Re-Imagining the Future of Work with Sally Thornton
We are a team of creative problem solvers who believe that respect, authenticity, entrepreneurship and fun are core to human-centered companies. Our reputation is based on the relationships we’ve nurtured and the innovative risks we’ve taken.
We began in 2011, solving for the fluid future of work with interim experts.
Working moms loved it. Then came the working dads, millennials without kids, and baby boomers, who all wanted new ways of working.
After expanding into executive search because we “always got the skills + the culture complement right,” we came to a realization: the “special sauce” critical to thriving teams is actually based on the social science happening within them.
Now we’re working on solving the whole system of work by uncovering the science behind how individuals and teams thrive.
I’m often asked. ‘Why did you name the company Forshay?
The inspiration for becoming an entrepreneur was my brother, Will Forshay. When Will was 37, he was killed in a plane accident. At the time of his death, I was eight months pregnant with my first child. I had been working the long hours Silicon Valley demands, commuting into the office every day and staying far too late. When I heard about Will, I flew to the crash site. That day, my mom told me that as much as I loved my work (and I do love my work), I couldn’t know how much time I would get with my son. She encouraged me to find a new way to blend work and family so I would have no regrets about whatever time I was given with my boy.
So Forshay stands for all people who love their work—and who strive to do their best work while living full lives with no regrets.
Sally Thornton, Forshay Founder
Lauren Aguilar, PhD, is one of the world’s foremost scientific experts on inclusion and diversity, specializing in translating the science of diversity into actionable strategies that organizations and teams can use to foster more inclusive and diverse workplaces. She uses a data-driven yet human-centered approach to understand organizations, and loves working collaboratively with clients to design, execute, and support scientifically grounded diversity strategies. Lauren earned her PhD in social psychology at Columbia University and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Stanford University. When it’s karaoke night, you’ll hear her belting out “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes.
Madihah Akhter, PhD, is a nationally recognized researcher and has over 12 years of experience in facilitation, qualitative research, and mentorship. As an Inclusion & Diversity Consultant, she facilitates focus groups and leadership interviews, conducts research, and offers data-based opportunities for clients from a variety of industries, including education, non-profit, and technology. Madihah regularly partners with clients to create actionable, customized roadmaps for achieving their inclusion & diversity goals. She specializes in gender identity, minority identity, and global I&D. Madihah holds an MA from Tufts University and a PhD from Stanford University.
Jeff employs both quantitative and qualitative research to tackle a wide range of challenges, particularly those that advance inclusive practices. He holds a B.A in psychology from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in psychology from Tulane University (focus in school psychology), with research and practice centered around mental health, responses to systemic prejudice, and intersectional approaches to LGBTQ+ and racial/ethnic identity. Jeff is a proud Jamaican immigrant, whose main hobby and passion is training and competing as an adult figure skater.
Carolyn Carpeneti is a high-energy relationship builder who cultivates an impressive network of top-tier talent. With over 20 years of executive recruiting experience, she works with executives to create game-changing talent strategies to propel teams and companies to reach new heights. Driven by high emotional intelligence, intellectual horsepower, and an entrepreneurial spirit, Carolyn is a trusted partner to over 100 CEOs and senior executives from early-stage companies to well-established, large corporations.
Michelle leads our operations and administration – spanning marketing, contracts, IT and finance. She’s also the Forshay talent concierge, client project contact, and general cat herder who makes the complicated, complex, and seemingly impossible possible. And if that’s not enough of a resume, she’s working on a screenplay about a New Jersey funeral (surprise: it’s a comedy!)
Colin collaborates with and coaches teams during every phase of human-centered design, from the development and implementation of research strategies and interview guides, to early prototyping and experimentation. He enjoys building and testing business models and crafting compelling narratives that drive adoption. Colin got his start in design as a curriculum designer while working as an ESL teacher and has worked as a designer, design researcher, strategist, and coach, focusing on programs, tools, and services that drive long-lasting behavior change and cultural transformation. A self-proclaimed “learning nerd,” Colin loves studying languages, and often designs curricula and study materials for himself.
Anna Dragotta, PhD, is a social/health psychologist who specializes in data analytics. Anna approaches her client partnerships with curiosity, warmth, and honesty, making her a good thought partner for employers who want to increase their work environments’ inclusiveness and their employees’ sense of belonging. As a researcher, she has studied communication within interpersonal relationships and its potential consequences for mental and physical health. When the day’s to-dos are done, you’ll almost always find Anna in the middle of a good book.
Aliyah Dunn-Salahuddin is a community organizer and scholar of United States history and race and ethnic relations. She is passionate about social justice and believes history can be used as a lens to better understand our present society and culture. She worked for nearly a decade teaching African-American history and researching at City College of San Francisco. Outside of academia and diversity and inclusion work, Aliyah is a dance performing artist in the San Francisco Bay Area, who specializes in dances of the African diaspora and Katherine Dunham Technique.
Erica is a “pinch hitter” who can flex across multiple streams of work, but her passion is in streamlining processes and creating effective learning to achieve business results. She is highly self-motivated, a creative problem solver and a relationship manager. She has over 10 years of experience in the business environment in Change Management, Strategic Planning, Instructional Design, and Program and Project Management. She’s currently dreaming of planning an epic trip to Greece, specifically Kalokairi, of Mamma Mia! fame.
Blanca is a change management evangelist for growth, accelerating adoption of new technology, and helping people, teams, processes, and forward-thinking companies evolve through engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion. She combines a global perspective with a knack for creating cultures of mentorship, inclusivity and collaboration. Often called the team “bio-sensor” and “culture compass”, she leverages her ability to tap into the vibe, mood, mindset, and morale of teams, to coach, lead, mentor, and motivate teams of individual contributors to managers to C-suite leaders. She has passion for forward-thinking change leadership, inclusion and diversity, and is currently advising and consulting on Organizational Design, Change Management, and I&D Program Management. An avid hiker and lover of everything outdoors, she is also currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Point Reyes National Seashore Association.
Casey enjoys recruiting for a variety of roles and assisting candidates in finding work that allows them to lead their best lives. She has 7+ years of experience in digital marketing and communication with a Bachelor and Masters of Arts from Stanford University, where her research focused on the effects of new technology on human interaction. In her spare time, Casey volunteers as a coach for mock trial programs and runs a social media community called Genius Baking.
Paul brings a keen eye for matching candidates to a firm’s culture, along with 20+ years of human resources management experience in large Fortune 100 companies and small entrepreneurial start-up organizations. In the last ten years, Paul has been both recruiting and coaching top talent. Training is in his blood — in his down time, he trains shelter dogs at the SF SPCA to ace their adoption interviews.
Rumbi is a strategic advisor and partner for organizations seeking to propel and achieve valuable Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. She has worked for start-ups, government agencies, global, and Fortune 100 companies, and is credible for creating and managing impactful relationships. She uses her legal and consulting experience to identify opportunities, resolve challenges, and formulate creative solutions. She’s passionate about amplifying and empowering diverse voices. She is an avid traveler, “foodie”, loves music and dancing, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Tenea Watson Nelson, PhD is a leading practitioner of inclusion and diversity. She utilizes her unique lived and professional experiences to champion social change, particularly in STEM. As a Black woman, Genentech and Gilead scientist, and a decade-long Stanford University Diversity and Inclusion Assistant Dean, Tenea has moved forward innovative organizational DEI solutions through knowledge building, process improvement, and behavioral change. Tenea earned her PhD in Toxicology and Environmental Medicine from The University of Rochester. She is from the East Coast and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost two decades. Tenea earned her bachelor’s degree at 17, and her doctorate degree at 23 years old.
Moshe Ovadia, PhD, is an expert at bringing together rigorous data and embodied humanity to address complex inclusion and diversity questions. By integrating data-driven organizational science, experiential learning best practices, and client realities, Moshe helps clients understand what is true and up-level what is possible with respect to inclusion and diversity. Moshe holds an MBA, MA, and PhD from Stanford University, where they researched organizational sociology, and a BA from Harvard University. Their previous work experience includes Monitor Deloitte, IDEO, and Bridgewater Associates.
Seth Pardo, PhD, is a nationally recognized social science researcher, with a breadth of experience in human beingness and lifespan transitions. He’s got a knack for lean thinking, for change management, and for how to keep data science fun, meaningful, and actionable. Seth holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology, and nearly 10 years of advanced training in In-Depth Communication from the International Institute for Humanistic Studies. He focuses his writing and community action on factors that promote transgender wellness, sexual health, and resilient identity development. While Seth’s scientific approach is theoretically motivated and data driven, his approach to life is kinda like tree pose: rooted while standing courageously in his quiet vulnerability.
Amanda is our go-to partner when it comes to candidate-sourcing and direct-hire searches. Amanda nails the culture complement — and that has translated to a proven track record when it comes to filling key roles at the executive level. Through her many years of experience, she has cultivated a vast network from sales and marketing to engineering and IT. An undercover country girl, Amanda’s bucket list includes the Kentucky Derby; her karaoke list nearly always starts with “9 to 5.”
Heather Rees, M.A., is a social psychologist who researches the underlying causes of unintentional bias. Heather’s research has focused on subtle strategies that reduce bias and promote diversity and inclusion. Outside of research, (when not in a pandemic), Heather promotes and hosts local live music.
Andrea consults with small, medium, and large organizations that seek modern ideas for talent strategy, recruiting strategy, organization design, learning + development, and diversity + belonging. Andrea has held leadership positions at Lucasfilm, Airbnb and Autodesk, and holds a masters degree in Education from Harvard University.
Stacy is an accomplished professional with over 15 years of experience delivering executive-level administrative support. She’s adept at managing day-to-day workflow activities, managing projects and events, and coordinating complex and busy calendars. When the weekend hits, Stacy enjoys spending time with her family, going to her son’s college football games, helping her daughter with her event planning business, and playing with her 8-year-old and 2-week old granddaughters, Kendall and Cree.
Jon Shafran, PhD partners with organizations to build DEI strategies that are easy to execute and positively impact every employee. He believes that people are an organization’s most important asset, and organizations that cultivate a diverse workforce create the most innovative and profitable solutions. Jon has over seven years of experience working with startups, nonprofits, mid-size, and Fortune 500 companies on strategy, process improvement, and talent development. Jon earned his PhD in sociology from the University of California San Diego. He lives in San Francisco but still considers San Diego his home away from home.
Steven works to unlock data-driven insights that empower organizations to make their workplaces more equitable and engaged. He believes in a human-centered brand of data science that drives great outcomes — for good. Steven completed his MS in Statistics and BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. When he’s not wrangling data, Steven enjoys hiking up and down the West Coast.
An instigator on how to thrive in the future of work, Sally founded Forshay in 2011 to connect the Bay Area’s most innovative companies with exceptional talent. Sally is a frequent keynote speaker on the future of work, including the science of work/life blend and applying design thinking to make work better. She also loves to share her expertise on women in leadership, harnessing the value of a multi-generational workforce, and talent recruitment and engagement strategies. When she’s not full throttle at work, you’ll find her playing tennis or digging into a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Drika Weller, PhD, is an expert in developing strategies that help organizations become more inclusive and diverse. Her training sessions on unconscious bias focus on educating participants to recognize it in the workplace, and provide action-oriented strategies that facilitate better judgments and behavior. Drika has a PhD in psychology with a focus on unconscious bias, and has published research on unconscious bias in the top journals in her field. When she’s not working, you can find her hanging out with her husband, two children, and her extended family in San Francisco.
Fresh “Lev” White is a love and compassionate activist. He offers mindfulness, coaching, mediation, and diversity trainings as tools for shifting towards more authentic, conscious, and passionate living to individuals, households, and professional teams. As a certified coach, and professional trainer, Lev has offered over 200 talks and trainings in the San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond. He earned his coaching and leadership certifications through the Co-Active Training Institute. Lev is mindfully grounded at the East Bay Meditation Center, and a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leadership program. Lev also offers secular mindfulness and talks on Compassion in both corporate and private settings. He credits his ability to reach diverse audiences to his years growing up in diverse communities in New York.
Alison Wynn, PhD, is an expert on the ways people processes can reinforce—or reduce—inequity in organizations. Her experience focuses on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion through recruitment, hiring, advancement, and retention. Alison holds an MA and PhD in Sociology from Stanford University and a BA in English from Duke University. Prior to graduate school, Alison worked as a Human Capital Analyst with Deloitte Consulting. Alison loves dark chocolate and enjoys finding new local chocolatiers to try.
As part of Forshay’s founding team and current Managing Partner, Andrea is involved in every aspect of running Forshay. Drawing on her past experience as an HR executive and recruiting leader, Andrea is equipped with the critical business acumen, deep analytical know-how, and the ability to effectively identify the right talent for clients’ needs. With talent networks in the San Francisco, New York and Boston markets, she is the first person companies call when they have an important position or project to fill. Andrea has a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell, and in her downtime, can be found rowing or boating on the outermost Cape Cod waterways.