New Canvassing Experience Team
Martin Leggett (Chief Executive Officer)
Born in Pennsylvania, Martin is a lifelong entrepreneur and an innovator in the world of fundraising. His years of study in the non-profit and governmental space earned him Honors Degrees from Clark University in both Government & International Relations, and Public Administration. Once out ‘in the field’, Martin worked as a fundraising consultant and grant-writer for local non-profits in Worcester, MA. While this work was fulfilling, his drive and passion told him there had to be a more sustainable way to secure funding.
Life brought Martin to Austin, Texas in 2013, where he entered the world of face-to-face (F2F) canvassing for the first time. Immediately he found his niche and honed his skills recruiting recurring donors for Plan International and Save the Children. After starting as an entry level fundraiser, he continued to move up the hierarchy until he was given the role of COO. His focus on direct management, integrity, respect, and innovation helped him become the successful leader he is today.
Having played a crucial role in the expansion of one of the fastest growing fundraising companies in the country, Martin went on to co-found New Canvassing Experience in an effort to design a forward thinking fundraising team that will set a new standard for excellence and quality in the industry.
Martin is a keen runner, archer, hang-glider pilot, and gardener, and is married to Rachel. Martin is NCE’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
John Jeffries (Head of International Development)
John is British, and, having graduated in Economics from the University of Bath, began a career in Retail Training. In 2006, he took the skills he developed in training and people development into the canvassing sector, with Fundraising Initiatives, in London. During this time he developed an affinity for the needs of his clients and an in-depth knowledge of successful canvassing.
In 2009 he was approached to manage the London in-house canvassing team and then the national operations for the RSPB. Here, by adopting more progressive forms of management, he developed a high quality team of canvassers in a highly competitive market, with industry leading quality.
In 2011 John took a contract with SOS Children’s Villages as their International F2F Specialist and, based from Vienna, provided support across the Federation, including countries as varied as Colombia, Sri Lanka, Norway, Russia and Croatia.
Between 2013 and 2016, John has been the International F2F Manager for Save the Children International and has been supporting canvassing across the membership as well as personally establishing in-house operations in South Africa where he has been based. Whilst there, he also found the time to set up Fundraising That Works (FTW), the country’s leading canvassing agency.
John is married to Elena, is a regular on TV quiz shows in the UK and is a fan of the New York Yankees, Welsh Rugby, good movies, bad food and giant rabbits. John is a terrible runner but tries to run a marathon each year, mostly to deal with the bad food…John is NCE’s Co-Founder and heads up all Client Services functions and international development.
Sean McGrady (Vice President (Fundraising Affairs))
Sean is one of the most successful team builders, motivators, and rainmakers in the history of Fundraising in the USA. In a seven-year Greenpeace career, Sean would start as a Canvasser and work his way up the ranks from Team Leader to City Director and eventually to National Frontline Director, becoming the head of the largest in-house F2F Fundraising program in North America.
This long roadmap to the top provided Sean with a fresh perspective, leading to a strong desire for innovation and positive disruptions, always wanting to better results and improve the sustainability for those doing the crucial work on the ground.
Ultimately, Sean and his teams would shatter fundraising records at every turn: for total members, for ROI and retention. He would oversee 17 offices, street and door, be in charge of 400 employees, and manage an 8-figure annual budget. He created revenue and long-term value that more than doubled return on investment. Most importantly Sean is an innovator who understands the need to maximize the impact of F2F Fundraising at the initial point of engagement. A Yale graduate, Sean started his career as a journalist and acclaimed novelist; he learned early on that crafting a powerful, authentic story is what wins on the streets and doors of America.
Sean has a deep and abiding commitment to social justice work. His most recent job was as Executive Director of Quixote Communities in Olympia, Washington, where he created the vision and strategy to raise millions of dollars to build two high-end tiny house communities for our veterans in need and to provide them the case management to become whole again.
In his career, Sean has done every kind of fundraising – from social media campaigns to major gifts to direct mail to creating agency endowments – but his greatest love is leading a F2F Fundraising team to excel, using the power of real voices to effect real change.
Sean McGrady joins Senior Management Team as Vice President (Fundraising Affairs). NCE will benefit from Sean’s day to day management experience and from his strategic leadership as he joins Martin and John on a newly formed Board of Directors
Sally Mann (Director of Operations)
Born in Ohio, Sally is an avid humanitarian and activist. She earned a Bachelors’ Degree in Anthropology from Eastern Kentucky University focusing on culture and sustainable development.
Post college, Sally entered the world of retail sales based around Interior Design. She quickly became a part of regional management and gained a passion for training others and helping them to accomplish their goals. As she grew within the company she found herself establishing new markets and landed in Austin, Texas.
After spending a number of years in sales, Sally wanted more. She knew she could take her experience and apply it to the non-profit world. In 2016, Sally found NCE and entered into professional fundraising as an entry-level Canvasser. Now working on the operational side of the company, Sally devotes each day to supporting her colleagues and ‘for purpose’ partners, ensuring their integrity and success.
When Sally is enjoying (enforced) time off, she loves being outdoors, camping, hiking, craft beers, and The Grateful Dead. You can catch her dancing at most bluegrass and jam band shows in Austin.
Sally is NCE’s National Manager of Operations and is responsible for all operational support tasks that underpin everything that NCE achieves.
Rachel Maimon (Chief Financial Officer)
Rachel is from the northeast and spent most of her younger years in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts. After earning her MBA from Clark university, Rachel was drawn to the world of non-profit work. When life brought Rachel to Austin in 2013, she did more of that work; writing grants, hosting fundraiser events, and marketing various educational programs.
When Martin and John started NCE in 2016, Rachel knew it was the place for her. She now works as our Chief Financial Officer, bookkeeper, and author of our weekly internal newsletter.
When Rachel’s not working, she enjoys running, reading, writing, and playing with Rascal, her dog and NCE’s mascot. She is married to Martin and they have been happily taking on the world together since 2010.
Lisa Pace (HR Director)
Born and raised in Texas, Lisa still calls Texas home. She currently lives in a small town outside of Austin called Bastrop. Lisa has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources (HR) and business administration, but is committed to continuous self-development and is currently studying for additional HR certification.
Lisa started work with NCE in December 2016 within the HR Department. She quickly was aligned with the mission and purpose of NCE and vision and mission of the organisation. As a Mom of three daughters, Lisa has always possessed the skills for being a fixer and problem solver. Little did she know these would all be skills that were preparing her for her future as a leader in HR, a role that she is very passionate about.
Outside work, Lisa enjoys being on the nearby lakes or by the beach. Lisa is a sucker for all animals and currently has two dogs, one cat and a bearded dragon.
Lisa is our HR DIrector and heads up the HR team for NCE and its partners around the world. She strives to create a safe and motivating environment for all to thrive and be successful in.
Joe Begin (Leadership Development Manager)
Joe loves to travel and meet new people while having the opportunity to work with a team that shares the same ideals. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Joe started working in Construction as an Electrician, Plumber and Contractor. He relocated to sunny San Diego in 2010 and started a new path as a Canvasser, working his way through the ranks and finding a genuine passion in the non-profit world, making a huge difference to the environment and people through environmental and humanitarian campaigns.
Joe enjoys knowing that he can help make peoples’ lives better all around the world and wouldn’t ask for a more fulfilling or more important career. While working full time for NCE, Joe still finds time use his skills in construction for community projects and art through construction and enjoys playing music in his spare time.
Joe joined the NCE team in 2016 and is currently our Leadership Development Manager, travelling nationwide to help and develop new leaders within NCE.
Devin Hanley (Recruitment Manager)
Hailing originally from northern Connecticut, Devin is one of NCE’s most tenured employees. Starting as a Canvasser in Austin in 2014, Devin has enthusiastically worked in many different roles during his time with the team.
Devin has lived in Austin for 10 years, enjoys riding his bike and rocking with his band “The Manly Hanleys” on the weekend.
Devin is NCE’s Recruitment Manager and leads the centralized recruitment department in Austin, a dedicated team who ensure our offices in the US and our partner offices in the US and Canada are staffed with fantastic, talented fundraisers.
Andrew Castellano (Project Manager)
After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Political Science and a Specialization in International Relations from The Ohio State University, Andrew moved to Austin, Texas, where he immediately immersed himself in the world of face-to-face fundraising.
Driven by the idea of positively enhancing the way that the global community reacts to disasters and human rights violations, this industry solved for him what once seemed an impossible question to answer: How do we raise awareness of these terrible issues in the minds of everyday people, and how do we then get them involved in the solutions to the problem?
Recognizing the potential magnitude of change that this industry could bring about, Andrew decided that it was this world that he would devote his life to. After starting as an entry-level fundraiser, he continued to ascend in the hierarchy and is now Project Manager for NCE.
Andrew is married to Alejandra, is father to a lovely baby girl, and is an artist, a writer, and an absolutely abysmal guitar player (Though, if requested on the right day, in the right moment, will still serenade you with broken renditions of The Beatles and songs of Spanish romance).
Andrew is NCE’s Project Manager and heads up various projects and opportunities within the group.
Niki Perry (Deputy HR Director)
Niki was born and raised in a small Texas town, and has always known that her passion was for helping others. Having started her career working for a Medical Diagnostic facility, she spent nearly ten years specializing in medical administration for a local hospital.
In 2015, Niki was introduced to the world of fundraising, and immediately realized that this was where her true passion could be realized. For over three years. Niki has developed in her role providing administrative and payroll support within the HR Department and is currently studying for the Senior Practitioner in HR (SPHR) Certifications.
Outside work, you will find Niki spending time with her three children, relaxing by the water, or enjoying cooking and baking for all.
Elena Jeffries (Digital Marketing Director)
A global citizen, with a Russian soul, Elena was born and raised in Kurgan, Russia, where she graduated with a degree in Marketing from Kurgan State University. She soon put that to use as Marketing Director in the retail sector and as a professional photographer, before beginning a career in fundraising for the Victoria Children’s Foundation in Moscow in 2008.
In 2012 Elena was offered an opportunity at SOS Children’s Villages firstly as Public Relations (PR) Manager and then as a Project Manager overseeing the setup of F2F Fundraising, pioneering its use in Russia, and then, working with partner organisations, across Eastern Europe.
In 2016 Elena relocated to the UK, and from there, heads up all the digital and social media activities of NCE. She finds time to use her expertise to help smaller charities on a voluntary basis, while continuing to indulge her passions for photography and travel. Elena is fluent in English, Russian and Spanish, is married to John and they share their home with two rabbits, a cat and something that looks a bit like a dog.
Ron Schrock (Senior Recruitment Specialist)
Ron hails from lovely Lincoln, Nebraska. After graduating high school, he headed west to the beautiful City of Angeles. It was there that he first entered the world of Face-to-Face fundraising. Besides finding his passion and his way in life, raising money to help others, it was also through canvassing that he met his wife, with whom Ron moved to Chicago, and started their own F2F Fundraising company.
In January 2014, after two glorious Chicago winters, he migrated south to Austin, Texas where he was able to continue working in the field he loves by joining NCE. In his seven years in F2F, Ron has been a Canvasser, Team Leader, Senior Team Leader, Director-in-Training, Weekend Manager, co-owner of an LLC and, in his most recent role, Senior Recruitment Specialist.
When not hard at work recruiting new canvassers, Ron can be found spending time with his wife, either binge watching the latest Netflix show, playing Settlers of Catan, or exploring all the fun activities and events that Texas has to offer.
He never misses the Austin Rodeo or a Willie Nelson concert, and will never say no to an invite to a BBQ
Jeremy Stewart (Regional Manager, California)
“Heyo! My name is Jeremy, our Regional Manager in CA. Better known as the ‘Best Coast’. I was born in the Northeastern corner of Montana, only two hours south of the Canadian border. During the Spring of 2016, I spent three months in Spain, and it was amazing. I played in a band for four out of the 11 years that I had I lived in Seattle. We toured through WA, MT, and WY…I still love to play my acoustic and write music in my spare time.
I have been with NCE in CA since July of 2016 when I started as a Team Leader, and in the same year was promoted to Director in Training. In late January of 2017 I became the Director of our LA office, and in May of 2018, I became the Regional Manager in CA. It’s been a blast from day one!
Our California team goals for 2018: To forge a culture of inspiration through diversity; love, support, knowledge and skills. We are striving to be the best in the country through our production, positivity and integrity.”
Lateefah Shakir (Office Director in Philadelphia)
“My name is Lateefah. I am the Office Director for NCE in Philadelphia. I was born and raised in Philly and my family is from Spanish Town in Jamaica. I fell in love with art and music and definitely the people here. I have an overwhelming passion for life, love meeting new people, and most importantly: helping children.
I have been working here at NCE since October of 2016, and this is without a doubt the best job I have ever had. I started as a Fundraiser, and became a Team Leader shortly after. I worked my way up to Campaign Manager, and a little after a year of hard work and dedication, I am now running my very own office. I strive to help every employee work their way up and achieve a career that they are proud of, just like I have.
I work hard because every child deserves the right to survival and protection. My office is a place of peace and positivity. Having fun with my team and working with the upmost integrity is what brightens my day. Every day is another step closer to making the world a better place by trusting the power of my story. I am so thankful for the opportunity that NCE has given me to continuously help others, and provide for my family. I am equally excited to meet you and make you a part of this great team!”
Matt Marsden (Office Director in St. Petersburg)
“I was born and lived my early years in North Carolina. When I was six, my family and moved to the other coast where I was raised from then on in San Diego. It was here that I developed my love for the ocean and eventually where I would begin my activism career devoted to protecting it. I grew up playing many sports but water polo was the one that stuck. I played for about 10 years subsequently coached before beginning my canvassing career.
I have always loved the water but being a short bike ride away from some of the best surf in the world, ensured my interest snowballed. I began scuba diving shortly after, where I gained an entirely new perspective and appreciation for our Mother Earth. From surfing to polo to diving, it has always been hard to get me out of the water.
As my fondness for the ocean grew, so did my passion to speak up for it. The more I learned what was happening to the nature around us and the resources in our path, the more I became an advocate for the environment. I realized more and more how much we are all connected and that one person really can make a difference. I have carried this through my canvassing career and truly believe canvassing is one of the strongest and most important forms of activism we have.
I manage the office in St Petersburg, Fl, and look forward to meeting you.”
E.J. Wilson (Office Director in Nashville)
“I was born in Bangor, Maine on the morning of a beautiful fall day. My father was a football coach and moved my family all over the country before we eventually settled in New Mexico. I attended the University of New Mexico as a student athlete (football) before transferring to Hampton University for my sophomore year. I graduated from Hampton with a Bachelor’s in Strategic Communication with a minor in Sociology. During my time in Hampton I worked throughout the community with non-profit organizations to improve educational programs in the area.
As soon as I graduated I moved up to Philadelphia where I stumbled upon NCE. I was drawn to the family environment and the opportunity to grow within the organization. I had never fundraised before but had a natural talent for it. I was given the opportunity to travel to Austin for SXSW, trained to lead teams, and worked into a Director in Training Role within my first six months of fundraising. Since then I have trained in New Orleans at AdvaNCE, worked within the St.Petersburg office, won an incentive trip to New York and am now the Director of our Nashville office. Every day I work by making personal connections with my staff and random people on the street. We inspire and advocate for change in the world, and when I go home I know I contributed to making the world a better place.
On my days off I like to binge watch Netflix, play copious amounts of video games, and work out. I also enjoy a relaxing day by the pool with some BBQ and a cold drink.”
Jordan Krenek (Office Director in Austin)
“I’m born and raised in Austin, Texas. I have a background in marketing and I study leadership and personal development. Although I’m naturally very competitive, my number one rule is to have fun.
So far with NCE, I have been able to realize some goals that I’ve had for a very long time. Impact is what drives me. Being able to make a real difference is priceless to me and worth more than anything else. So the more I become, the more I can give to the world.
I wrestled in college and played basketball almost my entire life. So I love sports and when I’m not directing the office, I am reading or watching something developmental or having constructive conversations with friends.
I love to travel as much as I can, and I think I’m starting a shoe collection.”
Charlie Williams (Office Director in San Diego)
“Hi, I’m Charlie. I am an activist. I like to tattoo, paint large murals, build muscle cars, fish and BBQ. I grew up in a tiny town in Missouri called Ellsinore. I moved to Austin TX in 1996 where I stayed for over 20 years. I owned a few tattoo shops and tattooed for a living, as well as having worked as a painter, construction worker, party planner, mechanic, even a ranch hand for a bit.
I have seven children and being a Dad is the best job ever, but canvassing is a close second. I’ve been canvassing for five years now. The time goes quickly when you are having fun at work. I love my job and want to stay in this line of work. It is a great impact on the world. My passion is teaching people to canvass and to inspire people to be activists. My mom told me when I was young “never let someone shut you up because what you have to say might be really important, and always stand up for what you believe in”. Now that is my job, Thanks Mom!”
Brent Woods (Office Director in Los Angeles)
“I remember thinking it could be a place I could thrive in. The means for growth and opportunity seemed more open.”
Brent has worked in face-to-face fundraising for 3 years: “I love making a difference for people.” This is true for our charity partners as well as our staff. “I want to give them tools that are transferrable even outside of what we do – make a room full of leaders.”
In the first year Brent worked with NCE, he moved up the ranks and now directs our Los Angeles office. His favorite part? “Watching people develop and grow. The opportunity to see people that are new to the canvassing world thrive and grow and become part of the team. Making sure we can collectively grow from everybody’s uniqueness.” His tactics seem to be working. “We have lots of different ethnicities, genders, and everybody is bought into the idea that they DO want to make a difference in the world. We enjoy what we do, we make money, and have fun at the same time,” Brent said.
In his pre-fundraising days, Brent was an on-air radio personality in Los Angeles and loves pepperoni pizza, watching DC and Marvel movies, and listening to live music.
Jessica Myers (Office Director in Denver)
“I was born and raised in Houston, Texas in the late 80’s. Being from the most culturally diverse city in our country, I was fortunate to have incredible food, sunshine, and sports at my disposal. My Mom and Dad exposed my older brother and me to every Houston Astros game from the age of three. My love for the sport has only grown over the years.
Having sold Harley Davidson motorcycles for two years, I moved to Austin, Texas before my 28th birthday. I applied for a job in canvassing having no idea what canvassing was. Within three months I had move up to a Team Leader position. Shortly after that I became the Junior Director and was helping to run the entire office. In August of 2016, I moved to Philadelphia to be given a chance at Directorship. Never having been to Philadelphia before, I was determined to work as hard as possible and make that office the best. I then worked in San Diego, Nashville, St. Petersburg, and am grateful to be working in Denver now. I have been fundraising for NCE for a bit over 4 years now, and I can’t imagine my life if it wasn’t this. Working next to incredibly passionate people and raising money for some of the best organizations in the world. I am lucky to call some of my best friends, coworkers. This is the best job I have ever had, and the opportunities that NCE has given me blow my mind. Having a career that allows you to be exactly who you want to be is what people dream of. I am lucky to have that every day.
Mexican food and the Houston Astros are my two favorite things, especially after winning the World Series. Next would be my dog, Sir Bob Marley. He’s a rescue Pitbull and travels with me everywhere. Getting tattoos is my number one therapy. Each allows me to remember my experiences and dedicate pieces of art on my body, to my life. A dream of mine is to live on a shark conservation project in South Africa where I can learn to free dive with them. The world has so many places to see and I am determined to see them all. Travelling is so precious, and necessary to one’s health. I am grateful for the love and support of my partner Lydia in all I do at NCE”.