Co-Chair: Angela Brown, Hyams Foundation
Co-Chair: Ed Egnatios, WK Kellogg Foundation
Treasurer: Andrea Dobson, The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
The Hyams Foundation
|Molly Schultz Hafid
Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock
The Seattle Foundation
The Needmor Fund
The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
The California Endowment
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Neighborhood Funders Group
|Jose A. Garcia
Angela Brown is Director of Programs for the Hyams Foundation. She serves as the staff liaison to its Program Committee, facilitating the committee's program development and oversight work. Her work has included structuring the Foundation’s $1 million program - related investment (PRI) to the $22 million Massachusetts Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund, stabilizing neighborhoods that hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis, oversight of its $3 million PRI to Home Funders and development of an accompanying policy agenda -- an initiative that is half-way to its goal of creating 1,000 permanent housing units for formerly homeless families in Massachusetts—and, assisting in The Foundation’s recent allocations of substantial mission-investment from within its fixed-income and cash asset-classes and in accordance with its asset allocation policy. She represents the Foundation at the local smart growth funder roundtable to link transit-oriented development, transit equity organizing and regional equity. Hyams'ss major goals are to increase civic engagement within communities of color; increase the long-term success of teens of color; and, to increase access to affordable housing for low income households.
Previously, she was a manager with the Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development (New England) and the national office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (NY). She is a founding board member of New England Blacks in Philanthropy, the AGM Diversity Fellows Program, and a number of other local funder collaboratives. She holds an AB from the University of Massachusetts and an MPP from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Michael Brown is the Vice-President of Community Leadership at The Seattle Foundation. Michael oversees the Foundation’s community impact efforts, strategic grantmaking initiatives, and convening activities. He also leads the Foundation's economic opportunity agenda. From 1997 to 2000, Michael served as a legislative aide to City of Seattle Councilmember Richard McIver. Michael also served as Deputy Director for the Washington Association for Community Economic Development, a non-profit organization that provided training and technical assistance to statewide community-based development organizations.
A native of New Orleans, Michael received his Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Loyola University (New Orleans). Michael is board member of Building Changes, Impact Capital, the King County Housing Authority, and the Washington State Budget and Policy Center. Michael is also an American Marshall Memorial Fellow and a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow.
Andrea Dobson is the chief operating & financial officer of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing the investment, finance, accounting, human resources, operating, and information technology functions of the Foundation. Andrea is responsible for ensuring WRF generates sufficient revenue to achieve its programmatic objectives and maintains good stewardship of its financial resources. Andrea leads the Foundation’s efforts in mission investing and provides support to the Finance and Audit Committees of the Board. She is committed to addressing the issues related to poverty, racial and social justice, education, and community development, particularly through sound fiscal policies and transparency. Before joining the WRF team in 2000, Andrea was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Central Maryland Farm Credit Agricultural Credit Association. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, investment oversight, and financial governance. Andrea is a Certified Public Accountant with a bachelor of business administration from the University of Michigan.
Edward S. Egnatios is a program officer at WK Kellogg Foundation, overseeing the foundation's Detroit work. Previously, Ed was a Program Director at the Skillman Foundation and responsible for coordination of the Foundation's Good Neighborhoods work. Prior to his joining the team at the Skillman Foundation, he has executive management experience in both the for-profit business and in the nonprofit sectors. Serving as the President/CEO of EK & Associates LLC, a consulting firm, Egnatios has held leadership positions with O/E Learning Inc. as National Executive Director of the UAW-Ford Family Service and Learning Centers; with United Way Community Services in Detroit as Vice President, Volunteer Services, Communications & Marketing; with United Community Services of Metropolitan Detroit as Executive Vice President; with Dobbs Furniture, Inc as Vice President of Human Resources and Operations; and with the Grosse Pointe Inter-Faith Center for Racial Justice as Executive Director.
He received his BA from John Carroll University in Cleveland and his MSW in Community Practice from the University of Michigan. He is a graduate and presenter for Leadership Detroit, an active volunteer with youth at Think Detroit PAL, and a past Adjunct Faculty member at Wayne State University School of Social Work and University of Michigan School of Social Work.
Born and raised in Detroit, he is the son of Arab American and Latino immigrants, married and the father of four daughters.
Jose A. Garcia has been a Program Officer in the Strong Local Economies program at the Surdna Foundation since February 2013. As part of the Strong Local Economies, Jose and the rest of the team aim to support the development of equitable and sustainable economies that increase access and creation of quality jobs. Jose manages the Business Development and Acceleration line of work and is part of the Living Cities Capital Innovation Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Surdna Foundation, Jose worked as a Policy Fellow at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in the Wealth Building Policy Project where he was responsible for evaluating, analyzing and advising NCLR on relevant housing and banking public policies that affected the Latino community, with an emphasis on developing public policy that incorporated access and affordability into the secondary mortgage market. During his tenure, he coauthored the book Foreclosure to Fair Lending: Advocacy, Organizing, Occupy, and the Pursuit of Equitable Credit and the policy report Making the Mortgage Market Work for America’s Families. Shortly before his time at NCLR, Jose deviated from his career path to help assist his family's small business during a period of transition where he was able to see first-hand how economic policies affect mom and pop shops.
Jose has dedicated much of his career to public policy analysis and implementation on issues related to regulation of financial market, economic policy, voting rights, census advocacy and social-demographic analysis. As the Associate Director for the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos, a multi-issue national organization which combines research, policy development and advocacy to influence public debate and catalyze change, he authored dozens of reports on household debt, and co-authored the book Up to Our Eyeballs: How Shady Lenders and Failed Economic Policies are Drowning Americans in Debt. Mr. Garcia appeared in a variety of national television outlets and radio and has been quoted in national, local, and ethnic newspapers and journals including the Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Fox Business New, Shelter Force, Univision, and El Diario.
Lavastian Glenn is a Program Officer at Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. Lavastian is responsible for strategic grantmaking, relationship and network development in South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Lavastian supports grantee organizations engaged in asset-development, community economic development and public policy/systems reform. Before coming to the Babcock Foundation, Lavastian served as Executive Director with Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods (NBN), a local grassroots support organization in Winston-Salem, NC. Lavastian and her husband Eric live in Winston-Salem and are active parents of three teens, Noah, Ayaana and Cecil.
Sarah Hernandez is a Program Officer at the McKnight Foundation working within the foundation’s Region and Communities program area. The program encourages efficient development in the Twin Cities region that creates livable communities and opportunities for all to thrive. Hernandez oversees the Healthy Communities portfolio. Over time Hernandez has served on several advisory boards and committees of area nonprofits including the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Twin Cities LISC; Nexus Community Partners, and Minnesota Green Communities.
Prior to McKnight, Hernandez worked in corporate government and community affairs with the Honeywell Corporation in Minneapolis. She started at Honeywell as a legislative and policy analyst, and later managed the energy and environmental policy program, the volunteer program, and the community affairs program. In 1998, she was named senior manager of corporate community affairs. During her 13-year tenure, Hernandez helped organize the global distribution of Honeywell’s funds to educational and environmental nonprofit organizations. Hernandez earned a B.A. in Sociology at the University of Minnesota and holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Founded in 1953 and endowed by William L. McKnight and Maude L. McKnight, the Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Mr. McKnight was one of the early leaders of the 3M Company, although the Foundation is independent of 3M. Through grantmaking, coalition-building, and encouragement of strategic policy reform, the McKnight Foundation uses its resources to attend, unite, and empower those it serves. The Foundation had assets of approximately $1.9 billion and granted about $99 million in 2009.
Amy Kenyon oversees the Ford Foundation’s Connecting People to Opportunity initiative, which is focused on reforming the rules that shape regional development in U.S. metropolitan areas in order to expand economic opportunities for low-income people. Her grant making supports integrated approaches to equitable development, through improving access to permanently affordable housing and transit choices and deepening community engagement in land-use planning processes.
Amy has more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit and public sector, with an emphasis on developing and implementing finance and community development solutions for low-income communities. Before assuming the role of program officer in 2013, she worked for three years as a program manager with the foundation’s Metropolitan Opportunity program, coordinating its evaluation and helping to build a unified theory of change and place-based strategies that span its three initiatives. In collaboration with a cross-program working group, she also supported the development and rollout of a foundation-wide results reporting process.
Earlier, Amy was a consultant with numerous government agencies and nonprofit organizations on projects that helped to improve the viability of low-income communities, promote entrepreneurship among disadvantaged populations and maintain environmental sustainability. She also served as the director of economic and community development for a community in upstate New York.
Amy earned her master’s degree from the New School for Public Engagement’s program in urban policy and management, where she concentrated in organizational effectiveness and community development finance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international business from Messiah College.
Laura Livoti is the CEO of Common Counsel Foundation. Laura has more than twenty-five years of experience as a leader in progressive social-change organizations and movements. Laura served for nearly nine years as the Senior Program Officer at the French American Charitable Trust (FACT), where she was responsible for designing, implementing, evaluating and documenting new lines of work. She has an exceptional track record of recognizing emerging trends and opportunities and of designing new and innovative programs. Within the philanthropic sector, she is known for creating a highly regarded capacity building program to strengthen grassroots organizations, and for gaining widespread acceptance for the concept of integrated voter engagement.
Carmen Rojas is the CEO of The Workers Lab, an accelerator that invests in entrepreneurs, community organizers, technologists, economic justice organizations,issue campaigns, and businesses to create scalable and self-sustaining solutions that improve conditions for low-wage workers. The Workers Lab is focused on ideas, services, and products that will achieve sufficient scale to impact workers across sectors, industries, and geographies, and result in self-sufficient revenue models.
Prior to assuming this position, she was the Acting Director of Collective Impact at Living Cities. In this capacity, she played a pivotal role supporting the work of Living Cities’ member institutions, which represented 22 of the largest foundations and financial institutions in the world. Her work focused on improving economic opportunity for low income people by supporting projects in the fields of economic and workforce development, energy efficiency, and asset building.
From 2008 to 2011, Carmen was the Director of Strategic Programs at the Mitchell Kapor Foundation, where she oversaw the Foundation’s Green Access and Civic Engagement programs. Her charge involved participating in efforts to build power in low income communities and communities of color.
Prior to joining the Kapor Foundation, Carmen was the Coordinator of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s Taskforce on African American OutMigration. As Coordinator, she developed qualitative and quantitative reports for a taskforce established by San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom to address African American displacement from the city.
In 2004, Carmen served as the Coordinator of the Social Equity Caucus, a program of Urban Habitat, a regional nonprofit organization in the Bay Area. She was primarily responsible for coordinating the work of a regional network of over 75 public, private, and nonprofit organizations to build a regional social and environmental justice movement that represents the needs of low income communities and communities of color.
Carmen holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2007. She taught in the Department of City & Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley from 2009-2011. Her teaching focused on the history of cities in the US, a practicum on local economic development, planning pedagogy, and race in the practice of city planning.
Molly Schultz Hafid is the Assistant Director at the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, where she is responsible for the Democratic Participation, Civil and Constitutional Rights and Community Organizing program areas. Prior to the Veatch Program, she worked as the Director of Grantmaking Programs at the Jewish Funds for Justice, a progressive social justice foundation committed to combating the root causes of economic and social injustice. She managed a portfolio that included grantmaking to community organizing and advocacy groups, redevelopment and recovery grants in the Gulf Coast region (following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita), the Seasons Fund for Social Transformation (a Ford Foundation initiative), and management of the individual donor-advised fund program. Molly has also worked as a Program Manager of Strategic Partnerships at the Jewish Funders Network and as the Acting Deputy Director of the North Star Fund, a progressive foundation in New York City. She has held positions as a director, grantmaker, and development professional for nonprofit organizations in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Vermont, and Ohio
Ms. Hafid has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Literature from Antioch College in Ohio and a Masters of Public Administration with a specialization in International Nonprofit Management from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. Ms. Hafid's research interest is the role of charitable capital flows in building civil society in the Middle East and North Africa. She recently completed a research fellowship with the John D. Gerhardt Center on Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo.
Mary Sobecki has been with The Needmor Fund for ten years and currently serves as its Associate Director. Prior to joining Needmor, she was employed by the Toledo Community Foundation for fifteen years, where she served as Senior Program Officer and later as the founding Director of the Nonprofit Resource Center.
Before entering philanthropy, Mary worked for several nonprofits in Northwest Ohio, including Children’s Resource Center in Bowling Green, Ohio, and the Y.W.C.A. of Greater Toledo. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Bowling Green State University.
Mary’s current board memberships include Philanthropy Ohio, The First Tee of Lake Erie and FOCUS (a Toledo-area nonprofit that provides rapid re-housing and other support services for homeless families). She also serves on the Grants Advisory Committee for the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Sandra Witt joined The California Endowment in August 2011 as director of Healthy Communities North. Witt is responsible for advancing the vision and strategic direction, as well as helping achieve established goals and outcomes, through The Endowment’s philanthropic efforts in Northern California.
Prior to joining The Endowment, Witt served as the Deputy Director of Planning, Policy and Health Equity for the Alameda County Public Health Department where she was responsible for ensuring that programs and policies were accurate, effective and responsive to County residents, and consistent with the goal of eliminating health inequities. Concurrent to that role, she also served as the director of the Community Assessment, Planning, Education and Evaluation (CAPE) Unit of the Alameda County Public Health Department for which she developed and directed a unit of epidemiologists, evaluators and health educators responsible for assessing and monitoring the health status of County residents, and providing technical assistance to county, department, and community programs. In this capacity, she received an Outstanding Manager of the Year award.
With more than 20 years of experience in the field of public health, Witt has served in a variety capacities, including as an epidemiologist/community researcher for the Alameda Public Health Department (1998-1999); public health consultant for the International Health Programs of the Western Consortium for Public Health in Santa Cruz, CA (1997); and as a health and development program officer and consultant for the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada (1985-1990).
Witt received a Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship and Inter-American Foundation sponsorship for her doctoral dissertation research, “Child Health, Resilient Households and Protective Practices in Ecuador Shantytown.” She earned Dr.PH. in Maternal and Child Health from the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a Masters in Public Health and a Masters in Latin American Studies/Anthropology.
Dennis Quirin was appointed President of the Neighborhood Funders Group in July 2013. He comes to this position with two decades of experience as an activist, organizer, fundraiser and grantmaker working for social change.
He has extensive experience working in a variety of roles with nonprofits, designing and implementing strategic programs, and working effectively with diverse stakeholders. Most recently, Dennis designed and led the Race & Equity Collaborative at the Proteus Fund, a multi-city funding strategy supporting the growth of city-level alliances working at the intersection of racial justice and voter engagement.
As a bridge builder between sectors and strategies, Dennis has worked with some of the most respected social change organizations and leaders in the county, including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, SCOPE/AGENDA, Californians for Justice, and California Forward. Dennis began his philanthropic experience working at The San Francisco Foundation funding hundreds of social justice organizations in the Bay Area.
Dennis has served on the boards of Intersection for the Arts, Californians for Justice, Northern California Grantmakers Emergency Loan Fund, Civic Engagement Fund for AMEMSA Communities, and Bay Area Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Bay Area Justice Funders Network and on the board of Pac+.
Dennis is a graduate of Carleton College in Minnesota and has served as an assistant in the Fine Arts Department at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is trained as an abstract painter and is the father of two wonderful children.