Larry Eason

Larry Eason helps causes harness online and mobile technology to achieve their goals.

Drawing on nearly 30 years experience in the non-profit sector, he works with organizational leaders to help expand their sense of what is possible online and to innovate and succeed. He’s passionate about the power of strategic networking to help organizations reach their goals, working with clients to increase their reach, access and influence through intentional networking. Since Linkedin represents a huge opportunity for many nonprofit organizations Eason is collaborating with LinkedIn’s nonprofit team and working with clients to build and leverage their Linkedin networks.  He frequently speaks on power mapping and strategic networking, strategic planning and mobile communications.

Eason serve on the Boards of Healthy Child Healthy World and the Innogive Foundation, and serve as an Ambassador for Children’s Hospital LA. As a Jesse M. Unruh Fellow, I work with students at USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics to help them understand political and policy challenges.

Juanita Irizarry

Juanita Irizarry is a bilingual/bicultural, Illinois-born Puerto Rican whose role in philanthropy builds upon 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, with an emphasis on housing and community development work in Chicago’s Latino community.  She has expertise in non-profit management and administration, direct service, public policy development, and community organizing.

Ms. Irizarry is Senior Program Officer in Human Services and Community Development at The Chicago Community Trust, the Chicago region’s community  foundation.  Her grant-making has focused on housing, homelessness, hunger, disabilities, Latino-serving early childhood education, and capacity-building for small non-profits. Her responsibilities include staffing the Trust’s Persons with Disabilities Fund and the Nuestro Futuro Fund and representing the Trust at the Hispanics in Philanthropy Funders Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities in Chicago. In June 2007,

Ms. Irizarry completed her Master of Public Administration (Methodological Area of Concentration: Leadership) at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she studied on a full-tuition scholarship as a Presidential Scholar/Public Service Fellow.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History/Political Science and Spanish from Greenville College and completed 60 hours of graduate study in urban planning and policy with concentrations in housing and community development as an Abraham Lincoln Fellow at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Nancy Jones

Nancy Jones is the Vice President for Development and Communications at The Miami Foundation. She leads the Foundation’s efforts to increase philanthropy in Miami along with the strategies to increase  levels of civic engagement; influence policy on issues of importance to the Foundation and communication strategy.

Nancy is a South Florida native, returning to her hometown six years ago after living in St. Louis, where she attended The University of Central Missouri,  Washington DC and Key West. She has more than ten years executive experience in the field and serves on several boards and committees for organizations including the Council on Foundations, National Urban Fellows and the Knight Foundation.

Nancy speaks frequently on trends in philanthropy, Miami’s civic health and best practices in foundation stewardship and communications.

David K. Mensah

David K. Mensah, M.Div, is currently a Leadership Consultant with National Urban Fellows, and the founder and principal of Wave Training and Consulting, and principal partner of DKBWAVE Training and Consulting providing leadership training and executive coaching to organizations committed to developing and enhancing employee leadership skills. He also serves as an Adjunct Faculty Member at The School of Public Affairs at Baruch College in Ne York City.

Mr. Mensah’s twenty-one year career has included working as an executive director, as well as an executive coach for new and seasoned boards and leadership staff. He has worked with organizations serving youth, families, people living with HIV/AIDS, homeless citizens & victims of crime & abuse. For over five years Mr. Mensah held the post of executive director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) the country’s oldest and largest child welfare organization dedicated to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Mr. Mensah led Hetrick-Martin during its historic six million dollar expansion phase partnering with the New York City Department of Education to found the Harvey Milk High School.

In his previous positions, David served seven years as the executive director of the Connecticut AIDS Residence Program providing housing and support services to homeless people with HIV/AIDS. David is a dynamic public speaker and master trainer and speaks at conferences and seminars on issues including “Breakthrough Action Leadership© in a Business Setting.

Brian K. Williams, Esq

Brian K. Williams Esq., serves as the Executive Director of the Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN).  The SCLN is one of the nation’s most prestigious leadership development programs.  SCLN’s signature programs, leadership LA, Leadership Southern California, California Connections and the New American Leaders provide leadership enhancement, network engagement and issue based learning experiences for the over 1,600 fellows who have participated in the programs.

Prior to joining the team at SCLN, Williams was most recently the principal owner of the Brian K. Williams Law Group, a firm specializing in civil and criminal litigation.  Williams still operates the firm.  With more than 21 years of legal experience, Williams has handled thousands of criminal and civil matters and has tried more than 100 cases.

Williams has appeared on or been interviewed numerous Los Angeles news outlets including CBS, NBC, KCAL, FOX, ABC, KTLA, USA Today, CNN, as well as other local, regional and national publications. Williams’ civic involvement includes serving as vice chairman of the Community Development Commission and holding memberships on the United Way Board of Directors,  The Boule’, State Bar of California, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the Langston Bar Association. Williams is a 2009 graduate of SCLN’s Leadership Southern California program and has participated on the national level with National Urban Fellows.

Brad Baldia

Brad Baldia, is currently the CEO & President of Upward Synergy. He works extensively with Asian community organizations on both local and national levels, including the Pan Asian Association of Greater Philadelphia and the National Association of Asian American Professionals.

Brad is past president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the NAAAP, was elected Executive Vice President in August, 2006 and National President & Chairman in August, 2008. On March, 2012, Brad was elected Vice-Chairman of the NAAAP National Board of Directors. Brad received his BA in English and Biology from Bucknell University and a Masters in Public Health from Temple University.

In 1995, Brad served as a White House Intern in the Office of Presidential Personnel.

Richard Brown

Richard A. Brown is a Vice President of Philanthropy at American Express where he oversees the company’s global giving programs under the Historic Preservation and Leadership giving themes, which includes the Partners in Preservation program with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the World Monument Fund’s Watch List, as well as the American Express Leadership Academy. Additionally, Mr. Brown was a key presenter of the first-ever White House Forum on Nonprofit Leadership and plays a lead role in the Initiative on Nonprofit Talent and Leadership.

Mr. Brown currently serves on the STRIVE Board of Directors; is a member of the Council of Foundation’s Corporate Committee, is a former board member of the Philanthropy New York, and the past president and current treasurer of the Foundation of the Westchester Clubmen. Mr. Brown is also a trustee of the Lincoln Fund — a Foundation that supports a wide-range of community-based programs in New York City. A graduate of Syracuse University,

Mr. Brown has an MS Degree in Organizational Change Management at The Milano Graduate School at New School University in New York.

Aaron Dorfman

Aaron Dorfman is Executive Director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. NCRP works to ensure America’s grantmakers are responsive to the needs of those with the least wealth, opportunity and power.

Before joining NCRP in 2007, Dorfman served for 15 years as a community organizer with two national organizing networks, spearheading grassroots campaigns to improve public education, expand public transportation for low-income residents and improve access to affordable housing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Carleton College (where he studied under the late Senator Paul Wellstone) and a master’s degree in philanthropic studies from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Dorfman frequently speaks and writes about the importance of diversity in philanthropy, the benefits of foundation funding for advocacy and community organizing, and the need for greater accountability and transparency in the philanthropic sector.

Zarina J. Durrani

Zarina J. Durrani is the Director of Diversity Initiatives at the Brookings Institution where she has worked since graduating from college.

Before taking up this position, she was in the Human Resources Office, holding positions ranging from Personnel Assistant to Director of Human Resources. As Director of HR, Ms. Durrani oversaw recruitment, benefits, wage and salary programs, employee relations, compliance, and special projects. Twice during her tenure in HR, she served as the interim Special Assistant to the President. In her current role, she is working to create the structures, processes, business practices and training which promote best practices in the field of diversity and inclusion.

Ms. Durrani attended Rutgers University where she received a B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) in history. Her time at Rutgers included a year at the University of Florence in Italy. She also holds an M.A. in Political Economy from the University of Maryland.

Her volunteer activities include two terms as a commissioner on the Montgomery County (Maryland) Commission on Human Rights and also serving as a member of the Montgomery County Community Action Board. In addition, she is a board member with the DC/MD/VA chapter of the ALS Association which serves the needs of those living with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Edward González-Novoa

Edward González-Novoa has spent the last 15 years developing leaders in education, youth development and community service. He holds an AB degree in Religion and certificate in Theater and Dance from Princeton University and Masters degrees in Divinity and Education from Harvard.

As an Echoing Green Fellow, he co-founded Jumpstart New York, now the premiere resource for early language and literacy in the Tri -State area. While at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, he managed a statewide training portfolio and launched an afterschool program serving a thousand LGBTQ adolescents and young adults each year. He provides continuing education courses to New York City teachers at Bank Street College of Education, where he serves as adjunct faculty in the Community Leadership Department.

González-Novoa currently acts as the Executive Director of Public Allies New York, one of the flagship sites of the Public Allies national leadership and capacity building program. He is a member of NUF’s America’s Leaders of Change, Class of 2013.

Wema Hoover

Wema Hoover is the Director of Diversity in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion for Aetna. She has responsibilities for developing enterprise business strategies focused on leveraging all aspects of diversity within Aetna workforce. In addition, Wema collaborates with internal partners to integrate D&I into standard management practices to foster a culture of inclusion, increase employee engagement and build a high performing workforce while driving Aetna’s Mission and strategy. In this role, Wema developed a more focused enterprise approach to diversity and inclusion where it is leveraged as a business enabler and embedded into Aetna’s organizational culture.

Wema previously worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb as the Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion Center of Excellence where she developed a global framework for driving D&I activities in each global market.

Wema is a graduate of Rutgers University and holds a Masters in Organizational Development from New School University. In addition Wema is a Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR), certified by HRCI and also sits on the National Association of Human Resources Professionals in Life Sciences in India. She has been a speaker and educator for the Conference Board, Society of Human Resources and for the National Black MBA association.

Rafael López

Rafael López is the Associate Director for Talent and Leadership Development at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States.

Prior to joining the Foundation, López served as the President and CEO of The Family League of Baltimore City, Inc. where he also served as a member of the Baltimore City Mayor’s Cabinet. López is a results driven leader with experience in the public and social sectors where he has served in numerous roles at the city, county and state level focused on improving the lives of children, youth and families.

From 2006-2009, López was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to serve as the Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Commission for Children, Youth and Their Families. López previously served as the Deputy Director of the City and County of San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families, as Senior Deputy for Health and Human Services for Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and as the Founding Executive Director of First 5 Santa Cruz County where he launched the countywide implementation of the California Children and Families First Act-Proposition 10.

Orlando Marin

Mr. Orlando Marín is currently employed with the Bluestone Organization, a private developer of affordable and market rate housing, located in Fresh Meadows New York.

Marín has worked in the housing arena for the last twenty years where he has garnished a stellar reputation. Marín has also worked for such prestigious Organizations as the Empire State Development Corporation, the NYC Housing Partnership, Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association and was the Special Assistant to the City Engineer of Phoenix, Arizona. Active in his community since his teens, Mr. Marín has played an instrumental role in the redevelopment of his immediate community. Today Mr. Marín continues to assist with the myriad of issues facing his Community as a member and Chairman of Bronx Community Board #2. He is an Architect with a background in Real Estate and Public Administra4on, won the American Institute of Architect’s Creative Design award for the development of the “Prototypical School” while employed with the nationally acclaimed office of Perkins & Will. As a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a graduate of New York University’s Con4nuing Education Program earning a Diploma in Real Estate with a concentration in Investment analysis. Mr. Marín adds to his creden4al the par4cipa4on and successful comple4on of the National Urban Rural Fellows Program, Class of 1991, administered in tandem with Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs where he obtained his Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Collaborative Network Presenters

James R. McGirt

James R. McGirt attended the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) where he received a B.S. in Elementary Education.

During his tenure at UDC, he became one of the youngest Education Specialist ever appointed to the District of Columbia Board of Education. Following this appointment, he served in a variety of capacities for both DC Public Schools and Friendship Charter Schools including: Lead & Master Teacher, Director of After-School Programs, Recruitment Specialist and Middle School & Adult Education Principal. Mr. McGirt continued his lifelong pursuit of learning by becoming a National Urban Fellow (NUF) as a member of the Class of 2005.

During this time, he worked as a fellow with the Kauffman Foundation & Kauffman Scholars, Inc. program in Kansas City, MO and went on to serve as Director of Mathematics Curriculum & Instruction, Site Manager & Princeton Review Partnership Liaison. He then founded the McGirt Group, a K-12 educational consulting company where he worked with both district and charter schools in Kansas City. Most recently, he relocated back to the nation’s capital where he now is Manager of Education Programs for Project Learning Tree and the American Forest Foundation where he oversees a multi-million dollar GreenSchools program which engages over 2,200 schools nationally.