Our goal is to help government agencies effectively reach, clearly inform, actively engage, and encourage diverse communities to take action. We are committed to ensuring that everyone has equal access to accurate information by promoting and forming effective and meaningful partnerships between the public sector and San Francisco Bay Area's diverse community.
For more than 15 years, InterEthnica has created marketing and public engagement campaigns designed to reach diverse populations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
A native San Franciscan born at General Hospital who calls Valencia Gardens housing projects her first home, Lisa brings an intimate knowledge of the City as well as over 20 years of strategic communications and outreach experience. As the only self-professed "brown" child out of 6 in her Polish-Puerto Rican family, her fascination with racial and cultural identity started at a young age. She has made it her life work to ensure people have equal access to information regardless of linguistic capability or socioeconomic background. Lisa cares passionately about each project she works on and ensures she delivers results not only for clients but for the communities she serves. As the mastermind behind the community engagement strategy and all multicultural components of the Vision Zero SF campaign, Lisa is proud of her role in helping reduce the City's traffic fatality rate to the lowest in its history.
Lisa is a graduate of San Francisco State University in Liberal Studies and holds an advanced certification in Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM). She speaks English and Arabic.
Born and raised in the melting pot that is Los Angeles, Deborah was always fascinated by the many cultures that surrounded her. As a child of monolingual immigrants who had their start in the ethnic enclave of Koreatown, she learned firsthand how crucial it is to bridge cultural and linguistic divides to avoid miscommunication and foster a shared understanding. Deborah combines her inborn curiosity for different cultures with her extensive research background to develop and consult on impactful campaigns that resonate with diverse audiences. She is most proud of her work on the Used Motor Oil Recycling Campaign for the San Francisco Department of the Environment and the City of Salinas Litter Prevention Campaign, designing focus groups and developing creative and engaging tactics to promote sustainable behavior among Latino families.
Deborah studied International Relations with a focus on Latin America at Stanford University and holds an advanced certification in Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM). She speaks English, Spanish, and Korean.
Born in San Francisco, Mona experienced her first culture shock when she found herself transplanted to a homogenous suburban town as she was about to begin the 8th grade. After witnessing the prospect of living in a world devoid of diversity, Mona determined it was part of her civic duty to promote the continuity of different cultures. Mona advocates to ensure people of all races, ethnicities, language proficiencies, and abilities have equal access to information, and is proud of her work managing large-scale translation and production projects including the behemoth 200+ page Voter Information Pamphlet and election material for the San Francisco Department of Elections.
Mona serves as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Representative for University of California San Diego’s Warren College and holds degrees in Cultural Anthropology, Archaeology, and Political Science, as well as an advanced certification in Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM). Mona is conversational in Spanish.
SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER
CARLA DE MESA
Born in Manilla, Philippines, Carla was raised as a military kid and spent her childhood moving around both domestically and abroad. It was not until she moved to San Francisco in 2008 that she found a place she could call home. Through her nomadic childhood, Carla learned to quickly adapt to the changing environment and cultural norms of her surroundings by observing people’s behaviors, leading to a deep interest in the study of how the physical environment shapes our lives.
Carla witnessed early on the effects of environmental injustice on low-income communities, and has applied her quantitative and qualitative research expertise and 7+ years of project management experience to help create equitable, accessible, and healthy cities. Carla personally engaged with over 50 community based organizations for the Civic Center Public Realm Plan and has led the effort to interview hundreds of San Franciscans for the SFMTA Equity Plan to ensure every voice is included in the decision-making process.
Carla has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey, and she is bilingual in Tagalog and English.
As a first-generation American who immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 14 from Guangdong Province, China, Mandy knows first-hand the struggles of being limited English proficient. Her experience growing up in a monolingual community and exposure to the pervasive language and social inequality around her, spurred her decision to pursue a degree in education to provide more equitable opportunities for non-native English speakers. In her bilingual classroom, Mandy has helped her students maintain their heritage language while teaching them to thrive in the mainstream environment. She continues to help mitigate language barriers through her work on the Portsmouth Square Improvement Project and the SFMTA Equity Plan by facilitating conversations in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Taishanese with fellow community members.
Mandy has a Master of Arts degree in Education from San Francisco State University, and she is bilingual in Chinese and English.
Monica hales from the Guangdong Province of China like most Chinese San Franciscans and possesses a deep understanding of the nuances of local Chinese culture and communities. As a certified interpreter, she is committed to ensuring that monolingual Chinese-speakers receive expert quality information and are not limited by their language abilities. Monica consults on the development of all communications and campaigns designed to engage and inform Chinese-speakers in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.
Over the past few years, she has helped bridge the gap between San Francisco city agencies and Cantonese and Mandarin-speakers living throughout the City. She routinely moderates focus groups for the SFMTA and the San Francisco Planning Department, and facilitates and interprets at community meetings including the Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground Renovation Project.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST
AYALI MOLNE PUERTA
A native Cuban who lived in Havana until the age of 29, Ayali knows the meaning of community work and its crucial importance in engaging with people in their native language. As a Latino immigrant and a long-term San Francisco resident, she understands and empathizes with the unique challenges faced by her community members and strives to ensure they feel heard and understood.
Working on reducing injustice and inequality is her passion, and most recently Ayali has served as the lead cultural consultant for the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) redevelopment efforts to ensure Latinos understand their rights and have access to information necessary to make informed decisions.
Ayali has been providing exquisitely precise translation services for the past 15 years and is a former Spanish Grammar professor at the University of Havana and a San Francisco State University trained interpreter. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Linguistics and Grammar and a Masters in Publishing and Editing.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST
Originally from Germany, Anke is an award-winning graphic designer with more than ten years of experience in creating, managing, and culturally adapting multilingual design projects. She is highly skilled in print and digital media design and publishing, and brings a wealth of knowledge to the intricacies of designing and typesetting for foreign language publications including in Arabic, Khmer, Hindi, and Thai.
For the past 6 years, Anke has managed the production of the print, large-print, and web versions of the San Francisco Voter Information Pamphlet and related election materials, overseeing the 7-language typesetting process and ensuring user-friendly and ADA compliant design.
Anke holds graduate degrees in Print and Media Design, specializing in New Media, and in Graphic and Communication Design. She is trilingual in German, French, and English.