Newsmakers for December 2003

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The Girl Scouts of the USA named Kathy Cloninger as its new CEO, replacing Marty Evans. Cloninger, a former program officer of the youth in education division at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, most recently served as CEO of the Girl Scout Council of Cumberland Valley, Tenn. Interim CEO Jackie Barnes will return to her position as chief operating officer.

Girl Scouts also hired Courtney Shore to be vice president of communications and marketing. Shore was a vice president at Rare Medium, an Internet and e-business solutions firm. Contact: Girl Scouts (212) 852-8012,


Another of Cloninger’s former employers, the YWCA, bounced CEO Patricia Ireland in October after only six months on the job. Human Resources and Administration Director Dorris Daniel-Parkes is filling in as interim director. While the YWCA board has not replaced Ireland, the former director of the National Organization for Women is already back in the saddle, at least temporarily. Ireland has been hired as a campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Carol Moseley Braun, a former Illinois senator and ambassador to New Zealand.

YWCA Board Chairwoman and former CEO Audrey Peeples was named a “CivicMaker” by The HistoryMakers in November, an organization that honors African-Americans who have succeeded “against the odds.” Ironically, Peeples’ HistoryMakers profile praises her for, among other things, having “successfully recruited Patricia Ireland … to succeed her.” Contact: YWCA, (312) 240-2624,

Sister Tricia Cruise has settled in as Covenant House’s first new president in 13 years. Cruise went to Covenant House this spring from the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, one of the nation’s poorest communities, where she had served as chief operating officer of the Red Cloud Indian School since 1998.

Cruise replaces Sister Mary Rose McGeady, who retired after turning 75. McGeady salvaged the Covenant House wreck left by its first president, Father Bruce Ritter, raising its budget by 20 percent and its credibility by 100 percent.

With yearly spending of $120 million, Covenant House is the nation’s largest shelter and service provider to homeless and runaway youth, operating in 21 cities in North America and Latin America. Contact: (212) 727-4036,


The National PTA in Chicago named Warlene Gary its CEO in October. Gary was director of human and civil rights at the D.C.-based National Education Association. The CEO is a new post at the PTA, which also recently appointed Linda Hodge as president. The PTA has 6 million members, 54 state-level affiliates and 23,000 local units. Contact: (312) 670-6782,


Cleveland-based United Neighborhood Centers of America, a nationwide association of neighborhood-based settlement houses and other groups that focus on improving neighborhoods, announced that Alexander Sanchez will become CEO, effective Jan. 1. Sanchez has been director of development for Recovery Resources, a Cleveland-based organization dedicated to helping drug and alcohol dependents recover. Sanchez will replace CEO Wilfred Isaacs, who is retiring after 11 years of rebuilding UNCA, which was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy when he was hired in 1992. Contact: (216) 391-3028,


United Way Vice President Michael Brennan is going home. Brennan will return from the Alexandria, Va., national office to become CEO of United Way Community Services (UWCS) in Detroit. (His family had remained in his home state of Michigan.) No replacement has been named for Brennan, who oversaw research and product leadership.

Sadly, the Detroit opening was created by the death of Virgil Carr, a youth worker in the city since 1979. Carr, who helped develop UWCS in 1995, died in May at the age of 63. Contact: United Way (703) 683-7871,


Despite the continued vacancy at the top since longtime director Larry Aber resigned in August (he remains a senior fellow and consultant), the National Center for Children in Poverty snagged a $7.5 million five-year grant from the Child Care Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant, which will be shared with the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan, is for the development of the Child Care Research Collaboration and Archive.

NCCP disseminates information and data sets over the web in hopes of improving research to create progressive policies about child care and early education. NCCP is temporarily being managed by Jane Knitzer. Contact: (646) 284-9631,


In another technology-related funding matter, the YMCA of the USA has received a $600,000 grant from the Time Warner Foundation. The three-year grant will fund after-school programs and training focused on using media and technology to increase youth opportunities, particularly by making libraries more widely available and receptive to teens. Contact: (312) 977-0031,


After 23 years of working to “make children healthy, wealthy and wise,” Amy Rossi resigned in late December as executive director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in Arkansas.

Rossi left to join the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement as associate director of community relations. She will be replaced temporarily by Paul Kelly, the organization’s senior policy analyst for eight years. Contact: (501) 371-9678,


After an internal review indicated highly inefficient grant making, the Denver-based Daniels Fund (assets: $900 million) recently announced it would cut one-third of its staff and halt construction on a new $12.7 million headquarters.
The review showed that Daniels, headed by former U.S. Sen. Hank Brown (R-Colo.), spent 21.5 cents per dollar to issue grants, compared with the 8.6 cents per dollar that the review determined to be average for comparable organizations. The foundation moved to its new headquarters in October, but now has to scrap construction plans for a conference center.

There’s plenty of vacant office space within the foundation now: Twenty-one of the fund’s 62 employees were given notice in late November.

The restructuring holds good and bad news for Daniels grantees. On the good side, Daniels projects that it will spend $37 million in 2004, $12 million more than this year, while spending $2 million less to give out the money.

But grantees in New Mexico and Wyoming can’t be happy with the news that both regional offices and their staffs are among the casualties. Grant making in those states will be handled by program officers in Denver.

Kay Monaco, director of New Mexico Advocates for Children and Families, worries that a long-distance program officer’s lack of familiarity with the state’s problems may cloud any increase in grant making to the state.

“It will be a heck of a lot harder to do from Denver,” she says. “They just won’t know [what’s going on] as well as someone who’s here.”

Daniels is the largest grant maker in New Mexico. Monaco says the regional staff, led by Stephen Patrick, excelled at creating partnerships between Daniels and larger national foundations.

Daniels officials declined to comment on the names of those laid off, but said the foundation would not change or remove any areas of grant making. Contact: (303) 393-7220,

Jack Swindle, a former member of the Texas Science and Technology Council under Gov. George W. Bush, is the new president of the Texas Instruments Foundation (assets: $7 million) in Dallas. Swindle worked for Texas Instruments for 40 years before retiring as a senior vice president. He returns to replace outgoing foundation President Liston Michael Rice Jr., who is retiring but will serve as chairman emeritus. The Texas Instruments Foundation supports education programs nationwide, particularly those that partner young children with university students. Contact: (800) 336-5236,


Gale Berkowitz and Ann Christen were named directors of evaluation for the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation (assets: $218 million). Berkowitz, who was an evaluation officer, will handle organizational learning. Christen keeps her post as chief operating officer, while now handling knowledge management as well. Contact: (650) 655-2410,


Fighting childhood obesity has taken a prominent place in the grant making of the Princeton, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (assets: $8 billion), headed by Executive Director Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. In November, one of its national offices – Active Living By Design (ALBD) – announced $5 million in grants to 25 partners for a project to fight sedentary behaviors linked to obesity. ALBD operates with a $16.5 million budget out of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Each recipient will get $200,000 to provide physical activity opportunities. Projects range from construction of a walking trail connecting 21 towns in Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley to a safe-routes-to-school program run by teens in Jackson, Mich.

ALBD Program Officer Rich Bell will oversee the partnership. ALBD spokesman Mark Dessauer says the project should produce a collection of best-practice information when the grant cycle ends in five years. Contact: (919) 843-2523,


President Bush has nominated Undersecretary of Education Eugene Hickok Jr. to be deputy secretary. Hickok previously served as secretary of education in Pennsylvania. He will succeed Bill Hansen, who announced in June that he was leaving, citing family considerations. Among the reasons mentioned in news reports: finding a way to make more money so that he can afford to send his children (he has six) to college.

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