Newsmakers for September 2005

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Former U.S. Rep. Steve Gunderson (R-Wis.), the first openly gay Republican congressman, was tapped to replace Dorothy Ridings as CEO of the Council on Foundations, a D.C.-based nonprofit representing some 2,000 foundations. Ridings is retiring after nine years.

Gunderson’s Beltway experience seems to encircle the work of the council. He served eight terms in Congress, and has since consulted for a number of nonprofits. Most noteworthy for the youth field, he designed and oversaw the implementation of theNational 4-H Council’s Conversation on Youth Development in the 21st Century.

All he lacks is direct experience with foundations.

But Gunderson, who will draw an annual salary of $340,000, appears on top of the issues of the day, at least according to the Q-and-A posted by his new employer. He called the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector’s report to Congress “a thoughtful and balanced approach that will improve accountability without harming the independence and vitality of the sector.”

Gunderson calls on Congress – if and when it moves to further regulate that sector – to be sensitive to the relative fragility of smaller nonprofits and foundations. At the same time, he laments that “growth in the number of foundations poses a challenge in terms of achieving the kind of accountability standards we need.” Contact: (202) 466-6512,

Gunderson takes the helm at the Council on Foundations at a time of flux at the top of the foundation world: Five of the 10 largest grant makers in the United States have hired new chief executives in the past two years. Most recent was the Battle Creek, Mich.-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation (assets: $7 billion), which announced that in January it will replace retiring CEO Bill Richardson with Sterling Speirn. Richardson leaves after 10 years with Kellogg.

Speirn is president of the San Mateo, Calif.-based Peninsula Community Foundation (PCF), one of the nation’s largest community grant makers, with assets of $611 million.

A former Cleveland teacher, Speirn took over at PCF in 1990 after four years overseeing a nonprofit computer grants program for Apple Computers. Since he arrived, PCF’s assets have risen from $60 million to $611 million.

At PCF, he launched the Center for Venture Philanthropy and co-founded the Peninsula Partnership for Children, Youth and Families. The latter is a 12-year-old multi-foundation partnership that provides direct assistance to children in San Mateo County and links youth-relevant agencies with each other.

PCF began a national search for its new executive director last month. Contact: (269) 968-1611,; PCF (650) 358-9369,

Another heavyweight, the Chicago-based McCormick Tribune Foundation (assets: $1.5 billion), promoted David Grange to replace retiring CEO Richard Behrenhausen, effective this month. Like Behrenhausen and foundation founder Col. Robert McCormick, Grange had a distinguished career in the U.S. Army. He has served as the foundation’s vice president and chief operating officer since 1999. Under Behrenhausen, the foundation has been a major funder of after-school programs in Los Angeles, Chicago and 30 other communities. Contact: (312) 222-3512,


Elizabeth Seale began a five-year appointment as chief operating officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in late July, joining the emerging new leadership under CEO David Eisner.

Seale comes to the federal bureaucracy from Maryland, where she served as the state’s deputy secretary for planning and programs under the Department of Human Resources. But this isn’t her first go-round with the Bush administration. She was founding director of the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and she served as the adviser on presidential initiatives for the U.S. Administration for Children, Youth and Families under Commissioner Joan Ohl.

Seale will have her hands full. CNCS’ largest component, AmeriCorps, begins this fiscal year with a set of new and tougher regulations for its grantees. (See “AmeriCorps Agencies Get a New Rulebook,” page 7). Contact: (202) 606-5000,

When John Ashcroft took over the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2001, a few of his hires drew ire from the right. Two of them – National Institute of Justice Director Sarah Hart and Bureau of Justice Statistics Director Larry Greenfeld – were criticized for their support of the Community Oriented Police (COPS) program, which was launched by President Clinton and provides funding for (among other things) communities to hire school resource officers.

Less than a year after Ashcroft’s departure as attorney general, it appears the two COPS champions have worn out their welcome, as both have announced plans to leave DOJ. Hart joined Rutgers University’s School of Criminal Justice this month, and no successor has been named. Greenfeld’s departure date remains uncertain, so nobody has been named to replace him, either.

COPS was appropriated $606 million in 2005 (which was whittled to about $500 million after across-the-board federal rescissions), an appropriation that was down $135 million from 2004 and $317 million lower than in 2003. The Bush administration proposed to eliminate the program in 2005 – undoubtedly over the protests of Hart, Greenfeld and others – then requested a paltry $2 million for 2006. Contact: DOJ (202) 514-2000,

Last August, Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Jerry Regier was forced to resign after accusations were made that he and top aides accepted gifts from contractors. He spun a “fall-on-the-sword” philosophy on the departure, maintaining that he had “never accepted something of benefit from a contractor.”

The former boss was vindicated in mid-July, at least in the eyes of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Its investigation cleared Regier and aides, Ben Harris and Glen Palmiere, of any wrongdoing.

FDLE’s 41-page report found a “perception of impropriety,” but says the men broke no laws. Such perceptions were a valid enough reason for the three officials to go, argued one critic.

“Perception … is what’s important when you’re dealing with the public money and public contracts,” state Sen. Nan Rich told The Miami Herald. “The people involved did the right thing by resigning.”

Regier – who served as administrator of the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention under the appointment of President George H. W. Bush – is now a consultant in Florida. He does not consult for the DCF “as far as we know,” an agency spokesman said. Lucy Hadi, who stepped in as interim director upon Regier’s resignation, is now the permanent replacement. Contact: (850) 487-1111,


Sue Lomenzo has joined Marguerite Sallee’s staff at America’s Promise as senior vice president of communications and marketing, leaving her career in environmental work at the Academy for Educational Development (AED). Lomenzo ran AED’s longest-running environmental endeavor, the GreenCOM project, which motivates people in developing countries to engage in environmentally friendly behaviors. Contact: (703) 684-4500,

Jumpstart for Young Children Vice President Bob Giannino-Racine will remain in Boston, but leaves the national arena to focus on challenges faced by his city’s youth. He was hired as executive director of the Action Center for Educational Services and Scholarships (ACCESS), which says its mission is to “ensure that no student from a Boston public school is denied a college education due to a lack of financial resources or information.”

Jumpstart, founded at Yale University in 1993, implements a curriculum to help enhance Head Start early education programs, maintains a corps of young teachers and provides learning tools for families. That corps of teachers grew 30 percent this year, as the program added seven new sites through partnerships with seven universities around the country.

Giannino-Racine’s job responsibilities – which included most of Jumpstart’s policy and advocacy work, as well as maintaining the relationship between Jumpstart and the Corporation for National and Community Service – will be absorbed by existing staffers for the time being, says spokeswoman Katie Rahm. Contact: ACCESS,; Jumpstart (617) 542-5867,

A media company has purchased the National Directory of Children, Youth and Families Services, a reference book written a quarter-century ago by Youth Today co-founder Bill Howard, who at the time was publisher of Child Protection Reports.

Contexo Media, a new company, bought the directory from LLM Inc., which has owned the resource since 1997. The directory is in its 21st printing, lists 52,000 contacts in government and service agencies, and sells for $170. Contact: (800) 343-6681,

LA’s Best has hired Richard Hoff to be its director of development and planning. He comes to the 130-center program from the Save the Children office in Beverly Hills, where he held a similar position.

Hoff will have his hands full at LA’s Best, founded in 1988 by former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. The organization operates after-school educational programs at schools in high-risk areas of Los Angeles, while relying heavily on that most fickle of funding panaceas – federal earmarks. This year’s haul from the congressional appropriations for the Department of Justice was $400,000, bringing the program’s five-year earmark total to $7.5 million. Contact: (213) 978-0801,

KidsPeace, the 123-year-old charity dedicated to helping youth in crisis, named business leader Michael Vogel to be its board chairman. Vogel is vice president of ACCO North America, which owns a number of office supply companies. Among the goals set for the new chairman: Help build an endowment for KidsPeace, which gave $10 million away in free and “undercompensated” care for kids in crisis last year while operating on an endowment of $63 million. Its most recent tax returns show a $92,000 loss in assets in 2003. Contact: (610) 799-8000,

It was a nice run for Elleanor Jean Hendley. For 20 years she ran Teenshop (profiled by Youth Today in March 2001), a nonprofit seeking to empower teenage girls morally and academically, all by herself. The program has grown from one chapter in

Philadelphia (where Hendley served as a public school teacher) to four in the Philadelphia area and one in Los Angeles.
“Teenshop is the kind of program where you’re actually making sure some girls won’t even need other prevention services down the road,” says Sharmain Matlock-Turner, president of Teenshop’s parent organization, the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition (GPUAC).

This summer Hendley finally added her first full-time employee, Executive Director Camille Richardson. And judging from Richardson’s work history – she was a membership and marketing director for the Gir l Scouts of Freedom Valley Council in Valley Forge, Pa. – the desire to continuing growing is there.

Richardson says her job is to “continue to put process and procedure in place, and look to expand further.” She says the “increasing number of girls who are truant or bullying” is evidence that programs like Teenshop need to expand.

“Expansion has never been my goal, per se,” says Hendley. “First, we’re always making sure the chapters we have are quality chapters. But I’m certainly interested in providing the Teenshop experience to young ladies in other communities.”

One of Teenshop’s standout features – and one of the things that makes starting a chapter “quite an undertaking,” according to Hendley – is its volunteer youth worker presence. The program requires a ratio of one adult woman for every six girls. The women serve as mentors, while developing activities and field trips for their participants.

If expansion is viewed as a nice benefit of finally hiring an employee, says Hendley, nailing down some steady funding is the main mission. She says she could run all of Teenshop’s programs on $25,000 per chapter. “We’ve never had a dedicated funding source,” she says. “Hopefully, now that we have Camille on board, we can become part of that world.”

Things are looking up. Teenshop secured $75,000 from Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services last year, and Matlock-Turner says it’s a shoo-in for continued funding this year. Contact: (215) 851-1843,

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