Aalap Shah is a mission-driven product innovator, who is passionate about human centered design and has successfully led strategy, product, growth, and M&A for startups and Fortune 500 companies. Before his current role leading product for Customer Hardship at Capital One, Aalap was Head of Product for Paribus, launched fintech mobile apps, and had a previous life working in social innovation and international development. He went to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and got his MBA at the University of Texas. He also is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors at OutRight Action International, an LGBTIQ human rights organization. Aalap lives in New York City with his partner Gregg.
Alejandra joined Tecnológico de Monterrey Foundation in 2021, a non-profit organization supporting three Mexico-based Institutions: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Universidad Tecmilenio, and Tec Salud. As the Vice President of Administration and Development Director, she is responsible for building the organization, establishing policies and procedures, administration, and operations. Still, most of her time is devoted to fundraising. Alejandra has been able to close one eight-figure gift within her first two years.
Alejandra is also a Mentor for the Leadership Fellows New York, an organization established by The New York Community Trust in association with the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College and its Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management. Leadership Fellows New York is the premier professional development opportunity for mid-career nonprofit practitioners in the metropolitan New York City region.
Before joining Tec, she was Vice President of Development for The New York Women’s Foundation. The Foundation allocates resources to more than 100 small foundations in New York City. In that role, she was responsible for operations, fundraising events, planned gifts (legacies), corporate sponsorships, and individual donations, generating unrestricted donations of over $10 million annually. She previously served as Director of Institutional Development at The American School Foundation (ASF), based in Mexico City, where she managed to introduce and consolidate the concept of philanthropy among students from preschool to high school. He has extensive experience in international fundraising. In early 2000, she incorporated and managed, as Executive Vice President, Visión México, the fundraising arm of Vamos México and Centro Fox, working directly with former President Vicente Fox and closing 8-figure gifts. Vamos Mexico supports women, children, and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. She is an Economist from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College at The City University of New York. He has two diplomas in Advanced Econometrics from ITAM, where he taught this subject at the graduate level. He won both the XVII National Prize of Economy Tlacaélel and the National Prize of the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives in 1996 for her research on the Mexican stock market. Alejandra is a board member of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York (PPGGNY), Downtown United Soccer Club, and Royal Family Productions. She is also a volunteer for CASE and was recently recognized as a CASE Laureates Senior Volunteer.
Alexandros Hatzakis is the Chief Operating Officer at FPWA. As COO, he is responsible for driving and oversight of the day-to-day internal operations and organizational leadership, partnering with the Chief Executive and the leadership team toward effective sustainable growth and increasing impact and the successful achievement of strategic objectives.
Prior to working at FPWA, Alexandros was the Director of Income at United Way of New York City where he oversaw and managed a $6 million portfolio of program and policy initiatives aimed at assisting families in meeting their basic needs, tackling household insecurity, and working towards economic stability.
He formerly served as the Development and Information Systems Manager at The Financial Clinic, overseeing the implementation and integration of fundraising, operational and client data systems. He has also conducted research and policy analysis for the State of Delaware’s Division of Corporations and U.K. Companies House.
Alexandros received his Bachelor’s degree from Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Baruch and his Master of Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He is a SHRM – Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP). He serves as Chair and member of New York City’s Procurement Policy Board.
Amada is currently the Associate Director of Advising and Student Services at NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Administration, Leadership, and Technology where she is also pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Amada is also a professor for the Latin American and Latinx Studies Department at CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. At John Jay, she teaches courses on the history of Latinxs in the United States with attention to the establishment and development of the diverse Latinx communities through migration, colonization, racialization, and integration.
Amada is a social innovator with a wide range of experience leading and developing programs for underserved populations. Before joining NYU, Amada worked for a private education consulting firm as Director of Training and Program, focusing on programming support and training opportunities to propel underrepresented educators and entrepreneurs to excel across sectors using an asset-based lens. In addition, Amada provides consulting services in research, planning, and support on various projects that close the achievement gap and provide greater access to all vulnerable young adults in education and the workforce. Amada has worked closely with the Postsecondary Education Subcommittee of the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics under the Obama Administration through her consulting services. Through this work, Amada led the organizing of powerful convenings between the nation’s top scholars, policymakers, and practitioners intending to impact policy and address the deficit in college enrollment and completion for Latinx students.
Before working in the private sector, Amada served as a Youth & Family Director for the YMCA of Greater New York. She was responsible for successfully implementing program development and evaluation of youth programs in this role.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Amada has a passion for supporting recently arrived young adults to achieve academically and professionally. She has led various start-up initiatives, including a small nonprofit that provided support services to New York City high schools and communities with a high immigrant population, becoming one of the city’s first immigrant peer-to-peer mentoring model at the time.
Amada holds a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University and a BA from CUNY Bernard Baruch College. Amada also served as an Education Pioneer Fellow in partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Amanda Huang is a real estate development professional working in affordable housing at IMPACCT Brooklyn, a non profit community based organization focused on providing accessible, affordable housing and resources to the central Brooklyn area. IMPACCT Brooklyn also provides social and supportive services, affordable housing marketing, and tenant and community organizing in addition to real estate development. She currently works on the financing, design, construction, asset management and project delivery of several affordable housing projects.
She has a background in architecture, design, urban planning and academia. She was previously based in Paris, London, and Nairobi working on large scale urban projects as a design practitioner, project manager, and researcher. Her interests include public and private partnerships in the built environment, community/public informed development, and economic development. Prior experience include Oualalou + Choi, KPF, UN-Habitat, and Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Urban Planning from Cornell University and a Master in Urban Design and Real Estate Finance from Harvard University.
Amy Sutnick Plotch is a leadership coach who helps people who want to use their professional lives to make a difference. A creative strategist and entrepreneurial thinker, Amy helps people clarify their goals, map their paths to success, overcome hurdles, and move forward with confidence.
Coaching involves a series of transformational conversations to align your career with your values, challenge the beliefs that hold you back, and guide you to step outside your comfort zone. Amy uses her strategic communication skills and experience in nonprofit management to combine coaching with actionable advice to help clients tell their stories, craft their brands, and strengthen their networks.
Prior to founding Amy Plotch Coaching, Amy led Sutnick Plotch Communications, a social good communications consulting firm. Her clients included North Star Fund, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Touro University, Public Agenda, and The Opportunity Network. Amy was a senior executive at national and local organizations where she excelled at designing social change initiatives that were also development opportunities. She also taught strategic communications at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and served as a judge for the Nonprofit New York’s Nonprofit Excellence Awards.
Anita Appel has over 30 years of experience in the field of mental health. Beginning in 2006, Ms. Appel served as Director of the NYC Field Office at the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). She began her career at OMH in the Field Office in 1983. Ms. Appel was named the Director of Children’s Services in 1989, and became Deputy Director in 1995.
During her time at OMH, Ms. Appel was instrumental in the expansion of the availability of services for children and adolescents with mental health disorders, including school based services, family support, case management, home and community-based waivers, and home based crisis intervention.
Ms. Appel received her Social Work degree from Yeshiva University, Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
Anita Nager serves as an advisor to foundations and individual donors with a special emphasis on environmental giving. She was the last Executive Director of the Beldon Fund, an intentional spend-out foundation, dedicated to building and sustaining a national consensus to achieve and sustain a healthy planet. For seven years, she also served as its Director of Programs. The Beldon Fund, founded and chaired by John Hunting—a Steelcase heir—invested its entire principal and earnings over a ten-year period. Anita guided the final spend out, communication of lessons learned, and the conclusion of operations. When the Beldon Fund closed its doors in May 2009, it had allocated more than $120 million in grants and foundation directed projects.
Prior to joining Beldon, Ms. Nager was a Senior Program Officer for Community Development and the Environment at The New York Community Trust, where she designed a grantmaking strategy for a $100 million fund focused on national environmental issues.
A former Board Chair of the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers, Ms. Nager is also a past board member of the Neighborhood Funders Group and the Environmental Grantmakers Association. She was a founding board member of Cause Effective, which provides management and resource development assistance to nonprofit organizations, and a founder of the AIDS and Adolescents Network of New York. Ms. Nager is a trustee of the Hudson River Foundation and chairs its New York City Environment Fund, providing environmental stewardship grants to grassroots organizations. She is a founder and past co-chair of the Health and Environmental Funders Network, and serves as a trustee of the Jenifer Altman Foundation.
In 2008, Anita was recognized at the Breast Cancer Fund Heroes Tribute for her “philanthropic leadership and nurturance of the environmental health movement” and by West Harlem Environmental Action in 2009 with its We Act for Environmental Justice 20th Anniversary Award.
AnnJanette Rosga is a Director at Informing Change, a strategy, research and evaluation firm in Berkeley, CA. She is an internationally recognized expert in human rights and rule of law indicators and has more than twenty years of experience in training and research capacity building. At Informing Change, she directs strategic learning and complex systems change projects as well as equity, formative, developmental, advocacy and network/coalition evaluation studies. She is particularly interested in designing tools to assess hard-to-measure social change efforts, and in facilitating community-driven, participatory research processes.
Anjie has consulted for a wide array of nonprofit, philanthropic, governmental and intergovernmental organizations in the U.S. and abroad. From 2008-2010, she served as the United Nations Office Director for an international women’s peace organization in New York City. Earlier, she was an assistant professor of anthropology, sociology and the cultural studies of law, crime and justice at Knox College and the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Anjie holds a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness (interdisciplinary social sciences) from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.A. in Gender and Knowledge Studies from Eugene Lang College, New School for Social Research in New York City.
Tenny is the former executive vice president, secretary, and general counsel of the Ford Foundation, where he worked for 28 years. Prior to serving as executive vice president his positions at Ford were, first, special assistant to the president and subsequently vice president, secretary and general counsel. As an officer his responsibilities included oversight of the finance, administration, and human resource departments.
Tenny has served as a mentor to individuals working in the nonprofit sector and on the advisory boards of nonprofit organizations. After retiring from the Ford Foundation in 2011, he has been a director of a broad range of nonprofit corporations, including the International Center for Transitional Justice (co-chair), the Foundation Center (vice-chair), the New York Community Trust, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and the Orchestra of the Americas Group (formerly the Youth Orchestra of the Americas).
Tenny has taught nonprofit management and governance at the masters level at New York University and Columbia University.
Prior to working at the Ford Foundation, Tenny served as vice president and general counsel of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, a community development corporation. Before that he was an associate attorney at the Greenbaum, Wolff and Ernst law firm.
Tenny is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Chicago Law School.
Brian Lewis is the Executive Director at ROC the Future Alliance. He is a Senior DEI consultant with DBI Projects, and has taught courses in Nonprofit Management, Human Services, Sociology, Humanities and the Arts as an Adjunct Professor at NYU Wagner School of Public Service, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The New School and Monroe Community College.
Brian is an alumnus of the Leadership Fellows Spring 2018 cohort. He is a passionate critical pedagogue and social justice leader with 15 years of experience leading teams, building curriculum and trainings, developing strategy, cultivating partnerships and scaling and driving impact. In his 7 years working with exalt, he worked closely with the Executive Director to triple the number of youth served, expand critical partnerships with key stakeholders and manifest new partnerships including leading exalt to be 1 of 7 national organizations selected for 2M in funds for an inaugural grant from the NBA Foundation.
Brian is an expert in Critical Pedagogy and Restorative Justice, especially as these practices pertain to systems-involved young people. He’s trained in Circle Keeping with Community Justice for Youth Institute (Chicago) and studied Peacebuilding and Restorative Justice with Howard Zehr and Hezkias Assefa (Eastern Menonnite University). He’s presented his work in these areas at the National Conference on Higher Education in Prisons (St. Louis) and the International Conference on Restorative Approach and Social Innovation (Podova, Italy).
Brian serves as a board member for Prisoner Visitation and Support (PVS) a national organization that facilitates volunteer visits to people who are incarcerated. He enjoys reading, traveling, jogging and playing pick-up basketball.
Carole Wacey is the CEO of the Women’s Club of New York. Prior to her current position she served as the Vice President of Education at WNET where she led a team that produced educational television (American Graduate Day, Ted Talks Education), online educational media for teachers (PBS Learning Media), and community engagement (Parenting Minutes, professional development). Previously, she served for a decade as Executive Director at MOUSE, a national nonprofit organization that empowers underserved youth to learn, lead and create with technology. During her tenure, she vastly broadened MOUSE’s reach from 32 to more than 150 Title I schools across New York City, expanded to five other states, and created a global partnership with more than 20 countries.
She also served as the Director of the Markle Foundation’s Interactive Media for Children program, which worked to help realize the potential benefits of interactive media for children by building partnerships between industry, the academy and consumers. Ms. Wacey arrived at Markle from her position as a Political Appointee in the Clinton Administration where she held a number of leadership roles—as Deputy Director of the Office of Education Technology and Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education. In that capacity, she provided leadership for the Clinton Administration on the development and implementation of national educational technology policy, e-Learning: Putting a World-Class Education at the Fingertips of All Children; and, addressed issues such as telecommunications, the digital divide, Internet safety, privacy, and e-commerce.
In addition to working on educational technology, she spent four years as the U.S. Department of Education Liaison to the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, and received a one-year appointment to The White House. There, she led the development of the first national education policy for sustainable development, Education for Sustainability: An Agenda for Action. Before joining the Clinton Administration, she served as a law and policy advisor at the United Nations Development Program. Her research, “Creating a Voice for Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations Development Program”, was presented at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro.
Ms. Wacey earned a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from American University. She studied Public International Law at Oxford University and Environmental Leadership at Yale University. Currently, Ms. Wacey serves as a member of the Board of Directors at MOUSE.
Carolyn McLaughlin was the Executive Director of BronxWorks for 34 years, from 1979 to 2013. She oversaw the progression of BronxWorks from a small storefront based in one Bronx neighborhood to a large settlement house with programs that serve many neighborhoods in the South Bronx. Under her guidance, BronxWorks grew tremendously, expanding services to include children and youth, immigrants, homeless individuals and families, people with HIV/AIDS, working age adults, as well as senior citizens. She oversaw a merger with the Girls Club of New York, a rebranding and name change, the start up of two high schools, and the acquisition of two buildings. Today, BronxWorks programs make a difference in the lives of 60,000 people annually, from preschool children to senior citizens. The organization maintains 27 locations spread across Bronx Community Districts 1 through 7. In honor of her achievements, BronxWorks named their main community center after her.
Carolyn is the author of South Bronx Battles: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Renewal, published by the University of California Press in 2019. The book describes the causes and the impact of the hard years of the 1960’s and 70’s when much of the South Bronx was abandoned and burned but goes on to document the amazing contributions of community members to its rebuilding. The final chapter warns of the extent of the housing crisis and the threat gentrification poses. South Bronx Battles is being used in classes at Fordham University, Lehman College, and Hostos Community College.
Currently, Carolyn is a member of the board of the Non Profit New York, is vice chair of the board of the Bronx River Alliance, and is the secretary of the Foundation Board of Hostos Community College. She was previously on the boards of the United Neighborhood Houses and Mid Bronx Senior Citizen Council and on many advisory committees. Since she retired, she served on a transition subcommittee for the Di Blasio administration, convened an interviewing committee for the presidential search for Hostos Community College, and served as the moderator for the 2014 Nonprofit Management Awards ceremony. She frequently speaks on the history of the Bronx.
Carolyn has been honored by the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Food Bank of New York City, CASA, and BronxWorks, among others. She has a Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.
Chris Hanway assumed the role of Executive Director at Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement in Long Island City, Queens on August 1, 2013. Before that he was the organization’s Director of Development & Communications and headed Riis Settlement’s fundraising and marketing efforts for almost five years. Mr. Hanway has over 13 years of professional experience in the not-for-profit sector, most notably at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
He received his B.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York, was a Ph.D. student in German at the Graduate Center of CUNY and recently completed the his Masters in Public Administration in the Executive Program at the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College. A native of Long Island, he now resides in Astoria and is proud to both live and work in the borough of Queens.
Christa Orth (they/them) is a lifelong fundraiser and has worked with hundreds of nonprofits in staff roles at StoryCorps and Streetsblog, and as a consultant to social justice orgs like Campaign for Southern Equality, Drama Club, First Peoples Fund, Third Wave Fund, and Trans Justice Funding Project. They serve on the AFP-NYC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access committee, and share their wisdom on Community-Centric Fundraising, Grassroots Fundraising Journal archive, and Candid. Christa is the founder of Seaworthy Fundraising, a consulting practice providing joyful strategy and implementation for community-centric individual and “major” giving.
Christopher Amos’s work focuses on the impact of digital media and technology on learning in the arts. As director of educational media and technology at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, he oversees digital media initiatives that are integral to Carnegie Hall’s programs for students, educators, young artists, and lifelong learners. Christopher leads the team responsible for developing Carnegie Hall’s online learning community for young artists, Musical Exchange, and produces a wide range of digital media projects, including work on Open Educational Resources (OER). He has also worked with schools in India, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, and the U.S. to develop international programs and partnerships. Before joining the staff of Carnegie Hall in 2008, Christopher was director of electronic media for the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied music history, theory, and criticism.
Daonese Johnson-Colón, founder of Coaching Amplifies, LLC, is an innovative leader with 20 years of experience in nonprofit administration and workforce management. She has dedicated her career to building spaces that promote leadership, inclusivity, and equity to foster personal and professional development in education, criminal justice reform, and media. Currently, Daonese serves as the Chief Operating Officer for PushBlack, a national non-profit media organization.
Prior to joining PushBlack, she served as the Vice President of Operations/COO for JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA). Daonese serves her community in a multitude of ways. She is an adjunct lecturer for John Jay College’s Accelerate Complete Engage (ACE) program and faculty mentor for the New York Giants Touchdown Fellowship and Justice Capital Initiative Fellowship. She is a faculty mentor for the mentor for the New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows program.
Lastly, Daonese is a trained conflict resolution mediator and a certified professional coach. A recipient of the NAACP Minority Achievement Recognition Award, Daonese graduated Summa cum Laude with a Master’s in Legal Studies from Kaplan University and holds the SHRM-CP certification.
Expertise, Passions, and Pursuits
Non-profit Management and Governance, Organizational Management, Organizational Change, Workforce Development, Human Resources, Burnout Prevention
Executive Coaching, Curriculum Development, Mediation
Master’s in Legal Studies, SHRM-CP certification, Certified Professional Coach
Dee Baboolall (they / them) is an Associate Partner based in the New York Office of McKinsey & Company. They are a leader in McKinsey’s Private Equity and Principal Investors (PEPI) Practice, and advises PE sponsors and portfolio companies on strategy and M&A, predominantly serving the industrials sector, with a focus on exit support and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) transformation. They have led 40+ due diligences for corporate and PE clients. They co-lead McKinsey’s DE&I service line for the PEPI industry globally, co-leads McKinsey’s global Anti-Racism and Inclusion efforts, and is one of the core founders of McKinsey’s Black Investor Professional Forum. Dee has led numerous engagements across the investment lifecycle, including industry and target scans, diligences, and exit support.
Dee received two degrees from Carnegie Mellon University; BS in Human-Computer Interaction, BS in Decision Science. Prior to joining McKinsey, Dee has experience at J.P. Morgan’s Private Wealth Management Division, Barclays’ Investment Banking Division (Financial Institutions Group), and AIG’s Strategy & M&A Team.
David J. Vidal has several decades of experience in the fields of sustainability, corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship, and corporate security and preparedness. In 2012, he was named a Senior Fellow on Sustainability at The Conference Board, following 14 years there as the thought leader and research director providing best practice research and thinking to leading US and global corporations on those issues.
Previously, David served as vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations, corporate giving officer at the Continental Corporation, public affairs director at the New York City Partnership and special assistant and consultant in the US Department of State and USAID during the Carter and Reagan administrations as a White House Fellow. Also, he was a correspondent and bureau chief for The Associated Press and The New York Times in Brazil and reporter in New York. David has lived, studied, or worked in Brasilia, Caracas, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Washington, D.C. and has spoken to groups in several countries in Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean and Australia.
Within his community, David is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, trustee of the Presbytery of New York City, former trustee of New York Theological Seminary, and fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures & Commerce. He is Vice Chairman of his Princeton class board and President of its classmate assistance Fund. David holds a BA degree from Princeton University, an MBA from Columbia University, and M.Div. and D.Min degrees from New York Theological Seminary.
Deepmalya Ghosh (Deep) is a lifetime New Yorker, with roots in Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx. He is in the business of helping human-service leaders and organizations powerfully impact those they serve, and especially to better engage disconnected youth. That’s his North Star.
He thinks when systems fail communities, it shows up in how well young adults (16-24yo) are doing. He believes in strategies that recognize targeted universalism and embrace collective impact effort with a keen awareness that building community only works at the speed of trust between its stakeholders, its residents and the organizations that serve them. He generally likes to look at indicators that speak to upward mobility for youth and families living in underserved communities.
Deep is a Fellow of the Annie E Casey Foundation and an Advanced Results Count (TM) Practitioner. He provides results-driven executive coaching/consulting and works with a cross-sector of clients like StriveTogether, The Center for Court Innovation, NYC-Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) and NYC Police Foundation. Deep also serves as Senior Advisor at the United Way of NYC. Founded in 2019, he is Principal of Deep Outcomes LLC, a M/WBE-certified Small Business. Deep is a Certified MBTI-Trainer/Facilitator.
Deep is a champion of youth development and community-based service. For over twenty-five years, while at Queens Child Guidance Center and The Child Center of NY he served thousands of families in New York’s under-resourced communities through development of programs that include Beacon Centers & Community Schools, taking those strategies of engaging community and applying them in NYCHA Community Centers. He leads with the belief that social justice pathways are powerfully catalyzed by advancing youth development through powerful mentors from the same community.
Désirée Younge has over 20 years of experiences as a cross-sector senior executive in philanthropy, for-
profit and nonprofit sectors. Désirée’s professional experience encompasses entrepreneurship and
leadership development, poverty alleviation and economic development, practiced through venture
philanthropy and impact investing business models.
Désirée has served in senior positions at Amazon’s Last Mile Team (USA), Tory Burch Foundation (USA),
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (Africa), Robin Hood Foundation (USA), and Synergos Institute (Global).
Désirée is a risk-taker, and has run entrepreneurial ventures including Cotton Tree Philanthropy Advisors
Inc., a philanthropic strategy and advisory entity that maximized social and economic returns for high
net-worth individuals, nonprofits, and businesses. Most recently, Désirée worked at Oatly’s Future Lab,
as the Deputy Executive Director, where she led the company’s Climate Justice strategy, and other
pioneering projects that help define what a radically better company and future could be for Oatly and
the post milk generation.
Through her consulting business- Conscious Catalyst Group, Désirée enjoys her work with start-ups and
SMEs. She provides tactical and strategic advice to help her clients establish structure and actionable
growth plans, which are key drivers to overall success.
Désirée holds a B.A. from Notre Dame of Maryland University, an M.A. in International Affairs from the
New School and an EMBA from TRIUM Global Executive program. She is an active board member and
advisory member of several organizations in the U.S. and West Africa.
Dr. Diane J. Johnson has almost 30 years experience in the business, public and social sectors in a multitude of roles. They include change management consultant, trainer and executive coach, program director, evaluator and researcher, fundraiser, communications/pr lead, and organizational culture specialist. Extraordinarily skilled, purpose-driven, highly intuitive and analytical, Dr. Johnson, Ph.D. is CEO and Founder of Mmapeu Organizational Consulting. Mmapeu is a South African name that means “woman who carries ideas.” Mmapeu Consulting, a national consulting firm has trained, consulted and worked with more than 11,500 mission-driven individuals, businesses and organizations.
Clients include not-for-profits; colleges, universities and K-12 educational institutions; local, state, and federal governmental agencies; socially responsible businesses; multinational corporations; community based organizations; philanthropic entities; arts and culture groups; activists; volunteer associations and researchers. Dr. Johnson is the author of several books, including Proud Sisters, The Wit & Wisdom of African- American Women; Mother Love (which collectively have sold more than 170,000 copies), and The Cultural Diversity Fieldbook (with over half a million downloads).
Dipty leads the National Consulting and Advisory Services team at FMA. She brings comprehensive operations experience in the private and nonprofit sectors to her leadership of FMA’s consulting team, helping build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to build the infrastructures they need to be sustainable organizations and increase performance.
Over the past ten years at FMA, she has grown FMA’s management consulting practice and has worked with a wide range of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in various stages of organizational development. Through this work, she has advised organizations in management and operations to strengthen their finance, human resources, and information technology infrastructures to become more efficient and realize their goals. She regularly coaches and trains nonprofit leaders in the areas of financial health and operational excellence.
Dipty started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP with Fortune 500 clients, and spent several years performing domestic and international operations audits at Schering-Plough Corporation and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
She was a Sparer Public Interest Law fellow on International Human Rights issues with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, and has worked with the Safe Harbor Asylum Law Clinic and Urban Justice Center. Dipty serves on the Selection Committee of the Nonprofit Excellence Awards as well as the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.
She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Dipty earned a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. Dipty also holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The CGMA demonstrates management accounting expertise, determination and commitment to achieving sustainable business success.
Edith Asibey is the Principal of Asibey Consulting, a consulting firm that helps mission-driven organizations take audiences from intention to action. She is an Adjunct Professor of Communications and Marketing at Columbia University. Prior to these roles, Edith led advocacy, partnerships and communication for UNICEF in Brazil, where she launched innovative digital work partnering with Google, Facebook and others. She was also the Chief Communication Officer at The Atlantic Philanthropies, the largest limited-life foundation in the world.
Ella Baff is an independent consultant who works with a wide range of cultural organizations,
artists, producers, educators, philanthropists and funders on curating, strategic planning, and
individual coaching. She is based in New York City.
As Senior Program Officer for Arts and Cultural Heritage at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
in New York, she was responsible for grantmaking to museums, performing arts and
multidisciplinary arts organizations, and national initiatives across art forms and cultural
practices, granting approximately $65M annually.
Prior to her work at Mellon, Ella was the Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow, a
225-acre historic site that encompasses a multi-venue international dance festival, professional
school, archives, exhibits, artist residencies, online programs, and education and community
programs. Under her leadership, the organization established an endowment, cash reserve, an
artist fund, and capital reserves. Jacob’s Pillow was also designated a National Historic
Landmark and was awarded the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama at the
As Program Director of Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, Ella worked
with cultural organizations and artists practicing within traditional, classical, popular, and
experimental forms in the US and around the world. She presented and commissioned theater,
music, dance and interdisciplinary art in five venues including Pina Bausch; Fela; Sonny
Rollins; Peter Sellars, June Jordan and John Adams; Squat Theatre; Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan;
Robert Wilson; Emerson String Quartet; Anonymous 4; the Grand Kabuki; Astor Piazzolla; and
hundreds of rock ‘n roll performances with promoter Bill Graham Presents. Ella also initiated
and designed education and public programs on campus and in diverse Bay Area communities.
Ella has designed and implemented community-dedicated programs in a variety of other
contexts. She created a theater program that she taught in juvenile prisons in the Bay Area. She
was a teaching artist-in-residence on an Aleutian Island. As a certified Literacy Instructor
through the Public Library system, she taught children and adults to read.
Public engagement through media is also part of Ella’s work. At Jacob’s Pillow, its rare and
extensive archives was digitized and made accessible online with curated content. As a funder,
she supported preservation and public access to the archives of cultural organizations. Ella was
the Project Director for national outreach for the documentary series, Dancing, for WNET
Public Television in New York and was Executive Producer of Never Stand Still, an award-
winning documentary that aired on PBS Great Performances and was released worldwide.
Ella has received several awards in the cultural field including the Chevalier of the Order of Arts
and Letters from the Ministry of Culture of France; the Dawson Award forProgrammatic
Excellence from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals; and Dance USA’s Trustee’s
Award. She has received Honorary Doctorates from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
and the College of the Holy Cross.
She has co-chaired the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Congress in New
York; chaired The Gish Prize; and has served on juries and panels for foundations, US and
international government agencies and not-for-profit organizations including the Rolex Mentor
Protégé Initiative; Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships; Princess Grace Foundation; Creative
Capital; United States Artists; the Vilcek Prize; and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ella has been a moderator for the Works & Process series at the Guggenheim Museum.
She has been a guest lecturer at Carnegie Mellon; Colby College’s Lunder Institute of American
Art and The Writers Center; SUNY Purchase; and the Berklee College of Music.
She has served on the Board of Directors of MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of
Contemporary Art) and the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA). Currently, she
is a member of NYC Landmarks 50; a Board Member of the American Friends of Batsheva; and
is a Senior Advisor to the Batsheva Cultural Center in Tel Aviv, designed by Sir David Adjaye,
opening in 2026.
Her consulting work includes: Mentor for the New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows
Program/Baruch College Marxe School of Public and International Affairs; a report on Jazz
for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; strategic planning for Greylock Works, a 9-acre c.1800
former cotton-spinning factory re-imagined for regional revitalization; strategic planning and
board retreat for the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center; fundraising and
planning for the San Francisco International Arts Festival; individual coaching for the Snug
Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens; marketing and development for Playing on
Air, a podcast for theater; strategy for Sound & Painting, LLC, an international soundscape
and visual design company; fundraising consultation for composer Tania Léon/Composers
Now; fundraising and planning for conductor James Blachly/Experiential Orchestra; advisor to
multi-disciplinary artist, Dianne McIntyre; strategic plan for Asase Yaa Cultural Center; thesis
committee for Goucher College Masters in Arts Administration program.
Ella was born and raised in New York City. She has lived in New Mexico, California, and is
based in New York City and the Berkshires. She has studied western classical music (piano,
violin, harp); dance (ballet, contemporary and many other forms); and theater (Viola Spolin).
Expertise, Passions, and Pursuits
Mentoring, coaching, strategic planning, and navigating organizational challenges
Senior Program Officer for Arts and Culture, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NY
UC Berkeley graduate, honors
Erika is not available as a mentor for Spring 2023.
Erika Bernabei, PhD, Co-Principal at Equity & Results, connects intentions to accountability and impact in service of Black, Indigenous and communities of Color and our collective humanity. Through Equity & Results, Erika leads the strategic design and implementation of whole organization and collaborative work to achieve racially equitable results. Equity & Results uses antiracist principles, developed by the People’s Institute and elders, scholars and organizers throughout time, to transform how systems work and strategically disrupt common practices and replace them with actions that address the root causes of the problem. Erika is an expert in Results Based Accountability (RBA) and has worked with groups nationally and internationally to successfully use this tool. Prior to Equity & Results, Erika served as an Assistant Commissioner in the New York City Department of Homeless Services and nearly a decade at PolicyLink – where she developed and managed a results-driven infrastructure and support system for more than 50 Promise Neighborhood communities to produce holistic and measurable outcomes and advance equity and opportunity. Erika is a member of the Antiracist Ecosystem of practitioners who work together for greater antiracist impact. She holds an MA in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a PhD in Educational Leadership from New York University.
Farra Trompeter (she/her) is Co-Director and Member-Owner at Big Duck, a worker-owned cooperative that helps nonprofits use communications to advance their missions. As Big Duck’s Co-Director, Farra ensures that Big Duck is a healthy, thriving company—that we’re creating a great work environment, are financially stable, producing work that successfully meets or exceeds client’s needs, and that diversity, inclusion, equity, and antiracism are centered in all we do. She directs Big Duck’s marketing and business development efforts, seeking to build relationships with nonprofits who want to use communications to achieve their mission. Farra has led dozens of organizations through major brand overhauls, fundraising campaigns, and much more since joining Big Duck in 2007. She’s a frequent speaker around the country, training nonprofit staff and board members on branding, communications planning, and engaging donors and other community members.
Farra is also a part-time faculty member at New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she teaches a class about strategic communications for nonprofit and public service organizations. She previously served as a board member for NTEN, an organization working to create a world where nonprofits fulfill their missions through the skillful and racially equitable use of technology, and for the NYC Anti-Violence Project, an organization that mobilizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy. Farra is also a member of Big Duck’s board of directors.
Frederick Davie joined Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York on August 15, 2011, as Executive Vice President. In this capacity, Mr. Davie is the institution¹s chief administrative officer and serves as an advisor to the President for the structure and administration of the executive office, strategic planning, institutional advancement, and vision implementation. He also serves as the administrative center for all the work of the President, coordinating the efforts of executive office staff and senior staff in relation to the President.
He came to Union from the Arcus Foundation, where he served as Interim Executive Director and Senior Director of the Social Justice and LGBT Programs. In this capacity, Mr. Davie managed the Foundation’s grant making a budget and supervised the implementation of the Foundation’s funding strategy for social justice and LGBT programs.
In June 2020, US Senator Charles Schumer appointed Mr. Davie to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. government commission dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad. USCIRF makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties.
Mr. Davie served on President Barack Obama¹s transition team, performing agency reviews for faith-based and community initiatives, and accepted an appointment by President Obama to the White House Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. As a member of the White House Council, Mr. Davie provided counsel on strategies for more effective partnerships between federal agencies and community and faith organizations. Mr. Davie provided leadership for the inclusion of non-traditional families and marginalized populations in policy formation.
Mr. Davie was appointed Chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) by Mayor Bill de Blasio in April 2017. The CCRB is an agency established by the City of New York with civilian oversight of the New York City Police Department, the nation’s largest municipal law enforcement agency. With a staff of 200 and a board of 15 members, CCRB is the nation’s largest independent civilian oversight agency of a police department.
Mr. Davie has extensive experience in senior-level roles in philanthropic and social and economic justice organizations, including Public/Private Ventures and the Ford Foundation. At Public/Private Ventures, Mr. Davie served as President and CEO, promoted from Senior Vice President. As SVP, Mr. Davie developed a model national program for the successful re-entry of formerly incarcerated persons, and delivered a White House keynote address on the same in 2007. As a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, Mr. Davie developed a national program to support local faith-based and community juvenile justice programs to reduce rates of incarceration and recidivism.
Mr. Davie has also served in a number of leadership roles in public administration for the City of New York, including Deputy Borough President of Manhattan, and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Community and Public Affairs, and Chief of Staff to the President of the NYC Board of Education.
Mr. Davie’s community and civic engagement work include executive-level positions with New York City Mission Society, Brooklyn Ecumenical Cooperatives and the Presbytery of New York City.
Mr. Davie serves on the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Youth Core and the Interfaith Center of New York. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Interfaith Assembly for Homelessness and Housing. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Soulsville Foundation in Memphis, TN. Mr. Davie is a founder and Chair of Faith 2020, a multi-faith organization committed to supporting progressive political campaigns and causes.
A Presbyterian minister in the Presbytery of New York City, Mr. Davie has served the national Presbyterian Church, the NYC presbytery, and local congregations in various volunteer capacities.
Mr. Davie holds a B.A. in Political Science from Greensboro College ’78. Dean’s List and the Harold H. Hutson Award; and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School ’82, where he was a Benjamin E. Mays Fellow of The Fund for Theological Education and President of Yale Black Seminarians. He is also a recipient of Yale Divinity School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service. Mr. Davie was also a Charles H. Revson Fellow at Columbia University, ’90.
My purpose is to be in the service of others. As a Filipino immigrant, I was raised in a culture of helping one another and understood the importance of creating a supportive community. As a culture builder, integrator, and teacher, I love passing on what I learn and sharing knowledge to move organizations forward.
My years of experience managing social sector organizations have prepared me to meet outside organizations where they are, offering consultation during cycles of change and organizational development. Through intentional listening, understanding how they learn, and identifying what they want to accomplish, I support clients in discovering and implementing new approaches that emphasize their strengths, achieve their intent, and best serve their communities. Whether recruiting new leaders to support growth or developing financial models, I believe in building scalable and flexible systems rooted in an organization’s people and values.
Internally, I bring action to strategy in leading Informing Change’s business plans, finances, operations, and team members. I focus on moving the company toward our long-term goals while supporting an inclusive, equitable, and values-based company culture. I am passionate about coaching our talented and dedicated staff to build up their leadership and professional skills, as I believe they are our company’s most valuable resource and that our company culture evolves with them. I rely on a foundation of trust, honest communication, and compassion with my colleagues to help hold them accountable to each other and empower them to take initiative and own their work.
In my free time, I have served on various youth-focused nonprofit boards. Outside of work, you will find me hosting meals at my dining room table, cheering for the Warriors, and planning my next travel destination.
EXPERTISE, PASSIONS, AND PURSUITS
Human resources & team building
Nonprofit board management
Director of Finance & Administration, Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA)
Dual BA, Third World Studies and Health Care-Social Issues, University of California, San Diego
Author of The Loud Brown Round Girl, The Inclusion C.O.D.E. (2020) and Hello Beautiful, Get Well Soon (2021), Gigi Gilliard owns and operates her learning and organizational development consultancy – (affectionately referred to as GGD).
A graduate of Rutgers University, (New Brunswick, New Jersey), with a Bachelors in Sociology and Communications, Gigi is a triple–certified Master Coach in the disciplines of leadership development, executive coaching and coaching for presentation/speech delivery for C–suite executives. She has also earned the prestigious and coveted Certified Diversity Executive, CDE ® distinction from the respected Society For Diversity/ Institute for Diversity Certification. Renowned for her work in the DEI&B space and leadership development, Gigi masterfully coaches professionals of all levels through the mindset and skill–building shifts necessary to help them elevate as inclusive leaders of influence.
Under her brand Gigi Gilliard: Author| Speaker | Executive Coach, Gigi utilizes dynamic content and facilitation to share remedies designed to help organizations in the areas of leadership development, inclusive leadership, and inclusion strategy. She helps these organizations build solutions that encourage and embed inclusion, while coaching behaviors that promote the attitude of belonging. A stalwart enemy of exclusion and inequality for any group anywhere, DEI&B, (diversity, equity, inclusion, AND belonging) is her specialty. She has helped to popularize the moniker DEI&B and believes that creating the sentiment of belonging is a crucial, and often missed, part of the inclusion conversation.
Recognized as “a conversation architect,” Gigi is a prolific orator and deeply skilled facilitator. An intuitive empath, she is regularly sought–out to lead the most difficult, painful, and challenging conversations about “otherness “and race. Here in the United States, she is excitedly partnered with several East Coast based C–suite executives and their teams like, Ryan Health, Hachette Book Group, Hudson River Museum, Young Audiences New York, Penguin Random House, and globally across the pond with Tempo Recruiting.
Gisele Castro has dedicated her career to creating and leading organizations focused on ensuring equity in justice for court-involved youth. With over twenty years of experience, she holds a Master’s of Public Administration and Non-Profit Management from Pace University and graduated as a member of the Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. Gisele also studied at the graduate level at Oxford University, where she researched U.S. vs. U.K. juvenile justice systems. As a Sterling Clark Foundation Fellow, Gisele is committed to ensuring their mission of “helping create a vibrant New York City – one that is strong, healthy, livable and just.”
Prior to becoming Executive Director of exalt, Gisele was Director at CASES, Family Court division, and was instrumental in redesigning the program model and structure. Gisele is currently an adjunct faculty member of New York University, teaching a Masters level course on Youth Organization’s Prevention and Intervention Strategies. As a visiting faculty member at Bank Street College, she taught courses on leadership development, while advising students in the Master’s in Education and Leadership in Community-Based Learning program. Her role at Bank Street was expanded in 2015 to redesign the program for Leadership in Community-Based Organizations. Most recently, Gisele was appointed to the Board of Directors of SparkYouth NYC.
Under Gisele’s leadership, exalt achieved strong financial stability despite significant challenges, including budget deficits, leadership changes, and the confluence crises of COVID-19 and racial injustice. As a result, exalt was able to increase their budget size from $950,000 in FY2016 to $2.9 million during her first year as ED and launch a campaign to raise 8.4 million dollars in three years (from 2018 to 2021). Gisele launched a strategic growth plan in FY2019, and relocated exalt to its new headquarters in Manhattan, served 834 youth (exalt’s largest to date), increased staff capacity; won the Spark Prize in 2016 recognizing exalt as an outstanding pioneering nonprofit organizations that has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing racial and social justice; received an endorsement by the Governor in NYC’s Raise the Age policy implementation, and NYU-Steinhardt as the 2019 Internship Partner of the Year.
In 2020, exalt received a competitive contract by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice under the Alternative to Incarceration Initiative, which is one of the programs that deliver the City’s commitment to safely reduce the number of people in its jails by providing alternatives for individuals with an open case while they are awaiting the conclusion of their case, or instead of a jail sentence. Through her leadership, exalt was selected runner-up for the Nonprofit Excellence Awards for best management practices, and Gisele has been recognized as one of the “Responsible 100” by City and State New York Magazine as one of NY’s most effective executives, thought leaders, visionaries and influencers, who are setting new standards of excellence, dedication and leadership by improving their communities and making transformative change. Recently, Gisele was one of two Latinx to join the Robin Hood Power Fund which was established to address a critical funding disparity for nonprofit leaders of color by elevating leaders who are reflective of the communities they serve.
Dr. Hiershenee B. Luesse is a social and behavioral scientist with diverse experience working with nonprofits, foundations, and community-based organizations to understand and improve their social betterment programs, develop innovative strategies, and make evaluation both useful and accessible. She has over 20 years of experience working with marginalized populations in direct service and as a consultant applying culturally responsive and participatory practices to research, evaluation, and strategy work.
Dr. Luesse is published in peer-reviewed journals and presents at conferences around the country. She is a professor of research design and has lectured at Columbia University and Lehman College, CUNY. Dr. Luesse received her Ph.D. in Behavioral Science from Columbia University.
Ingrid is the Director of the Daphne Foundation. She is a first-generation immigrant from Nicaragua whose family moved to California in the early ‘80s. She began her work in social justice as a regional organizer against an anti-affirmative action ballot initiative – Proposition 209 – and then became a youth organizer, coalition leader, facilitator and grantmaker. Ingrid earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego and a Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management from San Francisco State University.
Jamie Lonie supports the digital communications and marketing needs of Asibey Consulting’s clients. He has several years of experience in traditional and digital nonprofit communications, amplifying social justice causes and movements for equity. After moving from Edinburgh at a young age, Jamie quickly traded his Scottish brogue for a Tennessee drawl. After college, he began his career as a PK-5 science teacher in the Houston Independent School District. As a result of his classroom experience, he has focused his career on digital communications for education nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations – especially those working to support schools, students, and families.
In this capacity, Jamie has served as a digital media specialist for global organizations like the Education Commission and the Global Business Coalition for Education, managing digital content across these organizations’ websites, blogs, email campaigns, and social media channels. Previously, Jamie helped develop Teach For America’s national social media strategy as Director of Social Media Community and supported local communications for the organization’s Houston region as Director of Communications and Marketing.
Today, Jamie helps a variety of clients working domestically and internationally assess their current digital presence, understand the broader online conversations around their area of work, and strategize how to best leverage digital tools to better engage supporters online.
Jamie graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. He also holds a Master of Education degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, which he earned while teaching elementary science.
Recently, Jamie was named a member of the University of Tennessee’s 2021 Volunteer 40 Under 40 list and was awarded the 2010 Public Relations Alumni of the Year for his service to his alma mater. Jamie is the President of the university’s New York alumni chapter and on the Board of Visitors for the College of Communications & Information. During his tenure, he organized remote nonprofit internships for communications students during the pandemic and helped raise thousands of dollars in scholarships for freshmen.
Janet Rossbach serves as the Director of Advancement for the Louis August Jonas Foundation. In this role, she is responsible for the engagement of 6,000+ alumni of a 90-year old youth leadership program that takes place each summer at Camp Rising Sun in Rhinebeck NY. She also leads the fundraising efforts that enable all campers to attend camp on full-scholarship. Janet works both on site in Rhinebeck and remotely from NYC. This follows a lengthy career leading Alumni Relations offices at Baruch College/CUNY, Columbia Business School, The Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts. She also served as Director of Foundation and Government Relations at Manhattan Theatre Club where she led institutional annual and capital campaign fundraising. Janet is a Trustee of the Awesome Newburgh Foundation and actively advises organizations on non-profit management, volunteering, marketing, communications, alumni engagement and fundraising strategies through the Gerson Lehman Group. Janet is a native New Yorker.
Jean believes deeply in the reservoir of talent and resources in the social sector. Partnering with clients on leadership and organizational development, board governance, talent enhancement, strategic planning, organizational assessments and DEI projects, her goal is to advance her clients’ transformative journeys. Her commitment to her own personal racial equity journey is accompanied by her goal of advancing DEI and racial equity initiatives in the social sector. Jean also has extensive experience in restructuring, teambuilding, leadership transition, coaching, and organizational culture change. She has worked with clients to ensure successful organizational transitions, improve leadership and management competencies, develop high performing teams, and achieve organizational effectiveness.
Before becoming a Senior Fellow, Jean was CRE’s Chief Program Officer. As Senior Fellow, she is a member of the leadership team at CRE, responsible for talent enhancement, thought leadership, quality assurance, practice development, and continuous learning initiatives. Before joining CRE, Jean led an independent consulting practice, AcXEL International, Ltd., was Vice President and Director of Corporate Training and Executive Development at Deutsche Bank, and was Human Resources Manager for an international division at JPMorganChase. Jean has designed and led executive seminars and has presented papers in professional conferences on Change Leadership; Technology Transfer and the Management of Change; and Developing an “Intrapreneurial” Corporate Training Function.
She is the lead author of a book Meeting the Challenges of Nonprofit Leaders: A Fieldbook of Strategies and Action published by the Center for Creative Leadership. Her other publications include Liberating Human Resources: Finding a Path to a New HR Paradigm (published in the Nonprofit Quarterly December 2021); Half-Truths about Talent Management (published in NonProfit PRO, May 2017); Self-Coaching Strategies for Nonprofit Leaders (published in the Nonprofit Quarterly Spring 2016); What Makes a Difference in Leadership Development? A View from the Field (published in The Nonprofit Quarterly, Winter 2009); Peak Performance: Nonprofit Leaders Rate Highest in 360-Degree Reviews (published in The Nonprofit Quarterly, Winter 2007); and The Courage to Pause: Lessons Learned from CRE’s Leadership Caucus. She completed her doctoral program in Organizational Psychology at Columbia University and her Master’s degree in Social Psychology from the University of Minnesota.
A recipient of several awards and scholarships, Jean was a Fulbright scholar and a Developmental Leadership Fellow, Institute of International Education (IIE). Jean is a trained executive coach with a long track record in leadership and management coaching. She is certified in the use of the Clark-Wilson 360 Feedback Series, the Hogan Personality Assessment Systems and the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, and trained in the use of the Strengthsfinder Assessment Tool and the Enneagram Personality Inventory. Jean is also a certified Action Learning facilitator. Active in community organizations, she served on the Board of the United Way of NYC and also chaired the Board of Directors of the Asian American Federation of New York. Jean also co-founded a community-based organization and was a recipient of several awards including “Outstanding Women Awards” given by the State of New York on Women’s Heritage Month.
Joan Malin is now retired having worked in the non profit sector and in NYC government for several decades. She currently is a consultant at the Support Center for Nonprofits and is the Board Chair for Project Guardianship, a new organization providing an innovative person centered approach to legal guardians She was appointed CEO of Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) in March 2000. PPNYC provides the full range of reproductive health care services in five centers to nearly more than 64,000 New Yorkers annually, educational interventions for adolescents, sex ed workshops, peer education, technical assistance, and professional training to communities throughout the city, and advocacy on behalf of reproductive health. In addition PPNYC is the home of Project Street Beat, a street-based HIV prevention and linkage-to-care program.
Ms. Malin came to PPNYC after four years as chief executive of the Bowery Resident’s Committee, Inc. (BRC)— a multi-service agency which provides over 20 social services and housing programs for adults with limited resources including the homeless, hungry, chemically dependent, psychiatrically disabled, persons with AIDS and the aged.
Prior to BRC, Ms. Malin served in the New York City Department of Homeless Services for four years, first as Deputy Commissioner for Program Planning, then as Commissioner. Ms. Malin is a veteran of three New York City Mayoral administrations during which she has overseen delivery of home-care and protective services for adults, has managed the City’s senior centers and worked extensively to address the needs of the City’s homeless population.
Ms. Malin holds a BA in Urban Studies from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Malin has served on the boards of Brooklyn Community Services, the Youth Services Opportunities Project, the Mary McDowell Center for Learning, and the International Program Committee of American Friend Service Community. Ms. Malin was also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service of New York University.
Joseph E. Luesse is a founding partner and CEO at 8RES, a Research, Evaluation, and Strategy consulting firm. Joe has more than 20 years of experience in varied settings as a leader, teacher, program developer, researcher, and evaluator. Joe has extensive experience leading program design, research, strategy, capacity building, change management, innovation, and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) efforts across the nonprofit, foundation, and education sectors. He’s an adjunct teaching evaluation at NYU’s School of Global Studies, a co-founder and former President of the NYC metro region’s American Evaluation Association affiliate, a New York Community Trust Leadership Fellow, and actively engaged in several professional communities. Joe is a regular presenter, speaker, and writer on evaluation and strategy.
Prior to his current role, Joe worked with DREAM (formerly Harlem RBI), the Ford Foundation, The Research Alliance for New York City Schools, Government Relations at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Joe also taught high school English for over ten years, and during that time he created a small learning community, tutored, became a UCLA Writing Project Fellow, formed a mentor exchange between high school and middle school students, participated in a progressive co-ed soccer collective, and assisted coaching basketball. Joe earned an EdM in Sociology and Education from Columbia University.
Kary Perez is an impact-driven strategist with 10+ years of experience in brand strategy, audience growth, communications, and program development. She approaches her work with an equity-first lens and is deeply committed to building sustaining positive change for organizations and the communities they serve.
She was previously responsible for growing Chalkbeat’s audience, deepening its impact, and diversifying revenue opportunities to ensure all children get fair access to education. Her work culminated in the publication of “The Roadmap for Local News,” a research report that captures 60+ perspectives to recommend solutions to the local information crisis.
At DoSomething Strategic (the consulting arm of DoSomething.org), she worked with brands including Microsoft, ESPN, Feeding America, and Plan International to help build relationships with target audiences via social good initiatives. Before moving to the nonprofit sector, she got her start in book publishing and edited niche non-fiction titles at Penguin Random House.
As Culture Change Director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Kristina leverages the power of culture to change perceptions and behaviors related to and impacting domestic workers and the communities that comprise the sector including women of color and immigrants. Kristina develops opportunities to drive and amplify NDWA’s culture change goals and strategies through social impact campaigns, strategic and creative partnerships, cultural organizing, influencer engagement and the creation of unique content. Kristina led NDWA’s award winning social impact campaign for the Academy Award winning film Roma alongside Participant.
Kristina serves as an executive producer of the podcast Sunstorm, co-hosted by Ai-jen Poo and Alicia Garza and is a co-founder of Storyline Partners, a collective of non-profit organizations that collaborates with the entertainment industry to seed new narratives in television and film. Kristina spent 15 years in the entertainment industry as an actress (90210, Privileged, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) before moving into advocacy. She was a regional field organizer with Organizing for America, President Obama’s grassroots re-election team in 2012 and graduated magna cum laude from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science.
Leslie Goldman is a strategic planning, education and development consultant, a board member of the Non Profit Coordinating Committee (NPCC), and a volunteer at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Ms. Goldman recently stepped down from the New York Academy of Medicine where she served as Senior Advisor to the President following 25 years as the Director of the Office of School Health Programs.
In that role, she provided overall leadership for the Academy’s health education programs in the New York City Public Schools and nationally. A small private initiative in 25 schools began in 1979 and expanded to over 1500 New York City schools. The project became a national model of how private-public sector collaboration can bring about large-scale change in public institutions and has been cited as a “beacon of change” by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition, Ms. Goldman administered activities that included an array of health, health career and science programs linking the medical and health communities and the schools in New York City and around the United States. Ms Goldman was responsible for policy formation, program development and implementation, evaluation research, national dissemination. She raised over $25,000,000 to support all the Office of School Health Programs staff and programs for 25 years.
Ms. Goldman received a Research Fellowship from the Exxon Education Foundation for her graduate training, receiving an M.A. in Policy Analysis/Educational Administration from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She also holds a Masters Degree in Anthropology. She is the recipient of The New York Academy of Medicine 2014 Academy Plaque for Exceptional Service and is a Fellow of the Academy.
Linda Basch coaches and mentors leaders and leadership teams looking to gain the skills and learnings to lead courageously and boldly in these changing and uncertain times. She has over 25 years of experience as a leader in the nonprofit and corporate arenas, having been President of the National Council for Research on Women, as a Program Director at the United Nations, and as head of a Corporate Circle of companies focused on creating greater DEI in their organizations.
Linda Basch provides a gender lens to a range of issues including globalization and human security; economic justice; the impact of public policy on women and families; higher education; gender and diversity in academia, society, and the workplace; women in the corporate world, including work/life balance; women’s transformative leadership; and women and girls in science and technology.
She currently teaches Inclusive Leadership in the NYU Stern School of Business MBA and Executive Education programs and coaches and mentors nonprofit leaders and leadership teams interested in leading inclusively and strategically post-COVID, building collaborative and diverse teams, developing strong relationships with Boards, and strengthening development strategies.
She received her PhD in Anthropology from NYU, a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan, and a master coaching certificate from the Hudson Institute.
Lisa Cowan is the Vice President of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and in this capacity she helps with strategy, development and oversight of foundation programs and grantmaking. Lisa has been working with community-based organizations for the last 25 years, first as a community health educator and program director at several youth-serving agencies, then as a Senior Consultant at Community Resource Exchange. Lisa was the Co-Founder of College Access: Research and Action (www.caranyc.org), where she continues to act as an advisor. Most recently, Lisa was the Principal Consultant at Hummingbird Consulting from 2013-2016. Lisa sits on the board of NYC Kids RISE. She served as the Board President of the Red Hook Initiative from 2005-2013. Lisa is a third-generation New Yorker. She graduated from Wesleyan University and was a Coro Fellow in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
John spends much of his time exploring new ways that SeaChange might help nonprofits facing complex challenges. Prior to joining SeaChange in 2008, John was a partner at Warburg Pincus in that global private equity firm’s New York, Tokyo, and London offices. At Warburg Pincus, he was responsible for overseeing the firm’s expansion into several new international markets and industry segments, designed the firm’s investment performance and measurement system, was co-head of professional development, and served as a director of 16 portfolio companies. John remains involved with Warburg Pincus as a limited partner. Earlier in his career John worked as a software engineer in Tokyo and a management consultant at Oliver Wyman. John did a mid-life masters in philosophy at the London School of Economics. At the same time, and in conjunction with Lord Richard Layard of the Centre for Economic Performance (at the London School of Economics) and Dr Martin E.P. Seligman of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, he coordinated a three-year program in resilience-building and depression prevention for more than 3,000 children across 25 middle schools in the United Kingdom. John has a BSE from Princeton University and a MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics. In conjunction with his role at SeaChange, he serves as an observer on a number of nonprofit boards (or finance committees), is a trustee of the John Jay Foundation, the Brooklyn Heights Association, and the Putney School, and is an equity investment advisor to MicroVest Capital Management.
Lori Roth Gale is the founder of Strategic Learning Associates, a consulting group that provides intensive professional development for mission-driven organizations, working with management, staff, and boards. Services include organization development, professional education program assessment, education design, executive coaching, research and data analysis.
Lori is a part-time Assistant Professor at the New School for Public Engagement’s Milano School. She teaches Master’s-level seminars on Management and Organizational Behavior, Leadership Development, Organization Diagnosis, and capstone project research. Lori served on the Executive Education Faculty at Columbia Business School from 2004-2010 and as the executive director of Columbia’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management from 1996-2004.
She works with a wide range of clients in the not-for-profit and public sector. Recent clients include AHRC, AJC, Astor Services for Children and Families, New York Community Trust, Partnership for Afterschool Education, The New School, United Nations, United Way of NYC, Westchester Community Foundation.
Lori earned her doctorate (EdD) in Adult Learning and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Management (MPPM) and Brandeis University (BA). She also holds a certificate in Organization Development and Human Resource Management (ODHRM) from Teachers College.
A consultant focused exclusively on CEOs, executive teams, and boards of directors, Mark has also led research strategy for Deloitte’s Chief Executive Program from 2015 to 2022. Former graduate professor of management at The New School and Parsons School of Design, Mark’s current role as Professor Emeritus allows him to devote himself to clients representing Fortune 500 corporations, think tanks, philanthropies, not-for-profits, and start-ups, as well as research leadership effectiveness. Mark’s writing has appeared in Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, and Journal of Management Consulting. He is the author of Guiding Growth: How Vision Keeps Companies on Course and the award-winning Mean Men: The Perversion of America’s Self-Made Man. Mark holds a Ph.D. from the School of Management at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He lives in New York City and the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.
His work as a consultant and professor has inspired his writing for such publications as Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Deloitte University Press and Journal of Management Consulting, as well as his previous book, Guiding Growth: How Vision Keeps Companies on Course (Harvard Business School Press, 2003).
Marti is a New York City based consultant, executive coach, blogger and speaker who specializes in taking the ‘scary’ out of career transitions and transforming managers into leaders. Since 2006, she’s worked with interns to CEO’s to board members, helping them successfully manage interpersonal communications, develop leadership skills, and get or craft the jobs they want. She offers individual coaching, staff and board trainings and retreats to create workplaces where everyone feels valued and heard. Marti came to this work after 15+ years in the advertising and television industries. When not working, she’s traveling, skiing, trying to hit a golf ball, or prowling around the Met. Marti lives in Harlem with her family.
MaryLynn is the Chief Operating Officer of the South Coast Botanic Garden, an 87-acre public garden that showcases eight different environment spaces, nestled in the rolling hills of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles County. One of the first gardens built on top of a landfill, the team is dedicated toward providing a garden for everyone and to showing best practices for conservation and sustainability.
With a commitment to serving others and building bridges of understanding, MaryLynn Mack is the Board President of the American Public Gardens Association and Inaugural Chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee. She believes in empowerment through mentoring and has a passion for developing emerging professionals to become future leaders of a sustainable and thriving world.
Before joining South Coast, MaryLynn served as the Director of Operations at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona and has also enjoyed successful careers as the Executive Director of the Rescue Mission’s Women and Children’s Center, and as Senior Director at the San Diego Natural History Museum.
She nurtured her love of giving back and philanthropy as a founding member of the African American Women’s Giving and Empowerment Circle and as a Board Member at the Phoenix Metropolitan YWCA. Her efforts in women’s issues and arts and culture earned her the YWCA Tribute to Leadership and Black Philanthropy Institute Leadership awards.
MaryLynn has a degree from Cincinnati Technical College and brings 30 years of staff and volunteer management, strategic planning and project development. She is a past recipient of the Virginia G. Piper Fellowship, a graduate of The Getty Leadership Institute, and a Veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Melba Butler is Principal of Butler Consulting, which provides management and program development services. In this capacity, she developed a practice guide for NYC Children’s Services, co-authored management training for NYC Children’s Services on Improved Outcomes for Children model, and developed and trained agency staff in Home Assessment Protocol.
From 2012 to 2014, Ms. Butler held the positiion of Director of Resident Engagement for the New York City Housing Authority. As part of a strategic plan to preserve pubic housing, Ms. Butler launched an innovative approach towards enhancing the participation of New York City’s 400,000 public housing residents. She consuled for internal clients, and coordinated and facilitated inter-departmental NYCHA Restores strategy after Super Storm Sandy and developed emergency response teams for vulnerable populations and residents in hurricane zones. From 1990 to 2006, Ms. Butler served as Executive Director of the Harlem Dowling West-Side Center for Children and Family Sevices, a mult-service organization serving inner city children and families.
Ms. Butler received a B.A. from Long Island University, a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the City University of New York, an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University.
Melissa Shillingford is the visionary founder of Make Ideas Work, a boutique consulting company dedicated to empowering organizations committed to positive social change through human-centered management training and capacity-building services.
With over a decade designing, managing, and facilitating cohort-based programs, Melissa has an acute ability to inspire and elevate teams. Her passion lies in supporting organizations with ambitious goals and helping staff reach them work smarter, not harder.
As a certified Wiley DiSC Authorized Partner, Melissa deeply understands team dynamics and communication strategies. Her academic background includes a Project Management Certificate from CUNY Baruch, a joint Masters in Human and Community Development and Urban Planning for Social Justice from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and studies in Deviant Behavior and Social Control at CUNY John Jay College, where she also earned a certificate in Dispute Resolution.
Melissa’s dedication to social change, combined with her vast experience and expertise, makes her a powerful ally for organizations looking to make a lasting impact.
What is your role in our equitable future? Whether it’s stepping back and ceding power, strengthening opportunities for others, or seizing your own power to realize your authentic self, I work to help us navigate these decisions, implement solutions for change, and challenge barriers to racial and intersectional equity.
I relish the diversity of human experience; having lived, worked, and studied in vastly different settings and sectors, I take a context-specific and person-first approach to each engagement. My goal, always, is to make compassionate connections with my clients and their communities.
As a scientist, I bring my background in the medical and social sciences to ask and critically explore the questions that advance social opportunities and positive change. Whether through numbers or words, I illuminate stories and insights that help improve strategies for organizational and community impact.
As a practitioner committed to equitable evaluation, I tap a range of culturally responsive methods that promote transparency and reflect the complexity of our lives and communities. I believe validity and rigor are found within, rather than outside of, the lived experiences of those most impacted by systems that constrain our capacity to thrive.
And as an artist, I facilitate dialogue, connections, and perspective-sharing to elevate the joy, beauty, and stories of our authentic selves.
I am a member of Expanding the Bench’s Advancing Culturally-responsive and Equitable (ACE) Evaluation Network and advisory group, a member of the CTCP-funded LOOP advisory collective at UCSF, and an alumnus of the Racial Equity Action Institute of Northern California Grantmakers fellowship program, the Bay Area Radical Transformational Leadership (formerly LEO) fellowship program, and the Funder and Evaluator Affinity Network (FEAN).
I find comfort and joy in music, art, theater, nature, and a world filled with small and grand acts of kindness.
EXPERTISE, PASSIONS, AND PURSUITS
Social determinants of health, particularly those of people of color, LGBTQ individuals, economically marginalized neighborhoods, and youth of all backgrounds
Advanced quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods analysis
Advanced quantitative data analyses using a suite of software, including R, SPSS, SAS, Stata, Dedoose, Atlas.ti, and SurveyGizmo
Survey, interview, and focus group protocol design and data collection
Group facilitation and planning for process, outcome, and impact evaluations
Participatory research methods and training
Senior Research Associate, Harder+Company
Assistant Research Scientist, University of Michigan School of Public Health
Faculty Scientist, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Fellow, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco
PhD, Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley
MSW, Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley
MPH, Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley
BS, Biology, Truman State University
Michael Seltzer is a Distinguished Lecturer at the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College. Prior to joining Baruch, Michael Seltzer served as president of Philanthropy New York and as a program officer at the Ford Foundation where he was responsible for its work in strengthening the nonprofit sector and promoting organized philanthropy worldwide. He also founded and led a sustainability in business initiative at The Conference Board.
Seltzer chaired the master’s degree program in Nonprofit Management at the Milano School of the New School University. At Baruch, Professor Seltzer redesigned the core master’s degree course in fund raising and resource mobilization for nonprofit organizations, and teaches Advanced Public and Nonprofit Management in the Executive MPA program, as well as a variety of different topics in the executive certificate programs. He holds a B.A. from Syracuse University in International Relations and African Studies.
As the VP of Foundation, Government, and Corporate Partnerships at The Trevor Project, Muneer’s team focuses on building impact centered and business-driven long-term partnerships with some of the world’s largest companies and organizations to help end LGBTQ youth suicide.
Muneer led the charge to secure Trevor’s first seven-figure partnership that launched a new, holistic corporate partnership model for the organization. In 3 years, this model has 8X’d corporate revenue for The Trevor Project and established partnerships with 150+ national and global companies. Notable partnerships include award-winning cause marketing campaigns with Abercrombie & Fitch, Macy’s, Google.org and an $8M partnership with PwC Charitable Foundation – the largest in Trevor’s 22-year history. Muneer is an expert on cause marketing, for-profit/not-for-profit partnerships, institutional fundraising, and corporate social responsibility. Muneer’s pronouns are he/him.
Nancy Wackstein is a veteran human services leader in New York City in both the governmental and nonprofit sectors.
Ms. Wackstein most recently served as Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, from which she retired in 2021. She continues at Fordham as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor for MSW students.
Ms. Wackstein served from 2002 to 2015 as Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses of New York, the federation of New York City’s 38 settlement houses and community centers. Prior to UNH, she was the Executive Director of Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a Manhattan settlement house, for 11 years.
Ms. Wackstein served as Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office on Homelessness and SRO Housing from l990-91 under Mayor David N. Dinkins and was Senior Policy Advisor for Human Services in Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins’ Office from l986-l989.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Wackstein has served on many nonprofit Boards and NYC government task forces and commissions, and continues to do so.
She received a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University, SUNY, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW). In 2009 Ms. Wackstein was inducted into the CUSSW Hall of Fame. In 2013 Ms. Wackstein was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her alma mater Binghamton University.
Navid has worked at the intersection of higher education, nonprofit, edtech, and workforce development for 11+ years. He currently serves as a consultant to social-impact oriented organizations to improve their marketing and growth strategy, build strategic partnerships, and provide project management support.
Navid’s past roles include serving as the Director of Advising and Growth at PelotonU, Education Engagement at The New York Times, and Career Education at Columbia University. Navid has also lived and worked abroad during his time at Yale-NUS College in Singapore where he built and managed international education programs in leadership development, social impact, and experiential education that served students from 36+ different countries.
Navid earned his BBA in Human Resource Management from the University of North Texas and his MA in Psychology in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Outside of work, Navid serves on the Board of Directors for Equality Texas, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, and DesiQ Diaspora.
Norma Tan, PhD is the principal of Cora Group, a woman- and minority- owned consulting practice established in 1988 to help organizations meet new workplace challenges through learning systems that promote the capacity for change and innovation. As a learning systems specialist, she advises clients on training, assessment, and evaluation to enhance their problem-solving capacity, using perspectives and information from diverse sources for effective decision-making. She also provides professional development and coaching to senior executives, managers and frontline staff to maximize their talent and leadership potential.
In her consulting role, Norma helps organizations create systematic frameworks and use appropriate research methods to structure learning environments and processes, and to observe and measure change. Her clients have included many education and employment, healthcare and community-based service organizations and funders (e.g., American Foundation for AIDS Research; Annie E. Casey Foundation; Brooklyn College Community Partnership; Commonwealth Fund/Institute on Violence; Caribbean Women’s Health Association; CUNY School of Law; Excelsior College; Hetrick Martin Institute; Latinas on the Verge of Excellence; Labor-Management Project/SEIU1199; Mayday Fund; Nontraditional Employment for Women; Realizing Rights; Rebuilding Together; School Based Health Alliance; Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation). She has also consulted for corporations and industry associations (e.g., Alcoa; American Express; BovisLendlease; Cotton Incorporated; Pfizer; Standard & Poor’s; Simon & Schuster of Viacom; AT & T), and government agencies (e.g., San Francisco Fire Department & City Attorney’s Office; Los Angeles Dept of Water and Power; New York City Office of the Mayor; Administration for Children’s Services; Departments of Citywide Administrative Services, Cultural Affairs, Youth and Community Development, Education, Health; New York State Office of the Comptroller, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, Education Department).
Norma brings a strong background in educational research and evaluation to her work. Prior to co-founding Cora Group, she was a program evaluator for the New York City School system and also held research director positions at New York University’s Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and at Baruch College of the City University of New York. In all these positions she built institutional research capacity, conducting evaluation studies of educational programming for underserved children, youth and/or nontraditional college students to improve access, quality and retention and performance outcomes.
Norma served as a group facilitator and coach for the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. She is certified in the use of Human Synergistics individual, team and organizational learning tools. She holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from Columbia University.
Odell is the founder and Principal of Mays2 Consulting LLC a specialized management consultancy focused on working with non-profits, foundations and social enterprise ventures on strategic fiscal management and operations projects, in addition to governance issues centering on social justice and equity. Odell works with arts organizations on building and sustaining organizational cultures that are inclusive and thriving.
Odell has over 30 years of management experience in nonprofits and board leadership including serving as the chair and co-chair of the board of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and as treasurer of the NYC LGBTQ Community Services Center.
He is currently serving as the Board Treasurer for the Proteus Fund; a leading social justice and civil rights grant maker. He is a founding board member of The American LGBTQ+ Museum based in New York City. Odell has served as a visiting faculty member for the New York Community Trust Fellows Program in conjunction with Baruch College and has conducted extensive workshops on best practices in nonprofit management.
He is also an adjunct faculty instructor at Columbia University School of Professional Studies and the Columbia University School of Social Work.
Odell received his B.A. from Stanford University in Psychology and his M.B.A in Finance/Taxation from New York University’s Graduate school of Business (now known as Stern School of Business).
Odell is passionate about the arts, in particular dance. He is an avid reader and enjoys power walking and yoga.
Patty was named Executive Director of Futures and Options in April 2007. Patty has worked to improve the long-term sustainability of the organization through board development and strategic planning, as well as through organizational growth and development in the areas of programming, fundraising, and marketing. Patty’s passion for youth and the program’s mission is coupled with commitment to excellence in all areas.
Patty has always been a strong advocate for children and youth. Before Futures and Options, Patty was Director of Volunteer Services at The Children’s Aid Society, one of the oldest and largest children’s welfare agencies in New York City. From 2003 to 2005, Patty was Executive Director of Variety International—The Children’s Charity, a multi-national, volunteer-driven organization aligned with the movie industry, which supports programs for children with special needs or serious medical concerns and children living in poverty. In Dallas, Patty was president of the Board of Directors for Dallas for Children, a start-up, volunteer-run fundraising organization that supported select intervention and prevention programs for needy children, from birth through six years old.
She served on the Dallas Commission for Children and Youth for three years, was a member of the Adolescent Pregnancy Board in Fort Worth, Texas for three years, and also served as director of Rockville Community Nursery School in Rockville, Maryland. She now serves on the board for New York City’s Department of Youth & Community Development. Patty received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Georgetown University, and her Masters of Arts in Education: Early Childhood/Special Education from George Washington University.
Pavitra consults with and coaches clients on strategic planning, talent management, leadership development, and board development issues. She has over 18 years of experience as a consultant, coach, and trainer in the nonprofit and private sectors and has been associated with Community Resource Exchange (CRE) for over 15 years largely as a full time staff consultant and more recently as an affiliate. Pavitra is skilled at working with leaders to build solutions for organizational issues such as structuring effective teams, managing talent, and developing high performing staff. Her work is grounded in principles of inclusion and equity, fundamental and underlying values she believes are key to an organization’s success in achieving its mission.
As the former head of CRE’s leadership and management development practice, she anchored, developed and lead trainings and cohort activities that target executive leaders and middle managers at client organizations to enhance their leadership skills. Pavitra co-authored a book with CRE colleagues titled Meeting the Job Challenges of Nonprofit Leaders: A Fieldbook on Strategies and Actions.
As a coach, she helps clients recognize, own, and realize their leadership potential. Her coaching style and philosophy are honed in getting to the core of her client’s value systems and challenging existing paradigms. She believes in supporting clients in achieving meaningful and sustainable change by focusing on their internal energy drivers as well as on the impact they have on the people in their lives including people they work with. Pavitra is a Certified Professional Coach from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC).
Pavitra brings an international perspective developed during years of volunteering at various nonprofits both in India and in the United States. She holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce as well as an MBA in International Business from École nationale des ponts et Chausseés, Paris. She is certified in Clifton StrengthsFinder, Facilitative Leadership, Hogan Personality Assessment Index, and Clark Wilson 360° Assessment Tools; she served for 5 years as a selection committee member for the New York Nonprofit Excellence Awards and is a past board member and active supporter of Manavi, a New Jersey-based organization serving South Asian women who are victims of domestic violence.
Payal coaches high school teachers across New York City so that all students can pursue their post secondary aspirations and define their future (college, technical programs etc.). As Senior Director of Coaching and Teacher Support at the national nonprofit OneGoal, she leads a team of phenomenal coaches and works across 26 schools in all five boroughs of NYC. The team uses culturally responsive pedagogical practices, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, social-emotional skill development, identity affirmation/interrogation and relationship building to help teachers improve their practice and support students in their postsecondary aspirations. Specifically, the team works to eliminate barriers in postsecondary access and reduce financial hurdles (helping students with the college application process, understanding and completing FAFSA, navigating opportunity programs etc.) While she loves coaching and nerds out on college access, she has a deep passion for advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work. She has co-led her region’s DEI training and work for the past five years, focusing on the practice of Liberatory Consciousness. She also co-leads her staff’s BIPOC affinity space.Payal was recently promoted to Managing Director of Program at OneGoal New York where she sets the strategic direction of OneGoal’s student and teacher facing programming.
Payal has been in the field of education for 13+ years. Before working at OneGoal she was a high school social studies teacher in both NYC and Chennai, India. Payal earned her bachelor’s degree in South Asian history and education from Barnard College and a Master of Education from Stanford University. If you want to know more, check out Payal’s LinkedIn profile here.
It is very important to Payal to remain active in her community beyond her work. To that effect, Payal has volunteered on the Anti-Violence Project’s crisis hotline since 2018, specializing in LGBTQIA+ support. Additionally, Payal became certified as a rape crisis counselor and volunteers with the Crime Victims Treatment Center as a sexual assault and domestic violence survivor advocate in NYC’s emergency departments in November 2020. Beyond her work, Payal loves chive momos, walking irrational distances, llamas, and spending time with her incredible, enormous family.
Ray Reyes is the founder and Executive Director of Beyond the Boroughs as well as the Managing Director of Programs at The Opportunity Network. As Managing Director of Programs, Ray oversees OppNet’s Fellows Program to ensure top program management, curriculum development, and student impact. Prior to joining OppNet in 2009, Ray was an Assistant Director and Career Counselor at New York University’s Wasserman Center for Career Development. Ray received his B.A. in English from Rowan University and his M.A. in Higher Education from NYU. While in graduate school, he worked as a graduate assistant at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Wasserman Center. Ray is a 2017 Council for Urban Professionals (CUP) Fellow and co-chair of their Alumni Board. He also participated in the second cohort of the NYU Senior Leaders Fellowship Program that focuses on adaptive leadership approaches, reflective practices and expanding connections to other visionary leaders reshaping the field of education.
Rhea helps nonprofits raise more money. Though she has deep experience with institutional, corporate and event fund-raising, she is most excited about major individual donors and helping organizations to establish individual giving programs. She has raised millions of dollars in private philanthropy and is passionate about building the next generation of fundraising leaders, particularly leaders of color.
She has become a leader in the New York nonprofit community and is a frequent educational commentator in the media. She has been recognized with the SmartCEO Brava Award in 2015 and NY Nonprofit Media’s 40 under 40 in 2017. For more information about Rhea, please see her LinkedIn Profile here. Rhea lives in Brooklyn with her husband and the World’s Most Spoiled Dog, Stevie Wonderdog. When she is not raising money for causes she loves, she can be found hosting her podcast Nonprofit Lowdown, onstage as a newbie stand-up comedian in downtown Brooklyn, or browsing for statement eyewear. For more information, check out rheawong.com.
Rishi is the founder of Rising Road Digital and has years of digital marketing experience transforming the marketing of dozens of organizations. He has helped drive significant increases in revenue, donations, signups, engagement. He has significant experience with Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits, social media advertising, Google Analytics, and more. He has worked with a significant range of non-profits, from well known national organizations to smaller regional non-profits. He received his B.A. from UC Berkeley and is currently getting his MBA at NYU Stern.
Robyne is a nationally recognized art and social justice educator and administrator. Most recently, she served as the Interim Director of Public Programs at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza and The Billie Holiday Theatre. From 2016-2022, Robyne served as the Executive Director at Groundswell, a social justice youth development program that uses the transformative power of public art-making to ignite personal and societal change. In her five years at Groundswell, Robyne centered young people, teaching artists, arts administrators, and staff through the creation of 126 murals, serving approximately 2,000 young people and collaborating with 150 community organizations. Over the last five years, Groundswell has received national recognition for its excellence in youth development, public art, and social justice pedagogy. Previous to her position at Groundswell, Robyne held positions at the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Coole Culture, and DreamYard where she served as the director of the DreamYard Art Center in the Bronx. Under her leadership, DreamYard Art Center was recognized by the Obama White House as one of the top programs in the nation. Robyne accepted the award from First Lady Michelle Obama. Robyne has conducted workshops and delivered keynotes at conferences and institutions across the country on the topic of art and social activism at institutions. She is a New York City Cultural Advisory Committee member and a 2022 Metropolitan Museum of Art Women’s History Month Honoree. Robyne graduated from Clark Atlanta University (B.A. English) and the University of Washington, Seattle (MFA, Acting). She resides in Brooklyn with her husband, Tarik Murphy, and her son, Ras.
As a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rosanna Montilla-Payano brings a unique perspective to her role as a dedicated fundraising and communications executive with over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector. She has also shared her expertise on various philanthropic panels.
Rosanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a Nonprofit Management Certificate from CUNY, and is an alumnus of the Leadership Fellows New York. She has also completed the Executive Coaching Program from the Robin Hood Foundation/Berkeley and serves on the Grant Advisory Committee at The New York Women’s Foundation under Early Investment Strategy.
As a Dominican immigrant, Rosanna is deeply committed to normalizing the word “philanthropy” within the Latine community, recognizing that informal giving practices should be affirmed and legitimized. Her dedication to social justice and philanthropy is reflected in her proven track record of cultivating strong relationships with corporations and individuals, overseeing successful campaigns, and developing strategic partnerships.
When not fundraising, Rosanna enjoys spending time with her family, though she admits that baking remains her Achilles heel, and the only thing more stressful than fundraising is trying to bake cookies with her kids.
Currently, Rosanna serves as the Director of Development at a community-based nonprofit in Washington Heights, where she leads the fundraising department, manages marketing and communications initiatives, and supervises a talented team.
Ruth Rathblott, MSW is an expert on inclusion and diversity. She is a TEDx and inspirational speaker, international bestselling author, and an award-winning former nonprofit leader. She was born with a limb difference and speaks to companies on issues of equity and belonging, the gifts of being unique, and the freedom of accepting your differences. Ruth was profiled as a CEO in The New York Times’ Corner Office and received Goucher College’s Excellence in Public Service Award, among other awards, for her outstanding leadership in the nonprofit sector. She has spent her entire career focused on providing opportunities for those who have been underrepresented. She serves as a board member of The Lucky Fin Project.
Sara K. Gould is a seasoned, strategic leader and executive; an executive coach; and a thought leader, advocate, collaborator and mentor. Her areas of expertise include strategic program design, coaching, nonprofit management, philanthropic advising, women’s and social justice philanthropy, and fundraising.
Following a year as the activist-in-residence at Smith College, Gould is currently co-directing the College’s Steinem Initiative. The Initiative brings a new tool – women’s and gender history – into organizing. It is experimenting in this arena by: 1) working with organizations to pilot new ways to use history in current campaigns, 2) creating new curriculum at Smith through which organizations collaborate directly with faculty and students, 3) implementing an activist-in-residence program, and 4) initiating the Gloria & Wilma School for Organizers.
Gould spent nearly 25 years at the Ms. Foundation for Women, serving as president and CEO from 2004 to 2010. Early in her tenure, she spearheaded the creation of the Collaborative Fund for Women’s Economic Development, a pioneering initiative in the field of microenterprise that leveraged more than $12 million to support organizations assisting low-income women to create their own jobs, while engaging funding partners and grantees in a learning and evaluation process. She is also the creator of the Ms. Foundation Institute on Women’s Economic Empowerment, a field- and capacity-building convening that brought together some 250 women activists and advocates from around the country regularly over a 15 year period.
As the Foundation’s president, Ms. Gould expanded its grantmaking directed at organizations that create meaningful connections — across issues, movements, constituencies, and geographies — to engage more women and men in working for sustainable change in both public policy and the broader culture. She also established the Katrina Women’s Response Fund immediately after the levees broke in New Orleans in 2005. The Fund granted nearly $3 million in Louisiana and Mississippi to organizations building the leadership of women of color and low-income women to impact the recovery and rebuilding process.
In 2011-12, Gould served as the Atlantic Philanthropies Senior Fellow at the Foundation Center where she advised the Center on its work with global women’s funds, led a study of progressive public foundations in the US, and researched and promoted activities to elevate the profile of social justice philanthropy. She also authored Diminishing Dollars: The Impact of the 2008 Financial Crisis on the Field of Social Justice Philanthropy.
Gould then served for nearly two years as the associate director of Caring Across Generations, a national campaign (led by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Jobs with Justice) to bring about change in the long-term home care system in the US, for the benefit of both people who receive care and the workers who provide it.
Gould is also an executive and organizational coach in the nonprofit arena, focusing on building capacity through developing leaders and teams.
Gould holds a Master’s degree in city and regional planning from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University. She has received the Changing the Face of Philanthropy Award from the Women’s Funding Network and the Women Who Make a Difference Award from the National Council for Research on Women. She currently serves as the board chair of the National Immigration Law Center, and as vice-chair of the board of the Proteus Fund.
Organizations have a responsibility to cultivate change from within. Sequoya has secured contracts that support organizations that are seeking diversity, equity, and inclusion and organizational employee wellness support. Since 2020, Red Linen Moon has established partnerships with 9 organizations across the country and continues to grow.
Sequoya has experience advising and consulting throughout counties across Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Georgia, Alaska, Rhode Island, and Washington. These experiences inform her approach.
Sequoya has provided organizational capacity building to individuals, collectives, and organizations for over ten years. This includes strategic planning, SWOT analysis initiatives, and DEI related efforts in a variety of settings. Since the founding of her business, she has facilitated more than 500 hours of organizational wellness supports including but not limited to executive coaching, workplace wellness cultivation, and psychological safety concepts and interventions.
One of Sequoya’s goals is to assist organizations with an access gap for culturally responsive services through employee wellness and strategic direction. Sequoya’s approach is based upon a combination of experiences, both clinical and organizational. These experiences have allowed Sequoya to observe first hand how power structures affect change from boardrooms, to classrooms, to social services.
Sequoya provides the supportive nudge needed to move organizations’ conceptual frameworks to full implementation. Most importantly, we offer feedback and tools to ground the work in reflection. Sequoya works with organizations to establish equitable practices and accountability systems, so that everyone has a voice. Through assessment, Sequoya guides clients through the process of identifying issues that are most detrimental to the health and growth of the organization. Often these issues arise unnoticed, and are in direct conflict with the organization’s mission and goals. Sequoya assists organization members with learning how to name and address these conflicts in a holistic way that honors everyone within the space, and beyond.
Sevonna Brown is the Co-Executive Director at Black Women’s Blueprint. She leads the Safer Childbirth cities initiative in Brooklyn through Merck for Mother’s. She dedicates her work to maternal health around the globe and strategies for women’s health in Ghana and the U.S. she is also the founder of Sanctuary for Integrative Medicine. She is also recognized as a Ms. Foundation Public Voices Fellow for her writing through the Op/Ed Project. Her work has been published in Ebony, TIME Magazine, ForHarriet, and Rewire News. She serves on the board of Children of Combahee, which mobilizes against child abuse in Black churches using womanist pastoral and theological methods. She is a reproductive health advocate and doula. Her organizational affiliations include Spirit of a Woman Leadership Development Institute and Standing in Our Power: A Women of Color Transformative Leadership Institute. She has been featured in the documentary “The Business of Birth Control” directed by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein.
Sevonna received the ELLA Fellowship through the Sadie Nash Leadership Program where she brings reproductive justice to young women of color through grassroots organizing. Through Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Sevonna has engaged in youth advocacy and young women’s organizing.
Sevonna Brown has lived in NYC and worked in New York City alongside human rights agencies, non-profit organizations, the New York City Council, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and many other agencies. Her work has intersected with many local businesses and agencies that offer reproductive and holistic health.
Susan Ball’s credentials may be found here.
T.J. Burkett is a lifelong learner, educator, and coach. In his nearly two-decade-long career as in education, T.J. has worked in public schools, charter schools, non-profits, and institutions of higher education. In each role, T.J. has brought a passion for strategic thinking and equity-driven leadership with an unwavering focus on results and accountability to the communities with which he partners. In his current position with Teach for America, T.J. leads the strategy for designing and delivering a new teacher onboarding for over 2,000 new teachers each year. T.J. also founded and leads a coaching and development organization, Elevated Learning Solutions, that specializes in identity-based leadership coaching for executives and mid-career professionals, as well as customized, boutique learning experiences. In addition to coaching and facilitating, T.J. also teaches courses in interdisciplinary literacy and culturally relevant pedagogy in the Masters in Education program at Johns Hopkins University. He is also pursuing his Doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership at the University of Columbia where he is studying the impact of racial identity development theory on adult development. T.J. lives in the Bronx, NY with his partner, son, and dog.
Toby is a Founding CEO of SAFIOO Inc. and a Trusted Advisor to CEOs and senior non-profit, government, and philanthropic leaders and donors. Toby advises, speaks, vlogs and writes on social impact on the Blockchain, leadership, sustainability and DEI. SAFIOO Inc. is the socially conscious home for the Blockchain ecosystem. It provides data intelligence, leadership development, recruitment, personal and professional development for the growing community of talented professionals that are building their careers in Blockchain based organizations. Earlier in his career, Toby held Chief Diversity roles at Baxter Healthcare, and Amoco Oil. He has held senior roles in international development, multi-national corporations and global non-profit organizations including USAID, Accenture, Kraft General Foods and Tides Foundation. In 2016, he was selected as a Bellagio Fellow by The Rockefeller Foundation. Toby splits his time between Lisbon, Portugal, Miami, Florida, and New York City.
Tomás Garduño is a Chicano from Albuquerque, New Mexico, living in New York. He currently works as a Senior Organizing Strategist for Addition Collective. Most recently, he worked as the National Field Director for Mijente. He has over 20 years experience in political strategy and campaign development. He has worked as a community organizer, campaign manager and strategic advisor for 22 grassroots social justice organizations, 4 candidate campaigns and 5 institutes/universities. His most formative experiences were his time as co-director of the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) and organizer of the People’s Climate March.
With more than two decades of experience in the non-profit sector, Yolanda F. Johnson has successfully led fundraising operations for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, launching creative event, sponsorship and marketing initiatives that produced new streams of both contributed and earned income. Her fundraising expertise includes securing foundation, corporate, and government funding and cultivating a diverse major gifts portfolio.
In addition to leading YFJ Consulting, LLC, Yolanda is the Founder of WOC, Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy® and President of Women In Development (WID), NY, the NYC area’s premier professional organization for women in fundraising and philanthropy. Yolanda has also had an outstanding career as a performing artist, as a composer, as a producer, as an educator, and she has used her background as a performer to become a sought-after fundraising expert.
Her leadership roles include: serving as an International Advisory Board member and the former Representative for the Foundation for Post Conflict Development to the United Nations; a member of the board of directors of the Lehman College Art Gallery; a member of the board of trustees of the Hudson River Museum and a member of the PowHerNY board of directors. A trailblazing figure on the national fundraising landscape, Yolanda is the first African American President in the 40-year history of WID. She co-established the WID Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and is often a featured expert on incorporating DEI initiatives into organizational culture. She has appeared as a panelist at Fundraising Day in New York, the Women’s Alliance National Conference and CASE events among others. Yolanda is also a member of the Chronicle of Philanthropy Advisory Committee of national leaders in the non-profit sector.
Tying together her life as a successful performing artist and a non-profit leader, she developed All the World’s A Stage, a special workshop using performance practice for getting what one wants out of fundraising, philanthropy and life. She presents All the World’s A Stage to audiences across the country. Yolanda is the Worship Leader/Music Director at the church she attends, a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Women’s Music Fraternity and is on the artist roster for Random Access Music/Queens New Music Festival and the newly formed Westchester Chamber Soloists Orchestra. She holds a B.A. in Voice (Music Performance) and an M.A. in Arts Administration with a focus on Fundraising and Events and is the author of various publications and articles on event fundraising, including A Useful Guide for Special Events.