Susan Stuart Clark, Founder & Executive Director

Susan formed Common Knowledge to pioneer “community-driven design,” demonstrating how inclusion of diverse stakeholders stimulates innovative solutions on issues such as housing, health care, the environment, civic participation and financial literacy. She brings over two decades of experience designing culturally responsive communications and engagement programs across multiple sectors and presents frequently about increasing participation of lesser-heard voices. At the core of this successful work is a unique body of knowledge about the properties of local community ecosystems and how communities can increase their collective capacity to identify and make progress on shared goals. Due to their deep reach into community life, public libraries have played a role in many of Common Knowledge’s projects and the California State Library awarded Susan their Champion of Literacy award.

Susan’s professional journey began in the communications and consumer marketing field, serving as Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble experience and as Vice President of Planning and New Products at Del Monte Foods. Her shift to applying behavioral insights to civic and community engagement includes affiliations with the Kettering Foundation, directing the annual Public Policy Institute at U.C. Davis Extension and consulting for the Institute for Local Government. Due to her interest in combining the best of in-person and digital engagement, as well as the intersection of employee engagement and community engagement, Susan has been an adviser to Paypal, Code for America, Voter’s Edge and other civic tech groups. Susan has served as a board member of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation and as a board member for the San Francisco League of Women Voters.

William Cooley headshot

William Cooley, Director of Civic Programs

William is an experienced journalist, educator and counselor. Over the six years he spent as a journalist, William held nearly every position in the newsroom, including reporter, designer, copy editor and photographer. He started his career at the Sonoma Sun, one of the first bilingual community weeklies in California. Before transitioning to teaching, William worked for the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley and graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State University’s school of journalism.

In 2010, William joined Teach for America as a special education teacher. While teaching at San Jose High School, he provided academic and counseling support to a diverse group of students and garnered Teacher of the Year honors for the collaborative relationships he built with students and stakeholders. William also helped develop the district’s Common Core math curriculum and fought hard to see that principles of universal design were implemented district-wide. As a presenter, he has led trainings on a wide range of topics, including collaborative teaming, community engagement and positive behavioral supports. William’s special education background makes him particularly sensitive to issues of inclusion, accessibility and cultural relevance.

Monica Cañas, Community Engagement Advisor

Monica has more than 15 years of business administration background, with a focus on small business and supporting community-based entrepreneurs. She brings strong skills in collaborating, facilitating, planning, and organizing. Monica attended College of Marin and transferred to Dominican University of California, earning a degree in Business Administration. During her time there, she helped organize community events and was a founding member of the Dominican University Accounting and Finance Association. Monica is bi-lingual in English and Spanish.

Monica was recently appointed as a board member at Larkspur-Corte Madera School District.  She serves on the school district’s Finance Committee and the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC). As an active parent volunteer in her daughter’s schools (currently spanning the Cove Elementary School, Hall Middle School and Redwood High School), Monica has developed an understanding of the need for more inclusive parent engagement. For three years she served on the Parent Education Committee at Hall Middle School, contributing significantly to Hall receiving the ‘Schools to Watch’ award, in 2018, for academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and structure for success. Monica is an active board member of the Marin Latino Leaders, a non-profit organization that supports and elevates Latino leadership in Marin.  Canal Alliance featured Monica in their Latinas in Leadership campaign, which honors the stories and perspectives of some of the powerful and inspiring Latina women who are changing the face of leadership in Marin County.

Mony Flores-Bauer, Senior Associate Community Programs

Mony has more than 25 years of experience in organizational development, community engagement and capacity building for emerging organizations as well as established agencies throughout California. Mony’s skills in culturally competent communications, facilitation and training have been integral in Common Knowledge’s work for clients such as Sonoma County (Best Practices for Community Outreach to Latinos, Seniors and Residents with Low Income), Redwood City (convening and collaborating with Latinx leaders) and ongoing trainings for cities, libraries and nonprofits in putting diversity goals into action. Mony has been a lead consultant in the implementation of several new initiatives at both the state and county level for First 5 Commissions and the Public Authority on In Home Support Services. She has also worked with the Social Security Administration, Head Start, and the California Department of Education, among others.

As a fluent Spanish speaker and accomplished spokesperson, Mony has developed ongoing relationships with Spanish language media. Mony has the added perspective of extensive volunteer service leadership positions for the League of Women Voters of the United States as well as the League of Women Voters of California, the City of Oakland’s Commission on Disabled Persons and the National Civic Leagues’ Model City Charter Review Commission. She is also an Ambassador with her local County 2020 Census Committee.

Nicole Neditch, Senior Associate

Nicole Neditch is a leader in the civic technology and local government fields. She currently leads Digital Services for the City of Oakland. She served on the senior leadership team at Code for America, where she ran the organization’s flagship fellowship program and later the Code for America Network. There, she had the opportunity to work with over 30 cities and counties across the country on their digital innovation projects. She was the chair of the Code for America Summit that brought together 1200+ leaders in government and technology annually, and she led a community-driven design process to develop a governance framework for the 25k+ volunteers in the Code for America Brigade program.

Prior to Code for America, Neditch spearheaded a city-wide website redesign for the Oakland and helped develop RecordTrac, an application to help the City of Oakland manage public record requests and improve access to public information. She was a founding member and the government liaison to Open Oakland, a community of coders, designers, and city staff that collaborate on tech projects to improve the City. And she helped administer a community-led initiative to develop the City’s first open-data policy. She started working with the City of Oakland through her role in the community as the co-owner of the Mama Buzz Cafe and Gallery. She helped found Oakland’s First Friday Artwalk “Art Murmur”, which continues to draw thousands of people to Oakland each month, and was appointed to the Cultural Affairs Commission by then-Mayor Jerry Brown.

Most recently, Neditch helped launch a new initiative called ActLocal to recognize and support emerging leaders and give them tools to build coalitions and engage their communities, and helped launch a platform to ignite civic and political participation called Beacon.

Harriet Mayeri

Harriet Mayeri, Research Advisor

Harriet serves as the Research Director of Common Knowledge and is also a founding partner of Mayeri Research. She has over 35 years of experience designing and implementing qualitative and quantitative research for non-profits, government organizations, corporations and in academic settings. Harriet is a nationally known expert on consumer perceptions, attitudes and behavior among all demographic, socio-economic and psychographic segments and she has been a featured speaker at American Marketing Association meetings in London and Chicago.

Harriet has worked extensively with non-profits and government agencies with Common Knowledge for such clients as Cool California, the Institute for Local Government, Next 10, California Department of Health Services Office of AIDS, Finelite and others. Prior to founding Mayeri Research, Harriet was Director of Consumer Research for the New Ventures Group at DDB Needham, helping clients to develop positionings, strategies and communications for new products and re-positioning of existing brands. Harriet holds a B.A. in psychology from New York University and did graduate work in social psychology as a National Institute of Health Fellow at Columbia University.

Victor Reyes

Víctor Reyes, Cultural Interpreter

Víctor grew up in Puebla, Mexico, moving to California in 1985. With over twenty years of experience as a counselor, journalist, translator, educator and community organizer, Víctor now describes himself as a “cultural interpreter.” He was a co-founder and Spanish editor of the bi-lingual community newspaper Visión Latina. For more than fifteen years, he has written a bi-weekly Spanish column for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Point Reyes Light. With a degree in Social Anthropology, Víctor has done in-depth study of issues of diversity, minority groups and human migrations.

Some of Víctor’s projects and clients include: drug and alcohol counseling, supporting schools with parent communications around their student’s learning plan, editing the popular Guía fácil para el votante; consulting and interpreting for the San Rafael Canal Ministry’s Canal Healthy Neighborhood Project; consulting for the Proyecto Cholula on central Puebla migrants’ experiences in US; translating Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Knudson’s A Dying Sea series for the Sacramento Bee; Spanish translation and cultural adaptation of the Jeanne Gibbs’ educational book Tribes, A New Way of Learning and Being Together.

Stevie Greenwell, Facilitation Associate

Stevie Greenwell, is a creative educator, accomplished musician, and facilitator working in Northern California. Stevie was the Director of Vocal Studies at Marin School of the Arts (MSA), a public arts high school. Throughout her time at MSA, her award-winning program doubled in size and flourished. In 2016 she was awarded the “Golden Bell” for outstanding teaching in California. She is a Tauber Fellow and received grant funding to develop unique Holocaust Education approaches for high school students. Stevie launched her career as an educator with two projects in Zambia, working with the Peace Corps to improve rural education, and creating “Paint the Movement,” a training program for Special Education teachers.

As a musician, Stevie performs with the Thrive Choir, Jazz Mafia Choral Syndicate and other artists around the Bay Area. She is the founder and director of the intergenerational multiracial Thrive Community Choir. Stevie facilitates choir retreats and vocal clinics to help groups connect to each other, improve communication, and grow musically. She is an artist in residence for “Youth in Arts” and on the faculty at Stanford Jazz Camp.