Our Team

Full-time Team

Charli Cooksey

Founder & CEO

Charlene Mack

Vice President of Movement Building

Vanessa Pimblott

Operations and Team Development Lead

Yoni Blumberg

Director of Entrepreneurship & Strategic Initiatives

Edgar Payano

Entrepreneur Support Fellow

Gloria Nolan

Advocacy and Operations Coordinator / Community Leader in Residence

Joey Saunders

Director of Policy & Systems Change

Allison Gibbs

Director of Leadership Development & Special Projects

Anya Silva

Development & Communications Fellow


We are fortunate to work with a talented group of extended team members, who help drive our work.

Antwan Chambers

Elevate/Elevar Project Manager &
Community Engagement Fellow

Rebecca Kazdoy

Program & Evaluation Assistant

Smiling white woman

Sara Katz

Program Design Coordinator

Grinning young Black woman

Sarah Martin

Campaign Communications Fellow

Cara Pugh

Strategic Initiatives Associate

Jessica Wernli

Power-Building Academy Facilitator &
Curriculum Designer

Erin Chung

Operations & Elevate/Elevar Intern


man stand up paddle boarding

Roo Yawitz

smiling young Latinx woman

Claudia Mendoza

grinning young Black woman with yellow glasses

Crystal Martin

smiling young Black man wearing suit

Michael Butler

smiling bald Black man wearing suit

Abdul-Kaba Abdulla

grinning Asian woman

April Fulstone

grinning young white man wearing baseball cap

Ryan Strode


Leadership for Educational Equity logo

Leadership for Educational Equity

Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being logo

Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being

Nat'l Conference for Community and Justice of Metropolitan St. Louis logo

National Conference for Community and Justice of Metropolitan St. Louis

Urban Strategies logo

Urban Strategies

Catholic Campaign for Human Development logo

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

SIU Edwardsville East St. Louis Center logo

East St. Louis Center

Missouri Foundation for Health logo

Missouri Foundation for Health

Black Futures Lab logo

Black Futures Lab

St. Louis Promise Zone logo

St. Louis Promise Zone

Incarnate Word Foundation logo

Incarnate Word Foundation


St. Louis Equity in entrepreneurship collective logo

St. Louis Equity in
Entrepreneurship Collective

Move logo


United Congregations of Metro East

Metropolitan Congregations United