The Design Process

The Berrett-Koehler Publisher Board of Directors commissioned a Design Team to steer the design and development of the Berrett-Koehler Foundation until a Board of Directors was established in the fall of 2013.

Guidelines for Design and Decision-Making

These principles guided the design of the Berrett-Koehler Foundation:

  1. Use high-involvement, collaborative processes to design the organization.
  2. Design a simple organization that can be effective with a low budget.
  3. Start small and focused, allow for organic growth.
  4. Use rapid prototyping, test processes before finalizing them.
  5. Do not require BK staff to be involved or use BK resources.
  6. Support the work of other organizations with similar missions (not competing with them).

The Design Team Members

Steve PIersantiSteve Piersanti – (Design Team Leader) President and publisher of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. Prior to founding Berrett-Koehler in 1992, Steve served as president of Jossey-Bass Publishers. He began his career at Jossey-Bass in 1977 as a promotional copywriter then served as marketing director, editor, editorial director, and executive vice president before becoming president in 1989. Read Steve’s bio here.

Stoner_squareJesse Lyn Stoner – (Design Team Facilitator) Principal at Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership, former nonprofit executive director, and bestselling author, Jesse consults with leaders and facilitates high-involvement organization change. Recognized by the Huffington Post as one of the Top 100 Leadership Experts, she writes an award-winning weekly leadership blog. Read Jesse’s bio here.

Mal WarwickMal Warwick – An author, serial entrepreneur, impact investor, consultant to nonprofit organizations, and progressive activist, Mal has written 20 books and founded or co-founded several successful companies. Read Mal’s bio here.



Si KahnSi Kahn –  A social activist, nationally recognized  composer, lyricist and book writer for musical theater, and singer/song writer with 16 CDs, Si founded Grassroots Leadership, a Southern-based national organization, in 1980, and served as its Executive Director for 30 years. Read Si’s bio here.


Charlotte AshlockCharlotte Ashlock studied Science, Technology, and Society at Bard College. After working for Americorps and as a web developer for a network of nonprofits, she joined Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc. as Digital Producer & Editor. She is involved with the BK Foundation because she is passionate about connecting young idealists with resources to succeed.


We also want to recognize the generosity of many volunteers who worked to establish the Berrett-Koehler Foundation, and in particular:

Administrative Support: Brenda Price

Fundraising: Jamie Showkeir (Chair), Ann Matranga, Shah Hasan, Marilee Adams, Steve Piersanti, Jesse Stoner

Services: Paul Wright, Stewart Levine, Charlotte Ashlock, Jesse Stoner

Design: Dianne Platner (design standards); Josh Piersanti and Susan Malikowski (graphic design)