Newsmakers January – February 2013

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Former Visions Education Managing Partner Donna Givens Williams was recently named president of the Detroit-based Youth Development Commission (YDC). Williams has extensive experience working in nonprofit management and youth development.

The YDC began almost two decades ago as the Youth and Sports Recreation Commission. The organization has since branched out to provide other youth services, including out-of-school time support and college and career counseling. The announcement coincides with the YDC’s relocation to central Detroit, and the opening of a new facility with a teen center and a multipurpose training room.

“We simply must ensure that Detroit’s emerging young adults are developing marketable job skills,” Williams said in a recent YDC release. “This means we have work to do, strengthening career awareness, remediation of basic skills, developing college and career pathways and building knowledge and efficacy with the school and workplace environments.”


Dan Gaylin has been named the president and CEO of the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. Gaylin has been with the NORC for 13 years, and served as acting president of the independent research organization earlier this year. He formerly served as executive vice president for research programs.

Founded in the early 1940s, NORC conducts a wide array of research on many youth-related issues, including education, early childhood, public health and population studies. Both youth policy analysts and government policymakers frequently cite the organization’s most well known publication, the “National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth.”

“Dan Gaylin has the depth of knowledge and the management skills needed to lead such a complex organization,” John Mark Hansen, NORC trustee, said in a recent University of Chicago release. “He was simply the right person for the job.”


James E. Canales will step down in spring 2014 as president and CEO of the James Irvine Foundation, a position he has held since 2003. Canales joined the organization in 1993. In May, he will join the Boston-based Barr Foundation as president.

He leaves the Irvine Foundation with an estimated $1.7 billion in assets. The Irvine Foundation is a grant making nonprofit with a focus on the arts and improving outcomes for low-income youth in California. The Foundation has given more than $1.3 billion to more than 3,000 organizations since the 1930s.

“I have had the pleasure of working with many talented and dedicated partners both within and outside of the Foundation, the honor of building upon a legacy of excellence and service for which Irvine has been well known,” Canales is quoted in a recent press release. “And the joy of observing the progress we have made toward our mission of expanding opportunity for the people of California.”


The Board of Directors of National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) recently announced the appointment of Anita B. Boles as their new executive director. Bowles has a wide-ranging background in the nonprofit sector. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and a Master of Science in Public Service Administration, she went on to serve as executive director of Global Alliance for Arts & Health and chair of the National Summit: Arts. More recently, she founded and co-chaired the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military. In addition to her work as an executive, she has also published 16 scholarly works. NOYS president, Hilda Crespo, said of Boles: “Her vast experience working with coalitions and her dedication to sound nonprofit management make her an excellent candidate to lead NOYS.” Boles will take over from Sandra Spavone, who led the organization for seven years.


Don Mohanlal has been named by the National 4-H Council as their new executive director of innovation and impact. Mohanlal comes to the National 4-H Council from his position as president and CEO of the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation, a New Delhi-based philanthropic organization. Before his work there, Mohanlal was the managing director and executive vice president of the International Youth Foundation, where he helped to launch a worldwide network of youth foundations in more than 60 countries. His exemplary work on the global stage is further highlighted by his collaboration with Martti Ahtissari, the president of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, with whom he worked to establish the Balkans Children and Youth Foundation, the first such organization serving the entirety of the Balkans. Donald T. Floyd, president and CEO of National 4-H Council, spoke of the appointment by saying, “Mohanlal is a champion of young people and proven leader.” Mohanlal begins his work at the Council on Jan. 15, 2014.


Joshua Williams, the boy who founded the Joshua’s Heart Foundation at age five, recently received the Harris Wofford Award from Youth Service America, which distinguishes those who do great work towards fulfilling Senator Wofford’s vision of “making service the common expectation and common experience of every young person in America.” Joshua’s Heart Foundation’s primary objective is “to stomp out hunger.” The Miami-based nonprofit provides items of basic necessity to those in greatest need, and also engages and educates communities about the most effective ways to fight hunger, poverty and other social and economic ills. Joshua’s organization hands out food monthly and feeds the homeless weekly. It also delivers food to the sick, elderly and helpless. All this was made possible by Joshua’s passion for helping others and initial monetary support from his mother and grandmother. The now 12-year-old Williams only aims to continue on the extraordinary path on which his foundation has taken him.


Stephen Dunmore, president of the Sodexo Education-Schools, has been named to the Board of Directors of Youth Service America. At Sodexo he works to provide student well-being solutions and support the achievement of students in almost 500 public school districts across the nation. Under him, the Sodexo Schools team provides 2 million balanced meals per day to students while educating them and their teachers on nutrition and making healthy lifestyle decisions. Before joining Sodexo, Dunmore held leadership positions at a variety of large corporations including Ford Motor Company, Ameritech, Case Corporation, Johnson Controls,and Aramak. Dunmore will continue his work at Sodexo fighting to end childhood hunger, while serving on the Youth Service America board.