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. Dr. Williams brings the expertise and innovative leadership that will empower BGCA to continue providing quality programming to help every Club member graduate with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship and living a healthy lifestyle.”


Areva Martin, the president and co-founder of Special Needs Network, received the Ford Freedom Unsung Award on June 19, at a ceremony held at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. 

The award, presented by the Ford Motor Company, recognized Martin’s work with children with disabilities and other special needs in South Los Angeles. 

The Special Needs Network, a nonprofit organization serving families with children that have developmental disabilities, is one of California’s largest autism advocacy groups, having worked with more than 30,000 families and children since 2005. 

Martin, a Harvard-educated attorney, is the mother of an autistic child herself. In addition to her work in the Special Needs Network, she is also a managing partner for the Los Angeles based firm Martin & Martin, LLP, specializing in legal subjects such as disability discrimination and special education.

“Anytime you are recognized for your hard work, it certainly feels good,” Martin stated in a press release. “But the award really should go to the families we serve. They are the true heroes. I will certainly dedicate this recognition to each and every one of them.”


Susan Fox Gillis, an Associate Judge in the County Division of the Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois, was named chair of the Hazelden Foundation Board of Trustees on June 6. 

Prior to being named chair at the Foundation’s yearly Board meeting, Fox served as a member of the Hazelden Board of Trustees since 2008. 

Hazelden, founded in 1949, is one of the nation’s largest addiction treatment nonprofits, with facilities in Florida, Illinois, Minnesota and New York. 

Gillis has been on the bench in Cook County’s Circuit Court since 1999, where she heard cases on issues as diverse as mental health commitment hearings and real estate taxes. She has also served as the president of numerous boards, including the National Association of Women Lawyers, the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and the Our Children in Courts Foundation. She is also a recipient of the Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services’ Golden Gavel Award. 

Mark G. Mishek, president and CEO of Halzelden, called Gillis a “brilliant visionary” in a recent press release. 

 “She has been a hard-working leader as a member of the Board, and she is strongly committed to our mission of helping restore hope, healing and health to people affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs,” he stated. “We are extremely fortunate to have Susan at the helm of our Board of Trustees.”


Janette F. Kolodge was named director of development for the Detroit Institute for Children (DIC) on June 5. 

As director of development, Kolodge will lead fund development and fundraising management duties for DIC. With more than a quarter century of nonprofit experience, Kolodge’s resume includes stints as Michigan state executive director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Michigan state executive director for the Women’s Heart Health/Sister Foundation and vice president of development and public relations for NewPassages. In 2011, she was appointed to the Michigan State Legislative Committee on Substance Abuse Treatment Courts, with a focus on both juvenile and veteran court development and victim support. 

Since 1920, the DIC has provided diagnostic, rehabilitative and medical care to children with special  neurological, physical or developmental needs in southeastern Michigan. 

“Her experience and knowledge will allow us to continue to grow, so we can enable even more children and young adults with special needs to maximize their potential,” stated DIC President and CEO Mark Cleary in a recent press release. “We are very excited to have Kolodge join our leadership team.”


David Bere has joined the Board of Directors of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

His appointment was effective July 1.

Upon his appointment to the Board, Bere, the chairman and CEO of Nonni Foods LLC, said,  “I look forward to working with such a talented team of leaders at the Foundation and their vision to end the growing crisis of illiteracy in America.”

The Barbara Bush Foundation has funded more than 1,200 family literacy programs in all 50 states. According to the Foundation, more than 33 million adults in the United States are unable to read or write.

“My mom started this foundation nearly 25 years ago with the support and leadership of like-minded individuals who understood the devastating impact illiteracy has on America and its families,” said Jeb Bush, co-chair, Barbara Bush Foundation. “I am grateful Dave will be part of our diverse and talented board as we seek innovative ways to help more parents improve their literacy levels, earn a GED and expand their job skills.”


Russell Triolo, chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County, N.J. has been appointed by the Boys & Girls Club of America to serve on its National Professional Advisory Council. 

The council, comprised of 23 professionals from around the country, gives direction and feedback in the process of determining the principle goals and operations of the national organization. Triolo has held his position in Union County for 34 years. During his tenure, the club expanded from serving about 2,000 children out of a single clubhouse to now serving over 7,000 children with several centers. 

He has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for his enduring services to youth. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America Professional Association selected him as the recipient of the prestigious Northeast Regional “Contribution to the Profession” Award in both 1997 and 2006, making him the only two-time recipient in history.  

In 2007, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America granted him the “National Service to Youth Award.” In addition, the Garden State Chapter of The Professional Association of Boys & Girls Clubs recognized him as their “Executive of the Year” in 2011. 


Big Brothers Big Sisters of America recently awarded William Hanna, retired President and COO of Koch Industries, with the 2013 Charles G. Berwind Lifetime Achievement Award. Hanna was presented with the award (the highest honor the organization grants for a volunteer leader) on June 26 at the 2013 Reunite Now National Conference in Denver, Colo. The award “recognizes outstanding volunteer leaders who have devoted substantial time and energy over the course of their lives to the cause of youth mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters.” Hanna first joined the organization after the tragic accidental death of a close colleague’s young daughter caused him to rethink his priorities and dedicate a large portion of his life to serving youth. After joining the Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors, he soon worked his way up to the position of Board Chair. In this position, he was instrumental in revolutionizing reporting structures and targeted fundraising efforts leading to a much more efficient and effective program. After retiring from Koch Industries in 2001, Hanna has been able to devote himself full-time to youth development and improving youth outcomes in underserved communities.  President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Charles Pierson exclaimed, “Bill Hanna has been a shining example of how just one person can make a BIG difference.” 


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments




Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top