Encore Fellow Profiles


United Way of Central Jersey

An award-winning multicultural marketing communications expert and strategist, journalist, public speaker, published author and small business advocate, Susana G. Baumann, MAA, MLS, is the President, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Latinas in Business Inc.

An Argentinean immigrant, Baumann founded her own small business over 20 years ago, LCSWorldwide Multicultural Marketing Communications in New Jersey, USA. Susana will be an Encore Fellow with the United Way of Central Jersey as the Chief Brand Strategy and New Business Development Officer to support UWCJ’s investment strategy for children ages 0 – 5.


Encore Fellow Profiles


Special Olympics

I served my Encore Fellowship at the Special Olympics, which I first learned about years ago, as the parent of a child with special needs.

Working in a nonprofit gave me a different perspective; decisions are made on a slower timeline, and there’s less pressure than I had in the private sector. The fellowship really helped me recognize the value of the skills I had developed in my corporate life. After 38 years, you get tunnel vision on what you can and can’t do. The nonprofit gave me the chance to take the skill set that I have and recreate myself. It gave me practice and the opportunity to learn new skills, which adds to my value in the market. I now know how to reshape and redefine myself. It helped me think about how I want to rebrand myself.

Previously, I’d been a project and program manager at IBM; I began my career on the tech side but mid-career, became an IBM-certified project manager.

Within the organization, the fellow is in a unique position. Whereas a volunteer might feel isolated and separate from the organization’s inner workings, as a fellow, I was a staff member without being a “staff member”; I was involved in seeing the inner workings, and often felt very well respected and appreciated by the staff. I made some really good, close friendships.

When I interviewed with Special Olympics, they mentioned that they wanted to re-implement their Salesforce CRM system and thought that I may be able to assist in this effort. This was the key item that helped me make my decision to work with Special Olympics as opposed to another organization I was considering. I wanted to work with Special Olympics for personal reasons, and working with Salesforce gave me a skill that I would not otherwise have had. Now, I’m marketing myself, leading with the Salesforce skills and experience for non-profits that I acquired along with the rest of my project management and program management experience.

I did multiple things – Salesforce implementation, and used a lot of my skills in Excel macro programming, to help clean up their data. I also worked with the development folks on their business processes and their challenges in dealing with data, customizing some Salesforce features to run fundraising operations more efficiently. We automated reports at a level of detail they didn’t have before, and built and deployed integrations with their online fundraising platform, building ways to bring a lot of this data into Special Olympics in one single place

I also worked on helping organize the data and processes around sports teams – the competitors at the Fall Tournaments and Summer games – and volunteer management. They do all of these games – with thousands of players and volunteers. I said, let’s document how you do everything, what you do, where the pain points are. We identified where technology could improve problems, only implementing it where it made sense, taking into consideration challenges, like tech-shy volunteers and infrastructure ( for example, no decent network connectivity in remote locations)

There were some places where they were doing manually intensive work. I said, what if we can take the process down to 5 or 10 minutes [from the prior 2.5 hour manual process] with technology? They looked at me like I was crazy, but that’s what we did. I literally got “tears of joy” from them as they realized there would be no more 1 AM trips to Kinkos to get huge bracket charts printed up for the [sports] venues.

We used a comparable process for their volunteer management web portal to generate data by venue and job role. The Senior Vice President said, “If you do nothing else for your whole fellowship, it’s worth it just for this.” It made me feel really good. It invigorates me to run the technology and see my work, work.

I am hoping to continue to work with non-profits although I understand that I’m going to have to find opportunities through networking. The work I do is the norm for businesses and consulting groups, but less so for nonprofits. I realize I need to be more entrepreneurial than I was in the corporate environment. I also gained insights into operations and development, what it costs to run the Special Olympics. Being an Encore Fellow was a great experience.


Encore Fellow Profiles


Community Living Campaign

Robin Nasatir was matched with Community Living Campaign, a San Francisco-based organization that reduces social isolation and loneliness among older adults and people with disabilities. In this video, Robin shares an unexpected benefit of being an Encore Fellow.


Encore Fellow Profiles


Bay Ridge Center

The mission of Bay Ridge Center is to provide services and programs for adults 60 years and older in southwest Brooklyn that promote their well-being, support their independence and encourage their involvement in community life. “Bay Ridge Center is a hidden gem in the New York area,” according to Marty. “They provide important and vital services to an active and growing community. The number of people turning 50-plus is going to rise over time, and Bay Ridge Center’s services will be needed even more than before!”

Marty’s work experience and accomplishments are highlighted by his tenure with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where he helped build the Leukemia Cup Regatta campaign from two events in 1993 raising $30,000 into an international force that has raised a cumulative $73 million and galvanized support from a wide range of individuals, companies, foundations, communities and organizations. Along the way, Marty has brought volunteers and staff from all walks of life to work to band together towards a common purpose. He has also served as the New Jersey Chapter’s executive director for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and development manager for CASA of Mercer and Burlington Counties (NJ).

Marty is a Rutgers University graduate and currently serves as a University Senator, and co-chair of the Rutgers Alumni Association’s Communications Committee. He is a past president of the Livingston Alumni Association and Rutgers Alumni Association, and a past member of the Rutgers University Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. Marty was born in Brooklyn, NY and resides in East Brunswick, NJ.


Encore Fellow Profiles


Hack the Hood

Decades ago, Marlene Somerville moved from Manchester, England to Silicon Valley to pursue dreams of success in the tech industry. And she found it, working 23 years in various IT roles at Intel.

But when Intel offered Marlene an early retirement package, she was ready for a change and took it.

That’s when she learned about Encore Fellowships, a program that matches skilled, seasoned professionals with social sector organizations in high-impact, paid engagements lasting as long as a year.

“I was drawn to Hack the Hood, an Oakland-based nonprofit that serves under-resourced youth of color, ages 16-25, who are interested in pursuing tech-related careers,” she says. “And it was a win-win, because it aligned with my professional experience.”

Hack the Hood offers intensive bootcamps and workshops, prioritizing students who have received free or reduced lunch in school, or have household incomes under the federal poverty guidelines. Most of the youth who participate don’t have access to a computer or reliable internet connection at home. Students learn tech and coding skills, are mentored by tech professionals, build confidence, and create a pathway toward success.

Marlene’s full-time, six-month fellowship was focused on helping Hack the Hood better organize its data and expand its services to more young people. “After evaluating their entire business process and identifying where we could increase efficiencies,” she says, “it became obvious that we had to move their paper enrollment process online.”

Taking the organization digital in advance of the pandemic ended up being a blessing, allowing students to enroll using an internet-enabled mobile phone. And, for the first time, the group is able to launch a virtual summer workshop.

“This summer, 38 young people will get to practice the tech skills they are learning in the virtual workshop by serving as remote web developers and consultants for real-world, local, small businesses and community organizations,” Marlene explains. “They will do this work in partnership with local tech company mentors who advise on development and design, local business networks that provide clients, and city governments that help with youth stipends and local awareness.”

Hack the Hood raised additional funds that will cover stipends for the young people participating in the summer program, increasing access to those who otherwise would have had to focus on summer jobs that pay.

“We need to improve diversity within technology companies, particularly those working in IT,” says Marlene. “Hack the Hood’s programs and partnerships help.”

While her Encore Fellowship recently ended, the experience made a lasting impact. “When you’re working in high tech at a company like Intel, you’re in constant motion.” she reflects. “Doing this Encore Fellowship with Hack the Hood has given me the opportunity to transition and to look at my community and give back. It was really rewarding.”


Encore Fellow Profiles


Boys and Girls Club of Portland

Ken is an attorney with extensive experience in venture capital, minority economic development, finance and accounting in various industries, including broadcasting, communications, entertainment, the quick service restaurant industry and real estate development. Ken is serving as CFO consultant to the Boys and Girls Club of Portland, and served as an Encore Fellow as well with KairosPDX as a Fiscal and Operations Specialist.

Read and hear Ken’s story on Portland local TV news: Retirement gap year: Program matches retiring professionals with nonprofits


Encore Fellow Profiles



SaverLife, an organization that makes saving money easier and more rewarding, has hosted 5 Encore Fellows™ over the past few years, and 3 of them have been hired by the organization after their fellowship ended. This includes Homer Wong, who is now the organization’s Chief People Officer.


Encore Fellow Profiles



“I like to say I’ve had 39 lives,” says Harriette Cole, 59, whose range of professional experiences include being a model, holding various leadership positions at Essence and Ebony magazines, coaching Black recording artists on public speaking — including Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys, writing seven books, maintaining a weekly column for 17 years and hosting Dream Leapers, a coaching series to help people in transition in their lives to activate their dreams.

When her friend, board member Lester Strong, heard that AARP was looking for someone who could help the organization increase its presence in the African American/Black community by leveraging live events and accessing Black celebrity talent, Cole immediately came to mind.

She was game for an Encore Fellowship — a six-month opportunity to work with AARP in a high-impact, paid assignment. The only challenge? A few days after Cole started her fellowship, cities across America began shutting down to slow the spread of Covid-19, and all live events were put on indefinite hold.

Cole had traveled to Washington D.C. on March 9 to meet with AARP’s leadership team and go through an orientation process. “I’m so grateful I was able to meet with everyone in person,” says Cole, who lives with her husband and 16-year-old daughter in New York City. “But by then we could see that things were getting bad and started talking about creating virtual opportunities to engage our audiences in a different way.”

Cole — and others on the AARP Multicultural Leadership Team hired to reach out to a range of ethnic and cultural groups — had a week to find new ways to reach people and offer to help them through the crisis.

“African American communities have been hit hard by Covid-19,” Cole explains, “so I helped develop a fact sheet that’s now being sent all over the U.S. to various AARP offices, speaking directly to the African American/Black community in ways we hope will resonate. We also created a media briefing for Black media outlets, and I worked closely with the AARP team and advertising agency Burrell Communications on preparing for that.”

Edna Kane-Williams, AARP’s Senior Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, is more than pleased with the work. “Harriette has quickly become an entrenched, valuable member of our team,” Kane-Williams says. “Her insights and knowledge about public relations and communications strategy have really helped us raise the bar on the reach and impact of our work. We’re truly honored to have someone of her caliber working with us. What a gift!”

Cole hasn’t stopped thinking about ways to engage Black celebrity talent. There are online events, to be sure. “BET recently had a musical fundraiser, and AARP quickly agreed to sponsor it,” she says. There’s also a new AARP Black Community Facebook Live interview series in the works that Cole will produce and host.

“My plan is to talk to a broad range of people,” she says, “from motivational speakers who will give inspiration for how we can stay positive at a time when it can be a challenge, to more celebrity-type people who have built interesting careers.”

Cole says her AARP colleagues are some of the most respectful professionals she’s ever met. “These groups are often marginalized, and the way everyone is treated in this department is the opposite of that,” she says. “Everyone is highly regarded and acknowledged for their contributions. They welcome my ideas and tell me how grateful they are that I’m there, and that I bring fresh ideas and new ways of looking at information. It feels really good.”


Encore Fellow Profiles



The pandemic has made life exponentially harder for the staff and residents at HomeFirst, which provides services and housing to the homeless and those at risk of homelessness across seven sites in Santa Clara County. Technology can make things a bit easier — if people get the equipment and support they need.

That’s Frederick Ho’s job right now. After 40 years in the computer industry, Ho became an Encore Fellow at HomeFirst, taking on the role of IT director just a few months before the coronavirus hit. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind, with new needs rising as the days pass.

When the majority of HomeFirst staff of 200+ started working from home, Ho had to quickly adapt. He ordered a bunch of Dell laptops and dealt with limited inventory and FedEx delays. “We’re expecting to get another batch this week,” he says. Ho also helped the staff learn to work remotely.

And Ho saw that the shelters’ residents needed technology, too. “The internet and WiFi at a family shelter in Sunnyvale were originally established to support the staff,” he says, “but I’ve been working with a vendor to expand the bandwidth so it’s now more available to the families.”

What about the kids? “I also ordered a dozen Chromebooks,” Ho says, “so school-aged children at the shelter can do homework assignments remotely.” (Fortunately, the costs of technology were covered by COVID-related financial donations.)

There’s more. Ho has been involved in implementing a security system and providing Wifi for the residents of the Maybury Bridge Housing Community, which California Governor Gavin Newsom visited this past February. He’s now working on a similar system for a second transitional housing site.

“Fred’s been great,” says Art Stein, HomeFirst’s CFO. “He’s just totally jumped in and been willing to provide IT support in all the ways we‘ve needed it – from getting our staff and shelters connected to making sure we have the right IT infrastructure at the new facilities we’re working to open. It’s been wonderful.”

Shelters don’t close on the weekends — they have to keep going, even during a pandemic. “You can think of the staff and volunteers working with the homeless as frontline workers,” Ho says.

Of course, Ho is taking precautions to stay safe himself. “There have been times where I’m taking delivery of laptops, doing configurations and getting them to the different sites, and that work has some built-in dangers in itself,” he says.

During his regular career, Ho never had the time to do nonprofit or charitable work. “This is really the first time that I’ve done this type of thing, and it’s been rewarding.”


Encore Fellow Profiles


Girl Scouts


While starting my consulting business in 2016 and getting involved in local volunteering, I remarked to someone at my church that I was doing so much volunteer work that I should find work in the nonprofit arena. And she said to me, “You should check out” I went home that afternoon looked on the website and got really excited about it. I loved the idea of giving back after all my years in the corporate world. So I put in an application for an Encore Fellowship the next day and promptly forgot about it while building up my business.

The Job

A few months later, I got a call from the Encore Fellowships team. They asked me if I might be interested in a position with the Girl Scouts as a change management manager. I was doing a lot of work with helping women and children at risk, and I had experience with change management, so it seemed to be a perfect fit. I interviewed with the chief enterprise integration officer, the woman who would be my manager, and we hit it off immediately.


I was a Girl Scout from ages 5 to 13, and I had forgotten how impactful it was to my life and the confidence and leadership skills it gave me. To be working for an organization whose mission is to help girls build their confidence and leadership skills and become people of character means a lot to me. I’ve fallen in love with the organization and all it stands for.


I’m now the senior director of process improvement and change management for the Girl Scouts of the USA. I’m working in an area called enterprise integration, which is responsible for developing and implementing cutting-edge technology and related initiatives. I’m fortunate to be able to help translate the changes we’re going through for our 400 staff members and 111 national councils and overseas locations. We’re working to bring efficiency and exciting new opportunities to girls and volunteers worldwide.


Some tangible and ongoing outcomes of the change management work include the development and facilitation of monthly employee forums to foster cross-functional dialogue, a monthly newsletter to socialize new initiatives, professional development opportunities through a lunch-and-learn series for the staff, a wiki-like common language playbook of all the slang new employees need to know, and an integrated calendar providing everyone with easy-to-use access to all activities and events throughout GSUSA.

I also started a Toastmasters Club with the goal of elevating leadership and communication skills within GSUSA. The added benefit is that colleagues come together to connect with each other, hear each other’s stories, learn a bit more about what each of us does and the passion that brings us here. It helps each of us develop our skills and work more closely together, no matter what age we are, no matter our background.

An Age-Integrated Workforce

I work with a multigenerational team at Girl Scouts of the USA — some people have recently graduated college or business school and some are in their sixties or older. It’s very energizing to work in a multigenerational space where you feel like you’re not siloed into age groups and everyone brings the value of their perspective. It’s really just a great mix and an amazing way to work.


Through the Encore Fellowship, I learned that really the sky’s the limit, that I have so much more energy and so much more to give and so much more to learn. I learned that there’s so much more out in front of me, I just can’t even see the end of it.

Advice to Potential Encore Fellows

Just go for it. Fill out the application, explore the website. You never know where it’s going to take you. You’re going to learn things about yourself and new ways to translate the many skills you have developed over your career. Go in with the mindset of a servant leader and you will see that you will gain as much as you give. You’re going to learn how much energy you still have and how much you can still give to organizations that really need the skills that you’ve developed all your life.

Advice to Nonprofits Considering Hiring Encore Fellows

It’s amazing what extra things can be accomplished with an Encore Fellow. And with the right job description and the right Encore Fellow, it really can take you much further than you think in a short period of time. It’s a great way to enhance your capacity! We now budget for Encore Fellows™ every year. I was able to bring on three more Encore Fellows last year, and two of those roles have been converted to full-time positions.