Makaya Gittens


About Makaya

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

Makaya has always had a passion for event planning; she loves being a part of the team that makes the magic happen. Her project management and creative problem-solving skills have helped her bring a myriad of diverse events to life, from the inaugural TEDx Talk at the University of Maryland, College Park, to the first virtual Leading Together Conference for the Council on Foundations.

As an Events Associate, Makaya is a savvy user of multiple web-based project management tools, to ensure a smooth process for designing, planning, and managing events from initial inception to the day of the event. She has expertise planning in-person, virtual, and hybrid events.

Prior to joining Collaborative, Makaya supported the production of corporate conferences, networking events, and social gatherings for the Council on Foundations, the American Bankers Association, and San Diego State University, and also helped coordinate logistics for a city-wide DJ Battle at the House of Blues in San Diego.

A Washington DC resident for the past decade, Makaya enjoys exploring the capital’s extensive cultural offerings and also spends her free time traveling and studying dance, including modern, West African, hip-hop, and acrobatics. Makaya holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a masters of arts degree in Theater/Live Event Production from San Diego State University.

Eliza Panike

Senior Associate

About Eliza

“The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.” ― Fred Rogers

Eliza has long understood that strong, vibrant communities are built by providing young people the tools and resources they need to succeed. For the last decade, she has built her career supporting government and non-profit organizations working to improve the lives of children and families. Most recently, she developed key messaging and content for delivering Common Sense Media’s ratings and reviews to parents and caregivers. Prior to that, she provided support to California’s First 5 system through program management, event planning, and public policy campaigns.

Eliza excels at project management and will be using her skills to create effective communications campaigns for her clients.

Born and raised in Northern California, Eliza currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in child development from San Francisco State University.

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