Kim Walker, Co-Chair
Kim Walker is a devoted non-profiteer living in Washington, DC. In her professional life, she serves as a Training and Technical Assistance Manager with the Urban Institute's Policy Advisory Group. She is also a PhD student in Leadership and Change at Antioch University where she digs into the research on cross-sector partnerships and nonprofit leadership. She works as a personal and professional coach with a range of individuals as part of her side hustle, Beautiful Service Coaching LLC. She received a Master’s of Urban Planning from UCLA in 2009 and a Master’s in Organization Development from Bowling Green State University in 2016.
Kim was drawn to work with YNPN because its passion for supporting, developing, and collaborating with young leaders and creating a sector that leads transformative change aligns with her own. When not working, studying, or YNPN-ing, Kim loves to spend time with her husband (Markus), Golden Retriever (Jones), and her friends, travel as much as she can, eat delicious vegetarian food, root for Cleveland sports teams, read, and run.
Ivan Canada, Co-Chair
Ivan Canada is currently serving as Executive Director at the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) of the Piedmont Triad. NCCJ is a human relations organization that promotes understanding and respect among all cultures, races, and religions through advocacy, education, and dialogue. NCCJ also works to build compassionate and just communities free of bias, bigotry, and racism. Before being named Executive Director, he served as the organization's first Senior Director of Development, Communications, and Strategic Partnerships.
Prior to joining the NCCJ staff, he worked with Guilford Green Foundation (a local LGBTQ Community Foundation headquartered in Greensboro, NC) as Executive Director and Director of Special Projects. Ivan is a leader in the Triad community, and has been awarded the Triad Business Journal’s “Forty Leaders Under 40 Award”, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce’s “Change Agent Award” and was recently recognized by Southerners On New Ground (SONG) and EmergingPractitioners of Philanthropy (EPIP). He currently is a community board member of the S.J. Edwards Foundation, a local family foundation, and a member of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Board of Visitors, and has served on numerous other boards and committees over the past ten years. Canada is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Journalism and Mass Communication. In his free time, he enjoys reading, attending performing arts events, traveling, running, cooking (when he has enough time to do so), and spending time with friends trying out new restaurants. He splits his time between Greensboro and Charlotte, NC.
Caitie Deranek Stewart, Secretary
Caitie Deranek Stewart is the Assistant Director of Development at the IU School of Medicine, the largest medical school in the United States. Prior to joining the IU School of Medicine, Caitie was the Donor Relations Specialist at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the first school focused on philanthropy in the world.
Caitie is an active volunteer through a number of local initiatives. She joined the board of the YNPNindy chapter in 2015 and is on the board of Giving Sum, a local giving circle for 40 and under civic leaders. She serves on the Executive Committee for the IUPUI United Way of Central Indiana campaign which raises over $300,000 annually to support important causes around the greater Indianapolis area.
Caitie is working on her Masters of Arts in Philanthropic Studies and Masters of Public Affairs in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University and received her Certificate in Fund Raising Management from The Fund Raising School in 2014. She received her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance and Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Indianapolis in 2011. She is still an active musician and holds the position of Soprano Section Leader at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis and maintaining a small studio of voice students.
Brandi Tuck, Treasurer
Brandi Tuck is the Executive Director of Portland Homeless Family Solutions (PHFS), a nonprofit social service agency that empowers homeless families to get back into housing and to stay there long-term. Before coming to PHFS, Brandi attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and has degrees in Political Science & Philosophy as well as a minor in Organizational Leadership for Nonprofits. In 2005, Brandi moved to Portland and worked at the Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force until 2007, doing anti-hunger public policy and did outreach for federal nutrition programs. In 2007, Brandi founded Portland Homeless Family Solutions and has worked as the Executive Director ever since. Some of Brandi’s favorite parts of her job include leading a staff of 25 amazing people, fund raising, strategic planning, and building community partnerships. PHFS has been recognized as one of Oregon’s “Top 100 Nonprofits to Work For” in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Brandi received the 2009 Skidmore Prize for Nonprofit Service, the 2010 Bank of America Local Hero Award for her leadership in social services and the 2013 WVDO Crystal Award for Executive Fund Raising.
Megan Walker, Performance Management Officer
Megan Walker is Director of Digital Programs at United Way Worldwide. Previously, she held the role of Director of Planning and Alignment, where she oversaw strategic and operational planning for the UWW network as well as assessed performance through scorecard metrics. She also is managing a large scale building renovation at UWW’s headquarters. Prior to UWW, Megan was the Chief of Staff at Civic Enterprises, a nonprofit consulting/ social policy firm in DC. She managed all strategic planning and operational aspects of the organization, planned and led a project portfolio of over 20 projects in the areas of education, social mobility, and civic engagement, and oversaw finances, fundraising efforts and new business development, communications, and all staff. Prior to that, she was Assistant Director of Programs in the Executive Office and Strategy Department at Independent Sector, a coalition of corporations, foundations, and private voluntary organizations that works to strengthen, lead and mobilize America’s nonprofit sector. In that position, Megan coordinated strategic planning and board development efforts and co-led the NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now program for emerging nonprofit leaders. She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors of The Corps Network, and previously served in a vice presidential role on the national alumni boards of both the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance and The Fund for American Studies. Megan obtained her MPA in nonprofit management at Indiana University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, in her home state. She is married and resides in the greater Washington DC area.
Kari Mirkin, National Voice Chair
Kari Mirkin, a native of Youngstown, Ohio and lifelong history buff and museum junkie, has a passion for discovering innovative solutions to the challenges facing organizations that provide public access to education, the arts, and other historical and cultural assets. She has a bachelor’s degree in History and German Studies from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and a Master’s of Nonprofit Organizations from Case Western Reserve University. Her most recent position was with the Foundation Center’s Cleveland field office, assisting nonprofits seeking to increase foundation support, leading classes on proposal writing and budgeting, and coordinating the office’s own fundraising efforts. Before that, Kari worked as an intern at several organizations, including the Western Reserve Historical Society and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. As co-founder and president of YNPN Cleveland, she helped launch a successful mentor program and helmed the release of the 2011 report, Building a Career in Nonprofit Cleveland: Focus on the Nonprofit Identity. In addition to various volunteer roles,
Kari spends time honing her skills as an aspiring chef and amateur television critic.
Dan Blakemore, Fundraising Committee Chair
A passionate advocate for the fundraising profession and the non-profit sector overall, Dan Blakemore is Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron, Ohio. He writes a blog focused on fundraising and non-profit management issues, The Good Steward. He is also an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Association of Donor Relations Professionals. When not fundraising, you can find Dan enjoying a good book, spending time with his wife and young son, or continuing to trace his family history.
Robert Nelson, EDI Committee Chair
Robert Nelson is the Program Manager for The Grants Collective, an organization formed to address the growing philanthropic divide in New Mexico. Previously, he worked for Heading Home, helping house Albuquerque’s most vulnerable homeless people and Rio Grande Food Project, serving hungry New Mexicans. He is a long time volunteer in our community, having served on the boards of New Mexico Solar Energy Association and New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness.
Currently, he volunteers for Impact & Coffee, a networking event for nonprofits in Albuquerque; the local YWCA chapter, working to eliminate racism and empower women; the Historic Neighborhood Alliance, fighting gentrification in communities of color, and his neighborhood association board, Historic Wells Park. He has been involved with Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) New Mexico for the last 6 years, serving on their board. He also serves on YNPN’s National Board, serving on their Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. In his spare time, Robert is an avid swimmer and enjoys video games, cooking and playing guitar.
Russ Finkelstein is the Managing Director of Clearly Next, a start-up web service that helps people navigate their careers. He also serves as a Senior Advisor to the Talent Philanthropy Project and the New Organizing Institute on talent development issues. He currently serves or has served in similar roles at the Schusterman Foundation, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and the Point Foundation.
Russ served as Associate Director of Idealist.org for 14 years where he was on the founding team of the organization. There he led a staff of nine to develop revenue-generating programs that addressed information gaps related to working in the nonprofit sector, domestic and global volunteering, graduate education and year-of-service programs.
Russ holds an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in Literature and Government from Connecticut College.
Melissa Spas, Network Engagement Committee Chair
Melissa’s vocation is sustained by thinking about how we live our lives together for the common good, and her work as a professional and volunteer in the nonprofit sector reflects that commitment. Melissa began her career working with marginalized families, first with refugee resettlement in Boston, Massachusetts, and then on a faith-based initiative grant to provide mentoring to children of incarcerated parents in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2007 she joined Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, where she worked to develop strategic leadership programs and resources for Christian institutions, with the support of the Lilly Endowment, Inc. While living in North Carolina, Melissa volunteered with her congregation, as a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and served on the board of YNPN in the Triangle while completing a graduate certificate in nonprofit management at N.C. State. In 2013, Melissa relocated to Indiana to develop new initiatives and strategic partnerships for Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington, home of the top-ranked nonprofit management program in the country, while continuing to consult with religious nonprofits. In 2016 she was named the Managing Director of Education and Engagement at the Lake Institute of Faith and Giving at the Lilly Family of Philanthropy. Hailing from Chautauqua, New York, Melissa is a graduate of Allegheny College and Harvard Divinity School.
Sentari M. Minor, Director of Partner Engagement & Education at Social Venture Partners Arizona (SVPAZ), facilitates the engagement of local philanthropists and activates community leaders to drive social change in the Valley. Prior to SVPAZ, Mr. Minor oversaw the corporate and foundation relations and major campaigns for the Arizona Humane Society, Arizona’s largest animal welfare organization. He started his career in the nonprofit sector at the Rodel Foundation where he managed communications, events, and special projects under the direction of the President & CEO.
A Phoenix native, Mr. Minor continued his education in the Midwest and is an alumnus of DePauw University located in Greencastle, Indiana where he studied English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. He is also a member of Class IV of the American Express Leadership Academy through the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Nonprofit Innovation.
With a strong background and expertise in fundraising, communications, and strategic planning, Mr. Minor supports and advises a number of Valley organizations and serves on the board of directors for a diverse set of nonprofits both locally (Phoenix) and nationally. Passionate about strengthening social ventures to equip them to make a bigger impact, Mr. Minor speaks nationwide on board governance, nonprofit leadership and the concepts of venture philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and capacity building.
Outside of his hectic schedule, he enjoys fitness, reading, and spending time with his friends and family.
Jodi Benenson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Her research focuses on the intersection between civic engagement, inequality, and social policy, specifically as these topics pertain to activities in the nonprofit sector. Previously, Jodi was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. At Tufts, she worked on several projects in the areas of youth civic engagement, political learning and engagement in higher education, and national service and employment. Prior to returning to graduate school, Jodi worked in the nonprofit sector in the Twin Cities. She served for four years on the YNPN Boston Board of Directors, where she established the organization’s first research and evaluation team, and is currently a proud member of YNPN of Greater Omaha. Jodi is also a fellow with New Leaders Council Omaha, a nonpartisan organization that engages a national network of progressive political entrepreneurs. Jodi received a B.S. and M.P.A. from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in social policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.