Who We Are

Joanne Ferris, Fundraising and Development

Janet Ramatici, Board Development, Graphic Design and Marketing

Chris Ranney, Leadership and Team Development

Lauren Andersen, Marketing and Young Professional Development

Maureen Merrill, Communications Consultant


2012 photoJoanne Ferris
Fundraising & Development

Joanne has over fourteen years of experience working as a fundraising and development director. She believes the importance of fund development goes beyond financial resources because developing relationships with those who share the vision and values is key to an organization’s survival and growth. It is about building lasting relationships and sharing your organization’s vision.

Joanne’s early years in sales combined with 15 years as a small business owner gives her a unique perspective on the world of non-profit fundraising. Joanne has extensive experience working with staff and boards of all sizes and stages of organization to achieve their fundraising goals.

She has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Irvine. Raised in Petaluma, CA Joanne and her husband Mike are now empty-nesters who enjoy hiking, kayaking, great story-telling events and visiting their three adult children.


JRamatici2-2015Janet Ramatici

Board Development, Branding & Graphic Design

As the retired Executive Director of a growing non-profit, Janet understands the challenges of effective Non-Profit Management and the importance of Strategic Planning for long-term sustainability and success. Over a ten-year period marked by the 2008 economic collapse, Janet worked with her Board of Directors and community supporters to raise $4,000,000 and increase impact by 300% through grant and scholarship awards.

Janet’s previous career as a freelance Marketing and Design Consultant, coupled with her recent experience as Executive Director, helps her to create and update marketing materials that will clearly and accurately reflect the mission of your foundation. She will also strategize with you to maximize your impact and transition to the next level.

Janet graduated from University of Colorado, was a founding member of Ski USA and a marketing executive for a Hawaii travel company. She married a fourth-generation Sonoma County native and raised two daughters in Petaluma. They now enjoy a vacation home on the North Shore of Kauai.


D89A3551-EditChris Ranney

Leadership & Team Development, Ranney Coaching & Consulting

Executive Coaching for Executive Directors and CEO’s

Succession & Transition Planning for Key Leaders

Leadership Training for Senior Level Teams

During his 30-year career, Chris has long had a passion for helping others succeed, thrive and meet life’s challenges head-on. As a former business owner, Chris knows first-hand what the challenges in forming, building and effectively leading an organization are. (Or Chris knows first-hand the challenges of forming, building and effectively leading an organization.) He has worked in education as a school psychologist and MFCC and co-founded two highly successful investment planning firms. During some of the most challenging economic times in our country, he helped to successfully navigate very complex situations in his roles as President & CEO of his company and as the President of the Board of Directors of a local non-profit organization.

With dual careers in psychology and business, Chris specializes in helping leaders and their teams stay focused on their organization’s vision, mission and goals. Chris graduated from CSU, Chico with a BA and MA in Psychology. He also holds the CPCC Designation from The Coaches Training Institute. Chris and his wife, Shari, live in Petaluma and have two grown children and one granddaughter. Spending a lot of time in Lake Tahoe, Chris became a member of the National Ski Patrol and patrols at Homewood Mountain Ski Resort. He volunteers his time with local groups including Rotary, The Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) and his local church.


Cropped headshotLauren Andersen

Marketing & Young Professional Development

Lauren has worked with and for a number of international organizations in North America, Africa, and Australia including the Clinton Health Access Initiative. She is currently based in Melbourne Australia and works with Next Step Advocates providing organizations with marketing support and advising teams how to work with international partners and funders.

Lauren graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a bachelor degree in Political Science and then attended Boston University where she earned an MBA and Master of Public Health degrees in 2010.


Flowered Jacket smaller SQUAREMaureen Merrill

Communications Consultant

As a consultant, trainer and facilitator since 2004, Maureen works with with business, professional and social benefit leaders, to facilitate productive, purposeful, confident communication.

What sets Maureen apart is her ability to uncover, clarify and develop the unique individual strengths of each person and on each team. Carefully reviewing with you your desired outcomes, Maureen designs approaches and plans for your organizational culture – the one you have as well as the enhanced environment you aim for. Maureen’s work is informed by her own entrepreneurial background, which has included ownership in a health club, a local newspaper, a retail store, and current active real estate investments.

Maureen is a committed volunteer leader, having served as an elected City Council Member and in appointed County positions. Currently, she is an Honorary Director of the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, where she is a past Trustee, and deeply involved in local and regional Rotary International programs, working with service projects and as faculty in leadership development and training. Active in the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she has held several board positions with other Chambers and business groups.

Maureen has an M.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University, and is certified or officially partnered with effective, widely-used temperament and strengths assessments. An associate member of the National Speakers Association, known for her enthusiasm and empathy, she speaks on topics such as volunteer and employee engagement, inter-generational communication, social confidence and personal fulfillment.


Referrals available upon request

  • Database Management & Gift Administration
  • FinanceReporting
  • Legal Compliance
  • Human Resources