Newsmakers for July-August 2006

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Jill Pasewalk is in as CEO of the Kansas City, Mo.-based Camp Fire USA, the 96-year-old nonprofit that serves 750,000 youth and young adults annually with more than 100 councils nationwide. Pasewalk took over in June for Stewart Smith, who leaves after nine years at the helm.

Pasewalk, who was Camp Fire’s senior vice president of program and field services. has a three-decade career in youth work. Before her four years at Camp Fire’s national office, she served as CEO of its Alaska Council, executive director of its Bay Area Council in California, and executive director of the YWCA in Santa Cruz County, Calif.

The transition should be smooth, as Pasewalk’s main task for the past two years has been to develop the multiyear strategic plan that she will now oversee. The goal: to reach 1 million youth annually by 2010, by expanding awareness and capacity in the markets in which Camp Fire is established. Contact: (816) 285-2029,


Alexandria, Va.-based Catholic Charities USA bids adieu to retiring public policy adviser Sharon Daly, a well-known Beltway policy analyst and lobbyist since 1978. Daly worked with Catholic Charities for 12 years, and before that served for three years as director of government and community affairs for the Children’s Defense Fund. She also directed the domestic social development office of the U.S. Catholic Conference (now called the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops). Daly intends to take some time off, and eventually do some volunteer work with national nonprofits helping the poor. Contact: (703) 549-1390, .


Peggy Sanchez Mills has decided not to seek a long-term career as CEO of the YWCA of the USA, the D.C.-based national umbrella organization for the nation’s 291 YWCA member groups. Mills has led the organization since early 2005, when she stepped in for Interim Director Dorris Daniel-Parkes, who took over in 2003 for the quickly ousted Patricia Ireland.

“The best term for my time here would be transitional position,” says Mills, who will pursue a job outside of the YWCA for the first time since 1981. “Leaving YWCA will be sad, but you also recognize at a personal level when it’s time to move on. Sometimes it’s just time.”

Mills oversaw a period of great change for the YWCA, which before her tenure was a top-down organization. Under Mills, it was decentralized, a movement embodied by the May 2006 decision to admit male members. Her decision to move on after the major bylaw change is probably not coincidental. “That was a long-term goal and very important to me,” she says.

The board has begun searching for Mills’ successor. Her contract is up in November, and she says she is happy to stay through that period or leave sooner if need be. Her next move? “I will stay in the nonprofit arena,” Mills says. “I’m passionate about … issues important to women and girls, and racism issues.” Contact: (202) 467-0801,


Carole Levine was named last month as deputy executive of the Chicago-based National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the 109-year-old volunteer parent organization that counts 6 million members. Levine, who will serve under CEO Warlene Gary, returns to the PTA from Alexandria, Va.-based Communities in Schools, where she was director of state and field support. In her first go-round with PTA, she was the parent involvement and education manager. Contact: (312) 670-6782,


Friends of the Children, which hires full-time mentors assigned to about eight youths each, has filled three new positions at its national office in Portland, Ore.

Jani Iverson, formerly vice president of planning for Planned Parenthood of Central Washington, will be Friends’ director of operations. Ben Root, the new director of development, comes to Friends from the St. Andrew Nativity School in Portland, and previously served as a program director for Janus Youth Programs, a Portland nonprofit that serves homeless youth. Catherine Beckett, the new director of program and quality assurance, has been with Friends since 2001 as director of training and evaluation, and before that was a child and family therapist.

They will serve under Executive Director Kregg Hanson, who took over for Catherine Milton in early 2006. Contact: (503) 281-6633,


Attorney James Siegal is the new vice president for nonprofit-sector programs and practice at the D.C.-based Independent Sector, a coalition of 550 charities and grant makers advancing the cause of sound management in the nonprofit world. Siegal most recently worked with Karin Kuntsler-Goldman, the renowned charity monitoring leader at the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, where he served as registration chief. Contact: (202) 467-6100,


Stacie Rumenap is in as executive director of the Washington-based Stop Child Predators, which pushes for stiffer laws for sex offenders, a national offender registry and the inclusion of victim impact statements in sentencing proceedings. Contact: (202) 234-0090,


Dr. Beverly Pitts was added to the board of the Indianapolis-based Simon Youth Foundation, the eight-year-old philanthropic arm of giant mall owner Simon Property Group. The foundation provides funding for education resource centers (alternative schools that work with public school districts) and grants to high school seniors. Contact: (317) 263-7639,


Fred Davie took over for outgoing Public/Private Ventures CEO Gary Walker last month, and one of his first moves was to name three new vice presidents. Like Davie, who has been at the Philadelphia-based nonprofit since 1986, all of them were promoted from within.

Wendy McClanahan, one of the new vice presidents for research, is the principal investigator on P/PV’s Youth Violence Reduction Partnership, an effort to curb youth homicides in Philadelphia. Joining McLanahan atop the research wing as the other vice president for research, and heading up P/PV’s California office, is Amy Arbreton, a researcher with P/PV since 1994 and an expert on evaluating mentoring and after-school initiatives. The two will split up the job that was previously carried out by Karen Walker, who left to become a psychology professor at the University of Virginia.

In as vice president for communications is Chelsea Farley, who has served as manager of P/PV’s communication efforts since 2003.

P/PV has assets of more than $22 million, with 87 staff members in offices in New York, Philadelphia and Oakland, Calif. Contact: (215) 557-4400,


The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (assets: $27 billion) tapped Cheryl Scott as its new chief operating officer. Scott is the former CEO of Seattle’s Group Health Collaborative, as well as a clinical professor in the department of health services at the University of Washington. Contact: (206) 709-3100,


Marisha Wignaraja has joined the New York office of The Atlantic Philanthropies (assets: $4.3 billion) as a program executive for the disadvantaged children and youth team. Wignaraja comes to the grant maker from the Ms. Foundation, also in New York, where she served as a program officer. Before that she was an associate program officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Flint, Mich. Contact: (212) 916-7300,


The New York-based William T. Grant Foundation (assets: $250 million) appointed Michael Casserly to its board of trustees last month. Casserly has been executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, a coalition of 66 large urban public school systems, since 1992. Contact: (212) 752-0071,


After serving for nearly the entire span of President George Bush’s tenure, Charles Curie intends to resign as administrator of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) by August.

Curie was praised by the National Alliance on Mental Illness for establishing Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, and for leading the charge to eliminate the use of restraints and seclusion in treating patients. Contact: (240) 276-2000,


Alfonso Tardy pleaded guilty last month to grand larceny after stealing more than $31,000 from the Benito Juarez Hispanic Association, a group of small business owners that help fund youth programs in the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., area.

Tardy, who was sentenced to one to three years in state prison, was arrested last December. He stole the money after volunteering to run a 24-team soccer league. His theft caused the cancellation of the association’s Christmas program, which gives presents to needy kids.

Various such cases over the past several years have shown that the practice of stealing from nonprofit youth-serving organizations is often the result of lax procedures and misplaced trust at small organizations. (See “When a Thief Strikes from Inside,” April 2006.)


Nevada family court judge Chuck Weller was shot and wounded last month, allegedly by a man whose divorce and child custody case he was overseeing and whose wife was found slain. Darren Mack – a 45-year-old pawn shop owner who routinely appeared before Weller in custody and property battles – was arrested for allegedly killing his wife, Charla, and shooting Weller.


A 7-year-old girl who was restrained for behavior problems at a Wisconsin clinic died from chest compression asphyxiation shortly after arriving at a hospital, according to a report by the Hennepin County, Minn., Medical Examiner’s Office. Angellika Arndt was restrained by staff at the Northwest Counseling and Guidance Clinic in Rice Lake, Wis., and passed out after being released from the hold. She died at the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis the next day. Her death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner, who said the restraint may have contributed.


Eileen Sweeney, 54, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and former director of government affairs for the Children’s Defense Fund. Sweeney was lauded by colleagues for her work on a range of programs, including the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Brady Handgun Control Act, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.


Cecilia Sudia, 83, a 35-year employee of the Children’s Bureau at the U.S. Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services. Sudia co-authored Boys in Fatherless Families, published in 1971, and Failed Child Welfare Policy: Family Preservation and the Orphaning of Child Welfare, published in 2002.


Dan Kivel, 34, a member of the West Seneca, N.Y., AmeriCorps program, who drowned off the Gulf Coast. Kivel and the rest of the program members had been in Bay St. Louis helping with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts since early May, according to West Seneca Youth Bureau Executive Director Mark Lazarra. Kivel was swimming with a friend when a riptide overpowered him and carried him out to sea.