I believe in the power of online community. It has helped me through some of the most challenging times in my life.

As a lonely, depressed and awkward teen, I discovered online communities as one of the only places where I could be seen, appreciated, and cared for by total strangers — who then became my friends. It was in virtual spaces that I first found confidence and acceptance. Over time, I was able to bridge the gap and bring that confidence into my “offline world.”

Online community started it all.

I credit these early experiences for laying the foundation for my skills leading communities. Every day, I see online spaces tearing people apart. I know we can do better, and I know the difference between genuine, meaningful community and community with no soul and center.

As the founder of Gather Community Consulting, I consult with brands and community leaders to build successful online communities. I am also a speaker and educator on the topic of online communities, community-based movements, and community leadership.

Prior to founding Gather, I was the Founding Partner and COO for CMX Media (acquired by Bevy Labs), a unique “community of community builders” that provided training, events, and programs for community builders around the world. I got my professional start in community management in roles with Socratic (AI-based education app), Scribd (online library), and Chegg (online book rentals).

In 2016, I was named by Salesforce as one of three experts to follow in community management, and my writing on communities has appeared in Venture Beat, Convince and Convert, The Next Web, First Round Review, and Creator by WeWork.

In addition to being passionate about helping organizations build communities, I’m a passionate advocate for community leaders.

I’m a graduate of UCLA and have done volunteer work for Young Women Empowered and Indivisible Washington (formerly Pantsuit Washington). I am currently an M.A. student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, studying online communities and their impacts on offline interaction.