Nita Baum is always learning, somewhere between radical + reasonable and founded two businesses- Alight + b*free - and is an entrepreneur, co-creator, facilitator, mentor-coach + community-builder. Ongoing studies, training + practice in education, business, policy, art, conflict resolution, social justice, meditation, spirituality and Eastern and Western approaches to wellness and somatic + energetic healing inform her work with freelancers, entrepreneurs and organizations. Nita’s first business focused on strategy, policy, technology and large-scale organizational change with C-level staff at US + global non-profit, business, K-12, higher education + government clients.
CORE PROGRAM FOCUS * relationships for your freelance foundation
Jillian Hubbard has utilized her long-standing passion for organizational development, talent development, and diversity and inclusion to help organizations best achieve their goals. By introducing a fresh perspective and utilizing a collaborative approach, Jillian helps create meaningful change and empowers leaders and staff in the process of achieving their business objectives. Through her work, organizations have been able to implement new programs for clients, execute powerful presentations for adults and students, and create lasting organizational values.
CORE PROGRAM FOCUS * what do you want to freelance in
Boyuan Gao is the cofounder and principal of Project Inkblot. In the past 15 years, her work has spanned organizations impacting youth development, juvenile justice, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, environmental justice, music journalism, education, digital media, technology, women's entrepreneurship, politics and more. In past lives she was an editor-in-chief, marketer, community organizer, artist and entrepreneur. Boyuan likes to collage and watch comedy specials on Netflix in her spare time, and lives in Brooklyn with her fiance and cat. She has a B.S. in Social Thought & Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Vanessa Chakour is the Founder of Sacred Warrior whose mission is to deepen relationship with ourselves and the living earth. This concept and method of teaching evolved from her journey of healing and teaching as an herbalist, artist, environmental activist, former pro boxer & trainer. Sacred Warrior works in partnership with wildlife & environmental organizations to provide healing adventures that raise funds and awareness for endangered species that share our ecosystem. Based in Brooklyn NY, Sacred Warrior offers Rewilding Retreats, Herbalism Courses and Training programs in New York, Scotland and in Costa Rica. Vanessa recently announced ‘Reclaim The Wild Woman,’ a five-week course launching in Brooklyn this fall. The course is designed to reveal innate strength through the body, the mind, and spirit, while lifting the veil between ourselves and the natural world.
CORE PROGRAM FOCUS *fear(less) communication + public speaking
Eduardo Placer is the CEO and Founder of Fearless Communicators, a dynamic public speaking coaching business. He is a global facilitator that has led workshops with groups at Google, Bank of America- Merrill Lynch, Top Tal, and the Wharton School of Business. Private clients include CEO’s of start up companies, UN Diplomats and social activists. He has a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Acting from the University of California, San Diego.
Sean has extensive experience in dealing with the opportunities and challenges facing business owners and families, and he is committed to helping them protect what they’ve worked so hard to achieve. Coming from an entrepreneurial background himself, Sean immensely enjoys working with individuals who have the courage and ambition to strike out on their own and start their own businesses. Prior to entering private practice, Sean served as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of a national public relations firm. Sean received his undergraduate education at Boston University and his J.D. at Fordham Law School.
Bryan Gilbert Santiago is a creative producer and writer with extensive experience in multi-media projects. He has 6 years of experience with digital marketing and social media strategic planning. As a producer, Santiago has managed various projects from video, photography and design projects to launching digital media campaigns. His motivation in all mediums is the art of storytelling.
CORE PROGRAM FOCUS *relationships for your freelance foundation
Kelli Doss is a Talent specialist and a professional coach. She has spent her career focused on serving youth, communities, and urban education systems in Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from Howard University and her J.D. from Tulane Law School. Following law school, Kelli had the opportunity to work as a law clerk for two years in Minneapolis. During that time, she focused her sights on tackling critical community issues before launching her non-profit career with the Children's Defense Fund. Kelli developed and managed youth programs for the National Black Child Institute and the Harlem Community Justice Center.
Eva Perrotta is a Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist and has a diverse background of health and healing modalities to her credit. She is a craniosacral therapist, and has extensive training in the subtle manipulation of the craniosacral system. This skilled touch is enhanced by her training in Body Mind Centering ®, shiatsu and studies of viceral manipulation. For many years, Evaworked as a choreographer and dancer before taking a parallel road into healing work.
Prashant is motivated by positive change in all sectors of society. He focuses on supporting individuals and mission-driven orgs who want professional change and/or are already change-making in the world. He is informed by a wide spectrum of traditional and untraditional experiences. This includes travel to 55+ countries and extensive study and practice of timeless wisdom traditions ranging across the Amazon rainforest, meditation caves in India, and hallowed classrooms of the west.
Jessica Harris is an experience designer, Oracle, Movement Pattern Analyst, dancer, choreographer and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. Ms. Harris founded Oracle Acts in 2015 and has been sharing wisdom at parties, events and for the public. As a Movement Pattern Analyst, Ms. Harris decodes movement to see how individuals and teams make decisions. Her company, Decision Harmony, works with professional teams and individuals to optimize their decision-making process.
David helps organizations present their best, true selves to the world. His clients recognize him for his ability to quickly and intuitively identify what drives organizations and their audiences and to craft brand narratives that inspire and motivate internal and external constituencies.
CORE PROGRAM FOCUS *what do you want to freelance in
Jahan Mantin is the co-founder of Project Inkblot, a media, service and program design consultancy that uses a Design for Diversity™ approach to build inclusive campaigns for organizations and companies. Jahan has led a number of high profile campaigns, including a women-driven initiative focused on low-income, immigrant women of color entrepreneurs for the City of New York.
Sharon Ruedeman is an independent, award-winning filmmaker, a video editor extraordinaire, and a truth teller at heart. Her favorite types of video projects to work on are the ones that have a real human quality to them, the ones that make you think, smile, laugh or even shed a tear. Sharon has had the amazing opportunity to work for all kinds of brands on all kinds of video projects, from fashion and beauty videos to documentaries and comedy, you name it, from Cosmo to BuzzFeed to the Today Show, she’s done it all.
The dbooks company concept started in 2005 when Donna Zanger thought her plans were to be a solo provider. Within a matter of just a few months though, she was bookkeeping full-time; and yet still receiving a constant stream of referrals. Donna decided to form a team in order to continue to assist those interested in her standards of service. And now, after 10 years, she has over 20 bookkeepers on staff serving over 500 individuals and businesses with bookkeeping and bookkeeping related classes.
CONTRIBUTION *aligning curriculum to support artists
Michael is the cofounder of Team Theory, an innovative hiring consultancy that helps startups use a holistic, human-focused approach to improve their hiring processes and find exceptional people. Throughout his multifaceted work in business, education, and the arts, he has continually explored how diverse teams can work together to produce the best outcomes for everyone. Outside of Team Theory, he maintains a solo performance career as an opera singer and also works with the multidisciplinary performance troupe The Atelier.
CONTRIBUTION *artwork for b*free logo + visual identity
Kim Smith is an artist and designer based in Boston, MA. She is the co-founder and CEO of Learning Beautiful, a company creating timeless computational toys for young children. Additionally, she is the Art Director for Wildflower Schools, a foundation supporting a network of innovative shopfront Montessori schools.
Sarah Carter has 7 years of experience working in the non-profit sector. She is thrilled to bring her experience as a freelancer to b*free, as she believes that working for oneself has the potential for healing and self-determination. Sarah credits b*free with helping her to discover her passion for education and helping students achieve their goals.
Jenn Lishansky has been teaching meditation for 15+ years. She got her start as an early adolescent, leading monthly meditation programs for families, and has been teaching ever since. Throughout her career, Jenn has traveled the world studying various forms of meditation and learning from experts.
Mubuso is focused on ensuring that children and adults everywhere have opportunity to get a great education and experience intellectual freedom. He has supported the development of education and youth development initiatives in Africa and North America. Mubuso has worked in a variety of sectors, including international development, the power industry, and retail and commercial banking. He is the founder of the BOOST Fellowship, an initiative in Zimbabwe that helps young people make a successful transition from the classroom to the workplace.
Carolyn is Founder and CEO of Pearl Strategy Partners, an advisory services and management consultancy committed to helping clients transform their organizations in order to increase impact and to achieve dramatic results. She has extensive strategy and operations experience across nonprofit, social enterprise, government and corporate roles.
Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs is the co-founder and designer of Tabii Just (tabiijust.com), a line of Zero Waste womenswear clothing and accessories that is made ethically in Brooklyn from deadstock fabric. She is an advocate for fair working conditions for garment workers as well as ethical fashion. Tabitha is also the Youth and Family Coordinator for the Women's March, helping organize the biggest demonstration in response to an election in U.S. history.
Two key ideas have driven Lydia throughout her career: People have the power to make the government work for them, and their voices and perspectives matter to policymakers. Given her background in advocacy, graduate studies in education policy, and time spent working on education issues (early childhood through postsecondary) on the Hill, Lydia brings a unique mix of policy and advocacy expertise to her work.