Network Coordinator Sarah Bennett

As Network Coordinator, Sarah provides support, connectivity, and resources to the people and communities in CORI’s fast-growing Rural Innovation Network.

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Tech Jobs and Entrepreneurship Specialist Ana Blandin

Ana works with both the tech talent development and entrepreneurship teams to support tech workforce development, tech job creation, and entrepreneurship programming in rural America.


AmeriCorps VISTA Leader Megan Burke

Megan is the AmeriCorps VISTA Leader, connecting various CORI sites with VISTAs to expand their capacity to create change. She focuses on being a facilitator and educator, recruiter, resource generator, mentor, liaison, and ambassador of the AmeriCorps program.

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Digital Jobs Training Coordinator Justin Cooks

As the Digital Jobs Training Coordinator for CORI, Justin is responsible for supporting rural community partners with executing effective program recruitment strategies. 

Head of Tech Talent Development Shaniqua Corley-Moore

Shaniqua works with a team of program managers and partners with community leaders, training providers, employers, and civic organizations to co-develop and execute workforce development strategies that enable rural workers and organizations to expand the technology workforce. She builds and manages national partnerships with training organizations and large tech employers.

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Development Director Kate Duffy

Kate engages individuals, foundations, and corporations to build and leverage philanthropic support for CORI’s mission. An experienced resource and relationship development leader, Kate has raised millions of dollars to support big ideas and the organizations that advance them.

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Community Engagement Lead Qy'Darrius McEachern

Qy’Darrius works with the Rural Innovation Network at CORI to provide community development and connectivity among the ecosystems within the network. He aims to be a direct support for network members, providing assistance and direction wherever needed.

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Director of the Rural Innovation Network Brēyana Ray

Brēyana works with Rural Innovation Network communities to develop and implement strategies that increase interest and participation in entrepreneurship, digital skilling, and tech career development programs, with a particular focus on engaging program participants that represent the full diversity of their communities.

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Director of Research and Knowledge Mark Rembert

Mark Rembert is a regional economist who oversees CORI’s research and knowledge-gathering projects about rural America. Before this role he led the Rural Innovation Network, a nationwide community of committed change agents working to advance the economic future of small-town America.

Senior Development Associate Emily Szamocki

As Senior Development Associate, Emily manages key operations for the development team and builds grassroots support for CORI by engaging with individuals. Having been born and raised in the “Quiet Corner” of Connecticut, Emily draws upon her personal connection to rural America for inspiration.


To execute on CORI's mission, we engage our sister organization Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI), a taxable nonprofit. RISI staff is listed here.

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Director of People Operations and Culture October Ambrose

As the Director of People Operations and Culture, October is an advocate for the organization — its staff and its leadership — as well as a sponsor for culture building, values development across the organization as it matures out of the startup phase.

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Community Manager Rachel Barra

Rachel is a Community Manager at RISI, working with the Rural Innovation Initiative consulting team as they help rural communities  develop digital tech economies.

Technical Writer Dani Blaise

In her role on the broadband team, Dani enjoys learning from her colleagues and assisting with mission-driven writing and editing projects that expand broadband access and help alleviate societal inequities in rural communities across the country.

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Data Analyst and Developer Camden Blatchly

As a member of the mapping and data analytics team, Camden develops software to analyze and communicate data about rural communities. His career has focused on combining data-driven analysis and visualization to help public-interest organizations more effectively understand and convey their data.

Regional Director for the Southeast U.S. Brandon Campbell

As the regional director, Brandon leads the organization’s overall expansion strategy in the southeastern U.S. His roles consist of building and managing relationships with local and regional leadership and digital economic development stakeholders, identifying opportunities in the Black Belt and Mississippi Delta regions, with an emphasis on BIPOC and underserved communities that would benefit from a technology ecosystem.

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Broadband Analyst Anderson Clayton

In her role on the broadband team, Anderson assists rural communities in finding pathways for broadband expansion to unserved and underserved communities. She is passionate about broadband’s role in the future of rural economic development, because remote work is what allows her to live in her rural hometown of Roxboro, North Carolina.

Controller Mike Daly

Mike manages all aspects of accounting, financial reporting, and development of financial polices and procedures for the organization.

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Communications Specialist Austin Danforth

Austin Danforth is a seasoned storyteller, photographer, and editor who honed his skills over more than a decade as an award-winning journalist.

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Founder and Executive Director Matt Dunne

Matt is the founder and executive director of the Center on Rural Innovation, which he launched in 2017 to reverse the nation’s growing rural opportunity gap and create economic prosperity for small town residents across the country.

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Research Analyst May Erouart

As part of the research team, May is involved in knowledge-gathering projects about rural America. Previously, as a community manager, she helped guide communities participating in CORI’s Rural Innovation Initiative through the process of developing strategy for thriving tech economy ecosystems.

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Head of Tech-Based Economic Development Nora Foote

Nora works directly with communities to help them develop strategies for building thriving digital economy ecosystems. She’s a rural community enthusiast, and loves getting to discover new and diverse communities across the country.

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Head of Federal and State Partnerships Thomas Franco

Thomas is an experienced public policy professional working at the intersection of economic development, emerging technology, and equity-focused social policy.

Placemaking Fellow Lisa Glover

As the Placemaking Fellow, Lisa collaborates with community members in rural downtowns to develop placemaking plans around their innovation hubs so that everyone in the community feels welcome and empowered.

Operations Manager Dalila Hall

Dalila works behind the scenes at the organization and provides support across all teams to ensure they have the resources to accomplish their work.  As a member of the operations team, she is focused on helping the organization codify policies and procedures as it grows in its mission.

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Software Developer John Hall

John has been coding professionally and personally for over a decade. Although he has specialized in web mapping and visualization for most of that time, his skills range from scripting simple utilities to crafting fullstack applications to spec.

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Finance Manager Veronique Husser

Veronique manages the finances, payroll, and accounting for the CORI and RISI teams and strives for her work to empower all team members to become positive contributors to the organizational mission.

Data Fellow Brittany Kainen

Brittany is a member of the mapping and data analytics team. As a data fellow, she supports efforts to gather, interpret, and communicate data that assists the organization in its service to rural communities.

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Broadband Consultant Myles Kamisher-Koch

As a member of the broadband team, Myles actively engages with public and private stakeholders in the development of broadband solutions to serve rural communities across the country.

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Head of Broadband Consulting Alex Kelley

Alex leads the team’s efforts to help communities plan new fiber networks by building feasibility models, creating business plans with capital stacks that take advantage of state and federal subsidies, and devising partnership structures that align the incentives of public and private entities.

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Director of Finance and Operations Robin Kilfeather-Mackey

Robin oversees the financial infrastructure and organizational strategy of CORI and RISI, a role that includes the design and management of finance practices, prioritizing and evaluating business development new opportunities, and setting future goals and objectives.

Senior Data Engineer Olivier Leroy

Olivier Leroy is data engineer in the mapping and data analytics team. He is fluent in several data languages and ready to serve well-documented and fresh data in all pipeline flavors. For Olivier, good data is actionable and well contextualized, baked fresh with good ideas and truthful content from the ground up.

Community Manager Lizette Lewis

Lizette guides and engages communities to support them in developing strategies for building innovative tech economy ecosystems. Liz is passionate about connecting with diverse and underrepresented communities nationwide, while using her background in urban and regional planning as a lens for inclusive, creative problem solving.

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Research Associate Dolley MacDermot

As a Research Associate, Dolley supports web development, mapping and data visualization efforts, along with general IT infrastructure. Dolley has years of experience working with web based technologies and social impact organizations.

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Director of Strategic Operations Zack Nolan

Zack leads special projects related to finance, operations and organizational strategy. Zack’s prior experience spans both the nonprofit and private sectors. Most recently, Zack worked at EY-Parthenon as a strategy consultant.

Community Manager Nick Poels

In his role on the Rural Innovation Initiative team, Nick supports rural communities with the development and implementation of strategies to build and scale tech economy ecosystems.

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Head of Entrepreneurship Molly Pyle

Molly supports rural communities as they develop and grow strong entrepreneurial ecosystems, creating scalable tech startups in rural America. Prior to joining the team, she worked with social impact startups at MIT Solve, worked with international women leaders in STEM and entrepreneurship with the State Department, led the Incubator and Accelerator programming at Singularity University.

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Data Analyst Drew Rosebush

As a member of the mapping and data analytics team, Drew develops data tools to help define and execute analytics for the organization.

Head of Data Products Betsy Thompson

Betsy leads the Mapping and Data Analytics team supporting the organization’s efforts in data visualization, mapping, and web development.

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Entrepreneurship Consultant Rose Vieland

Rose designs and implements programs and content to instigate rural tech startup creation and scale. Prior to joining the team, Rose supported translation of federally-funded science and engineering research to commercialization through entrepreneurship accelerator programs. Rose has produced policy briefs on health and climate innovation policy for parliamentary bodies, and performed consultations with underserved communities to secure significant community development grants.

Broadband Analyst Anna Vold

Anna is a member of the broadband team. As an analyst she works with other members of the broadband team to support projects that organize and plan for broadband deployment in rural areas.

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Head of Federal Grants Nathan Willingham

Nathan is Head of Federal Grants for RISI. He is an experienced planner, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and has worked in rural community planning and economic development since 2004. He has a guiding belief in asset-based, purpose-driven development.

Broadband Analyst Jane Woodson

As an analyst, Jane works with other broadband team members to develop plans for broadband deployment in rural communities. She is excited to see how strong internet infrastructure enhances the unique facets of rural life, especially its role serving invaluable community institutions.

CORI Innovation Fund

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Managing Partner Jay Bockhaus

From Wall Street to Main Street, Jay brings a wealth of experience to his role as Managing Partner of CORI’s Innovation Fund, which provides investment capital to growth businesses located in opportunity zones in small communities.