• Our Team

    Our team of strategists bring proven experience engaging Millennials.

    Aaron Smith

    Co-Founder & President

     

    An experienced and dynamic leader, Aaron provides clients with strategic counsel and insight on engagement directed at young adults. His work focuses on developing unique partnerships, messages, and campaigns that resonate with his generation.

    As the co-founder and original Executive Director of Young Invincibles (YI), Aaron helped grow YI into one of the largest and most impactful youth organizations in the country. Aaron has appeared in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, Politico, and PBS NewsHour, among other media outlets, sharing his expertise on the issues impacting young Americans from student loans to unemployment to health care. He has led major national campaigns focused on engaging Millennials around the Affordable Care Act, and spearheaded efforts to improve student higher education outcomes and increase college affordability.

    Tobin Van Ostern

    Co-Founder

     

    Tobin provides strategic counsel and expertise in Millennial outreach and engagement. He brings expertise developing messages that resonate and mobilize young adults around various issues on behalf of his clients. Tobin has led a number of activities to influence policy through innovative messaging campaigns directed at young adult audience including his work with Tom Colicchio's non-profit A Place at The Table and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where he also sits on the Advisory Panel for Outreach & Education at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

     

    Tobin previously served as the Deputy Director of Generation Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress, and the National Director of the student engagement program for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.
     

     

    Kum Kang Weklar

    Vice President

     

    Kum brings over 10 years of experience in optimizing processes to achieve business objectives and helping to increase brand and executive visibility. At YI Advisors, Kum is responsible for leading business development and managing key relationships on behalf of the organization while providing leadership and vision to her team.

     

    Previously, as the Business Development Manager at VOX Global, a bipartisan public affairs firm based in Washington D.C., she worked across the organization to strengthen and grow opportunities with new and existing clients. She also served as a co-chair of the Marketing Task Force and built a robust thought leadership program for the firm’s Practice Group leaders, clients, and key stakeholders. She also managed various other marketing activities including event management, partnership development, and overseeing development for firm’s social media channels.

    Ronnie Cho

    Director

     

    Ronnie Cho is an experienced media and social impact executive specialized in creating measurable impact through the intersection of media, politics and social change. Ronnie has a rare combination of experience that transcends corporate, non-profit and public sectors including roles as former President Obama’s Millennial Outreach Director at the White House and Emmy winning producer as Vice President and Head of Social Impact at MTV.

     

    Ronnie's expertise ranges from strategic communications and partnerships, multi-platform prosocial content creation, public relations, community engagement, campaign development and deep relationships with A-List influencers in politics, entertainment, sports, philanthropy, media, and business that deliver results. He has been a featured speaker at SXSW, and has been published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and New York Law School Law Review.

    Erin Hemlin

    Director of Training &

    Consumer Education

    Erin offers clients insight and guidance on strategies to effectively conveying complex and nuanced topics to Millennials. She leads brings subject matter expertise in topics including healthcare and financial literacy. Erin has worked closely with the external relations staff at the US Department of Health and Human Services and the White House to design and execute digital education and engagement campaigns.
     
    Erin has authored publications on best outreach practices in reaching Millennials, outreach and engagement toolkits, policy briefs, and consumer-facing materials. She has been interviewed by several media outlets about her work, including NPR, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Time Magazine, Politico and The Hill.

    Michael Madoff

    Director of Product &

    Digital Strategy

    Michael leverages his experience creating and managing digital platforms to help clients develop mobile tools that engage Millennial audiences. At YI Advisors, he is leading our ongoing work with the California Community Colleges on the Here to Career mobile app to help middle and high school students make informed decisions about their education. He is also leading product development and digital engagement strategy for the StreetLight Chicago app, which connects young adults experiencing homelessness with local social service providers.

     

    Previously, Michael was a consultant at Citrix Public Sector where he managed software implementations and technology strategy for Fortune 500 and government clients. He has a proven track record in Millennial engagement dating back to his time as Communications Director for Georgetown University's student government.

    Tom Allison

    Director of

    Policy & Research

    Tom is responsible for YI Advisors’ unique Millennials focused research. Through survey design and implementation, focus group facilitation and big data analysis, he helps clients better understand the values, attitudes, behaviors of Millennials with research-based insights.

     

    He has conducted extensive research and analyses on the economic well being of young adults. His recent report, The Financial Health of Young America: Measuring Generational Declines Between Baby Boomers & Millennials, analyzes the economic challenges facing today’s young people and represents the most comprehensive look to date at the financial security of Millennials compared to their parents.


    Tom has appeared live on MSNBC, and been quoted in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Vox, Forbes, and others.

    Gustavo Herrera

    Western Regional Director of

    Young Invincibles

    Gustavo help leads YI Advisors’ campaigns on education, workforce development, and healthcare in and has extensive experience in developing and implementing community and stakeholder outreach programs.
     
    In addition to his current program responsibilities, Gustavo is Western Regional Director of YI and a 2017 Presidio Institute Fellow. Gustavo also sits on a number of boards including the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, Strong Workforce Implementation, California State Board of Education Joint Advisory Committee as an ex-officio member, and California Physician’s Alliance Advisory Board.

     


     

     

    Erin Steva

    Midwest Regional Director of

    Young Invincibles

    Based in YI’s Chicago office, Erin oversees the YI’s efforts to expand access to higher education, jobs, and healthcare, including serving as a member of the Apprenticeships Committee of the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board. She also oversees the outreach efforts of StreetLight Chicago, a mobile and web tool designed to help homeless youth in the area.
     

    Prior to this position, Erin led the research, advocacy, and organizing efforts at the local, state, and national level on public health and consumer-protection issues. Successful initiatives include expanding San Diego’s funding for public transportation by $3 billion, passing a ballot measure to fund high-speed rail in California, and improving community health protections in the City of Los Angeles’ zoning policies.

    Emily Getoff

    Senior Outreach

    Coordinator

    As Senior Outreach Coordinator for YI Advisors, Emily helps form strategic partnerships between clients and local communities of students and young adults. Emily's passion for engagement is rooted in a commitment to advancing opportunities for young people and inspiring the next generation of civic leaders.

     

    Emily previously worked as a campus student organizer for Hillary Clinton Campaign in 2016, and as a community engagement specialist with Conscious Period. Emily is a graduate of Goucher College in Baltimore, MD.

    Spencer Dixon

    Senior Outreach

    Coordinator

    A seasoned organizer, Spencer has extensive experience in developing and implementing community outreach programs and fostering relationships with key stakeholders. He has also conducted trainings on a wide array of topics that capture and elevate the Millennial voice and perspective.
     
    Previously, Spencer spent 17 months working on the organizing team for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in Iowa, Washington, and Ohio.

    Nesma Nuru

    Fellow

     

    Nesma is a recent graduate of UCLA where she studied Sociology and Entrepreneurship while playing many executive roles in the Community Programs Office, Recreation, and Business Student Association.

     

    She has a passion for community organizing, strategic planning, entrepreneurship and plans to contribute her commitment to completing projects to the highest standards of quality and accuracy.

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