Newsmakers for March 2004


After going more than a year without a permanent boss, the Washington-based National Network for Youth (NNY) has named Vicky Wagner as CEO. Wagner, who served as the second of three interim presidents at NNY after Brenda Russell was fired in June 2002, will leave one Washington for the other. Wagner has spent the past 19 years in Seattle as executive director of YouthCare, Inc., which she built into a premier direct youth service agency serving 7,000 clients annually on a $5 million budget.

Wagner takes over for Sherry Allen, who has been running the 800-plus member nonprofit for the past 11 months from Florida while maintaining her position as director of the Southeastern Network of Youth and Family Services in Bonita Springs. The Southeastern Network comprises 80 member agencies in eight states.

The network also recently elected a new board chairman: Jeff McFarland, a former staff member for U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), the senior member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. McFarland handled juvenile justice and other related matters for the subcommittee until Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives in 1995. Contact: (202) 783-7949,


After 14 years as director, Chester Hartman has decided to step down from the top spot at the D.C.-based Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC). Hartman helped to found the organization when it was created by civil rights groups in 1990. He will stay on as director of research and will oversee publishing of PRRAC’s newsletter, Poverty & Race.

Taking over for Hartman is Philip Tegeler, most recently the legal director of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union. Tegeler is best known as the principal architect of the Sheff v. O’Neill lawsuit, which challenged Connecticut’s isolated and vastly underperforming urban schools. Contact: (202) 387-9887,


After serving as CEO of the Alexandria, Va.-based America’s Promise (AP) for seven years, Peter Gallagher announced that he will retire at the beginning of May. The former CEO of Source One Financial Services, Gallagher serves on the board of several private and civic groups. He will be replaced temporarily by Gregg Petersmeyer, vice chairman of the Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit. Petersmeyer is CEO of Personal Pathways, an intranet software company, and while serving in President George H.W. Bush’s White House was instrumental in developing the Points of Light awards that became part of Bush’s legacy.

AP also elected four new board members in February: Victor Manning, president of the MBNA Foundation; Daniel Horgan, executive director of Allegheny County’s Promise; Maya Babu, former co-chairwoman of the Minnesota Alliance with Youth, and Kathryn Kendall, a youth leader and former board member of Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana. Contact: (703) 684-4500,


Bill Nelsen announced that he will retire in July as president of the St. Peter, Minn.-based Scholarship America. No replacement has been named. Nelsen headed Scholarship America, which bills itself as the nation’s largest private-sector scholarship organization, for 18 years and is a longtime board member of the D.C.-based National Assembly of Health and Human Service Organizations. Contact: (800) 537-4180,


American Humane, the Denver-based nonprofit protecting children and animals from abuse and exploitation, named Marie Belew Wheatley as CEO. Wheatley, most recently the chief development officer for the American Red Cross in Denver, succeeds resigning CEO Tim O’Brien. Contact: (800) 227-4645,


Sometimes, good things really do happen to good people. It wasn’t the easiest year for Sergeant Tom Maglicco, executive director of the LaRosa Boys & Girls Club of McKeesport, Pa. The 33-year-old army reservist left the club and his family behind when he was called up for active duty and sent to Kuwait last February.

After serving for 10 months, Maglicco badly injured his hand – playing flag football, of all things – and was ultimately sent back to the states to be rehabilitated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. It was there that a chance meeting reinvigorated his interest in youth work.

Constance Miller, a consultant for the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB), volunteers with a group that throws birthday parties for soldiers at the medical center and met Maglicco at one event. After she found out about his nonmilitary occupation, the two became friends. Miller introduced Maglicco to FYSB boss Harry Wilson, who invited him to an America’s Promise luncheon in January.

There Maglicco met Roxanne Spillett, national director of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. And after his keynote speech, Secretary of State Colin Powell, former chairman of America’s Promise, was introduced to an already starstruck Maglicco. Miller recalls that Powell “put his hand on Tom’s shoulder and said, ‘Son, thank you.’ ”

“It was unbelievable, meeting these people that I watch and admire, who give back so much of their time,” Maglicco says. “Meeting them, and being away from everything for awhile, really helped me focus in on working with kids again. It gave me a whole new energy.”

Maglicco will return to his job in McKeesport in May, and plans to marry his fiancée next year. Contact: (412) 678-7070,


The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York announced the resignation of Elaine R. Jones, president and director-counsel, effective May 1. Jones has been at the fund for 32 years, serving as director-counsel for more than a decade. Contact: (202) 833-9771,


The D.C.-based Forum for Youth Investment hired Amber Moore as director of communications. Moore was the director of outreach and media relations for Child Trends, the D.C.-based research nonprofit largely funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Moore’s role at Child Trends has been taken over by Communications Director Harriet Scarupa. Child Trends has not yet replaced Karen Jaffe, vice president of external relations, who resigned this year. Contact: (202) 207-3333,; Child Trends (202) 572-6000,


The YMCA of Greater New York has hired Jack Lund to replace Paula Gavin, its CEO of 14 years, in April. Lund has served as CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee since 1995. During his tenure, the organization has tripled its assets. Gavin is joining a private equity firm and will continue with the YMCA on a volunteer basis. Contact: (212) 630-9600,


After working under the auspices of the Youth Law Center since 2000, the San Francisco-based W. Haywood Burns Institute officially launched its independent operation and headquarters with a late-February open house. (Burns actually became independent six months ago.) The institute measures the treatment of minority youth by the justice system at 11 sites around the country. The organization of seven staff members, with an annual budget of about $1 million, was founded and continues to be directed by former Youth Law Center attorney James Bell. Contact: (415) 321-4100,


The end of 2003 was kind to Girls Inc., which turned 140 years old in January. The New York-based girls’ empowerment program, headed by Joyce Roche, landed a $200,000 earmark from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for construction of a new facility in Syracuse, N.Y. It also announced in late November a $600,000 grant from the Time Warner Foundation’s 21st Century Skills program. The two-year grant goes toward a media literacy program that teaches girls how to evaluate the media messages that “bombard them.”

YMCA of the USA received an identical Time Warner grant for its media program, which will train staff and volunteers in “the use of media and technology to tackle pressing community concerns.” Contact: (800) 374-4475,; YMCA (312) 977-0031,


The big charitable winner for 2004 so far is the Salvation Army, which received approximately $1.5 billion from the estate of McDonald’s heiress Joan Kroc. Kroc donated $92 million to the Salvation Army in 1998 to create the elaborate Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center in San Diego. Officials say the new donation will be used to establish about two dozen more centers around the country. Contact: (703) 684-5500,

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation (assets: $1.8 billion), based in Owings Mills, Md., announced that Shale Stiller will take over as CEO early next year. The trustee and partner at Piper Rudnick, a business law firm, replaces Weinberg’s CEO of 14 years, Bernard Siegel. Contact: (410) 654-8500,


Penelope McPhee, former vice president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (assets: $1.8 billion), will become president of the Atlanta-based Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. She takes over for the foundation’s first president, Ira Jackson, who returned to his hometown of Boston last fall. McPhee oversaw all grant making for Knight. Contact: (404) 239-0600,


Charles Roussel has been hired as director of the Disadvantaged Children and Youth Program by Atlantic Philanthropies (assets: $3.75 billion). Roussel, who will work in the grant maker’s New York office, was a partner with the international consulting firm Accenture. He has provided pro bono consulting for the Children’s Aid Society of New York, and he worked with the Leader to Leader Institute (formerly the Drucker Foundation) on its nonprofit innovation database. Contact: (212) 916-7300,


The California Wellness Foundation (assets: $967 million) in Woodland Hills, Calif., named Saba Brelvi its new program director for grant making related to diversity in health professions and women’s health. Brelvi, who comes to the foundation from her position as director of health services for Huckleberry Youth Programs in San Francisco, will oversee spending on teen pregnancy and violence prevention. Contact: (818) 593-6600,

Federal Government

Taking over for the abruptly departed Eric Andell as head of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools is Deborah Price. Price comes to the Department of Education division from the department’s federal student aid section, where she was chief of staff. The department also named Susan Patrick as acting director of the office of educational technology, replacing John Bailey. Contact: (800) 872-5327,

President Bush nominated one new member for the advisory board for the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL). Richard Wagner is a professor of psychology at Florida State University, specializing in reading skills and dyslexia. Contact: NIFL (202) 233-2025,


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