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
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.
Justin D’Angona (Director of Public Engagement)
Justin started canvassing for Greenpeace in 2009 in Orange County where he ran offices and led fundraising projects there for several years, before transitioning to working directly on campaign programs. For 5 years, Justin ran Greenpeace’s student activist program and managed its distributed volunteer activities before returning to fundraising with a group called Propeller that engages music fans at festivals and events.
Outside work, Justin enjoys rollerblading. Before getting involved in grassroots campaigning and fundraising, Justin filmed for 13 internationally distributed rollerblading DVDs. Justin has recently started doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which has been a really challenging but addicting experience.
Justin joined NCE in early March 2019 as the Director of Public Engagement, where he manages relationships with new/unconventional sites, travel trip operations and other special projects.
Rene Clarke (Finance Specialist)
Rene hails from Georgetown, Guyana. Before joining NCE, Rene worked for a synthetic turf company.
In his spare time Rene enjoys playing golf, his ideal destination is Japan. Rene would love to spend a day with Muhammad Ali or Nelson Mandela.
Rene’s favorite food is Vietnamese food or anything his mom makes, and when asked about his secret talent, Rene claimed to be the best dancer in NCE (we haven’t confirmed it yet). Rene is good in math and would be a great math teacher.
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.
Meredith Garofalo (Operations Specialist)
Meredith Garofalo hails originally from Hollister, California but lived in Los Angeles for the last seven years, prior to moving to Austin, TX to be part of NCE’s Operations Team. Unusually, Meredith did not find NCE, but we found Meredith, who was, at the time, running the Los Angeles team for another F2F Agency.
It was Andrew who reached out to Meredith initially, and, having then met with Martin and understood more of the culture that we are building at NCE, together with the opportunity and encouragement for growth, Meredith knew this would be her new home.
Now supporting all of NCE’s fundraising, Meredith has not forgotten what made her into the successful Canvasser and Leader she was, citing the ability to have a good time, inspire the hell out of people and laughing and smiling as the way to be a magnet to those who stop for you.
Outside work, Meredith is a sports enthusiast and loves both watching and playing, as well as having a successful side income from fantasy sports. Meredith also enjoys adventures with her girlfriend and other friends. Meredith’s dream trip destination: Bali – a place to swim, read and drink cocktails.
Meredith’s favorite food is anything cooked by her Mum, and would take ‘Killing Myself to Live’ by Chuck Klosterman and ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ to a desert island if allowed one book and movie. You may also not know that Meredith used to do a lot of stand-up comedy back in the day, and got to rub shoulders with many famous comedians on the Los Angeles comedy scene during that time.
When asked who, living or dead, Meredith would have dinner with, she answered Steve Irwin.
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 (Account Executive)
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.
Nicholas Ortiz (Quality Control Specialist)
Nick hails from a small city in California, that you might have heard of, called “San Diego”. He now lives with the love of his life, Little Bill, in Texas. Nick has been known to enjoy writing and performing stand-up comedy. He’s performed at the “Heart of Texas Comedy Festival” and with the likes of JR Brow, Carlos Mencia and Michael Blackson.
He loves playing “Dungeons & Dragons”, listening to “The Last Podcast on The Left” and kissing his pug. When he’s not being amazingly talented, he’s a staunch activist with “Los Brown Berets de Tejaztlan” with whom he frequently participates in protests throughout Texas, fighting White Supremacy and injustice for all people.
“I love working for NCE because it’s been so different from any place I’ve worked before” said Nick. “I’ve worked for the government and large corporations, places where even my manager was a small fish, which made me feel even less significant.”
“At NCE, Jordan, Sally, Andrew and Devin have not only always made me feel heard but have actively given me the tools to move up and excel in this job. I finally feel like I’ve found a career.” Nick has been working with NCE for a year and a half, going from Canvasser to Team Leader, then Recruitment Specialist and for the last six months Quality Control Specialist. Nick oversees all our welcome calling and ensures our standards are at their absolute highest.
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 and Telemarketing Team, pioneering its use in Russia, and then, working with partner organizations, across Eastern Europe.
In 2016 Elena relocated to the UK, and from there, heads up client reports and 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, two dogs and a cat.
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, West Region)
“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.”
E.J. Wilson (Regional Director, East Region)
“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 (Regional Director, Central Region)
“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. The 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.”
Robin hails from Portland, Oregon, and before joining NCE worked for The Democratic Party in Wisconsin. When Robin found out about an opportunity within NCE Robin thought it would be great. Robin is relatively new to NCE but appreciates the most is how NCE treats its employees.
When not working, Robin loves hanging out with Rigby, a chatty, funny rescue dog; and girlfriend, Hannah. When it comes to holidays, Robin would love to visit Norway (surprisingly, not Italy, where Robin would eat all his favorite carbs – pizza and pasta). Robin claims to be really good at pool and would choose pool if given the opportunity to become a professional sportsperson. This might impact on Robin’s cheese curd consumption – the true Wisconsin delicacy.
If Robin ran the world, one law that would be added would be additional spending on non-profit work. Robin would love to discuss this with a personal hero: Barak Obama. Another thing Robin is concerned by is the human use of plastic, which Robin thinks should be banned.
Robin thinks that critical/logical thinking skills are invaluable, so would include these with math, given the chance to teach any subject at school.
Robin’s final message to a 13-year-old version of themselves: “Don’t worry about what other people think. This is probably good advice to us all. Robin, thank you for everything you have brought to NCE already – we are so glad you joined the team
Conor is originally from Red Bluff, CA, and before joining us coordinated the academic programs for a local education non-profit that supports first-generation, low-income students committed to going to college. Conor found NCE on Indeed and figured the training would help him as a community organizer and social justice advocate.
The best thing about NCE for Conor is the integrity of thought and intention that goes into company decisions; and the people who are drawn to this kind of work.
Out of work hours, Conor watches bad television or reads great books in the company of his partner. His favorite books are “The Broken Earth” trilogy by N.K. Jemisin and “What Does it Mean to be White?” by Robin DiAngelo.
Conor is dedicated to make this world a better place and if he could change one thing, he would get rid of imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy.
Jeff is a native of Eugene Oregon. His passions are the NGO sector and politics. His favorite things to do are watch the Oregon Ducks and eat tacos. Once out of school, Jeff decided to get into the painting industry. It allowed him to travel the country while making a decent wage. That lasted a few years, then Jeff turned his full attention to his passions.
Having grown up in the Northwest, Jeffs passion for preserving our natural resources led to him Greenpeace USA. Having reached the role of Regional Director, Jeff decided to go fight for his political leanings. As rewarding as that was for him, he knew deep down that he’d be more effective working with NGO’s again.
Jeff heard NCE was launching an office in Portland, Oregon and immediately called his friends to recommend Eugene.
“Hi there! My name is Dallas, and before you ask… no, I’m not from Texas. I’m actually from a teeny tiny town in Tennessee called Portland. Growing up in a small community fueled my desire to branch out, adventure, and experience more of the world has to offer.
So as soon as I turned 18, I took off to San Diego to pursue my (failed) dancing career. The universe has an uncanny way of knowing exactly what we need, just when we need it. California is a place I call my “soul site” for many reasons, but mainly because that’s where I was first introduced to Save the Children! I immediately fell in love with the work that the organization does and didn’t hesitate to be a part of such a conscious movement. Fast forward a few years (and several moves later); I ended up back in Tennessee.
When I saw the opportunity to work for New Canvassing Experience on behalf of Save the Children, I was instantly reminded of just how much I loved canvassing for them and re-applied. Fast forward another 6 months and I’ve been able to go on cool travel trips, rise within the company, and am now running the Nashville office! Every day, I’m reminded of the reason I initially fell in love with this job because I work with the best people, advocating for the best causes! Six months down, here’s to a lifetime more!”
“I’m from Detroit, MI and have wanted to move somewhere warm as long as I can remember. My dream finally came true when my fiancée and I moved to Austin, TX in November 2018. Although I originally moved to Austin to pursue my passion for cooking, I ran into an NCE fundraiser within my first week here, and the rest is history!
I gave my first donation to Save the Children that day and was in for my interview with Charlie the following week. Since moving to Texas, I’ve found my family in my two rescue dogs Alfonzo and Penelope and even found a new hobby doing the Texas two-step”.
Kimball Banwell joined forces with NCE in January of 2019. Kimball studied English and Political Science and received her teaching credentials from Grand Valley State University. During her time at GVSU, she was part of United Students Against Sweatshops and fell in love with being an activist and empowering others to stand up for justice.
After 2 years of teaching, her desire to become more involved in environmental issues led her away from her home state of Michigan to California where she joined the environmental movement. Here she discovered F2F fundraising with Greenpeace USA where she quickly became the top fundraiser for the San Diego office. In May of 2011, Kimball stepped into the city director role and began helping manage cities around the US for Greenpeace. Landing back in San Diego, she grew that office to become the largest face-to-face fundraising office in Greenpeace US, signing up over 12,000 members in 2012. From there, Kimball began to oversea all of the fundraising offices of California and the Midwest. Relocating last year to the Pacific Northwest, Kimball was working on political campaigns and mentoring teens before finding NCE. Kimball thrives when she is coaching new leaders, motivating teams of fundraisers and helping fight for human rights and environmental issues.
In her free time Kimball loves to find her zen on her yoga mat, read all the books she can get her hands on, and explore her new home either by trail or by water in the PNW with her partner Chase.
Kimball is the Regional Director for the PNW at NCE, and honored to be fundraising on behalf of amazing charity partners that are helping make our world a better place.
Dakota Davison, our Office Director in Los Angeles, CA hails from Ashland City, TN, a small country town outside Nashville and, before applying for job in our Nashville office, has a varied work history including spells in construction and retail. However, it was when he found NCE that Dakota started to fulfil his vision of working in a role that makes the world a better place. It is this, together with the chance to work in an environment that he calls a “family”, and to travel, that makes working for NCE so enjoyable.
Anyone who has spent any time with Dakota will recognize his passion for fundraising and the organizations we work on behalf of; he cites having fun, being yourself, being kind, passionate, and hardworking, and trusting in your skills (as well as being a complete goofball) among the keys to his success.
Outside work, Dakota enjoys playing guitar and making weird EDM/progressive rock music (which you can find on YouTube by typing in his name…do it), spending time with wonderful people, reading and watching nerdy fiction, and occasionally exercising.
Dakota says Ireland would be his dream travel destination, possibly inspired by his so far unverified claim to be weirdly good at effecting accents. He loves Harry Potter books and movies (when they don’t get the books all wrong; yes, looking at you Deathly Hallows Part 2) and would love to eat his favorite food, gyros, with The Buddha, for whom he has a number of questions.