We've all cut our teeth at big companies. Now we're changing the future of work.
Our mission: To help you leverage the untapped knowledge, experience, and wisdom of your people to improve the decisions and judgments you're making every day.
Our Mission and Story
The days of command and control management styles are dying. We believe between no management and micro-management there is a healthy middle where everyone's role description - from the CEO, to the customer service rep, to the summer intern - includes forecasting, innovating, sharing, and collaborating. This new organization systematically taps the collective wisdom and experience of their people to make better decisions and work on the things that will help the company prosper.
Our Leadership Team
I help set the direction of the company, cultivate (no pun intended) new projects, and work directly with some of our clients. I'm also a poor man's front-end developer. More importantly, I have a 6-year old daughter and a 3-year old son who are slowly teaching me the art of patience and perseverance. Before starting Cultivate, I founded Inkling, a Y Combinator (YC06) funded company, CityPosh, another Y Combinator (YC11) funded company, and worked at Accenture in the Accenture Technology Labs. I have a degree from Indiana University in Political Science.
Director, Customer Engagement
I work with our clients to make sure our products make a positive difference for their organization. Before Cultivate, I was a change management consultant helping organizations through cultural transformations. I have an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. In my down time, I enjoy reading, cooking, and exploring Chicago’s great neighborhoods. I’m also a member of the Literassociates Board of the Chicago Literacy Alliance.
Director of Engineering
I'm the Director of Software Engineering, which means I get to define best practices and strategy for our tech, while also helping to build and manage our products. When I'm not nerding out at work I enjoy hanging out with my family, and playing basketball. I'm also an Accenture and Northwestern University alum.
I think design is solving a problem in a way that makes someone's day easier and hopefully even more enjoyable. I lead the design for Cultivate Labs' products and brand. I have experience working on conceptual development and design for websites, mobile apps, and large scale digital promotions. I am a painter, metalsmith, dog geek and have a weakness for house plants. I have a BFA degree in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Customer Engagement Analyst
I am a social entrepreneur and advocate for social and economic justice. After completing my Master of Public Affairs (MPA) in 2011, I moved to Chicago to serve as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Public Allies. Since then, I have worked on a variety of successful political and issue campaigns including President Obama’s re-election campaign. Most recently, I worked on a Universal Basic Income (UBI) pilot project here in Chicago. I spend my free time volunteering for causes I care about, hiking around Chicago with my dog and cooking extravagant meals with my future husband.
Thalia Shamash Baumgarten
Customer Engagement Manager
I work out of the DC area where I help run our local projects with the U.S. Government. Before joining Cultivate, I worked for MITRE, Booz Allen Hamilton, and was also a tour guide in Rome. I love all things relating to coffee, cooking, math, and above all, spending time with my family. I have degrees in Math and Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
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