Our Team

OT – Headquarters

Picture of Found and CEO Charla M. Burnett

CHARLA M. BURNETT

Founder and CEO
Strategic Planning, Community Engagement, Technology Specialist

Named one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 100 under 30 Scholars, Charla M. Burnett is a community mediator that specializes in strategic planning and decision support technologies. She holds a BA in Global Studies, MA in Conflict Transformation, and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Global Governance and Human Security. She has helped coordinate advocacy campaigns and manage service implementation for Sierra Club and Cambridge for Immigrant Rights and develop strategic plans, M&E and theory of change for Jerusalem Peacebuilders, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and SeaSketch. She’s also the founder of two successful nonprofit organizations- Refugees Welcome! and the International Society for Participatory Mapping (ISPM).

KATE VANHORN

OT-Regional Hub Coordinator Ann Arbor, MI
Entrepreneurship, Development, Sales, Team Culture, Visioning & Strategic Planning

Katie VanHorn  is a social entrepreneur and has been running mission-driven businesses (both for and non-profit) for the last 10 years.  She specializes in customizing organizational architecture, intentional culture creation, teaching the art of group facilitation, human relationships in organizational settings, helping business owners and governance boards with financial decision-making as well as collaborative team facilitation and inclusive leadership models.  Katie has served on several boards and committees ranging from the arts to health and human services.  She’s passionate about giving teams and communities the tools they need to succeed at their missions.  Katie holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

“Charla Burnett is experienced and certified in multiple analytical tools and professional development methodologies. Her motivation, I feel, comes from a deep desire to support diversity and social justice
through community engagement and rigorous analysis.”

-Michael Johnson
INFORMS Committee Chair on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Urban Research-Based Action Network

ElIjah Lyons

OT-Lead Creation Partner Ann Arbor, MI
Lead Creation, Marketing, and Sales Development

Elijah Lyon is the CEO and Founder of Lyon’s Lynk a business consultancy service that provides lead creation and management services and advertising/marketing support. After managing advertising and marketing campaigns for leading Realestate companies , Elijah pivoted to offering his services to a wider audience.  He is a firm believer in, life returns what you give. This motivates him to give 100% in everything he does.


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Jeff Spangler

OT-Consultant, Lansing, MI
Grant Research, Community Organizing, Political Activism and Field Strategy

Jeff aspires to serve his community in many ways. As a first-generation college graduate, he received his BA in Political Science and Philosophy/Applied Ethics from Western Michigan University in 2011 and his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn in 2016, with much of his studies stemming from his time with Detroit-area nonprofits and Detroit Public Schools. He has led progressive campaigns for gubernatorial, mayoral, Senate, and congressional races on behalf of organizations such as Planned Parenthood Votes, Color of Change, Center for Community Change, and Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan.

Washington DC

NIZAR FARSAKH

OT-Consultant, Washington DC
Leadership, Mediation, Negotiation and Strategic Storytelling Specialist

Nizar Farsakh has over 10 years of experience training and consulting in both public and private sector organizations in leadership, strategy, motivation, team work, negotiations and advocacy. His most prominent role was in advising senior leaders including the President, the Prime Minister and various ministries of the Palestinian Authority. During his Masters in Public Administration, Nizar worked closely with prominent leadership professors Marshall Ganz and Ronald Heifetz developing and refining their renowned leadership courses. He continues to be involved in several leadership initiatives and is active in non-violence initiatives in the US and abroad. Nizar’s training experience is both national with universities, NGOs, government, and private associations in the US and international in the Middle East and North Africa including Israel, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq.

“Nizar Farsakh is a true professional and unlike others – understands the in depth
challenges what it takes to do real transformative training and consulting”
-Joel Braunold
Executive Director
Alliance for Middle East Peace – ALLMP

Boston, Massachusetts

Picture of President and COO, Michael J. Cole

MICHAEL J. COLE

OT-Consultant Boston, MA
Editorial Services and Research

Michael J. Cole holds a BA and an MA in Political Science and is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Global Governance and Human Security program at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy & Global Studies. Michael is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Coasts and Communities IGERT Fellow at the University of Massachusetts Boston and has taught environmental politics and international relations at the Harvard University Summer School. He has coordinated and advised advocacy campaigns for GreenPeace, Refugees Welcome!, and worked in an advisory capacity for the Boston-based environmental consultancy, Ramboll. Michael currently serves as managing editor of the academic journal, Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations.

Jeffrey Moyer

OT-Consultant Ann Arbor, MI
Lead Cannabis Policy Specialist, Public Policy Analyst

Jeffrey Moyer holds a Ph.D in Public Policy from University of Massachusetts Boston and specializes in understanding the policy process of legalizing cannabis and implementing equitable outcomes that benefit communities impacted by criminalization. Dr. Moyer is a proud AmeriCorps VISTA alumni and teaches at Suffolk University and Northeastern University. He has worked in variety of organizations and capacities to ensure legal compliance and adherence to values of transparency and accountability.  Jeffrey is committed to ensuring those that are not traditionally included get a seat at the table, and seeks to work with organizations that are looking to expand opportunities and capabilities both internally and externally. 


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