Newsmakers January – February 2013

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.

Newsmakers

Dr. Damon A. Williams has been named the senior vice president of Program, Training  and Youth Development Services by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). Williams comes to the BGCA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was the vice provost and chief diversity officer. He was also a faculty member of the Department of Education Leadership and Policy Analysis. In his new position Williams will be charged with leading national program strategy for a number of BGCA’s key areas, including Academic Success, Citizenship and Good Character. 
Williams will be focused on bettering the experience for young people at more than 4,000 locations around the nation that serve some 4 million. 
Jim Clark, the president and CEO of BGCA said, “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Damon Williams as a senior leader in an extremely important position. Our Great Futures Impact Plan involves assuring success is within the reach of every child who walks through a Club door.

Newsmakers for November 2011

NONPROFITS
Milwaukee-based Families Inter­national, which operates the major trade group Alliance for Children and Families, paused last month to remember its longtime leader, and then used its annual conference to reassure members with the introduc­tion of a high-pro­file successor. Veteran child welfare director Susan Dreyfus will be the new CEO of Milwau­kee-based Fami­lies Internation­al, whose longtime leader Peter Goldberg died of a heart attack in August. Families International is the par­ent organization for the Alliance, which is one of the largest member­ship organizations in the country for youth-serving nonprofits. It also op­erates United Neighborhood Centers of America, FEI Behavioral Health, and Ways to Work, which provides loans to credit-challenged poor fam­ilies through members of the Alli­ance. Dreyfus, who is the secretary of the Washington Department of So­cial and Health Services for Gov. Chris Gregoire (D), will remain in her position until January.

Newsmakers September 2011

Nonprofits
The Girl Scouts of the USA selected one of its own to succeed Kathy Cloninger as its chief executive officer. Anna Maria Chávez, who has led the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas in San Antonio since 2009, will become the 19th leader of the national scouting organization in November, which will mark the beginning of the organization’s 100th anniversary celebration. November also will mark the beginning of a major five-year fundraising campaign, which appears to be crucial for the financial health of one of the most iconic organizations in youth work. The Girl Scouts hold considerable assets ($112 million as of its 2010 annual report), but has had to use them to cover operating deficits. The organization operated at a $7.7 million loss in 2009 and a $4.9 million loss in 2010, according to the annual report.

Newsmakers July 2011

Nonprofits
Roxanne Spillett, who has led the Atlanta-based Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 1996, announced she will step down as president next year, ending a tenure that has seen a massive growth in federal funds for the group, followed by questions from Congress about how it was spending that money. Largely due to Spillett’s influential government relations team led by Beltway veteran and youth advocate Robbie Callaway, BGCA got its own budget line item in 1997. Funding under that line item rose from $20 million in the early years to a peak of $85 million in 2005. How the club spent that federal money came under scrutiny in 2010, when four Republican senators held up the reauthorization of BGCA’s line item. Spillett’s $1 million in total compensation for that year was among the concerns of Sens.