at Catalyst, We believe in both
external and internal collaboration.
Take a look at our organizational chart to see how we work together.
senior leadership team
Gretchen Beesing, LCSW
Chief Executive Officer
Gretchen joined Catalyst Miami in 2007, directing civic leadership and advocacy programs for more than five years before becoming CEO in 2013. Gretchen’s integration of Catalyst’s services into a solid program suite based on an effective and empowering financial coaching platform, offers asset-building strategies at each stage in our clients’ journey to prosperity. She … [read more]
Gretchen joined Catalyst Miami in 2007, directing civic leadership and advocacy programs for more than five years before becoming CEO in 2013. Gretchen’s integration of Catalyst’s services into a solid program suite based on an effective and empowering financial coaching platform, offers asset-building strategies at each stage in our clients’ journey to prosperity. She effectively transitioned Catalyst from a financial literacy provider to a financial capability thought leader, as evidenced by our many national partnerships and demonstration products, including MAF’s Lending Circles. Other accomplishments include conceiving and piloting our Miami Thrives executive leadership program for community development practitioners, the first in South Florida. Under Gretchen’s leadership, Catalyst hosted Miami’s first Poverty Solutions Summit, attended by more than 300 service providers, activists and Miami-Dade County officials.
Gretchen serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the South Florida Community Development Coalition. She participates on the JPMorgan Chase’s Community Advisory Board (Florida), the Florida Policy Institute’s Community Advisory Board, Resilient 305 Steering Committee, among other advisory boards. Gretchen was a 2015 American Express NGEN Fellow and is an alumnus of the Federal Reserve Board’s Community Leaders Forum. She is a licensed clinical social worker with degrees from NYU and Kalamazoo College. Gretchen is a 2019 Ambassador for Health Equity, a national fellowship with PolicyLink and FSG.
Chief Financial Officer
Brian serves as the CFO for Catalyst Miami. He is a lawyer, CPA and received his MFA in Visual Arts in 2018. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica and worked for 20 years for CARE, an international humanitarian and development organization, living mostly in Africa. In his spare time, Brian runs marathons and makes art.
Chief Operating Officer
Kristine joined Catalyst Miami in 2013, directing several of the organization's capacity-building programs. Since that time, Kristine also overseen the organization's programs and services and currently serves as Catalyst's COO. … [read more]
Kristine joined Catalyst Miami in 2013, directing several of the organization's capacity-building programs. Since that time, Kristine also overseen the organization's programs and services and currently serves as Catalyst's COO. Prior to joining Catalyst, she worked for several nationwide nonprofit organizations in operations and development. Kristine graduated with a bachelor's degree in Government from Smith College and a master's degree in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University. Kristine serves on the board of the Community Reinvestment Alliance of South Florida (CRASF).
Vice President of Programs
Nina joined Catalyst Miami in 2014 and has served in many different capacities including directing the service delivery for the health component of the Prosperity Campaign. Nina currently oversees the programs department. In Nina's previous experience, she provided support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for several nonprofit organizations. She graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor's degree in Social Work and minor in Criminal Justice, in addition to a master's degree in Social Work from Barry University. Nina is a Miami native, passionate about youth and community development.
Vice President of Evaluation and Learning
Santiago joined Catalyst Miami in January 2015. His role includes connecting and forming collaborative networks that are committed to achieving tangible results within their communities. Santiago's professional commitment is to improve quality of life for the marginalized. He has a Masters in International Development, Nonprofit Management, and International Economics as well as training in Financial Management. Santiago serves on the board of the Awesome Foundation.
Chief Program Officer
Santra Denis joined Catalyst Miami in 2010. In her current role, Santra oversees all of Catalyst Miami's programs, services, and initiatives. Santra was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in health science, and from Florida International University with a Master’s of Public Health in Policy and Management. In her free time she works to build economic and political power with Millennials in the Haitian Community.
Community Prosperity Coordinator
Alyssa officially joined Catalyst Miami in April 2019 as Community Prosperity Coordinator after working with the Public Allies Miami program as a graduate-level intern. She comes from a mental health background, having received her B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University, where she also worked for their Counseling Center. She has an extensive background in advocacy, having worked and volunteered for numerous organizations including the Guardian ad Litem Program and currently sits on the South FL Human Trafficking Task Force. She completes her Master of Social Work degree (from FIU) in May 2020.
Charles has worked at Catalyst Miami since 2009. He is a disabled Vietnam veteran and has been pleased to be working under the Community Leadership Development team. In particular, Charles works with the SoundOut and Parent Leadership Training Institute teams as a leadership assistant. He occasionally serves as the office coordinator, where he gets to greet and assist all of our incoming clients.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Dhorka has lived in Miami since 2004. Before joining Catalyst Miami, she served as the Community Health Worker for ConnectFamilias. She is a graduate of Catalyst Miami's Parent Leadership Training Institute and is excited to join the team as the Office Coordinator.
Neighborhood Engagement Manager
Izegbe, a Baltimore native, has worked as a community advocate for the past 22 years. She has journeyed from a graduate of the 12th PLTI cohort in 2014, to a facilitator for PLTI, Step Up Miami, and People Empowering People, all parenting leadership courses sponsored by Catalyst Miami, to her current position. Her experience as a mother, educator, and community program founder will positively impact the training and cultivation of civic leaders.
Community Prosperity Coordinator
Jessica comes to Catalyst Miami from the Department of Children and Families, Southern Region, General Counsel. Prior to her current role, Jessica volunteered with Catalyst Miami in 2013 and again in 2018 as a VITA volunteer preparing taxes. She graduated from FIU with two Bachelor’s degrees, in Sociology and English Literature, as well as a certificate in Exile Studies. At Catalyst, Jessica helps low income families take their next financial step through financial coaching to reach their financial goals. In her spare time she enjoys having a good laugh and living the simple life.
Policy & Engagement Program Coordinator
Born and raised in Miami, Kenneth understands the struggles and triumphs our city has to offer. He served as the Overtown Community Outreach Specialist at Catalyst Miami during his 2018-2019 Public Allies Miami apprenticeship, working to strengthen community cohesiveness through workshops and focus groups that both informed low-wealth residents of community assets and took note of their most pressing challenges. Kenneth now serves as the first Policy & Engagement Coordinator, where he will continue to nourish the strengths of community-based leaders by assisting with leadership training programs and alumni engagement.
Community Prosperity Coordinator
Maryanne joined Catalyst Miami in 2017 in response to the disaster relief needed in South Dade after hurricane Irma. As a child of immigrants, Maryanne has always been passionate about social justice, equity, and the importance of intersectionality when empowering communities. While at Williams College she focused on border, exile, and diaspora communities, seeking to build bridges and foster solidarity between marginalized peoples. She currently serves as a Community Prosperity Coordinator in Homestead in order to ensure that the folks in her community can access healthcare and reach financial stability.
Climate Resilience Program Manager
Mayra joined Catalyst in January 2018 after graduating from Columbia University with a Masters in Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences with a Certificate in Climate and Health. She is utilizing her knowledge of climate change and its impacts to manage the CLEAR program and build upon existing climate resilience work. She holds a Bachelors degree in Public Health from George Washington University and is excited to help build resilience throughout Miami-Dade.
Molly comes to Catalyst Miami from the private sector after discovering her passion for community and civic engagement. She has experience in public affairs, business development, and commercial real estate. Molly graduated with a BS in Psychology from the University of Florida and MS in Real Estate from University of Central Florida.
Grants Accounting and Compliance Director
Monica moved to Miami in 2003 from Guatemala, where she volunteered for five years in a literacy program helping children and adults. While attending college at FIU, she was a part of the FIU Finance and Management Association where she created and promoted free of charge programs that helped develop and enhance the basic financial practices for its members and non-members. She is happy to continue to serve the community.
Community Engagement Coordinator for Overtown
A graduate of SUNY Albany with a B.A. in Africana Studies, Nicole is currently the Overtown Community Engagement Coordinator, a community where she lives and serves. With a strong commitment to eliminating wealth, education and health disparities in marginalized communities of color, Nicole’s passion has been that of bridging the gaps affecting Black women's overall well-being. This, she attributes to her belief that educating and helping to empower a woman liberates an entire community. The legacy that Nicole endeavors to leave is one of love, faith, peace, joy and hope.
Community Health Coordinator
Rachelle joined the Catalyst team in July of 2010. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from St. Thomas University. She brings strong work ethic and many years of experience to the organization. Her prior experience was primarily in the nonprofit sector. The desire to help people is what drew her into social services, and what motivates her to provide excellent services to the community.
Public Allies Miami Manager
Roxy has been involved in creative community initiatives since 2009. She specializes in facilitative leadership and workshop and training development. Roxy utilizes her specialties to help young adults, community residents, and place-based coalitions achieve their social change goals. She is also a freelance photographer and a member of the Soka Gakkai International. Roxy earned her bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Florida International University with a concentration in Photography.
Community Prosperity Director
Shannon is a graduate of Florida International University, where he obtained his master’s degree in the field of public health with a specialization in health policy and management. He has several years of experience working in public health at the University of Miami Tissue Bank and the Community Blood Centers of Florida. Currently, Shannon is a healthcare navigator for the Affordable Care Act, focusing on the underserved communities of South Florida.
Community Prosperity Manager
Vaughan is a Chicago native and a graduate of Florida Memorial University. He began his career at Catalyst Miami by way of the AmeriCorps Public Ally program, where he helped low-income individuals in Miami-Dade County with their personal finances. After graduating from the Public Ally program in 2013, he joined Catalyst Miami's staff.
Capacity Building Program Manager
Yanelis is a Miami native dedicated to community building and creating equitable spaces. At Catalyst Miami, she helps strengthen community based organizations, their leaders, and the local nonprofit infrastructure through programs focused on capacity building. Prior to joining the team, Yanelis worked on several national public health communication campaigns in Washington, DC. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Communications from Florida State University.
At Catalyst Miami, Zelalem works to educate Miami-Dade County residents on the local impacts of climate change, connect climate change to other social justice initiatives, implement programs that strengthen the resilience of communities, and advocate for policies that call for climate action. Zelalem has a Masters in Public Health in Global Environmental Health from Emory University and a Bachelors degree in Community Health from Brown University.
Oral Health Coordinator
Sonni joined Catalyst Miami in July 2019. Her role includes helping patients navigate the complexities of the health-care system; identify gaps in oral health for low-and-moderate-wealth communities; and conducts community- media-based and education outreach. Sonni's professional commitment is to improve community health for underserved populations, through engaging with community members, collaborating with key stakeholders, and conducting research to develop policy recommendations. She received her Masters degree in Environmental Science and Policy under the Advanced Academic Program at Johns Hopkins University.