Newsmakers for June 2006

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Nonprofits

Operating a bicoastal advocacy effort had become more burdensome than beneficial for the Youth Law Center (YLC), a law firm that has protected the interests of at-risk and abused children since 1978. So the nonprofit, led by Executive Director Carole Shauffer, has parted ways with its Washington, D.C., office, overseen by Mark Soler, and will maintain its San Francisco operation.

Soler has no intention of going out of business. His part of the office has reinvented itself as the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP), which will continue to focus on juvenile justice reform.

“We will have more emphasis on work in the D.C., Virginia and Maryland areas, especially on juvenile justice issues, and we’ll work a lot more with Congress,” Soler says. He retains his entire (albeit small) staff from YLC: staff attorneys Dana Shoenberg and Neelum Arya, and Operations Manager Valerie McDowell.

Soler expects no change in funding, because he has always raised the money for YLC’s Washington office. While he waits for the federal government to grant him nonprofit status, his new group will continue to assist YLC with work on several continuing grants, particularly the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.

Joining Soler on his own board of directors so far: Kristin Henning, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, and Mark Schindler, a former YLC staff attorney who was recently promoted from counsel to chief of staff for the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. Contact: CCLP (202) 637-0377, www.cclp.org; YLC (415) 543-3379, www.ylc.org.

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After 16 years as senior vice president of resource development at the Atlanta-based Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), Kurt Ascherman is leaving to become president of Charity Partners LLC in Boston. The new company’s mission is to provide innovative fundraising solutions for respected charities around the world.

Ascherman would know a thing or two about that. BGCA raised and spent about $180 million in fiscal 1990; by 2002, that figure was $1 billion. And while much of the credit for the boom goes to the lobbying efforts of another former vice president, Robbie Calloway, Ascherman has been highly successful at forging high-publicity, high-income relationships for the organization. Among his accomplishments are deals with Microsoft ($100 million), Coca-Cola ($60 million), J.C. Penney ($7 million), and Major League Baseball ($1.5 million, plus the annual ad campaign that comes with official charity status).

Taking over for Ascherman is Cyndi Court, BGCA’s vice president of planned and major gifts. Court has already flashed an ability to bring in large financial hauls. She helped arrange the two-year Centennial Campaign, which brought in $102.5 million last year. Contact: (404) 487-5739, www.bgca.org.

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Neil Nicoll is the 13th leader of the Chicago-based YMCA of the USA, the national resource office that serves the nation’s 2,594 local YMCAs. Nicoll, a longtime Y executive, replaces CEO Ken Gladish, who left in February and was spelled through May by interim Chief of Staff Sam Evans. Nicoll leaves his job as CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, a post he had held since 1992. He has chaired the Washington State Council on Youth since 1993. Contact: (312) 419-8418, www.ymca.net.

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Washington-based Child Trends announced the selection of an old friend, Carol Emig, to be its next president. Emig, who will take over in October, is executive director of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, the group created in 2003 to recommend measures to reform national and state foster care systems. Before her stint with Pew, she served as Child Trends’ vice president for external relations.

Child Trends’ current leader, Kristin Moore, will resume full-time research responsibilities as a Child Trends senior scholar. Contact: (202) 362-5580, www.childtrends.org.

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Norma Barquet was named vice president of Girl Scouts of the USA last month, and will lead the national nonprofit’s membership and recruitment efforts. Barquet comes to the New York office by way of Michigan, where she headed the Department of Language and Cultural Initiatives, for the Detroit Public Schools. Contact: (800) 478-7248, www.girlscouts.org.

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Joyce Shortt, co-director of the National Institute for Out-of-School Time (NIOST), is resigning, effective June 30, after 11 years with the Wellesley, Mass.-based nonprofit. NIOST advocates for resources for out-of-school programs and trains existing program staff. Shortt leaves the staff of 13 in the hands of her fellow co-director, Ellen Gannett, and plans to travel across the country with her husband. Contact: (781) 283-2547, www.niost.org.

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The Washington-based National Network for Youth, headed by Vicki Wagner, renewed its five-year agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and managed to add a much-needed staff member. The Prevention Plus Project (P3) will address the disparities in HIV outcomes for runaway and homeless youth by strengthening the prevention capacity of runaway and homeless youth organizations.

Brought in to help with that and other special projects is youth work journeywoman Genny Price. Over the past two years, Price has served as executive director of two major runaway/homeless programs: Boston-based Bridge Over Troubled Water (where she worked for 27 years) and San Francisco’s Larkin Street Youth Services. Contact: (202) 783-7949, www.nn4youth.org.

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Israel Gaither is in as national commander of the Alexandria, Va.-based U.S. Salvation Army, making him the first African-American to run the organization. Gaither comes from the Army’s world office in London, where he was second in command. His wife, Eva Gaither, becomes head of the women’s ministries, as is the custom at the Salvation Army. Gaither inherits an organization with a promising future: A few years ago it received $1.5 billion from the estate of deceased McDonald’s heiress Joan Kroc. Contact: (202) 289-4001, www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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Cindi Bookout resigned as executive director of the Washington-based Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) last month. ACE is a small foundation dedicated to community health and well-being, and for the time being is left with only Program Director Colleen Creighton and intern Queshia Bradley on board. Contact: (202) 862-3902, www.consumered.org.

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Parents as Teachers National Center (PATNC) has hired Adriana Bowen to serve as manager of organizational learning and outreach. She was the bilingual trainer for the Washington State Childcare Training System, and also served as PATNC’s national trainer for its Born to Learn program. Bowen will advise the nonprofit on diversity issues as it attempts to expand its target audience – mainly, to reach more Hispanics – and will oversee the translation of all PATNC materials into Spanish. Contact: (314) 432-4330, www.patnc.org.

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There’s a new mayor at Girls and Boys Town, Neb. Sixteen-year-old Traci Ramos of Amarillo, Texas, was elected as the village’s 104th mayor by 500 of her peers at the national nonprofit, which was founded as Father Flanagan’s Boys Home 88 years ago by Father Edward Flanagan. While the original Flanagan model of youth self-government is no longer in effect, says spokesman John Melingagio, Ramos is effectively the head of the student council. “She will truly represent our children,” he says. “When we have people come to visit, she is one of the first people they meet.” Contact: (402) 498-1300, www.girlsandboystown.org.

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The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector – the policy roundtable that aims to reform nonprofit accountability and governance – has a new co-convener. Pairing with M. Cass Wheeler, CEO of the American Heart Association, is Lorie Slutsky, president of The New York Community Trust. Slutsky replaces Paul Brest, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, who will remain on the panel as a general member. The panel is operated by Independent Sector. Contact: (202) 467-6134, www.independentsector.org.

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The National Youth Leadership Council and Youth Service America are leading the charge to get funding restored for Learn and Serve America, a U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service program that the Bush administration has slated for a 20 percent cut in its fiscal 2007 budget proposal. If the president’s plan to cut Learn and Serve is fulfilled, say NYLC and YSA leaders Jim Kielsmeier and Steve Culbertson, it would mean 300,000 fewer youth served by the program and $34 million less in leveraged funding. The program is appropriated at $43 million for fiscal 2006. Contact: YSA (202) 296-2992, www.ysa.org.

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Cydnee Dubrof is now regional director of talent and recruitment for Boston-based Bridgestar, a national consulting firm that provides recruiting and training assistance to nonprofits. (See “Does Business Talk Resonate for Youth Agencies?” April) Contact: (617) 572-2833, www.bridgestar.org.

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The Washington-based Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network promoted its chief development officer, Joseph Bond, to vice president. Bond previously served as business development manager for Goodwill Industries International in Bethesda, Md. Contact: (202) 729-8000, www.pointsoflight.org.

Foundations

Chantel Walker has left the Seattle-based Marguerite Casey Foundation (assets: $662 million) to become a consultant in Los Angeles. Walker joined Casey in February 2004 as director of programs, after running the Marin Community Foundation’s economic development program. Casey, headed by CEO Luz Vega-Marquis, has not announced a replacement for Walker. Contact: (206) 691-3134, www.caseygrants.org.

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Eugene Hillsman has been promoted to associate program officer at the Flint, Mich.-based Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (assets: $2.5 billion). Hillsman had been a program assistant for the foundation’s Pathways out of Poverty program since 2004. Last year, Mott awarded 549 grants totaling $123 million. Contact: (810) 238-5651, www.mott.org.

Feds

Grace Kilbane was tapped to be the new national director of Job Corps in late April by the U.S. Department of Labor’s assistant secretary for employment and training, Emily Stover DeRocco. She will oversee the program’s 120 job training centers around the country, which serve about 65,000 disadvantaged youth and young adults each year.

Kilbane is not a newcomer to the Labor Department. She was previously administrator for the Office of Workforce Investment, which houses the One-Stop Career Centers program. Contact: (866) 467-2365, www.doleta.gov.

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Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) may have to spin and dodge to survive in the cutthroat world of politics, but when it comes to family matters, she is quicker to acquiesce. After telling an audience at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in May that young people today “think work is a four-letter word,” she received a pointed call from her daughter, Chelsea.

“I said, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to convey the impression that you don’t work hard,’ ” Clinton told the crowd at Long Island University’s graduation ceremony.

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Child welfare officials and a sheriff’s deputy visited Britney Spears’ Malibu, Calif., home in early April after her 6-month-old son, Sean Preston, was taken to the hospital after he allegedly fell as his nanny was lifting him from his high chair. The Los Angeles County Department of Family Services determined there was no reason to open a formal investigation.

That marked Spears’ second brush with child welfare. Earlier this year, the pop star got a visit from a sheriff’s deputy at the behest of child welfare officials after photographs showed her driving a car with her son in her lap.

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Two youths are suspected of killing Curtis Jenkins, a youth mentor in the Charlotte, N.C. area. The 29-year-old Jenkins was found stabbed to death in his home last month. Harry James, 16, and Adrien Moren, 21, were picked up on a traffic violation in Jenkins’ car about 350 miles from the crime scene. Both youth were mentees of Jenkins, and James was temporarily living with him.

Passages

Albert Reiss, 83, a Yale professor of sociology for 23 years until his retirement in 1983. A level-headed expert on policing and juvenile justice, he was appointed in 1975 by President Ford to the since-abolished National Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Reiss coined the word “proactive” to describe a style of policing and crime prevention.