The Spitzberg Advisors Team

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Ed Spitzberg, Principal

Ed Spitzberg is a nonprofit executive and fundraiser with over 15 years' experience specializing in the arts and education. He has been Executive Director of arts nonprofits including the multidisciplinary afterschool arts program Sitar Arts Center, winner of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities' National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award under his tenure. Ed has also been a senior development executive for Arena Stage, a Tony Award-winning regional theater, and the Afterschool Alliance, the national voice for the afterschool field and the children and families it impacts. As a fundraiser, Ed has successfully cultivated and solicited individual and institutional six-figure gifts. As a leader, Ed has developed concrete strategies for his organizations that have resulted in increased capacity and awareness.

As an arts educator, Ed has taught singing, piano, and musical theater to youth of all ages. Ed is also an artist and producer himself, having won Best Overall Show for the Capital Fringe Festival’s 2015 Pick of the Fringe Audience Award, and leveraged that into a subsequent sold-out co-production with Strathmore Hall, a leading arts presenter in the Washington, DC region. He is currently a co-producer Off-Broadway of Shake & Bake: Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Prior to his nonprofit career, Ed worked in the corporate arena, including senior product management positions at the Walt Disney Company and an internet start-up, Comedy World.

Ed has an MBA in Entertainment Management and Marketing from the Anderson School at UCLA and a BA in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University, where he was an active participant in the arts. He lives with his wife and daughter in Bethesda, MD.


Amy DeLouise, Senior Advisor

Amy DeLouise has more than 20 years experience in cause marketing, branding, and nonprofit governance. An experienced speaker, retreat facilitator and workshop leader, Amy also produces and directs mission-driven video content for such organizations as Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Children’s National Medical Center, and the Jewish Federations of North America. She is the author of The Producer’s Playbook: Real People on Camera (Routledge), a resource being used in more than 50 college film and communications programs worldwide. With her down-to-earth style and finger on the pulse of trends in communications and marketing, Amy is a popular keynote speaker at conferences around the world, including the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Government Video Expo, NAB Shanghai, IABM London, and the Interagency Visual Media Group (IVMG). Recent favorite projects include helping design a national conference for a major international charity, developing multiple outreach videos for an issue advocacy organization, and leading a successful board retreat for an independent girls' school. An avid musician, Amy performs five charity concerts a year as co-principal violinist of the NIH Philharmonia and also sings with the a cappella women's octet Venus d Minor. Amy has a degree in English Literature from Yale University. She and her husband have two boys.


Anita Krishnamurthi, Senior Advisor

Anita Krishnamurthi is a scientist and passionate advocate for advancing social justice through equitable access to education and opportunity, especially via science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) literacy and education. With nearly 20 years of experience with program management and strategic design, she applies problem solving skills gained through professional training as a scientist to define the big picture vision and design appropriately scoped projects to realize the vision.

Anita has a PhD in Astrophysics and has worked as a Program Officer in the Office on Public Understanding of Science at the National Academy of Sciences; a Program Manager at NASA Headquarters for the Science Mission Directorate’s education program; the Lead for Education and Public Outreach in the Astrophysics Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; the John Bahcall Public Policy Fellow at the American Astronomical Society; and most recently, as Vice President for STEM Policy at the Afterschool Alliance where she launched and led the Alliance’s STEM efforts. In all these roles, she has worked with a diverse array of national, state and local partners and stakeholders to determine and support national priorities for STEM policy, research and field-support.

Anita has recently moved to the University of Cambridge in the U.K. as a Senior Advisor in the Office of External Affairs and Communications.

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Paul W. Ruppert, Senior Advisor

Over the past 27 years, Paul W. Ruppert has launched a number of successful community-driven spaces in the arts, humanities and hospitality industries. Paul began his career leading a nonprofit organization, spending several years in New York City as Director of the American Irish Historical Society. Upon returning to Washington in 2001, he developed and led the Warehouse Theater, Gallery & Café, a center for independent artists. In 2014, Paul founded Upshur Street Books, Washington's first independent, new bookstore in over 20 years and one that received national recognition as a favorite of the then First Family.

Paul is also a successful restaurateur, with a particular skill of creating community gathering spaces. In 2009 he launched Room 11, a wine bar in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, and The Passenger, a downtown neighborhood bar. In 2010 he opened the Columbia Room, a reservation-only cocktail bar that has been selected as one of America’s best bars. In 2012 he expanded Room 11 into an adjoining space and opened Hogo, a tiki-influenced rum bar. In 2013 he opened Petworth Citizen, a neighborhood bar in the Petworth neighborhood. In 2014 he opened Crane & Turtle, a chef-driven, neighborhood restaurant with French and Japanese influences. Paul's latest project, Slim's Diner, a traditional, neighborhood diner also in Petworth, opened in June, 2016. Paul has an MA in Irish Studies from Catholic University and lives in Washington, D.C. with his family.

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Mimi Shah, Senior Advisor

Mimi, also Principal with Amplify for Change, is an experienced consultant, specializing in translating client vision into actionable strategies that advance social and environmental impact. With over 18 years of experience in strategic communications, she led the vision and implementation of a multi-year behavior change campaign addressing asthma disparities for EPA’s Indoor Environments Division. Her work included producing a groundbreaking interactive website; a podcast series showcasing successful evidence-based strategies; and designing an action-learning conference that motivated practitioners from multiple sectors into action in their communities.

Mimi has worked with numerous organizations to help them amplify successful strategies. For Enterprise Community Partners, Mimi developed short and visually appealing case studies highlighting programs that were integral to fostering development and growth in their vulnerable communities. For the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Mimi identified how grantees in the Chesapeake Bay shared knowledge to accelerate adoption of effective watershed clean-up practices. Having begun her career as a consultant at Arthur Andersen, she approaches social change work and excellence in client relationships with attention and rigor characteristic of management consulting.


Naomi Ayala, Consultant

Naomi Ayala is a bilingual, senior education and communications professional with over 30 years of experience in program design, writing and editing. Areas of special expertise include program development, community outreach, toolkit/instructional guide design, and the development of culturally-appropriate educational and outreach materials in science, health, and the arts and humanities. She has received U.S. Congressional recognition for her leadership in developing and implementing community programs, and several awards and honors including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy of Environmental Justice Award. She is the author of three nonfiction books. Her literary publications have appeared throughout the U.S. as well as in Afghanistan and Switzerland, and she has reviewed books for the New Hampshire Review, Feminist Teacher, and Washington Post’s Book World. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and Literature from Bennington College in January 2006.

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Kirstin Franko, Consultant

Kirstin Franko brings more than a decade of communication strategy, particularly in the arts, to the Spitzberg Advisors team. As Director of Media Relations for Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, she led the publicity efforts for the Tony Award-winning performing arts center for more than 11 seasons. In her role, she was responsible for developing and executing comprehensive media strategies for Arena Stage’s productions, institutional programming and arts education programs, as well as leveraging and maximizing opportunities for general Arena Stage institutional coverage throughout the year. Highlights from her time with Arena include strategizing and gaining coverage around the theater’s $135 million expansion and grand re-opening, and working on nine productions that went on to have a life on Broadway, including Dear Evan Hansen (winner of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Musical) and Sweat by Lynn Nottage (winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama). Kirstin is also an independent business entrepreneur as an Associate Director with Stella & Dot, an international fashion and accessories company dedicated to giving every woman the means to style her own life.

As a graduate of TCU's Bob Schieffer School of Journalism, Kirstin is a Texas native, but now calls the D.C. area home, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.


Christian Gaines, Consultant

A film, arts and technology leader with deep experience in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors, Christian’s particular area of interest and expertise lies in the mission-driven festival, event and conference space.

Over thirty years, Christian has held leadership positions at the Sundance Film Festival, the Hawaii International Film Festival and as Director of Festivals at the American Film Institute. For five years, Christian ran business development at Withoutabox, a web-based film festival film submission utility acquired by, a division of Amazon. Most recently, Christian served as Executive Director of ArtPrize, an open, international art competition annually attracting over 500,000 attendees and around 1500 artists to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Christian brings veteran expertise and disciplined best practices in nonprofit arts management that encompass fundraising, program development, experience design, urban activation and outcome measurement. He is a council member with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and serves on the Board of DisArt, an arts nonprofit that presents authentic disabled voices challenging cultural confusion. Christian has a BA in English from Vassar College.

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Kristen Zory King, Consultant

A development professional and advocate for the arts, Kristen Zory King has led fundraising and program efforts at literary and cultural institutions in New York, Nevada, Maine, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Kris currently serves as Operations Manager at One Common Unity, a nonprofit that breaks cycles of violence and builds compassionate, healthy communities through the transformative power of music, arts, and peace education, and brings her diverse functional experience with nonprofit organizations to support Spitzberg Advisors' engagements and clients in a variety of capacities. Learn more at

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Kendall Ladd, Consultant

Kendall Ladd is a life-long champion for arts education, an illustrator, and a development professional. She has worked in the nonprofit field for many years using her fundraising skills to bring needed resources to children and youth served by community nonprofits, with a focus on arts and arts education. Kendall has extensive grant-writing experience with government, foundation, and corporate sector programs. She has worked at Sitar Arts Center, Art Works Now, and the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative in development, and at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in funding. These positions have provided her with experience on both sides of the funding process, as the grant writer and the grant maker. Additionally, she provides prospect research and grant writing consultation to individual artists and organizations close to her heart. Kendall is proud alumna of the Arts Management program at American University.


Joanna Miller, Consultant

A passionate fundraiser and arts advocate, Joanna Miller is a stakeholder management professional with experience across a broad range of organizations, including theaters and universities in the US and Australia. After moving to Sydney, Australia in 2015, she returned home to the DC area in mid-2018 where she now works as Major Gifts Officer at Round House Theatre. Joanna holds a Masters of Management from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Administration from the University of Michigan. A strong leader and relationship builder, Joanna uses her skills to benefit nonprofits and their communities. 


Joni Starr, Consultant

Joni’s experience in community building across diverse populations adds to Spitzberg Advisors’ ability to best facilitate board and staff retreats, develop arts education plans and presentations, and foster education partners. As both a nonprofit arts education professional and an educator, Joni relishes the intersections between arts and creativity and teaching and learning, specializing in building relationships between school personnel and arts organizations on local, national, and international levels.

Joni taught at Michigan State University in both the Teacher Education and Theatre Departments, and is well-versed in facilitating engaging professional development around arts and creativity in the classroom. She is a trained theatre educator who has worked at the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and Charleston Theatre Company. Joni has contributed her expertise to the development of resources and tools designed to ensure the quality of arts education programming at the Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment (MAEIA) program. She also works with the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program supporting teachers and teaching artists in writing and implementing arts integrated curriculum. Joni values international education and has worked in schools in Ghana, Guatemala, China, and England. Joni obtained her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Spitzberg Advisors also brings in and draws upon other experts, as best fits the needs of each engagement.