How we work.

We’ve honed our approach and methodology over three decades of working for and with nonprofits, companies and government, giving us a deep toolbox from which to draw upon. This deep experience informs all of our work and our approach to making good things happen.

COMMUNITY-CHEMISTRY
COMMUNITY & CHEMISTRY

Before even putting a pen to paper, we invest time on the front end communicating with your team, understanding your desires and learning what you want to see happen and what is behind those desires. Building good chemistry and great experiences with, between, and among the networks of our clients is priority.

PARTNERSHIP-CONNECTION
PARTNERSHIP & CONNECTION

LoaCom is constantly building an ecosystem of relationships and contacts to cross pollinate ideas, connections and experiences to help make great things happen between our clients, their followers and allies.

ORGANIZATION-EXPECTATION
ORGANIZATION & EXPECTATION

We love timelines, trackers, clear roles and expectations, regular check-ins, organized ‘to do’ lists and meeting minutes. We believe in stellar customer service, drama-free engagements, and adaptation when new realities or information presents itself.

CREATIVITY-DESIGN
CREATIVITY & DESIGN

When it comes time to the design of your core marketing assets, marketing plans, and campaigns, our creative and strategy teams collaborate to blend artistic design, technology, and storytelling.

MEASURABLE-RESULTS
MEASURABLE RESULTS

While we define success by metrics and indicators you would expect, what’s more important is the elusive but incredibly important feeling that together we have made measurable and sustainable progress toward achieving your goals.

David Fortson

DAVE FORTSON

CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

David Fortson is LoaCom’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. Believing business is one of the most powerful tools for making a better world, and seeing tremendous opportunities to expand the power and influence of the nonprofit sector, David founded LoaTree and later co-founded LoaCom in hopes of mashing up the best assets of the private and nonprofit sectors.

David’s areas of interest and focus include business development, digital ecosystem development, strategy, and blurring the lines between nonprofit and for profit worlds. Before LoaCom, David worked for technology entertainment company Sonos, invented, manufactured and sold nationally a dog product called The Brush Buddy and was the founding Executive Director of a regional nonprofit called Santa Barbara County Action Network. David is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara with degrees in Ecology and Environmental Studies. David currently serves on the Eco-Entrepreneurs Board of Advisors at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School.

In his off hours, David spends as many hours as possible outdoors with his wife Terra and their daughters playing in the sand, sun and surf.

Eric Cardenas

ERIC CÁRDENAS

CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Eric Cárdenas is LoaCom’s co-founder and Chief Operations Officer. After spending years working in both the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, Eric joined long time friend and confidant David Fortson as part of the Loa team in 2011, becoming COO and partner to LoaTree, Inc. Together, Eric and Dave co-founded LoaCom in 2012.

Eric’s areas of interest and special focus include food and agriculture, philanthropy for social change, campaigns/movement building, and facilitation. Some of his work, board, and volunteer experience includes time with the Ag Innovations Network, Johnson Ohana Foundation, Orfalea Foundations, and Roots of Change, among others. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara with degrees in Political Science and Environmental Studies.

Eric is recently married and spends his free time with his wife, Michelle, biking around their home town of Santa Barbara, hitting the beach, practicing yoga, listening to (and playing) music, and spending quality time with friends and family. His chubby cat, Badger, is his current only child.

Eric Cardenas

ELIZABETH DAVIDSON

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Elizabeth Davidson is the Marketing & Communications Manager for LoaCom and holds a thorough understanding of social media, digital marketing and advertising, strategy, and event production. She stays on top of the latest trends in online media to assure the most relevant, high-quality content is distributed for LoaCom’s clients on a day-to-day basis. She is looking forward to developing, refining, and implementing marketing and communication strategies for our clients.

While attending UC Santa Barbara, Elizabeth kickstarted her years of experience in event planning and social media management as the Director of Events for an environmental education nonprofit, Sprout Up. She has since helped to produce events for nonprofits, businesses, causes, and organizations and has served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, a 35,000 person festival.

Her passion for people inspires her to foster fruitful relationships both online and offline. She loves to cook with friends, has mad storytelling skills, and is a full-time funky dance move enthusiast.

Aaron Roessler

AARON ROESSLER

WEB & GRAPHIC DESIGNER

After exploring careers and lifestyles from San Jose to Hawaii, Illinois and Austin Texas, he is now married and settling his roots in Santa Barbara. His constant love for graphic and web design lead him to pursue what he loves best. He combines his creativity with helping people and companies turn their ideas and visions into reality.

Now a new member of the LoaCom team, Aaron is responsible for web development and graphic design. He will continue to do what he loves so much – building friendships, enjoying laughter and life to its fullest while establishing a solid career in anything design oriented.

Alyssa Pace

Communications Assistant

Alyssa graduated from UCSB in 2017 with degrees in Environmental Studies and Multimedia Writing. Her passion for the outdoors blossomed at a young age through family camping trips and summers spent working in Yosemite, and took full force during her year abroad doing field research throughout Asia and New Zealand.

After interning for LoaCom during her senior year of college, she has joined the team as a full-time member. Through writing and digital work, she aspires to present creative and compelling media to excite people about the wonders of our planet and their personal connection with it.

When she isn’t working, you can find Alyssa concert-hopping, exploring the Santa Ynez mountains, or planning her next travel adventure.

ANA SMITH

ACCOUNT MANAGER + BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
Ana Smith is the Account Manager and Business Development Associate on the LOA team and brings her organizational skills, design aesthetic, and entrepreneurial spirit to support our clients’ evolution as businesses for a better world. 
 
With a childhood spent in the environment of Santa Barbara and traveling as a young adult, Ana’s knowledge and perspective has been shaped by her community and the experiences gained during her adventures. She graduated with a degree from UC Santa Barbara in Global Studies, spent a year living and working in Western Europe and East Africa, spent 5 years working at and developing the international non-profit, Everyday Gandhis, and partnered in starting Casitas Valley Farm, a generative local food production system based in the Santa Barbara region.
 
Inspiration comes in many forms and for Ana it’s spending time with her husband and daughter, cooking and sharing meals with loved ones, dancing, and exploring new hot spots of fashion and food culture. 
Alice-Chein

ALICE CHEIN

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Alice Chein is a skilled graphic designer whose work includes website design, logo and brand packages, event posters, packaging design, email newsletters, and more. She is a Santa Barbara native and self-taught graphic designer.

JESSE SWANHUYSER

GENERAL COUNSEL

Originally from the Bay Area, Jesse graduated from UCSB in 1999 and UCLA Law in 2011 focused on environment and global trade issues. He enjoys surfing, photography and woodwork when he isn’t doing his part to make a better world.

HALEY JOHNSON

NPRN COMMUNITY MANAGER

Haley is a junior at Westmont College, majoring in communication with emphases on business and art. Growing up along Maine’s coast defined life in a certain way: coffee black, mornings slow, and the outdoors as the best form of entertainment. She studied business and public relations abroad in Eastern Europe, hopping the map on weekends and learning enough fragments of Russian and Lithuanian to order coffee and get home. Her passions include finding a place for things and people to belong, packing lightly and asking the locals where to go, any art exhibit alone, writing and reading poetry in coffee shops, conversations with natural lulls and live music without them. She wants to live simply and fix things, in whatever way she can.

GIOVANNA DAVILA

COMMUNICATIONS INTERN

Giovanna Davila is a first-year master’s student at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management specializing in Corporate Environmental Management with a focus in Strategic Environmental Communication and Media. Her goal is to use her communication skills and environmental knowledge to act as a link between science and the public. She is primarily interested in using persuasive messages to educate individuals and companies within the food and apparel industries about the value and importance of becoming more sustainable. In her free time, you can find her baking pies, soaking up the sun at the beach or jamming with her grad school band, Brengrass.

The LoaCom story is a long one. It’s a fun one, involving a big group of friends eager to mix schoolwork with play, advocacy, and business smarts. Here’s the quick version.

As students leaders at UC Santa Barbara, David Fortson and Eric Cardenas (best friends then and now) were heavily involved in efforts aimed at resource preservation and student/community engagement. Upon entering the workforce, they immediately began working with businesses, nonprofits, and foundations focused on conservation, social responsibility, and community well-being.

The desire to bridge conservation ethics with responsible business practices and social good remained at the forefront as this tag team continued to develop and refine their individual skill sets. In 2010, sensing an opportunity, Dave created LoaTree, Inc., an eco-lifestyle collective that focused on supporting artists, nonprofits, small businesses, and entrepreneurs through storytelling and events. A community Earth Day festival was LoaTree’s first major client, which grew to a 2-day, 30,000 person event with LoaTree’s support.

After a few attempts, Dave successfully lured Eric to join him at LoaTree in 2011. Eric’s kitchen table became their office space, and the duo began to spread its offerings to new types of clients. The Loa ecosystem grew, interns provided crucial support, and in late 2012, LoaCom was born. A small Loa team spent another year or so growing LoaCom’s business footprint before the kitchen became too tight of a workspace and they ventured out into the outside world.

In 2013, LoaCom landed it’s first internationally relevant client, 1% for the Planet (of which LoaTree/LoaCom are proud members). This nonprofit organization, founded by Patagonia, Inc.’s Yvon Chouinard, fit the exact profile of clients that LoaCom wanted to align itself with – those that cared about people and planet, in addition to but not above profit. Things began to move.

Since those first few years, LoaCom has hired a small but amazing crew who, individually, were in the right place at the right time. Timing is everything. So is having the right vibe. Today, in our small office in downtown Santa Barbara, CA., we are amazed by the partnerships we’ve grown, the impact our broader ‘collective’ has made, and the fun we’ve had along the way.

Keys to Loa’s success? Work hard, share good times, and strive to create a better world with every interaction.

LAW OF ATTRACTION

The term ‘LOA’ comes from the belief that positive, intentional actions and thoughts committed by individuals and groups will create and attract more of the same. This concept – the Law of Attraction (LOA) – is fundamental to our business model and the way we lead our personal lives.

OUR ROOTS

Our team has spent a combined 30 years in a variety of professions including working to protect open space and promote affordable housing, organizing farmworkers and protecting agricultural land, advocating progressive policy before government, raising funds and working within foundations, using technology to organize communities and even working for high tech companies. This breadth of experience gives us a unique skillset and understanding of how to make sustainable, transformational change.

Let’s connect over a coffee or a cold craft brew.

INTERACT

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