Meet Our Team
Talem is a national, full-service diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ), female-owned consulting firm established in 2011 focused on ensuring organizations have the tools they need to build capacity, fundraise, and dismantle systems of inequity. Talem is led by Rachel Branaman alongside associates with significant subject matter expertise and practical experience across varied industries and geographies. Our team members' unique identities enable Talem to provide an intersectional and equity-based framework to ensure the communities being served are centered in the work we do. Our core values include a commitment to mission-driven impact, personalized service, customized solutions, open dialogue, pragmatic problem-solving, inspired leadership, donor engagement, professional ethics and standards, alongside advancing racial equity and inclusion.
We have extensive experience working with organizations that serve communities of color, immigrants, refugees, religious minorities, and other impacted communities. Our work across multiple organizations, causes, and cultures give us a unique perspective on how to engage with donors outside of “normal” philanthropic narratives - making us responsive and adaptable to the communities we serve.
In 2023, Talem was named Top Interim Service Provider by ManageHR Magazine for our work leveling the playing field for BIPOC-led organizations.
Founder & Principal Consultant
Rachel Branaman, MNM
Rachel (She / Her) is the founder and principal consultant of Talem Consulting, a national, full-service diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ), woman-owned firm which provides nonprofits the tools they need to build capacity, fundraise, and dismantle systems of inequity. Rachel is currently expanding Talem’s 12-month leadership program for BIPOC women to ensure they have a supportive space to build their nonprofit management toolkit and leadership skills for long-term transformation.
Rachel has 20 years of nonprofit expertise as an executive director of Alley’s House and in fundraising/development roles at Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Jewish Community Center of Dallas, Dallas Heritage Village, and Dallas Children’s Museum. She graduated from Austin College with a BA in French and from Regis University with a Master’s in Nonprofit Management with a capstone project in Cape Town, South Africa. She is an alumnus of Leadership Texas, a returned U.S. Peace Corps volunteer to Namibia (2009-2011), and serves as an executive board member of Association of Philanthropic Counsel (APC).
Rachel lives in Richmond, Virginia. This land was originally home to the Algonquian-speaking tribes, Youghtanund, Powhatan, and Chickahominy which were part of the Powhatan Confederacy. They are also known as Algonquian because of their language and common culture.
Talem Consulting is a registered LLC in the state of Texas. The Dallas area was a mixed buffer zone for a number of tribes including the Wichita, Comanche, Caddo, Cherokee, Kickapoo, Jumano, Tawakoni, and other smaller tribes.
Saadia Ahmed (She / They) graduated in International Studies from Austin College where she intensified her commitment to serving the community. She is a community and thought leader in Dallas/Fort Worth in addition to being the founder and adviser to numerous nonprofit and community initiatives; some of whom include Gem Advisers Mentorship Program, Define 360, Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, DREAM DFW, Strong Muslimah, and Yaqeen Institute. Her work in the advocacy field includes roles at South Asians for Obama, senior fellow at Wendy Davis for Texas Governor, and deputy director at Bangladeshi Americans for Biden-National Council.
Saadia's areas of expertise include youth development program development, advocacy, community building, event planning, social media optimization, individual major giving, DEI training, and annual fund development. Saadia is fluent in English and Bengali. She has professional working proficiency in Hindi, Urdu, and French. She is currently a board member for Faith in Texas, Women Organizing Women Democrats, Malikah, as well as an advisory board member for American Muslim Professionals of Dallas. She was awarded the “Trailblazer” award by Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, “ the Community Leader of the Year” award by CAIR Dallas/Fort Worth, and was the inaugural recipient of Radio Azad’s “Unsung Hero” recognition.
Saadia lives in Frisco, Texas, which like most of North Texas, was a mixed buffer zone for a number of tribes including the Wichita, Comanche, Caddo, Cherokee, Tawakoni, and other smaller tribes.
Collaborative Consulting Partner, Waller Consulting
Ginny Waller, Esq., CFRE
Ginny (She / Her) is a lawyer, seasoned nonprofit executive, professional fundraiser, and published author with 17+ years of experience in nonprofit governance and operations. She has received numerous accolades for excellence in nonprofit leadership development, strategic planning, operational efficiency, change management, governance best practices, and relationship building, including the 2013 Award for Nonprofit Leadership from the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations and the 2015 Fundraising Professional of the Year from the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Midlands Chapter.
She is a member of the South Carolina Bar, Certified Fund Raising Executives International, Center for Non-Profit Excellence (Virginia), the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits (Chicago), Association of Nonprofit Specialists (New York), Together SC, and the Florida Nonprofit Alliance. She is also a professional interim executive with the Lift Connection (NC/SC) and the Interim Executive Network (Washington, DC).
Ginny prides herself on speaking truth with kindness, living authentically, and effecting massive change for her clients. Ginny’s passion is supporting nonprofit leaders as a thought partner and strategic adviser to build capacity to dream their nonprofits' visions into reality. Find Ginny on her website or LinkedIn.
Nancy (She / Her) has a Bachelor's in Family and Consumer Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin as well as a Masters in Special Education from Texas Women's University.
Nancy oversees financial management for Talem. She lives and works in Dallas, Texas, which was a mixed buffer zone for a number of tribes including the Wichita, Comanche, Caddo, Cherokee, Kickapoo, Jumano, Tawakoni, and other smaller tribes.
Marketing and Creative Design
Avia Haynes (She / Her) has a BA in Mass Communications from Texas State University and an MS in Marketing and Social Media from Southern New Hampshire University. She has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and design working with The Thomas Agency, Rhumb Designs, JCPenney, Dal-Tile Corporation, and National Tile Contractors Association.
Avia has worked with a variety of nonprofits providing marketing, digital and print design, website development, social media planning, digital marketing, brand awareness and promotion, art direction, and increasing traffic and engagement.
Avia lives and works in the Greater Houston, Texas area where the Akokisa were the indigenous tribe who lived on the land of the present-day Greater Houston area.
Amy (She / Her) serves as a Transitional Pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She leads workshops and retreats for the greater church in areas such as worship, spirituality, and intergenerational discipleship.
Amy is the mother of an industrious preschooler, spouse of a computer whiz and talented chef, and a friend who will make mediocre crafts for all your big life events.
Amy lives in Fishersville, Virginia which is thought to have been inhabited by ancestors of the Monacan Indian Nation.