“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King Jr.

P.S. 314 works with a formidable team that includes project consultants, field experts and strategic advisors. Depending on the project, we call on the appropriate team members to support the needs of the client in a tailored approach. To build and manage projects, some team members have direct client contact where they’ll provide unique insights and advice. Others are behind the scenes building coalitions and strategies. The results are two-fold: A broader network for our clients, and a broader network for P.S. 314. We keep the operations team small and the network large to support and achieve the objectives of the project. The most vital piece is pairing the right team with the appropriate client. When this happens, goals are not only met, but they exceed expectations.

LEADERSHIP

Pi-Isis S. Ankhra | President and Founder

Nearly 20 years ago, Pi-Isis S. Ankhra decided she was going to be the go-to person for individuals and organizations who are intent on contributing to the good of society be it in the community or in an institution. She has successfully secured more than $150 million for a diverse range of community-based and major institutions specifically within the fields of the arts, education, social justice, and advocacy. Her sound, strategic thinking, clear vision, and attention to detail in every aspect of programming to team leadership, has proven to be a winning formula. A consummate game changer in her own right, she has turned a germ of an idea into a gem of a bigger, picture increasing revenue and investment for game-changing clients.

 

“I don’t think of myself just as a fundraiser, I’m also a matchmaker, bringing people and ideas together to create harmonious, fruitful relationships, always for the benefit of others.” – Pi-Isis S. Ankhra

PROJECT CONSULTANTS

Wendy Reynoso

Education | Philanthropy | Organizational Development


“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” – Maya Angelou

Bio
Wendy Reynoso has 20+ years experience in the non-profit & global educational field, specifically working with vulnerable children and families. She has a proven track record in non-profit management; leadership coaching; fundraising; strategic planning and program development. In addition, she has extensive experience in creating, facilitating and leading training sessions. As a consultant, she worked as lead educational facilitator for a teacher-training institute in Sierra Leone, Africa and as an executive coach for founders of two international NGOs (Dominican Republic, Jamaica) providing organizational strategy. Wendy is a founding board member of Storefront Academy Charter School-South Bronx and Summer Steps. She serves on the boards of Schools That Can, Yspaniola, L.O.V.E and she is Co-Chair of the New York City Childrens’ Cabinet Advisory Board.

Sonya Denyse

Strategic Planning + Partnerships


“Dreamers take a piece of the future and act as if it exists today — that takes courage.”

Bio
As the Creative Strategist of Dream Development, Sonya Denyse provides the “development” that dreamers need to design, fund and execute their dreams. She serves as a creative advisor to recognizable entertainers and social entrepreneurs. Core Competencies include: Business Development, Relationship Management, Fund Development, Strategic Planning, Sponsorship and Program Design/Development. More than fifteen years and counting, she has attracted resources and relationships critical to her clients’ success. Tactical in nature, her focus is on the tools to help them achieve goals, create sustainability and impact the lives of others from crowdfunding to sponsorship to making strategic introductions. She believes our dreams are the answer to someone else’s prayer, question or need. She helps clients to be the answer. Magna Cum Laude graduate of NYU, Certified in Digital Marketing and Business Modeling

Chantal Bernard

Institutional + Corporate Partnerships


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. ”
– Winston Churchill

Bio
Chantal is a senior executive with 10+ years of experience in fundraising, marketing, sponsorship and strategic planning. This dynamic leader has demonstrated results by targeting and cultivating institutional partnerships that align with organizational goals and values. Chantal has been successful in leading all aspects of $4 million annual budget by generating funds from both marketing and philanthropic areas of corporate sectors as well as foreign governments with an over 90% renewal rate for sponsor and partnership accounts.

Michon Lartigue

Individual Giving |
Organizational Development


“Trust the flow.”

Bio
Michon Lartigue is a writer, coach, and development and fundraising strategist. Her work revolves around a heart-felt desire to help individuals and organizations tap into their strengths, build strong relationships, and gain clarity in achieving goals. She has 20 years of experience working full-time for or with nonprofits, small companies, and individuals. She developed a wide range of exceptional skills that support her goal of providing strategic and effective services to her clients. Michon’s background as a writer provides a creative flair and approach, both to her fundraising, development, and communications work, but also in helping others with creative projects. This includes strategic positioning, securing resources for creative content, coaching through logistics of content development, and helping authors and filmmakers develop ancillary products or events to market their core creative projects. Michon is a certified life coach and also works on her own creative projects. She currently sits on the board of City Blossoms, an urban gardening organization that serves youth and children in Washington, DC.

Alisa Norris

Marketing | Social Media


“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Bio
With a background in Public Relations Consulting for the last 3 years, Alisa brings a refreshing take on marketing. From nonprofit to the beauty industry, her specialty in public relations strategy and branding has scored her national campaign recognition. Most recently, her passion for creating a legacy of impact-driven work took the front seat, which is where her partnership with P.S. 314 was born. Alisa is also the newest addition to Black Public Media. Formally the National Black Public Consortium, she holds the role of Development Associate where she will help in building the foundation for Corporate Outreach and Sponsorship on behalf of the organization. Alisa is a DMV native, growing up in Prince George’s County and is an alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University (B.S. Mass Communications).

Kirsten Magwood

Storytelling |
Media Development + PR


“Keep it in the Heights!” – Ben Vereen

Bio
With over 15 + years of experience in broadcast production and marketing, Kirsten is a Swiss Army knife serving as a sharp shooter, director, producer, writer and editor. A seasoned television producer, Kirsten Magwood created P.O.P. Media out of a growing demand for her production and marketing expertise in an assortment of visually-driven projects. Inspired by Kirsten’s creative flair, understanding of production and command of the power of media; artists, executives and moguls like Russell Simmons became some of P.O.P. Media’s first clientele. The dance between television and video marketing led to an array of colorful creations including the opening for Kanye West’s concert tour, on air promos for Viacom, as well as, branded web content for a host of corporate and creative entities. Creative flexibility allows her to lead skillfully and contribute in a variety of ways to ensure that the P.O.P. Media brand is distinct, entertaining, impactful. She graduated from Spelman College with a BA in History and studied at NYU’s award- winning Tisch film school. She learned the tricks of the trade as music video PA and interning for Hollywood heavyweights like Jonathan Demme. While pursuing a Music Business MA from NYU, her experience in film and music landed her a work- study opportunity at MTV Networks. In just 3 years, she became a senior producer crafting shows like “Weekend Vibe” and “The Source All Access”. Ms. Magwood is currently expanding into the documentary space to educate and entertain through honest, witty, pop culture expose and analysis.

Roxanna Allen

Graphic Design


“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.” – M.C. Escher.

Bio
Roxanna’s passion has always been to help others achieve their creative goals. She listens to your needs and provides effective art direction tailored to the vision you have for your brand. She brings years of experience designing and editing for print, developing digital content, building presentations, creating internal communications templates, designing products and merchandise, project management, designing for marketing, social media and my positive hard-working attitude to the forefront. She loves to push herself to produce the best possible work. Aside from her design skills, she has a huge love for music and writing and chooses to live life passionately, finding new and innovative ways of self-expression. She’s a native of Brooklyn, NY and an alum of Boston University’s College of Communications advertising program and the School of Visual Art’s MFA Computer Arts program.

Jahan Sharif

Media | Production


“…you do right not to avoid hell…You must do right, because it is right to do right.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Bio
Jahan Sharif is an LA-based television producer and writer who works to leverage the power of inclusive storytelling by operating at the intersection of creators, distributors, and financiers. He not only connects creatives to the resources they need to bring their projects to fruition but also makes sure they’re distributed in ways that ensure those stories reach the audiences that need to receive them.

Sheriden Booker

Fund Development |
Analysis + Design Thinking


“Be like the fountain that overflows, not like the cistern that merely contains.”
– Paulo Coelho

Bio
Dr. Sheriden M. Booker is an experienced cultural strategist and arts management consultant who leverages her training as a social scientist, exceptional global acumen, and 12+ years’ experience in development, media and philanthropy to help institutions and artists achieve lasting social and cultural impact, as well as operational sustainability. Booker began her career in film and television production at Walt Disney Studios as a Fellow of the Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minorities in Media. However, her time as an international student at the University of Matanzas in Cuba whet her interest in Africa and the African Diaspora, inspiring her to pursue a doctorate in Cultural Anthropology at Yale University. During her tenure at Yale, she conducted field research in Nigeria, Cuba and Brazil, and taught courses on Latin American Society & Culture. With the support of a Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowship, her dissertation thesis explored transformations in artistic production, the cultural public sphere and race in post-Special Period Cuba.

Yvonne Durant

Journalism | Advertising


“Writing is all I know, and all I want to do. But working with P.S. 314 has opened up a new world of writing with purpose and good will for others. I love it.”

Bio
Brooklyn born Yvonne Durant brings a vast amount of marketing and creative experience to the table. A graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology, Durant has worked in major advertising agencies including a multi-national in Milan, Italy where she was a Copy Supervisor, she is fluent in Italian. In addition to ad copy, Durant has written numerous articles and essays for publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Departures and many other publications. Her essays appear in three anthologies. Durant has written on all platforms from print to television to digital.

Victoria Manley

Fund Development |
Strategic Partnerships


“There’s no limit to what can be accomplished if you don’t worry about who gets the credit.” – Maybe Harry S. Truman

Bio
Victoria Manley balances a passion for mission with a commitment to working strategically and effectively. She began her career in Atlanta, spending seven years with the fundraising consultancy Coxe Curry & Associates. She managed and directed a variety of funding initiatives including annual, capital, comprehensive, and endowment campaigns and conducted numerous feasibility studies and development assessments. For ten years she worked in New York City as a development officer for organizations including CARE USA, where she raised money for projects in Afghanistan, India, and Nicaragua as well as for The Episcopal Church’s education and sustainable agriculture ministries in Haiti. Currently, she provides strategic fundraising counsel to nonprofits in New York City and Washington DC.

Jon Johnnidis

Storytelling | Media Development Production + Distribution


“We bring your stories to life.”

Bio
We are storytellers. From short format, digital projects to feature length documentaries, Axios Productions partners with networks, agencies, brands, and corporations to create compelling original content for cross-platform distribution from development to delivery. We effectively eliminate the high costs associated with production through our internal team’s hands-on approach and our extensive network of well-seasoned industry professionals selected per-project needs.

Taylor Shaw

Animation


“Black Girl Animators Collective is providing black women a space to exercise their right to control our narratives and take space where we deserve it!”

Bio
Taylor K. Shaw, Founder and CEO of The Black Girl Animators Collective (BGAC) is an innovative creator, producer, writer, and on camera personality whose vision is changing the media landscape. She’s the founder of the world’s first and only Black Girl Animators Collective. The Black Girl Animators Collective is designed to change the quality and scope of animation by giving black women their rightful place in the industry, especially when it comes to controlling their narratives. We are driven by a culture of Self-Determination, Honor, Innovation, Social Responsibility and Passion.

Beverlie Lord

Photography


“Capturing one’s natural essence while celebrating life’s events”

Bio
Our strong commitment to client satisfaction is showcased by the perfect photograph that captures the personality of the subject and the loving relationship between themselves and their environment. With a gentle approach in an unhurried environment, your memories will be preserved in a beautiful piece of photographic art.


Yolanda F. Johnson

Campaigns | Special Events |
Major Gifts | Individual Giving


“Every day we live is another chance to get things right; another chance to shine our light.”

Bio
Yolanda F. Johnson has successfully raised millions of dollars for non-profit organizations, having launched several new fundraising and marketing initiatives; created special streams of earned income and special events, including creative strategies for partnerships and sponsorships; secured foundation, corporation and government funding and cultivated a diverse major gifts portfolio. A trailblazing figure on the NYC fundraising landscape, Yolanda recently became the first African-American President Elect in the history of Women in Development, NY, one of the NY Metro Area’s premier professional fundraising organizations. She has appeared as a panelist at Fundraising Day in New York, the Women’s Alliance National Conference and the New York Center for Non-Profit Success. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lehman College Art Gallery, the International Advisory Board of the Foundation for Post Conflict Development and was a previous board member of the Friends of Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site. Yolanda’s extensive background as a successful performing artist and public speaker (www.yolandafjohnson.com) has given her a unique, creative perspective on the communications and presentation aspects of organizational and fundraising development. Her specialty areas include securing funds for religious institutions, fine and performing arts organizations, organizations who support those with disabilities and youth development organizations.

Susan John

Storytelling


“You are your own best thing.”
– Toni Morrison

Bio
Susan John works with words, helping others distill their ideas and refine their voices. Her speciality is the intersection of ideals and language. Collaborators include artists and new enterprises defining their vision; established organizations re-articulating their mission, history, and new endeavors; and social justice collectives crafting manifestos. Her focus is writing, editing, and coaching, and she works with clients on a wide range of output including their speeches, presentations, identity & values statements, proposals, and manuscripts, as well as content for articles, films, and podcasts. She can converse in four languages and dance in two. She is trained in conflict resolution/mediation and has received fellowships for writing and non-violent activism. She has 15 years of non-profit arts experience including the management of performance and educational residencies in the US and abroad.
Marquis Smalls

Storytelling


“Good, Better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better, and your better is best”

Bio
Marquis Smalls is an educator, consultant, leader, strategist, championship coach, and award-winning writer-director-producer from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School and The Pennsylvania State University, Marquis has dedicated his life to helping others, both youths and adults, achieve their goals and find success. As a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship recipient for screenwriting and a filmmaker that has had his work featured on popular Networks HBO and STARZ, Mr. Smalls consistently strives to create great work and be a part of winning teams. A leader by example and his words, Marquis is a great listener, problem-solver and positive thought leader who brings over 20 years’ experience with him as he creatively strives to make America and the world a better place.

Sean A. Watkins

Storytelling | Social Justice


“Telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act.”
– Janet Mock

Bio
Sean A. Watkins (he/him/they) is a communications consultant, master storyteller, writer, and owner of Watkins Agency of Joy LLC. With almost a decade of experience across the nonprofit and social justice movement worlds, he is a dedicated believer in a better world and leads with wholistic instincts, matched with a keen eye and ear. As a consultant, he implements holistic strategies to help organizations and groups bring their visions to life and engage audiences online. As a facilitator and public speaker, he taps into the energy of any audience connecting story and purpose to inspire action for all involved.
After first finding his voice as a high school foreign exchange student in Brazil, he joined the workforce as a millennial content creator and social media specialist. The former Campaign Manager for The Solutions Project, a clean energy nonprofit and media campaign co-founded by actor Mark Ruffalo, he has worked with leaders as well as organizations and companies of all sizes to support them harnessing the power of story and social media to establish their digital footprints.
Sean has been featured on Fusion TV and was recognized by Grist in 2017 as one of “50 innovators with fresh, forward-thinking solutions to some of humanity’s biggest challenges.” He’s been featured in Interview magazine as one of the “New Activists” of 2016 and was named one of “100 Black LGBTQ/SGL Emerging Leaders to Watch” by the National Black Justice Coalition in 2014.
Mark Billings

Fundraising


Bio
Mark Billings is an independent, nonprofit consultant whose broad range of philanthropic expertise has served many organizations that are making a difference. He brings more than 15 years of experience in campaign management and fundraising consulting to his work at the collective. Mr. Billings has provided fundraising counsel to educational, social service and religious institutions throughout the United States, and he has assisted in securing over $200 million for organizations he has served. His expertise is in the areas of major gift development, solicitation strategies, prospect research, and data analysis. Mr. Billings is of Cuban descent and is a graduate of the University of San Francisco.

Michelle Interiano

Storytelling


“Dream big, work hard, stay humble.” -Brad Meltzer

Bio
Michelle E. Interiano is a Puerto Rican graphic designer and owner of Ideas Blossom & Associates with 20+ years of experience in print and digital marketing media. She is a graduate of George Mason University with a B.A. in Art and Visual Technology plus a minor in Art History. Her past experiences have taken her from national publications such as LatinaStyle Magazine to civil rights campaigns with Jobs with Justice. She is passionate of her work and is a strong believer of giving back to her community by continuing to provide graphic design support to a variety of small to large local and national organizations.

Joanna Elliott

Storytelling


Bio
For more than 25 years, Joanna Elliott has served as a leader in fundraising, development, and nonprofit management with a wide range of experience managing multi-million dollar capital campaigns. Ms. Elliott’s expertise includes board training, development and expansion, working with high net worth individuals, strategic planning, designing annual and major gift programs, and developing and implementing marketing/communications materials to increase constituency. Experienced in many areas of the development world, she has substantially increased revenue for renowned arts organizations, educational institutions, museums, social service groups, and helped healthcare establishments achieve unprecedented fundraising success.

Emily Adeyanju

Storytelling


Bio
Emily Adeyanju is a freelance writer and editor, who most recently served the executive team of the New York State Insurance Fund. Her previous positions involve executive writing, communications oversight, website content development, content marketing, video scripting, speech writing and presentation design. In each role, her goal is to ensure accuracy in the delivery of strategic messaging. Ms. Adeyanju possesses a Master of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute. Her poem “The Undertaker” was published as part of a poetry anthology. She is currently working on her memoir, “Wusasa’s Daughter,” which examines the complexity of the father-daughter relationship across cultures.

Ezra Ezzard

Media Acquisition |
Sales + Distribution


“Creativity is the foundation of the world. Our existence only persists as a result of creative power. As the arts and entertainment landscapes shift, I’d like to ensure that creatives across all platforms can monetize their work, with integrity and authenticity.” – Ezra Ezzard

Bio
Ezra Ezzard is a multiplatform performing arts, entertainment and media expert with over 20 years of experience. He is a graduate of Fordham University and The Ailey School with credits that include stage and television appearances. He has worked in a variety of capacities for top arts and entertainment companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, MSG Entertainment, Harlem School of the Arts and Black Public Media. Most recently, his work at BBC Worldwide has included the acquisition of Academy Nominee Hubert Sauper’s New York Times Critic Pick documentary, WE COME AS FRIENDS and the National Theatre’s cinematic verbatim- style musical, LONDON ROAD with Academy Award winner Tom Hardy and Emmy Winner Olivia Colman. He continues to merge his arts passion with business acumen to provide solutions that amplify artist and expands the business of creativity. He is the founder of Artification LLC, Associate Board member at Harlem School of the Arts and member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Sarah Benvenuti

Philanthropy


Bio
Sarah Benvenuti is the founder of Benvenuti Arts, a virtual firm that works with fundraising and grant writing for nonprofits and independent arts. Prior to establishing the firm, Ms. Benvenuti attained her graduate degree in Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University and acted as director of Future Tenant, an interdisciplinary art space in Pittsburgh. The experience of working on the ground with small arts groups and independent artists resonated well with her. Following her 10-year tenure as a director of development and a managing director, Ms. Benvenuti sought to broaden her impact. She founded Benvenuti Arts in 2014 with the goal of helping “small and mighty” organizations build the operational support needed to create and produce their work. Since then, the Benvenuti Arts team has worked with over 80 small arts organizations and individual artists, assisting them with fundraising, financial, administrative, planning, and interim needs. Though based in Pittsburgh and New York City, Ms. Benvenuti considers herself a digital nomad who works with artists around the world.

FIELD EXPERTS

Simran Noor

Philanthropy | Social Justice


“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” – Arundhati Roy

Bio
Simran Noor is an independent consultant focused on strategy development, institutional change/organizational development and movement building with a focus on developing processes and setting clear outcomes to achieve racial equity. She brings over ten years of experience working directly with impacted communities, developing policy and strategy, leading organizational change processes and serving as staff within the philanthropic sector. She is also currently a Senior Fellow at the new Race Forward a union of two leading racial justice non-profit organizations: Race Forward and Center for Social Inclusion (CSI). Previously, Simran served as CSI’s Vice President of Policy & Programs and held both the Director of Policy & Strategy and Coordinator of Advocacy positions prior to becoming Vice President at CSI where she spent 5 years. Prior to joining CSI, Simran served as Program Manager at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Program Assistant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, as frontline staff and Executive Director for the Holistic Life Foundation and as a language arts and community engagement teacher for middle school students through the Middle Grades Partnership.

Sharon Combs

Strategic Planning |
Executive Coaching


“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

Bio
Sharon Combs, Principal of Sharon M. Combs Executive Coaching, enjoys working alongside executives and managers who seek customized solutions and new ideas in order to excel in their careers and personal lives. She provides leaders with one-on- one, goal oriented coaching to find a new, exciting job; or improve their performance at their current job, or gain more confidence so their best self shows up at the workplace or with family and friends. Partnering with her clients, she combines their intuition with a practical approach to create the change they desire. Sharon has more than 30 years of senior management experience with nonprofit arts, cultural, educational, philanthropic, and community development financial institutions nationwide, and has successfully executed multi-million dollar national initiatives in partnership with major foundations such as Ford, Doris Duke Charitable, and Goldman Sachs. She is a member of the Association of Nonprofit Specialists Board of Directors, Nonprofit Resource Group, and an affiliate member of the Institute of Coaching Professional Association at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School affiliate. You can learn more about her background and services at

Rachel Watanabe-Batton

Media Development |
Strategic Partnerships


“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” ― Angela Y. Davis

Bio
Rachel Watanabe-Batton is a Producer, Creative Consultant, Independent Media Strategist and President of Contradiction & Struggle, an American production company dedicated to telling inclusive stories about history and culture by visionary women and men, and connecting film, television and commercial content with social causes and global audiences. Watanabe-Batton serves on the Boards of Directors of the Producers Guild of America (PGA), New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) and Women Independent Producers (WIP), and received the MADE IN NY Award from Mayor Bill DeBlasio and The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment for her ongoing advocacy as Chair of PGA Diversity and a founding Co-Chair of PGA Women’s Impact Network.

Tammy Dowley-Blackman

Philanthropy | Strategic Planning | Institutional Development


In the words of Madame C.J. Walker “perseverance is my motto.” I believe in being a true collaborator and working diligently on behalf of my team and my clients.

Bio
Tammy Dowley-Blackman, a graduate of Oberlin College and Harvard Graduate School of Education is an author, entrepreneur, leadership expert, nonprofit executive, philanthropic leader and professor. Ms. Dowley-Blackman is the Founder and Principal of tdb group, a consulting firm specializing in organizational and infrastructure development for the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. In addition, she is the Founder and CEO of Looking Forward Lab, LLC, which partners with corporations, educational systems and philanthropic institutions and nonprofit agencies to provide leadership development consulting and training. Tammy is the former Executive Director of two nationally-affiliated nonprofits, and most recently, she served as the Vice President of CFLeads and as the Director of the Diversity Fellowship at the Proteus Fund. The client list includes: ArtPlno ace America, Associated Grant Makers, Barr Foundation, Bartol Foundation, Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy, among others. To date, Tammy has given over 150 presentation and workshop trainings on topics such varied as: Arts Management, Board Development (Recruitment and Retention), Career and Professional Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Educational Issues, Fundraising and Grant Writing and Leadership and Philanthropic Trends. She has also served as a professor and Senior Fellow of Nonprofit Management at the Boston University School of Management, Cambridge College and Lesley University.

Darlene Currie

Philanthropy | Social Ventures | Global Social Impact


“Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it…” – James A. Baldwin

Bio
Darlene brings over 20 years of experience working toward equity and positive social change in public, private, corporate and venture philanthropy—catalyzed by entrepreneurial leadership as Founder of the Global Social Impact Fund; Co-Founder of Kota Global Social Ventures, LLC; and as principal of currie + associates, a bespoke philanthropic advisory practice. Darlene founded the Global Social Impact Fund to support start-up, hybrid social enterprises; and she designed, launched and led Kota Global Social Ventures, LLC, sister entity of Kota Global Securities Inc. (a women/minority-owned boutique investment bank/broker-dealer), including its innovation portfolio to support nonprofit/for-benefit organizations and pro bono collaborations. As Senior Philanthropic Advisor at Tides Foundation, she built a cross-sectoral mix of institutional, individual and family foundation clients and led a team managing their domestic/global grantmaking, pooled and mission-related/impact investments. Prior to Tides, Darlene developed and launched Youth & Education Philanthropic Programs at Time Warner Inc.’s Office of Corporate Responsibility to leverage technology, media and creative capital in support of college access, preparation, persistence and youth opportunity programs. As the Director of Research & Education Policy at The After-School Corporation, an operating foundation seeded by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), Darlene’s grantmaking included managing the independent research/impact evaluation and advancing policy, public/private partnerships, promising practices, and sustainable funding. Early in her career, Darlene designed, developed and taught interdisciplinary high school college preparation courses in the Humanities, English, History and Law—mentoring youth from high school to college to career. She holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an A.B. from the Honors Degree Program in English and American Literature at Brown University.

Shirley Jenks

Philanthropy |
Women in Development


“Excellence is never an accident. It is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.” (anonymous)

Bio
Shirley Ferguson Jenks has decades of experience as a fundraising and nonprofit management professional. She has been a chief development officer in several organizations: the New York Landmarks Conservancy, Cultural Council Foundation, American Craft Museum, and the American Academy in Rome. Shirley has provided fundraising and management counsel to nonprofit organizations for 25 years: first with Goodale Associates; then from 1995-2017, as the President of the Jenks Group; and, as of 2018, as President of The Development Consulting Group. The Development Consulting Group works with nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to design and manage fund development campaigns and charitable initiatives; to create and assist in implementing strategic plans and programs; and to conduct executive search for leadership, fundraising and curatorial positions. Shirley is a graduate of Manhattanville College (B.A. with honors in Political Science) and her M.A. is in Medieval Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. She currently serves on the boards of the American Foundation for the Courtauld Institute of Art; New York Preservation Archive Project; and Women in Development New York, and is a member of the Trusted Advisors Group

Julie Pierce Williams

Racial Equity |
Workforce Management |
Leadership Development


Bio

Julie Pierce Williams is Principal of Kirtan Solutions, a consulting firm committed to building high-performing, high-impact organizations that work to improve opportunities for others. Julie takes on large-scale engagement, leadership development, workforce management, racial equity, community change processes, and business initiatives that create change and drive impact. She is a lead member of the Design Team for the WK Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative, a national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, addressing the historic and contemporary effects of racism. Julie served as an appointee in the Obama Administration where she was the architect of “Every Kid in a Park” – President Obama’s effort to get more children outside and on to public lands. With over 30 years of experience, she is a gifted organizational and community change catalyst and an expert on urban, environmental, and racial equity issues. She holds an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York and a B.A. from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Andrea Sholler

Program Development |
Board and Employee Recruitment and Retention |
Donor Cultivation |
Community Engagement


Bio
Over the last ten years Andrea has served in an executive level capacity at, Jacob’s Pillow Dance, The Tow Foundation and Dance Theater Workshop. She has also served as a consultant to the Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation and is a Trustee of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Andrea has served on several non-profit boards and funding panels. While at the Tow Foundation she was a founding Co-chair of the Non-Family Senior Staff Peer Network for the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Andrea is deeply involved in issues affecting the residents of Berkshire County. Since 2016 she has been an integral member of a collaborative effort to bring equity to arts education throughout Berkshire County. Andrea recently agreed to chair the Legislative Action Committee of the Berkshire County League of Women Voters and is deeply involved in a number of local organizations that focus on social and economic justice. In recognition of her work to support residencies for performing artists, Andrea was elected to the Advisory Council for Chesterwood, the historic home of Daniel Chester French. While living in the New York metropolitan area, she played a leadership role in the mentorship program at Barnard College and has a long history of mentoring the interns and staff that she supervises. Andrea cherishes the relationships she has developed with colleagues with whom she has had the opportunity to collaborate on a wide range of issues. Andrea Caryn Sholler has a B.A. in American Studies from Barnard College of Columbia University.

David Howse

Strategy | Arts + Social Integration


Bio
David C. Howse is a recognized speaker and commentator on the arts and social integration, and for over a decade has been a leader in the nonprofit arts and culture sector. In his role as Associate Vice President of the Office of the Arts at Emerson College and Executive Director of ArtsEmerson, Howse is fiscally and administratively responsible for multiple cultural venues in Downtown Boston. Howse previously served as the Executive Director of the award-winning Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC), an organization that brings youth from the ages of 7 to 18 from the Greater Boston area to create harmony both musically and socially through a shared love of music. The singers’ powerful voices and rich diversity have inspired audiences in Boston and throughout the world. As a founding staff member, Howse was instrumental in helping grow BCC from a pilot project serving 20 kids in 2003 to a vibrant organization educating over 500 singers in 12 choirs in 5 locations. Howse holds degrees from Bradley University and New England Conservatory of Music and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Next Generation Executive Leadership Program. He remains active with the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, a consortium of 100 of the world’s top cultural leaders, which addresses the critical issues that face the arts and cultural sector world-wide.

Sheila Strain Clarke

Philanthropy |
Human Services


Bio
Sheila Strain Clark is a human services leader with deep expertise in the areas of child welfare, juvenile justice, and youth homelessness. With over 20 years of progressive leadership experience in both the non-profit and government sectors, Sheila has served as a fundraiser, chief program strategist, grant manager, and funder. She has successfully led multi-million dollar fundraising efforts and supervised large federal, state, and private grants providing critical social services to thousands of youth and families. Sheila has held various executive and senior leadership positions in the Washington, DC region including with Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Equal Justice Works, United Planning Organization, and the Northwest Church Family Network. Her work in juvenile justice reform at the DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services included launching a nationally awarded best practice program for court-involved youth. Her knowledge and diverse experiences in government, non-profit, and grassroots efforts allows her to help organizations craft innovative approaches to social change. Sheila has also served as a fundraising and programming consultant with the United Way of the National Capitol Area, Progressive Life Center, and the District of Columbia government, identifying best practices, creating strategic collaborations, and evaluating requests for funding.

Benjamin Roman

Website Development |
Communications |
Marketing


“A ship in harbor is safe. But that’s not what ships are for.” – Anonymous

Bio
Ben Roman is the Creative Director at Float Communications, providing website design, social media, online marketing, and content development services. Ben works with a wide range of clients including nonprofit organizations and small businesses, identifying and developing the most effective tools to deliver their messages. He holds a BA from Emory University.

Brian Evans

Executive Coaching |
Leadership Coaching


“From my very first day… I’ve felt the only mission worth pursuing in business is to make people’s lives better.” – Sir Richard Branson

Bio
Brian Evans is the Principal of Brian Evans Coaching, a solution-centered coaching practice. An Executive and Leadership Coach since 2004, Brian has advised dozens of executives, board members, high-performing employees, and business owners across diverse industries. Over his nearly 30-year career, Brian Evans has worked with many of the world’s most respected brands. From early successes leading consulting teams at Boeing, General Motors and Rockwell, to standout sales and training careers at Merck and Franklin Covey, to most recently advising and raising capital for UCLA and RAND Corporation, Brian works individually with each client to identify and eliminate internal and external obstacles to their success. As a result, clients experience greater clarity of vision, increased strategic decision-making capability, enhanced personal and organizational effectiveness, and higher profitability. You can learn more about Brian’s background and services here:

Bonnie Osinski

Fundraising Planning + Management |
Organizational Development |
Marketing + Public Relations


“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” – Emerson

Bio
Bonnie brings forty years of experience in fundraising, mainly as a chief development officer, consultant, and teacher, for nonprofit organizations –both large and small; local, national and international. Her experience encompasses all aspects of fundraising practice. With an M.P.A. from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Bonnie is skilled at integrating theory and practice in the nonprofit world. Bonnie is a resourceful and results-oriented fund development executive with significant experience working for diverse nonprofit organizations. Her expertise includes fundraising planning and management, general and major gift solicitation, developing successful foundation, corporate and government grant proposals, special events, staff supervision, and management of marketing and public relations.

Michelle Materre

Media


“…when you try to stand up and look at the world in the face like you had the right to be here, you have attacked the entire power structure of the Western World…” – James Baldwin

Bio
In addition to holding a position as Associate Professor of Media Studies and Film at The New School where she has been teaching since 2001, Ms. Materre is currently the Director of the Bachelor’s Program for Adults and Transfer Students. Materre’s professional background spans more than thirty years’ experience as film producer, writer, lecturer, arts administrator, distribution/marketing specialist, film programmer, media consultant, Caribbean film scholar, and college professor. In 1992, Ms. Materre co-founded one of the first African American owned film distribution companies, KJM3 Entertainment Group, which directly managed the marketing, positioning and distribution of over twenty-three films by filmmakers of African descent including Daughters of the Dust, the highly acclaimed film by Julie Dash, as well as L’Homme Sur Les Quais (The Man By the Shore) by Raoul Peck. Her critically acclaimed film series, Creatively Speaking, featuring work by and about women and people of color, is now in its 23rd year. In February 2015, Creatively Speaking co-presented the unprecedented film series “Tell It Like it Is: Black Independents in NYC 1968-1986”, with The Film Society of Lincoln Center which was awarded the Film Heritage Award by the National Society of Film Critics. A second series presented in February 2017 at BAMcinematek, “One Way or Another: Black Women Filmmakers 1970 – 1991”, was acknowledged by Richard Brody, of The New Yorker magazine, as “The Best Repertory Series of 2017” as well as awarded the “Film Heritage” Award of 2017 by the National Society of Film Critics. Ms. Materre is a current member of the Board of Directors of Women Make Movies and a former member of the Board of Directors of New York Women in Film and Television.

STRATEGIC ADVISORS

Mikki Shepard

Bio
Mikki Shepard is currently an independent consultant advising foundations on new program initiatives and writing on her work in the arts field. Mikki Shepard joined the Apollo Theater in 2006 as a consultant and was the Executive Producer from 2009 – 2016.  Prior to her appointment at the Apollo, Ms. Shepard was a consultant to major foundations and performing arts institutions, such as the Ford Foundation, Heinz Endowments, Doris Duke Charitable Trust, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Meet the Composer, Jacob’s Pillow, Future of Music Coalition, Inc.  Her work focused on program development/assessments, strategic planning, and organizational restructuring. Ms. Shepard has also served as the Director of Arts and Humanities at the Rockefeller Foundation. She produced over 25 performing arts programs for the Brooklyn Academy of Music that included Steps in Time and Tappin’ Uptown, DanceAfrica, Dance Black America: 300 years of Black Dance in America.  As founder and executive producer of Brooklyn’s 651Arts, she produced 100 Years of Jazz and Blues Festival, Sung and Unsung/Jazz Women, Dance Women/Living Legends, and Lost Jazz Shrines and was the architect of the Africa Exchange Program a major international initiative.  Ms. Shepard serves as chair of Mertz Gilmore Foundation board and is on the board of the Fan Fox Leslie Samuels Foundation. She was a board member of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Brooklyn Community Foundation and Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone where she served as chair of the Cultural Industry Fund Committee.
Hank Goldstein

Bio
Henry (Hank) Goldstein is CEO of The Oram Group, Inc., (www.oramgroup.com)  consultants to philanthropic organizations; Founder/CEO of Family Foundation Management/Counsel, LLC; and professor of philanthropic management at The New School. He is a past chair of Giving USA Foundation, and former chairman and president, and currently a director of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) nationally and in New York. He is immediate past president of the board of trustees of Women’s Prison Association (www.wpaonline.net), immediate past chairman of PICO National Network (www.piconatiionalnetwork.org), a former trustee and treasurer of Jazzmobile, trustee emeritus of Berkshire Theater Festival, and member of the national scholarship award committee of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Cynthia Mayeda

Bio
Cynthia Mayeda is a member of the artistic staff of New York Theatre Workshop, where she serves as Senior Advisor to the 2050 Fellows.  The fellowship program is named in celebration of the U.S. Census Bureau’s projection that by the year 2050, there will be no single racial or ethnic majority in the U.S.  Cynthia served as deputy director of the Brooklyn Museum from 1998 to 2015.  Departments reporting to her included visitor services, government and community affairs, and merchandising.  She has consulted with numerous arts organizations including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Merce Cunningham Trust and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. From 1982–94, she worked for the former Dayton Hudson Foundation (now Target) and served as chair from 1990–94.  Mayeda is a founding board member of LINC, and a former board member and chair of the Jerome Foundation.
Robert Crane

Bio
Robert Crane was the founding President and CEO of the JEHT Foundation from January 2002 until it closed in early 2009. The Foundation’s primary portfolios were criminal justice policy reform and international justice. In 2005 Mr. Crane set up the Rockit Fund, a 501(c) 4 organization that undertook political and lobbying activity to further the policy work of the JEHT Foundation. Trained as an historian, Robert Crane taught in the late 1960s at the university level and at a gymnasium (college preparatory school) in Germany. Upon returning to the United States he became a policy analyst and writer for the Education Commission of the States in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Crane relocated to New York in 1977 and spent several years as a program consultant, working primarily with colleges and universities before taking a position with the Lincoln Center Institute, the education program of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, in 1981. In early 1987, he joined the Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, serving initially as Vice-President and later as President from 1997 through 2001. Mr. Crane received the Robert W. Scrivner Award in 1995 for creativity in grant making from the Council on Foundations. Mr. Crane currently consults with non-profit organizations and foundations providing expert advice on institutional development issues. He is a board member of the Energy Foundation, serving as chair of the audit committee, and is the board chair of the Miami Beach Cinematheque, an award winning not for profit art theater.
Stephanie S. Hughley

Bio
Stephanie S. Hughley is currently a Performing Arts Consultant. She is a relationship builder who maintains a high professional profile and is able to access financial resources and develop unique collaborative ventures with other organizations, public and private, for profit and non-profit. For more than 45 years she worked in the performing arts and cultural community as an artist, curator, educator, general and company manager, presenter and producer. She has shared her years of experiences and skills with a variety of artists, arts, cultural, educational and community organizations. She served most recently as Vice President of Education, Humanities, BAM Cinema & Cinématek at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, NY (BAM). She began her career in the arts as a professional dancer and danced her way to New York in 1974 performing with many companies including Babatunde Olatunji, The National Center of Afro-American Dance, and The Billy Wilson Dance Ensemble. In 1995, Ms. Hughley joined the staff of New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) as the first Vice President of Programming. In 1999, Hughley became the Executive Producer of the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA, an event she and her team conceptualized in 1988 and served as its Founding Artistic Director until 1992. In 1992, she became the Producer of Theater and Dance for the Cultural Olympiad of the Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA. She and her colleagues produced annual festivals over a 4-year period leading up to the Games and presented over 80 events representing more than 75 countries during the 1996 Games. In 1975, she began her work in the New York Theater community and as a member of A.T.P.A.M. spent more than 13 years as a General and Company Manager for Broadway, off-Broadway, National and International Touring Companies.