Skip to content


Marc Smolowitz, Academy Award® Nominated Producer, Director and Executive Producer, February 6, 2014 “In fall 2013, I hired Lisa to serve as a freelance event producer. The event we worked on together was a sneak preview, completion fundraiser, and youth activism showcase for a documentary film I executive produced called Havana Curveball. The event involved 130+ guests, 6 co-presenting partners, and many diverse stakeholders. Lisa did a wonderful job, and it was a pleasure to have her on my team. Her responsibilities included: overseeing a silent auction for which she brought in over $9K of donated items; managing a team of 6 interns & 15 volunteers who functioned as staff for the event; handling ticket sales, catering, venue and event logistics; and, coordinating the involvement of youth activists and leading nonprofits who participated in an important exhibition style showcase that was central to our fundraising efforts. All in all, Lisa really impressed me with how kind, hard working, and personable she is. She has an impeccable and reliably professional public face for this sort of ambitious project, and over the course of three months, I was able to entrust her with very important responsibilities that allowed me to focus on the bigger picture goals of the event. She worked long hours with great spirit, and she brought both enthusiasm and energy to all aspects of her job. Lisa is also really great with people, something that is crucial when dealing with donors and philanthropists. She understands customer service and how to offer guests a fantastic experience at events. Going forward, I am confident that producing and coordinating events will play an important and dynamic part in her work as a nonprofit consultant.” 

Noonay McGuire, Intern, PatchWorks Films, January 26, 2014 “I interned with Lisa Finkelstein on a fundraising event. As my direct supervisor, Lisa immediately made me feel comfortable and inspired. She was a lot of fun to work with, and I felt like I learned a lot from her. She gives you projects that she believes you will not only do well at but also enjoy. Before beginning my internship, she sat me down and asked what I wanted out of this project and together we worked out a plan that would address both my needs and the events needs.”   

David Ng, Field Technician, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) March 13, 2013 “Lisa is one of our tech-savvy users. She is very quick to understand her IT needs vs. what our IT department provides and maintains high professionalism in all aspects, rendering her to be one of our most favorite customers in IT.”  

Penina Eilberg-SchwartzDirector, New Generations, New Israel Fund August 6, 2012 “Lisa is a brilliant event planner and logistics manager. She worked incredibly well as a member of our team, stepping up to help in ways that were above and beyond the call of duty. She was also a pleasure to work with, bringing warmth and a sense of humor to our office even during the most stressful moments.”

Etai FreedmanDevelopment, New Israel Fund August 3, 2012  “Lisa worked for the NIF for six months as the Regional Co-Director for the San Francisco Region. During this time, she was a dependable worker and never missed an opportunity to shine. Lisa was an asset to the NIF. She was always cheerful and willing to assist with any task. In addition, Lisa was motivated and interested in learning from day one! I highly recommend Lisa to any future employer.”

Karen HammerVolunteer Coordinator, Colorado Democratic Party March 15, 2012 “Lisa Finkelstein is whip smart. I’ve known her to be a creative, loyal, and hardworking asset to any organization to which she’s interested in turning her attention. Keep up the good work, Lisa! You’re a force of nature.”

Ari Chasnoff, Web Manager, JCF and Endowment Fund, February 23, 2012  “Lisa has that unique ability to think big, hatch a solid plan, and get the results she wants. I am incredibly impressed with her ability to rally people around a goal and her boundless energy and positive spirit as she works with others to achieve it.”

Margee BurchProgram Associate, Legislative Affairs & Intergroup Relations, Jewish Community Relations Council, January 17, 2012  “Lisa is extremely dedicated, vivacious, and hard-working. She has an amazing mind for people, and is excellent at organizing people and connecting one person to another. Her drive inspired me to be a better co-worker and friend, her ideas were brilliant, and her delivery was always kind and hilarious – a hard balance. I feel very lucky to have had her as my co-worker.”

Joy Powers, Online Marketing Manager, Jewish Community Federation, August 26, 2011  “Lisa is an incredible community organizer. Her strengths are many, but the two that really shine are her people skills and social media prowess. I think one of the things that makes Lisa so successful is her genuine appreciation towards the people she works with. She takes the time to listen, to seek counsel from her peers, and to give public praise to her volunteers. She is also passionate about her projects and ambitious in her undertakings. It is no wonder that Lisa has been behind many successful partnerships, events, and community initiatives. Her community building skills also translate very well online. A quick trip to her blog or Twitter feed will reveal an authentic voice that has helped her garner in a larger number of followers in a short period of time.”

Heather CassellAssistant Editor, Bay Area Reporter, August 22, 2011  “I always look forward to working with Lisa. As a reporter covering both the LGBTQ and Jewish communities for the Bay Area Reporter and other publications she’s been an important resource for me. Lisa is informative and engaged in the queer Jewish and LGBTQ communities. She is professional and always has her ear out and finger on the pulse of the community ready with news leads for me. Personally, she is warm, friendly, and just plain fun to be around. We always have the best conversations. I highly recommend Lisa to anyone looking to work with the LGBTQ Jewish community or Jewish community and community activism organizing and fundraising.”

Karen BluestoneChief Planning and Program Officer, Jewish Community Federation, August 22, 2011  “Lisa is a highly intelligent, tech-savvy, perceptive, results-oriented professional. As a leader, Lisa is outstanding. She has been able to make very difficult decisions in high-pressure situations and has earned the respect of everyone with whom she works. Always, in her work, Lisa is consistent, dedicated and passionate, enthusiastic, cheerful, and a pleasure to work with. She has incredible creative energies and a refreshing idealism tempered only enough to accomplish what needs to be done. I highly recommend her for any position of work, leadership, education, or any other capacity in which she can spread her excitement and share her talents with others.”

Jocelyn Berger, Program Officer, Bay Area, Pursue: Action for a Just World, a project of AJWS and AVODAH, August 18, 2011  “Lisa is a terrific partner who is passionate about building community across many sectors. She proactively sought out ways for our organizations to collaborate and always has the best interests of the broader community in mind. She is exceptionally relational and deeply committed to bringing justice and equality to the Jewish agenda. Huzzah, Lisa!”

Samuel StraussDirector of Marketing and Communication, Jewish Community Federation, August 17, 2011  “Lisa is an incredibly effective community organizer and project manager. Although, she is both goal-driven and strategic, Lisa success is defined by her ability to build collaborations and develop partnerships.Lisa is a pleasure to work with.”

Troy CoalmanDirector of External Relations, San Francisco Pride, August 16, 2011  “Lisa is one of the most dynamic professionals I’ve had the honor of working with. She is creative, well spoken and truly dedicated to putting forth the very best she can. I’ve worked with Lisa in a variety of capacities and thoroughly enjoyed collaborating every time. She is someone who has a great vision for project, but she can back it up with substance and knows how to accomplish the tasks at hand effectively. Lisa also is just a great person, she is a person of immense integrity. I look forward to our next project.”

Silas ThomasMission Engineer, Rocket Science Consulting, August 16, 2011  “Lisa is a socially connected, vibrant, well organized, San Francisco topic-master! I have had the chance to witness her masterfulness many times over! I’ve known this dynamo for the past 15 years, and I simply don’t have enough praise to do her justice!”

Richard MilesSenior Director of Marketing, Jewish Community Federation, March 12, 2010  “Lisa’s honesty, intention, passion and enthusiasm bubble up in an infectious mix that makes her one of the best community organizers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. She is smart, inspiring, knowledgeable; she understands building communities, networking and leveraging the latest technology better than anyone else I’ve ever seen. I’ve watched her interact with a wide range of groups, gently and firmly introducing some pretty radical concepts and walked away so impressed by how easy she made it all seem. Lisa is an incredible asset to anyone’s organization and I look forward to following her career. Someday, I know, I will vote for her.”

Bob Gaiser, Councilmember of Broomfield, Colorado Political Circles, October 13, 2008 “Lisa’s energy and work as Executive Director at the Jared Polis Foundation and the Community Computer Connection “C3” furthered the objectives of both organizations. She also contributed many hours of service to a number of non-profits and political organizations in the state of Colorado and still has influence there from the state of California.”

Mark HalpertCPA, Accounting & Finance Consultant, April 16, 2007  “Lisa is a joy to work with. She brings a positive and constructive approach to interactions and knows how to get things done quickly and efficiently.”

Stephanie WillnerFoundation Manager, Weaver Family Foundation, July 6, 2006 “Lisa is an incredibly passionate and thoughtful individual whose dedication and creativity shines through in her professional endeavors. I have worked with Lisa in many capacities over the past 6 years. She is creative, intelligent and insightful. She provides value and credibility to all that she does and provides a wealth of knowledge in the field of nonprofit and foundation management.”