Erica Lee Schlaikjer, Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Erica Schlaikjer is a writer, editor and creative strategist, with a passion for storytelling, sustainable cities, technology, design and social change. She is the founder of Benevolent Media, a media and events company dedicated to celebrating storytelling and design for good.
She currently helps clients integrate social media into their business and marketing plans as a Community Manager for Huge, a full-service digital agency in Washington, D.C.
Formerly, she worked as the Media Relations and Online Engagement Coordinator for EMBARQ, the sustainable transport program of the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank. She was also Managing Editor of EMBARQ’s blog, TheCityFix.com.
She is a StartingBloc Fellow from the 2012 New York Institute for Social Innovation. She also serves as a board member for RaiseDC, an organization that orchestrates social change by connecting civically minded people to local nonprofits, artists, and businesses invested in making a difference in their community.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and international studies from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. As a reporter, she has written for National Geographic, Crain’s Chicago Business, The Chicago Reporter, WorldChanging.com and other print and online publications. She also created ResponsibleChina.com, a blog about environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship.
Alla Rubinstein, Events Coordinator
Alla Rubinstein assists with event logistics and partnerships for Benevolent Media’s community events and annual festival. She helps secure meeting sites, coordinate with partners, and manage volunteers to ensure quality event production.
Alla’s passion has always been traveling and enhancing human rights. She is lucky to combine her passions in her current position as International Program Administrator at LeadingAge, where she facilitates marketing and social media, conference development and education initiatives and brings together international leaders from around the world around one mission of improving senior care and services globally. Her latest project takes her to China.
Previously, Alla worked as a refugee case manager at ECDC in Denver, Colo., a migration researcher at IOM in Vilnius, Lithuania, and taught English as a Second Language in Barcelona, Spain.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Chicago (2006) and a master’s degree in international human rights from the University of Denver (2011). She speaks fluent Russian and conversational Spanish.
For questions or comments about Benevolent Media’s upcoming events, please contact Alla at email@example.com.
Monika Shepard, Managing Editor
Monika Kerdeman Shepard is an accomplished manager, strategist, designer, community builder and writer with a desire to inspire social change. She is interested in finding meaningful, inclusive and lasting solutions on issues in the following sectors: education, impact investing, women in technology, climate change and adaptation, water, sustainable communities, health and green building.
Currently, she works at Global Integrity as Manager, Technology and Community, overseeing a web-based platform, fostering new partnerships, engaging the community of users and developing management and process strategies. She also serves as a board member to SustainUS, an organization supporting youth to have a voice in the climate movement and volunteers her time to read business plans for the William James Foundation Sustainable Business Plan Competition.
Monika is a 2011-2012 Innovation Fellow for ConvergeUS, where she coordinated partnership activities for a White House Technology and Innovation Working group on Technology Inclusion, mentored students on social media strategies, and assisted with STEM-related research tasks.
Angela del Sol, Arts & Culture Contributor
Angela del Sol is a music journalist, fledgling tech geek and artist. The energetic Colombia native believes in social change through effective communication and fomenting culture and art.
The recent School of Communication graduate aspires to pursue a career in cultural strategic communications and help promote positive role models in media. She is currently interning at the Howard Theatre, where she is helping reestablish the theater as a main tourist attraction in Washington, D.C. and promote its historical significance.
As a student at American University, Angela could be found curating music at WVAU student radio, helping the AU Social Media Club or engaging in deep conversations with legendary School of International Service professors in the field of social justice and race studies. She also spent a lot of time hanging out at her favorite spot in the school, the Katzen Arts Center.
Besides being an avid social media lover, Angela loves to go on music adventures around the world. During her time as an exchange student at Paris Sorbonne University, she explored the underground music scene of nearby cities like Berlin and Barcelona.
Interested in getting involved? Contact us.