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 built 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.


Brian Elliot, Founder and Chairman of the Board

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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.


Evan Horowitz, Treasurer and Board Member


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


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.


Alison Fogarty, Board Member

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Ali is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at Stanford University, where she specializes in the socially constructed nature of sex, gender, and sexuality. She has numerous publications and several more underway, including her dissertation which examines non-normative gender discrimination in the workplace. In addition to research, Ali is a passionate educator, designing classes to broaden student's awareness of the human experience by cultivating scholarly discourse on non-binary experiences of sex, gender and sexual identities and expressions. Ali is also a trained oral communications specialist, working with others on general speaking skills, presentations, job talks, and interviews. Ali has earned her BA with Honors in Sociology and English at the University of Arizona and a MA in Sociology from Stanford University. You can find out more about the work Ali does at www.ackfogarty.com.


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.