” she said.
Maria’s dream interview would be with National Geographic magazine. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite Book: “‘The Gift,’ by Hafiz. It’s a collection of poems infused with the sweetest humor.”
Favorite Guilty Binge: “Chocolate.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “‘Ready to Rock,’ by Oddisee.”
Wren Brennan has heard them. Trust her. She knows Kevin Bacon had the same name in “Footloose,” and she knows all about “Ren and Stimpy.” So despite her memorable name, let’s dig deeper, because as a Content Strategy Associate Consultant here at Amplifier, she knows the power of a story well-told. “Storytelling is a great tool for making a positive change in the world, but also for getting things done,” she says. As a writer, she has helped raise funds for important causes, produced a student-run magazine and shed light on issues like reproductive rights, education and climate change. She came to Amplifier to use her skills to tell stories that media and reporting weren’t covering. Her artistic mindset blends nicely with precision, punctuality and organization, making her a true asset to the team-centered approach here at Amplifier. She writes, edits and adapts copy for video, print and online. Wren’s writer instincts started young. Childhood interactions with stories made an indelible impression, as was the case with her favorite book, “The Golden Compass,” and her favorite movie, “The Princess Bride.” If she ever wins an Academy Award for screenwriting, she’ll be sure to thank, among others, “my pre-school, which was such a great time that I still remember it!” See what we mean about her recall? A writer’s gift to be sure.
After winning her Oscar, Wren will surely be the cover story in Rolling Stone magazine. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “The Golden Compass”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Tater tots. They are more aesthetically pleasing and tastier than french fries.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “Uggh. I need to think about it …”
Bill’s hometown is San Diego. Few things in life compare with hanging with family on a beach. “I enjoy simplicity,” he says, “like hot dogs, a carne asada burrito, watching my boys play in the shore break.” The San Diego State grad likes to keep his job as Accounting Manager simple as well. “I do number crunching along with data grinding in conjunction with process development with a goal to generate business intelligence.” Uh … well maybe not that simple, but it is effective. Bill keeps the numbers aligned and on-track in a fluid emerging business environment. His jobs have included everything from working in small-business startups to managing millions of dollars in assets. He has a deep appreciation for thoughtful process and data flow which, when done well, make everything … well, simpler. His personal goals boil down to a single word: “Evolution. I just want to do my part and move forward, and hopefully, be a better person on the other side.” Bill’s friends know him for his off-kilter humor. “At times it can be quite dark,” he says. It makes sense then that he loves satirical movies and is usually ready with “a quote to match.”
Bill’s dream interview would be the cover story in The Economist. An interview of his favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “Star Wars. ’Nuff said.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Coke.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “Should Have Been a Cowboy.”
First things first. Aditi is said just as it looks (A-Dee-Tee). Second, aesthetic design is a powerful motivator wherever and whenever it is found, which Aditi discovered working in places like India and Singapore and for companies like Greenpeace before coming to the Bay Area. “I go wherever design takes me,” she says. “I want to use my skills for social good.” Aditi learned her trade working in small boutique design studios all the way up to large-scale agencies. During her time in Singapore, Aditi built financial apps for large-scale banks. Her career has moved from print to web to interactive design, and now she has the needed diversity to excel as Lead Designer at Amplifier. She applies design across platforms like digital, mobile and print to propel interest and involvement. “I love working with social engineers who want to the change the world,” she says. She is happily married and loves dogs. All dogs, she stressed. “Big, small, fat, cute, ugly … I love them, and I admit it, I judge people who don’t.”
Aditi’s dream interview would be the cover story in Wired magazine. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “‘Shantaram,’ by Gregory David Roberts.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Chinese.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “Eye of the Tiger.”
Nicole Manapol is the adventurous type: In fact, her favorite hobby is getting lost and discovering new places wherever she goes from the California coast to the wilds of Guatemala, which speaks to her passion for new experiences. Manapol spent two years in the Peace Corps after graduating from Georgetown University, an experience that became a springboard for the next decade of work in social enterprise and organizational capacity building. Her work has focused on cross-cultural communication, particularly with refugees, internally displaced peoples (IDPs) and indigenous groups. Prior to coming to Amplifier, Nicole worked as a program manager for four years with Women in Technology and then went to Australia to gain experience in community engagement. Now, as our Consultant of Strategic Services, the New York native is focused on helping people reach their full potential. “I love this opportunity to create transformational change,” she says. Her future goals are especially appealing, like running a beachside cantina that serves her guilty pleasure of chicharrones, sardines and spicy vinegar.
Nicole’s dream interview would be the cover story in Vice magazine. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Pizza.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “I’d never hit for the Giants. Only Oakland.”
Rahul Mitra is on a global mission to end poverty once and for all, but don’t think that he’s all work and no play. A talented project manager with a master’s degree in global human development, Rahul works as a Consultant and Product Developer for Amplifier. In practice, that means managing technology projects both here and abroad. He’s spent the past seven years working with NGOs all across the globe. Talk about a world traveler: Rahul has been to a stunning 57 countries, and loves the fact that his career allows him to explore new cultures and meet interesting people. “I love that my job requires me to interact and work with people from very diverse backgrounds, scattered around the world,” he says. With all this traveling, poverty fighting and meeting people, Rahul stays pretty busy – but he still finds time to explore his personal hobbies, which include playing guitar (he was in a heavy metal band in high school), reading and listening to Metallica (again with the metal).
Rahul would love nothing more than to be profiled by The Economist. An interview of his favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “‘Geentanjali,’ a compilation of songs and poems by Rabindranath Tagore, my favorite author.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Nutella.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “‘Fuego’ by Bomba Estereo.”
Wendy Wecksell has a dream. “I want to make a phone call someday that literally changes the world for the better.” The pursuit of this dream—a dream of impact, generosity, discovery, change and a vital network that can carry it out—explains why Amplifier snagged her as our Strategic Partnerships Lead. As a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, Wendy advised more than 100 organizations working directly with “The Billionaire Whisperer” of philanthropy, Jennifer McCrea. She then became the Head of Strategic Relationships at Pencils of Promise. This New York City transplant who loves to travel is still adapting to life on the Left Coast. Despite the big transition, life here is a natural fit for an extroverted theater major with a magnetic personality and relentless enthusiasm. She wakes up precisely at 6:04 a.m. every day … “And I love it!” she says. That’s before the coffee, no less. She is thrilled to have a job in which meeting new people and learning about their passions is on her to-do list every day.
If Wendy had her druthers, she’d want to be the cover story on Fast Company magazine. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “I don’t have one. Now that I think about it, the fact that I don’t have one probably explains why I left the film industry.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Coffee and olive oil cake. I could have it three times a day.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “I grew up in a Yankees household. My dad is a die-hard fan. The only team I could be on would be the Yankees.”
Fulfilling job? Check. Impact on others? Check. Master’s degree in organization management? Check. Clearly, Julia Indovina has a lot going right in her life, but imagine doing all that while constantly being upstaged by chickens. She’s used to it. Whenever friends introduce her, they say, “This is Julia, she’s the one with chickens on her roof.” It’s a conversation starter, to be sure, and Julia is someone worth getting to know. Julia’s evolving role as a Strategic Services Consultant at Amplifier has allowed her to combine her diverse experiences with her drive, and to use her management experience and talents for maximum social impact. “I worked in strategic philanthropy for a large part of my career,” she says. “It’s inspiring to take a step back and consider the number of people’s lives that have been impacted through the various projects I have worked on.” But the connection to Amplifier allows her to use her network, skills and expertise in a comprehensive new way. She plays a vital role in communication and planning across departments and allocating resources effectively. In a constantly evolving list of priorities Julia is nimble and encouraging when it’s needed most. “I love so much about this job,” she says. “The team, the range of projects we are working on, the scale of impact we’re having. It’s incredible.”
Julia’s dream interview would be the cover story in Interview magazine. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “‘Godfather II.’ It pulls at my Sicilian heartstrings.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Chocolate Éclairs.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “That’s baseball, right? JK. I knew that.”
Tara O’Shea is a bread and butter kind of gal. No, we don’t mean bland, not at all. She’s anything but. But her favorite food is bread and butter. “I’m serious,” she says. No apologies necessary. Simple excellence is always in fashion, and perhaps that’s a sneak peek into why Tara is so appreciated around here as a Strategic Services Consultant. Her work on the bread butter needs of sustainability never goes out of style or need. “I’m passionate about the intersection between environmental management and economic development,” she says. Tara has a master’s degree in environmental management and a graduate certificate in international development policy. She is a published author in the peer-reviewed journal Business Strategy and the Environment and helped launch Standfortrees.org with the United States Agency for International Development. She has spoken on four continents about these critical topics. Systems thinking, she says, is critical to discovering audacious solutions. “I think many of the challenges we face are connected,” she says. “We can’t look at them in isolation.” At Amplifier, she can work with others from various disciplines to discover new sustainability solutions. “I’m always learning and growing from their diverse perspectives,” she says. Tara loves learning. Whether it’s learning to surf or discovering new ways to make a lasting impact on the planet, she is up for the challenge.
Tara’s dream interview would be in Fast Company magazine. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ because of the many connections and occurrences that make our reality and the role of each person within it.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Ben & Jerry’s.”
SF Giants Walk-Up Song: “‘Dance Yourself Clean’ by LCD Soundsystem.”
Kevin Keiper marches through life to the beat of his own drum. Literally. He loves playing the drums, just like he loves digging through dusty music stores in search of old LPs that still offer that old-time magical sound. His music may be old school, but his work as our Senior UI/UX Designer is cutting edge. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Keiper combines his entrepreneurial interests with Internet design and technology. “I discover design opportunities within the business goals. We create a strategic set of design deliverables that meet the client’s goals.” He once won second place in the New Jersey State science fair for building a Tesla Coil. Keiper isn’t tied to his computer after hours. He loves to go to the gym, sail, snowboard and have all kinds of outdoor adventures. He volunteers for the SF Jazz Center, but his guilty pleasure is catching a horror film – the scarier the better. He is the organizer of a meetup group here in SF (http://www.meetup.com/responsivewebdesignsf/). An ideal vacation centers around one theme: the extreme. “Like the Volvo Ocean Race,” he says. “Google it!”
Kevin’s dream interview would the cover of the vinyl journal Wax Poetics. An interview of his favorites would include:
Favorite movie or book: “‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’ It was ahead of its time and the effects are still pretty realistic even now.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “In ’N Out Burgers.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “Something by John Cage.”
Candice Lee is a rare gem. Seriously. She’s an ENTJ on the Myers-Briggs Scale, which accounts for only 3 percent of the female population. Beyond that, she’s a rare talent who, as the Executive Assistant to Founder Allison Duncan, juggles more balls than a busker at Pier 39. She has worked with high-level executives in various fields to further add to her rare expertise. “I assist in steering this ship through uncharted and awe-inspiring waters,” she says. Her master’s degree in psychology (she also has a master’s degree in art history) surely comes into play in helping to navigate the eclectic, talented people who collectively make Amplifier what it is. Though some might find that a difficult challenge, Candice insists it’s the best part of her job. “I love the people!” she says. Candice married a Brit who once owned a pub, and her dream would be to own a vineyard. “I could subsist on a diet of Champagne alone,” she jokes. Her thirst for life and adventure is real. An ideal vacation? “An African safari,” she says. Candice is, indeed, a rare one. Delightfully rare.
Candice would love to be a cover story in O Magazine, but since Oprah is the only person ever pictured on the cover, she’ll settle for Yoga Journal. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “‘The Goldfinch,’ by Donna Tart. An art-filled adventure from start to finish.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Chocolate and wine.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “’Heart of Gold,’ the same song that was played at my wedding!”
Kim’s been on an enthusiastic mission to create a better world since she was a teenager in Brooklyn. She graduated from high school at 16 and college at 20 before opening her consulting practice focused on nonprofit development at 23, and her enthusiasm for life was just getting started. Her sense of mission brought her to Amplifier as Director of Strategy. It also brought her to New Orleans. “When I needed a change I packed my car and moved, sight unseen.” She didn’t know anyone, but it worked out well. “I met my husband three months later,” she says. Kim believes her deep spiritual foundation and amazing mentors opened doors to opportunities like rebranding Columbia University Medical Center and creating the business plan for Brooklyn Community Foundation. In addition to owning her own consulting practice for more than a decade, she has been a managing partner at a brand innovation agency, led local offices of two nonprofits, and was a consultant with Bridgespan. At Amplifier, Kim leads strategy projects, marketing, and communications for the agency and its clients. “I live in the realm of ideas. I listen, imagine, and create strategies that help organizations and leaders do what they do better. Then I get to convey them beautifully to the world.” She loves working at Amplifier because it marries her deep-seated sense of mission with her talent for strategy and marketing. Her enthusiasm is well-known around the office. Looking ahead, Kim says, “The best is yet to come.” (see what we mean about enthusiasm?) When she’s not working she can be found at home with her husband Henry and their son David, watching movies or building incredible new worlds with legos and blocks. Kim recharges her batteries by gardening and creating herbal remedies for her friends and family as she works toward becoming a certified master herbalist.
Kim’s dream interview would be the cover story on Vogue magazine. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite Book or Movie: “‘The Color Purple,’ she says. ‘The more I wonder, the more I love.’”
Favorite Guilty Binge Food: “Haagen-Dazs Rum Raisin Ice Cream.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “‘Lose Yourself,’ by Eminem.”
Nicole prides herself on being opinionated. After all, it takes a strong personality to guide organizations through the ups and downs of rapid growth. As our Strategic Services Manager, she is uniquely qualified to organize our lively, fast-paced, energetic team. “I fight entropy,” she says. “I herd cats. I watch and listen. I empathize and strategize. I analyze, plan, implement, measure, review and report. And then I start over again.” Nicole is Amplifier’s fearless leader on the front lines of streamlining efficiency, promoting work-life balance and upholding policies that set the company up for success. Nicole began her career in international development consulting, working for Chemonics International in Washington, D.C. Between short-term engagements abroad, she honed her expertise in proposal development, financial management and training, mentoring scores of junior employees and becoming the youngest corporate financial reviewer in her company’s history. She then earned an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business with a focus on social entrepreneurship. Her next post as a business advisor for a startup nonprofit took her first to Kenya for year and then back to the U.S., where she spent a year as the head of finance and operations for the fledgling organization. Here’s some valuable insider information: Nicole is our first point of reference in the recruitment and hiring of new talent. She’s also a grammar perfectionist. Take note future Amplifiers! She also applies her dedication to excellence in crafting home beer: Again, take note future Amplifiers.
Nicole’s dream interview would be the cover story on National Geographic, “ideally holding an exotic animal,” she says. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite movie or book: “‘Groundhog Day,’ because of Bill Murray.”
Favorite guilty-binge food? “Anything potato-based. Mashed potatoes, potato salad, French fries, hash browns. Not so much potato chips, though, now that I think about it.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “No idea, not my thing.”
It takes a certain level of patience to be a designer, and Sarah Oldenburg has it. “I once drove cross country with my cat on my lap, who never stopped meowing,” she says. That’s patience. It’s a trait that will serve the East Coast native well here as part of the incredible, demanding nature of work her team does every day. “I love that I am now able to design and work with foundations that I know are making a greater impact in the world, and I can directly be a part of that,” she says. Sarah spent 10 years working in design and building her skills. To her, graphic design is a medium for organized, digestible communication. “I help people present themselves and communicate visually,” she says. When she’s not creating elegant design materials for Amplifier, she can be found across the Bay in Oakland, where she lives with her husband and her (very vocal) cat. When she thinks about the future, she can’t help but feel the call to travel. After spending three amazing weeks in Italy with her husband, she’s been bitten by the travel bug and can’t wait to cross off more places on her list.
If Sarah were interviewed for a magazine, she’d love it to be Bon Appetit. An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “‘The Fifth Element.’ I feel like it’s one of those timeless movies. Even though it was made 18 years ago, nothing feels out of date.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Espresso ice cream with chocolate chips.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “‘Boogie Wonderland,’ by Earth, Wind & Fire.”
Design begins in the mind of Anushree (Anu for short) Agarwal long before she dives in. It’s almost like a gift. “I can immediately visualize in my mind while someone is talking,” she says. “I break out laughing uncontrollably due to my visualization power and find it hard to explain why I am laughing so much.” Anu brings a uniquely positive outlook to the Amplifier team. Her joy translates directly into the work she does as a Design Intern. She began designing for various companies in India. After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design with a master’s in graphic design, Anu began searching for an internship opportunity that would combine her experience with her passion for helping others. “I love to design and I love to do meaningful work that helps the less fortunate. That combination is what brought me to Amplifier.” She says the people she works with is one of the best parts of the job. “People are the most important aspect of any job, no matter where I am,” she says. “And the people here are good, fun and kind.” Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, vegan food and books. Especially books. There’s so much to visualize, afterall.
Anu would be thrilled to be profiled by Communication Arts magazine.An interview of her favorites would include:
Favorite movie or book: “‘A More Beautiful Question,’ by Warren Berger. It made me think about the power of questioning. Right questioning.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Grilled cheese.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “I don’t follow baseball, I love cricket.”
Scot Bolsinger has held many titles in his life that include, but are not limited to: Preacher. Entrepreneur. Failed Entrepreneur. Teacher. Sports Reporter. Political Reporter. Metro Columnist. City Editor. Entrepreneur, take two. Prison Reform Advocate. Author. Activist. “I really prefer just one: Human,” he says. As Amplifier’s Senior Writer, Scot leads tone and messaging and holds the editorial line across communications projects for Amplifier and our clients. “Basically I annoy people and obsess about words,” he says. During a decade-long journalism career he won more than two dozen press awards and helped lead a daily paper on the verge of extinction to best in class. Most recently, Scot was a scholarship recipient of the 2014 San Francisco Writers For Change Conference. He regularly collaborates and coaches groups of local writers. At Amplifier, he works to ensure we are delivering quality work and telling the most compelling stories about the stuff that really matters. “I feel I get to write about the most important stuff in the world,” he says, “with some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met.” Outside of work a litany of hobbies keep him relentlessly busy, including cooking, hiking, snowboarding, surfing, yoga, guitar, laughing, watching movies and “hanging out with the homeless, addicts, convicts and other delightful people who are so much like me.”
Scot wants to be featured in Men’s Journal because “they write about kick-ass dudes.” And he’ll give a very candid interview about that time he wore a clown suit on the Great Wall of China. An interview of his favorites would include:
Favorite book or movie: “‘I Heard the Owl Call My Name,’ by Margaret Craven, because when the priest said they do their best work in the gutter, I was hooked.”
Favorite guilty binge food: “Chocolate. That and caffeine are the only addictions I have left.”
SF Giants walk-up song: “The best walk-up song ever, Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Mama, I’m Coming Home.’”
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