Team


 <a href="#" data-featherlight="#bio-john">Learn About Palak</a>

Palak Shah

FoundinG Director      

About Gaïa Orain

gaïa orain is a design strategist whose work focuses on the public interest sector. At Fair Care Labs, she relies on human centered design principles to create systems and strategies that navigate and elucidate difficult conversations. gaïa has freelanced with both corporate and non-profit clients. As a Designer in residence at Blue Ridge Labs @ Robinhood, she created Neat Streak, a tool that creates agreements between House Cleaners and their employers. Along the way gaïa diversified her career with a stint working for Cirque Du Soleil, teaching kindergarten and trained to be a chef. gaïa is interested in cultivating and expanding the intersection of design thinking and social justice. gaïa has a BFA in Design from Concordia in Montreal and is a graduate from the inaugural class of Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.

Sam Witherbee

Social Entrepreneur

Tara Ellison

director of finances

About Alix Ford

Alix Ford thrives on tackling new territories, working with a diverse community of people, and uncovering and solving problems. At Fair Care Labs, Alix leads innovation, social ventures and market based solutions in the Childcare sector.

Alix has years of experience in the NY childcare startup scene. She was part of the team that launched UrbanSitter’s platform in the New York City market. She also wrote and implemented the marketing campaign and created new product offerings for another NY startup, Kidz Central Station. Alix served as the Executive Director of the National Employment Lawyer’s Association/New York, dedicated to the workplace rights of individual employees. And in a previous life, she was a member of senior management for a Technology, Media and Telecom hedge fund. Alix received her JD from UC Davis, School of Law and her BA in American Studies from Scripps College. She believes everything is better in life with a good glass of wine in your hand.

SIMON GREER

senior advisor, private sector engagement

Alix Ford

Social Entrepreneur

About Palak Shah

Palak Shah is the Founding Director of Fair Care Labs, Palak leads overall strategy for the Labs with a focus on raising market norms and standards, partnering with the private sector, and building scalable and sustainable business ventures.

Palak's career spans the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, she was leader at Wellmont Health System, leading strategic responses to the ACA. She also was a member of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Administration powerful budget team and subsequently served as the Commonwealth’s Deputy Director of Performance Management. Palak has worked as a management consultant at Accenture’s strategy practice, trained as a community organizer in Los Angeles, and co-founded the international public health non-profit Visions Worldwide. Palak received a dual degree in Political Science and Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University. She received a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she was awarded the prestigious Public Service Fellowship and Presidential Scholarship. When she’s not flying around the country to discuss changing the world for domestic workers, Palak enjoys looking across the Tennessee mountains from her porch.

Jenna Weinberg

strategist, private sector engagement

About Julia Sears

Julia Sears straddles the worlds of art and activism to create and support communication across disparate sectors with similar goals for social justice. At Fair Care Labs, she supports the administrative team by assisting in operations and keeping the trains running on time.

Julia has been working in nonprofit administration for the last ten years, mainly in theatre. Her administrative work includes co-founding the Empty Chair Theatre Company, an educational forum for young theatre artists in the Washington, DC area. She also worked in finance with Underling Productions, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the University of Washington. She also an Affiliated Artist for the Mad/Ecstatic Collective and her directing work has been seen all around the country. Julia received her BA from the University of Washington. Julia believes that all people's stories deserve to be heard, and that by approaching problems with a creative eye and open heart you can effect real change in your community.

About Simon Greer

Simon Greer has been involved social change work for the past 25 years. Considered to be a serial entrepreneur in the non-profit world, he has three times served in a CEO role in “turnaround" undertakings where the organizations' missions were as noble as ever but their impact and approach needed an overhaul.

Today, as the founder of Cambridge Heath Ventures, he works with private sector companies, purpose driven organizations and governments to help them overcome their most pressing challenges. He says, “I have decided to invest my time only with people I love, causes I’m passionate about and where I think I can learn something.”

Mr. Greer has worked at the local, national and international levels to address issues ranging from poverty to lack of energy access and other forms of injustice through philanthropy, advocacy and direct service. Throughout these efforts he has been known for a commitment to innovation, risk and unconventional thinking. Mr. Greer led organizations through periods of dramatic institutional growth, including mergers, joint ventures, high profile campaigns, programmatic innovation and increased philanthropic impact. These successes include launching the Jewish Social Justice Matching Fund, helping to launch the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable and moved millions of dollars in low-interest loans to help businesses and homeowners revive the Gulf Coast after Katrina.

Prior to that, he founded Jews United for Justice, an urban social change group in Washington, DC, was an active member of the Leadership team of the Washington Interfaith Network and served as the executive director for New York Jobs with Justice.

In 2011 Greer was named to the Forward 50, an annual list of the country’s most influential Jews, in part for the role he played in convincing Fox News to cancel Glenn Beck’s popular daily show.

About Jenna Weinberg

Jenna is a social justice advocate and bridge builder dedicated to advancing healthy communities and equal opportunities for all.

With 8 years of experience in the nonprofit sector both domestically and abroad, she has juggled numerous roles (often simultaneously) as an entrepreneur, staffer, board member, and executive. In both professional and lay roles, Jenna leveraged over $500,000 for the causes she cares about.

She specializes in project management, fundraising, strategic partnership building, board development, and operations. She is also a dynamic public speaker, having presented at 10+ conferences.

About Tara Shuai Ellison

Tara has been active in feminist, LGBTQ, body liberation, women of color, and other justice-based movements for over a decade, and she brings both her passion for the work and her love of creating organizational systems and structures to NDWA. As Finance and Operations Director, Tara is excited to support NDWA's internal operations through creating robust financial, human resources, and administrative infrastructure.

Prior to joining NDWA, Tara served as Deputy Director at the Third Wave Foundation, a feminist foundation that supports young women and transgender youth in justice movements, primarily in low income communities and communities of color. During her 5 year tenure at Third Wave, she gained extensive skills in a wide range of areas, including financial management, feminist human resources practice, project management, organizational development, board development, and creating robust organizational systems and infrastructures. Before that, Tara also served as the Public Policy and Government Affairs assistant at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, where she supported a team doing state and federal policy work, as well as work around faith and aging. She is the former Board Co-Chair at NOLOSE, a fat and queer organization and she currently serves as the Board Treasurer for the Audre Lorde Project, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color community organizing center, focusing on the New York City area.

 

Advisors


 

About Sam Witherbee

Sam Witherbee blends experience as a social entrepreneur, community organizer, and business development specialist. At Fair Care Labs, Sam leads engagement and innovation around the emerging 'on-demand' or 'sharing economy' with a focus on improving conditions and providing stability for domestic workers.

Previously, Sam launched Peers.org where he helped build a community of over 250,000 individuals across the globe who participate in the sharing economy. While at Peers, Sam designed first of their kind insurance services to protect individuals who worked as Airbnb hosts and Lyft/Uber drivers. Sam is also a co-founder at Groundswell.org where he lead implementation of the organizations' innovative Civic Consumption model for impact. In 2008, Sam bounced around the country working as an organizer on President Obama's first campaign. Sam received a BA in History from Bates College in his home state of Maine. When he is not thinking about the future of work and how to remake the social safety net, you may find Sam surfing the cold waves of Northern California.

 

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