we're a community of creative and committed professionals.

Madge Bemiss headshot


Madge combines broad experience, an ability to manage complex projects, and a personal commitment to fostering inclusivity and collaboration through strategy and design processes. She embodies a rare balance of vision and pragmatism. As the leader of Brocade’s strategic planning practice, Bemiss recently completed strategic planning processes for the Legal Aid Justice Center and the Mississippi Museum of Art. In addition to managing strategic planning, Bemiss is an adept project manager, recently completing a multi-year project management engagement for the American Civil War Museum, in Richmond. Master of Architecture, Columbia University

Robert Burack headshot


An experienced facilitator of 1,600+ retreats and sessions, Robert uses facilitation and planning techniques to help nonprofits, local governments, and philanthropies make collaborative, strategic decisions. He has held appointments at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, at Harvard's Kennedy School, where he worked with U.S. cities to incorporate data and design across city governments, at the Richard King Mellon Foundation, where he helped to launch the nation's premier accelerator for creative businesses. Master of Strategic Design and Management, Parsons School of Design at The New School; Master of Public Management, Carnegie Mellon University


A renowned writer, facilitator, conflict management specialist, STEAM educator, and crafter of museum exhibits, Toni brings a range of experiences and skills to the Brocade team. She shaped the Cultural Expressions exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, for which she won an American Alliance of Museums award, and has contributed to exhibits at the National Civil Rights Museum and the Museum at the Gateway Arch – work which The Washington Post noted "grapples with fundamental questions."


Having designed and managed systems in public education, finance, and legal services, Nic is adept at working across sectors to find and implement inventive solutions. He has created crisis-management programs in Pennsylvania’s lowest performing public schools, and recently completed an extended engagement with Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. He is a strong believer that the principles of data and design can be applied to any challenge, and meets client problems with the creativity and energy they demand.


Hannah is a social researcher who brings experience with grounded engagement and contextual analysis to Brocade. Drawing on her doctoral research in the Rustbelt, she has worked with journalists, filmmakers, innovation labs, and foundations, advocating for nuanced approaches to community, work and infrastructure. Hannah also has a decade of experience collaborating on resource-building projects, including initiatives that have expanded public transportation, increased access to fresh food, and created spaces for art and education. Ph.D. ABD in Anthropology, University of Chicago


A graphic designer, illustrator, and educator, Adele has nearly a decade of experience in brand identity and publication. They have served as adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts, program manager at the renowned Storefront for Community Design, and creative director at a micro-mobility startup. Adele's work centers around stewardship, collaboration, and social activism with the belief that good design makes for healthier communities. Master of Fine Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University


A writer, public historian, archivist, and genealogist, Alonna Carter-Donaldson has a deep passion for African-American history and genealogy. She is a former Burke Fellow at The Frick Pittsburgh, where she assisted in reimagining interpretive tours, and a former scholar for Western PA Disability History and Action Consortium, where she documented the stories of BIPOC members of the region's disability community. Master of Professional Writing, Chatham University

Brocade alumni


Erica has 13 years of experience of leadership with nonprofits and small businesses on a community level. Driven by equity and liberation, Erica brings qualitative research and humanity-centered design skills, as well as a wide range of evidence-based management practices, to the work of strategic and interpretive planning. An experienced facilitator, she has used mixed design research methods, including stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and prototyping, to empower organizations to make strategic decisions. She co-authored research at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science on the societal impact of various modes of online communication in rapidly changing technological climates. Master of Public Management, Carnegie Mellon University


Patrick has over three decades of experience managing and auditing IT systems across sectors; he’s worked in human services, financial services, legal services, and government. He was twice decorated with the Air Force Commendation Medal for digital transformation projects he led in partnership with high-profile governmental entities, including the White House Communications Agency and White House Travel Office.

After nine years as a Systems Architect for Casey Family Services, and several significant projects with the Annie E. Casey Foundation (including requirement gathering and existing systems audits for Casey Family Services and Indiana child welfare systems), Patrick spent seven years at Bridgewater Associates, where he managed enterprise systems and led an HR analytics team.


Quinton brings a deep commitment to social justice and a wellspring of technical ability to his work with Brocade. He has spent his career creating solutions at the intersection of these passions. Quinton is a Co-founder of Polimath, a SaaS start-up that ingests public campaign finance data from federal and state disclosure databases to help political campaigns and state governments to perform better donor research. He also spent a number of years developing demand forecasting systems in the health care space, working primarily with AWS, Python, Airflow, and Tableau. He is currently leading operations for Richmond for All, an independent political organization that fights for people-first development, high-quality public education, housing justice, environmental justice, and public safety from police violence.


A PhD. candidate in Sociology at the University of Chicago, Shannon is a skilled researcher who contributes to our legal justice, cultural, and environmental justice strategy work. Her own research draws on ethnographic methods and archival data to understand how various arts organizations and artist communities have contributed to neighborhood gentrification. Additionally, she is presently researching the impacts of legacy pollution on urban communities. She also recently co-authored, in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, results of a study showing that those killed in predominantly Black or Hispanic neighborhoods are less likely to be discussed in news coverage as multifaceted, complex people. Ph.D. ABD in Sociology, University of Chicago


With over a decade of management experience at high-performance nonprofits with strong, values-based cultures, Samantha is committed to transformative organizational change that forwards equity, inclusion, and justice. She is the former Executive Director of Break Away, a community-based learning and training organization; in this role, she led justice-focused retreats for hundreds of colleges and universities. At Brocade, she supports our legal justice clients with their research and strategy needs. Master of Social Work, University of Michigan


With a background in software engineering, statistics, and economic modeling, Dadmehr is a multi-talented resource for Brocade's analytics clients. He was formerly a health economist at the Health Finance Institute, where he designed a first-of-its-kind economic-epidemiological model for determining the efficacy of type 1 diabetes treatments. He is currently a PhD in Economics candidate at the University of Washington, where he focuses on applied microeconomics. Ph.D. ABD in Economics, University of Washington

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