Meet The Grantmaking School Instructors

Steve Alley
Caroline Altman Smith, M.A.
Lynn Alvarez, J.D.
Gale Berkowitz, Ph.D.
Hugh C. Burroughs, M.A.
Michael C. Cheney, C.P.A.
Breta C. Cooper, M.B.A.
Robert E. Eckardt, Ph.D.
Kenneth L. Gladish, Ph.D.
Winsome Hawkins, M.S.W.
Allison Lugo Knapp
Robert F. Long, Ph.D.
James E. McHale, M.M.
Ricardo A. Millett, Ph.D.
Rick Moyers, M.A.
Kathleen Odne, M.A.
Alvertha Penny, M.S.U.S.
Lance Potter, M.A.
Albert Ruesga, Ph.D.
Pamela Stevens, M.S.W.
Gwen I. Walden, M.A.
Gayle Williams, M.Ed.


Biographies

Steve Alley

Steve Alley is currently a consultant with Ekstrom & Associates, a firm that works with community foundations and other philanthropic organizations. Most recently, Alley was President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona for nine years leading that foundation to grow from $53 million to $90 million in assets, developing a new community-based grantmaking process and developing the Foundation’s leadership role in Tucson and the surrounding counties. Prior to that he was Director of the Community Foundations Institute of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Under his leadership new research in community foundation related areas was undertaken and resources for advancing the field were developed.

Steve also served as Vice President for External Relations at the Central Indiana Community Foundation (Indianapolis and vicinity). The Central Indiana Community Foundation, including the Indianapolis Foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation. Steve’s experience in the field also includes six years at a rural, startup community foundation. He was founding President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Howard County, Indiana.

A 1985 graduate of Ball State University with a degree in communications, Steve began a career in radio as a reporter, anchor, and news director. He then was asked to create and then maintain marketing and public relations services for a central Indiana school district; a position he held for four years.

Steve has played numerous national and regional leadership roles in the community foundation field. Among them:

  • Participant in Transatlantic Community Foundation Network,
  • Participant in U.S./Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership,
  • Member, Community Foundations Leadership Team (Formerly Committee on Community Foundations, Council on Foundations (1996-2008),
  • Chair, 2006 Council on Foundations Annual Community Foundation Conference in Boston,
  • Founding Chairman, Indiana Community Foundation Committee of the Indiana Donors Alliance (1995-1998),
  • Member, Indiana Community Foundation Committee of the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance (1995-2001),
  • Chair, Professional Development Action Team, Council on Foundations, and
  • Member, Council on Foundations Annual Community Foundation Conference in Chicago (1997).

Caroline Altman Smith, M.A.

Caroline Altman Smith is deputy director of The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. She supports the team’s domestic grantmaking, which funds higher education institutions and national nonprofit organizations that work to help more underserved students enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

Before joining Kresge in 2008, Caroline served for five years as a program officer at the Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis where she worked to create opportunities for low-income, minority and first-generation students to enter college and complete their undergraduate degrees.

A graduate of the University of Virginia, Caroline holds a master’s degree in philanthropic studies and a certificate in nonprofit management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. She is an instructor for The Grantmaking School at Grand Valley State University, previously chaired the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy National Board of Advisors, and currently serves on the boards of the Council of Michigan Foundations and Grantmakers for Education.


Lynn Alvarez, J.D.

Lynn Alvarez, J.D., draws on her expertise as a senior program officer and law professor to provide an intensive and comprehensive training program to officers and other program staff.

In her former role as senior program officer at The California Endowment, and more recent status as consultant, Lynn led the development of a new grantmaking program, the implementation of a customer satisfaction survey, and the refinement of grantmaking procedures. She contributed to programmatic and process improvements throughout the foundation. She managed a $30 million grant portfolio that encompassed two strategic initiatives: Native American health and a health grantmaking partnership involving 25 community  foundations. The development of these major initiatives involved convening key stakeholders, managing evaluation plans, disseminating findings, and developing funding criteria and objectives.

Lynn has a varied background in grantmaking, which includes working at the California Community Foundation and the Peninsula Community Foundation. As a program officer at those foundations, she worked extensively in the areas of child development, education, human services, affordable housing, and the arts. She managed several grantmaking programs and donor advised funds.

Lynn earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work as an attorney focused on immigrant and refugee issues. She was the legal director of a community based organization representing Central American refugees and also worked on impact litigation in the federal courts on behalf of immigrant children. As a professor at UCLA School of Law for three years, she taught immigration law and professional ethics. Fluent in three languages and conversant in two more, she brings a global perspective to the field of grantmaking.

Lynn was appointed in 2011 to the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Commission. She is also currently on the board of Los Angeles Education Partnership, an education reform organization focused on helping students in high-need schools improve their academic achievement. She has served on the boards of Para Los Ninos, Human Rights Watch and the Central American Refugee Center. She served as a member of The Grantmaking School Advisory Board.


Gale Berkowitz, Ph.D.

Gale Berkowitz has led the organization-wide evolutions of strategy, grantmaking, evaluation and learning systems among three major foundations in the US and Canada. She has led this work for organizations tackling some of the most critical social and environmental issues of our time including education and training for those in poverty, financial inclusion, reproductive health, and climate change.

Gale brings over eleven years of experience in leading the development of learning systems in philanthropic organizations.  Gale also has over 12 years as a practicing evaluator, having worked across of a variety of issue areas, levels, and geographies.

Previously Gale Berkowitz was the Director of Evaluation and Learning at The MasterCard Foundation (MCF) located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. There she led the Foundation’s evaluation and learning agenda, embedding evaluative learning in its culture from its early stages. Prior, Gale was Director of Evaluation at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and held a similar position at the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation before that.  In 2013, Gale started her own consulting practice focusing on foundation effectiveness and organizational learning.


Hugh C. Burroughs, M.A.

Hugh C. Burroughs, president of Independent Philanthropic Advisors, is an experienced and highly regarded veteran of the grantmaking world. His career includes senior staff positions at six national foundations, board service at a major community foundation, and directorships at eight national philanthropic infrastructure organizations.

Most recently, Hugh was president and CEO of The Berry Gordy Family Foundation in Los Angeles. Prior to that assignment, he served in leadership staff positions at the John Hay Whitney Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.  As senior program officer at the Hewlett Foundation, he designed the Foundation’s first Northern California grants program, and implemented that program in the fields of community economic development, youth employment, community foundation endowment and human services. As director of external affairs for the Packard Foundation, he managed Foundation relationships with government officials, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders, as well as the public at large, and supervised portions of its funding programs.

Among infrastructure organizations, Hugh has served on the Boards of the Council on Foundations, The Foundation Center, the Association of Black Foundation Executives, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Women in Philanthropy, Northern California Grantmakers, and CIVICUS. He delivered the Eighth Annual James A. Joseph Lecture: Changes in Philanthropy and The Role of Affinity Groups in 1999. He has also co-edited More Minorities in Health, and contributed to Perspectives on Collaborative Funding.

Hugh earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics and education from Columbia University in New York City, and completed the certificate program of The Nonprofit Management Institute at Harvard University.  He served as a member of The Grantmaking School Advisory Board.


Michael A. Cheney, C.P.A.

Mike has spent most of his career serving in the nonprofit sector including health and welfare, college, governmental, and foundation entities. As a seasoned financial manager and Certified Public Accountant, his body of work covers the areas of accounting, finance, audit, pension, actuary, investment, construction, and information technology systems.

Mike currently serves as Controller and Director of Finance at the Greater Cincinnati Health Council. Prior to this role he served as Chief Financial Officer at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community foundations, and Hebrew Union College, one of the nation’s oldest Jewish universities.

Mike has served on various professional committees including the Accounting Practices Committee in the foundation industry, which was instrumental in the writing and adoption of FASB 116 and 117 that impact nonprofit financial statement presentation. Mike started his career with Deloitte & Touche, LLP where he was a staff accountant in the firm’s auditing department.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Ohio State University  Mike serves on numerous nonprofit boards and lives in Cincinnati Ohio with his wife Amy, son Nate, and daughter Julianne.


Breta C. Cooper, M.B.A.

Breta Cooper is currently Executive Vice President of The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation and The Mayerson Foundation. She is also President of Golden Management Group, Inc., a consulting firm focused on project management and program development for grantmakers and nonprofit organizations.

Breta has worked in the nonprofit sector for over fifteen years and has been with the Mayerson Foundation for over twelve. Over the years, she has developed and managed numerous new programs and led the effort to develop and implement the Greater Cincinnati Common Grant Application. Currently, Breta oversees the Mayerson Foundation’s grant making activities including new program development, budgeting, grant making policies and procedures, and strategic planning. She also led the process to create a new operating foundation, The Mayerson Foundation which she also manages.

Breta is a founding board member of the Values in Action Institute, a nonprofit organization created to advance the science of positive psychology and serves on the boards of Give Back Cincinnati, Madeira Schools Foundation, and The Greater Cincinnati Arts & Education Center.

Breta received her Bachelor of Arts from DePauw University and her Masters in Business Administration from Xavier University. She was named to the Cincinnati Business Courier’s “40 Under 40” list in 2003. She is a Cincinnati native, is married and has two children.


Robert E. Eckardt, Ph.D.

Robert E. Eckardt is Executive Vice President at The Cleveland Foundation, America’s oldest and third largest community foundation. Working with the Foundation’s Board of Directors, he provides overall direction and supervision for grants totaling about $70 million annually. He also has responsibility for managing activities related to program evaluation. He directly supervises ten senior program staff and provides overall supervision and administrative leadership for a program staff of more than 20. He also serves as a corporate officer of the Foundation.

Dr. Eckardt graduated with honors from Grinnell College in Iowa. After graduation, he  spent two years as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow studying care of the elderly in Europe. He resided in Madrid and Copenhagen and worked with the Spanish Office of Social Security, The Danish Institute for Social Research, the European regional office of the World Health Organization, the Jonkoping Gerontology Center, and the Norwegian Gerontological Institute.

After his return to the U.S., he attended the University of Michigan for graduate studies. In 1977 he received both his Masters in Public Health (Health Planning and Administration) and a Certificate of Specialization in Aging. In 1984, he enrolled in the Pew Doctoral Program at the University of Michigan and received his Doctor of Public Health (Health Policy) degree in 1990.

He moved to Cleveland in 1977 as a planning associate at the Federation for Community Planning. In this capacity, he worked on improved methods to meet the long-term care needs of Clevelanders. He also directed a federally funded program of the Federation, the Benjamin Rose Institute and Case Western Reserve University to improve education in geriatrics and gerontology.

In 1982, Dr. Eckardt assumed the position of Program Officer with The Cleveland Foundation. He was promoted to Senior Program Officer in 1988 and in 1996 was given additional responsibility as Manager of Grant Evaluation. In 2000, he was promoted to Vice President, in 2006 to Senior Vice President, and in 2010 to Executive Vice President. Dr. Eckardt has served on the Boards of several national philanthropic groups, including Grantmakers in Health, Grantmakers in Aging, Funders Concerned About AIDS, and the Grantmakers Evaluation Network and has consulted with foundations throughout the country. He is an active member of several professional organizations and is an elected Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. He currently serves on the Board of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, the American Society on Aging and on the national advisory committee for the Center for Effective Philanthropy. He is the 2006 recipient of the Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy and the 2010 Distinguished Grantmaker Award from the Council on Foundations.


Kenneth L. Gladish, Ph.D.

Ken Gladish is President and CEO of Seton Foundations and Senior Philanthropic Advisor at the Seton Family of Hospitals. He is a Senior Teaching Fellow and has served as Director of The Grantmaking School at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. In addition, Ken maintains an appointment as Visiting Scholar at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy. Prior to acting as president and CEO of the Seton Foundations, Ken was president of the Austin Community Foundation.  With all these roles Ken has been a leader in philanthropic and charitable organizations for more than a quarter century.

Ken holds a bachelor’s degree from Hanover College (Ind.) and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. In addition, he has been awarded three honorary degrees. He has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels and in professional education courses at the University of Virginia, Butler University, Indiana University, and Springfield College. His primary fields of teaching have been politics, leadership, philanthropic and nonprofit studies, and organizational management.

In prior executive roles, Ken served as president and chief executive officer of three organizations spanning service at the local, state, and national levels. From 1983 through 2006, Ken has worked progressively as president for the Indiana Humanities Council, the Indianapolis/Central Indiana Community Foundation and the YMCA of the USA. In addition, he served as founding staff director for the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance the regional association serving the Hoosier state’s foundations.

As a volunteer, Ken has served as trustee, director and officer of a wide range of charitable and philanthropic organizations encompassing the cultural, educational, social service, foundation, and religious worlds. As a professional and volunteer he has led development efforts that have raised in excess of $500 million dollars.

Ken is especially interested in the themes of democracy and philanthropy, philanthropy and faith, leadership development, and the culture of diversity.


Winsome Hawkins, M.S.W.

Hawkins is well known in philanthropic circles. For many years, she served as the vice president for grant making programs and initiatives at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. In this capacity, she was responsible for the community foundation’s grant making as well as several community initiatives that focused on children and youth and revitalizing low and moderate income neighborhoods. In 2009, she served as interim executive director of CFLeads, a national organization that connects community foundations to their peers and other sources of knowledge and expertise as they take on crucial leadership roles to build thriving communities.

During her years in philanthropy, Winsome has held a number of leadership positions in the national philanthropic community, including Chair of the Neighborhood Small Grants Network, member of the Board of Directors of Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families, a founding board member of CFLeads’ predecessor organization and a member of the 2000 inaugural class of the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Fellowship Program for senior executives of community foundations. For several years she was actively engaged in supporting the expansion of organized philanthropy in the Caribbean. She also served on the WINGS Advisory Committee. Hawkins holds a Master of Social Work degree from Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


Allison Lugo Knapp

Allison Lugo Knapp brings over ten years of experience working in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector. She has worked nationally with a broad spectrum of foundations and organizations in the areas of training strategies and design, organizational and process development, and best practices for grantmaking models and operations.  Ms. Knapp was formerly the Program Director for Philanthropic Services at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at GVSU where she oversaw a nationally recognized professional development program for grantmakers, and worked with foundations nationally and internationally to provide consulting and customized grantmaker education. Prior to her role at the Johnson Center, she was a program officer at the Battle Creek Community Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan, where her work focused on arts and culture, youth, and neighborhood grantmaking. She has served on committees of the Council on Foundations, the national board of advisors of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) and is a founding member of the EPIP Michigan chapter.  Locally she is a member of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Advisory Council, and Community Action Grantmaking Committee. She also serves on the board of The Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, and The Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center.

Allison holds a bachelor of arts in international relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University and masters of public administration in urban and regional planning from Grand Valley State University. She resides in Grand Rapids with her husband Tobin and son Santiago, and currently works as an independent consultant with nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.


Robert F. Long, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert F. Long is Visiting Distinguished Professor of Nonprofit Leadership at Murray State University, in Murray, Ky. Bob’s commitments include teaching in the Youth and Nonprofit Leadership Program, service dedicated to growing civic engagement and philanthropy across the region, and scholarship focused on the relationship between youth development and community development and its impact on the capacity of young people to become contributing members of society.

Bob holds appointments with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University, and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Prior to joining Murray State University, Bob retired from a 16-year career with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where he served as vice president for programs. His portfolio included the areas of philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, civic engagement, and traditions of giving across age, gender and culture. The Foundation supports children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.

Before joining the Foundation in 1993, Bob served as the endowed McElroy Professor of Youth Leadership Studies at the University of Northern Iowa where he also directed the graduate program in Youth and Human Service Administration. Bob started his career as a community youth development specialist with the Cooperative Extension Service in Illinois and Nevada.

Born and raised in rural Illinois, Bob received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in educational leadership and evaluation from the University of Illinois. Bob has developed programs and published extensively in the areas of youth leadership, nonprofit leadership and management, and philanthropy. Bob was a member of the Carnegie Commission on Youth Development and Community Programs in the early 1990s, a member of the board (serving as chair for three years) for Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families, and one of the co-founders of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. He has a long track record of scholarship and publication, including two new textbooks in 2010. He co-authored, with Dr. Roger Weis, Leading and Managing Nonprofit Organizations, made available by Eddie Bowers Publishing, and authored Advanced Grant Portfolio Management published by The Grantmaking School at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Bob and his wife Patricia and his mother Dorothy live in Murray, Ky. Their daughter Chayo is the Director of Programs with HOPE in Tucson, Az., their son Paco lives and works in Murray, and the youngest son Beto is in his final semester at Central Michigan Universitypreparing for a career in secondary education.


James E. McHale, M.M.

Jim was vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich. In this role, he served on the executive team that provides overall direction, leadership and capacity building for the foundation. He also provided leadership in the development and implementation of domestic and international place-based programming.

Prior to the position of vice-president for program strategy, he served as chief of staff as well as senior vice president for programs and worked closely with the president and his direct reports to enhance the ongoing foundation programs and explore new strategic direction. He also provided leadership for Mission-Driven Investments, international programming, and program operations. In addition, he provides leadership for Michigan programming with primary responsibility for the overall Michigan strategy as well as providing secondary leadership for administrative operations in the Office of the President.

He was previously responsible for human and financial resources, as well as planning and reviewing all program areas. He also served as assistant vice president with responsibilities for programming in the Greater Battle Creek area.

Before joining the foundation in 1993, Jim was a community foundation program associate for the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) in Grand Haven. There, he was responsible for helping to implement a $35 million challenge grant to build and strengthen community foundations throughout Michigan. He also developed an annual statewide youth leadership conference and represented CMF on youth-related issues.

He has worked as a development manager and marketing specialist for Hackley Hospital in Muskegon, Mich., and as a development associate for St. Mary’s Health Service in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He currently serves on the board of Bronson Battle Creek Hospital and is trustee of the Council of Michigan Foundations.


Ricardo A. Millett, Ph.D.

Dr. Millett is currently the principal of his company Millett & Associates providing program evaluation and strategic planning consultant services to foundations and non-profits. His most former employment was as the president of the Woods Fund of Chicago where he spent five successful years developing and implementing a strategic grantmaking plan for the foundation that served it well in responding to the needs of Chicago least advantaged communities. He brings over 40 years of experience in program evaluation, community and public policy planning and research to his role as a consultant. He brings to his consultant practice a set of educational training and professional experiences that uniquely qualifies him as a leader with the experience and skills to help shape its grantmaking philosophy, strategies and realize its goals. During his tenure at the Woods Fund, his success in working with his staff to strengthen the community by improving opportunities for people in Chicago has been widely acknowledged and acclaimed. He is particularly proud of their accomplishments in working with grantees to shape programs and policies through strong community organizing and active participation of the least advantaged community residents. Building the capacity of non-profits and their community based constituents with well designed activities that include issue analysis, public policy development, advocacy, and citizen participation to improve functioning of the city and its neighborhood are areas where Dr. Millett has considerable experience and expertise.

Prior to the Woods Fund Dr. Millett was Director of Program Evaluation for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  Before joining the Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Millett served as senior vice president of planning and resource management for the United Way of Massachusetts Bayin Boston. He has also served as deputy associate commissioner of the Department of Social Services for Massachusetts, where he managed the Office of Planning and Evaluation. At ABT Associates, he was a senior analyst and worked on national research projects that helped to inform national policy in areas such as day care regulations and housing development in urban areas.


Rick Moyers, M.A.

Rick Moyers is Vice President for Programs and Communications at the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation in Washington, DC where he oversees all of the foundation’s grantmaking activities. Rick has served the Meyer Foundation since 2003 and is nationally recognized for his work in nonprofit capacity building including management assistance, nonprofit sector strengthening, and cash flow loan programs.

Rick has nearly two decades of experience in working to strengthen the management and leadership of nonprofit organizations and increase the voice and visibility of the nonprofit sector. Before joining Meyer, he spent four years as executive director of the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations, based in Columbus, and from 1992 to 1999 he held senior management positions at BoardSource, a national organization dedicated to strengthening nonprofit boards of directors. He is a frequent speaker and trainer on nonprofit management and leadership issues, and has written for The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Times. While at BoardSource, he co-authored A Snapshot of America’s Nonprofit Boards, the first national nonprofit governance survey, and while at Meyer was a co-author of Daring to Lead 2006, a national study of nonprofit executive directors. He is also the author of The Nonprofit Chief Executive’s Ten Basic Responsibilities, published by BoardSource in 2006.

A long-time Maryland resident, Rick holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia Union College in Takoma Park and a master’s degree from the University of Baltimore. He has served in a variety of volunteer roles for the Foundation Center, the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and the Montgomery County Community Foundation. He is a past board member of Imagination Stage, a family theater and arts education organization in Bethesda, and currently serves on the board of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. Rick is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Montgomery. In 2009, his work received national recognition when he was chosen as the co-recipient of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s inaugural Grantmaker in Capacity Building Award.


Kathleen Odne, M.A.

Kathleen Odne is the Executive Director of the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation in Walnut Creek, California. The Lesher Foundation provides grants to non-profits in Contra Costa County, California to improve K-12 education, enhance the visual and performing arts and in support of programs benefiting children and families.

Kathleen currently serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the National Center for Family Philanthropy and completed her term on the Board and Governance Committee of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers in June of 2013.  Kathleen is a founding member of the Funders Forum of Contra Costa, an affinity group of funders in the East Bay, and a member of the Advisory Council for the Foundation Center in San Francisco.  She has previously served on the boards of the Council on Foundations, the Association of Small Foundations (ASF) and Northern California Grantmakers. She is a past chair of the Committee on Family Philanthropy at the Council which developed the Stewardship Principles for Family Foundations.

In her community, she has served on the board of De La Salle High SchoolDiablo Regional Arts Association ,and the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce. She attended the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995 as a delegate.  A native of Chicago, she holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois and an M.A. in Philanthropic Studies from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.  She and her husband John have three sons and live in Walnut Creek.

Publications: http://www.smallfoundations.org/


Alvertha Penny, M.S.U.S.

Alvertha B. Penny is the Principal of Alvertha Penny and Associates. Through February 2014, she served as president and CEO of The Community Foundation of South Alabama.

Ms. Penny’s background includes more than 35 years of development, management and administration of community development and human services programs in the nonprofit and public sectors nationally and statewide. Previously, Ms. Penny worked as Senior Vice President of Programs at the California Community Foundation where she oversaw the planning, strategy development and distribution of a $20-million annual competitive grants budget, a $16-million program related investment portfolio and more than $3 million in special initiatives and supporting organization grant portfolios. Additionally, Ms. Penny was the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation President’s Senior Advisor on community development issues and the Family and Community Development Program Director. This included leading the Hewlett Foundation’s $30 million, comprehensive multiyear urban community revitalization demonstration effort. Prior positions also include serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Congress for Community Economic Development in Washington, D.C.; Program Officer for urban affairs at the San Francisco Foundation; and the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Planning and Community Services with the City of New Orleans.

Ms. Penny is a member of the Association of Black Foundation Executives and chairs its Governance Committee. She has served on various national, regional, statewide and local boards of directors including the National Community Development Institute, the Nonprofit Finance Fund, Southern California Grantmakers, Northern California Grantmakers, Alabama Giving, VOICES for Alabama’s Children, and the Mobile Area Education Foundation. She holds a Master of Science in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans.


Lance Potter, M.A.

Lance Potter is a measurement and evaluation consultant with more than 20 years’ experience turning data into knowledge for health, education, and social programs. He currently serves as Director of Evaluation for New Profit Inc.’s Social Innovation Fund and advises New Profit on evaluation for their other investment funds. He also works with a range of other clients on evaluation strategy, research design, and knowledge application.

Prior forming a consultancy, Lance was a Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led measurement and evaluation efforts in two units, U.S. Program Advocacy and U.S. Education.  He managed evaluations of a range of the Foundation’s efforts in education, communications, and policy.  Prior to Gates, he was Director of Health Communication Research at Westat, a social science research firm in the Washington D.C. area. There he led many evaluations of health promotion and disease prevention campaigns, including CDC’s VERB campaign. Before Westat, Lance was founding Director of Evaluation at the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal domestic community service agency. Lance built the Corporation’s outcome monitoring efforts, infused measurement into program management, contributed to agency strategic planning, and initiated dozens of studies of the national service programs. Early in his career Lance developed high-stakes education assessments and provided evaluation technical assistance.

Lance’s areas of program expertise include various areas of K-16 education, health communication and media campaigns, community service programs, service-learning, and youth/workforce programming. He has developed and conducted the full range of program research from qualitative research to random-assignment experiments.

Mr. Potter attended the University of Southern California (M.A., Linguistic Theory).  He resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two sons.

For website with full CV, see here.


Albert Ruesga, Ph.D.

Dr. Ruesga is currently the President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the community foundation serving the thirteen-parish region of metropolitan New Orleans. The Greater New Orleans Foundation is known for its leadership in the region after Hurricane Katrina and for its work in housing, community development, regionalism, and the environment.

He served for seven years as Vice President for Programs and Communications at the Meyer Foundation in Washington, D.C., one of the oldest and largest foundations in Greater Washington. Under his watch, the Foundation earned a national reputation for its work in communications and capacity building.

Dr. Ruesga was the founding director of New Ventures in Philanthropy, a national initiative that has helped generate more than $500 million in new philanthropic resources against an investment of $14 million.

His knowledge of the nonprofit community comes from many years of nonprofit management and fundraising consulting.

Dr. Ruesga serves on the board of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. He’s also a member of the steering committees for the Southern Social Justice Working Group, the Aspen Philanthropy Group, and the Working Group on Philanthropy for Peace and Social Justice Philanthropy. He served previously as board chair of Hispanics in Philanthropy, a transnational network of grantmakers committed to strengthening Latino communities across the Americas.

Dr. Ruesga earned his Ph.D. at MIT and taught ethics, aesthetics, and philosophy of the social sciences at Gettysburg College before entering the world of philanthropy.  He also served as a teaching fellow at Harvard University. An accomplished writer, his articles have appeared in Social Theory and Practice, The Journal of Popular Culture, and other publications. He was for many years a contributing writer to The Boston Book Review, and is the founding editor of the White Courtesy Telephone, a popular blog about nonprofits and philanthropy.


Pamela Stevens, M.S.W.

Pam Stevens has more than 14 years progressive experience as a national grantmaker in the youth development and education fields. Currently she is a nonprofit consultant focused on building healthy communities for families and youth. Her work largely supports her community of New Orleans where she works with national and local foundations and community-based groups to increase opportunities for New Orleans’ youth and works with national organizations on out-of-school time and education issues.

Pam was the former Executive Director of Philanthropic Programs at Time Warner Inc. in New York where she led the company’s giving to after school programs, youth media, and education. She also previously worked for the Wallace Foundation and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in New York.  Pam’s national board involvement has included Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families, the Partnership for Active Civic Engagement, and Corporate Voices for Working Families. Pam started her career as a social worker in Louisiana and Texas and has an M.S.W. from the University of Texas at Austin.


Gwen I. Walden, M.A.

Gwen Walden is a managing director in Arabella’s San Francisco office, where she leads the firm’s West Coast practice. In this capacity, she engages with a range of clients on strategy, evaluation, and impact investing work, implementing programs and projects and managing donor collaboratives. She has expertise in the arts, health, early childhood, and education, and works to meet the needs of a range of philanthropic organizations, from small family foundations to large institutional donors.

Gwen has over 25 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector. Her career encompasses major programmatic, management, and executive leadership roles and is marked both by her encyclopedic knowledge of the history and practice of philanthropy and her hands-on experience managing major foundation initiatives and functions. Gwen joined Arabella after managing her own firm, Walden Philanthropy Advisors, Inc. (WPA), for four years. Prior to that, she held executive leadership assignments at the The J. Paul Getty Trust and The California Endowment.

Gwen has received national recognition for her numerous articles on current issues in philanthropy. She has written for all of the major trade publications including Foundation News & Commentary, the Chronicle of PhilanthropyNonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly as well as in special editions of the annual State of Philanthropy and New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising.

Gwen has been an active member of the field of philanthropy for many years serving on numerous professional boards and committees. Currently, she is one of only two outside Directors of The Surdna Foundation, a five-generation family foundation founded by John E. Andrus with $750 million dollars in assets. She is especially proud of her efforts to increase the diversity of the profession. Gwen earned a bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University and a master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University.


Gayle Williams, M.Ed.

Gayle brings 30 years of leadership and management experience to her current practice as a philanthropy/nonprofit consultant and coach specializing in leadership development.  In addition to coaching leaders in transition, in 2014 she co-facilitated the Southeastern Council of Foundation’s Advanced Leadership Institute.  She currently serves as Interim Executive Director at Management Assistance Group, a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in movement and network leadership.

As Executive Director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation from 1993-2012, Gayle led the board and staff in two ten-year cycles of strategic learning and program development focused on equity and opportunity in the Southeastern U.S. She developed structures and processes for reflective practice and evaluation suitable for a medium-sized family foundation and authored regular reports on the Foundation’s learning and impact. She led experiments such as the Foundation’s current Network Officer role and its pioneering Organizational Development Program. Prior to the Babcock Foundation, Gayle was Program Director for Education at the Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis, where her portfolio focused on community-based initiatives for educational equity. Gayle’s experience in nonprofits before entering philanthropy concentrated on youth development.

Gayle served on the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations board until 2012 and is a past board chair of Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families. She has been a frequent presenter and session designer for the Southeastern Council of Foundations and the Council of Foundations, as well as a mentor to younger foundation and nonprofit leaders. She has served on several national and statewide nonprofit boards, including Management Assistance Group and the Center for Courage and Renewal.

A native of North Carolina, she holds a B.A. from Meredith College in Raleigh and a M.Ed. in guidance and counseling from NC State University. She and her husband live near Winston-Salem, N.C.