New class of nonprofit leaders graduate from ASU academy

GenNext Class VI

Class VI of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation's Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy (GenNext) graduated from its nine-month training on May 9 at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.

Funded in part by generous contributions from American Express and Salt River Project, GenNext is a cohort of the Valley's top emerging nonprofit leaders, chosen to participate in training that provides them with the knowledge and tools needed to take on leadership roles within the nonprofit community. The program is comprised of best practice approaches to leading and managing nonprofits that include renowned professors and practitioner instructors at ASU, as well as established nonprofit leaders from organizations that engage with the ASU Lodestar Center.

Graduates from GenNext Class VI are:

• Sarah Amaral, JDRF Desert Southwest Chapter

• Leanne Cardwell, Scottsdale Cultural Council; Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

• Kendall Chester, New Way Academy

• Jane Dacey, Boys Hope Girls Hope

• Kathleen Dostalik, Community Partnership of Southern AZ

• Sharon Fallon, Saint Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

• Renee Farnell, Valley of the Sun United Way

• Edward (EJ) Hughes, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

• Jami Kozemczak, Ballet Arizona

Debbie Manuel, Morning Star Leadership Foundation

• Lisa Mattke, Universal Technical Institute Foundation

• Karianne Munstedt, Midwestern University

• Cassandra Patris-Browne, ICAN

• Lori Robinson, Balsz Promise Neighborhood

• Rachel Rogoff, Crisis Nursery

• Faith Schuerch-Carrabis, Greater Tucson Leadership

• Ryan Sereduk, John C. Lincoln Health Foundation

• Debbie Smith, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central AZ

• Gregory Stainton, Tempe Diablos

• Kamlynn Thomas, Arizona Science Center

• Paulina Tiffany, Arizona Autism United

• Nicole Torrez, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix

• Rebecca Weinstein, Temple Emanuel of Tempe

"This year's academy participants are a remarkable group of leaders who have contributed greatly to our center's capacity building mission by leveraging their combined talents and experiences," says Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and professor of nonprofit studies in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development. "The future of the nonprofit sector is in good shape with such talented professionals advancing the quality of life in our communities every day."

“Our Generation Next program focuses on developing the talents and personal leadership skills of these nonprofit executives,” says Cassidy Campana, ASU Lodestar Center program manager for the Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy. “Throughout the year, the class works in small teams on projects to build the capacity of other nonprofits. By developing relationships across nonprofit organizations, these leaders can collaborate and share knowledge long into the future.”

Class VI team projects included working with the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission to evaluate their organizational structure. As a result, their board is adopting Generation Next participant recommendations in the future to ensure their sustainability. Another team partnered with Local First Arizona to examine their “green” efforts for their signature events, and also secured partners to help recycle during their events.

The Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics benefited from a team project that helped to develop a model to measure the value of volunteer hours – a project that will aid the organization for many years to come. Another team engaged with local experts to evaluate the marketing plans for A New Leaf, while the final team worked with the Arizona Citizens for the Arts to provide a new strategic recommendation on their social and digital media campaigns.

Written by Nicole Almond Anderson,, 602-496-0185