Who We Are
We partner with organizations that are passionate about affecting social change. Leveraging a team of experts from the corporate and nonprofit sector, we provide organizations innovative and sustainable solutions to their business and social goals.
Fueled by a shared vision for positive social impact, our dedicated team collaborates closely with partners to understand and fulfill their unique needs. Through forward-thinking strategies and data-driven measurable indicators, we aim to empower each of our clients to reach their maximum potential.
Meet the Team
Through her nearly twenty years of experience in the nonprofit field, Sandy Marshall has seen a need by organizations for expertise in nonprofit strategy, fundraising, marketing, and public relations, yet often nonprofits do not have the capital to invest in the top talent for these positions. As a result, Sandy launched SMA to offer preeminent talent with a diverse range of specialties to nonprofit and corporate community relations departments-ultimately providing the ability to serve as a virtual Chief Operating Officer, keeping the client, and their vision, in the driver's seat while reducing the risk of sourcing and investing in multiple positions.
The SMA team is a carefully curated balance of nonprofit and corporate professionals who are personally motivated and highly dedicated to fueling social impact. The team's combined expertise in strategy, leadership development, fundraising, brand communications and marketing, operations, public relations, social and new media, and measurement affords its clients unique access to multiple perspectives, innovative ideation, and exemplary execution with full measurable indicators.
SANDY MARSHALL has spent the past sixteen years in nonprofit management, including work with the American Heart Association, Special Olympics and Easter Seals; she is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). Sandy's areas of expertise include building high performance teams, nonprofit management, celebrity engagement, creating corporate cause programs and foundation strategy.
Three years after creating the national cause marketing campaign, NASCAR Day, Ms. Marshall founded The NASCAR Foundation, which is now a $5 million organization engaging millions of fans annually. Through her nine years at NASCAR she has enlisted support through companies such as The Home Depot, Coca Cola, AutoZone, Sprint, and Sony. She has created and executed over fifteen retail cause platforms.
In addition to NASCAR Day, Sandy launched NASCAR Unites, a community relations brand for the entire sport. The platform brings teams, drivers, tracks and partners together for causes such as disaster relief and military family support. Through NASCAR Day and NASCAR Unites, she is annually responsible for annual $5 million media campaign strategy including creative development and strategic placements.
In addition to working with over 30 NASCAR drivers and their families on their philanthropic interests, she partnered with the France family to create a national philanthropic award program, The Betty Jane France Award.
Sandy has a passion for helping nonprofits that have the mission and infrastructure to make great social change. She has founded two nonprofits herself and has served on numerous boards of directors, leading in a strategic planning role. Additionally, she serves as a strong advocate for girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), believing that girl scientists have the ability to solve our world most pressing issues!
Through these experiences, Sandy understands the dynamics of nonprofits as well as the needs of the corporate sector and believes the two can gain great success if partnered on the right project.
Sandy attended the University of Southern California, where she received a BS in Public Policy with an emphasis on Nonprofits. She has a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of California, Irvine.
CATHERINE HARRISON is a strategic communications and marketing professional with 11 years of experience with companies such as L'Oreal, Forbes Media, and Van Cleef & Arpels, North America. Her expertise is brand strategy and management, digital and traditional marketing, communications, and community outreach.
Most recently, Ms. Harrison was Communications Director with Van Cleef & Arpels in New York, where she developed and implemented the communications strategy for the North American market to maximize brand awareness and increase product sales. The strategy focused on a customer-centric, integrated approach, including traditional and digital media, strategic partnerships, events, website, CRM, and visual merchandising.
Prior to Van Cleef & Arpels, she was Senior Marketing Manager with Forbes Media where she developed integrated marketing plans, promotional strategies, and brand extensions for key lifestyle categories leveraging the Forbes, Forbes.com, ForbesLife and ForbesWoman properties. She re-launched the ForbesLife brand and its properties, and launched ForbesWoman magazine.
During her time at L'Oreal, Ms. Harrison's brand management experience included the commercialization of new and existing products with a heavy focus on brand perception, customer integration and education, and product sales. Additionally, she developed and executed L'Oreal's first national cross-divisional (L'Oreal Paris, Maybelline, Garnier, Softsheen-Carson) partnership with the Speaking of Women's Health Foundation and Wal-Mart.
Ms. Harrison's true passion was discovered over the years as she worked intimately with a variety of nonprofit organizations as a corporate partner and volunteer, including New York Cares, the Speaking of Women's Health Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Youth Assets, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Recognizing her exposure and knowledge of corporate operations and customer-centric communications could help make an impact, she set off in search of an environment in which she could take this passion to a new level--finding the perfect opportunity through SMA. Additionally, she is inspired weekly by her involvement with Hands on Charlotte and the Levine Cancer Institute Resource Center.
She holds a B.A. in Communications with a specialization in Public Relations and a Minor in English from Texas Tech University.
SHELLY BIBY has spent over 9 years of her professional career focused on developing programming serving communities in need. Her experiences have taken her in and out of the classroom, where she has gained valuable knowledge about educational best-practices, innovative teaching strategies for a 21st century education, and building strategic and results oriented non-profit programming.
Most recently at The NASCAR Foundation, Shelly was responsible for development and management of NASCAR Dreams, a national program focused on exposing youth to STEM knowledge through the NASCAR industry. Over 2,500 children were directly impacted with educational programming aligned with strategic goals of the NASCAR industry. Activating multiple collaborative partnerships with national non-profits, Fortune 500 companies, and the NASCAR industry, the program quickly became a revenue generator.
Shelly served as the industry liaison for the Foundation where she developed and maintained relationships with over 40 industry charities and celebrities. She thrived in the face-paced world of NASCAR, continually identifying and strategically utilizing industry assets to create greater impact for communities and brands across the nation.
From her time at The NASCAR Foundation, Shelly also brings a unique perspective about the intricacies of navigating corporate and non-profit relationships. Through cause marketing partnerships and traditional fundraising, Shelly successfully managed programs generating over 2 million in revenue for the foundation.
In the classroom, Shelly was known as a dynamic teacher who utilized the latest methodologies and the technologies in her approach to education. Developing project-based learning opportunities for students that met the diverse needs for each learner has strengthened her ability to develop and execute meaningful programming for a variety of target audiences.
Shelly has always believed in the value of being an active member of the community. She has served on several non-profit boards, sharing her skills and expertise to help them achieve their missions. She believes motivation to do good comes from vision and looks forward to helping organizations find the vision that will motivate them.
Shelly holds a B.A. in Education with a focus in Political Science and History from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio where she graduated Suma Cum Laude and was a member of Kappa Delta Pi (International Honor Society in Education).
KAILEY CLAWSON is a natural account manager and digital/technology enthusiast. She recently honed her skill set while working for The Integer Group, a leading, global Shopper Marketing and Promotion Agency. In this position, she led, designed and executed marketing strategies and tactics for brands such as Electrolux, Carpet One Floor & Home, Benjamin Moore and Iowa Tourism. She has connected people, products and services through promotions for a variety of industries and across multiple social, digital and in-retail marketing channels.
Kailey has an unparalleled ability, along with a youthful energy and enthusiasm, to draw from her diverse experiences in marketing and social media to seize business opportunities, interact with consumers and increase the bottom line. She immerses herself in the latest digital platforms and technology, keeping her ahead of the curve in creative digital innovation with a focus on efficient implementation.
Kailey holds a B.A. in Communications Studies and a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Iowa. While in school, she was heavily involved in and out of the classroom serving the University Box Office as an Assistant Manager, a teaching assistant for the Entrepreneurship and Innovation course, a Tippie Optimist—a business student organization on campus and volunteer for Iowa City Community School Districts and Iowa City Senior Center.
Eager to share her talents and resources with others, Kailey’s goal is to collaborate and devote her time to various non-profit organizations to empowering and strengthening the awareness of those causes and efforts. Her passions lie in health & wellness, environmental efforts and education.
KATHERINE LISCIANI is a strategic communications and public relations professional focused on non-profit communications, fundraising and grant writing. Driven by her passion for social and civic engagement, she is devoted to providing sustainable solutions to social problems. Her background has revolved around fundraising, social media management, and philanthropic event organization and implementation. Having worked in both the non-profit and corporate sectors Katherine’s experience has equipped her with an audience-centered mindset. She focuses on generating brand recognition, support and momentum, creating sustainable partnerships through mutually beneficial goals and assets.
Prior to SMA, Katherine lived in in London and worked for SHISHI ISHI, an international branding and creative marketing agency. There she devised and executed client-specific marketing strategies for an international consumer market. Katherine assisted clients in developing and managing organizational identity, which included creating and maintaining social media accounts for several clients using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and WordPress. Implementing community engagement strategies, Katherine developed sustainable organizational identities, enabling her clients to gain strong brand recognition.
Katherine’s non-profit background stems from marketing and communications assistantships with nation-wide non-profit organizations. During her time with Goodwill Industries, Katherine gained an understanding of the needs of both non-profit and consumer-driven organizations. She assisted with the implementation of internal and external communication policies, which were tailored to serve both the organization’s social programs and its retail stores. These experiences afforded Katherine the ability to decipher the difficulties non-profits often face in aligning differing branches of their organization and their goals. Additionally, her capacity to understand the criteria upon which funders decide to support programs helps her effectively communicate that within successful grant proposals to both private and public funding agencies.
While receiving her B.A. in Communication Studies from The University of Alabama, Katherine’s course load emphasized a focus on rhetorical criticism and social change. This background has served as the foundation for Katherine’s ability to create constructive organizational messaging that resonates across diverse people groups. Katherine’s mission is to utilize the power of communication to generate social awareness, action, and change to relieve many of the issues obstructing the progress of both our organizations and our society today.
Lauren Briddell Schuster
Lauren Briddell Schuster's passion is designing communicative messages to client audiences in a clear, concise and expressive manner. Whatever the needs, she works with each client individually to tailor the design specifically for the target audience.
Lauren's experience in the New York publishing field and in the Chicago advertising industry has afforded her the opportunity to meet and work with a diverse group of design professionals. The common thread of both experiences was putting forth her best efforts on a daily basis to meet the expectations of a very competitive marketplace. She has been fortunate to make associations with many individuals who have found her freelance work to be both efficient and cost effective.
Lauren's journey began at Wenner Media as their Promotion Designer in the Consumer Marketing Department. She served as a one-woman designer creating partnership promotional pieces, advertisements, direct mail campaigns, order pages, Flash web banners and insert cards promoting subscription to Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and Men's Journal.
Acknowledging the importance of working with other creatives, she accepted the Senior Designer position at Forbes. The experience she gained from working in the Creative Marketing Department greatly expanded her design and conceptual skills. Highlights include creating a motion graphic interactive media kit and designing a variety of advertorials that were published in Forbes.
Between her experience at Wenner Media where the emphasis was on the consumer and at Forbes where the focus was geared towards the advertiser, she gained an appreciation for the importance of both approaches.
With few publishing opportunities available in Chicago she decided it would be beneficial to learn more about the advertising industry. During her two years at Cramer-Krasselt she worked on advertisements for their most influential clients including AirTran, Corona, Heinz, Hyatt, Porsche and Sealy. In addition to the client work, she participated in the development of RFP's and new business pitches. She now has a more solid understanding of the research and time dedicated to executing successful campaigns for the right demographics.
Lauren's freelance began with work for Rolling Stone, US Weekly, Men's Journal, and Forbes. Through referrals, her clients now include a variety of magazines published by Alpha Media Group, Conde Nast, Hearst and Rodale. She has also expanded her business by working on logo and brand development for multiple new companies.
Lauren recognizes the importance of strong branding and feels that many great companies are frequently overlooked based on their logos and marketing material. She is confident her design background will benefit nonprofits and foundations looking to build their brand and gain more powerful recognition within the community. The first impression is often the most important one and her goal is for nonprofits to get the awareness they deserve by creatively identifying their brand. She uses her design skills to help these organizations better target their audiences and ultimately raise more interest and money for their important causes.