Newsmakers for September 2004

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Communities in Schools – the 27-year-old nonprofit network of more than 200 community groups that provide resources and volunteers for schools (primarily for activities during non-school hours) – has elected its second president. Daniel Cardinali, CIS’s head of operations since 2000, will replace outgoing president and founder William Milleken. The move allows Milleken, who will remain with the Virginia-based CIS as vice chairman of the national board, to focus more time on fund raising and organizational development. Contact: (703) 519-8999,


Mary Mentaberry was named executive director of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) at the nonprofit’s 67th annual conference in July. Replacing David Mitchell, Mentaberry becomes the council’s third executive director since 1999, when Lou McHardy stepped down after 28 years.

Talk about rising through the ranks: Mentaberry joined the group in 1969 when it relocated to Reno, Nev., becoming its second local employee. More than 30 years later, NCJFCJ boasts 1,800 members, a $15 million budget and 120 staff members.

Mentaberry heads the permanency planning for children department and serves as the group’s primary lobbyist to Congress. She officially takes over as executive director Oct. 1. Contact: NCJFCJ (775) 784-6000,


Larry Woolridge has stepped down as vice president of operations after 31 years at YMCA of Greater Louisville, Ky. After starting an open-door shelter in the area in 1974, Woolridge realized he could “put the front door” of the center all over town, and did so with a $15,000 grant from what was then the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The concept – training community members to steer youth in crisis toward places that can help them – is the backbone of the national YMCA’s Project Safe Place, still based in Louisville. The project networks with organizations in 700 communities to designate various sites, such as businesses, fire stations or bus routes, as safe havens for youth to turn to if they are in imminent danger. Director Sandy Bowen says the project runs on an annual budget of roughly $600,000, a good portion of it from the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Contact: (502) 587-9622,


Curtis Child, director of the California Department of Child Support Services, has resigned to become the senior attorney for the Oakland, Calif.-based National Center for Youth Law (NCYL). Child will oversee and hire staff for the group’s new Sacramento office, and will head efforts to help low-income families become financially stable.

At the child support agency, Child oversaw 300 employees and a $1 billion budget. Now he joins a staff of 16 at NCYL, which is directed by John O’Toole on a budget of $1.6 million. Contact: (510) 835-8098,


The Omaha, Neb.-based Girls and Boys Town is taking an interesting approach to an impending leadership transition. Its CEO of nearly 20 years, the Rev. Val Peter, will turn 70 in November and announced that he will resign his post no later than 2006. So the board, led by chairman John Gillin, has hired Boyden Global Executive Search to help hunt for a successor.

Boyden will not actually seek Peter’s direct replacement. The board decided to search for an executive vice president, who will be hired no later than 2005 and will spend at least a year working under Peter – a shrewd move, considering that the inheritor of Peter’s job will oversee an organization with $222 million in assets.

But is it all roses in Omaha? A statement about the search says the firm “will search for candidates both locally and nationally.” The debate over whether to hire someone from outside Omaha was hot enough for board Chairman Elden Curtiss to resign in September 2003. Curtiss favored giving local candidates a strong advantage.

Since the legendary Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town in 1917, its CEO has been a priest from the Catholic diocese of Omaha.

Whoever gets the job will have big shoes to fill. Since Peter took over in 1985, the organization has grown from two sites and a hospital near Omaha to 19 sites in 14 states and Washington. Peter has done all that with a salary of $26,791. Contact: (402) 498-1300,


After four years as executive director of the Justice Policy Institute, Tim Roche leaves to become the New York state president for Youth Advocate Programs. YAP operates 90 nonresidential community-based programs in eight states and Washington. Roche trades in D.C.’s pavement and politics for 200 acres of land and lakes near Ithaca. His move to YAP will make the Harrisburg, Pa.-based group a youth-work version of Jerry’s Kids – as in Jerry Miller, a former top children and youth official in Massachusetts, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Roche’s first job out of college was with the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA), where Miller hired him to develop plans for alternative sentencing. When Miller became director of the D.C. Department of Child and Family Services in 1995, he took Roche with him to serve as deputy director. “We were really wrestling with issues with a deeply troubled and sort of lethargic bureaucracy,” Roche recalls. “It was a troubling glimpse into the delivery of child welfare.”

Roche says he does not expect to be replaced at the Justice Policy Institute, and President Vincent Schiraldi will run the nonprofit.

In his new post, Roche will supervise programs for a nonprofit that has been lauded for helping kids, who are referred to its sites predominantly from city and county child welfare or juvenile justice systems. The founder and president of YAP is Tom Jeffers, another protégé of – you guessed it – Jerry Miller.

The CEO of YAP, Jeff Fleischer, knew of Roche through YAP’s program in Washington, which started in partnership with – Jerry Miller.

Miller can only admire his fleet of fledglings from afar, though, as he continues his work as a consultant to NCIA while residing in rural Virginia. But he’s bound to see them at least a few times a year. He serves on the board of YAP. Contact: (607) 589-7557,


Genny Price, veteran of runaway and homeless youth work, is leaving the harbors of Boston for the San Francisco Bay. After working for 27 years with Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Price this month becomes executive director of Larkin Street Youth Services.

Both nonprofits have earned national recognition for their work with runaway and homeless youth. Price took over as executive director of Bridge in October 2002, succeeding Sister Barbara Whelan, who co-founded the agency and led it for 33 years. Price has also chaired the National Council on Youth Policy for the National Network for Youth. Bridge officials say the search for a new executive director is under way. Contact: Larkin (415) 673-0911,; Bridge (617) 423-9575,


Shari Gruber, a former senior policy associate with the Washington-based American Public Human Services Association, will be the first program director for the New York State Afterschool Network. The network began as an advisory board in 2001, created by the state’s Department of Education to help establish and carry out programs under the federal government’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants. In 2003, the Charles S. Mott Foundation joined in financing the network’s efforts to help after-school programs grow and sustain themselves. The nonprofit is one of the statewide networks that represent after-school programs in 17 states. Contact: (212) 547-6908,


Youth work golden boy Ben Smilowitz continues his rise. He leaves the Arlington, Va.-based Youth Venture (where he served as mid-Atlantic manager) to become the education campaign coordinator for the up-and-coming, liberal advocate Campaign for America’s Future, based in Washington. Already on board at the campaign are former Children’s Defense Fund staffers Toby Chaudhuri and Andrea Miller. Contact: (202) 955-5665,


The Washington-based Alliance for Excellent Education, an advocate for improved preparation for low-performing adolescent students, bids farewell to President Susan Frost, who retired in August. Frost has headed the research and policy organization – whose funders include big names like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corp. and the New York Community Trust – since 2001. Contact: (202) 842-4888,


The Rev. Mark Scott has joined Philadelphia-based Big Brothers Big Sisters of America as its director of mentoring partnerships. Scott will work from Maryland, and says he will focus on helping agencies mentor children of prisoners, a cause célèbre for the Bush administration. Scott most recently worked at the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), and before that served Bush at the Corporation for National and Community Service and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.


Two senior staff at the Washington-based Independent Sector have left for other Beltway positions. Vice President of Research Gordon Green joined the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, while Director of Philanthropic Studies Chris Toppe joined the Points of Light Foundation. Contact: (202) 467-6100,


After five years as vice president of strategic communications for the New York-based William T. Grant Foundation (assets: $241 million), Larry Giannino joins Richard Lerner and company at the Department of Child Development at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. Giannino will be a research professor, studying children of recent immigrants and how their patterns of thought and behavior are shaped by cultural and social factors. Contact: Grant (212) 752-0071,; Tufts (617) 627-2078,


Detroit area grant maker The Skillman Foundation (assets: $500 million) has promoted Carol Goss, its vice president of programs since 2002, to the CEO seat. Goss replaces interim director and fellow Vice President Richard Connell, who filled in after Kari Schlachtenhaufen stepped down in early April. Schlachtenhaufen had worked with the youth work-focused foundation since 1985, but told local newspapers she was moving on to pursue other opportunities in philanthropy. Contact: (313) 393-1185,


After seven years as a vice president of The California Wellness Foundation, based in Woodland Hills, Calif., Tom David stepped down in 2002 and soon thereafter moved to head evaluations for the Seattle-based Marguerite Casey Foundation (assets: $620 million). But after a stint in the Northwest, David has decided to return to the Bay Area. David, who in his last year with California Wellness won the Terrance Keenan Leadership Award from Grantmakers in Health, is in the job market, although probably not for long. Contact: Casey (206) 691-3134,; TCWF (818) 593-6600,


The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) came out with some fun late-summer reading: “Serving Time … on Foundation Boards.” The report – by John Barkhamer, Rick Cohen and Jeff Krehely – highlights the wrongdoing of 13 CEOs and chief operating officers who have been accused or convicted of corporate fraud and sit on the boards of foundations. Many are on the boards of their own families’ foundations, all relatively small, with the exception of Qwest founder Philip Anschutz’s foundation (assets: $454 million).

But one prominent tycoon – Paul Allaire, CEO of the Xerox Corp. – chaired the board of a much larger operation: the New York-based Ford Foundation, where a significant youth-related grant-making portfolio comes from its more than $9 billion in assets. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged that Allaire “encouraged unacceptable accounting practices to raise reported earnings” at Xerox.

Allaire resigned as Ford board chairman about a month before the release of the report, and was replaced by World Wildlife Fund CEO Kathryn Fuller. Study authors say the Ford Foundation was not aware of the pending NCRP release at the time of Allaire’s resignation announcement on May 28. Contact: (202) 387-9177,


More than 2,000 nonprofits receive public dollars through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), which administers charitable donations by federal and state employees. Qualifying for this funding was recently made more complicated by a clause in the federal Patriot Act, which requires any potential recipient to run its list of staff against government-issued watch lists. Groups eligible for CFC funding (the list is 25 pages long) include the National 4-H Council, Advocates for Youth, SOS Children’s Villages, SIECUS and Prevent Child Abuse America.

The rule is being challenged by a group of 15 organizations, led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is eligible for CFC money but has refused it.

“As the nation’s nonprofits come to understand the implications of the CFC policy, they find themselves both shocked and confused,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a prepared statement. “All employers should be alarmed and outraged by the broad and ill-informed reach of the ‘war on terror’ into our lives.” 

The major concern of the plaintiffs is that the list, which includes relatively common ethnic names, will make nonprofits shy away from hiring people with names that might appear on it. Contact: (202) 457-0800,


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) boss Charles Curie announced the appointment of three new members to the agency’s advisory board in late June: Duke Aiona, Hawaii’s lieutenant governor and a former member of the Advisory Committee of the Hawaii Drug Court; Columba Bush, the first lady of Florida, who serves as a board member for Joseph Califano’s Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse based at Columbia University; and Kenneth Stark, a 33-year veteran of the substance abuse field and director of alcohol and substance abuse at the State of Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services. Contact: SAMHSA (301) 443-8956,


Before Hurricane Charley pounded the Sunshine State last month, Jerry Regier – former director of the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and now head of Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) – was already trying to weather a storm in his agency over alleged kickbacks. Regier was forced to ask for the resignations of Deputy Secretary Ben Harris and Information Technology Director Glenn Palmiere after a state inspector general’s report said the two took gifts and trips from companies that do business with DCF.

Not to be left out, Regier was accused of accepting tickets from lobbyists to sporting events and concerts (including the Daytona 500, Elton John, Alabama and Cher). Regier admits some mistakes in judgment, but said he had done nothing that warrants a resignation. His boss, Gov. Jeb Bush, agrees. “He hasn’t done anything that would justify firing him,” Bush told the press in late July. “He has made a mistake of allowing people around him to do things that were fireable offenses, and lacked common sense.” Contact: DCF (850) 488-5091,

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