Over the last year and a half, Arena has transformed from an organization mainly focused on Summits and other small convenings to an organization that trains and supports the next generation of leaders. As our mission evolves to meet the demands of the 2020 election calendar, our staff is evolving, too.
Earlier this month we hired Ashley Williams as Organizing 2020 Training Director. Before joining our team, Ashley worked for Swing Left where she was their Fellowship Director in charge of building a distributed training program for college students. As Training Director, she will help lead the team of experts responsible for coaching prospective campaign staff in battleground states like Florida and Wisconsin.
Ashley Williams is joined by two new Training Associates, Alexis Conavay and Ashley Arnold. Alexis was most recently the Virginia Training Director for Warren for President. She has also been an adjunct professor at University of Chicago and Harold Washington College. And Ashley Arnold joins the team as National Training Associate for Organizing Together 2020. Previously, she served as the Training Director in Ohio on Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign for President. Alexis and Ashley have both been brought on as part of our partnership with Organizing 2020, where they are helping strategic state campaigns grow their bench of qualified staff.
Because Arena and Arena Academy are growing quickly, last month we recruited Becca Israel to join us as our new Development Director. Becca has spent the past decade working to promote progressive causes and marginalized voices. Prior to Arena, they helped manage philanthropic engagement and strategy throughout the East Coast and Midwest for Bend the Arc, the leading national Jewish organization focused exclusively on social and political change in the U.S. Becca has already proven invaluable to Arena by significantly expanding donor outreach and organizing events with guests including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Gina Ortiz Jones.
Further augmenting our 2020 election-readiness is Heather Schmucker, Arena’s new Associate. Previously, Heather was Open Progress’s Director of Digital Organizing and Strategy where she led peer-to-peer texting voter contact programs and coached a distributed team of 6,000 volunteers. At Arena, Heather focuses on our postgraduate job placement work by providing one-to-one coaching for 1000+ Arena Academy graduates, cultivating relationships with employers, and matching members of the Arena community with job opportunities through Arena Careers.
Finally, Johannah King-Slutzky joined us earlier this fall as Arena’s new Digital Director. Johannah comes to us from the progressive consulting firm BerlinRosen where she focused on digital organizing and content development for advocacy movements, labor unions and nonprofits including the Poor People’s Campaign, SEIU, Human Rights Watch, and as an architect of the Teamsters’ 2020 digital strategy. At Arena, she is spearheading member growth through digital ads, email, and social media which have already contributed to over 5,000 new members of our community.
You can see a full roster of Team Arena here.