The Empower Engine Story
Julie Goldberg and Noah Glusenkamp co-founded Empower Engine, because they saw maps as a vacuum in progressive tech just waiting to be filled. Maps tell a story. There's a reason it's a cliche that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Empower Engine initially focused on Washington State, where the co-founders both live. In 2015, they expanded into Minnesota and then went international to work with the Liberal Party of Canada.
In the spring of 2016, Noah left Empower Engine for health reasons, and their only employee with campaign experience left for Hillary for America. Julie doubled down for her clients in Washington and Minnesota, because she would never leave clients in the lurch. She planned to wind down Empower Engine between Election Day and President Hillary Clinton’s inauguration.
We all remember the tragedy of that election day. In the aftermath, everyone was looking for tools that were new and somewhat proven, revitalizing interest in Empower Engine. A partnership with Catalist convinced Julie to keep the company and its products alive.
In 2018, Empower Engine 2.0 has emerged with clients big and small, national and local. We hope to be a part of your team as America turns the tide for a progressive, Democratic future for all.
Meet the Team
Julie Goldberg, Principal
Julie got her start in politics working for Howard Dean's presidential campaign in Washington State and for Kerry/Edwards in Pennsylvania. She gravitated to political tech, because she has been programming since high school. She got her BA in computer science and linguistics from Cornell University and subsequently worked as a software engineer at MIT Lincoln Laboratories. She moved to Seattle in 2000 to earn her masters in computer science at the University of Washington.
In 2007, she joined Voter Activation Network as their first remote employee, when their staff was less than 20 people and Votebuilder was just being built. She left NGP VAN in early 2013 and co-founded Empower Engine. She has been running the business solo since 2016. Outside of politics and programming, she bikes around town, attends lots of Broadway shows, and organizes Seattle's Lesbian Literature Meet-Up group.
Ino Chávez, Director of Sales
Ino is an Alabama native with roots in organizing, education, and sales. As a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ino cut his teeth working on efforts to stop Alabama's HB 56, one of the nation's most strict anti-immigration laws. Ino worked as an AmeriCorps Volunteer and an ESL teacher for the Birmingham City School System. Afterwards, Ino pursued a career in sales with Allstate Insurance Corporation. Ino later returned to work with a 501(c)(3) for education organizing and POC voter turnout efforts during the 2017 Alabama Senate race which Doug Jones won.
Inspired by a tight-knit cohort of political organizers and activists at the University of Pennsylvania and Empower Engine’s ability to interpret and map voter data, Ino joined Empower Engine as Director of Sales. When not in the office, Ino enjoys playing guitar and keeping up with local organizing efforts.
Ejike Obineme, Software Engineer
Ejike, originally from Baltimore city, is a graduate of Xavier University and currently lives and works in Washington, DC. From the age of 18, Ejike has held key roles in various social justice organizations including Black Youth Project 100. He eventually became one of the leading organizers of various social justice campaigns including Take 'Em Down NOLA, #JusticeForEricHarris and #FightFor15.
Coupled with a passion for social justice, Ejike also has a very strong technical background. He got his start in tech at Apple shortly after finishing undergrad, where he took on various roles that included software training and troubleshooting UNIX-based operating systems. He would later go on to provide tech solutions to various non-profits before before accepting the role as Data Director + IT Manager at Voice of the Experienced, an organization that specializes in both electoral campaign work and criminal justice reform. In the 2018 election cycle, he served as the National Reporting Director at For Our Future Action Fund. Ejike also works as a coach and trainer for re:power, formerly known as Wellstone Action, where he teaches computer programming to people doing political work.