Our biggest challenges are both predictable and preventable. Through collaboration, we can solve problems once considered unsolvable.

Safety+Success Communities was founded in 2014 as a non-profit 501(c)3 socially-engaged strategic planning organization by founding board members Dominic Cappello, a continuous quality improvement specialist, IT specialist Gregory Sherrow and health promotion and policy expert Katy Yanda. All three had been working together on projects through Safety+Success, LLC, focused on community health training and the development of data leadership and continuous quality improvement programs. Their projects focused on improving outcomes in the arenas of child welfare, health, safety and education.

The non-profit Safety+Success Communities was developed to reach out to the nation's problem-solvers, promote dialogue and share strategies. The mission is to strengthen a data-driven, cross-sector and systemic strategy to improve health, safety and education.

Safety+Success Communities works as a nimble volunteer collective and virtual think tank, identifying potential projects that fall within the mission and working as consultants on initiatives. We're a collective of professionals with expertise in design, communications, technology, continuous quality improvement and community capacity-building. The founding board members commit their time and design space to maintain the collective's infrastructure and communications. Like most agencies, the collective is wired to clients and thought partners via Slack, FaceTime and googledocs. (We're expecting to use holograms with artificial intelligence soon).

The first grant Safety+Success Communities was awarded came from the Santa Fe Community Foundation to develop a data leadership and continuous quality improvement training. The goal was to teach community agency staff about assessment, planning, action and evaluation in a blended learning format with training and a web-based course that served as a repository for lessons, tutorials, and research.

Today we offer technical assistance, always happy to answer questions about working collaboratively to get to outcomes. Below is our menu of learning resources.

  1. Data Leaders for Child Welfare-Graduate Network: We provide technical assistance to graduates of the Data Leaders for Child Welfare course to support internal and external change initiatives and innovations.
  2. Data Leaders for Child Welfare-Training Guide: We provide to child welfare systems the Data Leaders for Child Welfare Training Guide. This curriculum (implemented in NYC, CT, and NM with the support of Casey Family Programs) teaches agency leadership the skills in the data-driven framework of continuous quality improvement to empower staff to improve practice and the outcomes for children and families. Contact us to visit the web-based course and download any materials of interest.
  3. Resilience Leaders-Training Guide: We provide to public health systems and community agencies the Resilience Leaders Training Guide. Resilience Leaders is a data-driven capacity-building process to strengthen key family services in order to increase resiliency factors and decrease childhood trauma and maltreatment.
  4. Longevity Leaders-Training Guide: We provide to aging and long-term services our Longevity Leaders Training Guide. Longevity Leaders is a continuous quality improvement program focused on using data to identify challenges older adults face, including raising their grandchildren, and design solutions.
  5. Data-Driven Social Work Practice-college course curriculum: We are currently working with Eastern New Mexico University School of Social Work to develop the undergraduate course Data-Driven Social Work Practice. This course is based on the Data Leaders for Child Welfare program. Once piloted in 2018 and revised, we can email the curriculum to other learning institutions.
  6. Resilient Community Experience Survey: We can provide to family-serving community partners our assessment tool, the Resilient Community Experience Survey. The survey identifies parent access to vital family-serving agencies and services, encompassing: behavioral health care, medical/dental care, safe housing, food pantries and programs, transport, parent supports, youth mentorship, early childhood learning programs, family-centered schools, and job training. This survey identifies gaps in services and opportunities to strengthen local family-focused services.
  7. Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment: We can provide to community stakeholders the resources to generate dialogue and public awareness focused on the root causes and data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment. The content for these resources is presented in the book, Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment by the creators of the New Mexico Data Leaders program Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello.



Our specialty is customizing data leadership and continuous quality improvement (CQI) training programs for managers with the goal of strengthening an agency’s capacity to set and reach goals.


We provide the expertise to map agency work flow and community capacity in order to identify challenges as well as strengths. Let us strengthen your capacity to analyze needs and set priorities.


Our planning process starts with a hypothesis—if an agency does "A", then "B" will happen. We can help prove your hypothesis by identifying a project’s goals, purpose, partnerships, activities and measurable outcomes. We can also direct you to research and evidence-based strategies shown to solve specific challenges.


Our work is all about taking data-informed, cross-sector and systemic action, moving us from ideas to implementation. We collaborate with clients to ensure that research guides a project step-by-step—supported by the latest technology.


We start with questions: How will a project produce measurable and meaningful change? To whom? And for how long? Our evaluation process brings valuable insights to inform current and future work.


We advise on the use of technology to create more effective tracking, education, communication and evaluation systems. We specialize in the design of learning management systems (LMS) that can house training, data, research and become a virtual education center for staff and communities.


For more information about getting the data, making the plan and supporting you step-by-step through the development, implementation and evaluation of innovations and change initiatives to enrich lives—please contact us.


Dominic Cappello serves as the point person for Safety+Success Communities, an energetic networker of thought partners and collaborators. He's a strong advocate for using a data-driven, cross-sector and systemic strategy to get to measurable and meaningful results. He focuses his expertise in continuous quality improvement, communication and creative direction on strengthening systems of public health, safety and education. His data leadership and continuous quality improvement training is designed to empower agencies and communities—strengthening their capacity to understand challenges and design solutions. Dominic is a proponent of designing user-friendly and family-centered communities to address our costly and interconnected social problems. He is the co-author (with Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD) of the book Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment. With the sponsorship of Casey Family Programs, Dominic led the design of the Data Leaders for Child Welfare continuous quality improvement program in New York City, Connecticut and New Mexico. He specialized in strategic planning and program development within the New Mexico Public Health Department-Epidemiology and Response Division and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department-Research, Assessment and Data Bureau. Dominic grew up in southern California, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications at California State University, Long Beach, followed by a year of independent study at Stockholm University, Sweden. Inspired by Scandinavia's social systems and commitment to every family's health, Dominic focused his work on public sector training projects as he earned his Master of Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Language and Communication at Regis University.

Katherine Courtney has a PhD from the Texas Christian University where she studied at the Institute of Behavioral Research. Her focus has been on improving organizations. Dr. Courtney worked with the State of New Mexico for six years, first as the Juvenile Justice Epidemiologist, then as the Bureau Chief for Protective Services Research Assessment and Data Bureau. An advocate for data-informed decision-making, Dr. Courtney championed the development of STEP to strengthen continuous quality improvement throughout child welfare. She is the co-author (with Dominic Cappello) of Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment. Dr. Courtney was instrumental in the development of the Data Leaders for Child Welfare program, launched in New Mexico, New York City, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She is also a driving force behind the development of the Anna, Age Eight Institute, a technical assistance center serving all New Mexicans, in partnership in Northern New Mexico College.

Gregory Sherrow is technology architect for both educational and commercial enterprises. Trained as an educator, he has been involved in web development since 1997 and has developed and managed web technology solutions for companies large and small, most notably 6+ years as the head of Patagonia, Inc. Web Development Department plus additional departmental director positions. He designed the learning management systems for Data Leaders for Child Welfare in NM, CT and NYC. He programmed the prototypes for the Safety+Success learning management systems focused on family safety and health piloted in South Carolina and New Mexico. His learning management system clients include State Departments of Health, Education and Attorney General's Office. He's the go to guy for the power of tech to empower agencies and communities. He is a founding board member of Safety+Success Communities.

Katy Yanda received her Master of Public Health from Columbia University, focusing on adolescent and family health. She has worked extensively in the domestic and international field of maternal and child health, as Director of the Teen Health Initiative, New York Civil Liberties Union; Presidential Management Fellow with the Administration for Children and Families; and as a program manager with the Women's Global Health Imperative at the University of California, San Francisco. She has advised on the design and implementation of community health promotion, promoting training and increasing dialogue between schools and parents with the “Can We Talk?” and “Let's Talk” parent-child communication programs. She is a founding board member of Safety+Success Communities.

Cathy Kodama has been a health educator on the University of California, Berkeley campus for over 30 years, and a Lecturer at the School of Public Health for over 20 years. As the Director of Health Promotion at the University Health Services, I work with a team of students and staff to make the campus healthier, through a combination of individual and environmental strategies: everything from Pet Hugs to alcohol policies. She received her Bachelor's in English and an MPH from Cal. Cathy loved Berkeley in all its confusion, contentiousness, and multiple visions. She got involved in public health--fell into it, really--for political reasons, and continue to believe that health and wellness for all is true social justice. Cathy also served as the President of the Pacific Coast College Health Association, on the Board of Directors of the American College Health Association (ACHA), and received a Fellowship and the Miguel Garcia-Tunon Award for Human Dignity from ACHA. She is a board member of Safety+Success Communities.

Peter Nam works as a graphic designer in San Francisco with decades of experience in advertising, marketing, communications and design. His clients come from the public and private sector. He brings valuable insights to every project with a unique lens that can identify design solutions for social challenges. He is a board member of Safety+Success Communities.

Richard Dunks is the founder of Datapolitan, an urban informatics consultancy based in New York City that focuses on the data and information needs of the public sector, including government agencies and non-profits. A graduate of the urban data science program at NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress, Richard works on applying new and innovative techniques to the processing, analysis, and visualization of public data to make meaningful and positive actions with measurable impact. For the past 3 years, he's been teaching classes in open data, data analysis, information visualization, data mining, and geospatial analysis for employees of the City of New York, as well as an adjunct professor at Columbia University and Pratt Institute. He is currently facilitating the Data Leaders for Child Welfare course for NYC Administration for Children's Services.


For more information about how we work as a collective, brainstorm, strategize, prioritize issues and develop projects—please contact us.