TreeTop Commons, LLC, the parent company of both NobleHour and Collaboratory, was founded in 2007. NobleHour has helped thousands of schools, nonprofits, and businesses across the nation connect volunteers with opportunities and measure and share the impact they are making in the community. Collaboratory was developed in 2014, in collaboration with The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Collaboratory empowers higher education institutions to track, analyze, share, and strengthen their community engagement and public service.
Since 2007, both NobleHour and Collaboratory have continued to grow, both in size and impact. In the spirit of recognizing that growth, we’re announcing that TreeTop Commons is creating two new departments: research and data analytics. The creation of these two departments stems from TreeTop’s commitment to focusing on customers and leveraging data to support community engagement through volunteerism, service-learning, corporate social responsibility, volunteer time off and more.
The drive to establish these two departments also stems from our commitment to our B-Corp status, which we have held since 2012. Certified B Corporations abide by the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. Here at TreeTop Commons, we adhere to and strive for these standards, and we feel our new Research Department and Data & Analytics Department will help us cultivate an even stronger environment of transparency and social good.
The Research Department inside TreeTop Commons will be led by Kristin Medlin. As the Director of Research, Medlin oversees TreeTop Commons’ specific research efforts to support, promote, and enhance the field of study related to community engagement and socially effective impact across all sectors. Medlin is one of Collaboratory’s co-creators, and has been TreeTop Commons’ Assistant Director for Postsecondary Initiatives since 2015, leading various aspects of customer success and product development efforts for the higher education market.
Prior to coming to TreeTop Commons, Medlin worked at UNC Greensboro as the Communications & Partnerships Manager in the Institute for Community & Economic Engagement, where she developed and managed institution-wide reporting mechanisms for community engagement activities of faculty, staff, and students. She holds masters degrees in both Public Affairs and Educational Assessment, Research, and Evaluation.
Data & Analytics Department
The Data & Analytics Department will be led by Eric Tsai, who has been working in data for nearly a decade. In his new role, Tsai will lead the data and analytics department to continue to further TreeTop’s commitment to data-driven decision-making and storytelling. Tsai’s background is in consumer research, where he measured how consumers interact with brands through their various internet-enabled devices (computers, phones, tablets, etc.).
Since joining TreeTop Commons in 2017, Tsai has applied his skills and experience to the areas of volunteerism and community engagement. He holds a masters degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
Joining Forces to Better Understand and Influence Engagement
Both Medlin and Tsai have similar and complementary backgrounds and skill sets, blending traditional educational research techniques with cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning efforts. The two departments will work collaboratively to focus on providing and bringing life to our customers’ data. With these improved insights, NobleHour and Collaboratory customers will be better able to make informed decisions and craft strategies about their community engagement.
“These new departments will support our customers with accurate, consistent data, with a focus on security and privacy,” said Tsai. “We will derive insights through this data to assist our customers in meeting their goals – whether that is increased engagement, better retention, higher visibility, or something else.”
Medlin added: “TreeTop Commons is committed to enhancing the validity and utility of the data we collect, ensuring our tools adhere to best practices in community engagement. This approach will not only benefit our customers but hopefully contribute to broader emerging scholarship efforts and the development of community-level outcomes and impacts.”
With both departments working together, it will be possible to provide the data customers and institutions need to engage people, nonprofits, and companies, from corporate social responsibility policies, to volunteer time off, and service learning. This will generate a greater impact and more results for our communities and the causes that support them.
Treetop co-founder and Managing partner Scott Fore also explained how this announcement will benefit the team and its work: “The new departments also come with exciting new growth within the company, including hiring 5 new developers and the promotion of Jenny Walsh to VP of Product and Development and Mike Calvo to VP of Customer and Sales. These are two new positions that were created to better serve TreeTop’s customers, signaling both internal growth and an even stronger focus on higher impact practices and outcomes.”
With the creation of these two new departments, it’s our hope we will continue to embody our mission and vision – to deliver solutions to mobilize others to make a genuine difference in their community. We empower people to accomplish their vision for community engagement . Both Research and Data & Analytics sit under the new combined Product and Engineering division.