Our Associates

Ascend Advisors contracts with topic-specific experts in a variety of fields and industries to better meet the needs of our clients.  Here are a few of our associates:

Dr. Adriennie Hatten

Dr. Hatten is a Strategic Nonprofit Leader with diversified experience working across Northeastern Ohio for over 20- years in social services, education and government with particular expertise in quality improvement. She is a Management Consultant and an Educator. Her strength in developing and implementing strategic initiatives that integrate policy, practice and research to create positive societal outcomes is an asset to her work in various sectors in Greater Cleveland.  She recently served as a Community Initiative Consultant for the Neighborhood Leadership Youth Development team and the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance. She has proven success in the following areas: strategic and operational planning, building collaboration, project management, grant writing and grants management, board development, effective leadership and performance management.  She has experience in the nonprofit sector from both funder and grantee perspective.

Dr. Hatten is a native of Northeastern Ohio and a proud graduate of Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio.  She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, her Masters in Nonprofit Organizations from Case Western Reserve University and her Doctorate Degree in Urban Education from Cleveland State University. Dr. Hatten has partnered with organizations that include The Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Compass Consulting, MyCom, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland, and the Cuyahoga County Department of Children’s Services on behalf of youth and families.  She is a volunteer Board Member for East End Neighborhood House, the Case Western Reserve Mandel School Alumni Board, Be Pretty in Pink, the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods Network of Community Advisors, and a School Board member of the Boards of Old Brook and Regent Schools.

Brandie Smith, M.P.A.

Ms. Brandie S. Smith has a diverse background exceeding ten years in program design, implementation, and management across public and private sectors earning multiple awards for leadership and performance. She is adept at analyzing management techniques and processes to improve organizational effectiveness; researching and interpreting regulations; stratifying resources, and developing creative and strategic initiatives.Brandie Smith

Always taking a holistic approach, she is often sought out to collect, review and synthesize data to develop courses of action for executive leadership that not only addresses the technical issue at hand, but also the political and other relational aspects involved. Her expertise in emotional intelligence allows her to reach out and connect with people who hold seemingly contradictory and disparate views, find common ground, and work effectively together.

As a nine-year Army veteran and fifteen-year Army spouse she has learned to be adaptable and seeks to make a difference in the lives of others wherever the Army moves her. Most recently she served as the Army Family Program Manager for Joint Base San Antonio; the former Chair of the Joint Base San Antonio Risk Assessment and Prevention Council for Families; former member of San Antonio Military and Veteran Community Council Economic Development Solution Team; member of the Air Force Public-Public, Public-Private (P4) Initiative; PTO Treasurer, voting member of the Campus Education Improvement Council and youth soccer coach.

Originally from Ohio, Brandie S. Smith holds a Bachelor of Art Degree in Urban Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Cleveland State University. In 2012, she co-presented about military hiring strategies and best practices at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council/National Association of Workforce Boards.




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