Our Team

The Blue Garnet team. Left to right: Sithu Thein Swe, Jennifer Li Shen, Giselle Timmerman, Jonathan Alarcon, Way-Ting ChenShannon Johnson, and Blanca Aguirre (not pictured: Leah Haynesworth, Karen Shang, Jessica Wong, and Marcelo Pinell).

Way-Ting Chen, Partner and Co-Founder

A macro-economist and geek at heart with a passion for problem solving and generating breakthrough insights that lead to social impact. She is top-notch problem solver with a penchant for critical analysis. She is fueled by her conviction that “the system” can and should work better. She holds an International MBA, University of Chicago and a BA with honors in Economics & Political Science from Swarthmore College. Way-Ting lives with her family in Playa Del Rey.

Jennifer Li Shen, Partner and Co-Founder

A dogged idealist with a discerning eye and an undying belief in democracy. Where markets fail, opportunities for social change abound. She channels her inner maximizer to realize the potential in others while pushing for innovation and asking the tough questions. She holds an MBA, Yale University and a BA in Political Science from Swarthmore College. Jennifer is a loving wife and mother of four.

Shannon Johnson, Project Leader

A CPA-turned-strategy-consultant who uses her persuasion and woo to effectively engage clients while providing insights and managing to project timelines. She holds an MBA, UCLA Anderson, is a CPA and has a MA, Public Accounting, University of Washington.

Karen Shang, Senior Associate

One of Blue Garnet's newest team members, Karen is a former CPA with a keen interest in social change, Karen finds tremendous fulfillment working with nonprofit organizations of all kinds. Karen earned her bachelors degree in Business Economics from the University of California – Los Angeles. She is currently completing her MBA at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Jessica Wong, Associate

Blue Garnet's second newest team member, Jessica is a lover of learning all things related to social impact. She integrates her for-profit consulting experience and on-the-ground non-profit experience together to empathize with clients in how to create structure out of ambiguity. A Deloitte Consulting Alumni, Jessica holds a BA from the University of California – Irvine in Business Economics with an emphasis in international relations.

Leah Haynesworth, Analyst

A researcher, Leah analyzes pressing issues in the social sector to help organizations make lasting social change. Her background includes international development in Uganda and New York and corporate social responsibility at NBCUniversal and Disney | ABC Television Group. Leah received her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and an A.B. in English and certificate in Spanish Language and Literature from Princeton University.

Marcelo Pinell, Coordinator 

A committed learner with a passion for bringing about social change for the good of the city and human flourishing. Marcelo has dedicated a major part of his life to serve, teach, and empower the urban youth in his community to pursue that which is good, true, and beautiful. He also holds a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies from Biola University

David Lorey, Senior Affiliate

A passionate arts engagement specialist. David works with a broad array of nonprofits on organizational, program, and operational strategy, and also conducts performance assessment, research, and data development.

Giselle Timmerman, Affiliate

A social behaviorist obsessed with leadership development, team-building and social entrepreneurship. She poses hard questions that invite candor and ah-ha moments critical to effective organizational change. She holds an MA in Applied Positive Psychology, concentration in Organizational Leadership, University of Pennsylvania.

Taylor Chamberlin, Affiliate 

A burgeoning social entrepreneur passionate about making positive change in the world. She holds a B.B.A. in Marketing from the College of William and Mary with a minor in environmental studies and concentration in entrepreneurship.