Testimonials

Board/Staff Retreat Facilitation, East Oakland Boxing Association

Renee is an excellent facilitator. Working collaboratively with me and several board members, she designed and ran a successful and productive experience for our board that energized them and improved our organization. From our first meeting, I’ve appreciated Renee’s directness, positive attitude, and energy. She brought these qualities to the board retreat in a way that gave us space us to talk about challenging issues and build solutions. At the end of the day, the action plan created by the group included every item that I’d hoped we’d discuss. We’d highly recommend Renee for board development work and will eagerly work with her again.

–Solomon Howard, Executive Director

Grant Writing Instruction, San Mateo County Community College District

Renee conducted a very well-received Grant Writing workshop as part of our district’s Professional Development Academy. In addition to inspiring a cohort of our staff to begin writing grant proposals, Renee shared materials that gave participants hands-on practice in grant writing and structured the workshop to encourage collaboration and interaction. We are looking forward to working with Renee again.

–Jonathan Bissell,  Executive Director of Community, Continuing and Corporate Education at San Mateo County Community College District

Governance and Board Work, Congregation Netivot Shalom

As president of our board, I quickly found Renee to be a tremendous asset as a board member. Her beyond-the-call-of-duty commitment, energy, strategic thinking, and problem-solving ability were a tremendous boon to group success. She listens to diverse perspectives and incorporates these ideas into plans with wide investment. Renee’s leadership on multiple working groups showed creativity and persistence that strengthened our organization. For example, Renee designed and facilitated a Board retreat that was well-received and improved the functioning of the Board. As another example, her calm presence, wise counsel, and diplomatic skills helped smooth waters in turbulent moments.

–Claude Fischer, U.C. Berkeley Professor of Sociology, former Board President, Congregation Netivot Shalom

Retreat Design and Facilitation, Bay Area Wilderness Training

It was a pleasure to engage Renee to design and facilitate our recent Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) retreat and follow-up Board meeting. In the short time period that we had to design the retreat, Renee developed a deep understanding of BAWT’s work. In meetings with the planning team, Renee asked the right questions and listened carefully to design a retreat that would meet our goal of improving the organization’s strategic focus. She worked with us collaboratively and flexibly to revise the retreat design until she honed in on a process that would meet our organization’s culture and needs. During the retreat itself, her strong facilitation kept the process on track. Although she had thoughtfully scripted the process, she was open to creatively adapt in real time in order to accomplish the stated outcomes for the day. We were extremely satisfied with the day’s outcome and highly recommend her.

–Sara Clark, Associate Attorney at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, BAWT Board President

Project strategy and grantwriting, Citizen Film

At the Jim Joseph Foundation, Renee was a champion and trusted advisor for our New Media in Jewish Studies initiative. Her feedback and insights helped us focus the project’s strategy, communications and reporting, gain wider awareness for our work, and secure additional funding. Renee’s knowledge of the Jewish philanthropic world was a great asset.

More recently, as a consultant, Renee was a grant writer for “Hidden in Plain Sight: T-Shirts and the Curation of Identity,” a multimedia installation at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, exploring how Jewish cultural and religious identities are expressed in popular Jewish t-shirts. Renee drafted proposals that communicated the key ideas of the exhibit to a Jewish audience, and to an audience of educators. Renee’s knowledge and perspective has moved our work forward and we look forward to ongoing collaboration with her.

–Sam Ball, Director, Citizen Film

Communications and Branding, Glitter & Razz Productions LLC

Renee’s expertise in grant strategy, communications and branding has been critical as we expand and scale our work. We initially engaged Renee to review proposal materials for potential funders. Her feedback gave us confidence and clarity as we shared our organization’s story with investors. Next, Renee worked with us to select a new name for our organization that would reflect our organization’s updated work. Renee conducted research among parents, teachers, and Advisory Board members, and synthesized this research into a report on brand attributes and possible organization names. Renee’s insights will help us to communicate and focus our work in the future. It was a pleasure to work with Renee, we believe she has a lot to teach non-profit organizations, and we would highly recommend her.

–Lynn Johnson, Co-Founder/CEO

 Board Retreat Facilitation and Design,  Congregation Netivot Shalom

Renee and I planned and facilitated the Netivot Shalom Board retreat together.  As a facilitator, Renee utilized professional facilitation techniques to build understanding and move the group toward discovering solutions. During one session in particular, Renee skillfully led Board members through discussion of a challenging issue in a manner that kept the group focused and energized. Her calm presence shifted what might have been a difficult conversation into a respectful one. In the retreat design phase, Renee’s knowledge of group dynamics combined with her understanding of critical issues and how to approach them contributed significantly to the design of a retreat that was successful and productive. She also experimented with new facilitation process that turned out to be very effective. All in all, her creativity, positive and calm demeanor, and facilitation skills moved the group to results.

–David Callen, Slalom Consulting

Evaluation of Parent Participation, Edah Community

Renee managed an evaluation project for Edah Community, a Jewish afterschool program, to help us explore our work engaging families. First, she met with staff and Board members to learn about the program’s history of family engagement and successes and challenges that have emerged. She designed and executed a study that gave us insight into the lives of the families in our program. Her analysis included recommendations for opportunities for greater engagement with Edah families, which will guide our work going forward.

Renee looked closely at the details of family engagement at Edah, and, given her knowledge of national communal trends, was able to provide helpful context for our challenges and experiences.  Renee brought valuable skills to this project and we hope to use her talents in the future.

–Oren Massey, Executive Director, Edah Community

Grant reporting and storytelling, Jim Joseph Foundation

In my collaboration with her over the past three years, Renee strengthened and enriched the communications of the Jim Joseph Foundation. Renee is particularly outstanding in two areas: first, “reporting” on grantee site visits or conferences and sharing her interactions with Foundation grantees in clear, compelling language and images. Second, Renee has taken the complex educational work of Foundation grantees and translated this work into memorable, accessible descriptions and stories. Renee is passionate about education research and practice; her ability to communicate her knowledge and curiosity about education is an asset to any team that she is a part of.

Jason Edelstein, Principal, Edelstein Public Affairs

I had the pleasure of working as Renee’s colleague for three years at the Jim Joseph Foundation. Renee is passionate, reflective, strongly dedicated to her work and ready to learn and adapt. She has an impressive ability to take in large amounts of information, distill them down to their essential elements, identify issue areas, and make recommendations. Renee is a team player who is adept at both leading and being led. She is also a strong writer and communicator, and a great editor.

Josh Miller, Senior Program Officer, Jim Joseph Foundation