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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Communications & Account Manager
Alyssa Pace is LOACOM’s Communications & Account Manager, specializing in content creation and event production. Fueled by coffee, kindness, and carefully-crafted words, Alyssa aspires to cultivate compelling media that excites people about the wonders of our planet and their personal connection with it. Her sweet spots include regenerative agriculture, food justice, and marine ecosystems.
A graduate of UC Santa Barbara with degrees in Environmental Studies and Multimedia Writing, Alyssa’s passion for community, equality, and the environment trace back to her roots in Berkeley with weekends spent camping all over California and summers spent working in Yosemite. In her time at UCSB, she spent a year abroad in both New Zealand and Thailand, gaining fieldwork experience in native flora and fauna, geopolitical history, and coral reef ecology.
Knowing that the planet’s stories needed to be better told upon her arrival back home, she joined forces with LOACOM her senior year and has stuck with these better world storytellers ever since. Outside of work, you can find Alyssa teaching yoga at CorePower, concert-hopping up and down the coast, or planning her next travel adventure.
ACCOUNT MANAGER + BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
Maile Schoonover is the Account Associate for LOACOM and brings a strong background in digital marketing, strategy, advertising, content creation, graphic design, and event planning to the team. A UCSB grad, she earned her BA in English with a specialization in Environmental Literature while interning for Davey’s Voice, a local nonprofit aimed at supporting projects and programs that promote animal welfare, education and advocacy. Most recently she held a position with SurfMedia Communications where she oversaw the digital marketing needs of both nonprofit and for-profit clients with a focus on social good. Maile’s work experience has given her the opportunity to foster excellent relationships within the community and have a greater understanding of nonprofits’ needs.
An activist at heart, Maile loves to use her creativity and passion to address the intersectionalities between environmental conservation, animal welfare, and social justice to create a better world. In her free time, you can find her volunteering with animal rescue groups, pairing killer vegan tacos with locally brewed beer, and backpacking new trails with her pup, Chin Chin.
Erin Eberle is LOACOM’s digital and creative strategist who aims to bridge the gap between design, technology, and humanity. An activist at heart, her work is driven by the desire to create true change in the world. Utilizing a background in psychology, design, strategic communications, and systems change theory, Erin brings a unique perspective to the LOA team.
Inspired by female abstract painters, documentary photography, color theory, queer farmers, engaged Buddhism and design thinking, she spends much of her time growing and cooking food with her family, reading about liberation psychology, and creating a domestic monastery in the greens and blues of the Pacific Northwest. An east coast transplant, Erin has cultivated an intentional life of connecting to community, growing relationships, and advocating for a just world.
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.
CONTENT AND EVENTS INTERN
Alana is a senior at UCSB majoring in Environmental Studies and Sociology, and is the Content and Events Intern for LOACOM, working closely with team members to support the production of Partnership for Excellence and the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, as well as a spectrum of digital content creation. Alana’s passions include environmental justice, fostering a connection to nature at an early age, and animal welfare.
Outside of work Alana loves to travel, check out local live music, and spend time outdoors.
Originally from the Bay Area, Jesse graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1999 followed by UCLA Law in 2011 focused on environment and global trade issues. He provides legal council to LOACOM while also managing the Anacapa Law Group where he focuses his efforts on environmental compliance issues.
Jesse lives in the Santa Barbara foothills with his wife Natasha and their son Teo, and enjoys surfing, photography, and woodwork when he isn’t doing his part to make a better world.
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.
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 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.