After 30 years in leadership at the United Way, Michael Brennan has earned deep respect from changemakers and leaders throughout the Detroit region and across the country. His achievements include overseeing the rollout of the 2-1-1 social service hotline program across the United States, a system he also implemented in Metro Detroit that now receives 400,000 calls annually. He has fundraised in excess of $700 million and provided innovation leadership and coaching to heads of organizations across 4 continents. Brennan currently serves as an advisor to the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago, IL. He has a strongly developed design instinct, a quiet earnestness, and a willingness to go all in when the target is in sight. At Civilla, Brennan heads up organizational strategy and partnerships.
Lena Selzer is the Design Director at Civilla. Her work is focused on guiding changework and partnering with leaders to narrow the gap between user needs and organizational priorities. As a designer, Lena has led a wide range of successful projects in the social and civic sector. Prior to joining Civilla, she completed design projects for prominent businesses, non profits, and non-governmental organizations in China, Ghana, Cambodia, India, England, and the United States. She is a Design Coach and Lecturer at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.school) at Stanford University where she holds two degrees.
Adam Selzer represents depth of passion, experience, and skill as a human centered designer. He moved to Detroit from the heart of Silicon Valley where he worked at IDEO, a globally renowned design and innovation firm. Selzer was a Teaching Fellow and Lecturer at the Hasso Plattner Insistute of Design at Stanford University (the d.school) where he taught innovation and creative leadership to graduate students and global leaders. Selzer has consulted on design projects and led teams in a wide range of companies and organizations including Hyatt Hotels, YouTube, Direct TV, E.On, Specialized Bicycles, Philz Coffee, and the United States Postal Service (USPS). At Civilla, Selzer manages personnel development and operations. He also heads up content creation in the Civilla studio.
Gabriela Dorantes is the Business Director at Civilla. She is committed to guiding business development, leading fieldwork, managing the studio space, and making sure the organization runs like a tight ship. Gaby spent years in Washington D.C. working on policy issues at global organizations including Human Rights Watch and the Organization of American States (OAS). Upon returning to Detroit, she led design and innovation efforts at the United Way for Southwestern Michigan where she tackled complex challenges in regional tax foreclosure, public transportation, and K-12 education. Gaby speaks Spanish fluently and holds a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University.