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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.

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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. She is also a member of Pleiades Network, an organization that inspires, recognizes, and advances women's leadership in creating a more sustainable world.

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Jake McCook, VP, Client Services

Known among his peers as a “deep generalist,” Jake has a diverse set of skills in account management, media relations, digital strategy, and cause communications. He also has a strong background in public affairs. A proud native New Mexican, Jake worked for Governor Bill Richardson and spent five years on Capitol Hill serving under his home state senators – first as an aide to Senator Jeff Bingaman on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, then as press secretary for Senator Tom Udall, communicating Senator Udall’s leadership on issues like combating drunk driving and prescription drug abuse, improving veterans’ health, and fighting climate change. Jake has also worked for the Human Rights Campaign, helping to secure key votes for LGBT legislation including the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act and repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

Most recently, Jake was an Account Supervisor at the progressive communications agency GMMB in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in corporate social responsibility and media relations for high-profile clients such as L’Oréal USA, the American Beverage Association, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Jake holds a B.A. in Political Science from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and a Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. Raised on an organic farm, Jake is passionate about sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation. He is also an avid Amtrak rider and dedicated yogi.

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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.

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Larry Eason, Strategic Advisor

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.

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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.

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Laura Rivas, Chief of Staff

Laura has a background in quantitative and qualitative program evaluation and has aided in the design and implementation of multidisciplinary projects for nationally recognized agencies. Working on behalf of community-based organizations, governmental entities, and philanthropists, she has led participatory research, conducted ethnographic observations and in-depth interviews/life histories, facilitated capacity building and advocacy efforts, designed culturally sensitive surveys, and conceptualized organizational theories of change. In addition to a passion for research, evaluation, and policy, she brings expertise in juvenile justice, Chicano/a studies, women’s studies, global studies, and sociology.

She earned an MPP (Master of Public Policy) with an emphasis in social, urban, and nonprofit policy, and an MSW (Master of Social Welfare) with an emphasis in organizations, communities, and policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

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Lauren Galaz, Campaign Coordinator

A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, Lauren has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with a focus in Political Communication and Media Institutions. Experience in public relations has led her to develop skills related to event planning, media outreach, and research. Prior to the 2016 Presidential election, she designed and conducted research observing the spread of fake news within online social networks.

Lauren is passionate about environmental sustainability, education, and social justice reform and brings her enthusiasm for those issues to her position at ProSocial.

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Rachel Birnam, Campaign Coordinator

Rachel is an activist and a storyteller who is passionate about criminal justice reform, education, and sexual assault prevention. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literature with a focus in Cultural Studies, she did nonprofit advocacy work for women’s issues in Washington, D.C., developing skills in strategic communications, grassroots organizing, and online advocacy. After the 2016 presidential election, she led the creation of the United State of Women Action Network, an online organizing tool connecting users with nonprofits and tangible action steps across social justice issues.

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"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