Our Team

Meet our amazing, interdisciplinary team, based in Ireland and the US.

Per project, our team expands beyond our core members to include experienced facilitators, researchers, engagement and design experts. For our community-based projects in particular, we work to include community members as an extended part of our team to ensure that our approach is representative, inclusive and rooted in the local area.


Marisa Denker

Marisa is based in Philadelphia and is Co-Director and Co-Founder of Connect the Dots. Marisa is a Fulbright scholar, with a MA Design Practice from Dublin University and a BA in Urban Studies and English from the University of Pennsylvania. Marisa has deep expertise in consultation design, engaging event design, strategic communications, stakeholder management and project management.

An Urban Studies alum from the University of Pennsylvania, she was awarded an international Fulbright fellowship to engage in practice-based research in Dublin to develop a methodology to collectively approach complex urban challenges. This project evolved into Connect the Dots. Previously, Marisa worked at MCO Projects, one of Ireland’s leading project management and strategic design firms where she managed large-scale public and behavioural change projects, designed public consultations and events, and developed communications strategies for national and local public sector institutions.


Naomi Murphy

Naomi is based in Ireland and is Co-Director and Co-Founder of Connect the Dots. Naomi brings deep domain expertise related to all aspects of engagement and events. She has wide and deep experience in marketing and communications, event design, as well as logistics and production. Her degree in Creative and Cultural Industries and subsequent Masters in Design Practice means that she approaches engagement in a more innovative, imaginative way – through a creative, collaborative and user-led design lens.

Before Connect the Dots, Naomi has been involved in planning and delivering over 80 events with budgets of over ½ million euro, developing her own as well. She was previously Head of Operations at national pop-up community events platform, Happenings, working for clients such as 7Up, Dublin Waterways, St Patrick’s Day Festival, Dublin City Council, and many more.


Kiersten Mailler

Kiersten is a planner and engagement specialist. She has a background in architecture, sustainability, landscape design, real estate, and human-scale planning.

Her specialties include: project management, creative engagement, inter-sectional planning, negotiation, and placemaking. Her graduate school focus was in gentrification mitigation, and the cross-section of planning, economics, and social justice. She worked as a County Planner before joining Connect the Dots as manager of strategic planning and design.


Lynda Stopford

Lynda Stopford is a business development and fundraising professional. She has a background working with impact-focused entrepreneurs to grow and scale their businesses and organisations. Most recently she was a Founding Board Member and Executive Director of the Ireland Mexico Chamber of Commerce in Mexico City.

In Mexico Lynda worked with the Embassy of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, the European Commission, Mexican government agencies and organisations such as Smurfit Kappa Mexico, Ornua and Irish and Mexican start-ups and SMEs supporting them to enter the Mexican market or strengthen their trade links with Ireland.


Barry MacDevitt

Barry is a brand strategy and marketing leader with extensive client, agency and start up experience. He has worked in Ireland, UK & France and his experience covers a wide range of sectors including FMCG, telecoms, utilities and social entrepreneurship. He has led and mentored cross-functional teams in the identification, creation and launch of numerous products and services that have successfully driven business growth and new revenue streams.

More recently, Barry was CEO of DesignTwentyFirst Century a not-for-profit that was one Ireland’s pioneers in promoting design thinking as an approach to advancing solutions, engendering change and unlocking new ways of learning in the public sector. Some of this work was featured by Jeanne Liedtka, one of the worlds leading authorities on design thinking, in her bestselling book ‘Solving Problems with Design Thinking’.

His specialties include design led innovation, brand strategy, marketing communications, social entrepreneurship and change management. He is a seasoned facilitator and also lectures at Maynooth University.


Winslow Mason Jr.

Winslow Mason Jr. is a senior OD leader who specializes in community and stakeholder engagement. With a background in community organizing, journalism and DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), Winslow brings a diverse set of skills and strategies to the areas of large group facilitation, meeting design, systems integration and relationship building. He consults across many disciplines, including education, human resources and health care.


Joanne Griffin

Joanne Griffin is founder and CEO at AdaptIQ, a boutique consulting firm helping companies, and their employees, thrive in a world where change is the new constant, and Co-founder at IrelandTogether, a non-profit business support network, committed to finding innovative solutions to the unfolding economic uncertainty impacting Irish businesses.

With a passion for problem-solving and an agile mindset, Joanne has extensive experience in finance, business transformation, automation, innovation management and organisational change. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of emerging technologies, crowdsourcing, and how we respond to change.


Fiona Descoteaux

Fiona is a senior executive in the non-profit, local development and social enterprise sectors, and is currently CEO of Innovate Communities (IC) – an organisation she initiated working within a multi-stakeholder environment. Her organisation helps people solve old problems in new ways, in the places they live, work and play.

It brings an exciting blend of fresh thinking, design, technology and common sense, and works with communities to create and deliver projects that work in real life and create a lasting impact. Fiona has a proven track record in building successful relationships for strategic and operational gain across a diverse range of sectors; non-profit, private, statutory, academic, local government and government.

An advocate for assessing and trialling innovative social solutions, Fiona has demonstrated a nuanced approach to developing engagement with target groups, delivering programmes and results whilst working within formal corporate governance structures and best practice, and has the ability to access funding from multiple sources.


Eamonn Hall

Eamonn is a graphic designer with 8 years industry experience. He has worked in both small design studios and large advertising agencies on a range of different projects encompassing logo and branding design, web development, print productions and advertising campaigns. You can see more of his work on his website www.ehgd.xyz


Gael Welstead

Gael Welstead is a researcher, writer and designer from Scotland; after time living in Melbourne and London she came to Dublin 3 years ago. Completing an MA in design history at NCAD helped to expand her understanding of the relationships between design and people. She is fuelled by the patterns of everyday life and making connections in our environments, cultures and identities. Through research, ethnography and design she has created value for Dublin City Council, Galway City Museum, Fáilte Ireland and the National Disability Authority.