Newsmakers for October 2008

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Byron Garrett


National PTA, the Chicago-based organization that uses its 54 state congresses as the liaisons between it and 26,000 PTA units, has hired Beltway veteran Byron Garrett as CEO. He is the first male to hold the position. Garrett was the national program leader for youth development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National 4-H Headquarters.

Mishaela Duran is the new public policy and government relations director for National PTA, replacing Kimberly Barnes-O’Connor. Duran, who oversees a policy staff of four, goes to PTA after a second stint at the D.C.-based National Network for Youth, this time as the vice president of public policy; she left the first time in 2005 for D.C.’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, where she was an assistant to Director Vinny Schiraldi. Duran has been the network’s point person for the past seven months on legislation affecting federal funds for runaway and homeless youth programs.

Contact: PTA (202) 289-6790,; Network (202) 783-7949,

Sheri Brady, formerly the director of policy for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich., has moved to Voices for America’s Children, a national child advocacy organization that speaks out for the well-being of children across the country. Brady is a senior policy fellow at Voices for America’s Children charged with expanding its policies and network reach during this year’s pivotal presidential election. Contact: 866-435-2970,

Gail Manza

Gail Manza has left as executive director of the Alexandria, Va.-based National Mentoring Partnership. Manza is being replaced, for the time being, by Marian Heard, vice chairwoman of the organization’s board.

The partnership, founded in 1990 by philanthropists Geoffrey Boisi and Raymond Chambers, has three main objectives: Build state partnerships, develop field knowledge through its mentoring institute and develop and provide resources to mentoring programs. It launched an online community forum for mentoring programs and their volunteers in July ( and is carrying out a pilot project with the FBI that allows mentoring programs to access FBI background checks cheaply. It held about $8.6 million in assets as of its 2006 annual report.

The number of state partnerships is shrinking. There are 22 in 20 states, compared with 32 in 25 states in 2006. Organizations in Alabama, California, Nebraska, Texas, Utah and Vermont have ended partnerships with the group; one organization in Kansas has joined.

Heard was CEO of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay before stepping down in 2004, and before that she served as the founding CEO for the Points of Light Foundation. Manza is still listed as a senior fellow on the partnership’s website. Contact: (703) 224-2200,

Starr Commonwealth, a children and family services nonprofit organization serving more than 4,000 clients through its Michigan- and Ohio-based programs, made two senior staff hires last month. Byron Brown, the assistant executive director of the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies (OACCA) since 2005, is the new director of public policy and business development.

Lisa Lambert has been named the executive director of Starr Commonwealth’s Hannah Neil Center in Columbus, Ohio. Lambert has more than 20 years of experience in child welfare and social work, and is the current director of Community Development and Family Support Services for Franklin County (Ohio) Children Services. While there, she has been credited with developing and monitoring two community-based programs, aligning with community partners and with expanding the agency’s reach.

Starr also promoted Kelley Jones, who was assistant director and intake coordinator for its Hannah Neil Center in Columbus, Ohio, to executive director of its Van Wert, Ohio, campus. Jones has been with Starr since 1994. Contact: (800) 837-5591,

The First Tee program, a golf-centered character development program that has long been the object of congressional affection, has made a new friend: America’s Promise Alliance. The nonprofit golf program, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., became an official partner of AP last month.

The First Tee has 500 learning facilities and program affiliates in 48 states, according to the organization, and more than 2,000 elementary schools in which it conducts physical education programs. It has received at least $4.5 million in earmarks from the Department of Education and the Department of Justice since 2003.

That is some well-timed publicity for The First Tee and its CEO, Joe Louis Barrow. The program became the center of a controversy at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention after it received a grant while scoring well below a number of losing applicants, including a proposal by America’s Promise Alliance. Contact: (904) 940-4300,

America’s Promise Alliance also announced the five young leaders who will join its 2008-09 Youth Partnership Team (YPT). YPT was formed in 2001, and members, who range in age from 17 to 23, represent various ethnicities, economic backgrounds and educational levels.

The new members are: Kia Albertson, 17, of Spencer, N.Y., who has been involved with Key Club International; Amy Baker, 23, of Washington, D.C., who served on the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Providence College, Providence, R.I.; Matthew Boring, 19, of Lincoln, Neb., who serves on State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board; Zak Newman, 17, of San Antonio, a member of the San Antonio Youth Commission; and Julia Sewell, 20, of Minneapolis, who serves on the National Youth Leadership Council’s Youth Advisory Council. Contact: (202) 657-0600,

For Profits

Vincent Doran has retired from his position as president of ResCare’s Employment and Training Services Group after 11 years. ResCare provides residential, training, educational and support services for more than 65,000 people with special needs.

During his time at ResCare, Doran was instrumental in establishing the international unit and helped increase ResCare’s Job Corps operations. Prior to working for ResCare, Doran was the president of economic development and vice president of program development at Teledyne Inc. Contact: (800) 866-0860,

Phoenix Outdoor, a Leicester, N.C.-based wilderness therapy program for youth between the ages of 13 and 17, has appointed Jennifer Fazzolari as its executive director. Fazzolari has experience in the field, as she has served as director of West Virginia campuses for both the Parkersburg Treatment Center and Pressley Ridge Schools. The Phoenix Outdoor program works to help teens address and overcome negative behaviors and substance abuse problems. Contact: (877) 305-0904,

Gena Fitzgerald

Gena Fitzgerald was hired to replace Patrice Pascual as executive director of the Journalism Center on Children and Families, a nonprofit affiliate – primarily funded by Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation – of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Pascual was with the center for nearly a decade and had been executive director since 2006.

Fitzgerald takes over a staff of three full-time employees and two part-timers after 10 years in a slightly more opulent setting: NBC News. She was the senior Washington producer for the Nightly News, first with Tom Brokaw and then Brian Williams. Before that, she was an investigative producer for WJLA in Washington, where she garnered five local Emmys.

Pascual is developing a website for children, according to the center. Contact: (301) 699-5133,


Shawn Dove

Shawn Dove joined the New York-based Open Society Institute in May as the campaign manager for the U.S. Programs’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement. During the early 1990s while working with the Harlem Children’s Zone, he was one of the founding directors of New York City’s Beacon School movement. Dove has also served as creative communities director for the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. Contact: (212) 548-0600,


Kevin Ryan is in high demand these days. His star in child welfare reform has been rising since New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) settled with nonprofit litigator Children’s Rights (CR), agreeing to overhaul its system. Ryan became the state’s child advocate, keeping an eye on DCF Commissioner Jim Davy, and got Davy’s job in 2006. Earlier this year, Ryan left that job to work for the Amelior Foundation, which helps impoverished youth in Newark, N.J.

But now, in the span of four months, Ryan’s experience with what many agree to be a successful and expensive turnaround in New Jersey has been sought by two deeply troubled child welfare systems. Ryan was called in by the Michigan Department of Human Services this summer when, at the last minute, the state blinked and settled with CR on a Jersey-esque overhaul arrangement.

And now, Washington, D.C. wants to lean on him to pull the city’s overwhelmed Child and Family Services Agency out of what CR Executive Director Marcia Robinson Lowry calls a “free fall.” CFSA has never recovered from the case of Banita Jacks, whose four daughters were found dead in her home in January. Despite repeated reports about the daughters, social workers didn’t follow through on them. When discovered, the girls had been dead for several months.

This is Ryan’s fifth mention in Newsmakers since 2006. Could the next one be his nomination to some post in the next administration?

Contact: Children’s Rights (212) 683-2210,; Washington, D.C. CFSA (202) 442-6000,; Michigan DHS (517) 373-2035,

Jay Hein has resigned as director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to return to Indiana to take care of his father, who has cancer. He began working for the White House in 2006, and prior to that was the founding president of the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research, a public policy research firm. Contact (202) 456-1111,


Swindlers seem to dominate the world of well-intentioned Drummond Pike these days. The Tides Foundation founder bailed out one of the foundation’s iconic grantees, grassroots organizer Acorn, spending his own money basically to fill a financial hole created by an employee’s $1 million embezzlement (the employee was Dale Rathke, brother of Acorn founder Wade Rathke).

Now one of Tides’ philanthropy advisers, Jason Ramon Sanders, has been accused of illegally taking more than $130,000 from the organization between 2005 and 2008. Sanders has been fired. Contact: Tides Foundation (415) 561-6400,