Who We Are

Uplifting Communities Through Peer-to-Peer Outreach

The Civic Operations Group, Inc. is a woman and minority-owned business with a mission to help the public and private sector amplify critical information and convey valuable resources available to their constituencies, with a special emphasis on traditionally underserved communities. COG resulted from marrying many years of successful field and community-based canvassing experience with the immense amount of information and resources that underserved communities so desperately need, and oftentimes are unaware of. Since our inception, COG has designed and executed outreach programs to respond rapidly and efficiently to arising problems in the communities we serve.

COG has recruited one of the most diverse and deeply experienced teams in community organizing. The COG team has a proven history of experience working to connect residents with critical resources that often act as a catalyst for economic growth, positive health outcomes, and utilization of public benefits. Over the past twenty years, the COG team of seasoned operatives have been recruited by key decision-makers to plan and execute comprehensive programs centered around economic relief, vaccine outreach, rental assistance, senior outreach, proactive health services, and constituent outreach for state and local Health Departments, Housing Authorities, Department of Human Services, Policy, Planning & Public Affairs, 501(c)(3)s, 501(c) (4)s, and national institutions. The team consists of thousand of outreach associates who hail from nearly every region, demographic, and walk of life. The leadership of COG has worked in nearly every state in the nation to educate and mobilize their residents, Our diverse group of organizers can interact professionally with people from nearly all cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and socio-economic backgrounds and provide welcome/calming reassurance during their time of most acute need.

Our Team

Jess Tamayo

Jess Tamayo is the founding partner and president of the Civic Operations Group, Inc (COG), a leader in providing quick and scalable aid during times of crisis. Combining two of her passions, peer-to-peer engagement and service to the community, COG’s focus is to connect the public and private sector to a wide array of constituents, and distribute critical information, offer application assistance, aid and relief resources, and guidance at scale, especially to those hardest to reach. Witnessing the level of distress COVID-19 created in areas across the world intensified her passion to reach communities in need.

Jess is a first-generation immigrant from Colombia. She brings over a decade worth of organizing experience in some of the hardest-to-reach places in North America and abroad. She has implemented massive statewide voter registration programs, executed successful community outreach campaigns, and has been part of the senior managing team for critical senate, mayoral, and district elections across the country. Jess began her career working as a policy aide in Florida’s House of Representatives and worked in community engagement and event planning in the US Embassy in Beijing, China. Over the last ten years, her experience has ranged from the non-profit sector to the corporate field, working with members of the UN, U.S. government, educators, international NGOs, and corporate executives to foster civic programming and dialogue.

Jess has a double BA in Diplomacy and International Relations, and Asian Studies from Seton Hall University, NJ, and MA degree in International Trade from Donghua University in Shanghai, China. She is fluent in Spanish, English, and Mandarin.

Elaina Estrin

Elaina Estrin is the Vice President of Civic Operations Group, Inc (COG) where she leads our marketing strategy, and helps to envision and develop programming with our clients. Having spent the last decade in community outreach, Elaina is an expert in this field and has executed a variety of programs on a statewide and local level. She has been recruited by key decision-makers to plan and execute critical programs for Transportation Departments, state and local Health Departments, Housing Authorities, Departments of Human Services, Policy, Planning & Public Affairs teams, 501(c)(3)s, 501(c) (4)s, labor leaders, and national institutions.

Under Elaina’s leadership, COG has produced outsized results for its clients, generating demand for government programs, helping hundreds of thousands of individuals connect to needed resources, and providing top-level guidance to government officials on how to adapt traditional campaign tools to innovative government outreach programs. Elaina has also managed over $21 million in operating budgets while providing top-down strategic advice.

During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Elaina saw how underserved communities were the most affected and also the hardest to reach. She led COG’s effort to work with local governments to deliver resources to residents and combat disinformation with an emphasis on historically excluded communities. Following its successful implementation, she applied this model to programs centered around economic relief, rental assistance, senior outreach, proactive health services, the clean energy transition, and general constituent outreach.

Passionate about her community from a young age, Elaina began canvassing in her hometown of Bayonne, NJ as a teenager. She continued her career as a local organizer in NJ and has since held senior roles on local, state, and federal campaigns across the country. Where she managed budgets of up to $5 million and led diverse teams of operatives.

Elaina has a triple BA in Diplomacy and International Relations, Economics, and Modern Languages. She is fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English.

Kevin Drennan

Kevin comes to Civic Operations Group with a rich history of work in the public sector, campaigns, as well as the health care and telecommunications industry. Kevin currently serves as Civic Operations Groups Chief Operating Officer, where he leads the marketing strategy. Prior to COG, Kevin served as Executive Director/Chief of Staff in the New Jersey Senate Majority Office. As Executive Director/Chief of Staff, he managed a staff of 40 people, created the policy agenda as well as communications plans to drive the agenda forward. He also served in the New Jersey Governor’s Office for two separate Governors, served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Development Commission, and as Chair of the New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Authority. Some key policy successes include the elimination of cash bail, legalization of cannabis, stabilization of Atlantic City, improvement of the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities, increasing the minimum wage, expansion of paid family leave, improvement of K-12 funding, creation of the first Urban Research University, the development of the state’s first veterinary school, the rebirth of the City of Camden, improvement of the State’s economic incentives, movement towards increased development of solar and wind and the stabilization of the state’s three nuclear power plants. In addition to his government service he has professional experience in the regulated industries of telecommunications and healthcare.

Anne Sheridan

Anne Sheridan is a seasoned and versatile professional with over twenty-five years of experience managing political and issue-based campaigns for a variety of elected officials, candidates, companies, and nonprofit organizations. Anne currently serves as the Client Relations Manager at Civic Operations Group.

Anne served in Governor Martin O’Malley’s cabinet as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office for Children (GOC). In that capacity she coordinated and aligned the efforts of a number of state agencies, city, and county governments in the design and implementation of policies intended to improve health and wellness among children and youth. Before joining Governor O’Malley, Anne managed the No Kid Hungry Campaign for Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit organization working to end childhood hunger. There she successfully implemented a statewide plan in Maryland which increased the participation of at-risk children in breakfast programs by almost 50%. In that capacity, Anne used her inclusive leadership style to gather disparate stakeholders to focus on specific, targeted actions to improve children’s access to breakfast at the local level.

Previously, Anne served as the Corporate Director of Community Relations for Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc, the largest gaming company in the US with annual revenue over $8.5B. In that capacity, Anne provided leadership and direction for all community relations programs for Harrah’s which operated 41 properties in 14 states. She publicly represented the company to a wide variety of audiences including community organizations, elected officials, organized labor, regulators, and the media. She also directed a strategic corporate philanthropy program to support Harrah’s brands.

Over the years, Anne has worked on a number of Presidential, Senate, Governor, and Mayoral races in a variety of roles. Between campaigns, she was a Principal with the Dewey Square Group in Washington, DC. She holds a B.A. in economics from Simmons College in Boston, MA and an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. 

Darren George

With over a decade of experience in the finance and political sectors, Darren George oversees the financial performance and internal controls of Civic Operations Group as its Chief Financial Officer. Darren also supports the overall direction of the company as a member of Civic Operations Group’s Board of Directors.

Prior to joining Civic Operations Group, Darren had senior financial leadership roles for various civic engagement firms and nonprofits in the DC metro area.

Darren attended Trinity Washington University and also serves as an Advisor to the Erin Levitas Foundation – a nonprofit organization that works to prevent sexual assault.

Kristen Carita

Kristen Carita is the Marketing Director at Civic Operations Group. In her role, Kristen manages the marketing team, creates and implements action plans, identifies new funding opportunities and markets, and assists in the implementation of programs. Prior to her work at Civic Operations Group, Kristen worked on local, statewide, and national elections, both in the field and as a digital Communications Manager. During her time as a Senior Organizer, she ran signature collection programs, outreach campaigns, and GOTV programs. Kristen started as an organizer at Civic Operations Group and eventually served as a Junior Project Manager on COG’s first statewide vaccination outreach program. Kristen has a BA in Political Science and a BS in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from East Carolina University. 

Katy Frey

Katy currently serves as the Marketing Coordinator for COG. In this role, she assists with marketing tasks — such as writing proposals, researching program opportunities, and designing marketing materials. Katy earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida in Environmental Management, with minors in African-American Studies, Communications, and Soil and Water Sciences. She is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work degree from Temple University, with a concentration in policy and advocacy. Katy holds certifications in Mental Health First-Aid Training (MHFA) as well as Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment. In her previous roles, Katy worked as a policy staff writer for Ballotpedia, coined the digital encyclopedia of American politics and elections. During her tenure as a staff writer, she wrote numerous articles about criminal justice reform, public education policy, and environmental social governance (ESG). Katy also has extensive experience working with various civic engagement organizations in communications and outreach capacities. She is from Southeastern Pennsylvania and is a West Chester Area School District board member, serving as the district’s first Gen-Z school board member. 

Rachel Holland

Rachel Holland began her career in government, planning and coordinating daily events for, and personally accompanying the Governor of New Jersey. Rachel has also kept her hand in local and grassroots government and politics by coordinating and consulting for corporate issue campaigns and smaller political races. Currently, Rachel serves as the NJ Government Relations Liaison at Civic Operations Group, bringing her wealth of expertise in grassroots outreach and government affairs. Rachel has a BA in Political Science from Drew University and a Masters in Governmental Affairs from the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

She is an active member of the community serving as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey for whom she also has chaired their Fund Development Committee and their annual Women of Distinction Event, past Chair of the Young Professionals Foundation Board at Robert Wood Johnson/ Barnabas University Hospital Hamilton, immediate past Chair of the Hamilton Area YMCA Board of Directors where she also chairs their Annual Campaign and the former Vice Chair of the Board of Lakeview Child Center. She was an initial member of the Biz 33 Hamilton Business Networking Group and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Hamilton Partnership. She has served on the Marketing Committees for both the Hamilton Area YMCA and the Mid Jersey Chamber of Commerce and is currently serving on the legislative committee of the Princeton Mid Jersey Chamber. She recently Co-Chaired the Hamilton Township transition committee for the newly elected Mayor Jeff Martin. She has also served on the Hamilton Township Zoning Board as a former member of the Hamilton Township Democratic Committee.

Layla Sharaf

Layla Sharaf is an effective leader in the public sector world, with experience in the federal government, technology, and non-profit spaces. As the Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the Civic Operations Group (COG) Layla is responsible for building additional roles, procedures, and department vision.

Prior to COG, Layla was the Director of the Civic Leadership Program, a Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian American (PAAIA) initiative, that empowers young Iranian Americans to become civically engaged through education, funding, training, and mentorship opportunities. Her passion for mission-oriented work has taken her to the White House, where she helped manage the executive branch’s technology foundation, to a technology start-up, where she supported government clients’ missions. These exciting and fast-paced environments, combined with her BA in international Relations from Syracuse University, have given her the skills to address a variety of challenges.

Danielle Castano

Danielle Castano is currently a Marketing Associate for Civic Operations Group, where she assists with the development of marketing materials and researches potential funding opportunities and partner organizations. Danielle received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in French from the University of North Florida. She received her Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Florida, focusing on issues such as human rights, migration, and democratic backsliding. Prior to joining Civic Operation Group, Danielle worked as a research analyst at the Center for Human Rights Studies and volunteered for a variety of organizations.


COG prides itself on its diverse team across the country, talented individuals from all walks of life who bring valuable insight and an important personal connection with the communities we serve. We hire on a rolling basis! If you would like to be part of our team please send us your CV and contact information below: