Meet Our People

Taylor-Made Strategies builds specialized project teams with expertise in the areas you need. We are passionate about our mission and committed to living out our values every day. Get to know us here!

Dr. Adam Murry

Professor of Indigenous Psychology at the University of Calgary

Adam Murry, Ph.D., focuses on organizational development and mixed methods research to improve educational, employment, and health outcomes for Indigenous youth and adults. He teaches courses on Indigenous Psychology, Qualitative Research Methods, and Indigenous Research Methods.

Dr. Murry teaches courses on Indigenous Psychology, Qualitative Research Methods, and Indigenous Research Methods. He has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and presented at numerous academic conferences. Dr. Murry’s expertise lies at the intersection of applied mixed methods research and community-based approaches, particularly with Indigenous organizations.

For example, Adam has served as a researcher for the Indigenous Primary Health Care and Policy Research (IPHCPR) network, Alberta Indigenous Mentorship in Health Innovation (AIM-HI) network, San Carlos Apache Nation, the Sonoran University Center of Excellence for Development Disability (SUCEDD) and the Tohono O’odham Community College, the Confederated Tribes of Colville, the Oregon Indian Education Association (OIEA), the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), the National Indian Parent Information Center (NIPIC), and for multiple National Science Foundation (NSF) programs designed to advance minority and female representation in the sciences. 

At the University of Calgary, Dr. Murry leads the Indigenous Organizations’ and Communities’ Research Lab, comprised of over a dozen undergraduate and graduate students, employees, and volunteers. The lab has multiple streams of ongoing research, including projects on Indigenous employment, mentorship, allyship, experiences with the police, culturally adapted mental health programming, and Indigenous Studies as a discipline, just to name a few.

Outside of academe, he’s a musician, playing the drums, electric bass, and percussion with various Los Angeles, Portland, and Calgary-based bands and projects. He also studies Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He, his spouse, and their sons reside in Calgary, and he regularly travels to Portland, OR, where he lived for six years, to visit friends and family. 

Channelle McNutt, MBA

Leadership Facilitator and Executive Coach

Channelle McNutt, M.B.A., is a thought leader in diversity, equity, inclusion, and leadership. She has worked with organizations across the world to deliver leadership development programs, drive organizational change, and develop high performing diverse teams.

For the past 8 years, Ms. McNutt has worked with various auxiliaries, non-profit organizations and corporations, such as Southern California Edison, Edwards Life Sciences, Toyota USA, the National Basketball Association (NBA), Honda USA, Sony, The Writers Guild for America West, San Diego State University, Paramount, Murad, and many more.

In 2015, Channelle was recognized by the San Diego Business Journal as one of the Top 50 leaders of the “Emerging Generation” and in 2018 was named “San Diego’s Top 40 Business Leaders Under 40.” Channelle has always been an active member of her community, specifically in the greater San Diego region.  

Over the past several years, Channelle has held numerous leadership roles including serving as a DEI Committee Member for USS Midway, former Vice President for Next Generation Leaders for the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, a mentor for Junior Achievement of San Diego, founded the National Association of Women MBA’s at San Diego State University (SDSU), served as a board member for the SDSU Alumni Association and is an IMPACT San Diego LEAD graduate. 

Channelle also finds joy serving students. She has taught courses in leadership and professional development. In 2014, she was a Leadership Instructor for an inaugural program at SDSU called Aztec Azteca, that helped first generation college students transition to college. She also has provided keynote speeches and served as a dynamic panelist for programs across the country.

Ms. McNutt earned both a Bachelors of Arts in Communication and Political Science and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Organizational Development from SDSU. 

Dr. Damien Robinson

Certified Executive Coach, Facilitator, and Trainer

Dr. Damien Robinson has led over 50 companies and 20,000+ leaders through strategic planning, change management, and leadership development. He has worked across multiple industries, including entertainment, manufacturing, sports, health care, and education.

As an executive coach and trusted advisor, Dr. Robinson has provided coaching to over 60+ leaders ranging from C-Suite executives to high-potential managers. 

Over the past several years, Dr. Robinson has used his expertise to design and implement DEI Integration Plans, DEI Dashboards, DEI Councils and Employee Resource Groups, as well as provide training across all levels of organizations. He has worked with the following clients: Paramount, Walt Disney, Toyota, Honda, The Getty, Writer’s Guild of America, Rady’s Children’s Hospital, Sony Music, Fannie Mae, the Kinkaid School, and many more. 

Dr. Robinson’s passion, collaborative approach, and personal commitment to supporting organizations in all areas of development are reflected in his work and ability to build long-lasting partnerships with organizations across the world.

Julia Hollander

LA-based Singer/Songwriter and DEI Practitioner

At the Berklee College of Music, Julia Hollander received recognition for regularly creating popular educational programs about topics involving race, gender, sexuality, and class, bringing DEI to the forefront of community conversation in an engaging and accessible way. 

Following graduation, Ms. Hollander completed a year-long internship in which she assisted a singer-songwriter with an original feminist musical debuting in Chicago. During this time, she also helped a Children’s Museum open their first music exhibit: Soundbox—with a goal of delivering the intersection of the arts and science to the next generation of children. She has since developed a curriculum for kindergarteners focusing on social-emotional growth, identity, having difficult conversations, and understanding empathy through various mediums, including music and art. She has also supported the development, implementation and facilitation of training sessions on Gender Inclusion, Pronouns, Anti-Racism, and Psychological Safety in the workplace.

Julia is a firm believer in art education not only as an outlet for creativity but as a means of self-expression and a way to improve people’s skills in both musical and non-musical spaces. She has experienced this firsthand in coming to understand her own identity through music and the arts. Because of this, her music often features themes of gender equality, feminism, queerness, and empowerment through education. She plans to pursue a Master’s in Education in order to create a song writing program centered on self-expression and identity. 

Kealani Balfour, M.S.

Passionate Educator and Administrator

Kealani Balfour, M.S., has focused her work on bringing equitable continuous improvement to K12 and post-secondary educational systems. Through program development and employee training, she brings care and humanity to the work, supporting people as they learn and grow.  

Ms. Balfour understands that in particular, learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion can be daunting as it often requires changing a previously unquestioned world view.

As a native Hawaiian, Kealani believes in identifying and developing the expertise of community members, highlighting their knowledge as the basis for betterment for all.  She has led several transitional programs that specialized in supporting traditionally underserved students in multiple educational settings and is an expert in building capacity in staff and faculty for student support in culturally appropriate ways.

As part of her commitment to advocacy, she served for four years with Partners Access College Together (PACT), a group convened by nonprofits All Hands Raised and Lumina Foundation, that works to increase student access to higher education by identifying barriers and working across systems to help find solutions. Additionally, she served three terms on the local leadership board of the American Association of Women in Community College and seven years on the People Strategies and Access, Diversity, and Equity Council at Mt Hood Community College.  

Kealani is currently the Career & Technical Education Regional Program Manager for Multnomah County Education Service District.  As such, she manages federal and state grants for seven school districts, develops relationships with business and industry, and supports the development of new programs that are responsive to local and student needs. 

Kevin Blake

Experienced and Dedicated DEI Consultant

Kevin Blake is a popular speaker and performer with decades of experience who creates programming that is engaging, fun, educational, and inspiring. He combines his expertise in the performing arts with over 20 years of diversity, equity, and inclusion program design and delivery.

Mr. Blake was an integral part of the InterActions program with the National Conference of Community and Justice, Artistic Director of ENCOMPASS, a non-profit human rights organization, and Program Director of Western Justice Center, and a Senior and Lead Consultant with DMRC Consulting, Intersxct, Taylor-Made Strategies, and JONES Inclusive. 

For over ten years, Mr. Blake has taught a service-learning class at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. The class teaches young artists about issues of diversity, inclusion, and school safety and engages them in programming which serves their community and makes schools more safe and inclusive. 

Kevin was a director, facilitator, and presenter of the Compassion Plays program, a touring facilitated theatre program exploring issues of racism, xenophobia, and cultural appropriation for 20 years. The program was presented to teachers, students, police officers, judges, and school administrators. It was a regular part of programming at the Museum of Tolerance, Just Communities, Pasadena Youth Ambassadors, Collaborate Pasadena, National Association of Women Judges as well as universities, k-12 schools, and professional, and religious organizations throughout California and beyond. 

Mr. Blake was the director, performer, writer, and facilitator of the Creating Bias-Free Classrooms program, an award- winning teacher professional development training program designed to address bias based on race, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation in schools. This program was a part of multiple educator Induction programs and the ABC’s of Conflict program. 

Kevin co-designed an anti-bullying program for teachers and administrators, focusing on the impacts and interventions of bullying and cyber-bullying, and delivered that program throughout Southern California. 

From design to implementation, Kevin oversaw the development of an online conflict resolution site, SchoolTools.info. He is responsible for developing original video content which he directed, produced, wrote and edited and is used in over 135 countries and all 50 states. 

Dr. Lida Rafia

Organizational Change and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Practitioner

Lida Rafia, Ph.D., is fervently committed to guiding people, teams, and organizations towards cultural transformation, using an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens to re-design programs, curricula, and student outcomes.

With over 15 years of professional experience in higher education leadership, Dr. Rafia has served in various leadership roles in community colleges, where she has been instrumental in leading strategic change. Her areas of expertise include program and curricula design, training and facilitation, executive coaching, strategic planning, and organizational development. 

Lida was born in Tehran, Iran, and spent her formative years migrating between Iran and the United States. Growing up with a foot in each culture, she gradually reconciled the differences and embraced her identity as an Iranian-American. 

As a Principal Consultant, Dr. Rafia serves as an innovative thought partner, convener, coalition builder and trusted advisor to leaders across health, higher education and business organizations to revision their internal policies and procedures to reflect and promote greater equity. Her demonstrated exceptional proficiency in understanding of cultural and business implications relating to psychological safety, core DEI concepts, and the ability to convey and inspire persuasive cases for change, serves as a guide to create and implement effective strategies to attract, develop, and retain diverse workforces. 

Dr. Rafia’s professional credentials include her previous role as Dean of Student Success and Equity at Grossmont College, where she led the implementation of college-wide equity strategic initiatives, strategic planning, and professional development for faculty, staff, and administrators. In this capacity, she worked collaboratively to build consensus across various constituency groups, fostering an inclusive environment that positively impacted policies, practices, and culture. As a result of these efforts, Grossmont College established a framework and strategic direction for diversity, equity and inclusion. Prior to this role, she served as the Multicultural and Retention Director, Adjunct Faculty, and Academic Advisor at Portland Community College. 

Dr. Rafia’s academic qualifications include a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy from Portland State University and a Ph.D. in adult and higher educational leadership from Oregon State University. Currently residing in San Diego, CA, Dr. Rafia serves on the Board of Trustees at High Tech High schools, where she advances the design principles of equity, personalization, authentic work and collaborative design. 

Lori Nelson

Award-winning Social Change Program Designer

Lori Nelson is fueled by her passion to design unique experiential learning opportunities and programs that build empathy and teach skills.  She has designed and delivered over 40 unique programs for both schools and organizations.

With over 20 years of specialized expertise, Ms. Nelson has designed and delivered over 40 unique programs for both schools and organizations that expertly address sensitive issues such as intergenerational communication, antiracism, homophobic bullying, evolving language around gender, psychological safety, and addressing bias in schools and work environments.  

As an educator, Lori spent ten years as a service-learning teacher at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), an exceptional school that combines college-preparatory academic instruction with conservatory-style training in the visual and performing arts.  She also spent eight happy years as an involved LACHSA parent. 

Some of Lori’s favorite work is designing professional development programs for K-12 educators that are both engaging and immediately useful. These sessions give teachers practical support in building the skills for creating safe and inclusive classrooms for all students.  

Ms. Nelson has built a long-standing reputation for her programming work across her field as the Director of Youth and Education programs at the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), and as the founder of ENCOMPASS, a non-profit organization combining the best practices of arts education, youth development and social justice programming. Her program success has been built upon her belief in creating experiences that build trust and empathy and understanding among participants, while also inspiring them to grow and evolve. 

Lori has designed or facilitated programs that skillfully addressed issues of racism and social justice, such as Brotherhood Sisterhood Summer Camp, an award-winning social justice leadership training program for both youth and adults. She co-chaired the state-wide Alliance Against Racist Mascots, (ALLARM), which succeeded in persuading Los Angeles schools to end the use of American Indian mascots and later sponsored legislation that abolished the use of the racial slur, “Redskins” in California public schools.  

For 20 years, Lori was an AEA producer of a successful touring theatrical program that addressed stereotypes, racial identity, racism and xenophobia. The program was featured in hundreds of schools and institutions including the Alliance for Independent Schools, California Association of Independent Schools. National Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Tolerance, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Association of California School Administrators, Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Induction Program, and the California American Indian Education Conference, 

With a passion for designing unique experiential learning opportunities, Lori continues to develop programming that builds empathy while educating schools, businesses and organizations on how they can achieve diverse, inclusive, and equitable environments.

Minjung Pai

Culturally Responsive Educator

With 16 years of experience as an elementary teacher in public and independent schools, Minjung Pai’s passion for culturally responsive education complements her commitment to creating edifying spaces for faculty and staff from historically marginalized groups, especially women of color. 

Minjung has 16 years of experience as an elementary teacher in public and independent schools. She graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in English Literature and received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Northridge. 

Ms. Pai served on the Board of Trustees and as a co-chair of the Committee on Institutional Equity at Westland School where she was intimately involved in supporting the school in its DEI initiatives.

Minjung helped launch and facilitate affinity groups for parents, staff, and students and served on the Anti-bias Social Justice Curriculum Task Force. She was also a Heinemann Fellow where she researched identity work for teachers.

She is a member of the UCLA Writing Project Leadership Team where she helps serve writing teachers in the greater Los Angeles area. She presented multiple workshops at the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference and served on the local planning committee in 2017. Minjung also served first as a board member than as an Advisor to the Southern California People of Color at Independent Schools (SoCal POCIS) Board of Directors. 

Ms. Pai’s passion for culturally responsive education is matched only by her commitment to developing edifying spaces for faculty and staff from historically marginalized groups, especially women of color. 

MEET OUR FOUNDER & CEO

Aisha Taylor | Ph.D.

As an organizational psychologist, Dr. Aisha Taylor (she/her/ella) brings over 20 years of professional experience to your workplace table, always ready to listen to everyone in the room. Her commitment to developing research-backed strategies is matched only by her care and concern for the colleagues and clients with whom she works in trusted professional partnerships that often last for years.

TESTIMONIAL

What Our Clients Said

“I want to thank you for doing such an amazing and sensitive job of presenting the findings of the interviews! It far surpassed my expectations, and I am very grateful to you for your preparation (which I am certain took quite a bit of time). You seemed intimately familiar with the data/responses which made transitions and discussions seamless."
Jill Razani, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair | Department of Psychology
California State University, Northridge (CSUN)
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