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.
Suzanne Smith is a serial social entrepreneur and bridges many disciplines as a coach and consultant to social sector organizations as Founder and Managing Director of Social Impact Architects and Co-Founder of Flywheel: Social Enterprise Hub. She also educates future social entrepreneurs as a frequent guest lecturer at campuses across the country and as Adjunct Professor at the University of North Texas and Research Fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University. She is also a leading author, blogger (@socialtrendspot), and top-rated speaker.
Having spent the greater part of the past two decades generating innovative and break-through social ideas, Suzanne has been widely recognized for her success in building and implementing award-winning programs and initiatives within the social sector.
Prior to founding Social Impact Architects, Suzanne was a Senior Consultant with the Washington, DC firm Community Wealth Ventures. Previously, she also worked in government relations and strategy with both Phoenix House and the American Heart Association. While with the national office of the American Heart Association, Suzanne championed early efforts to build an integrated and impact-driven platform to combat childhood obesity. In that role, she is credited for starting the Alliance for a Healthier Generation with a team from the William J. Clinton Foundation. In each role, Suzanne has won praise for building public-private coalitions and wide-spread support around a common strategy.
She is a member of the prestigious Society of Organizational Learning (founded by Peter Senge) and Young Entrepreneur Council, serves on the National Board of the Social Enterprise Alliance, and is the 2010 recipient of the Next Generation Social Entrepreneurs Award. Locally, she is a member of Dallas Social Venture Partners, Leadership Dallas/North Texas and Junior League and was proud to be selected in 2012 for the Dallas Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award.
Suzanne holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where she was a CASE (Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship) scholar and now serves on their Alumni Council. A native of a rural community outside of Dallas, Suzanne was raised by career educators who were deeply committed to making a difference through education. Her lifetime goal is to help spotlight the social innovation in the
“flyover states” of the U.S. and bring practical and impact-driven solutions to both rural and urban communities.
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.
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.
Brandi Tanaka is a Senior Consultant with Social Impact Architects. As a part of the team, Brandi works with clients to conduct in-depth market research and is an expert at turning data into meaningful insights and stories. She also works on business planning and developing and launching social enterprises.
Prior to Social Impact Architects, Brandi brings seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector where she worked to expand evidence-based programs and implement 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.
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.