Nicole Acosta, Director of Youth and Children's Services, Loudoun Citizens for Social Justice, Inc./Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter
Nicole Acosta is the Director of Youth & Children's Services at Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter (LAWS). Nicole manages all agency programming and service provision for child victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, including counseling and advocacy. She has participated in many community collaboration efforts to address the needs of child and adult victims of violence including the Loudoun Domestic Abuse Response Team, the Loudoun Sexual Abuse Treatment and Referral Services Team, the Loudoun Head Start Mental Health Advisory Board, the Loudoun Child Advocacy Center's Advisory Board and Multi-Disciplinary Team, and the Loudoun County Domestic and Sexual Violence Coordinating Council. In addition to her work with child victims of violence, Nicole has provided leadership over her seven years of service at LAWS by providing staff supervision, assistance with program development, leading hiring teams, and providing training to new staff, volunteers, and community professionals. Nicole has a BSW from James Madison University and an MSW from The Catholic University of America's National Catholic School of Social Service. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Virginia.
Allyson Criner Brown, Associate Director, Teaching for Change
Allyson Criner Brown is the associate director of Teaching for Change, a nonprofit organization that builds social justice, starting in the classroom through programs and resources for teachers and parents. Allyson also serves as the program manager for "Tellin' Stories," Teaching for Change's nationally recognized approach to family engagement. She holds a master's degree in public administration and graduate certificate in nonprofit management from the George Washington University. A former middle school teacher, Allyson has experience in the field and managing programs for community-based nonprofits that focus on education, youth development and social justice.
Carmen Daugherty, Deputy Director, Advocates for Justice and Education
Carmen Daugherty is the Deputy Director of Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE), the Parent Training and Information Center for the District of Columbia formed to educate parents, youth, and the community about the laws governing public education, specifically for children with special needs. Prior to her current position, Carmen served as the Deputy Director of Programs at AJE overseeing all training and advocacy to over 500 families in the District and also served as a staff attorney representing children with special needs in the public school system. As a student at Tulane University School of Law, Carmen represented youth in the juvenile justice system right after Hurricane Katrina. She also interned with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, in addition to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In October 2008, Carmen was appointed to the D.C. Mayor's Juvenile Justice Advisory Group where she works with city stakeholders to provide advice to the Mayor on improving the district's juvenile justice system. She became co-chair of the American Bar Association, Individual Rights and Responsibilities, Public Education Committee in 2010. She received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and her Juris Doctor from Tulane University School of Law.
Goldie Deane, Program Officer, DC Children's Youth Investment Trust Corporation
Goldie Deane, a Detroit Native, joined the DC Children Youth investment Trust Corporation as Program Officer in 2010. She has worked as a leader of the Summer Youth Employment Program, facilitated innovative trainings and developed meaningful relationships with the grantees in her portfolio. A graduate of Howard University, Goldie has over 10 years of experience in youth services and education. Her passion for developing innovative and relevant curricula, training youth workers and educators, and promoting youth development led her to the Grants Management and Training Team at the Trust; for an opportunity to broaden the resources and capacity of some of the most exciting Youth Development afterschool organization in the District. Goldie has worked as a teacher, curriculum developer, facilitator, program director in Wards 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8. As a community advocate, Goldie continues to advise and support several youth development nonprofit organizations, through volunteerism and working in the philanthropic community as a youth advocate and she continues to be a leader in the development and promotion of hip-hop education in the district and nationally.
Rebecca Ende, Managing Director, Theater J/Washington DC JCC
Rebecca Ende is the Managing Director of Theater J, where she oversees the marketing, fundraising, finances and general operations of the theater. Previously she worked extensively in arts marketing, serving as Director of Marketing and Communications at Sitar Arts Center, Director of Marketing and Communications at Theater J and Marketing Associate at Ford's Theatre. Ms. Ende is also the President of the Board of Forum Theatre, previously Chair of the Fundraising Committee. She is currently on the advisory panel for theatre Washington and was a member of the Culture Capital Advisory Committee for the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington. For four years, she served as a judge for the Helen Hayes Awards on the new play committee. She received her Master's degree in Arts Administration at Columbia University, holds a Bachelor's in English and Studio Art from Georgetown University and recently completed a Certificate in Budgeting and Finance, also from Georgetown.
Judy Estey, Grants Manager, Dance Place
Judy Estey is currently the Grants Manager at Dance Place in Washington, DC. Judy graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Dance from Barnard College, Columbia University, with Departmental Honors for her thesis on the Politicization of the National Endowment for the Arts. Prior to working at Dance Place, Judy served as the Development Associate for JUMP! Dance Company in Rhode Island and now currently serves as Board Member at Large. In 2009 she received the Dance Heritage Coalition Fellowship to process special collections in the dance archives of the Library of Congress and Washington D.C. Historical Society. Judy has experience interning for American Ballet Theatre and The Museum Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. She is an alumnae of Dance Theatre Workshop's Laboratory on Arts Management 2008. Recently, Judy was honored to be a panelist for Fairfax County's Arts Fellowship program and for the 2012 DC Mayor's Arts Awards. Judy is a contributing editor to the Dance Heritage Coalition's America's Treasures online catalogue and served as research assistant to Claudia Gitelman's Alwin Nikolais Exhibit at NYPL Spring 2010.
Eduardo Ferrer, Chief Operating Officer, DC Lawyers for Youth
Eduardo Ferrer was born in California to Cuban immigrants whose families came to the United States in the wake of the Communist Revolution. Eduardo's Cuban upbringing played an influential role in his life, instilling in him the importance of education and a deep desire to give back to a country that provided so much opportunity for his family.
In furtherance of his dream of becoming a lawyer, Eduardo left California to study at Georgetown's undergraduate business school and later at Georgetown's law school. During his college and law school years, Eduardo worked as a tutor, coach, abuse/neglect compliance intern, special education advocate, and juvenile defender.
Abby Flottemesch, Chief Development & Engagement Officer, Atlas Corps
Abby Flottemesch brings more than 10 years of experience in development, communications, and youth leadership development to her current position as Chief Development & Engagement Officer at Atlas Corps and is a program alumna. Prior, Abby worked for the Inter-American Culture and Development Foundation, Fundacion Escuela Nueva (Bogota, Colombia), and The Campus Kitchens Project/DC Central Kitchen. Abby is on the Board of Directors for the One Percent Foundation - emerging philanthropists who pool their funds and time to strengthen their communities, while increasing understanding of and participation in philanthropy. Abby served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Puerto Rico and with the Experience in International Living. She is active in DC through Greater DC Cares, YNPNdc, and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. Abby graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications and Spanish with a minor in Marketing from the University of Minnesota Duluth and completed the Fundraising for Small Nonprofits course offered by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. You can hear more about Abby's perspective on social sector careers in this interview
Michelle Grove, Director of Grants, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County
Michelle Grove joined the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) in 2007. At AHCMC, Michelle is responsible for providing oversight and strategic direction for the grants program, in addition to administering the various grant award and related roster processes.
In December 2009, she was elected to the national Emerging Leaders Council, an advisory council to Americans for the Arts, where she currently serves as co-chair. Michelle has also served as an active member of Washington Grantmakers' Arts and Humanities Working Group, as co-chair of Emerging Arts Leaders DC, and is the founder of the annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium hosted by American University.
Michelle's background includes work as the Events and Grants Manager at AHCMC, a private violin instructor, and a musicians' contractor. She has served on panels for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Maryland State Arts Council, and The Arts Council of Fairfax County. She has also served as a presenter and facilitator at Americans for the Arts' annual convention and as a guest lecturer at American University. She holds a B.A. in violin performance with a minor in French from the University of Maryland and a M.A. in Arts Management from American University, where her thesis focused on leadership development.
Michael Huang, Associate Director of Program Quality and Accountability, Communities in Schools
Michael Huang is responsible for ensuring program and organizational quality throughout the Communities In Schools (CIS) network of over 180 state and local organizations that serve nearly 1.2 million students and their families each year. In three years, Michael has collaborated with stakeholders throughout the CIS network to implement and evolve a set of standards built through consensus from stakeholders with over 30 years of history working with students in communities. He brings experience from his work at the Council for Excellence in Government and the Partnership for Public Service where he was responsible for coordinating and developing leadership and strategic programming for Federal, state and local government entities. Prior to coming to Communities In Schools, Michael was a Senior Consultant at Corner Alliance, a strategic consulting organization to various government agencies.
Michael is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University where he earned his Master's of Public Policy.
Angela Johnese, Juvenile Justice Policy Director, Advocates for Children and Youth
Angela Conyers Johnese has dedicated her life to social justice. As an American University Washington College of Law student, she was recognized as the Public Interest Student of the Year and received the Peter Cicchino Award for Outstanding Advocacy in the Public Interest.
Following law school, Angela joined the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana as a staff attorney and represented incarcerated youth in courts across Louisiana. In 2004, after losing clients to street violence and the adult criminal justice system, Angela, along with two JJPL colleagues co-founded the Youth Empowerment Project, a New Orleans nonprofit. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Angela worked at New Orleans Legal Aid Corporation to provide housing assistance to families returning to New Orleans.
In 2007, Angela became the Juvenile Justice Director for Advocates for Children and Youth in Maryland where she employs policy, legislative, and community efforts to reform Maryland's juvenile justice system.
Additionally, Angela is co-chair of the Pleasant Hope Baptist Church's Social Justice Ministry and is on the Trustee Ministry.
Angela is a native of Pamplico, South Carolina and a graduate of Syracuse University, with majors in Political Science and English and Textual Studies.
Susana Martinez, Director of Promotor Pathway, Latin American Youth Center
Susana Martinez is responsible for implementation of LAYC's Promotor Pathway. Martinez is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who has worked with Latino communities in Texas and Washington, DC, and has expertise in providing clinical and case management services to immigrant families, victims of domestic violence, and youth and families within the child abuse and neglect system. In addition, Martinez has supervised and trained staff in areas of crisis management, positive youth development, and motivational interviewing. She has presented at the National Pathways to Adulthood Annual Conference, and at the Center for American Progress's panel on "Addressing the Multiple Needs of Low-Income Men". Martinez received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Georgetown University and her Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin.
Lindsay Mason, Consultant, Black Administrators in Child Welfare, Inc.
An independent consultant, Lindsay A. Mason works with nonprofit organizations and agencies to create innovative ways to better serve vulnerable children, families, and communities.
For over five years, Lindsay led efforts within the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Child Welfare, Mental Health and Evidence-Based Practice portfolios as technical assistant and strategic consultant.
As Special Assistant to the Executive Director of Maryland's Department of Human Resources Social Services Administration, Lindsay championed Maryland's youth agenda by authoring policy, and leading the development of Maryland's Youth Engagement Practice Model.
A true advocate for improving the lives of people, Lindsay currently serves as a board member for Black Administrators in Child Welfare, and as vice president for Howard University's School of Social Work Alumni Association.
A native of Georgia, Lindsay obtained her Bachelor of Social Work degree from University of Georgia and Master of Social Work from Howard University. Lindsay currently resides in the Washington DC area.
Brigitte Moore, Deputy Director, Young Playwrights' Theater
Brigitte has seven years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising and communications in the DC region. She currently serves as the Deputy Director of Young Playwrights' Theater (YPT), the only professional theater in Washington, DC dedicated entirely to arts education. At YPT, Brigitte supports the CEO in planning, implementing and supervising organizational and artistic operations and directs all communications and fundraising activities. Prior to joining YPT, Brigitte served as Legislative Director for two different Maryland State Delegates and wrote and edited the e-newsletter for a state-wide advocacy organization. She also served as Artistic Director of The Unmentionable Theatre, a Baltimore-based non-profit company dedicated to producing new plays with social and political weight. Brigitte holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Suma Cum Laude, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University. In August 2012, she will complete a Masters degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Georgetown. Through the Georgetown Center for Social Impact Communication, Brigitte has worked with several organizations in the DC region on pro bono consulting projects, including strategic communications projects with Compass, Deloitte LLP, Greater DC Cares and Equality Maryland.
Jessi Pore, Assistant Director for Monitoring and Quality Assurance, Children's Services; Migration and Refugee Services of US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Jessi Poré, Assistant Director for Monitoring and Quality Assurance in the department of Migration and Refugee Services at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), oversees external monitoring, training, and evaluation of a national foster care and family reunification provider network serving unaccompanied refugee and undocumented vulnerable children. In this role, she implements evaluation and quality assurance to ensure organizational effectiveness across children's services programs. Jessi has 12 years professional experience providing advocacy and child protection in a variety of multi-cultural human service settings, and has developed notable expertise in child welfare issues. Previously, she worked at the Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, Maryland, where she investigated allegations of child abuse and neglect, conducted forensic interviewing of child victims of sexual and physical abuse, and made recommendations to courts on the best interest of the child. Jessi is dedicated to serving immigrant and refugee children, and intimately connects with their transition to a new life. A native of Ecuador, Jessi emigrated with her family to the U.S. as a child.
Jessi holds a B.A. in Communications from George Mason University, a MSW from Boston College and a Nonprofit Management Certificate from Georgetown University Public Policy Institute.
Kendra Rowe Salas, Director of Food for Kids, Capital Area Food Bank
Kendra Rowe Salas is originally from South Carolina and has lived in the Washington, DC area since 1999. She has worked and volunteered with multiple nonprofit organizations over the last twelve years. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Winthrop University in Rockville, SC and a Masters of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University in Washington, DC. She currently serves as the Director of Food For Kids at the Capital Area Food Bank. During her time at the food bank she has led her team to more than double the number of meals distributed to children and teens throughout the metro area. Kendra is focused on improving program design and evaluation practices to ensure maximum efficiencies are in place. She enjoys volunteer work and serves on the Board of Equipment Connections for Children.
Eloise Russo, Director, City Kids Wilderness Project
Eloise has served as the Director of City Kids Wilderness Project since January 2011. Eloise holds a bachelors degree in Peace & Justice Studies from Tufts University as well as an MBA from Boston University's Public and Non-Profit Management Program. Prior to joining City Kids Wilderness Project, Eloise worked for the Institute for Non-Profit Management and Leadership in Boston, Massachusetts, and with Kaplan K12 Learning Services, managing afterschool and summer school programs for 800 underserved DC youth. Eloise has extensive outdoor and educational experience, and oversees all aspects of City Kids Wilderness Project's daily operations.
Troy Swanda, Housing Development Director, SOME, Inc.
Troy Swanda was the Activities Coordinator at one of SOME's long-term supportive service housing programs for 94 extremely low-income single adults and later worked with SOME on a day program for the mentally ill. He left SOME to return to graduate school at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for his MBA. After graduating, he returned to SOME to be the Program Manager at Shalom House. He supervised the 6 person staff team and was responsible for the overall management of the program. After one year, he was promoted to Director of single room occupancy (SRO) housing. He also oversaw the maintenance department for all of SOME's programs as well as the material donations department during this time. As SOME began ramping up to meet its strategic goal of creating 1,000 new units of housing, he transitioned to Director of Housing Development, a role he has been in for the last five years.
Troy has an undergraduate degree in Finance.
Cito Vanegas, CFO, National Older Worker Career Center
Cito Vanegas is Chief Financial Officer at the National Older Worker Career Center, Inc. (NOWCC). His previous experience includes work at a regional CPA firm, M.D. Oppenheim & Company. At M.D. Oppenheim he performed financial statement audits of various nonprofits as well as special compliance audits for the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Labor.
Cito received a BS in Business Administration from Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, VA and a Master of Business Administration from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. He is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Virginia.
Mohini Venkatesh, Senior Director of Public Policy, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
Mohini Venkatesh conducts systems-level policy analysis at the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and is the staff policy liaison to the National Council's network of associations nationwide. In this role, she performs Federal legislative analysis on health reform and other policy issues, and manages several leadership and quality improvement initiatives including learning communities on Addressing Health Disparities, Psychiatric Leadership, and delivery system reform.
Before relocating to the Washington DC area, Mohini worked in an inpatient psychiatric unit in a general hospital in Massachusetts. She also worked in several social service non-profit organizations, including a state association advocating for community behavioral health services.
Ari Weisbard, Advocacy Manager, DC Employment Justice Center
Ari Weisbard serves as the Advocacy Manager at the D.C. Employment Justice Center, leading a team of three dedicated advocacy staff members to combat wage theft and expand local D.C. workplace protection laws, while also improving enforcement and implementation of existing laws. Before joining the EJC in 2011, Ari worked to promote responsible federal contracting practices and to make it easier for workers to gain a voice at work by joining unions at the Service Employees International Union and clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ari is also an active volunteer for Jews United for Justice, where he co-chaired the successful "Invest in D.C." campaign, working with several local organizations to pass a D.C. budget that protected vital safety net programs from $25 million of devastating cuts. Ari attended Yale Law School and Harvard College, where he was active in advocating for the university to adopt a "living wage" policy of paying its service workers and contracted workers at least enough to meet the basic necessities in the Boston area.
Mark Wilson, Manager, Community HealthCorps Maryland
During Mark Wilson's time as Impact Director for The Boys & Girls Clubs, he built community partnerships, secured grant funding, and managed over 20 staff in developing high-quality, educational programming for over 2,500 members, resulting in national recognition for outstanding programming by The Boys & Girls Clubs of America. As a Learning Community Leader for the Year Up professional development program, he directed a program of 36 high school graduates and 6 staff that resulted in 80% of participants securing living-wage employment or enrolling in a post-secondary education program upon graduation. In spring 2012, Mark completed his Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore with a 4.0 G.P.A. and gave the commencement address to his fellow graduates. He also has a M.A. in Sociology from The George Washington University with a focus in urban sociology. While in graduate school, he served as a management consultant for the Results Leadership Group, a Program Manager for the Public Allies Americorps program, and a clinical intern at the Furman Templeton Elementary School in Baltimore, MD.
Elin Zurbrigg, Deputy Director, Mi Casa Inc.
Elin Zurbrigg grew up in one of the few integrated neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois, where she became interested in the development of communities, diversity and equity. She began working at Mi Casa Inc in 2002 as Project Director for its affordable housing programs, motivated to begin work in a field that also attempted to resolve the issue of inclusion, access, creating and sustaining diverse communities. She became Deputy Director of Mi Casa in 2006. Elin received her B.A. in Geography and Urban Studies from Temple University, and a Masters in Community Planning from the University of Maryland's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Elin sits on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Non-profit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED) and co-chairs CNHED's Support for Tenant Purchase Working Group.