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Lodestar Center announces next class of nonprofit leaders

August 11, 2011

The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation announces the launch of the fourth year of its Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy (GenNext). Twenty-three emerging, nonprofit leaders from the Valley were selected through a competitive application process to participate in the program's fourth cohort.

The nine-month program is comprised of best practice approaches to leading and managing nonprofits from renowned professors and practitioner instructors at ASU as well as established nonprofit leaders from organizations that engage with the ASU Lodestar Center.

This year's cohort includes:

• Charlie Boyce, Valley of the Sun United Way
• Bill Branson, Arizona Correctional Industries (ACI)
• Jennifer Clark, DC Ranch Community Council
• Lindsey Harris, Make a Wish Foundation
• Carmen Heredia, Valle Del Sol
• Rene Herrera, Mountain Park Health Center
• Crystal Keenan, Arizona Assisted Living Federation of America
• Erica Kinias, Arizona Humanities Council
• Eva Lester, Southwest Human Development
• Caterina Mena, Tempe Community Council
• Sentari Minor, The Rodel Charitable Foundation
• Anindita Nath, Greater Phoenix Youth at Risk, Inc.
• Rebecca Nevedale, AZ Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
• Monica Nuvamsa, The Hopi Foundation
• Marissa (Talasinmana) Nuvayestewa, The Hopi Foundation
• Manuel Salazar, The Centers for Habilitation (TCH)
• Jessie Singer, Dysart Community Center
• Jana Smith, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development
• Amanda Smith, Swift Charities
• Suzanne Swift, Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center
• Pilar Vargas-Brya, La Frontera Arizona - Empact - Suicide Prevention Center
• Maggie Wakeford, Phoenix Coyotes
• Kerry White, Chrysalis Shelter for Domestic Violence

“We are appreciative of the financial investment of our lead sponsor, American Express, along with SRP, who provide grants supporting their own fundamental commitment for nonprofit leadership development, thus making possible the core programming for our Academy,” said Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and professor of nonprofit studies in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development. “Evaluations we’ve conducted both positively affirm the quality and impact made through our approach to nonprofit leadership development,” he added.

Each program day will focus on different topics relevant to the nonprofit community in Arizona, including, but not limited to, public policy and advocacy, collaboration, and community development and outreach. Additionally, participants will complete group capacity building projects for various organizations in the Valley.

“This year’s selection process was both thorough and tough.  All of the applicants offered unique perspectives within the nonprofit sector and many are already strong, emerging leaders,” says Jill Watts, director of Capacity Building Initiatives for the ASU Lodestar Center. “This class is probably the most diverse we’ve ever had in terms of the work they do and the organizations from which they hail. Specifically, this year’s class represents trade associations, health/human service organizations, quasi-governmental nonprofits, foundations and corporate funders to name a few.”

For more information about the Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy, visit

The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation is recognized as a national leader in undergraduate and graduate nonprofit education, research and technical assistance. The ASU Lodestar Center exists to enhance the quality of life in communities through the advancement of nonprofit leadership practices and provides knowledge and tools to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, professionals, board members, donors and volunteers by offering a selection of capacity building workshops, conferences, classes, and programs. For more information visit