Our founders, team members, and board members are committed to creating more good in the world by empowering institutions, social enterprises, and entrepreneurs to create systemic change.
Join our team – we are hiring! We are looking for a full-time Operations & Project Manager. Find out more here.
Co-Founder & Lead Cultivator
Shannon Hopkins is an extreme networker and social entrepreneur living in East London. Her passion for community and individual transformation has launched or influenced the formation of fifteen campaigns, projects, and organizations — and trained over 200 social entrepreneurs. In 2008, Shannon was awarded the Women of the UN and UK’s Annual Woman of Peace Award for The Truth isn’t Sexy, a campaign that addressed the demand side of human trafficking.
A Texas native, in 2004 Shannon moved to London and founded Matryoshka Haus. Part incubator, part community, part training organization, Matryoshka Haus was born of a fundamental belief that a different world is possible. Shannon is excited to see how over a decade’s worth of work, passion, and learning will live on and take new shape in the US through RootedGood. Shannon’s mission-centered focus on bridging the gap between partners, funders, and cause-related champions in a post-Christian secular world is rooted in one powerful concept: inspiration. In her words, “I think we undervalue what inspires us and moves us to act… but once someone is inspired it can really set a whole host of things in motion.”
Co-Founder & Lead Learner
Mark’s professional career spans the spectrum from profit to non-profit, from start-up to established, and his academic ‘side-hustle’ has focused on the intersection between theology and our contemporary socio-economic context. Mark has a Doctorate in Theology and Economics from King’s College London, with his thesis focusing on social enterprise as ‘faithful economic practice’. Prior to this Mark studied at Regent College, Vancouver, where Mark gained a MA in Theology and Culture and where Mark was also the Interim Director of the Marketplace Institute.
Mark is the former KLICE award holder for business ethics. Mark has a background in management consultancy and was the director of Cocreate Consulting, a co-operative social purpose consultancy. Prior to RootedGood, Mark was a director of Matryoshka Haus and the Transformational Index Group. Mark was the co-founder of The Paradise Cooperative, an urban farming and education charity in central London. Mark is also a non-executive director of The Curiosity Society. Mark’s dwelling place is outside Detroit, Michigan where he lives with his wife Katie and his three children Ember, Lucas and Elora. Prior to Michigan, the family lived in Mark’s native land, England.
Co-Founder & Lead Builder
Mark Elsdon lives and works at the intersection of money and meaning as a non-profit executive director, pastor, consultant, speaker, and author. Mark engages in this work by combining his theological training with skill and experience in business development. Mark’s first book, We Aren’t Broke: Uncovering Hidden Resources for Mission and Ministry is being published by Eerdmans Publishing in spring 2021.
In addition to his role as a Director with RootedGood, Mark is also Executive Director at Pres House, where he led the transformation of a dormant non-profit into a growing, vibrant, multi-million dollar organization, and president of the board of directors for Working Capital for Community Needs, a Madison-based impact investing fund that provides microfinance for the working poor in Latin America.
Mark has a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Mark is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.
Mark is an avid cyclist and considers it a good year when he rides more miles on his bike than he drives in his car. He is married to Rev. Erica Liu — they have two kids together.
Operations & Project Manager
Tito Ponce is a tech-savvy, detail-oriented leader in project management who thrives in the place where insight and play meet. He is motivated by community building and positive social change and inspired by human-centered design and the divine mundane.
Before arriving at RootedGood, Tito worked as the Project Coordinator for the Social-Emotional Teaching & Learning lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he also received his BA in Applied Psychology. Coming from a background in academic research, Tito grew knowledge of and a fascination for ecological contexts of development and how changes at any level of a system can lead to new and exciting possibilities for good.
In addition to his role as the OPM at RootedGood, Tito is also the Director of Evangelism and Design for the Inclusive Collective, a young-adult campus ministry based in Chicago.
Tito is a tea enthusiast who enjoys morning jogs along the Chicago lakefront trail and dinner parties with close friends and family.
Mission Possible Facilitator
Kala Taylor has over 10 years of career and professional development experience and mostly enjoys studying the intersection between confidence, hope, purpose, and meaningful work. As a Gallup-certified strengths coach, Kala is a frequent speaker at both regional and national conferences, conducts team building workshops for a variety of organizations and coaches individuals and managers toward meaningful work.
In addition to providing her services as Mission Possible Ambassador with RootedGood, Kala is the Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development at Campbell Law School in Raleigh, NC. Her purpose in her work is to help others find theirs. With her legal training, Kala enjoys building the case, with strong evidence that each of us can make a unique contribution to the world through work. Kala earned a BA in Sociology from Wake Forest University prior to obtaining both a BA in Civil Law and a JD from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
Kala is a sports fanatic whose goal is to go to the Olympics as a spectator, of course. She spends her free time attending or watching sports with her husband, Eric, an educator too, and her two children, Reign and Adaya, who are budding athletes themselves.
Member, Board of Directors
David M. Bailey is a public theologian and culture maker who believes the church should lead by example in effective cross-cultural engagement and practices in reconciliation. He’s the founder and executive director of Arrabon; an organization that builds reconciling communities in the midst of a digital, diverse, and divided world. David is an active speaker, consultant and strategist for many national organizations about cultural intelligence and culture-making. He is the co-author of the Race, Class, and the Kingdom of God Study Series. David is the executive producer of documentary 11am: Hope for America’s Most Segregated Hour and the Urban Doxology Project. He’s rooted at East End Fellowship and serves on the preaching team. David’s greatest honor in life is to be married to his wonderful and beautiful wife, Joy.
Member, Board of Directors
Jim Knutsen is the founder and principal at of Cast Consulting. Since 1990, Jim has working with boards of directors and senior leadership teams to help align organizations around shared vision, values, and goals, and clear strategic direction. Clients included Target, TOMS Shoes, Burton Snowboards, Universal Studios, Chevron, JCPenney, USBank, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and Matryoshka Haus(!).
Jim is currently engaged in a fractional executive role as Chief Culture & Strategy Officer at Evo, a Seattle-based outdoor retailer operating in the U.S. and Canada.
Jim has three grown children, and he his partner of 27 years, Angie, are empty nesting in Seattle (or at least they were before Covid). Jim is an avid snowboarder, fly fisherman, hiker, and reader.
Member, Board of Directors
Laura Peck, is a partner at the law firm, Axley Brynelson, LLP. She focuses her practice on commercial lending, real estate transactions, non-profit organizations and general business matters. Her clients are small and large banks, for-profit and non-profit corporations, insurance companies and small businesses. Laura has worked in the world of finance for more than 25 years. Her experience as in-house counsel at several large and mid-sized institutions gives her deep industry knowledge and a unique ability to understand and respond to her clients’ needs and concerns.
Laura was a Women in the Law 2014 honoree, recognized by the Wisconsin Law Journal for her excellence in the legal field, as well as her commitment to creating opportunities for women to succeed within the profession. Laura was named the 2017 Banking and Finance “Lawyer of the Year” in Madison by Best Lawyers® and is frequently recognized for her industry knowledge as a top banking and finance attorney.
Member, Board of Directors
Christian Peele has worked at the intersection of social good and strategic administration for more than a decade. She is currently Deputy Director of Management and Administration for Personnel in the White House. She previously served as the Director Of Operations of Stop the Spread at ImpactAssets, an innovative COVID response organization, and Executive Minister of Institutional Advancement at The Riverside Church.
Christian holds an MDiv from Duke University Divinity School, and serves on the boards of three social justice organizations.
Member, Board of Directors
Gregory “Greg” Richards is the founding member of Gregory A. Richards, P.C where he primarily practices business, real estate, and estate planning law. Greg graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and from Texas Tech University School of Law with his law degree. He is board certified in residential and commercial real estate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Greg says this about his work: “While my title and accomplishments sound fancy, they don’t make me unapproachable at all. I love helping people! I am honored to serve the people and businesses of the Texas Hill Country as a trusted advisor. The greatest honor for my team and I is to be invited to partner with our clients to help them achieve their goals. I don’t wear ties and we aren’t stuffy. We try and create an atmosphere for our clients that encourages open and honest communication.”
Greg comes to the RootedGood Board of Directors with many years of service on the Matryoshka Haus Board of Directors. Matryoshka Haus is the organization that gave birth to RootedGood in 2020.