An Overview

About us

Hummingbird Firm is a community engagement consulting firm, specializing in face-to-face and digital engagement for public involvement, public participation, environmental communications, climate action, and cultural competency training.

We provide these services for A/E firms, public utilities, private developers, federal agencies, and municipalities.

Community is a concept we embody as a firm. We are a tight-knit community within, enveloping our differences and thriving on our shared values (beliefs). We define community as the embracing of culture, history, and the goals of a defined geographic area in order to communicate with, impact, and evoke fellowship amongst differing perspectives.

About the Founder

MaKara Rumley, Esq., is more than an experienced community engagement strategist; she is an important thought leader related to the environment, education, the green economy, and public health.  She has a knack for identifying what makes each stakeholder successful and leading the charge for how everyone can win.  It takes the private and public sector as well as community viewpoints to reach a project’s full benefit potential.

She has produced identifiable results during her work at the Environmental Protection Agency as the Senior Advisor on Community Engagement with the Regional Administrator, as an Environmental Attorney with GreenLaw, and as a consistent lecturer and presenter on cultural competency and community engagement. 

She is a graduate of George Washington University Law School and received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College. Mrs. Rumley has a track record of achievement and has a results oriented drive to meeting milestones.  She is committed to the use of qualitative as well as quantitative measurements to truly evaluate connectivity to target constituents.

MaKara Rumley - Hummingbird Firm - Mecca Gamble Photography 2020

MaKara Rumley, Esq.

Founder & CEO

Our Team Members


Christian V. Braneon, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer & Director of Climate Action

DR. CHRISTIAN V. BRANEON is the Chief Technology Officer at Hummingbird where he provides technical expertise with a specialty in water and green infrastructure. He uses his broad background to assist with plain language translation of technical documents and for the development of strategic communications in the architecture, engineering, and construction



Denise Smith, Ph.D.

Chief Strategy Officer & Director of Community Engagement

DR. DENISE SMITH is a well-rounded

transportation professional who brings years of transportation experience to the team. She has developed an expertise in multimodal transportation planning and travel demand modeling. Dr. Smith is also very knowledgeable on a wide range of topics such as design, traffic operation and management, and autonomous vehicle technology. Her experience in academia, planning, and engineering, equip her with a unique perspective to contribute to projects.


Marisa Carter

Community Engagement Lead

MARISA CARTER is a graduate of Spelman College and holds an MFA in Interior Design from Savannah College Art and Design. She brings years of experience in schematic development and strategic planning by way of her professional design background.  Marisa uses her background by helping with phase planning, visual presentation, and graphic design. Her aim is to assist in community engagement through developing presentations and creating informational material that will aid in the process of communication for all. 


Oyemwenosa Avenbuan

Community Engagement Associate

OYEMWENOSA AVENBUAN is a recent graduate of New York University with an MS in Environmental Health Science. She has years of experience in the field of toxicology and scientific communication, she is particularly adept at communicating with other experts and laypeople. She applies her knowledge of environmental health to create plain language translation during community engagement with marginalized and underserved communities in urban and rural areas.


Lisa Riley

Business Manager

LISA RILEY is an engaging, entrepreneurial-minded professional committed to business excellence through servant leadership and client advocacy. Her years of corporate experience supporting Executive Leadership and small business owners have garnished her a deep-rooted understanding of client advocacy, enabling her to improve her clients’ successes by crafting a custom voice, streamlining their mission, and by helping with overall business growth.


Shameka Young

Business Growth manager

Shameka Young is a multifaceted business professional versed in business management, consulting, government contracts, proposals, and standard operating procedures. 

 As our Business Development Manager, she can promote the progress of current and new business as its mission in support of developing client relationships, proposals, applications, and analyzing data on industry projects, from foundational work to commercialization of leading-edge technology. Her experience in non-profit organizations and community outreach through mentorship provided her with the skills to manage people and problem solve, network, educate, negotiate, and manage projects. 

The top focus for community engagement should be to put oneself in the community’s shoes. You have to understand what the communication style needs are and remain nimble – like a hummingbird.

MaKara Rumley, Esq., Founder & CEO

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