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ASU Lodestar Center Announces Class VI of Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy

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News Release - August 22, 2013

Phoenix, Ariz. (August 22, 2013) – The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation is pleased to announce the launch of the sixth 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 sixth cohort. Funded in part by a generous contribution from American Express and Salt River Project, GenNext is a cohort of the Valley's top emerging nonprofit leaders, chosen to participate in a nine-month training program 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.

This year there was a record number of applicants, representing a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, community development corporations, foundations and associations. As one of the most organizational diverse cohort yet, Class VI represents both small and large organizations and will be the most geographically diverse class since the inception of the program, with class members from greater Tucson and all around the Phoenix metropolitan area.

This year's cohort includes:

  • 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 Arizona (CPSA)
  • Sharon Fallon, Saint Mary's Food Bank Alliance
  • Renee Farnell, Valley of the Sun United Way
  • Debbie Haen, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona
  • Edward (EJ) Hughes, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale
  • Jami Kozemczak, Arizona Theatre Company
  • 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, Youth On Their Own
  • Ryan Sereduk, John C. Lincoln Health Foundation
  • Gregory Stainton, Tempe Diablos
  • Kamlynn Thomas, Arizona Science Center
  • Paulina Tiffany, Arizona Autism United
  • Nicole Torrez, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix
  • Rebecca Weinstein, Hillel Jewish Student Center at Arizona State University.

"The key ingredient to assure nonprofit effectiveness and positive social impact is leadership," said Dr. Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and professor of nonprofit studies in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development. “With thanks to the American Express Foundation, Salt River Project and other funders, our Academy is a proven program that consistently delivers on the promise of developing the next generation of principled and competent leaders," he added.

“These nonprofit executives represent a wide variety of interests and expertise, including health care, youth development, arts and culture, education and more. We are eager for this new cohort to develop their personal leadership skills and professional expertise over the year,” said Cassidy Campana, ASU Lodestar Center program manager for the Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy. “Drawing from the expertise of ASU Lodestar Center educators, community leaders, expert trainers, and corporate partners, we educate and inspire these executives as they prepare for the next level in their career development,” she added.


ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation

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, please visit:

ASU Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy

Individuals are selected through a competitive process to participate in the nine-month program beginning in August and ending in May each year. Each program day covers a variety of topics including, but not limited to, public policy and advocacy, collaboration, marketing and media relations, board development, donor relations, and leadership development. The GenNext Program offers: increased awareness and understanding of the nonprofit sector and issues affecting its growth and prosperity; leadership skills development, cultivation and opportunities for engagement; and a broader network of personal and professional relationships. For more information, please visit:

Media Contact

Nicole Almond, Manager of Marketing, Communications, and Stakeholder Relations


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