Welcome to Boost
Boost Social Sector Consulting brings a proven track-record of strategic impact to the social sector. Drawing from over 20 years of experience in strategy consulting, business process re-engineering, organizational design, and Board and leadership development, Boost brings a customizable approach to meeting the timely planning and navigation needs of local, national, and international organizations.
As top-tier strategists, we bring an extraordinary ability to analyze the situation at hand. We ask the right questions, get the right data (efficiently and economically in the social sector), draw insights, facilitate sound and productive discussions, and make recommendations that are grounded in a deep understanding of business dynamics balanced with the practical realities of the social sector. Most importantly, we get how to translate direction to action with minimal disruption. Said differently, we produce actionable strategy for our clients.
Our competencies include:
• Strategy, Growth, and Partnerships
• Program/Initiative Design and Enhancement
• Performance Measurement
• Organizational Effectiveness
• Board Development
With a presence in Washington, DC and New York City, Boost serves local, national, and international organizations throughout the Northeast and beyond.
Arshad Merchant, Founder and Managing Director
Arshad Merchant recently founded Boost Social Sector Consulting to help nonprofit and other socially-minded ventures address critical challenges and pursue greater good. Prior to Boost, Arshad spent 11+ years at Wellspring Consulting, including 6+ years as a Partner.
Drawing on almost 20 years in consulting, Arshad brings substantial experience in strategy, strategic planning, competitive analysis, survey design and analysis, organizational assessment, operational improvement, and implementation planning. He has worked with clients in arts & culture, civil rights & advocacy, community improvement, education, environment, human services, international development, philanthropy, religion & spirituality, and youth development. Examples of specific projects include the following:
- For a major university, developed a strategy for the university’s work-study program, which is core to their identity and brand
- For a leading College Access and Success program, developed a comprehensive strategic plan and growth strategy
- For a leading civil rights and support organization, developed a national strategic plan including their national advocacy work in Washington, D.C.
- For a large multi-service community center serving the LGBT community in New York City, developed plans for how the organization would achieve its broader strategic objectives through programmatic and policy work
- For a major Boston theatre company, developed a comprehensive strategic plan to improve attendance and customer retention
Prior to Boost and Wellspring, Arshad worked for over four years at The Boston Consulting Group in the Washington D.C. office, as well as in Dallas, where he managed a variety of projects focusing on strategy, customer service, and organizational effectiveness. There he received training and experience in developing excellent, implementable plans that were highly received by senior-level, discriminating clients. Arshad also worked for several years at Tetra Pak, Inc. a leading international corporation delivering high quality packaging for food distribution. There, Arshad directed internal consulting projects to enhance business processes, increase efficiency and service levels, and improve the company’s ability to meet customers’ needs.
Arshad has a strong and abiding dedication to social issues which is reflected in his passion for working in the social sector. He has volunteered for many years with the His Highness Prince Aga Khan Council for the USA (“the Council”) and its affiliated institutions. Arshad recently served as a Member on the National Grants and Review Board, overseeing a talented group of professional volunteers carrying out quality review and improvement projects for the Council at the local and national level. Arshad was recently appointed Chairman of this board and now oversees all of the community’s budgeting and auditing activities in the U.S. Previously, Arshad served as the Honorary Secretary of the Council’s National Social Welfare Board for 3 years, overseeing human services programs involving 300 volunteers across the United States. In the past, Arshad also served as the Council’s Director for Social Safety Net, a program offering a help-line in multiple languages to provide culturally appropriate crisis support.
Arshad received his MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration in 1997 where he received the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with dual Bachelors degrees in finance from The Wharton School and in computer science and engineering, completing the five-year curriculum and meeting full certification requirements in only four years.
Additionally, in 2015 Arshad became licensed to offer consulting services for the Standards for Excellence® program by completing an exclusive professional development initiative that gives independent consultants the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to work with nonprofit organizations across the country interested in learning about and implementing the Standards for Excellence code.
Arshad lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife and three boys, and enjoys cooking - with an interest and consummate skill in preparing various ethnic dishes.
Rachel Roth, Project Manager and Senior Fellow
Rachel Roth is a Project Manager and Senior Fellow at Boost with experience in higher education, communications, and leadership training.
Most recently, Rachel Roth served on the founding team of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. In this role, she managed the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which strives to reward and shine a spotlight on community colleges that deliver exceptional student results and stimulate replication of practices leading to student success.
Prior to Aspen, Rachel was the Director of Internal Communications at Strayer University where she developed communications and change management strategies that ensured effective execution of key university initiatives. She also worked at New Sector Alliance, a consulting and leadership development firm, where she recruited, trained, and coached teams of MBA students, undergraduates, and professional consultants to complete strategy consulting engagements for nonprofit organizations.
Rachel has a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. She lives in Bethesda, MD and enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor activities, and anything related to eating.
Amanda Huminski, Consultant and Boost Fellow
Amanda is a Consultant and Boost Fellow at Boost and brings experience in higher education, program design and implementation, and research.
In addition to her work at Boost, Amanda is in the process of obtaining a PhD in Philosophy from The Graduate Center at The City University of New York, a top-ranked Philosophy department. Additionally, Amanda designs curriculum and teaches undergraduate courses in Business Ethics, Logic, Communications Ethics, and Introduction to Philosophy at Brooklyn College and Medgar Evers College. Her academic work focuses on feminist philosophy, philosophy of language, and experimental philosophy.
In her time at The Graduate Center, Amanda has been involved with a number of initiatives to attract and retain Philosophy students from underrepresented groups. She is currently co-coordinator of the New York Society for Women in Philosophy workshop series and has previously sat on the Philosophy department Diversity Recruitment Committee. She also co-founded and currently chairs The Graduate Center chapter of Minorities and Philosophy, which hosts speaker series, pedagogy workshops, and recruitment events, all aimed at making the undergraduate classroom more hospitable to students from a variety of backgrounds.
Prior to academia, Amanda served as an AmeriCorps Public Ally at the Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she designed and implemented a life skills program for teens transitioning out of pediatric health care.
Amanda holds an MA in Philosophy from Tufts University and graduated magna cum laude from the George Washington University with a BA in Women’s Studies and Economics. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her wife and enjoys cooking, weightlifting, and exploring all five boroughs.
Brenda Huerta, Associate and Boost Fellow
Brenda Huerta is an Associate and Boost Fellow with experience in project management, environmental sustainability engineering, and creative writing.
Before joining the Boost team, Brenda was an Environmental, Health, and Safety Coordinator for Pepsico Mexico Foods. She was responsible for the renewable energy projects, as well as creating environmental awareness and wellbeing campaigns for corporate and frontline staff, in order to minimize environmental impacts from operations and promote a healthy lifestyle in PMF.
Aside from her work at Pepsico, Brenda was part of a leadership program in Mexico called Cambio Yo, Cambia México (If I Change, Mexico Changes) that promotes social values and cultural change. In this program Brenda participated by coaching undergraduate students from different universities to have a positive impact in their communities.
Brenda has a BA in Sustainable Development Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Monterrey, Mexico.