Lara has worked with nonprofits and their real estate projects for 18 years. Most recently she was the principal in LWJ Consulting LLC, a consulting practice that focused on shared space, shared services, business planning, facility planning and fundraising. Since 2006 she has worked with over forty Metro Denver nonprofits to evaluate and grow their impact in the community. Prior to starting LWJ Consulting LLC, Lara was the founding Executive Director of the Mile High Community Loan Fund, a $12 million nonprofit community development financial institution. Over the course of six years, Lara doubled investments at MHCLF and oversaw a loan portfolio of 75 loans valued at $22 million. Lara began her career in the nonprofit sector in 1996 as a Loan Officer for The Reinvestment Fund in Philadelphia, PA after completing her M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Katie Edwards connects NCN members with the resources they need to make their projects a success. She holds an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University, where she studied nonprofit co-location as part of her coursework. Katie’s research background and her first-hand experience with the Co-location Task Force for the Indianapolis’ Early Intervention and Prevention Initiative give her a unique perspective on shared spaces and nonprofit centers. The report Katie co-authored for her capstone project, Building Co-Location, is available in our online resource center. Since 2005, Katie has worked with nonprofits operating out of music storage rooms, historic churches, and converted houses. She is especially interested in how shared space can improve or revitalize a communities, especially those in rural areas.
Before arriving at the Nonprofit Centers Network, Leena Waite was the Director of Programming for five years at America’s Grow-a-Row (AGAR), a New Jersey based non-profit that grows and gleans fresh produce for hunger agencies and food desert areas across the state. Her responsibilities included volunteer management of over 5,500 volunteers, coordinating and setting the strategic direction of the education program. Before AGAR, she served as the Director of Children’s Ministries of Chatham Township, running the church school program for 150 children from birth through 8th grade. Prior to her career in ministry and non-profit organizations, Leena was solely invested in music as a professional violinist and teacher. She continues to play her violin frequently at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, where her husband Adam was recently appointed as the Minister of Music. Leena holds a BFA and Jazz Minor in Violin Performance from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters of Music and Masters in Improvisation from the University of Michigan, and a Masters of Arts in Ministry from Drew Theological School.
Cresa, Toronto, ON
As a Vice President with Cresa Toronto, Jeff brings a combination of for-profit expertise and charitable organization passion that is unique in the real estate world. With an eye to detail, executional excellence, meeting deadlines and client service born from nearly 20 years with organizations like Procter & Gamble and General Mills, Jeff also has the passion, can-do attitude and mission-based thinking from many years of leadership roles with organizations like the YMCA and Junior Achievement. With a decade of experience in the sector, Jeff now leads Cresa Toronto’s Charity, Non-profit and Association practice group and has provided the Tenant’s Advantage to dozens of clients.
Midland Shared Spaces, Midland, Texas
Vicki was instrumental in bringing the shared space concept to West Texas, and currently serves as the Executive Director of Midland Shared Spaces, a $10 million dollar facility with over 40,000 square feet. As Executive Director, Vicki oversees the daily operations of the facility as well as serving as a community advocate for nonprofits and collaborations utilizing her knowledge of nonprofit structure and governance, organizational knowledge, community networking, and facilitation skills. Under her leadership, Midland Shared Spaces is increasing efficiencies, strengthening existing ties and encouraging new collaborations, as well as better utilizing community resources across all sectors of the Midland community.
Prior to Midland Shared Spaces, Vicki worked in the education field for 15 years and then joined the staff of Hospice of Midland. Over a 20 year career at Hospice, Vicki served in a variety of roles including Interim Executive Director. Vicki is recognized on a national platform as an advocate for children who have experienced grief. She founded Rays of Hope Children’s Grief Centre, a nationally recognized organization, and served as the Executive Director for 20 years. Through that work, Vicki was instrumental in establishing The National Alliance for Grieving Children. With more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Vicki continues to be active with many boards and foundations, and is in demand as a consultant, facilitator, and presenter. Vicki has been honored by local, state and national organizations for her work with children, her role as a community advocate and as a champion for nonprofits.
Vice President of Administration
HealthSpark Foundation, Montgomery County, PA
Jennifer has over 20 years of philanthropic experience, including 12 years at the North Penn Community Health Foundation where she currently serves as Vice President of Administration. The foundation focuses on transforming systems to promote healthier lives in Montgomery County PA. Jennifer played a key role in the planning and construction of The Community Partners Center for Health and Human Services, the first multi-tenant nonprofit center in PA. She oversees the facility’s management and combines her organizational development skills, an interest in facilitating and supporting collaborations, and her facilities management skills to promote The Center as a resource for the community. The Center’s 23,000 square feet of space, housing eight tenants, includes meeting rooms available for free to the community, a resource that has provided over $700,000 in value to the community.
Jennifer serves on the membership committee of Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia and is an active member and past Board Treasurer of the Grants Managers Network, a national membership association of more than 2,800 philanthropy professionals. She earned a BA in accounting from Temple University earning her CPA in 1990 and is currently working toward a Master’s of Science in Organizational Development and Leadership at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Brotsky Consulting, San Francisco, CA
China co-founded and serves as Senior Advisor to The Nonprofit Centers Network, a cross-sector international network of nonprofits and their philanthropic and real estate partners. She lectures and consults internationally on the creation and operation of green nonprofit facilities and the development of shared services programs. China joined Tides in 1990 as Chief Financial Officer. During her tenure at Tides, China managed the restoration and development of the Thoreau Centers for Sustainability in San Francisco and New York and oversaw their ongoing operations. She also served as the founding executive director of Groundspring.org, a nonprofit technology service provider. Prior to Tides, China served six years in public accounting and was the Deputy Director of Finance and Administration at the Exploratorium Science Museum. China is a member of the board of directors of Global Greengrants Fund, UK and Mission Investors Exchange. She received a B.S. in accounting from Golden Gate University and is a CPA in the state of California.
President and CEO
Fairhill Partners, Cleveland, OH
Since, 1992, Dr. FallCreek has served as CEO of Fairhill Partners, a 10-acre, 10-building nonprofit center that provides over 23,000 older adults with primary healthcare, home-delivered meals, employment assistance, and temporary housing annually. As CEO & President, she is responsible for the management of a diverse staff as well as the Collaborative Campus Services and Successful Aging Programs. She is best known for her work in health promotion, as well as for advocacy in public policy on successful aging and inter-generational programming. She co-authored A Healthy Old Age: A Sourcebook for Health Promotion with Older Adults. Dr. FallCreek was named a Crain’s Cleveland Business Woman of Note in 2004 and received the Molly Mettler Award for Leadership in Health Promotion. She is Adjunct Faculty at Case Western Reserve University in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Dr. FallCreek received her Doctorate of Social Welfare in 1984 from the University of California Berkeley.
Northern California Community Loan Fund
San Francisco, CA
Joanne has over twenty-five years of experience in non-profit management and services. Prior to joining NCCLF, she served as the Deputy Director of the Chinatown Community Development Center, overseeing finance, administration, human resources, affordable housing development, property and asset management departments. Joanne has a BA in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Al Sigl Community of Agencies
Tom O’Connor is Vice President of Operations for Al Sigl Community of Agencies, a unique community collaborative network of independent human service agencies passionately working together to take the “dis” out of disabilities and build inclusion for tens of thousands of people and families in and around Rochester, New York. Tom joined Al Sigl in 2008 where he led a rebranding initiative as part of a corporate restructure and oversees and directs real estate and facilities management functions for over 650,000 square feet of rental property. Prior to Al Sigl, Tom held a wide array of sales, marketing and operations roles with Gannett Newspapers over a span of 17-years. He was also co-owner of CPO Productions, a video/audio recording studio. Tom is an Ad Council board member, Rochester Press Radio Club member, Junior Achievement volunteer and CYO Youth Basketball board member and coach. An avid Pittsburgh Steelers and Syracuse Orange fan, he enjoys playing basketball, music and his pursuit of becoming an Adirondack Mountains High Peaks “46-er” with his son Aidan.
Director, Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships
Miriam Peña is the Director of the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships. Her role as city liaison to the non-profit sector involves development and delivery of training and technical assistance to better connect government and community; managing DOSP’s community collaborative work; leading DOSP’s nonprofit capital support projects; and overseeing the office’s energy efficiency priorities. Miriam’s role at DOSP allows her to work across sectors to bring the public, private and nonprofit sectors together to engage on collaborative projects and partnerships as well as provide general support to more than 3,000 nonprofits connected to DOSP. Miriam began her nonprofit career as an intern 11 years ago at the Colorado Progressive Coalition, a statewide, social justice public policy advocacy organization. By the time she left the organization in 2014, she had held several positions in the organization including grassroots fundraising coordinator and development director before her promotion to Executive Director in 2010. Miriam became the first in her family to earn a Bachelor’s degree, having studied Public Policy and Communications at the University of Denver. In 2015, she earned an MBA from the Olin Business School of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to her nonprofit work at CPC, she has served in various leadership positions on numerous nonprofit boards locally including Metro Denver Partners, New Era Colorado, Rights for all People, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, El Centro Humanitario (Humanitarian Center for Day Laborers), and nationally with the Alliance for a Just Society. She previously co-hosted a weekly radio talk show, “Weekend Wisdom” in Denver and was appointed to the Denver Women’s Commission as chair of the Public Policy committee where she served for a year in 2013. Currently, Miriam serves on the national board of Youth Advocate Programs and is the foster mother of her three hyper nieces.
Executive Director, Posner Center for International Development
Doug Vilsack is the Executive Director of the Posner Center for International Development in Denver, Colorado, a shared workspace for international development organizations that engages over 100 tenants and members. He is also the founder and Board Chair of Elephant Energy, a social venture that distributes small scale renewable energy technologies in Southern Africa and the on Navajo Nation in the USA. Doug first traveled to Namibia to work for the World Wildlife Fund in 2005 and has returned on numerous occasions to continue his work with community-based conservation organizations. He is also a trained lawyer in the practice areas of environmental law, Indian law and renewable and alternative energy law, with his J.D. from University of Colorado Law School. Prior to law school, Doug attended Colorado College and founded the Paddle for the Presidency, a non-profit venture that canoed the entire length of the Mississippi River and registered over 2,000 young voters during the 2004 Presidential election.