Chief Regional Officer, iMentor
Director of Government Relations - MENTOR: National Mentoring Partnership
Adriane Alicea, Director of Government Relations at MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, works to mobilize support to advance youth mentoring and strengthen engagement of Congress and the Administration on issues related to mentoring. Adriane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University.
Director of Creativity First
Dr. Ashley Derr is the Director of Creativity First, which provides drama-based enrichment programs for 80+ sites each year throughout the Baltimore and DC region. Through Creativity First she currently leads drama workshops and summer camps for children of all ages, as well as trains teachers and develops curriculum for Creativity First’s programs.
Executive Director, M.A.N.U.P.
Brittany J. Harris
Vice President of Learning & Innovation at The Winters Group, Inc.
Brittany J. Harris is the Vice President of Learning & Innovation at The Winters Group, Inc., a global diversity and inclusion consulting firm. In her role, Brittany is responsible for curating and facilitating learning experiences that shift perspectives, change hearts, and empower action in service of equity, justice, and inclusion.
Senior Associate, Policy and Advocacy at the Data Quality Campaign (DQC)
Chelsea is a Senior Associate, Policy and Advocacy at the Data Quality Campaign (DQC). She supports DQC’s advocacy efforts across a range of topics by developing key resources, managing projects, and informing policy analysis. She focuses on issues including the role of data in advancing education equity, educator data literacy, and empowering families and communities with information to better support student success.
Arts Based Health Educator for Kaiser Permanente
Damión Perkins is currently an Arts Based Health Educator for Kaiser Permanente. Damión has her Masters Degree in Theatre Education from The Catholic University of America. She currently leverages external partnerships in the DC and Suburban Maryland area to increase equity in health and education for under resourced schools and communities.
Executive Director of Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center, Inc.
Dana Carr is the Executive Director of Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center, Inc., a non profit arts education organization whose mission is to empower youth through the arts, academics, and social development. A Baltimore native, Dana has presented at the Arts Integration, Maryland Fine Arts Education, and Culturally Responsive Teaching Conferences and is a part of the Fine Arts Education Advisory Panel for the state. Dana also sits on the board of the Alumni of Maryland Schools’ Arts Programs.
Executive Director of Playworks Maryland
Danielle Marshall is the Executive Director of Playworks Maryland, a national nonprofit committed to ensuring children have access to safe and healthy play at recess. Danielle has authored several articles on increasing children’s access to play. She recently helped to curated the Play- Based Experiential Learning (PBEL) Toolkit in conjunction with the Alliance for Childhood, aimed at reinstating child-directed and teacher-supported play opportunities into early childhood learning environments.
Denise M. Jones
President of Brass Ring Company
Denise M. Jones, President of Brass Ring Company, is a youth development practitioner, instructional designer and facilitator of cultural arts, education, life skills, parent engagement, and workforce development programs for youth, teens and adults. An active community engagement professional, she has been an ardent supporter for parent advocacy and student achievement.
Director of Student Services
Dr. Derek L. Simmons has served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal at the high school level. He has also served as a K-12 Instructional Supervisor and is currently the Director of Student Services, a position he has held for six years. In the community, Dr. Simmons serves on the Caroline County Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, Caroline County YMCA Branch Board, Caroline County Planning Commission, Maryland Rural Health Collaborative, and Food For Learning, Inc. Board.
Statewide Gardening for Nutrition Coordinator
Heather Buritsch is the the Statewide Gardening for Nutrition Coordinator for the Maryland SNAP-Ed program with the University of Maryland Extension, know as the Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education Program. She is a North Carolina native and graduate of North Carolina State University. In her role with with FSNE, she coordinates food gardening and nutrition programs and out of school programming for use with collaborating partners statewide.
Executive Director of MERIT Health Leadership Academy
Jake Weinfeld is the Executive Director of MERIT Health Leadership Academy, a program that educates and empowers underrepresented students to become health professionals and change agents. During Jake’s time at MERIT the program has grown from serving 50 to 250 students. Prior to joining the MERIT team Jake was a science teacher and department chair at KIPP.
La’Sondrick Bridges has a proven track record of pushing students toward success. His education background includes a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Rust College in Mississippi, a master’s degree in Business Administration from South University in South Carolina and a Doctorate of Education from Argosy University in Georgia. He utilizes the knowledge and experiences that he has gained through his experiences to help young people realize their potential and reach their goals.
Founder/CEO of ANANIZACH LLC
Jeannette Simon is the Founder/CEO of ANANIZACH LLC, a mentoring consulting firm. Utilizing 27 years of mentoring experience, Jeannette offers technical assistance and training to new, emerging and established mentoring programs in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. For seven years Jeannette was the Director of Volunteer and Mentoring Services with Concerned Black Men National (CBM). Jeannette is a 1989 graduate of Morgan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and Sciences.
Jeffrey is a Mindful Co-Founder and social entrepreneur. His work is centered on holistic youth development, mentoring and kinetic life coaching. His mission has been dedicated to a Mind, Body, Spirit approach to personal empowerment and life balance for adults, families and youth. Jeffrey is a national speaker, his mission is to inspire an awareness of the Mind, Body, & Spirit balance to student and staff programming.
Founder, Leaf Mentoring
Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler, Ph.D., LCSW-C has been involved in the field of mentoring for over two decades. He began his career as a volunteer in a Baltimore based mentoring program while attending Johns Hopkins University and studied mentoring during his Masters and Doctoral studies at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. In January of 2014, he published his dissertation entitled "The Impact of a Mentoring Intervention on the Substance Use and Aggression of Homeless Young Adults."
Founder and Executive Director of Lead4Life, Inc.
Jennifer Gauthier is the Founder and Executive Director of Lead4Life, Inc.? Gauthier graduated from Springfield College with a Bachelor’s of Science and Master’s of Social Work. Gauthier has ample experience working with high risk youth and their families.? Gauthier is committed to working with youth and adults and hopes her challenges and victories will help at least one person.
Program Manager for Professional Development
Jennifer Rivers is an educator who has dedicated herself to helping students of all ages to discover their gifts and talents and explore how they can use them to make the world a better place. Jennifer is an advocate for lifelong learning, who is able to foster the confidence and courage in other educators and youth to pursue challenges and community changing projects.
Visual artist, photographer and educator
Joanne Miller is an accomplished visual artist, photographer and educator experienced in arts education, environmental engagement and community arts programming. Joanne has collaborated with more than 100 Artist Residency programs. She has taught at the National Portrait Gallery and presented at the Walters Museum. Certified in Arts Integration STEAM (STEM+Arts) and ESSA-SEL, she is on the Teaching Artist Roster of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
Director of Learning Design at the Digital Harbor Foundation
Jonathan Prozzi is Director of Learning Design at the Digital Harbor Foundation where he develops resources for teaching technology and maker skills to youth and educators. He's has worked with youth for over 10 years through academic coaching, cognitive training, audio engineering, and as a maker and technology educator. Jonathan is a lifelong learner, technologist, musician, and design enthusiast passionate about empowering others through technology and creativity.
Juanita M. Greenfield
Juanita Greenfield focuses her consulting practice in the non-profit at-risk youth development community and diversity, inclusion, and equitable education industry. She consults with non-profits, boards, educators, and government entities to develop strategies, training, capacity building and funding strategies. Juanita holds an MBA in Business Management, and a MSA in Marketing from the University of Maryland, University College.
Co-Founder of kid-grit
Julia is the grateful Co-Founder of kid-grit, a curriculum with a new, holistic approach to youth development which encompasses mindfulness, social and emotional learning, character education, digital and social media awareness and finishes off with a project showing students mastery. Julia is a graduate of the State University of New York, Fredonia receiving her bachelor’s degree in the Fine Arts. She received her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Antioch University in 2012.
Marriage and Family Therapist
Kaitlin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in Psychology and Hispanic Linguistics and her Master's degree from the University of Maryland in Couple and Family Therapy. She currently works as a Child and Family Therapist with the Linkages to Learning program where she provides trauma informed mental health therapy to elementary-aged children and their families.
After nearly twenty years of experience in direct service and management, Katherine has combined her background in education, social work and coaching to support leaders in the youth development field. Through a powerful combination of training and coaching focusing on both skills and mindset, it is Katherine’s vision and dream to support leaders to effectively support their staff in order to more effectively serve their clients.
The Ritter Group, LLC.
Kera Ritter of The Ritter Group, LLC. is committed to helping not-for-profit organizations build and strengthen their capacity. She provides consulting in the areas of strategic planning, organizational development, and transition management. Ms. Ritter holds a Master of Science from Drexel University and a bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland, College Park.
Education Director, Baltimore City Initiatives
Kristina Berdan is a National Board Certified teacher who taught in Baltimore City Schools for fifteen years. She graduated from Towson University’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program after dancing pre-professionally with the Dayton Ballet Company and then earning her B.S in Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland. Alongside nine of her middle school students in Baltimore City, she founded The Youth Dreamers, Inc. in 2001.
Assistant Deputy Director for Resource & Referral Services for Maryland Family Network and the Maryland Child Care Resource Network
Lacey Tsonis is the Assistant Deputy Director for Resource & Referral Services for Maryland Family Network and the Maryland Child Care Resource Network. Lacey has worked with children and families in addition to working in human resources, as a trainer, and a professional development coordinator. Lacey received her Bachelors in Child and Family Studies from Albright College in Pennsylvania and completed post-graduate work in education at Loyola University Maryland.
Director of YMCA Linkages to Learning
Lindsey is Director of YMCA Linkages to Learning, a school based collaborative that works to enable at-risk children and adolescents to reach optimal physical and mental health, achieve academic success, and become socially secure in their communities. She is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist. Lindsey has 10 years of experience in community based work in the D.C. metro area.
Program Coordinator & Associate Professor for Graduate Education at Stevenson University
Lisa Moyer is Program Coordinator & Associate Professor for Graduate Education at Stevenson University. She received her PhD from Virginia Tech in Integrative STEM Education, and served as a Post-Doctoral Associate in I-STEM Education and Engineering Education. In her role as an educational consultant, Lisa facilitated various educational projects, included building professional development protocol for NASA's Out of School Learning Network.
Director of Educational Strategy & Planning at KID Museum
Director of Educational Strategy & Planning
Melanie J. Wells
Director of Administration for the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics
Melanie J. Wells is the Director of Administration for the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics with 20 years of experience in the public health and nonprofit sectors. During her career, she has served vulnerable communities in North Carolina, Florida, the District of Columbia and Maryland. Her areas of expertise include: nonprofit governance, strategic planning, full-cycle grants administration, as well as program design, implementation, and evaluation.
Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University
Michelle Kaufman, PhD, is a social psychologist by training and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior & Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on how factors related to the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and socio-economic status contribute to health disparities, particularly for youth of color.
Pamela Marie Herath
Leadership and Educational Consultant
Pam Herath is a leadership and educational consultant who has delivered over 300 leadership and coaching workshops and has presented at numerous conferences, including Character.org, Urban Soccer Symposium, The Healthy Masculinity Summit, NAIS, and PAIS. She served as the keynote speaker for the SAIS and NYSAIS Athletic Director’s conferences in the spring of 2018 and delivered an engaging workshop on self-awareness at the University of Delaware’s Women’s Week conference.
Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health team
Rachael Wooden is works as a part of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health team. She leads the Thriving Schools and Arts-based Learning work in greater Baltimore with a focus on increasing resiliency and career and college readiness in youth and the adults that serve them. She brings twelve years of experience as an educator in public schools and using the arts to unite and heal schools-centered communities.
Robert Anthony Granger
President of Nautical Health Concepts
Robert A. Granger III is the President of Nautical Health Concepts. He holds 13 years of experience in leading public health, community advocacy, and youth-based programs. His expertise has gained in supporting related efforts in 15 different states via opportunities in government, healthcare organizations, and nonprofits. Mr. Granger received a Bachelor of Science in Health Education from the University of Florida and a Master of Public Health from Morgan State University.
President and Founder of Inspiring Change Mental Health Services
Shaquanna Foster-Dotson is the President and Founder of Inspiring Change Mental Health Services. She has created several workshops for children, parents, and professionals in order to bring awareness to social issues such as; bullying, conflict resolution, suicide prevention, HIV awareness, and self -esteem. Mrs. Foster-Dotson has over fifteen years of experience with providing crisis management and counseling services to families of Maryland and Ohio.
Office Manager & Event Coordinator, The Arc Maryland
Sharon Dols is the Office Manager & Event Coordinator for The Arc Maryland, an organization working with a mission to create a world where children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have and enjoy equal rights and opportunities. She received her bachelor's degree in communication sciences from The University of Connecticut at Storrs and has worked for over 15 years with Middle and High School students.
Deputy Director for Resource & Referral Services for Maryland Family Network and the Maryland Child Care Resource Network
Steve Rohde is the Deputy Director for Resource & Referral Services for Maryland Family Network and the Maryland Child Care Resource Network. He is the President Emeritus of the Child Care Aware of America board. He has bachelors and masters degrees in Early Childhood Education from Towson University and an Executive Certificate in Transformational Nonprofit Leadership, University of Notre Dame.
Co-Founder and CCO of CypherWorx, Inc.
With over 30 years of experience in training and management positions, Steve is excited to discuss the latest tools and resources for online professional development training designed specifically for the world of afterschool. Working with programs throughout the country, Steve is happy to share the experience of others looking to continue to take advantage of technology and creating purposeful professional development paths that ultimately help improve quality and reduce turnover in programs.
certified yoga teacher and MBSR instructor
Tawanna Kane, RYT is a certified yoga teacher and MBSR instructor, has created stress reduction and mindfulness curricula for public school systems, hospitals, research studies, juvenile halls, level III schools and other general adult populations throughout the US. Tawanna’s work has been featured in American Legacy Woman, Ascent Magazine, Mindful Magazine and in several films, including The Fire of Yoga and the documentary, Yoga Comes to Brooklyn.
Managing Director of the Baltimore Wisdom Project
My name is tree. It is spelled all-lowercase. My name is a one-word name (I do not use a last name unless compelled to do so for governmental or fiscal reasons). In other words, my name is mononymous. tree is my actual legal name.
tree or she ONLY
Note: I request an LGBTQ-affirming professional space and if name badges are created, please be sure to list my pronouns as well as my name (e.g.: Name: tree | Pronouns: tree or she). Thank you.
Teaching Artist Fellow, Young Audiences/Arts for Learning
Valerie Branch graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland College Park with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance. As a Roster Artist and a Teaching Artist Fellow with Young Audiences of Maryland and the Wolf Trap Early Learning Program, her mission is to bring dance to schools throughout DC/MD/VA and beyond. Valerie believes in the importance of sharing the performing arts with under-served youth and adults to enhance growth and development within their communities.