Elevating those who are making real change happen
Matterlab is a team of educators, school leaders, and communications experts. We’ve come together out of a shared passion for impact-driven work and a desire to help education organizations, nonprofits, and foundations reach their potential. With an average of 12 years of experience, our team has seen it all – and that’s how we know that the nation’s most ambitious education organizations are perfectly poised to grow their impact. With Matterlab’s support, they can achieve even greater impact.
Our mission is advancing your mission. Our values guide how we get there.
Make it matter
We focus on what is most important—achieving results to improve the lives of children and families.
We get close to the people closest to the work to understand problems and opportunities.
We enjoy getting unstuck and seizing the opportunities in ambiguity.
Start a conversation
We know nothing is more powerful than communication and collaboration.
Go forward, above, and beyond
We are hardwired to go the extra mile for each other and our clients.
We find simplicity on the far side of complexity by asking bigger and better questions.
work with us
President, Matterlab Studio
Matterlab Studio is hiring its first President to lead the organization through the next phase of growth. The President will oversee all aspects of business operations and manage implementation of Matterlab’s new By and Beyond 2025 strategic plan, which calls for considerable growth in both size and impact in the years ahead. This entails working side-by-side with the CEO to make the vision a reality.
Marketing Manager, Studio
Graphic Designer, Studio
We’re a distributed team with Austin roots. Our headquarters are located in the heart of Austin on South Congress, and Matterlab team members have the option of living anywhere across the country.
Searcy founded Matterlab in 2017 to drive greater impact in the education sector through effective communications and marketing directly aligned to and in service of organizations’ most ambitious goals. She brings more than a decade of experience as a strategist in the nonprofit sector. She believes deeply in the ability of effective nonprofits to transform life outcomes for those they serve. She received her undergraduate degree in English and Spanish literature from Rice University and her graduate degree in neuroscience from Columbia University with a focus on behavioral economics and inner speech processing. Searcy is a native Mississippian, a Teach For America Los Angeles alumna, a resident of Austin, and a wife and mother.
Partnership Manager, Studio
Odera is a creative brand strategist and former Big KIPPster with 10 years of experience working in the public and nonprofit sector. She is a Teach for America Houston Alum with a passion for community, equity, and education. Odera earned her undergraduate degree in sociology and psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her M.S. in Marketing and Brand Management from Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson College of Business. A forever curious individual, Odera loves to travel, photography, and learning new dance moves.
Director of Partnerships, Enrollment
Jackie spent ten years in education prior to joining Matterlab to spearhead enrollment partnerships. She began her career as an elementary school teacher and later joined a founding middle school team in New York City, where she served as a teacher and Student Support Coordinator. Most recently, Jackie was the Director of Special Education of a public charter school network. She joined Matterlab to support school leaders in running fully funded programs and supporting more equitable public school enrollment access for families and students across the country. She received her undergraduate degree in Childhood Education from SUNY Cortland and her Master’s Degree in Special Education and Literacy at the University of Albany. Jackie is a native New Yorker from the Hudson Valley. Jackie can often be found hiking, exploring abandoned buildings, traveling, seeking adventure, and spending time with her animals and family.
Art Director, Studio
Cherise Brock is a senior designer and art director who is dedicated to partnering with nonprofits and community-based programs to craft strategic brand visuals. Throughout the course of her career, Cherise has helped organizations create beautiful visual brand identities, build engaging websites, and tell their stories through authentic messaging. She holds a BFA in graphic design and a MA in advertising and marketing communications.
Marjorie is an educator at heart. She started her career as a Special Education teacher in the Bronx and was most recently a Founding Middle School Principal and Managing Director of Schools in Harlem. She believes that a high-quality education is a basic human right and has spent her career fighting for equal access to opportunity for all students. Marjorie has witnessed first-hand the significant impact of under-enrollment on schools and is determined, through leading Matterlab Enrollment, to ensure that families are aware of all of the excellent educational opportunities available to them. Marjorie earned her BS in Special Education from Boston University and is pursuing her MBA at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She serves on the Transformative Leadership Advisory Board at Pace University, where she studied during her time in Teach For America. Outside of work, Marjorie can be found reading leadership books and winning at backyard games.
Vice President, Studio
Jessie began her career in tech where she specialized in account management, program and brand development, and team growth and retention. Through those roles and the experience of growing with a company from 36 to 225+ employees, Jessie recognized her passions for building client relationships, creating scalable systems, and spearheading innovations to drive long-term goals. Jessie later transitioned into nonprofit work as a communications consultant and realized her desire to contribute to the social sector full time. She has more than 10 years of experience working with new and growing organizations to enhance their ideas and expand their impact through internal and external communication strategy. She joined Matterlab to build and lead the team of partnership managers and to contribute senior-level communications coaching and support across partners. She received her undergraduate degrees from St. Edward’s University in communications and journalism and made Austin her permanent home after graduation. A believer in building connection through story, Jessie has written features for several publications and, more recently, writes about her experience in motherhood.
Vice President, Studio
Lane is an innovative marketing strategist and designer with 12 years of experience creating and amplifying brands across a spectrum of industries—always with a social impact focus. She found her way into the classroom through Teach For America, and now combines her marketing expertise and passions for education and social change at Matterlab. Lane earned her undergraduate degree in media arts and design from James Madison University and her MBA from The University of Texas McCombs School of Business, where she serves on the Alumni Board. A lover of modern design, white space, and neutral colors, she is slowly learning to embrace burnt orange.
Graphic Designer, Studio
Jose is a visual designer who believes that great design can have an impact. Working at Matterlab allows him to express his creative skills with a variety of social impact organizations across the country. Jose earned his undergraduate degree in Communication Design from Texas State University. Born and raised in Austin, he can be found running around Town Lake, in the gym, making videos, and bringing his own creative ideas to life.
Digital Advertising Specialist, Enrollment
Afzal is inspired by the drive to connect individuals around the world through the power of Digital Advertising and Social Media. His recent experience as Head of Marketing optimized his desire to create socially impactful campaigns and develop relevant digital strategies. Afzal has also worked as a consultant for organizations looking to create a powerful presence with their social media/branding content. Born in Queens, NY, with his twin brother, Afzal’s parents immigrated from South America and he has been in Central Florida for the past 19 years. Afzal enjoys traveling near and far and has a massive list of destinations he plans to visit. He enjoys being an amateur foodie and spending quality time with his husband and loved ones. Afzal also shares too many photos of his Standard Poodle, London, on social media.
Web Designer & Developer
For the past 19 years, Shawn has worked with and for award winning agencies in a wide range of creative, leadership, and strategic roles serving clients all over the world. Shawn has led teams through design and development of hundreds websites and other digital applications. With each project, Shawn’s focus has been creating a solid foundation of strategy, great design, and technology to create real impact for clients and their audience. Shawn was born and raised in Washington D.C., surrounded by a politically and culturally diverse environment, and has taken inspiration from all directions. Shawn completed his Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design at The Art Institute of Phoenix. Beyond his career, Shawn lives an active life which includes triathlons, a family, and 4 dogs.
Partnership Manager, Studio
Teddy is a Central Florida transplant by way of Brooklyn, NY. Having a mother in the airline industry incited her passion for travel and a deep reverence for learning about other cultures. She majored in Sociology at Spelman College and then transferred to the University of Central Florida to study Marketing. Teddy also minored in Intercultural Communications and completed two semesters abroad in Europe and Asia. Teddy started her career in marketing in the entertainment/media industry and recently transitioned to the education sector. This transition sparked a desire to create moving and impactful campaigns within education.
Director of Content, Studio
Tatiana is a skilled writer, editor, and content strategist with 10 years of experience in marketing, communications, and content production/management. She is an all-around creative who brings dedication, patience, empathy, and thoughtfulness to her work while remaining passionate about crafting stories with an emphasis on human connection. She’s developed content and communications strategy for MIT, City Year, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and more. Her goal as a content director is to help organizations and individuals balance big ideas, moving stories, and efficient execution for outcomes that are visionary, practical, and successful. She received her Master’s in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College and is an active member of the literary community through facilitating workshops and helping other writers share their stories. Her award-winning writing has been published in various literary journals and magazines across the U.S. and the U.K. She believes in the power of a single story to make change and has dedicated her life to helping champion meaningful stories in others.
Communications Strategist, Studio
Michelle has more than a decade of communications and advocacy experience in nonprofit and government organizations, most recently at DC Public Schools, where she served as Press Secretary and later led the communications work for the fastest improving urban school district in the nation. She previously led communications for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education think tank, and the American Federation for Children, an advocacy organization. Michelle thrives in bridging policy and on-the-ground work to help organizations find and share their voices and stories. She has experience in communications strategy, message and story development, media relations, social media, crisis communications, internal communications, event planning, advocacy, media training, and government affairs. Michelle serves as a member of the Education Writers Association’s Community Advisory Board. She graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s in journalism and from George Mason University with a master’s in public policy. Michelle lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, son, and cat.
Partnership Manager, Studio
Nique is a multifaceted communications strategist with a passion for bringing innovative initiatives to life. She brings 15 years of experience to her role as Partnership Manager, where she combines her ability to distill high-level information into engaging content with a drive for social impact. Nique earned her degree in Business Administration from Abilene Christian University. She now lives in Austin where she is an active volunteer with multiple nonprofit organizations and daydreams about homesteading. More than anything, she loves spending time with her husband, children, pets, and friends who are like family.
Vic is a restless innovator who seeks to optimize business practices using the best methodologies and human-centered solutions. As Matterlab’s Business Manager, Vic brings his previous experience in higher education to create systems and processes that make the Matterlab operations more streamlined and efficient for Matterlab’s partners. Vic earned his MBA from Boston University and now lives in Austin, TX. Vic stays active through sports, hiking, and the great outdoors in general. He also has a passion for cooking, especially barbequing. He also volunteers weekly at the Central Texas Food Bank and Zilker Botanical Gardens.
Amy is a creative communications strategist with over 10 years experience in the nonprofit sector. She previously built and executed the communications and marketing strategy for a global education nonprofit in east and southern Africa. Amy is passionate about making an impact on her local community and thrilled to apply her global nonprofit experience to advance equity in education here in the U.S. as a Partnership Manager at Matterlab. Amy received her B.A. from Texas A&M University with a degree in International Studies and a minor in French. Outside of work, Amy enjoys caring for her plants, painting, hiking with her dog, and debating the best Survivor strategies with friends.