Surge Institute | Business Launch and Operations

Solving Business Problems


The Surge Institute, a national nonprofit with the mission of accelerating the impact of education leaders of color, was faced with an opportunity to scale their organization. To prepare for that phase, business planning and consulting were needed.
Blue Seats Action


In 2018, Connie took on the role of founding Chief Operating Officer for the Surge Institute, a $3.2M organization with 16 employees. As Chief Operating Officer, Connie overhauled:
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Performance planning and analysis
  • Information technology
  • Facilities management
  • Hiring
Adept with various functions, Connie also served as a Chief of Staff to President and Founder, Carmita Semaan, by managing projects, information, and people through designing meeting structures, board reporting and organizing annual retreats. As architect of strategic planning and the program evaluation, Connie helped the Surge Institute make its big-picture vision happen through building executable plans. Services included strategic planning, budget management, team development, and establishment of strong vendor partnerships.
Blue Seats Consulting Outcomes


Setting the organization on pace for growth, Blue Seats Consulting:
    • Established the organization’s processes and systems to enable scaling
    • Published annual goals and aligned budget development and individual performance planning
    • Improved bookkeeping and accounting accuracy and reporting
    • Organized planning, processes and efficiencies for the board of directors
    • Prepared for the transition to a full-time COO
The Best Part of Our Work

The Best Part

Work with the Surge Institute grounded Connie more deeply in overall equity as the nation journeys through systemic issues.
Connie has done a herculean effort across the board with limited resources, even less time, and occasional dissent and push back along the way. She has leaned into projects that were desperately needed. Connie is always forward-thinking.  She is not afraid to take on any problem from ground zero and build out a plan.
Carmita Semaan, President & Founder of The Surge Institute