Who We Are
Our mission-oriented team is led by founder and managing director Suzanne Smith and supported by a talented and diverse group of staff and contractors. We also regularly leverage outside talent as needed.
Social Impact Architects became a Certified B Corporation in 2014 and was named one of the Best for the World in 2015 and 2016. To learn more about the company’s commitment to our employees, community, environment and our clients, please read our 2016/17 annual report and view our GIIRS Rating Report.
Suzanne Smith (@snstexas) has a deep belief that everyone is a changemaker. As a serial social entrepreneur, she strives to harness the powerful force of organizations, including nonprofits, foundations and socially responsible businesses, and individuals, especially students and young entrepreneurs, to maximize the potential of the social sector to create real, scalable impact.
In 2009, Suzanne founded Social Impact Architects, a registered Benefit Corporation, to reshape the business of social change. She combines her MBA know-how with two decades of experience as a nonprofit innovator to serve as a consultant, advisor and thought partner. She is also a highly sought-after public speaker at conferences nationwide, including being selected as a featured speaker at TEDxTurtleCreekWomen. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas. In this work, she has pioneered open-source frameworks for the creation of better social solutions, including layered logic models, ecosystem mapping and social alchemy. For her outstanding work as a leading thinker, she was recognized with the Next Generation Social Entrepreneur Award by the Social Enterprise Alliance. In 2015 & 2016, Social Impact Architects was recognized as one of the “Best for the World” small businesses by B Corp.
Suzanne also authors Social TrendSpotter (@socialtrendspot), one of the sector’s top blogs according to The Huffington Post. Known for its relatable way of blending important concepts and new ways of working with storytelling, Social TrendSpotter has been hailed by readers as “the only blog I read each week.” She is frequently interviewed by regional and national media on social entrepreneurship and has published articles in Forbes, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, See Change, Nonprofit Business Advisor, Upstart and Grantmakers in Health.
Suzanne has been at the epicenter of game-changing social solutions for more than two decades as a social intrapreneur. Her first jobs at the City of Garland and Texas Municipal League taught her the power and potential of local government to impact change. Later, she worked for Phoenix House to scale evidence-based prevention and treatment programs to Texas and for the American Heart Association to build a national state advocacy strategy. One of her greatest achievements was co-founding the Alliance for a Healthier Generation – one of the country’s first movements focused on combating childhood obesity – with a team from the William J. Clinton Foundation. She also co-founded Flywheel: Social Enterprise Hub in Cincinnati, Ohio, to help nonprofits build meaningful and sustainable social enterprises.
Suzanne holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where she was selected as the CASE (Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship) Scholar. Nationally, she was selected as a member of Peter Senge’s Society of Organizational Learning and Young Entrepreneurs Council. She also served on the national board of the Social Enterprise Alliance.
A third-generation Texan, her roots run deep through her work to improve her community with Entrepreneurs for North Texas, Dallas Business Club, Leadership Dallas, Leadership North Texas and the Junior League of Dallas. She has served a number of appointed posts for the City of Dallas and currently serves on the Dallas Commission on Homelessness and the Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty. She was honored to receive the Dallas Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award in 2012 and the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young ATHENA Leadership Award.
Raised by career educators who were deeply committed to making a difference through education, Suzanne found her calling at an early age as both a social activist and entrepreneur. When she isn’t traveling to speak, consult or discover new places, she can be found playing with her eight nieces and nephews or writing her first book on the social sector.
Read more about Suzanne in the Duke - Fuqua School of Business Q&A from April 2013
Connecting Disciplines: Bridging Nonprofit and For-Profit Worlds - Team Fuqua Magazine September 2010
Students, click here to see interviews with Suzanne and her advice on getting an MBA, being a consultant, as well as other topics.
Brandi Tanaka is a Director with Social Impact Architects. As a part of the team, Brandi partners with clients to develop solutions that meet their needs by using a customized and effective combination of assessments, market research, training and planning tools. Brandi is an expert at in-depth market research and turning data into meaningful insights and stories. She also works on strategic planning, business planning and developing and launching social enterprises. She is currently a coach for the Data-Driven Decision Making Institute at the Communities Foundation of Texas where she works with nonprofit organizations to use data to measure their impact and tell their story.
Prior to joining Social Impact Architects, Brandi worked in the nonprofit sector for seven years, where she expanded evidence-based programs and implemented fundraising strategies for organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Rainforest Alliance.
Brandi received an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 2013 and a BA from Stanford University in 2004. A native of Honolulu, Brandi was raised in a single-parent household and became the first in her family to attend college. Inspired by her mother, she now uses her education to help others.
Alysia Johnson Fullen
Alysia Johnson Fullen is a senior consultant with Social Impact Architects. As a part of the Social Impact Architects team, Alysia works with clients to implement the rigors of business planning. She has designed and delivered training programs on various business planning concepts and coached nonprofit executives through the process of developing and launching social enterprises. Alysia has worked with clients across the United States and internationally in 9 different countries.
Prior to Social Impact Architects, Alysia also worked as a Senior Consultant with Community Wealth Ventures where she created the curriculum for a 10-month business planning process to assist nonprofit organizations develop social enterprises and delivered the program to over 25 organizations. Previously, as a management consultant with IBM, she worked primarily with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development on business process improvement, design and development of adult training programs and performance tracking and management. Alysia began her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Boaco, Nicaragua working with women micro-entrepreneurs to develop sustainable income generating initiatives. She has worked with numerous international nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC area in the design and delivery of training programs for Central American entrepreneurs and Kosovar women leaders.
Alysia holds a MS in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics and a BS in Commerce, with a focus on finance and marketing, from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. She is fluent in Spanish.
Christina Stubbe is a Senior Consultant for Social Impact Architects and supports the team with project management, in-depth research and data analysis. Christina brings several years of nonprofit and public sector experience to the team. Prior to joining Social Impact Architects, she worked as a Program Manager for Avenue Community Development Corporation in Houston and was a member of Teach for America.
Christina received an MBA from the The University of Texas McCombs School of Business, where she was heavily involved in the school’s Net Impact chapter, and holds a BA from Brown University. Originally from Houston, Christina’s interests include vegetarian cooking, yoga, sewing and backpacking.
Catherine Deeken is the Virtual Assistant for Social Impact Architects. She handles a variety of details, including scheduling our weekly blog Social TrendSpotter, updating and maintaining the Social Impact Architects website and helping Suzanne keep track of her busy schedule!
Having worked with several nonprofit clients, Catherine has a unique ability to understand the changing needs and goals of the clients that Social Impact Architects serves.
Catherine is a native Dallasite but currently resides in Park City, Utah, with her husband and son. She received her BFA in Theatre from Baylor University in 1996 and still seeks opportunities to return to the stage whenever she can.