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Leah Weiner, Ed.D. - Founding Chapter Director
Leah Weiner is the founder of the The Nonprofit Learning Lab. Leah has a passion for ensuring that individuals working in the nonprofit sector are armed with best practices, tools and strategies, and a community of peers. Leah has long believed that having a strong network of support makes the day-to-day work of a nonprofit professional much easier!
Leah received a doctorate in organizational leadership and development from Pepperdine University and a masters degree in public administration and nonprofit management from California State University - Northridge. Her research focused on best practices in nonprofit management for nonprofit led by volunteers. In her more than 14 years in the nonprofit sector, Leah has worked as an executive director, professional fundraiser and program director at organizations such as the Division for Early Childhood, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, KEEN Los Angeles, Life Steps Foundation, Los Angeles Review of Books, YMCA and Hillel. Over her career, Leah has launched nonprofits, developed fundraising departments and raised over $4 million annually for various organizations. She has led teams of staff, recruited and trained a 1000+ volunteer corps,, worked with and built boards of directors, managed successful year end campaigns raising $500,000+, and planned international conferences and large-scale gala events for nonprofit organizations that have netted over $750,000.
John Magnino, Deputy Legislative Director, the State Innovation Exchange (SiX)
John Magnino is the Deputy Legislative Director at the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a resource and strategy center that supports state legislators in all 50 states to advance progressive public policy. In this role, John manages much of the organization’s legislator outreach and legislative advocacy work. Before SiX, John worked for the American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange (ALICE) as an associate, helping to build a publicly accessible library of progressive model and exemplary state-level and local legislation. John also worked at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in a number of roles relating to party-building and administration. During college in Wisconsin, he also interned with then Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson.
John was civically active in Madison, Wisconsin, having served as president of his neighborhood association and on the City of Madison’s vending oversight board. John was a 2015 fellow with NLC - Madison (now NLC - Wisconsin).
John received his Master’s of Public Affairs with an emphasis in social policy from the La Follette School of Public Affairs. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and an Honors Degree in the Liberal Arts. John originally hails from Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Jessica Anders, Manager, CKD Programs, DaVita
Jessica Anders grew up outside of Asheville, North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Public Policy. Jessica currently serves as Manager, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Programs with DaVita. Prior to joining DaVita, Jessica served as the Director of Alumni and Community Engagement with Teach For America Colorado where she helped to support the growing and diverse alumni base across the state. Jessica also taught high school health education for two years in Brooklyn, NY and served for 3 years as a Senior Program Manager with HealthCorps, a national non-profit working to address the obesity crisis among youth in communities across the country. She is a proud 2016 NLC Alum! In her free time, Jessica enjoys playing the ukulele, serving as a Girls on the Run ambassador, skiing, running, biking, hiking, and anything outdoors in the beautiful Colorado Rockies.
John Dillon, Manager, Compliance and Member Resource, Leadership fo Educational Equity
John Dillon serves as the Manager of Compliance and Member Resource at Leadership for Educational Equity, a nonprofit organization focused on the leadership development of former educators. Originally from Maryland, John has spent time working in both the legislative and campaign aspects of politics in the 'Old Line State' until recently moving to Colorado. John is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland where he played offensive line for the 'Terps' football program. An avid outdoorsman and conservationist, he is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and has partnered with the Colorado Fourteener's Initiative to raise funds to protect Colorado's 53 tallest peaks.
Sara Joss, Development and Events Manager, Emergency Family Assistance Association
Communications and Engagement Chair
Sara is an Atlanta native who has continuously been involved with progressive nonprofits in a volunteer and professional capacity throughout her life. Her involvement in social activism began at a young age through her family and community, and has continued in several states across the country.Sara is a firm believer in leading change by example, making sure to participate in several facets of her community. She has dedicated her time and efforts volunteering as a Crisis Line Counselor for the Dane County Rape Crisis Center; providing outreach for Planned Parenthood of Dane County; joining the Outreach Committee for FairShare CSA Coalition; and helping a young couple with their organic farm.
After moving to Denver with her partner, Sara worked with Community Shares of Colorado as their Combined Campaigns Coordinator, and now serves Emergency Family Assistance Association (a nonprofit that helps those in Boulder and Broomfield counties who are struggling with meeting basic needs for food and shelter) as their Development and Events Manager.
Sara is an alumnus of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she graduated with a BA in History and Film.
Adeel Khan, Associate School Director, DSST Public Schools
Selection and Recruitment Chair
A native of the DC Metro Area, Adeel Khan attended Virginia Tech, where he majored in Accounting and Information Systems. While at Virginia Tech, Adeel served in many leadership roles including as student body president. For his leadership after the tragedy on April 16th at Virginia Tech, Adeel was presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award at the White House from President George W. Bush. Adeel’s passion for service led him to Teach for America in Atlanta, GA, where he completed two years teaching 9th, 10th, and 12th grade English. After completing his Teach for America commitment, Adeel went on to teach 7th grade social studies teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy and become a curriculum developer for KIPP Metro Atlanta. While a teacher at KIPP, Adeel’s students were the highest performing and showed the most growth in the Atlanta Public Schools district. Adeel’s work as a teacher in Atlanta strengthened his belief him that all children, no matter what their circumstance, can achieve at the highest levels when given the right support. Adeel completed his master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Columbia University to prepare him to pursue his dream of becoming a school leader in high needs communities.
Last year, Adeel joined Denver Schools of Science and Technology (DSST) as a School Director in Training and helped strengthen school-wide culture as the Dean of Students at DSST: Cole Middle School. He is currently helping found and lead the network’s newest school in Southwest Denver, DSST: College View High School, as the Associate School Director. Adeel is committed to DSST’s mission to transform urban public education by eliminating educational inequity and preparing all students for success in college. Adeel’s deepest passion lies in his daily work - doing his best to ensure that every child has an opportunity to achieve at the highest levels. In his free time, Adeel enjoys a pickup game of basketball, watching his Hokies play football on Saturdays, listening to podcasts, and reading a good book.
Janiece Mackey, Executive Director, Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism; Political Science Adjunct, University of Colorado Denver
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair
Janiece is a Colorado native and grew up in Aurora, Colorado. She is a wife to her high school sweetheart and mother of 4 children. Janiece has built her career of service and leadership from her narrative. She has been involved in politics since 17 years old and noticed that she was often the only youth of color. She knew youth of color either weren’t interested in civic engagement or they didn’t have a conduit to civically engage in our communities. Due to being one of the few African Americans within academic, political, and professional spaces, she created an organization entitled Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA) to provide a conduit for youth of color to become civically engaged in community and career.
For YAASPA, she is the co-founder, Executive Director, aka teacher-preneur who maintains the following programming: scholarship fairs, social sciences institutes, and a course entitled civic engagement in community and career. Recently, she just launched a partnership with YAASPA and the Community College of Aurora Foundation Aurora Gives program to provide students interested in pursuing social sciences degrees a two-year scholarship. She has had a direct impact on youth and the education system through counseling, lobbying, mentoring, researching, and teaching. She is an African American social scientist with a zealous commitment to social justice and creating innovative experiences for youth who will pursue social science academic and career development. Due to her converging interests in education and policy, she also teaches Political Science as an Adjunct Faculty. She is also pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a Public Policy emphasis at the University of Denver. By reflecting upon her counter-narrative, she was able to place “her story” into a larger sociopolitical context that reflects not just “her story,” but that of many youth of color. She desires to deepen, further develop, and expand “healing praxis” for more youth and professionals within the social science sector. She believes that those who commit to transformational justice and equity must validate and innovate academic and career experiences that will sustain, retain, and rejuvenate youth and professionals of color who commit to “transformational praxis.” Thus, Janiece has presented at many local and national conferences to encourage conversations concerning the nexus racial identity development, civic engagement and education. After completing her PhD, she hopes to eventually hire youth to maintain and manage YAASPA, conduct research and consult in the education and policy arena, and be elected to public office.
Lisa Raville, Executive Director, Harm Reduction Action Center
Lisa Raville grew up outside of Chicago, IL and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Communications and a minor in Women’s Studies. Lisa is the Executive Director of the Harm Reduction Action Center, a public health agency that works with people who inject drugs. Prior to joining the Harm Reduction Action Center almost 7 years ago, Lisa’s activist voice was cultivated with her experiences as an overnight homeless shelter coordinator, development work at a domestic violence agency, a former campaign manager for a CA County Supervisor, and an AmeriCorps VISTA at an AIDS agency.
Lisa is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. Lisa is the co-chair of the Naloxone workgroup for the Colorado Consortium on Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. In 2014, Lisa won the Colorado Public Health Association Award for Excellence in Policy. She is a current 2016 fellow with the New Leaders Council Denver Chapter.
Felipe Vieyra, Program Director, Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club
Marketing and Outreach Chair
Felipe oversees the development and implementation of the Zarlengo Outreach Program. The goal of the Zarlengo Outreach Program is to provide access to high quality, developmentally appropriate soccer programs to Latino children in under-resourced areas throughout Colorado. Felipe brings over five years of experience working within the Denver community on social justice issues including education justice, labor rights, and immigrant rights. Felipe is excited to be able to work with Latino youth and families within Rapids Youth Soccer and believes all children should have access to these opportunities regardless of where they come from. Felipe graduated from the University of Denver with degrees political science, international relations and Spanish literature and language. He holds a USSF 'E' License and National Youth License. Felipe was born in Mexico but has lived in Colorado for most of his life.
Jane Wiedenbeck, Executive Assistant to the President, the Public Interest Network
Jane works as the Executive Assistant to the President of the Public Interest Network. In this capacity, Jane oversees the planning and execution of trainings and board meetings, as well as database development and IT for over a dozen organizations and 500 staff across the country.
Jane got her start in the progressive movement in 2011 as a field organizer and then an organizing director with Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. During her time at Green Corps, Jane ran and oversaw campaigns for partner organizations such as the Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch, and Fair Share. Jane received a bachelor's degree in Biology and Environmental Science, and a master's degree in Biology from Wesleyan University.
Ryan Mick, Chief Academic Officer, Compass Academy
Ryan Mick is NLC Denver’s Selection Chair and a founding member of the NLC Denver Board. When Ryan is not working NLC efforts, Ryan serves as Chief Academic Officer for Compass Academy, an innovative laboratory-school model in SouthWest Denver designed in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and City Year. Working with these parter organizations, Ryan helps design, implement, and innovate on the programs that support Compass Academy students with the ultimate goal of creating new best practices for schools in underserved communities. Ryan is an award winning special educator and teacher coach, and most recently led the launch of Teach For America’s Diverse Learner Initiative. He holds a bachelors in Economics, a bachelors in History, a Master’s in Educational Research from Ohio University and a Juris Doctor from George Washington U
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