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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.

OUR TEAM

ERIC CÁRDENAS

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & CO-FOUNDER

Eric Cárdenas is LOACOM’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder. 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 Chief Operations Officer and partner to LoaTree, Inc. Together, Eric and Dave co-founded LOACOM in 2012, where he continued to serve as COO until 2021.

Eric’s areas of interest and special focus include food and agriculture, philanthropy for social change, campaigns/movement-building, and strategic planning and facilitation. He is currently most passionate about addressing the climate crisis through an intersectional approach that leverages business, racial justice and equity, philanthropy, strategic communications, and organizing. Some of his past work and volunteer experience include time with the Ag Innovations Network, Orfalea Foundations, Environmental Defense Center, and Roots of Change, among others. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara with degrees in Political Science and Environmental Studies and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Johnson Ohana Foundation and the Fund for Santa Barbara.

Eric and his family (Michelle and Río) can frequently be found at the beach, scampering up creekbeds, listening to music, or chasing each other around local parks.

ALYSSA PACE

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS LEAD

Alyssa Pace (she/her) is a writer, designer, and project manager with an affinity for regenerative agriculture, food justice, and coastal ecosystems. As a Berkeley native and UC Santa Barbara graduate with degrees in Environmental Studies and Multimedia Writing, the intersection between community, nature, and equity has been central to Alyssa’s professional and personal life, and she strives to bring this holistic perspective into all that she does. Through her work with LOA, she has brought to life the visions of a multitude of clients, from product companies and technology startups to political organizations and local nonprofits.

Outside of work, you can find Alyssa teaching and taking yoga classes, exploring nature up and down the coast, or planning her next travel adventure.

MAILE DIANA SCHOONOVER

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS LEAD

Maile Diana Schoonover (she/her) is a marketing professional working at the intersection of environmentalism and social justice. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Maile earned her BA in English and Environmental Literature before pursuing a career in cause-based marketing and liberation-centered advocacy work.

As a Mixed-race identifying woman of Hawaiian, Black, Portuguese and White heritage, Maile brings a unique, multicultural lens to her work with clients. During her time at LOACOM, she has led and supported projects in the nonprofit sector, philanthropy, local and statewide government campaigns, small businesses, environmental organizations, and LOACOM’s own Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice work.

In her free time, you can find her grooving at the roller-rink, curling up with a good book, or exploring new hiking trails with her rescue pup, Chin-Chin.

ELIZABETH DAVIDSON

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS LEAD

Elizabeth Davidson (she/her) has expertise in design, strategy, cause-based campaigns, website ideation and development, social media management, and more. Spanning across many industries, her work has supported environmental organizations, education programs, small businesses, state legislature, and national nonprofit organizations.

She grew up on California’s central coast and currently lives in Spain where she’s improving her Spanish and soaking up the sun. Offline, you’ll find her dancing or drumming up a conversation with just about anyone (oh, and she will never turn down a game of Pass the Pigs).

EMILY ROGERS

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS LEAD

Emily Rogers (she/her) is a designer, environmentalist, blockchain aficionado, and marketing expert based in Santa Cruz, California. Her work explores the interrelation of ecology, human well-being, community resilience, systems design, and communications within both global fiat and decentralized financial infrastructures.

During her time at LOA, she’s supported projects tackling solutions in zero-waste, wellness, carbon markets, and beyond, yield larger and more engaged communities. Outside of work, she enjoys travel, writing, surfing, and a good book.

AARON ROESSLER

WEB & GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Aaron is LOACOM’s web development guru. 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.

After exploring careers and lifestyles from San Jose to Hawaii and Illinois to Texas, he is now married with two beautiful daughters and has settled his roots into Santa Barbara’s rich soils. He will continue to do what he loves so much – building friendships and enjoying laughter and life to their fullest as he solidifies his career in anything and everything design oriented.

ALANA POWELL

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Alana Powell (she/her) is a Jackie of all trades specializing in writing, design, social media, and email marketing for better world brands. She graduated from UCSB with a degree in Environmental Studies and Sociology where she further developed her passions for feminism and environmental justice. Her work explores regenerative agriculture, reproductive healthcare, racial justice as well as community management for the local nonprofit sector.

Outside of work, Alana loves dancing, cooking meals with friends, and making jewelry for her small business.

DAVE FORTSON

STRATEGIC ADVISOR & CO-FOUNDER

David Fortson is LOACOM’s Strategic Advisor and co-founder. 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, blockchain for a better world, and movement strategy. At the end of 2021, David launched LOA Labs – a network growth company for ‘better world’ blockchains. LOA Labs is working at the heart of Regenerative Finance (#ReFi) and is working with projects around the globe at the intersection of impact and crypto.

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 that works with a wide range of clients. Alice currently splits her time visiting far away lands while working remotely for LOACOM and a handful of others.

HAYLEY COVARRUBIAS

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Hayley is a LOACOM Production Assistant, providing production support for Partnership for Excellence, the Nonprofit Resource Network’s annual conference for the Santa Barbara County nonprofit community.

A dedicated environmentalist, Hayley graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Sustainable Environmental Design and has spent many years dedicated to deeply understanding the theory and practice of earth regeneration and healthy societies. Hayley is passionate about supporting any and all efforts that work towards a sustainable future for people and planet.

OUR STORY

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.

OUR PROCESS

INTAKE

  • Client meets with LOA representative/s to discuss project goals
  • LOA assesses project internally
  • LOA follows up with additional questions, declines project, and/or submits project proposal

EMBARK

  • You sign contract -work begins!
  • Work flow and communication platforms enabled
  • Client ‘pitch’ to full LOA team, followed by LOA internal team ‘brain rain’ to provide maximum input to project leads (optional)

DISCOVER

  • Product/project research and benchmarking 
  • Findings/ overview/ moodboard/ feedback to client re: our research

CREATE

  • Procure content/assets from client 
  • Begin creative process of ideation and design 
  • Continuous client engagement and feedback

ACTIVATE

  • Launch product, project, campaign, or experience 
  • Ongoing campaign management 
  • 6 and 12 month client review of LOA’s engagement

CONCLUDE

  • Project wrap-up and client feedback

OUR PROCESS

INTAKE

  • Client meets with LOA representative/s to discuss project goals
  • LOA assesses project internally
  • LOA follows up with additional questions, declines project, and/or submits project proposal

EMBARK

  • You sign contract -work begins!
  • Work flow and communication platforms enabled
  • Client ‘pitch’ to full LOA team, followed by LOA internal team ‘brain rain’ to provide maximum input to project leads (optional)

DISCOVER

  • Product/project research and benchmarking 
  • Findings/overview/moodboard/feedback to client re: our research

CREATE

  • Procure content/assets from client 
  • Begin creative process of ideation and design 
  • Continuous client engagement and feedback

ACTIVATE

  • Launch product, project, campaign, or experience 
  • Ongoing campaign management 
  • 6 and 12 month client review of LOA’s engagement

DISCOVER

  • Project wrap-up and client feedback

OUR PROCESS

INTAKE

  • Client meets with LOA representative/s to discuss project goals
  • LOA assesses project internally
  • LOA follows up with additional questions, declines project, and/or submits project proposal

EMBARK

  • You sign contract -work begins!
  • Work flow and communication platforms enabled
  • Client ‘pitch’ to full LOA team, followed by LOA internal team ‘brain rain’ to provide maximum input to project leads (optional)

DISCOVER

  • Product/project research and benchmarking 
  • Findings/overview/moodboard/feedback to client re: our research

CREATE

  • Procure content/assets from client 
  • Begin creative process of ideation and design 
  • Continuous client engagement and feedback

ACTIVATE

  • Launch product, project, campaign, or experience 
  • Ongoing campaign management 
  • 6 and 12 month client review of LOA’s engagement

DISCOVER

  • Project wrap-up and client feedback

OUR PROCESS

intake

INTAKE

  • Client meets with LOA in person to discuss project goals
  • LOA assesses project internally
  • LOA follows up with additional questions and/or proposal
embark

EMBARK

  • You sign contract – work begins
  • Client ‘pitch’ to full LOA team, describing product, project, campaign, or experience
  • LOA internal ‘brain-rain’ to provide maximum input from our team to project leads
discover

DISCOVER

  • Product/project research and benchmarking
  • Findings/overview/mood board to client
create

CREATE

  • Procure content/assets from client
  • Begin creative process of ideation and design
  • Continuous client engagement and feedback
activate

ACTIVATE

  • Launch product, project, campaign, or experience
conclude

CONCLUDE

  • Project wrap up and client feedback
intake

INTAKE

  • Client meets with LOA in person to discuss project goals
  • LOA assesses project internally
  • LOA follows up with additional questions and/or proposal
embark

EMBARK

  • You sign contract – work begins
  • Client ‘pitch’ to full LOA team, describing product, project, campaign, or experience
  • LOA internal ‘brain-rain’ to provide maximum input from our team to project leads
discover

DISCOVER

  • Product/project research and benchmarking
  • Findings/overview/mood board to client
create

CREATE

  • Procure content/assets from client
  • Begin creative process of ideation and design
  • Continuous client engagement and feedback
activate

ACTIVATE

  • Launch product, project, campaign, or experience
conclude

CONCLUDE

  • Project wrap up and client feedback

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.

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