Interim Executive Director
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.
Leena Waite manages NCN’s membership network, connecting individuals and organizations with the resources they need from the exploratory stage to the established, as centers and/or shared service providers. In addition, she works with NCN’s consulting team to help clients find innovative and practical solutions to their nonprofit challenges through shared resources. Before NCN, Leena was the Director of Volunteer Management and Educational 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. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Children’s Ministries of Chatham Township and the Healthy Choices Coordinator at the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center in Morristown, NJ. She received a Masters of Arts in Ministry from Drew Theological School and continues to make use of her music degrees from Carnegie Mellon University (BFA) and the University of Michigan (MM and Masters in Improvisation) as a freelance violinist in the Denver area.
Membership and Events Coordinator
Currently Denver-based, Elizabeth has spent the majority of her career in the nonprofit and international education sectors, and has also lived in Colombia, Chile, and Spain. After completing her BA in Communication Studies at Colorado State University, she began her work with nonprofits in the Denver area, particularly with the Denver Justice and Peace Committee. She then joined EF Education First, working with teachers to provide international education opportunities to their students. After spending some time teaching herself, she then became the Director of Recruitment for Volunteers Colombia where she focused on membership recruitment and program management.
Working in several shared spaces throughout her career, Elizabeth knows firsthand how quality workspace can affect the capacity and effectiveness of an organization. She is a strong believer that equitable design and quality space are incredibly powerful tools to help organizations achieve their goals and is so excited to begin to support our 150+ members across the US and Canada.
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.
President and Founder
In the Box Consulting
Debra Box, Principal and Founder of In the Box Consulting has been a leader in the Kansas City nonprofit community for over 20 years. From 2002 – 2019 she led Support KC, a support service provider and a capacity builder serving Missouri and Kansas. During her leadership, SKC’s client base grew from 17 agencies to serving over 170 agencies served annually. Service offerings expanded to include accounting, information management, agency capacity assessment, governance consulting and strategic planning. Annual earned revenues for SKC increased from less than $100,000 to over $1,000,000. SKC was twice recognized by the Kansas Department of Commerce as a Business of Excellence, and Debra was recognized as a Woman of Influence by KC Business Magazine.
Debra continues to provide governance consulting, retreat facilitation and strategic plan development for numerous agencies in the Midwest. She works closely with these agencies to help them define their missions and communicate how their missions’ impact those they serve.
Committed to serving and educating boards, Debra’s current volunteer commitments include serving on the Advisory Council for the Resilient Activist, Co-chairing the Steering Committee of the Nonprofit Centers Network and serves as Board Emeritus with the Rehabilitation Institute Foundation. Debra is a frequent presenter nationally and locally on governance, strategic planning, nonprofit lifecycles, and shared services.
Fiscal Strength for Nonprofits
Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in the philanthropic sector. She has developed an expertise in grants and financial management through her work at Annenberg Foundation, a large family foundation with a national grantmaking portfolio, as well as HealthSpark Foundation, a private foundation in Philadelphia with a place-based focus.
Her background is broad based with direct responsibilities in staff operations, finance, budget, grants management, information systems, human resources and facilities. She has implemented grants management systems, developed workflow documents, policies and procedures. She continuously monitors the field and incorporates best practices into foundation operations, scaling them to meet the needs, culture and environment of the organization.
She has a collaborative leadership style and enjoys bringing people together to address issues. She recently led a group of funders in the Greater Philadelphia region in evaluating opportunities to streamline regional grantmaking processes through leveraging existing systems and tools and has presented at regional and national conferences.
Jennifer serves as the Chairperson for the Board of Directors of Philanthropy Network, recently serving on the Strategic Planning Committee. She is an active member of PEAK Grantmaking where she served on the Board of Directors for four years as Treasurer. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the Nonprofit Centers Network.
She has a B.B.A. degree in Accounting from Temple University and a M.S. in Organizational Development and Leadership from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Director, Community Impact Special Projects
United Way Greater Toronto, Toronto, ON
For over 35 years, Lorraine Duff has been working in community development, funding or management related to the community and health sectors. Lorraine is currently the Director, Community Impact Special Projects for United Way Greater Toronto. Related projects to NCN include development of community hubs and beginning a new process related to social purpose real estate. At United Way she previously managed the Neighbourhoods Strategy and funding to agencies. She has worked with different levels of governments to support development and funding of community based services and community health centres. She has worked as a community worker, social services counsellor, employment support worker, and community planner in five different community agencies. As Executive Director of a Community Health Centre, she was committed to integrated primary care, social services and community engagement.
Nonprofit Real Estate Consultant
Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF), San Francisco, CA
Saul Ettlin is a Nonprofit Real Estate Consultant with the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) where he assists a wide range of organizations with their space needs and challenges. Previously, Saul was the Collaboration + Space Manager for Tides where he was, among other things, part of the real estate team operating the Thoreau Centers in San Francisco and New York totaling 225,000 sq. ft. and home to more than 100 organizations. Also during his time at Tides, he served as Program Coordinator for the Nonprofit Centers Network. Beyond space, Saul has significant grassroots political and organizing experience. Saul has over 15 years of nonprofit management experience and is deeply committed to building organizational strength through collective action. He holds a MPA with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and a BS in Political Science and Community Development. Both are from Portland State University.
Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center, Sarasota, FL
Dr. Kameron Partridge Hodgens graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Psychology and received both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 2007, Dr. Hodgens became the Vice President of Programs and Services at Easter Seals Southwest Florida. In October of 2014, she joined the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center as the CEO, a position that she is honored to have, given the tremendous impact of the center and the esteemed legacy of founder Dr. Kay Glasser. Dr. Hodgens is a graduate of the Leadership Sarasota program, serves as the Vice Chair of the Leadership Council for the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, is a member of Designing Daughters and of Sarasota County’s Community Alliance, served on the Manatee County Children’s Services Advisory Board, was recognized as the Public Citizen of the Year in 2014 by the National Association of Social Workers, and is a winner of SRQ Magazine’s Women in Business Award. Kameron lives in Sarasota with her husband Bart, her daughter Evy, and her 18-year old cat Minuit.
Sobrato Family Foundation, Milipitas, CA
Mara Williams Low is the Program Director of Sobrato Family Foundation, Silicon Valley’s largest place-based grantmaker. She leads the Foundation’s operations, grantee capacity building efforts, its impact and learning function, and its three Nonprofit Centers, which house and support 70 nonprofit tenants with in-kind rent and fee-free conference space. Since joining the foundation in 2006 as one of its first staff members, she has helped develop and grow the foundation from a staff of two with an annual budget of $4M to a staff of 30 with a budget of $30M. Before joining SFF, she served as the Grants Administrator at The Valley Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation focused on supporting health, human services, and arts programming in Santa Clara County. Prior to her career in philanthropy, Mara was the Associate Director of a pre-professional dance school and youth performing company. She began her career as an Editorial Producer for the San Jose Mercury News, where she covered and wrote arts and entertainment content for the San Francisco Bay Area based newspaper. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley.
Al Sigl Community of Agencies, Rochester, NY
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.
Shirley has nearly 50 years of experience in the human service field, working as a nurse and managing a variety of programs including surgical, emergency, nursing and facility-wide patient care services for numerous health facilities. Shirley spent her last 23 years guiding, re-envisioning and transforming community-based services at Aspen Family and Community Network as the Chief Executive Officer. Under her leadership, the agency grew from a small informally organized non-profit to a highly reputable, well organized organization with an operating budget of approximately 12 million, 130 staff members, 64 foster homes, numerous volunteers and four projects using the “shared space” concept. Aspen successfully contributed to the social fabric of the Calgary community and has been an active participant in providing services and community supports that align to the “Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness”, as well as being a lead partner in a number of “Community Hubs”.
Shirley believes in building teams that use collaborative decision-making processes focused on contributing to tangible and positive social impacts and being poised to meet the challenges of the future. She holds a BN from the University of Calgary and is a Certified Health Executive. Shirley and her husband Orrion have three adult children and five grandchildren. They enjoy traveling, watching their grandchildren play hockey, soccer and swim, walking, boating, and the company of friends.
Founder and CEO
Serve Denton, Denton, TX
Pat Smith is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Serve Denton, a nonprofit organization that partners with nonprofits to help make their services more accessible to people in need. Serve Denton accomplishes this mission by providing shared space and services at reduced costs while fostering collaboration. As the Director of Local Outreach, he led efforts to build bridges with the community to meet physical needs and develop spiritual relationships. As Director of Safety and Security, Pat oversaw the protection of the main church campus and eight overseas locations worldwide. Pat currently serves as the deacon over safety and security for the church.
Pat has extensive experience in the U.S. Air Force, where he led large-scale construction and program management, and military installations in locations like Saudi Arabia, Florida, Texas, California, Bahrain. After 24 years of service, Pat retired from the Air Force as a Colonel in 2008. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Meritorious Service Medal. Pat holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the United States Air Force Academy and two master’s degrees in engineering management and strategic studies from Air University.
CultureWorks, Philadelphia, PA
Thaddeus Squire has been hailed as a visionary voice in the contemporary arts by David Patrick Stearns of The Philadelphia Inquirer, and was named one of Philadelphia’s top 76 “Creative Connectors” by Leadership Philadelphia in 2011. He has also received Philadelphia City Paper’s Big Vision Issue Choice Awards for his work as founder of Hidden City Philadelphia. As a curator, consultant, writer, and producer, Thaddeus has worked across a wide variety of disciplines, from history and heritage to the fine and performing arts. His particular interest is in building creative collaborations and new models for resource sharing for the cultural and creative industries. In 2010, Peregrine, an organization Thaddeus founded in 2005, was converted into the management services organization, CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia, which offers shared space and services to the arts and heritage fields. In 2013, Thaddeus founded CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia, an affiliate of CultureWorks, which is a shared nonprofit administrative platform for projects and organizations and is the first of its kind serving arts and heritage in the country.
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Silicon Valley Creates, San Jose, CA
Alexandra Urbanowski has over two decades of extensive fundraising, marketing, nonprofit financial administration and organizational development experience. She has provided leadership, advocacy and strategic management for a range of community development projects and cultural advancement initiatives on both the east and west coasts. She currently serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives for Silicon Valley Creates in San Jose, California and is a partner at management consulting firm Opus Advisors (where her clients have included NH State Council on the Arts, Prescott Park Arts Festival, York County Community College and others). She has held leadership positions with number of nonprofit organizations including COO of American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley, VP at New Hampshire Public Radio, and Managing Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre where she directed the project to build a new $25 million performing arts facility – now the Hammer Theater Center. She has served on many community Board’s including the San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau, School of Arts & Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza, 7 Stages Shakespeare Company and others. Alexandra is an alum of Smith College and has participated in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program.