Our Consultants

Mariah Alexander | Analyst

Mariah has experience working for the public sector in housing, health, and human services. Mariah's public sector experience began over 6 years ago as an intern in the Twentieth Judicial District Attorney's Office. More recently, Mariah has conducted extensive policy research and data analysis in the intersection of housing, child welfare, and education with a focus on racial and ethnic disparities. Her work has centered around cross-systems approaches to family stability. Prior to joining Ikaso, Mariah worked as a paralegal at a plaintiff-side employment law firm representing clients facing workplace discrimination.

In her spare time, Mariah enjoys reading, exploring the outdoors, playing soccer and basketball, and drinking good coffee.

Mariah holds a M.A. and B.A. in Political Science from Boston University. She was a four-year Division I soccer player for the Terriers.

Kayela Beatty | Consultant

Kayela has eleven years of experience working in operations strategy, process design and project management for large, complex organizations. Her work has focused on designing and implementing business and communication processes that are both efficient and cost effective while also providing a high quality experience for the end user. Kayela’s project work has spanned a range of fields and subject matter including developing staffing plans and productivity and service standards as well as managing the implementation of company-wide programs, strategy initiatives and events.

Kayela enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family and watching the Stanford Cardinal sports teams win games.

She holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.

Stephen Chan | Finance and Operations

Stephen joined Ikaso in 2011 after a decade of advising healthcare companies as an investment banker. Prior to joining Ikaso, Stephen served as a Director at Oppenheimer & Co., working closely with numerous biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical and healthcare services companies. Stephen also worked in the healthcare investment banking groups of CIBC World Markets (acquired by Oppenheimer in 2008), Thomas Weisel Partners, and Deutsche Bank.

Stephen enjoys sports and is an active volunteer for Stanford University.

Stephen holds an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University.

Blake Emmerson | Senior Associate

Blake has over three and a half years of detailed experience guiding Ikaso's public sector clients through complex Medicaid, managed care, child welfare, and human services procurements and helping state governments navigate major health and human services transitions. Blake has previously worked with policymaking and the political process, both in and out of formal government. His legislative work focused on a variety of topics including domestic tax policy, transportation, and immigration reform. He also served as an advocate for international groups including the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) and Girls Not Brides. Blake has a strong background in policy research, data analysis, and public speaking.

On the weekends, Blake enjoys reading novels and spending time with friends and family. He is passionate about trivia, craft beer, and Stanford football.

Blake holds an MA in Public Policy and a BA in International Relations, both from Stanford University.

Alex Fish | Associate

Alex has experience supporting clients with complex procurements and organizational analysis and design. He has provided consulting services in a variety of areas, including contract benchmarking, data analysis, and solicitation development. In prior public sector roles, he assisted with the coordination of a county-wide opioid task force for local governments and managed volunteers for a state gubernatorial campaign. Also prior to joining Ikaso, Alex wrote and produced segments for CBSN, CBS News's 24-hour news streaming service.

In his spare time, Alex enjoys skiing, golfing, and traveling with family and friends.

Alex received his BA in Economics and Political Science from Colgate University.

Jessica Flemming | Consultant

Jessica has over ten years of experience working with fortune 500 companies, global investment and commercial banks, professional service firms, and technology and internet start-ups. She has created several internal operations organizations and call centers designed to implement technology and serve clients. She has helped with internal implementations of mergers and acquisitions, reductions in workforce, procurement optimization and restructuring, creation of customer service call centers, corporate intranets, and a new hire orientation program for a company averaging 80 new-hires per week.

Jessica is a mother of three and enjoys spending time at farmer’s markets trying local foods.

Jessica holds a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University.

Henry French | Analyst

Henry is experienced in working with public sector clients and stakeholders at the local and state level. He has provided policy research, data analysis, and solicitation development services to facilitate complex social and human services program procurements.

Prior to Ikaso, he worked in nonprofit roles conducting research and supporting wraparound healthcare services for homeless individuals in San Francisco, as well as implementing educational development programs for children in Chicago. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his dog, hiking, and playing tennis and volleyball.

Henry holds a BA in Public Policy Studies, with a focus in Inequality and Poverty, from the University of Chicago.

Claire Harris | Consultant

Claire has over 16 years of procurement experience in both the public and private sectors. She has more than seven years of experience working in the public sector in roles that span procurement, contract management, data analytics, and savings measurement. Prior to joining the Ikaso team, Claire served the State of Tennessee's Central Procurement Office in various roles, including Deputy Director where she oversaw three Category Management teams responsible for all activities relating to the procurement and management of statewide contracts. In her Category Management role she led the CPO's administration of category lifecycle management, from opportunity identification through strategy, sourcing, negotiation, performance management, and data collection. She also developed and implemented internal processes to support the reorganization of centralized procurement, and worked collaboratively to develop strategies and tools to estimate and validate savings.

Claire is the mother of 3 children and enjoys skiing, boating, and cheering on the Clemson Tigers sports teams.

Claire holds a B.S. in Finance from Clemson University.

Amanda Jaffe | Associate

Amanda's government experience includes working at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Her background in public economics has allowed her to support several state agencies with strategic sourcing initiatives, procurement processes, and policy and data analysis. Prior to joining Ikaso, Amanda worked at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. supporting American ambassadors to European countries.

In her spare time, Amanda enjoys playing tennis, exploring the beaches of Northern California, and spending time with her friends and family.

Amanda holds a BA in Public Policy with honors from Stanford University.

Erin Kremer | Senior Manager

Erin has fifteen years of experience working in the public sector in roles that span Human Resource Management to Procurement and Contract Management. Prior to joining Ikaso, she served as the Procurement Director and Director of Vendor Management for the Indiana Department of Administration, which administers the State of Indiana’s purchasing and procurement function. By focusing on vendor management and strategic sourcing, her leadership in this role elevated the department to perform a strategic partnership role within state government.

In her many roles within state government, Erin managed a successful statewide strategic sourcing initiative, directed a team of vendor managers that aggressively and successfully oversaw statewide contracts, implemented two procurement team reorganizations, supported the State through the protest process, and developed protest mitigation strategies.

Erin is a mother of two and loves spending time outdoors and traveling with her family. She holds a BS in Business Administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Gena Lewis | Executive Consultant, Government Relations

Gena is driven by a desire to be of service and to provide solutions to improve the lives of others. She has served in the human services sector for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining the Ikaso team, she served as General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for the TN Department of Human Services. Gena has a broad range of subject matter expertise relative to human/social services, including child support, APS, administrative appeals, legislation, and policy development relative to federal needs based programs. Additionally, she is experienced in organization development, talent management, employee relations, and strategic planning.

Gena holds a BA from the University of Michigan and a JD from Wayne State University School of Law. She is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR-HRCI) and International Public Management Association (IPMA-SCP). She currently holds membership with Tennessee Bar Association as well as the American Association of Human Services Attorneys (national affiliate of APHSA).

Gena enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, outdoor walks in good weather and rooting against anyone who is playing against any Michigan team.

Matt Lewis | Manager

Matt has over a decade of experience serving state governments and large companies on matters related to procurement, operational efficiency, and compliance. He has guided state governments in redesigning their purchasing strategies for key supplies and services, helped lead states to leverage private sector expertise for social service programs, and guided one state in the establishment and operations of its unclaimed and abandoned property amnesty program. Matt's work redesigning Indiana's hearing aids purchasing program was the subject of the August 2006 cover story of Gov Pro magazine.

Matt has also advised numerous health insurance and long-term care insurance companies on compliance and operations matters. He led the complete redesign of the claims department and procedures for a top five long-term care insurer and helped several other carriers design anti-fraud, prompt pay, privacy and related protocols. He teaches continuing legal education classes on subjects ranging from privacy in the digital age to unclaimed property and escheatment. In his spare time Matt sings in the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia, America's oldest men's chorus.

Matt holds a JD from Temple University and a BA from Haverford College, both with honors.

Maggie Novak | Manager

Maggie has diverse experience in the human services and healthcare sectors. Her work has included project and grant management, healthcare policy development, stakeholder communication, and procurement support. Prior to Ikaso, Maggie worked in nursing for a large, statewide hospital network, and she also served four years as a strategic program director for the State of Indiana's human services agency. She began her career in a fellowship program in the Indiana Governor's Office and assisted the coordination and delivery of a statewide natural disaster recovery effort.

Maggie enjoys reading, exploring her home city with her husband and dog, and volunteering at her neighborhood's elementary and middle school.

Maggie graduated summa cum laude from Gordon College with degrees in English and Spanish. She also has a nursing degree and is a licensed Registered Nurse.

Olivia Rambo | Analyst

Olivia has public-sector experience from her work with non-profit organizations and state and tribal governments, where she provided policy development, data analysis and research skills. Her previous work in public health, housing rights, and municipal policy development informs her work on health and human services procurements, contracts, and strategic projects, including in the child welfare, Medicaid, and early childhood domains.

In her spare time, Olivia enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with friends and family.

Olivia holds a M.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Stanford University.

Wil Stowers | Analyst

Wil has experience working in government at the local, state, and federal levels. At Ikaso, Wil has experience with complex savings validation projects, IT procurement, and has also supported various health and human services initiatives. Through his experience, Wil understands the benefits that come from a client-focused approach to improve services in all areas.

Wil enjoys traveling to better understand the issues facing communities across the United States and the world. When he's not reading or writing, Wil enjoys running, good food, and stand-up comedy.

Wil graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University, earning a BA in Political Science with high honors and in Russian & Eurasian Studies with honors.

Karina Sun | Analyst

Karina has experience in the public sector providing research and policy development support in various issue areas, including childcare and immigration wraparound services. Prior to Ikaso, she worked in the legal and non-profit fields, handling document processing and client communications to support disability claims services for the former and conducting data analyses to empower diversity initiatives for the latter. This experience informs her current work on health and human services projects and drives her passion for quality, holistic services.

In her spare time, Karina enjoys dancing, sewing, and good coffee on a foggy morning.

Karina holds a BA in Political Economy, with a focus in Education Policy and Social Mobility, and two minors in Public Policy and Chinese from University of California, Berkeley.

Donna Villamil | Senior Manager

Donna has over twenty years of consulting experience and over fifteen years of experience serving the public sector in a variety of roles. She has provided consulting services for a variety of public sector clients in areas such as procurement and negotiations, program assessments, supplier diversity program support, federal grants management support, and marketing. She has also worked on program marketing and implementation support for a Medicare-Medicaid demonstration program.

Prior to joining Ikaso, Donna worked on state and local government sales and marketing for a global consulting company, as well as provided procurement consulting services to state government clients.

In her spare time, Donna enjoys traveling, brain teasers, and puzzles.

Donna holds a BA in Economics-Operations Research from Columbia University.

Brienne Wright | Consultant

Brienne has over ten years of experience working with public sector clients to identify process improvement and savings opportunities across a wide range of spend areas. By advising clients on procurement strategies, contract negotiations, and performance-based payment options, her work has aligned incentives between contract parties while generating recurring savings for her clients.

Brienne is a recreational scuba diver and enjoys spending time with her husband and young son.

Brienne holds an MA in Sociology and a BA in Political Science, both from Stanford University.

Jessie Yu | Analyst

Jessie has experience in the public sector working with numerous government agencies and non-profits in human and health services including public housing, child welfare, and diversity support. Prior to joining Ikaso, she was actively involved in her alma mater's Center for Social Justice to understand the lives of under-served communities. Jessie's work at Ikaso has focused on high-value solicitations covering child support, eligibility systems, and project oversight services.

In her spare time, Jessie enjoys backpacking, hiking, and learning new languages.

She holds a BA in government and two minors in business administration and Chinese from Georgetown University.