Our Team

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Motorcycling across Africa, serving in the Teach For America corps, building the talent function for a start-up – this is just a sampling of the diverse backgrounds and interests our team members bring 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 such places thrive. Through our experiences, we bring multiple networks that we leverage to source new candidates and make connections.

Partners

Sarah Grayson

Partner

Sarah brings close to 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.

Michelle Kedem

Partner

Michelle Kedem is a Partner and Co-Founder at On-Ramps, an executive search and consulting firm that exclusively serves the social sector, working with innovative, mission-driven organizations. In her role at On-Ramps, Michelle oversees the On-Ramps' 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 worked on 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.

Harry Weiner

Partner

With over fifteen years of experience in executive search, Harry has deep knowledge of both the private and social sectors. Prior to co-founding On-Ramps, Harry worked for eight years at the nation's largest alternative asset recruiting firm, Glocap Search, where he was a Partner and Managing Director. As its first employee, Harry built and ran the company's Accounting/Operations division, and personally placed COOs and CFOs into many of the world's largest alternative investment funds and their portfolio companies.

Before moving to New York, Harry traveled for 16 months throughout Africa and the Middle East, eight months of which were spent atop an off-road motorcycle traveling from Cape Town to Tel Aviv! Upon his return to the States, Harry co-founded and remains a Director of the Kalai Foundation (www.kalai.org), a not-for-profit organization that raises money for education in Africa.

Harry earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business and a B.A. in Paleobiology from the University of Pennsylvania. He resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife, daughter and son.

Team

Alana Althans

Search Associate

Alana brings a background in both executive search and public service to the On-Ramps team. 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 happily lives in Manhattan.

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.

Isabella Cassell

Search Analyst

Isabella brings non-profit, social enterprise, and project management experience to On-Ramps. Prior to joining the team, Isabella worked for several years in the food social impact space, most recently as the Local Initiative Manager for Blount Fine Foods, a national prepared foods company. In this role, Isabella coordinated the launch of Blount Organic as a local brand and strengthened the company's connection and impact on their community. Prior to this work, Isabella was the Director of Food Initiatives at Social Enterprise Greenhouse in Providence, RI, orchestrating their business programming for mission-driven food businesses. 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.

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.

Emily Dendinger

Administrative Coordinator

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.

Imani Doyle

Search Analyst

Imani brings a background of sales and business management to the On-Ramps team. Prior to joining On-Ramps, Imani worked at Jet.com as a Category Specialist where she was responsible for expanding her portfolio and properly merchandising her assortment within the larger e-commerce world. While there she cultivated relationships with multiple large retailers and had a direct impact on ensuring that the business grew week over week.

Before joining Jet.com, Imani was a student at Yale University, where she was able to practice her commitment to social justice through her extra-curricular activities and course studies. A member of organizations such as the Yale Chapter of the NAACP as well the Latin dance team Sabrosura, Imani strives to make a difference while remembering to appreciate all that makes life dynamic.

Imani graduated from Yale Unversity with a B.A. in African-American Studies. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Imani happily resides in her native borough with her family.

Alice Gibbs

Principal

Having spent over a decade focusing on talent strategy work within the education reform sector, Alice brings to On-Ramps a deep belief that human capital is the key to solving today’s social justice issues. Prior to joining On-Ramps, Alice worked at Teach For America for five years where she helped launch TFA’s initiative to recruit outside talent to staff and provided strategic consultation to senior managers on how best to attract, develop, and retain their people.

Before joining Teach For America, Alice spent four years as the Executive Director of Charter Schools for the Community Education Alliance of West Philadelphia where she helped lead two charter schools to academic and operational success.

Alice is a graduate of the University of Georgia where she received a B.A. in Public Relations. She resides in a suburb of Philadelphia with her husband, son, and daughter.

Sarah Kwon Johnson

Principal

Sarah brings nine years of programmatic experience in education reform to On-Ramps. Prior to joining On-Ramps, Sarah worked at Carnegie Corporation of New York, where she helped implement the Corporation's grantmaking strategy related to talent management in urban education.

Before Carnegie Corporation, Sarah worked for three years as Project Manager for the City University of New York 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 this role, she managed the budget approval process for network schools and led the planning process for annual network retreats. Sarah also worked as a Data Analyst at the New York City Department of Education, where she analyzed human resources data, projected new teacher hiring need, and created standardized reports to monitor progress toward fully staffing schools by school opening. She began her career at Jobs for the Future, where she documented the leadership and instructional practices of a high-performing urban school and contributed to the coordination of the Early College High School Initiative at the national level.

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.

Robert Mayer

Principal

Prior to joining On-Ramps in 2010, 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.

Prior to Young People For, Robert worked 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 and has served on the Board of StartingBloc.

Meg McCullar

Search Specialist

Meg brings deep media and client relations experience to On-Ramps. Before moving to New York, Meg worked at CNN's headquarters in Atlanta for four years. After a year at CNN en Español Radio and TV, she joined CNN Newsource and collaborated with the network's 1,000+ affiliates. She then moved to CNN International Newsource and worked as an assignment editor, partnering with stations outside of the U.S. to coordinate news coverage.

Prior to her time in the newsroom, Meg received a Fulbright grant to teach in Madrid. She spent a year in a bilingual primary school, teaching English, science, and art to students, and also led a weekly English class for faculty.

Meg graduated summa cum laude from Washington and Lee University with a B.A. in Spanish. Originally from Marietta, Georgia, she now lives in Manhattan with her husband.

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.

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 in 2019, 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 BA in English from Grinnell College. After exploring the midwest and the pacific northwest, he is happy to be back in Manhattan 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.

Kristen Poemer

Search Consultant

Kristen 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.

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.

Madeline Scheffler

Search Consultant

Before joining On-Ramps, Madeline 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.

Tiffany Weitzer

Administrative Coordinator

Tiffany is the Administrative Coordinator at On-Ramps, providing operational support for the office.

Prior to working at On-Ramps, Tiffany worked as an office manager for the Governors Island ferry operation. During her time in New York, she also worked as a television background actor and as a crew member for the Tribeca Film Festival. Prior to moving to New York, Tiffany lived in Miami, FL for 9 years and served as Observer Coordinator at NOAA Fisheries, overseeing a corps of 25 offshore fishery observers and acting as the main liaison for the US swordfish and tuna Atlantic fishing fleet. She also worked for an environmental education nonprofit that supports the four South Florida National Parks.

Tiffany graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Marine Affairs and International Studies from the University of Miami. When she's not working, Tiffany's interests are traveling, spending time outdoors with her dog and husband, and volunteering. She serves on the Junior Council of an organization called WINGS WorldQuest, which recognizes and financially supports female scientists and explorers around the globe.

Will Wong

Principal

Will brings non-profit program management and teaching experience to On-Ramps. Prior to joining On-Ramps, Will worked for KIPP Philadelphia Schools, as the Director of High School Transition with the KIPP Through College program. Prior to KIPP, Will worked as a college counselor for Brooke Charter Schools in Boston. Will began his career in education as a Teach For America corps member in Philadelphia teaching tenth and eleventh grade English and theater at John Bartram High School.

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.

Nakia James-Jenkins

Principal

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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