National Organizing Director
Rebecca serves as our National Organizing Director, guiding COG’s work with building voice in black and brown communities along with our rapid response and membership recruitment efforts. Rebecca has focused her professional life on building strong, progressive, and politically active communities of color – leading her to work with and build programs for esteemed organizations including the AFL-CIO, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, and Mobilize the Immigrant Vote. Rebecca dedicates her work to her parents, who immigrated from the Phillipine who shared their commitment to social justice and activism with her at a young age. Rebecca is a proud alumna of UCLA (Honors, Cum Laude), Rockwood: Fellowship for a New California, New Organizing Institute, and the New Leaders Council.
Katie Ellis is our Executive Director, responsible for overall strategy and leadership of the organization. Katie was a founding member of the Community Outreach Group, growing the organization from 2 employees in early 2014 to several thousand by the mid-term elections. Prior to launching the Community Outreach Group, Katie helped lead an effort at Planned Parenthood to launch a first-of-its kind national effort to register nearly 70,000 Americans in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Katie spent three years at the New Organizing Institute, helping train organizers to pair tried-and-true organizing strategy with emerging data and digital tools to run cutting-edge campaigns, and spent time in a variety of roles on candidate campaigns and in party politics. Katie is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Georgetown University Law Center, where she focused on election law and nonprofit advocacy.
Scott Kalota has served as the Rapid Response Program Director for the Community Outreach Group since 2015, and will be coordinating our 2016 independent expenditure electoral activities. Scott got his start with COG during the 2013 Affordable Care Act outreach and education program, and led canvass efforts in Phoenix, AZ to assist 5,855 consumers with their ACA applications Scott then served as campaign manager for Planned Parenthood Votes in North Carolina’s 2014 election efforts. During the 2014 NC Campaign, Scott’s NC program knocked on 534,581 doors, made 276,868 phone calls, and activated 646 first time volunteers. Scott is also a notorious cat person -- who has no cats of his own. One of Scott's proudest organizing achievements happened in 2015 when he organized a successful Caturday protest outside Texas Governor Greg Abbott's mansion where three activists brought their cats to lobby Peanut, the Governor’s dog.
Prior to joining Community Outreach Group, Thomas was the Chief Administrative Officer at theGROUP DC where she was an expert in driving operational and financial performance with a superior level of service. In 2009, Thomas served in the White House Office of Management and Administration, where she managed logistics for weekly meetings with national and international dignitaries, conferences and media events for the entire White House complex. Among her many contributions, she played a vital role in the planning and execution of the 2010 Health Care Summit, 2010 Nuclear Summit and 2011 China state visit to the United States.
Thomas honed her political chops with the 2008 Obama for America campaign, first as a lead organizer for Waterloo, Iowa and later in five other primary election battlegrounds states – Nevada, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. During the general election, she served as the Obama campaign’s Senior Accountant in Chicago, Illinois, where she helped to manage a $750 million campaign budget. Following the election, she served in the Accounting Department for the Obama-Biden Transition Project.
A native of Waterloo, Iowa, Thomas received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Florida A&M University. She also holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Ashford University.
Thomas is an advocate for orphaned and abandoned children and she is also the founder of ChitaFit, a healthy lifestyle initiative that offers spin classes.