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
Submit your resume for future consideration!
We are always excited to meet talented, mission-aligned people. Drop us a note with your resume and anything else you’d like us to know, and we will be in touch if a position opens up that could be a great fit.
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.
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.
Anna Casey Williams
Anna Casey is a servant leader, communicator, and true social entrepreneur. Anna has served both in-house and as a management consultant, specializing in strategic communications, sales, leadership, as well as in innovative culture change and team practices.
A restorative practices advocate, an executive coach, and a seasoned leader, she has spent 17 years helping CEOs and leaders across various sectors. These include education tech, law, local & national government, public policy, green energy, and finance. She has trained teams across the UK, EU, Ukraine, Australia, and the U.S.
British and Texan by heritage, Anna comes from a family of educators, has a degree in communications, and is a Chartered PR practitioner. Anna has spoken — in her trademark irreverent style — alongside philanthropists, nonprofit leaders, a secretary of state, and private sector CEOs, always problem solving and always thinking big-picture with an uncanny eye for the complexities of human experience. She believes that authenticity and heart have a place in every team, and in every communications challenge.
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.
Co-Founder & Vice President
Lane turns inspiration into action. In her 15+ years working with executives and entrepreneurs, she has transformed hundreds of visions into reality through building brands, crafting messages, and amplifying missions. She spent her early career as a designer and creative director, then found her way into the classroom through Teach For America. She now combines her marketing expertise and passion for educational equity at Matterlab, helping leaders clarify their identities and communicate their impact.
Lane earned her MBA from The University of Texas McCombs School of Business and her undergraduate degree in journalism from James Madison University. She spends her free time exploring the outdoors with her husband and two rescue dogs and staying involved in her community through the McCombs Alumni Board, Women of McCombs Initiative, and Dallas ISD I.D.E.A. Foundation Board.
Afzal is inspired by the drive to connect individuals around the world through the power of marketing and communications. Prior to joining Matterlab, his work experiences leading marketing and digital strategies optimized his desire to create socially impactful campaigns. Afzal has spent time consulting for organizations looking to create a powerful presence with their social media and branding. 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 20 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.
Director of Content
Tatiana is a skilled writer, editor, and content strategist with over 10 years of experience in marketing, communications, and content development. 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 a recipient of distinguished fellowships from The MacDowell Residency, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Brother Thomas Fund, and more. She’s developed content and communications strategy for MIT, City Year, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and others. As a content director she helps 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.
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.
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.