About Us

 

Friendfactor activates straight people to become visible and active allies in their workplace and campus communities.

Check out more about What We Do.

 

These are the people who make it happen:

 

Joanne Sprague, Re-Founder and CEO

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Joanne re-launched Friendfactor in July 2012 on the heels of a successful pilot program she helped build to engage her fellow allies in creating a more LGBT-inclusive culture at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Before the LGBT movement swept her off her feet, Joanne spent her time tackling international socioeconomic inequality. She co-founded a boutique development consultancy with IFMR in India, designed a micro-entrepreneurship training program with the Peace Corps in Kenya, and interned with social entrepreneurship accelerators Endeavor and Agora Partnerships. Joanne started her career as a marketing strategist at Digitas, and holds a BA in Mathematics from Dartmouth College in addition to her Duke MBA.

 

Evan Horowitz, Treasurer and Board Member

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Evan is the founder of Evan Horowitz Advising, which empowers entrepreneurs to grow their businesses faster and smarter. His clients benefit from his Harvard MBA and 10 years running businesses as big as $200+ Million. Before founding his advising practice, Evan worked with global giants including Samsung, Macy's, Walmart and Costco. Evan has held numerous leadership positions in the LGBT movement. Among these, he led a fundraising team on California's No on Prop 8 Campaign, ran phone banks to help pass marriage equality in New York State, and currently serves as Co-President of Harvard Business School's LGBT Alumni Association. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

 

Laila Mohib, Board Member

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Over the last decade, Laila has worked with elected officials, candidates, and organizations to develop skills in training, messaging, polling and outreach.  She is the Program Director of the Asian Pacific American Institute of Congressional Studies. Prior to that Laila worked with the Communication Workers of America’s campaigns, and spent two cycles with EMILY’s List in the Political Department. She also worked in Congress, in Candidate Recruitment at Progressive Majority, with the Democratic National Committee’s Office of Independent Expenditures, and interned with the Public Affairs department of MTV and the White House Office of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach.  Laila received her undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology and Art History from Sarah Lawrence College. She has studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the Aegean Center for Fine Arts and has a Masters in Arts in Art History, Connoisseurship and the History of the Art Market from Christie’s Education.  Laila is a devoted fan of the Mets, the Jets and pie.

 

Chris Pearson-Smith, Board Member

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Chris is a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting’s Human Capital practice.  Since 2006, he has been actively involved in leading regional and national LGBT workplace initiatives on behalf of Deloitte’s GLOBE & Allies employee resource group.  In the wake of Proposition 8, Chris co-founded the Equal Roots Coalition, a grassroots not-for-profit established to educate and engage LGBT communities across California.  He also served as a pro bono consultant for Friendfactor in 2011 and launched the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business in 2012.  Chris earned a BA in Business Economics with College Honors from UCLA and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

 

Jaime Garcia, Board Member

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Jaime is a sales consultant in third party distribution for Delaware Investments.  Prior to that he served as an Field Artillery Officer in the 10th Mountain Division from 2004-2007, including one tour in Iraq.   After his time in the Army, Jaime continued to serve the veteran community as an Advocate for the Army Wounded Warrior Program, where he assisted the most critically wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan as they transitioned out of the military.  Jaime earned his BA in English and History from Florida International University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

 

Dan Baum, Board Member

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Dan Baum has spent his whole professional career at The Redwoods Group, a social enterprise and that uses insurance to keep kids safe. He is currently the Executive Director of The Redwoods Group Foundation, which is scaling national collaborative movements to stop child sexual abuse, prevent drownings and build the field of social entrepreneurship. He has also been facilitating conversations and experiences around diversity and allyship since college. Most recently, he served as a moderator for the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network’s inaugural PULSE Institute, which gave student leaders tools to build more inclusive college campuses. He earned both a BS in Economics and an MBA in Social Entrepreneurship from Duke University.

 

Brian Elliot, Founder and Board Chair Emeritus

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Brian is a Principal at Elliot Strategy, where he helps foundations, nonprofits, and socially responsible companies design high-impact strategies and develop and launch new innovative new programs and products. He founded Friendfactor in 2009 and now serves as the Board Chair. Previously, Brian served as the Director of Entrepreneur Services at Endeavor Global, an international development venture philanthropy firm. His other prior experience spans multiple sectors, having worked at Bain & Company, The Bridgespan Group, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Brian holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and a BA in Public Policy from Stanford University. Brian is a winner of the SXSW 2012 Dewey Winburne Community Service Award, the 2010 Harvard Business School Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, and Splashlife’s 30 Under 30: Civic Leaders Award.