Lindsay Jensen, Board Chair
Lindsay is currently the Operations Manager for Earth Advantage Institute (EAI), a nonprofit focused on building sustainable communities in Portland, OR. Before joining the EAI team Lindsay spent over 8 years working in the nonprofit sector in Boston, two of those years serving as an AmeriCorps member. She also served for two years on the YNPN Boston Board of Directors. Lindsay received her BA in Sociology from Seattle Pacific University and her MBA from Boston University with a dual concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management and Finance. She brings expertise in financial management, strategic planning, and community mobilizing. In her down time, Lindsay can be found enjoying Oregon’s microbrew scene, getting rowdy about soccer, singing in a community chorus, or telling hilarious jokes. She joined the YNPN National board in January 2013.
Kim Walker, Vice-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 Pay for Success Initiative, providing learning experiences and consulting services dedicated to ensuring Pay for Success is used in the best and most effective way possible. She also works as a personal and professional coach with a range of individuals as part of her side hustle, Beautiful Service Coaching LLC. She received her Master’s of Urban Planning from UCLA in 2009 and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Organization Development at Bowling Green State University. She’s a proud alum of the College of William & Mary and a native of the amazing Cleveland, OH.
Kim was drawn to work with YNPN because its passion for supporting, developing, and collaborating with young leaders and creating a sector that is more collaborative and capable of transformative change aligns with her own. When not working or YNPN-ing, Kim loves to spend time with her husband (Markus), Golden Retriever (Jones), and her friends, travel as much as she can, read, and run – in 2014 she finished her 20th half marathon and 14th full marathon.
Ivan Canada, Secretary
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.
Kari Mirkin, Treasurer
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.
A passionate advocate for the fundraising profession and the non-profit sector overall, Dan Blakemore is Assistant Director of Development for Individual Giving at International House, a dynamic cross-cultural residential community for international graduate students in New York City. At I-House, Dan primarily works on annual fund appeals, the major and planned gift portfolios and all donor stewardship efforts. 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, looking for a new recipe to try or continuing to trace his family history.
Qyana Stewart, Performance Management Officer
As a dedicated Board Governance professional, Qyana M. Stewart worked in the nonprofit sector, almost exclusively for years for ten years. She previously served as the Board Administrator for Howard University, where she worked to further advance the role of boards through the adoption of technology, specifically through the use of collaborative platforms. These experiences led her to Higher Logic, where she currently works as an Implementation Project Manager. In this role, she manages a client portfolio of small businesses, nonprofits and associations in the implementation of Connected Community – the private cloud-based social networking software. Additionally, she works as a tutor with Wyzant, Inc. where she tutors students studying the English and German language. Qyana holds a Master’s of Science degree in Information Technology, a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from the University of Maryland University College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Howard University. She is a professional member of the YNPNdc chapter, an Alumni AmeriCorp National Service member and a member of BoardSource.
Kate Capossela, Board Development Committee Chair
Kate Capossela is a passionate advocate for strengthening nonprofit sector management, particularly talent development and business models. She has over 12 years of experience motivating and leading social sector teams, including fundraising, marketing, organizational development and executive management roles, at both national and international nonprofits (Playworks, The Asia Foundation, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network/YNPN) and grassroots organizations (College Bound, Community Arts Partnership, Women In International Security). She has also honed her technical skills and people management in roles at a Fortune 500 (Johnson & Johnson) and in her current role as Chief Strategist for multiple start-up ventures (MK Ellison Advisors), and she is leading YNPN’s national recruiting efforts for the third year in a row. Kate attended Stanford and Cornell, where she was a Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow. A California native, she enjoys hiking, supporting the performing arts, and learning new languages.
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.
Robert Nelson is a nonprofit consultant and has worked in nonprofit for the last six years. 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, 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 Network Engagement and National Voice Committees. In his spare time, Robert is an avid swimmer and enjoys video games, cooking and playing guitar.
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 15 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, and 2015. 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.
Caitie Deranek Stewart, Fundraising Committee Chair
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.
A passionate advocate for building nonprofit capacity, Jalisa Whitley is a Community Impact Manager for the United Way of the National Capital Area, an organization that improves the lives of individuals and families by uniting the people and organizations that have the will, expertise and resources to create measurable results and a lasting impact. At the United Way, Jalisa is primarily responsible for grantmaking, program management, advocacy, and identification of best practices in education, income and health. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Bachelor’s of Arts from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Jalisa proudly serves as a mentor with Public Allies and an active member of Black Benefactors. When not nerding out on philanthropy and nonprofit capacity-building, you can find Jalisa enjoying a good book, looking for a new brunch spot or enjoying live music.
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 2015, 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.