Open Door Advisors

Open Door Advisors / Team

We are independent advisors who value uniqueness and diversity. We leverage our deep experience in tandem with validated research to accelerate our clients’ growth, impact and effectiveness.​

Our team.

Lauri Alpern, PhD


Lauri Alpern, PhD is a business psychologist and president of Open Door Advisors, which she founded in 2009 to help high impact organizations achieve organizational effectiveness.  Her clients rely on her for trusted advice and guidance at pivotal moments in their growth trajectory.  Lauri is a subject-matter expert in talent and people management, strategic planning, and social entrepreneurship/social purpose business.  She works in multiple industry sectors including business, nonprofit, philanthropy and government and in subsectors including healthcare, human services, workforce development, manufacturing, higher education, research and evaluation. Lauri is recognized for her leadership capabilities in driving individual, team and business goals and strategy; leading assessment and change management; and maximizing revenue and impact.  She is sought after as a trusted, long-term advisor with robust on-the-ground experience, applying evidence-based psychological theories and principles to catalyze talent and equity and drive performance. 

Earlier in her career, Lauri served with distinction as assistant commissioner for the City of Chicago’s Department of Economic Development in the administration of Mayor Harold Washington with a portfolio centered on jobs and local industrial development.  Lauri holds a Ph.D. in business psychology from the Chicago School for Professional Psychology and a master’s degree in urban planning with a concentration in economic development from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  A lifelong Chicagoan, Lauri is the former board president and current leadership advisory board member of Growing Home, Inc., Chicago’s first urban organic production farm.  Lauri also serves on the board of HHPLift, which markets the products of a global set of social enterprises with workforce development programs benefiting people with barriers to fair-wage employment.

John W. Pfeiffer, MPA

Senior Advisor

John W. Pfeiffer is a social impact leader with more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit, government and consulting organizations. Prior to joining Open Door Advisors in 2018, John served as First Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services; CEO of Inspiration Corporation; COO of Chicago Cares; Director of Individual Philanthropy at Feeding America; and Senior Consultant with KPMG LLP.   John holds a BA in Economics from Northwestern University and an MPA from Columbia University, and he completed the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University.   

John serves as Vice Chair of the Back Office Cooperative and Social Enterprise Chicago and previously served on the governing boards of the Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and Reeling, the Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival.  He was named a Columbia University Public Affairs Fellow in 1997, a Chicago Community Trust Fellow in 2010, and a Crain’s Chicago Business Notable LGBTQ Executive in 2019.  He is a longstanding member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential in 1995.  

Eduardo "Eddie" Cisneros

Collaborating Partner, Inspirate Advisory Services

S. Cody Engle, JD

Senior Advisor

Gabriela Fitz, MA

Collaborating Researcher, Think Twice LLC

Utica J. Gray, PhD

Senior Advisor​

Caleb Holland


Deborah Minor Harvey, MA

Collaborating Partner, The Right Source, Inc.

Esther Nieves, MA

Senior Advisor

Liz Reyes, MA, MS

Senior Advisor

Angela L. Swain, MBA, PhD

Senior Advisor​

Allison Wade, MFA

Collaborating Designer

Our social capital.​

These organizations are committed to making a positive impact in the world and we are proud members.