Newsmakers for May 2008

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Carter Savage, vice president of youth development services for the Atlanta-based Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), has left that position but will continue as a consultant for the organization, according to BGCA spokeswoman Jan Still-Lindeman.

BGCA, headed by CEO Roxanne Spillett, is restructuring the vice presidential assignments in youth development services, “but there will be a new V.P. announced shortly,” Still-Lindeman says. Contact: (404) 487-5739,

Nick Booth

The Philadelphia-based mentoring hegemon Big Brothers Big Sisters of America went across the pond to recruit a fundraiser. Nick Booth, the new vice president of philanthropy, comes to the nonprofit from Great Britain, where he was campaign director at the nation’s largest social service organization, The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Booth has raised $540 million since 1996.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, headed by Judy Vredenburgh, has 400 affiliates in the 50 states. Contact: (215) 567-7000,

Peggy Sanchez-Mills

The board of directors at the D.C.-based National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) has been a hands-on group for more than 10 years, says Peggy Sanchez-Mills. When NHSA hired her last March to be the organization’s first CEO, it was a signal that the board members felt that control of the operation should be in the hands of an executive.

That’s what they thought they wanted, Sanchez-Mills says.

A year later, she is off to her native Florida, leaving NHSA in what she describes as a friendly and mutual agreement that she was not the kind of executive the board should have hired. “I think they’re more appropriately ready for a program director-level” staffer, she says of the board. “But I’m not a program-level person.”

The board snagged Sanchez-Mills after a brief but hectic stint as CEO of YWCA of the USA.

“They really operate almost as volunteer program people,” Sanchez says of the board.

The basic stuff – writing grants and checks – the board was willing to give up. Driving programming and policy was another matter.

“It’s a good example of transition in a board,” she says, “at one level, ready to have staff take over, but on other levels they’re not prepared” to give up control.

Board member Carlton Purvis will serve as interim leader. Contact: (202) 296-2195,

For years, High/Scope Education Research Foundation, based in Ypsilanti, Mich., looked for a partnering organization that would operate its work on youth development program quality, says Charles Smith, who served as High/Scope’s director of youth development. That’s because High/Scope has become a “fairly specialized early childhood organization,” Smith says, and the youth development work related more to teens and adolescents.

It found a taker in the D.C.-based Forum for Youth Investment (FYI), a national nonprofit that helps communities develop strategies to prepare youth for adulthood. The Forum and High/Scope created the Center for Youth Program Quality as a joint venture in January. Beginning in June, the Forum will oversee that work, while Smith and some new staffers continue to operate from a High/Scope facility in Ypsilanti.

The center’s mission, according to the Forum: “To position ‘point of service’ quality as a powerful public idea that drives research, policy, practice and public opinion on what it takes to improve the quality of young people’s learning experiences across the settings where they spend their time.”

There is greater “synergy of both mission, mode of operation and strategic leadership” available from the FYI, Smith said in an e-mail. “The Forum was the best choice for both mission and sustainability.”

Smith will lead the new center and answer to the Forum’s managing director, Merita Irby. Both answer to FYI Executive Director Karen Pittman, who is no stranger to High/Scope: One of her early jobs in youth work was with the organization’s camp for adolescents, and she has served on High/Scope’s board of directors for several years. (She also writes a column for Youth Today.)

Smith’s staff will initially include two others. Erica Curry, former vice president at the mentoring organization Kids Hope USA, will be in charge of training and technical assistance. Tom Devaney will manage research services. Devaney was previously director of research for Market Strategies, a large market research firm in the health-care field.

The center will retain all of the foundation money and fees for service that supported Smith’s youth development work at High/Scope, Smith says. Funders include the William T. Grant Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Picower Foundation. Contact: (202) 207-3333,; High/Scope 734-961-6900,

Stephanie Foster is the new senior vice president for governmental affairs at the American Legacy Foundation, whose stated mission is to “develop programs that address the health effects of tobacco use.” Foster went to Legacy, whose programs include the Truth advertising campaign, from an advocacy and lobbying consulting position at Georgetown Strategies. As senior vice president, she will develop relationships with policy-makers and with organizations that share a similar mission.

Legacy, based in Washington, is run by CEO Cheryl Healton. Contact: (202)454-5596,

Youth Crime Watch of America (YCWA) bids adieu to its executive director of 10 years, Terry Modglin. Modglin, who intends to remain in youth work as a consultant, will be replaced by Christopher DiCarlo.

DiCarlo, who will run the organization from its Miami headquarters and also serve as CEO for YCWA’s Florida affiliate, was vice president of Sanwa Bank, where he oversaw a $2 billion loan portfolio.

During his tenure at the helm, Modglin operated the Miami-based organization from its Washington office, where he worked to maintain the congressional relationships that secured earmarks for YCWA almost every year. Contact: (305) 670-2409,

The American Red Cross named Gail McGovern, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School, to be its new president.

The D.C.-based organization is in the midst of dour times: It faces a $200 million deficit and this year has laid off 1,000 employees around the country. And its public image has taken several hits in recent years, for example, when previous president (and former Bush administration Internal Revenue Service commissioner) Mark Everson resigned in 2006, six months into his tenure, after admitting to an affair with a subordinate.

McGovern, who beat out 170 candidates for the $500,000-a-year job, surely impressed Red Cross trustees with her work as co-chairwoman of Johns Hopkins University’s capital campaign, which got so far ahead of its schedule to raise $2 billion that the bar was raised to $3.2 billion. She also spent 24 years at AT&T, where she rose to become executive vice president of the consumer markets division. Contact: (703) 206-6000,

The Chevy Chase, Md.-based National 4-H Council appointed Andrew Ferrin to be senior vice president of marketing and communications. The nonprofit funds and promotes 4-H youth development programs. Ferrin is the former executive vice president of Porter Novelli, a New York-based public relations company that serves businesses around the globe. Contact: (301) 961-2800,

The National Council of Nonprofit Associations, a Washington-based network of state and regional nonprofits, has announced the resignation of Audrey Alvarado, its executive director since 1999, effective this year. A search committee plans to fill the position by September. Contact: (202) 962-0322,


Foundation veteran and documentary filmmaker Marcia Smith has been named a vice president of The Atlantic Philanthropies (assets: $4 billion), an international grant maker with an office in New York. Smith will serve on CEO Gara LaMarche’s senior management team, overseeing Atlantic’s Disadvantaged Children and Youth and its Population Health programs.

Smith was most recently president of Firelight Media, an Oakland, Calif.-based film production company that won acclaim for “The Murder of Emmett Till,” which was written by Smith and aired on PBS in 2003. Smith runs the company with her husband (and MacArthur Genius award winner), Executive Producer Stanley Nelson. Nelson will move the company to New York when the family relocates there.

Before her foray into film, Smith spent eight years at the New York-based Ford Foundation, working first as a program officer in the Rights and Social Justice division before becoming a deputy director for the Governance and Civil Society division. Her strongest youth work credentials come from her time as a chief of staff for New York City’s deputy mayor for intergovernmental affairs from 1989 to1992. She was responsible for oversight of, among other agencies and offices, the city’s Department of Youth Services. Contact: (212) 916-7300,

Ken Gladish

Former YMCA of the USA national executive director Ken Gladish is in as president of the Austin Community Foundation (assets: $100 million) in Texas. Gladish left the YMCA in February 2006, and became director of the grant-making school at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich.

The 30-year-old foundation is heavily involved in youth work: It helped secure the land for the Austin Children’s Center campus for services to at-risk youth, and is the administrative home of the Adoption Coalition of Texas.

Gladish is new to Austin, but not to foundation management. He was executive director of the Indianapolis Foundation for six years before joining the YMCA in 2000, and before that led the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Contact: (512) 472-4483,

The William T. Grant Foundation (assets: $303 million) named four new William T. Grant Scholars, each of whom will receive $350,000 over the next five years to support research projects focused on how social settings such as families, schools, peer groups and organizations work, how they affect youth, and how they can be improved.

The 2008 Scholars include: Dr. Renee Boynton-Jarrett, assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston Medical Center, for “The Social Ecology of Adolescent Obesity: Defining the Role of Adverse Social Settings and Social Stress”; Stefanie DeLuca, assistant professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University, for “Moving Matters: Residential Mobility, Neighborhoods and Family in the Life of Poor Adolescents”; Alisa Hicklin, assistant professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma, for “Minority Student Success in Higher Education”; and Brian Mustanski, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, for “The Internet as a Setting for Sexual Health Development among Gay Youth.”

Contact: Sarah Martino (212) 752-0071,


Christine Calpin, who joined the U.S. Children’s Bureau in January as the acting associate commissioner, was made the permanent associate commissioner in April. Calpin went to the acting job after serving as the associate director of the Child Care Bureau, which, like the Children’s Bureau, is a program of the Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services. Before that, Calpin was a lead staffer for the House Ways and Means Committee. Contact: (202) 205-8102,

Former Florida state Rep. Gus Barreiro (D), the lawmaker who led the charge to shut down Florida boot camps after the death of Martin Lee Anderson at a camp, will start a new job Monday at the state Department of Juvenile Justice. Frank Peterman, the new department secretary and former member of the state House, hired Barreiro as chief of residential operations and quality improvement. Contact: (850) 488-1850,

Interesting youth work tie-in from the Democratic presidential primary campaign: Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) recently criticized Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) for his relationship to William Ayers, a neighbor in Illinois and a former leader of the infamous Weather Underground, an anti-war group that bombed a number of federal buildings in the early 1970s.

Ayers’ wife is fellow Weathermen member Bernardine Dohrn – now a professor at Northwestern University and head of the university’s Children and Family Justice Center. The center is a program of Northwestern’s Bluhm Legal Clinic and is funded by the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.