BISC Announces New Staff Members and Restructure
This is a big week for the BISC team. We pride ourselves on being a small, yet mighty team, but over the last year a lot has changed both in the world and in our organization. As we all continue to address this global pandemic and the impact of centuries of structural racism in our country, we’ve seen increased demands for BISC’s resources and assistance across the country. In that, we also realized the need for more capacity to be flexible and nimble, so we can meet the moment where it’s at and reach the ambitious goals we set in our 5-year strategic framework.
Over the next week our program team will expand to welcome Mila Al-Ayoubi as BISC’s Strategic Partnerships Director and Corrine Rivera Fowler as our Policy and Legal Advocacy Director. Mila played a pivotal role on Amendment 4, Florida’s historic ballot measure restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals. She will lead BISC’s long-term strategic partnerships and research program. Corrine has worked on 10 ballot measures over 16 years. Most recently she was the campaign manager for the victorious 2018 Colorado ballot measure that capped payday lending rates. She will lead our policy development and implementation, ballot measure tracking and analysis, and work closely with Jaspreet Chowdhary, whose title recently changed to reflect her leadership of BISC’s Ballot Integrity program.
We also needed to grow and shift roles on our current program team. This week, Marsha Donat takes on a new role as Capacity Building Director to support the skill-building needs of our partners as well as manage our training program. She will work collaboratively with our two new program directors to ensure BISC can continue to support our partners at the state and national level. She is joined by Eliana Ramírez who shifted her role from Executive Assistant to Program Coordinator to support our growing program team. The team at BISC now has over 30 years combined experience working on ballot measures to fulfill our mission of implementing a national progressive strategy for ballot measures rooted in building state-based power. Pretty exciting!
After leading BISC’s proactive ballot measure work for almost 5 years, Dana Laurent will take on a new role as Senior Strategic Advisor where she will focus on strategically advising our program team to meet the goals in our strategic framework and incubate emerging projects. She will join BISC’s executive leadership team to ensure we support our growing staff and work with me on the organizational vision and strategic framework. Other members of our executive leadership include:
- Victoria Ward, Director of Operations and Finance: She joined the team in late February to focus on strengthening organizational infrastructure and financial sustainability.
- Elizabeth Schilling, Development Director: She leads our fundraising efforts to ensure BISC can continue to grow and support our staff and partners.
- Jane Norman, Chief of Staff: A new title and role for Jane as she leads BISC’s continued development of a values and performance-based culture. She will continue to work closely with the Senior Strategic Advisor and program team.
Rounding out the executive team is Caroline Sánchez Avakian who will officially join the team on July 27 as our new Director of Strategic Communications. She brings 20 years of communications experience that will help us tell our story and strengthen the narrative on how ballot measures build and transform power.
And it doesn’t stop there! In May, we added capacity to our development team with the addition of Jalil Austin as Executive and Development Coordinator. The executive team is excited to continue to support the growth of our Operations Manager, Lucy Reyes and Communications Coordinator, Paola Canting.
The BISC Team is our biggest asset and it is my honor to lead alongside them. We believe ballot measures can be a tool for liberation, especially when we center the communities most impacted. We strive to build an equitable and just world. I am excited to continue to build the BISC of the future with all of you.
Chris Melody Fields Figueredo