Sentari Minor, Co-Chair
Sentari M. Minor is a social impact advocate and passionate relationship builder. As Arizona Director of Gen Next, Mr. Minor oversees the development and engagement of accomplished and purposeful local leaders to ultimately drive generational change. Prior to Gen Next, he worked to steward effective philanthropists and strengthen social enterprises at the venture philanthropy firm, Social Venture Partners Arizona.

A Phoenix native, Mr. Minor continued his education in the Midwest and is an alumnus of DePauw University 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 an extensive background in high-touch stakeholder engagement, fundraising, public relations, and strategic planning, Mr. Minor serves on the board of directors for a diverse set of nonprofits. Passionate about strengthening the social sector, Mr. Minor speaks nationally on governance, leadership, and the concepts of venture philanthropy, nonprofit capacity building, and social entrepreneurship.

When he’s not busy changing the world, he enjoys fitness, reading, and spending time with his loved ones.


Caitie_Deranek_Stewart.jpgCaitie Deranek Stewart, Co-Chair
Caitie Deranek Stewart is the Associate 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 in the fall of 2014, 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 with a number of initiatives. She joined the board of the YNPNindy chapter in 2015 and is on the board of Giving Sum, an Indianapolis 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 completed her Masters of Arts in Philanthropic Studies and Masters of Public Affairs in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University in 2016 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. In addition to fundraising and nonprofit work, Caitie is an active musician. She holds the position of Soprano Section Leader at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis and maintains a studio of voice students.



Samantha Alarie-Leca
As the inaugural Program Officer for the West Foundation, a family foundation working in international community development, Samantha is responsible for developing and supporting relationships with grantee partners, as well as establishing communications with candidates for the emerging nonprofits gifting initiative. Currently based in Indianapolis, Indiana, but originally from Rhode Island, Ms. Alarie-Leca’s first sojourn in the Hoosier State occurred when she attended the University of Notre Dame for her college experience, ultimately graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in French and Francophone Studies in 2007. Samantha also holds an M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership from the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, which she earned in 2013. While at Penn, she served as a Fellow for the prestigious Lipman Family Prize housed within the Wharton Leadership Program. Presently, she serves on the steering committee for the Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana and as the President of Giving Sum, a placed-based giving circle and civic leadership organization for young professionals in greater Indianapolis. 

Samantha's other life and professional adventures include completing two terms of national service with AmeriCorps, leading hikes for students in the coastal redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains, and driving a solo road trip from California to Rhode Island. 


Lindsay Bacher
Lindsay Bacher develops new programs and raises money for anti-poverty and food access initiatives at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation. She has 10 years of experience in fundraising and grant writing, and supported the most amazing community of young nonprofit people during her four years on the YNPN Twin Cities board. If given the opportunity, Lindsay will show you 40 pictures of her dog, Sam. 



Jodi Benenson
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.


Russ_Finkelstein.jpgRuss Finkelstein
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 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.


Al Heartley
Al Heartley currently serves as Managing Director of the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts at Northwestern University where he oversees all operational and programmatic aspects of the center. A recent graduate of Yale School of Drama, he has worked at various theaters across the country in managerial positions including Yale Repertory Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, Cleveland Play House, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Writers Theater. Recently, Al started a ALJP Consulting, a search and consulting firm with Jocelyn Prince focusing on mid-level and executive hiring, organizational consulting. Prior to graduate school, Al served as the National Conference Coordinator for the 2015 YNPN National Conference and as a board member of the YNPN Cleveland chapter. Starting in the fall 2019, he will serve on faculty in the theater department at Northwestern.



Kendall Joyner 
Kendall Joyner is the Director of Professional Development at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the professional association of more than 30,000 individuals and organizations that generate philanthropic support for a wide variety of charitable institutions.  As Director, Kendall oversees the education offerings including webinars, courses, e-courses and conferences and is responsible for crafting the organization’s education pathway.

Kendall has 20 years of experience working in charitable sector organizations on a local and national level in the areas of grantmaking, youth development, systems building, ethics and accountability, governance, capacity building and leadership development.  Prior to joining the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Kendall served in senior positions at Independent Sector, HandsOn Greater DC Cares, Great Start DC and the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation.  He has also served on the Boards of Directors of several nonprofit organizations including the Black Philanthropic Alliance, the Columbia Heights Youth Club and the Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School. Kendall currently serves as a Trustee for Damien Ministries, Inc., the National AfterSchool Association and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network National Board.

Kendall has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Harvard University and a Graduate Certificate in Leadership Development from Johns Hopkins University.  Kendall resides in Washington, DC.


Robert_Nelson_for_website.jpgRobert Nelson
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.


Kayla Roney-Smith
Kayla serves as Executive Director of the Hazel Park Promise Zone, a college access organization serving students in metro Detroit. She is a former YNPN Detroit board chair and volunteers with the Junior League of Detroit, Detroit Young Professionals, and FIERCE Empowerment, which works to support young moms. Kayla holds a Master of Social Work degree in Social Policy and Evaluation from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Relations and Policy from Michigan State University.


Melissa_Spas_for_website.jpgMelissa Spas
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.


Cole St. Arnold
Cole St. Arnold is a former YNPN Twin Cities board member seeking to take the experiences he's gained from serving his chapter the national level. He hopes to take his background in community development and engagement to furthering opportunities for all YNPN members. Cole lives in Saint Paul with his wife, Cate, and their corgi, Dr. Finndiana Bones.


Brandi_Tuck_for_Website.jpgBrandi Tuck
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. 


Gary Williams
Gary Williams is the Site Director for Public Allies Maryland at BaltimoreCorps, where he works to help people launch careers in social change. Gary also just completed his Masters program at the University of Baltimore in Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship. He co-founded the YNPN Baltimore chapter in 2015. 

Gary is an avid gardener, growing all sorts of foodstuffs in his yard. He also practices and teaches wing chun kung-fu.

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