The ProSocial Team The ProSocial Team
The ProSocial team is strategic, creative, energetic, and above all else, passionate about working with our clients to make the world a better place. We come from around the country and across the professional spectrum. We’re activists, creative thinkers, educators and strategists. And we love what we do.
Meredith Blake, Founder & CEO
The chief strategist of ProSocial, Meredith Blake is a nationally recognized public interest attorney and social entrepreneur with more than twenty years of experience in creating positive social change. In the role of Founder & CEO, Meredith works with clients to create deep impact philanthropic initiatives and social impact campaigns grounded in research and with an eye toward sustainability.
Prior to launching ProSocial, Meredith worked as Executive Vice President at Participant Media. Among Meredith’s notable achievements at Participant was the social action campaign that accompanied the release of Vice President Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Before building the social action department at Participant, Meredith spent 10 years running Break the Cycle, the nonprofit organization she founded to empower youth to end domestic violence. Meredith has been profiled in local and national media and honored by numerous organizations for her work and has served as keynote speaker and panelist at leading conferences from the Sundance Producer’s Lab to Media that Matters. She currently serves as a board member for PS1 Pluralistic School and as an advisor to a number of nonprofit organizations going for second stage funding and national scale.
Michael J. Yuda, CFO
Michael has his degree in accounting from California State University, Northridge. He has an extensive tax background, beginning with work for the Internal Revenue Service as a Revenue Agent and continuing in the tax department of Green Hasson & Janks. After GH&J, Michael became a partner at the entertainment-focused Beverly Hills CPA firm Singer & Tiano. With a desire to branch out on his own, in 1983 Michael founded his own firm, serving large, medium, and small business and personal clients.
Before joining the ProSocial team, Mike also had a long history of lending his time and expertise to the nonprofit sector as a volunteer and a board member. To ProSocial, Mike brings this passion for social change, along with experience in the entertainment, finance and accounting sectors. At the agency, Michael leads financial administration, business planning, and budgeting.
Michael is licensed as a CPA in both California and Hawaii, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Hawaii Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Bonnie Benjamin-Phariss, Senior Consultant
Bonnie brings three decades of experience as an award-winning production executive with a proven track record of using storytelling to change opinions and lead people to action. She has worked with the film industry’s greatest brands and creative leaders, including Disney, CNN, HBO, PBS and National Geographic.
Prior to ProSocial, Bonnie oversaw Vulcan Productions documentary projects for 14 years. The Independent film production company, founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, Vulcan Productions is noted for telling powerful stories that help audiences understand the world around them, respond to challenges and bring about lasting change. As Director, she provided executive management of several highly acclaimed cross-platform media initiatives simultaneously, negotiated multifaceted agreements, secured financial support from Fortune 500 companies, oversaw production from concept to premiere, and managed complex relationships and multi-million dollar operating budgets. Prior to her work at Vulcan Productions, Bonnie spent seven years with Disney as Manager of Creative Development and Business Administration at the Disney Institute in Orlando, Florida. Bonnie began her career as Director of Research and Development for public affairs programming for WNET in New York.
Larry Eason, Senior Strategist
Larry is a senior strategist with over 30 years of experience helping nonprofits, NGOs, and social impact businesses succeed. Larry specializes in helping organizational leaders design and execute innovative programs, forge win-win partnerships, and tell their stories.
After 17 years running campaigns and building nonprofit organizations, Larry co-founded and built a boutique digital agency, which was acquired in 2005. After three years working with PR/Communications agencies, Larry founded DotOrgPower, where he advised national and global clients such as RAND Corporation, the Global Innovation and Collaboration division of World Vision International, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, International Medical Corps, Social Venture Partners, Sustain Global Partnership (collaboration of World Vision, CARE, UPS, TNT, Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton), Charity Navigator, California Department of Mental Health, Alliance for Children and Families, and others.
Larry brings to ProSocial his domain expertise in the areas of health, children’s health, education, sustainability and the environment, and humanitarian/base-of-pyramid development. In addition to advising clients in these areas, Larry has served as board chair of Healthy Child Healthy World and is a founding member of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Digital Advisory Committee. Larry is a USC Jesse Unruh Fellow, lecturing and mentoring USC undergraduates on communications, politics, and current events. A surfer, potter, and painter, Larry lives in Pomona with his wife, daughter, and five rescue dogs.
Sadie Van Gelder, Director, Strategy & Communications
Sadie brings a varied background in media, content creation and marketing, and nonprofit work to her role at ProSocial. She was previously a consultant for Weill Media, where she worked on digital content marketing for global brands and developed a website aimed at parents of children who have ongoing health challenges. She has held editorial positions at five national magazines, spending more than 15 years at top publishing company Condé Nast, where she specialized in producing stories about psychology and health. Articles and special sections she produced have won awards from the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Academy for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Sadie also has a strong interest in projects related to the well-being of children and families. A certified parent educator, she has taught classes and assisted with outreach for Hand in Hand, a nonprofit aimed at supporting parents. Earlier in her career, she edited the quarterly newsletter of Break the Cycle, a nonprofit serving youth.
Kaitlin Kinsella, Campaign Coordinator
Kaitlin has a background in work involving social justice and environmental issues and has worked for nonprofits including the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce and Global Inheritance, where she coordinated environmentally conscious programs for the Coachella music festival. Her past experience with project management, event planning, outreach, and research has given her a range of skills that she brings to her position at ProSocial. Kaitlin is a graduate from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies and minor in Accounting.
Karlyle Lim, Project Manager
Karlyle has a background embedded within the world of sports and nutrition and brings that unique experience to ProSocial. Prior to joining the team, Karlyle worked at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh as part of a research team in the Division of Weight Management and Wellness. Her team’s primary study investigated the effects of dietary and exercise intervention on the prevention of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, with a focus on the adolescent population. Before working at Children’s, and while pursuing her MS in Dietetics from the University of Pittsburgh, Karlyle worked for Pitt Athletics, reporting primarily to the Athletic Director’s Office and Panther Club, the official fundraising unit for the department. She also worked with the Pitt Women’s Basketball Program from a training and conditioning perspective and provided radio color commentary for the team’s home games. Prior to this, Karlyle played professional basketball for the Women’s Korean Basketball League in Yongin, South Korea.
As Project Manager, Karlyle is excited to draw upon her nutrition background and varied experiences. Her interest areas also include: the environment, LGBT rights, and mental health and well-being. In addition to her MS in Dietetics, she holds a BS in Biological Sciences, also from the University of Pittsburgh.
Isabel Lanaux, Executive Assistant
Isabel came to ProSocial after graduating from the University of Southern California, where she majored in Political Science. A New Orleans native, she has experience with strategic communications, event planning, and coordinating corporate social media.
"The team at ProSocial wears their passion on their sleeves. They truly care about their clients and the social issues they work with. These wonderful people have become more than friends; they are family."Kirk Smalley
Founder and Director, Stand for the Silent