Our Team

Working in a social enterprise, serving in the Teach For America corps, recruiting in the private sector – this is just a sampling of the backgrounds and interests our team brings to the table. Many of us have worked in mission-driven organizations, so we know firsthand the type of talent and infrastructure required to make them thrive. Through our experiences, we bring multiple networks that we leverage to source new candidates and make connections.

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Alana Althans
Search Associate

Alana has been with the On-Ramps team since 2015. As a Search Associate, she manages client engagements across a range of issues areas, including philanthropy, education, and international development. Internally, she also leads the firm’s communications team and supports business development initiatives.

Alana brings a professional background in both executive search and public service. Prior to joining On-Ramps, Alana served as a search coordinator at Sandler Search, where she worked on a broad range of senior development and external relations searches on behalf of local, national, and international non-profit organizations. Prior to her role at Sandler Search, Alana held an internship in the New York City Department of Sanitation's Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse, and Recycling, where she partnered with New York City public schools to evaluate and recognize best practices and outstanding accomplishments in sustainability education.

Alana graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Sociology. A native Brooklynite, Alana now lives in Manhattan with her husband and French bulldog. When she’s not in the office, you can find her exploring the City’s farmers markets, playing tennis, or curled up with her needlepoint or a good book.

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Josh Baquedano
Search Analyst

Josh began his role as a Search Analyst with On-Ramps in 2019. He currently provides project support across multiple searches.

Before joining On-Ramps, Josh worked a Program Manager at Breakthrough New York, an education non-profit in New York City. In that role, he facilitated after school and summer enrichment programming for high-achieving middle school students at BTNY's Bronx program location. He also provided academic advising services to students and families in the program.

Josh obtained his B.A. in International Relations from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Originally from Arlington, Virginia, Josh moved to New York after graduating to pursue work in the social sector. Outside of work, he enjoys playing pick-up soccer and visiting museums.

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Isabella Cassell
Search Associate

Isabella has been with On-Ramps since 2018. She works on searches across industry and function, conducting candidate assessment and outreach, as well as partnering with clients. She also participates in the firm's culture building and business development work, planning skill-building, social, and wellness engagements for the On-Ramps team.

Prior to joining the firm, Isabella worked for several years in the food social impact space, most recently as the Local Initiative Manager for Blount Fine Foods, strengthening the company's impact on the local community. Before this work, she was the Director of Food Initiatives at Social Enterprise Greenhouse in Providence, RI, orchestrating their food business programming. Isabella also coordinated RI Food Day, planning and executing events around food justice and policy.

Isabella graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology. In 2016, Isabella graduated as a New Leaders Council Institute Fellow. Originally from Massachusetts, Isabella now happily resides in Brooklyn. When not working, you can find Isabella exploring Prospect Park, meandering through New York's museums, and bouncing between yoga and dance classes.

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Yahira Cruz
Search Associate

Prior to joining the On-Ramps team, Yahira was a Candidate Lead at Bridgewater Associates where she managed the end-to-end candidate experience for senior through entry-level roles across the Client Service and Trading teams. Before Bridgewater, Yahira spent several years working at Citadel where she supported the recruiting efforts of one of the long/short equity platforms, Surveyor Capital. There, she was responsible for the full candidate life cycle of Portfolio Manager, Associate (including MBA Summer Associate) and Analyst candidates.

Yahira began her career at the University of Chicago where she spearheaded the creation of an alumni giving program for the University of Chicago's Annual Fund, and ran a portfolio of Fortune 1000 companies that sponsored undergraduate students in the university's flagship internship program.

Yahira holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. A native New Yorker, she currently resides in the Bronx with her adorable dog Charlie.

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Emily Dendinger
Search Specialist

Emily brings a background in higher education, educational publishing, creative writing, and administration to the On-Ramps team. Prior to joining On-Ramps, Emily wrote and edited educational video games and training module scripts for NogginLabs. Before her time at NogginLabs, Emily was the program coordinator for the University of Chicago's Center for Teaching and Learning, where she helped organize and plan seminars and workshops for faculty and graduate student teachers to help improve their teaching.

Emily graduated from Boston College with a B.A. in English and Theatre. An award-winning playwright, Emily recently completed her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa's Playwright's Workshop. Although she grew up in Virginia, Emily is now happy to call Brooklyn home.

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Kevin Do
Search Analyst

Kevin joined On-Ramps as a Search Analyst in 2019. In his role, he currently provides active project support for several searches.

Prior to On-Ramps, Kevin spent a year serving as an AmeriCorps Member with City Year Boston. During his service year, he taught Math, English Language Arts and Social-Emotional Learning in an elementary school. With his peers at City Year, Kevin launched an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Affinity Group: a space for AAPI employees to build community and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the organization.

Kevin graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Anthropology. At Brown, he supported several programs run by the Swearer Center for Public Service and practiced Taekwondo with the University’s Taekwondo club. Originally from Sacramento, California, Kevin is happy to call New York City his new home. In his spare time, he can be found watching cooking videos, playing board games, or traveling.

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Imani Doyle
Search Associate

Imani has been with On-Ramps since 2018. As a Search Associate, Imani currently supports searches across industry and function through building relationships with clients, managing time-sensitive logistics and conducting candidate assessments and outreach. She is also involved in building the firm's culture and marketing strategies, increasing team engagement and expanding our audience base.

Before joining On-Ramps, Imani worked in e-commerce at Jet.com, where she was managed multiple accounts and was responsible for driving revenue growth and creating the optimal online customer experience. Prior to Jet, Imani was an African-American Studies major at Yale University, finding the right balance across a rigorous course load, extracurricular activities, and volunteer work.

A born and bred New Yorker, Imani is a proud resident of Brooklyn, NY. In her free time, you can find her curating music playlists, identifying the coziest cafes, and engaging in discussions across lines of difference.

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Alice Gibbs
Partner

Alice is a Partner and has been with On-Ramps since 2012. With a background in K12 education, she’s helped lead On-Ramps’ education practice while also serving clients across broader issue areas including philanthropy, civic engagement, and animal welfare (just to name a few). When Alice isn’t busy serving clients, she helps lead On-Ramps’ efforts around process optimization, data analytics, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Prior to joining On-Ramps, Alice worked on staff at Teach For America where she helped launch TFA’s initiative to recruit outside talent to staff and oversaw broader talent strategy work for regional teams. Alice started her career in education working for the Community Education Alliance of West Philadelphia where she served as the Executive Director of two charter schools.

Alice is a graduate of the University of Georgia and resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia with her husband, son, and daughter. Outside of work you can find Alice doing pretty much any type of group fitness class, practicing yoga, and binge watching Bravo.

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Sarah Grayson
Founding Partner

Sarah, a Founding Partner, brings over twenty years of experience in human capital consulting and people management to On-Ramps. With experience both as a strategy consultant and Head of HR, Sarah brings deep HR experience and a focus on client impact. Sarah has successfully served a wide-variety of clients, leading large change efforts and designing and implementing a range of talent development programs.

Prior to On-Ramps, Sarah was an Engagement Manager at Katzenbach Partners, LLC, where she led projects focused on human capital issues and where her work was profiled in the Wall Street Journal. Prior to working at Katzenbach, Sarah was Director of Organization Development at Skinklinic, a start-up skin care company, where she designed and led the recruiting, training, and performance management programs. Having helped build an organization from the ground up, Sarah understands the importance of not only attracting but also retaining great people.

Sarah is a graduate of Brown University where she received a B.A. in History. Sarah resides in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

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Nakia James-Jenkins
Partner

Nakia has spent her career in leadership positions at organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, driving the development of their people and cultures. At On-Ramps, Nakia works with social sector organizations focused on changing the world, leading searches and advising leaders on best practices in recruitment and hiring. In addition to her work with clients, Nakia supports On-Ramps' internal talent work, as well as its work on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Prior to joining On-Ramps, Nakia was Vice President, People & Culture at Girls Who Code. In this role, she was responsible for establishing its people and culture philosophy by revamping recruitment strategies, developing initiatives to support both inclusion and diversity, and providing in-house leadership coaching.

Before joining Girls Who Code, Nakia worked at KIPP NYC as its Managing Director, People. By working closely with senior leaders and becoming the internal Human Resources consultant for the thirteen school and program leaders and regional directors, she transformed the Human Resources function from one managing only transactional interactions to one focused on strategic partnerships.

Prior to joining KIPP NYC, Nakia was the Director of Operations and Human Resources for the Manhattan Borough President's Office – Scott M. Stringer. Under her leadership, the operational and human resources functions of the two borough president's office locations and the twelve (12) Manhattan Community board offices were streamlined and strategically enhanced.

Nakia holds an M.P.A. from CUNY Baruch College, Marxe School of Public, and International Affairs, an M.S. in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College and a B.S. in Organizational Management from Nyack College. Nakia sits on the Board of Directors of STEM From Dance, a nonprofit organization focused on preparing Black and Latina girls for STEM education and careers through dance. Originally from Harlem, NY, Nakia lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband and two sons.

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Sarah Kwon Johnson
Partner

As a Partner at On-Ramps, Sarah leads strategic planning and internal operations, including talent, data analysis, and the firm's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. She also leads client engagements, partnering with organizations across a range of issue areas, with an emphasis on education and philanthropy.

Sarah spent the first ten years of her career focused on K-12 education. At Carnegie Corporation of New York, she helped implement the Corporation's grantmaking strategy related to talent management in urban education. She previously worked for the CUNY Early College Initiative, which provides students who are historically underrepresented in higher education with a rigorous college-prep curriculum and early access to college-credit courses. In her early career, Sarah worked as a Data Analyst at the New York City Department of Education and as a Research Assistant at Jobs for the Future.

Sarah holds a B.A. in Education Studies from Brown University and an M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her husband and daughter.

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Michelle Kedem
Founding Partner

As Founding Partner, Michelle has been with On-Ramps since 2006. She currently supports the firm’s strategy development, external relations and finance. She also leads client engagements, working with organizations across a range of issue areas, with an emphasis on impact investing, education, advocacy, and philanthropy.

Before co-founding On-Ramps, Michelle worked in finance at Time, Inc., where she was responsible for both revenue growth initiatives and strategic cost containment. Prior to that, she worked at Deutsche Bank as an equity research associate. Michelle spent her early career working in elementary education, first as a teaching assistant and then as a classroom teacher.

Michelle holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, and an M.Ed. from Columbia University, Teachers College. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of California, Los Angeles. Originally from Long Island, Michelle is now a proud resident of Brooklyn, NY. In her spare time, you can find her admiring her cat and dog, riding her bicycle, or working as a volunteer political organizer.

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Omar Lopez
Search Consultant
Omar has been a Search Consultant with On-Ramps since 2019. He is primarily responsible for matching mission-oriented organizations with executive talent. He also sits on two firm-building groups: one focused on innovation and the other on communication and community engagement. 

Before joining the firm, Omar spent six years at Relay Graduate School of Education. He served as the Director of Talent Acquisition, where he led his team to recruit over 100 full- and part-time staff and faculty across the country every year. While in that capacity, Omar’s team helped Relay go from 30% of staff and faculty identifying as people of color to over 50% within three years. 

Prior to Relay, Omar served as Director of Teacher Policy for Democrats for Education Reform. He started his career in the classroom, teaching 9th and 11th grade English at Williamsburg Charter High School and 5th grade English Language Arts at Community Partnership Charter School. 

Omar earned a B.A. in English Secondary Education at The College of Saint Rose and an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Omar now lives in Ossining, NY with his wife, daughter, and Wheaten Terrier. He is active in local politics, serving as an Ossining Village Trustee. He also trains Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the Renzo Gracie Academy.
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Robert Mayer
Partner

Robert has been with On-Ramps since 2010. As a Partner, he leads client engagements across a broad range of issue areas including policy and advocacy, education, and philanthropy. He also supports the firm's external relations and talent development initiatives.

Prior to joining On-Ramps, Robert served as the Director of Young People For, a youth leadership development program housed in People For the American Way Foundation. There Robert built programs and staffed departments designed to support historically marginalized college students begin long-term careers in the Social Sector.

Robert started his career at The White House Project where he supported the development of a civic engagement program aimed at increasing women’s political participation. There, Robert helped recruit, hire and support staff for the opening of four regional offices that have trained over 10,000 women to run for office.

Robert holds a B.A. in Philosophy and French from the University of Richmond. A lifelong New Yorker, Robert lives in Hell’s Kitchen with his family. When he's not in the office, you can find him practicing yoga, spinning, or testing a new recipe.

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Cindy Menz-Erb
Search Specialist

Cindy brings nearly 20 years' experience in the non-profit sector to her work at On-Ramps.

Previously, Cindy was the New York Executive Director at LIFT, a national nonprofit that works to break the cycle of poverty for families. In this role, she was responsible for strategy, fundraising and program development for the NYC site. She played a key role in helping the organization evolve its mission to focus on families with young kids, built and grew the local board and oversaw a relocation of the NYC office to the South Bronx.

Prior to joining LIFT, Cindy spent nearly 6 years at CFY (now called PowerMyLearning) with the last two years as the Executive Director of the New York City office. She oversaw significant expansion of CFY's programmatic work partnering with the NYC Department of Education in 100 public middle and high schools and hiring and managing over 40 full-time and 100 part-time staff.

In her early career, Cindy held various roles with a service learning organization in Washington D.C., Chicago and New York City. She also worked in a fundraising capacity with the Seattle and NYC AIDS Walks.

Cindy holds a M.A. in Community Development from North Park University, is a Coro Leadership-NY alum and served as an interim School Board Member in Richmond, VA where she resides with her husband and two daughters.

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Diana O'Neal
Search Consultant

At On-Ramps, Diana manages the search process to ensure that mission-driven organizations are matched with talent that will bring the highest impact to their work.

Prior to joining On-Ramps, Diana spent four years in education management working for the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). Most recently, Diana worked as the Director of Strategic Projects for the Office of School Quality. Her responsibilities included managing data analytics and reporting as well as policy communications to internal and external stakeholders. During her time at the NYCDOE, Diana also worked as a data specialist for the Office of Assessment and data analyst for the Pre-K for All team.

Before joining the NYCDOE, Diana started her career at New York University as a project manager for several research studies that focused on child learning and development in urban settings. As the project manager, Diana's main responsibilities included the planning and execution of the studies, hiring and training of data collectors, representing the research lab at conferences, and holding presentations for potential research partners.

Diana holds an M.P.A in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a B.A. in Psychology from New York University. Born and raised in Queens, Diana now resides in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs. In her spare time, Diana is working with a group of recently arrived teenage students as they navigate life in New York City.

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Mary Pettit
Administrative Coordinator

Mary is an Administrative Coordinator at On-Ramps and has been supporting our team remotely since 2008.

Before joining On-Ramps, Mary spent 17 years as a Travel Consultant working with corporate and leisure clients across the country where she would plan and organize every aspect of travel, including corporate events.

Mary enjoys volunteering at local schools, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Mary grew up in Chicago, has also lived and worked in San Francisco, CA and Albany, NY. She now resides near Raleigh, NC with her husband and son.

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Sivan Philo
Search Analyst

Sivan brings a background in nonprofit operations and social services to the team at On-Ramps. Prior to joining the firm, he most recently worked in campus recruitment with Teach For America, where he oversaw marketing and outreach strategy for a portfolio of colleges and universities across the northeast. He came to TFA after managing school operations within the Success Academy Charter Schools network in NYC. Before his time in the education sector, Sivan worked as a case manager at Compass Housing Alliance in Seattle, where he advocated for both short and long-term solutions for clients who faced systemic barriers to securing housing.

Sivan obtained a B.A. in English from Grinnell College. After exploring the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest, he is happy to be back in New York and living close to friends and family. When not working, you can find him swimming at the YMCA, volunteering with youth mentorship programs, or perusing shelves at his local bookstore.

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Kristen Poemer
Search Consultant

Kristen joined On-Ramps in 2015 and brings a unique background in immigration law and non-profit education management to the On-Ramps team. Prior to joining On-Ramps, Kristen worked for an immigration law firm managing complex visa processes and working with global mobility teams to acquire international talent.

She began her career as a City Year New York corps member, implementing after-school programming. From there, she shifted into a project management role where she founded a successful student leadership program and trained first-year corps members to increase their students' attendance and promote positive behavior through the implementation of events.

Kristen graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a dual B.A. in English and Communication. She currently lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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Saad Qureshi
Search Analyst

Saad brings non-profit education policy and advocacy expertise, as well as his work in diversity equity and inclusion to On-Ramps. Prior to joining the On-Ramps team, Saad served as an Outreach Director at Educators for Excellence, acting as a liaison between educators and elected leaders. Saad began his career as a high school Biology and Anatomy teacher in the New Haven Public School system.

Saad graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in Honors Biology. Originally from Pakistan and raised in Flint, MI, Saad now resides in Brooklyn.

Saad continues to pursue his interest in education equity by volunteering on boards of organizations that advocate for students and educators of color. In his spare time, Saad can be found hanging out at a local community garden.

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Madeline Scheffler
Search Consultant

As a Search Consultant, Madeline leads client engagements across a range of issue and functional areas, as well as supports the firm’s internal talent and business development work. Before joining On-Ramps, she was a founding member of New Bridges Elementary School in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and the head of the Arts Department. At New Bridges, she created new curriculum and developed and supervised innovative school-wide programs. Madeline also coordinated every aspect of New Bridges' search and hiring process for teaching and administrative positions. She believes that one of the best ways to serve students in high needs areas is to recruit and retain great talent.

Prior to New Bridges, Madeline taught in the Uncommon Charter School Network in Brooklyn, as a Teach for America corps member, and then with KIPP in the Bronx. At KIPP, Madeline nurtured her passion for talent recruitment as a member of the Hiring Committee, and led her students to achieve more than a year's worth of growth in reading and math.

Madeline graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Theater and earned her M.S.Ed. from Hunter's RELAY Graduate School of Education. Having grown up in the New York metro area, she is happy to now call Brooklyn home.

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Jennifer Schweizer
Administrative Coordinator
Jennifer Schweizer joined On-Ramps in 2011, where she is an Administrative Coordinator.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the State University of New York College at Cortland. After graduating from college, Jennifer worked in operations and distribution for several large corporations, including Joseph H. Herman Shoe Corporation, H. H. Brown, and Candie's Footwear in New York. In 1997, she took a position with a Japanese import/export company headquartered in Cary, North Carolina and made the move from New York. Prior to joining On-Ramps, she took a hiatus from the corporate world to raise her two children who are now both in high school.

Originally from White Plains, New York, Jennifer currently resides outside of Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband, children and 3 dogs. She is an officer of the Dance and Fine Arts Board at her daughter's high school where she assists with fundraising, parades and performances.

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Harry Weiner
Founding Partner

Harry, a Founding Partner, has over twenty years of experience in executive search and leads engagements across the social sector. He also oversees much of the firm's infrastructure (operations, technology, facilities, legal), and supports our continuous efforts to improve our search process.

Prior to co-founding On-Ramps, Harry worked for eight years at one of the nation's largest alternative asset recruiting firms, Glocap, where he was a Partner and Managing Director. As its first employee, Harry built and ran the company's Accounting and Operations division, and personally placed COOs and CFOs into many of the world's largest alternative investment funds and their portfolio companies.

Harry earned an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of Business and a B.A. in Paleobiology from the University of Pennsylvania. Originally from York, Pennsylvania, he now resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife, daughter and son. Before moving to New York, Harry traveled for sixteen months throughout Africa and the Middle East, eight months of which were spent atop a 1970s off-road motorcycle that he semi-successfully rode from Cape Town to Tel Aviv! Upon his return to the States, Harry co-founded and remains a Director of the Kalai Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that raises money for education in Africa. These days, outside of work, he can usually be found on the soccer fields cheering on his kids, in the kitchen cooking (and cleaning) for family and friends, or wandering around the streets and parks of New York in search of the perfect photo opp.

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Will Wong
Principal

As a Principal at On-Ramps, Will leads client engagements, partnering with organizations across the country to advance a range of missions. In addition to client-facing work, Will also supports the firm's internal talent and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Prior to joining On-Ramps, Will worked in education, beginning as a Teach For America corps member in Philadelphia, and then working in college access, transition and success.

Will graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Sociology and received his M.S.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. Originally from Portland, OR, Will now resides in Brooklyn where he enjoys eating pizza on his roof and going for runs in Prospect Park.