Newsmakers for April 2003

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Nonprofits

The D.C.-based National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), headed by President Jack Calhoun, took a hit last month when the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJ) did not renew grant funding for its National Youth Network. The network is a youth council set up in 1997 with about $100,000 out of a $3 million OJJ grant for the council’s Teens, Crime and the Community project.

The terminated grant has left the network’s future in limbo, as NCPC Deputy Director Jim Copple was uncertain about the success of a drive for private funding. Copple sees the cut as part of shifting budget priorities at OJJ.

“They are moving in other directions,” he says. “The fact is, programs all over the place are getting clobbered with cuts.”

The network was conceived at a 1996 NCPC conference attended by Shay Bilchik, then the administrator for OJJ and now CEO of Child Welfare League of America. The goal was to create a youth voice to influence juvenile justice policy, but the network fell short, says Phillip Lovell, one of the network’s developers and now director of public policy for Campfire USA. The network “did some good things, it got people involved,” Lovell says. “But it never blossomed.”

But NCPC Vice President for Community, Children and Youth Steve Edwards, whose department oversees the network, says the end of the grant was expected and the network’s future is looking up. Congress threw the network a lifeline by upping the NCPC’s Teens, Crime and the Community earmark from $1.25 million to $2.25 million. That leaves NCPC with no operating budget for the network until October, a hole Edwards says he hopes will be filled by private funders.

Layoffs have not been decided on, said Copple, but “it’s fair to say that right now we can’t commit staff” to the network.
Copple probably won’t be around for the pink slip phase: He departs NCPC in mid-April for the Calverton, Md.-based Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, a technical assistance firm whose $30 million contract with OJJ is not in limbo. With a staff of 400 and five research centers, Copple will direct an alcohol policy campaign that is part of Pacific’s first push for a public policy presence of its own. Contact: NCPC (202) 466-6272, www.ncpc.org.

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An even better (or worse) money-is-tight story: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) President David Curtis inked a deal with that great standard bearer of dental hygiene ... Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Foundation will give $1 million to AAPD’s foundation for health education and research, and will distribute the academy’s education messages. Somewhere, fast-food and tobacco reps are adding fitness and anti-smoking groups to their speed-dials.

The irony was not lost on the health policy field. “The AAPD would have to be incredibly naive to believe that Coke’s gift is inspired by a newfound desire to promote dental health,” said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington. “The academy’s leadership should resign.”

Not likely, but the leadership certainly cannot take the Fifth about the dangers of soft drinks for youth. One brochure offered by AAPD tells parents to “not routinely stock your pantry with sugary or starchy snacks.”

An AAPD policy paper states: “The increased ingestion of sweetened drinks has been linked to the increased incidence of childhood obesity,” and notes that “many beverage products are targeted specifically at the child market. ... Vending machines containing these beverages are readily accessible to children and adolescents in schools.” Contact: AAPD (312) 337-2169, www.aapd.org.

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America’s Promise in Alexandria, Va., has hired Beth Tuttle away from the Arlington, Va.-based Freedom Forum. As vice president for institutional advancement, Tuttle bears the ominous responsibility of raising money for an organization that had its congressional earmark cut from $7.5 million in 2002 to $5 million this year. Tuttle was a vice president at Freedom Forum, parent group of the D.C.-bound Newseum.

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Child Welfare League of America CEO Shay Bilchik was a busy guy last month. After unfurling CWLA’s state-by-state assessment of the country’s child welfare system, he scooped up the Outstanding Achievement award from the National Juvenile Court Services Association and was named to a two-year term as chairman of the National Collaboration for Youth. The collaboration is an umbrella group of youth-serving organizations within the National Assembly of Health and Human Service Organizations, headed by Irv Katz. Contact: CWLA (202) 638-2952, www.cwla.org.

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Julia Cohen has left a career in American youth engagement to become program manger for the National Democratic Institute at its Central Asia office in exotic Almaty, Kazakhstan. Cohen was most recently executive director of YouthNoise (www.youthnoise.com), a D.C.-based, bipartisan online forum for youth activists which was created by the Save the Children Federation (based in Westport, Conn.). Prior to that she ran Youth Vote 2000, a coalition of more than 100 organizations that sought to increase youth interest in voting. Contact: NDI (202) 728-5500, www.ndi.org.

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Child abuse and neglect group Childhelp USA appointed former Boys Town Associate Executive Director Carolyn Novicoff to be its chief operating officer. Novicoff left Girls and Boys Town USA in 2000, after helping the Nebraska-based group expand from two sites in 1990 to 15 sites in 1999. Novicoff has been consulting for the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pa. Contact: (480) 922-8212, www.childhelpusa.org.

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Former Public Education Network Chief Operating Officer John Gomperts moved across town to become CEO of Civic Ventures, a D.C.-based organization dedicated to the expanded role of older Americans in society. Gomperts worked on Capitol Hill for Harris Wofford when Wofford served as U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, then followed his boss to the Corporation for National and Community Service when Wofford became CEO. Contact: Public Education Network (202) 628-7460, www.publiceducation.org.

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D.C.-based Grantmakers for Children, Youth & Families named Stephanie McGencey its executive director in March. McGencey recently served in senior staff positions at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America in Alexandria, Va., and the D.C.-based National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. Contact: (202) 962-3940, www.gcyf.org.

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Anne Pasmanick recently took over as executive director of the National Neighborhood Coalition, a 120-member network dedicated to strengthening low-income neighborhoods. Pasmanick has consulted for various nonprofits for the past three years, and before that served as executive director of Community Training and Resource Center, a technical assistance provider focused on the needs of low-income New York City renters. Contact: (202) 408-8553, www.neighborhoodcoalition.org.

Foundations

Carol Wacey, former director of interactive media for children at the Markle Foundation (assets: $174 million), a Sesame Street funder, became executive director of Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education (MOUSE). MOUSE supports efforts to implement technology learning in New York City public schools. Wacey’s departure follows public statements by Markle President Zoe Baird about her desire for Markle to become an advocate for positive children’s media. Contact: MOUSE (212) 379-6348, www.mouse.org; Markle (212) 489-6655, www.markle.org.

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David Hornbeck is the new CEO of the International Youth Foundation (IYF) in Baltimore, succeeding the 13-year-old organization’s founder, Rick Little. Hornbeck served as superintendent of the Philadelphia public schools for six years and as state superintendent of schools in Maryland for 12 years. He is the founder of the Good Schools Pennsylvania initiative, and is chairman of the D.C.-based Children’s Defense Fund. Contact: (410) 347-1500, www.iyfnet.org.

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (assets: $24 billion) in Seattle named Vermont education commissioner Ray McNulty as program director for education. McNulty will work with education director Tom Vander Ark. The foundation recently doled out more than $30 million in grants to create a nationwide network of alternative schools. Grant recipients include: The Commonwealth Corporation’s Center for Youth Development and Education, Boston, directed by Ephraim Weisstein ($4.5 million); Communities in Schools of Atlanta, headed by President Neil Shorthouse ($6.3 million); the National Association of Street Schools, led by Executive Director Wendy Piersee ($1.1 million); the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families, headed by Executive Director Cliff Johnson ($2.29 million) and YouthBuild USA, headed by President Dorothy Stoneman ($5.4 million). Contact (206) 709-3140, www.gatesfoundation.org.

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Dr. Steven Schroeder was named chairman of the board of directors at the D.C.-based American Legacy Foundation in February. Schroeder served as CEO of the Princeton, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (assets: $764 million) for 12 years before retiring last December. Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey took over at RWJF in July.

American Legacy Foundation is an anti-tobacco group created from funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between tobacco companies and 46 states. Mostly known for its “truth” advertising campaign, the foundation is fighting in Delaware courts with Lorillard Tobacco Co., which says ads run by the foundation violate a clause in the settlement forbidding ads that vilify tobacco firms. Lorillard announced last week that it would put its next payment to Legacy into escrow. The foundation receives $300 million per year from tobacco firms, $28 million of which comes from Lorillard, according to Legacy general counsel Ellen Vargas. Contact: Legacy (202) 454-5555, www.rwjf.org.

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The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (assets: $1.6 billion) CEO Carl Schramm announced plans in mid-March to bring back to life a favorite project of its founder. The new $70 million Kauffman Scholars program is a 19-year commitment to 2,300 Kansas City youth that will provide comprehensive mentoring and academic assistance – and, more importantly, guarantees scholarship assistance to any participant who completes high school.

Kauffman’s previous dropout-prevention initiative, Project Choice, promised college assistance to high school freshmen who stayed drug-free, avoided teen parenthood and graduated from high school.

Kauffman Scholars will aim to succeed by learning from the mistakes of Project Choice. Although 31 percent of Project Choice participants who graduated went on to earn college degrees, only 55 percent graduated from high school on time. Instead of starting with high school freshmen, Kauffman Scholars will take applications from middle school youth beginning in the fall of 2003.

Bernard Franklin will direct the Scholars program. Franklin served as assistant dean of student life and director of leadership programs at Kansas State University, where he also worked with Kauffman to create a support system for Project Choice students. Contact: (816) 932-1000, www.emkf.org.

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The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health (assets: $110 million) crowned King Davis as its new executive director. Davis moves to the 63-year-old University of Texas-based grant maker from Richmond, Va., where he served as commissioner of mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse services for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Davis will take over for retiring Director Dr. Charles Bonjean in August. Contact: (512) 471-5041, www.hogg.utexas.edu.

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Jean Hunt, the William Penn Foundation’s director of children, youth and families, will leave to become executive director of the Campaign for Working Families (CWF) in Arlington, Va. Penn wasted no time in turnaround, hiring from within. Ronnie Bloom will move up at the Philadelphia-based grant maker (assets: $61 million) from program director. Bloom was previously a family law attorney. Contact: Penn (215) 988-1830, www.williampennfoundation.org; CWF (703) 671-8800, www.cwfpac.com.