Announcing Our New Chapter

Announcing Our New Chapter

September 27, 2022

Dear clients, colleagues, family, and friends,

In 1996 I began working at RDA. There were only two of us then, Bob Bennett who founded RDA in 1984, and me. It hardly seems possible that 26 years have passed. RDA has grown from a 2-person consulting firm to a company that employs 35 staff. We continue to work toward a just and equitable society as we address organizational and community well-being.

As the President and CEO of RDA, I have been privileged to work with so many committed, talented, and hardworking people; to personally be part of cutting-edge efforts to create systems change and improvements in the fields of justice, behavioral health, and child welfare. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this organization.

I will be retiring at the end of this year and am gratified to know that RDA’s work will continue in the same manner it has for the past 30 plus years. We are in the process of converting RDA into an Employee-Owned Trust (EOT). This perpetual trust will exist to fulfill the mission, vision, and values of RDA in serving our clients while providing equity for our employees and ensuring that RDA remains rooted in our community. We have engaged in thorough and intentional planning to ensure the continuity of organizational systems and knowledge.

We will be naming a Trust Stewardship Committee, on which I will serve, to ensure that the purpose of the trust is honored. We will also establish a Board of Directors to work with our executive leadership team to guide RDA’s strategic direction and fiscal health. We have developed this new structure over the last year with the help and support of Project Equity, a non-profit organization dedicated to employee ownership that provides hands-on support through a structured technical assistance program for new employee-owners. I am confident that the EOT structure and new executive leadership team will ensure that RDA continues to thrive while achieving our mission in service to our clients and stakeholders.

To that end, I am pleased to present RDA’s new leadership team and organizational structure:

Amalia Egri Freedman will succeed me as CEO. Many of you have worked with Amalia over the past 12 years and know her to be a talented, committed leader. As a senior member of the Executive team, she has provided strategic direction to RDA and to every area of our work with clients, bringing three decades of experience in organizational development and management as an executive, a consultant, and a legislative aide. Throughout her career, Amalia has held a passionate belief in the role of public and social sector systems in promoting equity and well-being, and she has a strong vision for the future of RDA.

John Cervetto, MSW will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer. John joined RDA in 2013 and brings nearly 15 years of experience working in the human services field as both a direct service provider and a consultant. As the Director of the Health and Human Services practice, John managed a portfolio of projects focused on social services, behavioral health, adult education, community, and economic development. He brings a depth of knowledge in RDA’s consulting practices and further, as a member of the Executive team, John has made contributions to organizational strategy, sustainability, and employee development and led improvements to operational processes and fiscal strategy.

Charlene Taylor, PhD will assume the newly created position of Vice President of Consulting Services. She is a seasoned criminal justice researcher and consultant with 25 years of experience specializing in assessment, evidence-based practices, and evaluation throughout California and across the nation. She has managed a multifaceted consulting team and portfolio of projects. Before joining RDA, Charlene served as a Senior Researcher with Evident Change (formerly National Council on Crime and Delinquency) where she led their Data for Equity work. Prior to that, she spent three years as a Senior Trainer and Research Analyst at the Crime and Justice Institute and ten years as a university professor in Criminal Justice. As a member of the executive team, Charlene has already contributed significantly to organizational strategy and employee development and, in her new role, will continue to lead our consulting teams in improving the innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness of our work.

We have also created two new Associate Director positions to assure the strategic oversight and ongoing quality of our consulting work. Carrie Coen, MA will manage our justice projects, bringing over 20 years working in both juvenile and adult corrections and over 10 years of experience managing people.

Dina de Veer, MPP will lead our health and human services projects, bringing over 16 years of experience in research and evaluation, including 11 years in management consulting with government (local, state, and federal), nonprofit, and foundation clients. Dina has led and contributed to a wide range of applied research and evaluations and social change initiatives.

I am secure in knowing that this team will effectively lead a talented and committed group of social impact consultants and operations staff to continue the work of RDA. I am so grateful to all of you who have inspired me, taught me, encouraged me, and allowed me to support and work with you. I am available to answer questions regarding this organizational transition as are Amalia, John, and Charlene. Together let’s all look forward to the next chapter of RDA.


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