TEAM MEMBERS

Talem | Rachel Branaman

Rachel Branaman

Principal Consultant

 

Rachel's (She / Her) background and bio are available here.

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 | Talem

Saadia Ahmed

Consultant

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. 

Nancy Geiger | Talem

Nancy Geiger

Administration

 

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. 

Avia Haynes headshot.jpg

Avia S. Haynes

Marketing & 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.

mona-kafeel.jpg

Mona Kafeel

Inclusive Leadership Program

Mona Kafeel (She / Her) graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor's in Economics before moving to Dallas, Texas in 2000. Her other educational accomplishments include certificates in Nonprofit Management and Nonprofit Leadership Development from SMU. She is an alumnus of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI) and Leadership Plano.  She was awarded "Education Mentor" by the City of Plano for her work.

Mona has dedicated her life and career to being a changemaker. Currently, the CEO at Texas Muslim Women's Foundation (TMWF), she is instrumental in creating domestic violence shelters that are trauma-informed and culturally specific. Her grassroots community work spans educational and policy initiatives including:

  • Committee member of the Public Policy Commission of the Texas Council on Family Violence

  • Committee member of the Asian Advisory Committee to the Congresswomen Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)

  • Senior Advisory Board Member to the Mayor of the City of Plano on issues that are important to seniors living in Plano

  • Advisory board member of the Collin County Council on Family Violence

  • Advisory board member of The American Muslim Today publishing house

Mona lives in Plano, 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. 

Beth headshot.jfif

Beth Bohannon

Culturally Responsive Education

 

Beth (She / Her) works as a vocal music instructor for 5-8 grades at Upper Elementary and Middle Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has also worked as a music teacher in Durham Public Schools and Vistation Catholic School. Beth has a bachelor's in music education from Lawrence University and a master's in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

 

Beth incorporates culturally responsive teaching into her work to bridge gaps between students and educators to understand cultural nuances and support student achievement. She brings that knowledge into work with education-adjacent nonprofits to support DEIA implementation and culturally responsive tools into their work. 

Beth lives with her husband, three kids, and catdog, Roxie, in Waynesboro, Virginia which was settled by the forefathers of bands we now call Sioux, or Cherokee, or Iroquois. She also sings with her church choir in her spare time. 

603981_10151507698208847_151350952_n_edi

Amy Fetterman 

Project Consultant

 

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.

Arub Ahmad Headshot.PNG

Arub Ahmad

Proposal Writer

Arub Ahmad (She / Her) is studying Political Science and International Political Economy on the pre-law track at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is a member of the Women Pursuing Law Society, John Marshall Pre-Law Society, UTD's Muslim Student Association, and is a member of the Dean's List. 

 

Arub also serves as the Director of Communications and Legal Researcher for Noorishment, a nonprofit dedicated to exposing students to different careers at a younger age in hopes of helping them find their passion. Her previous work includes Undergraduate Case Analyst for the Innocence Project of Texas. Legal Intern for Badmus & Associates, as well as other activities serving nonprofits. 

 

Arub lives 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.