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Annette de Soto, Lead Consultant

After several years in academia at the University of Chicago (working on a Ph.D in the wildly popular field of Ancient Greek Religions), Annette decided to stop spending so much time at Wrigley Field and become a productive member of society. Since then, Annette has provided communications, management and strategic planning counsel to a wide variety of political, educational, non-profit and philanthropic organizations.

Her communications counsel has included work on large scale national campaigns and branding projects with the US Fund for UNICEF and the National Wildlife Federation as well as grassroots and community based organizations including the Lifelong AIDS Alliance and the Coral Reef Alliance. Most recently, she helped to create messaging, trainings and communications plans for the Herndon Alliance, key national legislators and major advocacy organizations across the country to broaden public support for health care reform.

Annette has helped national foundations and numerous non profits develop long term strategic plans and guided reorganization and training efforts for major research institutions. She has spent time in the "trenches" as well, leading a start-up human services organization (increasing staff and revenues by 400% in less than 4 years) and helped develop record breaking major donor fundraising efforts for organizations including the University of Washington, PBS and a host of other worthy concerns. When not working on projects for Beyond the Divide, Annette splits her time between building an Outsider Art gallery and hiking in the mountains. And just to prove that some things never change, you can find her at Safeco Field more than you might imagine (so that’s the noise we heard in the background of the conference call…).

Ephraim Peniston, Artist and Designer

Ephraim is an artist, photographer and graphic/web designer who has worked for clients ranging from UNICEF and the National Wildlife Federation to Guide Dogs for the Blind. Whether he’s developing a style guide, an annual report or creating logos and letterhead, Ephraim helps our clients establish innovative and modern visual identities.

As our main website designer, he makes sure that clients' print and electronic communications are well integrated. Although he didn't want this next part included, Eph is also just one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Some highlights of his art and photography along with samples of his work can be seen at placeboarts.com.

Rahul Dodhia, Statistical Consultant

Rahul is the founder of Raven Analytics, providing statistical consulting services to corporations and researchers for more than 10 years in fields including market research, business data mining, risk analysis and clinical trials analysis. Along with leadership roles at eBay, PayPal and Amazon, Rahul is a former senior researcher at NASA Ames Research Center and Columbia University. The obvious question is how did we manage to recruit Rahul to help us at Beyond the Divide? Annette frequently collaborates with Raven Analytics advising clients on strategy and options for increasing customer and member participation. Since 2007, Rahul has graciously assisted us with analytics, survey design and web usability research. Besides teaching graduate-level courses in quantitative analysis at Columbia University, where he holds a Ph. D in Cognitive Psychology, Rahul also taught Annette’s Siberian Husky, Mazama ,to heel (ask him which was harder).

David Larsen, Research Consultant

An experienced leader in academic research libraries, David serves as Head of Access Services and Assessment at the University of Chicago Library. He holds a Ph. D in American Religious History from the University of Chicago and he’s our “go to guy” when we run into a research project requiring expert assistance. David and Annette attended Chicago together (for far too long) as undergraduate and graduate students. If you offer them some Laphroaig (neat, please), they might be encouraged to share their tips on how best to tow cars tied together with ropes and twine across the South Side at 2am.