Tebabu Assefa and Sara Mussie, a husband and wife team of native Ethiopians who are the founders of Blessed Coffee. They are both community activists and social entrepreneurs. Tebabu has a background in photography, film production, and communication. In addition to her work with Blessed Coffee, Sara is a Community Organizer with non-profit IMPACT Silver Spring. They live in Takoma Park, MD with their children Yared and Helena.
Christopher King, the founder and CEO of King Connections, a Benefits Corporation that is a business-leveraging consulting firm that specializes in developing innovative-customized business systems. King Connections helps clients “Connect with Intent” to build, manage, and leverage social capital to create million dollar connected-engaged communities. Christopher is a board member of the Montgomery County Housing Partnership, an Advisory Board member for Washington Adventist University’s Enactus student program, and a committee member of the Takoma Park Coalition of Tenant and Landlord Affairs.
Kimberley Jutze, a socially responsible entrepreneur and Chief Change Architect at Shifting Patterns Consulting where she facilitates social change by working alongside organizations that think and act outside the box to address society’s most pressing challenges. Kimberly serves on the nonprofit board of Landmark Development Initiative Africa and is a member of Hub DC, Net Impact, #SocEntDC Host Committee, and Think Local First DC.
Lanita Whitehurst, a freelance writer and project manager who brings a solid track record of effective copy and content writing and successful project development and management to institutions, groups and non-profit organizations. She is a member of Grace Episcopal Church where she is active in youth ministry and serves as an Acolyte Advisor. She is also a children’s literacy advocate and is working on a book about the power of diverse children’s book groups.
Adam Mendelevitz, an experienced programmer, web site developer, teacher, and writer who has organized video game tournaments with In Town Gamers. Adam is currently working on a project to build a new-media marketing group called Renati Studios. He also tutors at Montgomery College and is a supporter of Médecins Sans Frontières and B’nai B’rith.
Gretchen A Hilburger, a professional social worker with experience in community organizing and engagement as well as in working with individuals on personal growth. She currently works at the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless with the Partnership for Permanent Housing Program. Gretchen is involved in the communities of the DC suburbs as much as possible—helping out with organizing local events and festivals, assisting various non-profits and helping clients who have hoarding tendencies to clean out and better organize their lives.
Paula Matallana, a talented visual artist who works at IMPACT Silver Spring as a Development and Administrative Assistant. Prior to her work at IMPACT, Paula was an AmeriCorps intern at Gandhi Brigade, an organization using media arts to help empower young people. Paula continues to use her talents as a media artist to help youth and organizations tell their stories.
Sean Griffin, Manager of Marketing and Partner Outreach with the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), has almost a decade of experience in market research, outreach, and client communications, as well as project management. Sean works closely with ASBC partner organizations to effectuate change on a regional, state, and national level to advance public policies directed at building a more vibrant, just and sustainable economy. Sean actively participates in minimizing his impact in the world and embeds practices in his daily life that help achieve that goal.
Mebrahtu Grmai, an Information Technology professional with a passion for the arts. He has experience with illustration, design, and video production. He participated in AmeriCorps’ Project CHANGE and spent one year working with the community-based non-profit, IMPACT Silver Spring.
Masai McDougall, an attorney from the Washington D.C. area who specializes in advising socially-oriented businesses in all phases of operation from start-up and formation to expansion. Simply put, Masai has a passion for businesses that create genuine opportunities for change. Masai has worked with social enterprises in areas such as crowd-funding, microfinance, agriculture and alternative energy.
Younés Rhiwi, a passionate graphic and web designer who is also an artist working in digital media. Younés was born and raised in Morocco. After obtaining a Master of Arts in Visual Communication and Strategy he immigrated to the United States. He has successfully put his photography and graphic design skills to work at various non-profits and charities here in this US and abroad.
Marc Einhorn, who is passionate about helping people achieve their business goals and aspirations by assisting in both financial service and real estate needs. Currently, Marc holds the position of CEO of Max Merchant Funding and Vice President of The Jaffe Group. Both companies have offices located in Chevy Chase, MD and both companies are deeply committed to doing good within the business world.
Heran Getachew, an independent social enterprise consultant who works with start-up organizations to design and manage innovative ventures through strategy development and project management capabilities. Currently, she is a ProInspire Fellow in the Corporate Project Management Office at FHI 360, a global development organization whose rigorous, evidence-based approach addresses some of the world’s most complex health and development challenges. Heran’s passion for utilizing social entrepreneurship as a means to promoting economic development began when she was a senior at Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and won first place for funding in the inaugural Social Enterprise Business Plan Competition hosted by her Entrepreneurship class.
Mhretab Tewolde, a self-employed limousine driver who is currently launching the“My-Limo” limousine leasing service which will provide affordable rates and a rent-to-own opportunity. Mhretab’s long term aspiration is to work for an international social business that will support community based enterprises advancing economic development.