An Overview

About us

Hummingbird is a culturally competent consulting firm specializing in community engagement, strategy and data analytics, and systems-change training.

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

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

Our Team Members


MaKara Rumley

Founder & CEO

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.


Oyemwenosa Avenbuan

Community Engagement

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.


Marisa Carter

Community Engagement

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. 


Danny Rumley

Chief Operating Officer

DANNY RUMLEY serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Hummingbird. He directs operations with the local context of the communities being served as the company’s most relevant line of interest. He brings a wealth of experience from the urban agriculture, engineering, and Sustainable Smart Cities fields. Danny believes that the collective access to clean food, clean water, and clean energy for local communities is only achievable through education.


Denise Smith, Ph.D.

Chief Strategy OfficeR

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.

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Di Mike Wang

Chief Financial Officer

DI MIKE WANG is the chief financial officer for Hummingbird. As CFO, he brings over 10 years of experience in finance with a career that has spanned from investment banking to corporate finance. Most recently, he served as the director of finance for an institutionally backed biotechnology company and was responsible for providing strategic insights and guiding the company through budgeting, financial planning, fundraising, and infrastructure transformation. Prior to that, he worked in investment banking and investment management at Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley respectively.

Shelly Wheeler

Community engagement

SHELLY WHEELER is a self-motivated and passionate former educator with a diverse workforce and educational background. As a recent graduate, I am driven to find an organization whose goals, beliefs, and values align with my own, and also promotes professional development. I hope to bring critical thinking and analytical skills, combined with interpersonal skills to an organization that is innovative and forward-thinking.

Ayomide Okunade

community engagement

AYOMIDE OKUNADE is a creative, yet analytical individual who excels at translating technical concepts into easily digestible ideas. As a recent Biomolecular Chemistry graduate of the University of Michigan, she is well-versed in research, problem-solving, and oral communication. Her minor in Law, Justice and Social Change, coupled with social-justice based experiences she pursued during college have prepared her for her role as Community Engagement Associate. 


Wilshey Harris

Community engagement

WILSHEY HARRIS is a Proactive Public Health Professional with qualified credentials in delivering unparalleled client service, offering high-level communications, improving processes, analyzing complex issues, developing viable solutions in supporting/improving the lives of people.  Proven ability to establish relationships and work collaboratively with federal state, local agencies ad private organizations to achieve successful performance outcome. 

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Alex Trachtenberg

director of operations

ALEX TRACHTENBERG is an experience project management and operations professional with a background in environmental sustainability, policy advocacy, community engagement, communications, data analysis, research reporting, relationship management, and business development. His work experience spans a variety of sustainability and resiliency impact areas including clean energy, energy equity, environmental justice, climate mitigation and adaptation, community resiliency, water efficiency, green infrastructure, sustainable development, green affordable housing, and alternative transportation.


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



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

51 Free Community Engagement Tips

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