Newsmakers for July-August 2010

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Steven Wing

Foundations

Deborah Leff, president of the Public Welfare Foundation since 2006, left the foundation on June 30 to become deputy counselor for access to justice at the U.S. Department of Justice. Leff will work with Laurence Tribe, who is the senior counselor for access to justice, in a program that focuses on expanding access to legal services. The search for Leff’s successor at the foundation will begin soon.

Peter Edelman, chair of the board of directors, said in a prepared statement that as president Leff “has maintained [Public Welfare’s] commitment to improving the lives of disadvantaged people while sharpening its focus on the public policy impact of the effort.”

The foundation supports programs to ensure fundamental rights and opportunities for people in need by distributing grants in the areas of criminal and juvenile justice, health reform and workers’ rights. Contact: (202) 965-1800, http://www.publicwelfare.org.

Wallace Foundation President M. Christine DeVita plans to step down in June 2011 after nearly 24 years heading one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations.

Walter Bumphus

During DeVita’s tenure, the Wallace Foundation donated roughly $1.3 billion to various projects in 47 states plus Washington, D.C., and published almost 200 reports on the results of its work. DeVita also guided the foundation’s transformation from a group of small family philanthropies into two foundations bearing the Wallace family name, then in 2003 into a single national foundation based in New York.

Wallace’s board of directors has established a search committee that the board says will immediately begin a national search of both internal and external candidates for a new president. Contact: (212) 251-9782, http://www.wallacefoundation.org.

Jim Winestock, retired senior vice president of operations for UPS, has been named a trustee of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the largest private charitable organization in the country that focuses exclusively on improving the lives of vulnerable children and families. Contact: (410) 547-6600, http://www.aecf.org.

An-Me Chung, a veteran program officer for the Flint, Mich.-based Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, is leaving the foundation this month. Chung handled part of the Learning Beyond the Classroom portfolio for Mott, under its larger Pathways Out of Poverty effort.

Chung joined Mott after serving as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Education, during which time she helped the department and Mott develop the framework for what would become the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Before that, Chung was associate director of the Wellesley, Mass.-based National Institute on Out-of-School Time.

“A search is under way at Mott for [Chung’s] replacement,” said Mott spokeswoman Carol Rugg. In April, Mott added a program assistant for Learning Beyond: Megan Russell, who managed youth programs for Michigan nonprofit HandsOn Battle Creek. Contact: (810) 238-5651, http://www.mott.org.

Nonprofits

Camp Fire USA, one of the nation’s largest providers of services to children, named Cathy Tisdale its new CEO. Tisdale, who replaces interim CEO Pamela Wilcox, assumed her new position on June 17.

Tisdale most recently worked for three years as a vice president at Girl Scouts USA’s corporate headquarters, and before that spent 28 years with the American Red Cross, at both the local and national levels. The Kansas City, Mo.-based Camp Fire USA is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Wilcox became interim CEO in March 2009, a month after CEO Jill Pasewalk retired. Contact: (816) 285-2010, http://www.campfireusa.org.

The D.C.-based American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) hired a former board chairman, Walter Bumphus, as CEO. AACC represents the nation’s 1,200 accredited two-year colleges. Bumphus will succeed CEO George Boggs in January 2011.

Bumphus most recently was a professor in the Community College Leadership Program, a doctoral program for community college leaders, and is the chair of the educational administration department at the University of Texas at Austin. He was a member of AACC’s board from 1993 to 1997 and was board chairman from 1996 to 1997. Contact: (202) 728-0200, http://www.aacc.nche.edu.

Stephen Wing is the new CEO of the D.C.-based Corporate Voices for Working Families, a national membership organization founded by Donna Klein to represent the private sector on public and corporate policy issues involving working families.

Wing, a Corporate Voices board member, spent the last 20 years with CVS Caremark, building the company’s workforce initiative. Wing started with a seed project that trained and hired four welfare recipients; since then, CVS had hired 80,000 welfare recipients through the initiative.

Corporate Voices counts 30 major companies among its members. It is funded by several major foundations, including the Mott, Kellogg, Gates and Ford foundations, and receives financial support from such corporations as Philip Morris and Abbott Laboratories. Contact: (202) 467-8130, http://www.cvworkingfamilies.org.

Christopher Spina has left the national children and families advocacy group, First Focus, to take a position with public relations and communications firm Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates. Spina, who began his new job last month, was First Focus’ vice president of communications and counsel. Contact: (202) 657-0685, http://www.firstfocus.net.

The D.C.-based Children’s Defense Fund, led by President Marian Wright Edelman, has added two staffers to its national leadership this year. CDF brought up the executive director of its Texas headquarters, Barbara Best, to serve as national director of foundation relations and special projects. Best spent 10 years in the Texas office, and will now operate from Cambridge, Mass.

Also coming to CDF is Ken Troshinsky to serve as director of institutional advancement and strategic planning. Troshinsky spent the bulk of his career in corporate finance, including a stint as chief financial officer of Burt’s Bees, before turning to the philanthropic world. Troshinsky was chief financial officer of the St. Mary’s School in Raleigh, N.C., then served in the same position for the Durham, N.C.-based Triangle Foundation. Contact: (800) 233-1200, http://www.childrensdefense.org.

Denver-based American Humane Association last month has snagged John Sciamanna, co-director of government affairs at the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), to represent American Humane in Washington as its director of children’s policy and government affairs.

Sciamanna spent the past decade with CWLA after getting his start in Washington as a legislative assistant for Sens. Donald Riegle (D-Mich.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), then moving on to the American Public Human Services Association. Contact: (720) 873-6771, http://www.americanhumane.org.

Anne Wald is the new director of membership and field operations at The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Wald, who began in May, has more than 20 years of experience in human relations and membership development. She is in charge of increasing membership and increasing awareness of quality teachers and the needs of urban parents.

She previously worked as vice president of membership and customer service at the Washington-based Urban Land Institute. Wald replaces outgoing Membership Director Michael Knowles. Contact: (312) 670-6782, http://www.pta.org.

The national dropout prevention organization Communities In Schools named Michael Bento to be its executive vice president for marketing and communications, a newly created position. Bento is charged with designing a new communications and marketing strategy for the group’s entire network.

Bento most recently had his own consulting firm, which did marketing, communications, branding and fundraising work for nonprofit, government and corporate clients. He formerly was a senior vice president of the National Park Foundation and senior vice president at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. Contact: (703) 518-2556, http://www.communitiesinschools.org.

David Dik is the new executive director of New York-based Young Audiences Arts for Learning, which helps develop new programs and forge partnerships that support exposing more schoolchildren to the arts. Dik replaces Richard Bell, who retired after 37 years with the nonprofit. The organization has 30 affiliates around the country. Contact: (212) 831-8110, http://www.youngaudiences.org.

Independent Sector, a Washington, D.C.-based membership organization working to strengthen America’s nonprofits, has announced 12 recipients of the 2010 American Express NGen Fellowships. The program started in 2009 to provide support and leadership training for nonprofit professionals under the age of 40 who are identified as emerging leaders of nonprofits in coming years.

The second annual class of fellows includes a number of youth work professionals: MacArthur Antigua, director of national recruitment and expansion at Public Allies; Janella Franklin, vice president of development for Communities in Schools; Andrew Ho, member services manager for the Council on Foundations; and Casey Lozar, director of corporate and tribal development with the American Indian College Fund. Contact: (202) 467-6100, http://www.independentsector.org.

Feds

Vicki Spriggs, executive director of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, has withdrawn from consideration for the top job at the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Spriggs had been considered by some to be the frontrunner for the nomination. Texas is facing an $18 billion shortfall for 2011, and is poised to make deep budget cuts across the board. Spriggs said in a letter to probation commission staff that she would stay on to protect funding for juvenile probation as much as possible.

The office did gain another deputy director to assist Acting Administrator Jeff Slowikowski. It is Cathy Pierce, who was reassigned to OJJDP from the Office of Violence Against Women, another division within the Office of Justice Programs. Pierce served as acting director of that office until Susan Carbon was confirmed in February. Contact: (202) 307-5911, http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov.

Benjamin Tucker was confirmed last month to serve as deputy director of state, local and tribal affairs at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Tucker, who will work for Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, is a former chief executive of the New York City Department of Education. Before that, he served as deputy director for the Office of Community Oriented Policing for the U.S. Department of Justice.

His portfolio at ONDCP will include the office’s two major youth-related endeavors: Drug-Free Communities ($95 million in 2010) and the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign ($45 million). Contact: (202) 395-6618, http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov.

President Barack Obama announced a slate of nominees to fill seven of the eight vacant positions on the Corporation for National and Community Service’s board of directors. The board sets overall policy and direction for CNCS and its programs, which include AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. All new board members must be confirmed by the Senate, where there is a huge backlog of presidential nominees.

The proposed new members are:

Rick Christman, CEO of Lexington, Ky.-based Employment Solutions, a multifaceted nonprofit organization serving the needs of those with barriers to employment.

Jane Hartley, CEO of the D.C.-based Observatory Group, a political consultancy organization, who was an assistant to President Jimmy Carter.

Marguerite W. Kondracke, CEO of the D.C.-based America’s Promise Alliance since 2004. Before joining the alliance, Kondracke was staff director for the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families, part of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Matthew McCabe, a Teach for America participant who is a teacher at George B. Swift Elementary School in Chicago, and was a field organizer in Scranton, Pa., for Obama’s presidential campaign.

John Podesta, CEO of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, who was White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.

Lisa Quiroz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility for Time Warner since 2004, when the position was created.

Phyllis N. Segal, vice president of Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank based in San Francisco that aims to draw baby boomers into civic engagement and volunteering. Segal is the former chair of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

In May, the current board members elected Mark Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., to be the new CNCS board chairman. He took office this month. Gearan succeeded interim Chairman Stephen Goldsmith, who had stepped in for Alan Solomont, now the U.S. ambassador to Spain. Goldsmith is now the top aide to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Contact: (202) 606-5000, http://www.cns.gov.

Crime

Marvin Perry, a former chief financial officer at the D.C.-based National Children’s Alliance (NCA), pleaded guilty last month to embezzling thousands of dollars from NCA, an organization that assists child abuse victims.

The U.S. Department of Justice, in announcing the plea in a news release, said Perry, who is awaiting sentencing, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but U.S. Sentencing Guidelines call for a 10- to 16-month incarceration and a fine of up to $30,000.

Perry, who was chief financial officer at NCA from 2001 to 2008, embezzled nearly $65,000 by writing paychecks to himself and other NCA employees, the Justice Department said.

Teresa Huizar, NCA’s executive director, said in a prepared statement: “National Children’s Alliance is pleased that justice is being served by Mr. Perry’s guilty plea and subsequent sentence for his wrongdoing. It is disappointing when any employee abuses the trust of their employer. However, since National Children’s Alliance discovered and self-reported Mr. Perry’s wrongdoing, internal controls have been greatly strengthened.”