At Amistad Consulting Group, we help businesses be proactive in the areas necessary to further their vision and mission. We are a woman-led consulting firm that extends our services to small businesses that do not necessarily have the resources to conduct large scale operations. Our vision is to strengthen companies that impact individuals and communities that are traditionally underserved. We grow. We empower. We sustain.
How Amistad was founded…
Amistad was founded in 2008 and began assisting small community-based groups with creating advocacy programs, such as financial literacy for women in subsidized housing, capacity building and training for minority and women-owned businesses, and economic development programs for a confederation of Native American tribes. It began with Susan Chase’s passion for community activism. Susan worked on economic development projects that focused on the root causes of disparities in underserved communities. Soon afterward, she applied for a fellowship at UnitedWay and was admitted to the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College with a concentration in nonprofit management. Through the fellowship program, Susan started understanding foundational processes and business strategies. From this point forward, the demand for her services increased and Susan rose to the cause and reached into her network of skilled advocates to empower her community. Determined to build a team that shared her vision to build sustainable communities, she reached out to Quisquella, Sheila, and Shantel.
Introducing the members of Amistad…
One of the lead consultants at Amistad, Quisquella Addison, joined Amistad because of her interest in working with nonprofits to increase leadership development opportunities for diverse leaders and building anti racist, inclusive workplaces. She learned of Susan’s community work when she worked in constituent services for a local elected official in New York City. They crossed paths and eventually worked together at a leading non-profit organization. Susan mentored her as a new attorney. They share a desire for lifelong learning. Quisquella Addison brings experience in leveraging technology to increase access to justice. An experienced project manager, she is a 2013 Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) Fellow and current CUP Fellows board member. She holds a Certificate in Corporate Compliance from Fordham University School of Law and is a Certified Mediator.
Sheila Holt, the Director of Operations at Amistad and Capacity Building Consultant, first met Susan in college. They both attended Howard University in Washington D.C. where they discovered they had common roots and later became roommates. While completing her MPA, she began a Council of Governments internship, where she worked in the District of Columbia, Office of the Mayor, serving two mayors. Sheila worked in various facets of technology to bridge the digital divide in underserved communities. Sheila established her own business and later hired Amistad to assist with strategy. Sheila also worked with a state-certified mental health agency. She is a consultant for the Center for Nonprofit Advancement specializing in providing capacity building services to 17 small businesses and nonprofits; she joined Amistad in 2020.
Shantel Padilla, IT Consultant at Amistad, met Susan when she was interning with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Lehman College. Shantel designed and coded the website of one of SBDC’s small businesses.
“What I remember most about meeting Susan was that she spoke with such conviction. That really left an impression on me. She really believes in everything she stands for.”
Susan’s mentorship led her to a job with a nonprofit organization board of directors, “Before that job I had never written minutes and didn’t know much about governance. She believed in me.”
Shantel is an experienced advocate for victims of crime and persons with disabilities. One of her accomplishments is her successful fight to have a ramp installed in the home of a disabled child being discharged from the hospital; through her efforts, the ramp was installed quickly, enabling the child to return home instead of being sent to a nursing home.
Her advocacy efforts and compassion for people who the system often overlooks combined with her expertise in computer information systems solidified her commitment to Amistad’s mission and made her a perfect fit.
“Amistad” in Spanish means friendship– Amistad is a collective of people who share the same vision, helping one another and lifting each other up, working together, and pushing for positive change.