CSI Staff

Dave Gise, Executive Director

Dave connects dots. In Dave’s world, these dots include everything from people to organizations to opportunities to ideas.  For the first 18 years of his career, Dave connected people to healthy lifestyles as a personal trainer and managing partner in a health club. He then turned his attention to the tech world, where he connected new ideas to help solve new (and old) problems, launching four successful technology start-ups. From there, he connected his biggest dots yet – the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto with his hometown of New York City (ask him to tell you the story if you see him, he loves telling it!). Dave now presides over the dots at CSI NYC as Managing Director, where he’s committed to connecting nonprofits and social entrepreneurs to the supports they need to create lasting change. By the time Dave's done, there will be no more lonely dots -  just a web of connections criss-crossing the world. [Contact Dave]


Mike Lark, Director of Operations

Mike's a guy who "knows a guy"! He has an extensive background in finance and operations and served as the operations manager for a fellow coworking space in NYC before coming to CSI. Prior to landing in the Big Apple, Mike was the operations manager at a hostel in Sydney, Australia. He enjoys the challenge of implementing structure and processes to the business and space. Outside of CSI he hosts a dinner party every Wednesday with his wife in Brooklyn for the local community at C3 Brooklyn. When you see him, introduce yourself & say "hi mate"! [Contact Mike]



Elizabeth Keane, Business Manager

Elizabeth is originally from northern New Jersey and attended Suffolk University in Boston for both undergraduate and graduate school, earning a master’s degree in Criminal Justice, but never making it in law enforcement! Her studies, instead, focused on understanding people and society, and how they work and intersect. Her ultimate goal is to use her understanding to help fix the many cracks and imperfections in many of our current systems. Outside of work, Elizabeth is a volunteer advocate with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in the Bronx. CASA is a wonderful organization that advocates for the foster children, and their families, who are currently in the system. Advocates are assigned by judges to assist social workers, lawyers, and key players throughout the difficult process, as well as offer support to the families. On a more personal note, some of her favorite things in life are dogs, a good book, and the perfect cup of tea; ideally these would all come together for a cozy afternoon at her local coffee shop (or CSI lounge area!). [Contact Elizabeth]


Chelsea Simpson, Community Animator

For over 10 years, Chelsea’s personal and professional focus has been experiential education, a teaching and facilitation practice designed to empower people to discover their own wisdom and expertise and that of each other, and tell their stories. This focus is interwoven with commitments to social justice, art, and mindfulness. Positions have ranged from living in El Salvador for two years leading “mutual liberation” delegations between U.S. students and rural communities, to teaching English & Civics to adult undocumented immigrants at community colleges & community organizations like Make the Road NY, to teaching Montessori school art, to leading nature immersion trips for urban children at a state park. Through and beyond these positions, Chelsea has lead sessions nationally and internationally on topics such as immigration reform, strategic planning, organizational development, anti-oppression training, solidarity work, writing for social change, and incorporating creativity. Chelsea has been certified as a Teaching Artist and has taught visual art & storytelling workshops across New York City public schools and libraries. She frequently serves as an international elections observer in Central America. She is a writer and experienced public speaker. She is also certified as a mediator, and in teaching mindfulness to court-involved youth. [Contact Chelsea]


Dan Casey, Events & Operations Coordinator

Dan works to make CSI New York’s best place to bring people together and think differently. He shares CSI’s vibe with outside groups doing events in the space, and helps members pull off their own spectaculars. Before joining the CSI staff, Dan had been living, working, and doing research in Korea, Quebec, India, and Saudi Arabia, and paid the bills as a writer, documentation wrangler, and researcher of everything from software patents to environmental policy to the Arab Spring. These days he’s especially curious about the future of food, the secret life of infrastructure, the death of work, and augmented reality. He earned an undergraduate degree in sociology and a master’s in urban planning, both from McGill University. [Contact Dan]