Ava Bynum

Ava Bynum is a passionate systems thinker with experience in education, food systems, program and curriculum design, community organizing, development, and non-profit management. Ava founded Hudson Valley Seed, a nonprofit that connects public school students to the land, themselves and each other through weekly garden education. With Ava as Executive Director Hudson Valley Seed scaled to educate over 5,000 children in New York public schools through curriculum-integrated garden education.

Ava has worked with universities, start-up nonprofits, public and private schools, social service agencies, movement-building organizations, and social-impact businesses. Ava’s consulting practice combines their extensive experience as an educator, food justice advocate, curriculum developer and farmer with their expertise in fundraising, organizational development and systems thinking. They have co-designed and facilitated a week-long immersion for farmers looking to undo racism in their agricultural work, a six-month place-based leadership development program that supports collaborative efforts to create a thriving future, and day-long trainings focusing on food and racial justice.

In order to most effectively work with others on justice, leadership, and team building they put their beliefs into practice to continue learning from experience. Ava spends time in community, in movement work, and in nature to stay grounded.

Ngozi Okaro

Ngozi Okaro collaborates with organizations and individuals to build assets and to create access. Over the course of a career in social-sector leadership, she has led education, social justice, and community-based organizations to identify and meet their missions. She is expert at securing major gifts, strategic planning and operations, leadership development, and governance. Ngozi has special expertise in mapping and managing change for growth-stage enterprises. 

Her background also includes leading fundraising at National Urban League and its affiliates, Brooklyn Hospital Center, INSEAD, Yale, and leading programs and operations at Nigeria Higher Education Foundation and Phipps Neighborhoods. 

Among other distinctions, Ngozi is certified by New York University’s Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising, and is a graduate of the Coro Leadership New York program. Ngozi is enrolled at The American College of Financial Services earning the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy certification.

Ngozi is known for her incisive reasoning and executable strategies -- gained through 15+ years of transformational strategy and management successes. She is a culturally competent team-builder who advances organizations through revenue generation and cost containment, human capital development, and stakeholder engagement.

Specialties: Strategic planning and operations; major gifts and endowment; HNW advisory; board development; philanthropy; higher education; conflict resolution; change management. JD - Georgetown University Law Center. BA - Morgan State University.

Vanessa Lawson

Vanessa Lawson is a versatile, high energy, caring human being who enjoys collaborating, facilitating and educating. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Mount Saint Mary College through a New York State opportunity program and went on to graduate school to receive a Masters of Science degree in Forensic Psychology. 

She has a unique skill set developed through her experiences as a college athlete and coach, residential case worker, paraprofessional, federal correctional officer, higher education academic counselor, and program director. Through her professional journey, she has developed a high sense of commitment to help build and give back to her home community, Kingston, NY. 

She has fostered her passion for social justice and education through giving young people opportunities to grow within the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ulster County, through her involvement in the LGBTQ Community for Racial Justice organization, her grassroots organizing with NYPIRG and in facilitating programs and workshops geared towards personal development, diversity and leadership. 

Vanessa is looking forward to using her knowledge, experience and creativity in assisting in the development and facilitation of trainings on equity and anti-oppression.  

Specialties: Appreciative advising; counseling; coaching; public speaking; outreach; teambuilding; positive thinking and the growth mindset; higher education; program planning and development; and youth development.

Toni Maeck

Toni Maeck is a social worker, organizer, and facilitator with deep experience in program development, clinical services, and community organizing. Toni holds a bachelor's degree from McGill University, a Master of Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, and an Advanced Certificate in Youth Studies from CUNY School of Professional Studies. As a licensed clinical social worker, Toni has served hundreds of clients at NY-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, the Association to Benefit Children, Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, and numerous other settings. Toni brings a special ability to help individuals and organizations discern their deepest desires and capabilities to her consulting practice with Omnymyst.

A commitment to helping organizations weave authenticity and anti-oppression into their everyday practices guides Toni’s work. Toni is currently a trainer with the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, where she has provided LGBTQ sensitivity trainings for organizations across the Hudson Valley. She is also an organizer with Showing Up for Racial Justice in Beacon, NY. Toni believes that by increasing our awareness of our own professional needs and desires, we can build healthier, more just workplaces and organizations. 

 Specialities: Social and clinical services; Mission development and writing; Program administration; LGBTQ+ training; Meeting and retreat facilitation; Conflict resolution.