30 Under 30 Award Recipients for 2016
YNPN Atlanta and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits (GCN) are pleased to announce the recipients of the "30 Under 30" Awards! These 30 young professionals are making waves in the nonprofit sector in Georgia!
Scroll down or click on their headshots to read brief bios of each award recipient. The awardees will attend several exclusive recognition and educational events in early 2017. You can read more about this collaboration on GCN's website.
30 Under 30 Award Recipient Biographies
Brianna Alexander, Community Volunteer Manager, United Way of Greater Atlanta
Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Brianna Alexander is a philanthropist, humanitarian, and scholar who has dedicated her life to service, and the enhancement of communities. Brianna is a proud alumna of Howard University, where she received her B.A in Political Science and Community Development. She received a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. She currently serves as the Community Volunteer Manager at United Way of Greater Atlanta, where she manages and executes large impact service projects and events for the Atlanta community. Since beginning her work with United Way, her team has worked with over 20,000 volunteers to complete over 65,000 hours of service and impact in the Greater Atlanta Community.
Natalia Barreto, Associate Director of Development, The Carter Center
As Associate Director of Development at The Carter Center, Barreto supports the fundraising goals and initiatives of the Direct Marketing program. Barreto is mainly responsible for planning and implementing various solicitations through the year. Natalia is currently pursuing an MBA at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. She also serves in the Atlanta board of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, as a volunteer fundraiser and chair of the communications/public relations committee.
Sara Berney, Executive Director, Wholesome Wave Georgia
Sara is the first full-time Executive Director of Wholesome Wave Georgia, a nonprofit organization working to increase access to and affordability of nutritious, local foods for Georgians living at or below 130% of the poverty line. Prior to this role, Sara worked as a Public Health Consultant for Deloitte Consulting LLP, supporting clients at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health non-profits including the Flour Fortification Initiative. Prior to joining Deloitte, Sara served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru where she worked side by side community health promoters and youth health educators to implement Healthy Homes and Schools programs, impacting over 40 families and students in five primary schools. Sara earned her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in African Studies and Sociology from Emory University, and is a graduate of Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute. When she isn’t working, Sara can be found ravenously reading, riding her bike around town, and in deep conversations with friends and family.
Elise Blasingame, Executive Director, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia
Elise Blasingame, an Atlanta native, serves as Executive Director of Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia, the State's leading voice on improving maternal and infant health. Previously, she was the Director of Financial Protection and Community Education at Georgia Watch advocating for policies to protect low-income consumers from exploitation and predatory financial products. Prior, Ms. Blasingame worked for The Carter Center Mental Health Program and Women's Access to Information Initiative, focusing on promoting citizen access to essential health resources and information necessary for economic development in Liberia, West Africa. She returned to Georgia after receiving her B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, her M.S.W. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY), and serving communities in the State of New York for seven years as an advocate and researcher. Ms. Blasingame has served on multiple non-profit boards in metro-Atlanta including in Adair Park where she lives.
Lauren Carson, Executive Director and Founder, Black Girls Smile, Inc
Lauren Carson, an Atlanta native and University of Virginia alumnus, is the Executive Director and Founder of Black Girls Smile Inc. a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting positive mental health education, resources and support. Through her work with Black Girls Smile Inc. and as a Mental Health Advocate and Speaker, Lauren is currently a contributing Blogger for the Huffington Post, has been featured in Refinery 29, HERS Magazine and Atlanta Blackstar. She was also featured as a panelist at the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative University and will be speaking at SXSW 2017. Lauren continues to lend her voice and platform to mental health awareness and empowerment of women and girls. She is most proudly the daughter of Dr. Eric and Martha Carson and big sister to Charlyne, Kia and Eric Carson!
Maya Chaudhuri, Senior Investigator and Intake Manager, Southern Center for Human Rights
Maya Chaudhuri is currently a Senior Investigator and Intake Manager with the Southern Center for Human Rights. She joined SCHR as the Criminal Justice Reform Intake Specialist through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Maya graduated with honors in 2013 from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University with a B.S. in Culture and Politics.
Tiffany Coakley, District Director, Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
Tiffany is a District District with the Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. In this role, she is responsible for membership growth & retention, annual fundraising campaign, and providing the Scouting program in the Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Midtown, and East Atlanta area. She received her Master's in Public Administration concentrating in Nonprofit Management from Georgia State University. Tiffany is also a proud alumni of the University of South Florida where she received her undergraduate degree. She is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta, serves on the Kiwanis Foundation Board of Trustees, and is a Board member and past Programs Chair for the Young Nonprofit Professional Network Atlanta Chapter.
Brandon P. Fleming, Philosophy & Political Science Instructor, Ron Clark Academy
Brandon P. Fleming is an instructor at the highly acclaimed Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, GA & Harvard University Debate Council. While an undergraduate student at Liberty University, Fleming founded S.Y. Scholars Program, Inc., a non-profit college preparatory and leadership development institute for public and private school students in Central Virginia. Fleming’s organization transformed at-risk secondary students into top-tier college prospects. Fleming and his students have organized various community initiatives, such as education symposiums, that have galvanized community members and leaders to advocate local and national education reform.
Veronda Ford, Executive Director and Founder, Cultivating Healthier Options in Communities Everywhere International Inc
Veronda Ford is the Founder and executive director of Cultivating Healthier Options In Communities Everywhere International Incorporated (C.H.O.I.C.E. Int'l Inc.) nonprofit organization. Her education includes two bachelors, two masters, numerous certifications including nonprofit management. Veronda Ford Enterprises is her business and nonprofit consulting firm where she provides a variety of services to business and organizations ranging from startup to management and grant writing. Her life's mission is to fight for the oppressed and ring out justice for all marganilized populations.
Sarah Garnitz, Director, Atlanta Teen Voices, VOX Teen Communications
Sarah is an Atlanta native who just moved back recently from Philadelphia to become the Director of Atlanta Teen Voices for VOX Teen Communications. Sarah graduated from Elon University and went on to do two years of AmeriCorps before earning an MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University. She taught various writing classes to both college undergraduates and high school students before becoming the Program Manager at PA Campus Compact where she managed an AmeriCorps*VISTA program at 20 higher ed. institutions. Sarah is excited to be back in Atlanta and is deeply interested in continuing to find the intersections between community-work, teaching, self-expression, and storytelling.
Jesse Grossman, Founder, Community Bucket
Jesse is an almost native of Atlanta (since age 5) and is a graduate from Emory University. He started Community Bucket in 2012 in an effort to make volunteering easier and more enjoyable for young professionals in Atlanta. With the focus on "Service Made Social," the aim is to create an engaging platform for meeting like-minded people and making a positive impact on the community at the same time. Outside of Community Bucket, Jesse also runs a recruiting company called Minds For Hire, and he is a board member of the Atlanta Global Shapers. He loves all things outdoors, traveling to interesting places, trying new foods, and helping improve the ecosystem of social entrepreneurs in any way possible.
Guen Han, Director of Development, Welcoming America
Guen Han is the Director of Development at Welcoming America, an organization that is leading a movement of inclusive communities embracing immigrants and refugees and fostering opportunity for all. She leads Welcoming America’s fundraising efforts and has been with the organization since 2013. Previously, Guen worked at Amnesty International USA, where she supported its members and field organizing efforts in the South and Midwest around issues such as death penalty abolition, immigrants’ rights, freeing prisoners of conscience, and women’s rights. Guen is a graduate of Duke University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, and with the highest honors in her major. She received a Bachelor’s degree in International Comparative Studies and a Certificate in Policy Journalism and Media Studies.
Brittney Henry, Executive Assistant to Chief Development Officer, United Way of Greater Atlanta
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world" has shaped and manifested Brittney Henry's accomplishments and career. At 28 years old, Brittney Henry has played a pivotal role in shaping United Way's Vision 2020 into a work space mindset of service across many cross-functional teams. Her direct mail marketing experience, innate ability to effectively communicate, and mastery of executive c-suite skills has deemed her a "go to" amongst colleagues and family members. Growing up on the outskirts of Atlanta, Brittney was able to find passion and enthusiasm in giving back to the community through creativity at a very young age. She is a true “country-girl” that plans to start her latest venture , as Co-founder of the Hakunamatata Project by providing a worry-free philosophy. Brittney seeks to provide global acquisition of impact through multiple channels of service.
Corby Herschman, Director of Development, Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta
Corby Herschman is the Director of Development for Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta, where she has led successful fundraising, strategic planning and advocacy initiatives. A graduate of University of Florida with a degree in Public Relations and Nonprofit Management, she was previously the Development Manager for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, working to create thriving nonprofits across Georgia. In Fall 2014, Corby enrolled in the Evening MBA program at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and plans to graduate in May 2017 with concentrations in Marketing and Strategy. She is actively involved with the school’s new Nonprofit Concentration and plans to use her MBA to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector. She is a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, and Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
Jennifer Hite, Senior Program Coordinator, Emory University
Jenny Hite is a Senior Program Coordinator with Emory University. Prior to Emory, she has served Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) in various administrative and research roles over the past five years. At SREB, she has researched and published on a variety of education policy topics, including early childhood education, college admission exams and issues of educational inequality. She also served as the project manager for the organization's biennial state progress reports. Prior to SREB, Jenny was a preschool teacher and an advocate for high school students with developmental disabilities. Jenny holds a master’s in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from Georgia State University.
Allison Hood, Development Director, VOX Teen Communications
Allison Hood is the Development Director for VOX Teen Communications, a nonprofit that focuses on self-expression and leadership development for teens in metro Atlanta. Prior to joining VOX, Allison worked for Lutheran Services of Georgia as the Special Events Manager, She began her non-profit career in Atlanta as the Program Coordinator for youthSpark, a non-profit organization that works to end child sex trafficking through prevention and early intervention. She is a graduate of Georgia State University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Jordyne Krumroy, Communications & Outreach Manager, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition
Jordyne Krumroy is the Communications & Outreach Manager for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, where she oversees communications for infrastructure campaigns and events, as well as outreach to local communities. In addition to her work in the transportation arena, she is actively engaged in immigration advocacy as a Coordinator for El Refugio, a hospitality house in Lumpkin, Georgia, that serves detained immigrants and their families. Previously, Jordyne was the Community Engagement & Marketing Manager for Nicholas House, a shelter serving homeless families in Atlanta. She received her Master of Social Work from Georgia State University, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Spanish from Appalachian State University.
Jillian Madden, Development Director, Midtown Assistance Center Jillian Madden is the Development Director at Midtown Assistance Center, where she started as a Jesuit Volunteer Corps member. Jillian previously worked for United Way of Greater Atlanta as a Project Manager. Jillian sits on the board of the University of Michigan Atlanta Alumni Association, serves as a mentor at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, is a member of two YNPN committees, and volunteers with St. Vincent de Paul.
Nicole Morado, Consultant, Georgia Center for Nonprofits
As a consultant and a program manager, Nicole Morado serves both clients and the consulting team with the same high level of skill and enthusiasm. Her consulting work, delivered alongside GCN’s senior consultants, encompasses a range of organizational development areas including strategic planning, market research, human resources, executive searches and transitions, resource development, leadership development, and board governance; she also leads a professional development course on nonprofit business essentials through GCN’s Nonprofit University. Currently, she also serves as project manager for Momentum: Westside and Momentum: Atlanta, two cohort-based capacity-building initiatives that bring together 5 to 35 nonprofits every month for training, coaching, infrastructure development, and networking. As a native of Atlanta, Morado is passionate about its sustainable and equitable development: In particular, she sees education, workforce development, and arts and culture as community forces capable of protecting residents and families against hardship. Nicole resides in the Southeast Atlanta neighborhood of Peoplestown, and loves walking her rescue dog to Grant Park. She is a regular volunteer for organizations that serve the city, including Emmaus House, Chop Art, and WonderRoot, and recently joined the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s working group for young professionals, ATLeaders, as coordinator of their Attract Team for Food Insecurity.
Wesley Myrick, Senior Adviser and VP, Board of Directors, One 2 One Educational Support
A twelve year veteran of the Atlanta non-profit sector, Wesley most recently served as Collaboration Program Manager with Food Well Alliance. In this role, he managed the process of connecting Atlanta’s local food entrepreneurs, community organizers and educators to one another and with federal resources. As Senior Adviser with One 2 One Educational Support, Wesley is crafting a tri-state organizational expansion to increase access to summer and after-school meals for kids in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Prior to joining One 2 One, Wesley lead similar efforts at the Georgia Food Bank Association where he increased access to meals for hungry kids by 2 million meals. Wesley is born and raised in Atlanta and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Georgia State University and a Master’s Degree in International Economic Development from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Zach Nikonovich-Kahn, Public Policy Advocate, Families First
Zach Nikonovich-Kahn is a public policy and government affairs professional, specializing in the non-profit sector. He currently serves as the as the Public Policy Advocate for Families First, one of the largest social services non-profit organizations in the state. Prior to joining Families First, Zach worked in the Georgia House of Representatives, as well as the offices of Senator Hillary Clinton and Congressman John Lewis. Zach is an Atlanta native, and he currently serves on the BeltLine Affordable Housing Advisory Board, the BeltLine Young Leaders Council, the board of the Midtown Neighbors Association, and the Board of Ambassadors at the Georgia Museum of Contemporary Art. Zach graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in History, and he has a Master’s degree from Cambridge University.
Jasper Preston, Program Coordinator, Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness
Jasper graduated from Kennesaw State University with a B.S. degree in leadership studies. He is the Program Coordinator for the Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness, maintaining and improving the statewide referral helpline; as well as planning and coordinating events throughout the state. He has celebrated 10 years with the GAEH as of July, 2016. He also enjoys volunteering his time with his Church to feed and give clothing to the homeless in his community. When not tackling the challenges of ending homelessness in the state of Georgia, Jasper enjoys being outdoors with his wife and daughter and learning about the world.
Alexis Richbourg, Development Director, Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
Alexis Richbourg is the Development Director for the Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. In this role Alexis is responsible for recruiting and leading volunteers and staff to meet established fundraising goals through an annual campaign. She is responsible for four special events as well as oversees the development of the Council’s Endowment fund and major gift initiatives. Alexis was born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a graduate of Georgia State University. In her spare time, Alexis serves as the National Director of Risk Management for her sorority, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. a member of Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club, and serves as Mentorship Committee Chair for Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Atlanta (YNPN).
Steven Sainz, Executive Director, Camden Family Connection
Steven Sainz currently serves as the Executive Director for Camden Family Connection; an organization dedicated to improving the lives of Camden’s families and children. Studying public policy at Valdosta State University, he learned that the most efficient and meaningful way to tackle social issues on the individual level is through systematic changes on the national, state, and local level. He is one of the youngest Certified Preventionist in the State of Georgia, having implemented and successfully solicited over 2 million dollars of substance prevention programs for Camden County. In his free time, Steven enjoys going on weekend hiking trips across North Georgia’s amazing landscapes. His current favorite spot is Yonah Mountain in Helen, GA
Julian Smart-Rimple, Education Director Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta
Julian Smart-Rimple resides in Marietta, Georgia and is a graduate of Kennesaw State University. While there he majored in English and minored in Professional Writing while also becoming a Teaching Ambassador through his travels to Seongdong-gu, South Korea in 2010. Since 2006, Julian has been dedicated to volunteerism, servanthood, and community engagement. Striving to align himself in professional speaking opportunities with companies and organizations positioned for strong growth. As an Education Director for Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and the Founder/President of King Building Development Institute Inc., he continues marketing skills to the Atlanta community that embody civic engagement, professional leadership, public speaking, and project management.
Rochelle Patrice Smalls, Development Director, Atlanta Heart Association
Rochelle P. Smalls is a Development Director (Heart Walk) for the American Heart Association’s Metro Atlanta Division. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Prior to joining the American Heart Association, Rochelle worked for a youth programming development organization where she served the youth of Metro Atlanta through educational programming, fund development & volunteer management. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast & Electronic Media and her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from Georgia College & State University.
Heather Stockdale, CEO and Co-Founder, Georgia Cares
Heather Stockdale is the CEO and Co-Founder of Georgia Cares, the statewide victim service agency for child victims of sex trafficking and exploitation in Georgia. In her role as CEO, she is responsible for the overall development and implementation of the organization’s mission and strategic priorities. Her professional experience and training within the Trafficking and Youth Development fields through her work at the Governor’s Office and the Office of the Child Advocate serve her vision to pursue strategies that support holistic health youth, while also building the State’s capacity to support families and communities in the fight against Human Trafficking. She is a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, serves on many advisory boards and groups, and is a proud graduate of the University of Georgia.
Erica Thomas, State Representative, District 39 / Founder / Author, Georgia House of Representatives / Speak Out Loud
The Honorable Erica Thomas has taken an fastidious global approach to the economic and environmental development of the world. As an innovative trailblazer and entrepreneur with a passion for inspiring others, Rep. Thomas has founded two nonprofits focusing on public speaking, leadership development, training and advocacy. Her philanthropic interests are centered around the goals of education and child safety. One of her lifelong interests was the establishment libraries in Africa and she is now working to build an orphanage in Dibette Village,Botswana. As she is soaring through life, Rep. Thomas is currently in flight school and is ranked as a Major in the United States Air Force Civil Air Patrol.
Jewel N. Thompson, Small Business Program Coordinator, Operation HOPE
Jewel Thompson, MBA has dedicated over eight years of her professional career to the public sector. In her capacity she has helped to develop programs, design creative communication tools, and implement strategies to increase impact across various non-profit organizations in Atlanta. Presently, she is the Small Business Program Coordinator for Operation HOPE, Inc. and serves as a business counselor for aspiring business owners in the East Atlanta community in an effort to increase economic empowerment of low-income communities through financial literacy.
Malika Whitley, CEO & Founder, ChopArt
Malika Whitley is the CEO & Founder of ChopArt, a multi-disciplinary arts organization for homeless youth operating in Atlanta, New Orleans, Hyderabad, and Accra. Since it's inception in 2010, ChopArt has served over 30,000 youth worldwide using a collaborative heavy, volunteer-run model of service. Malika also sits on the Board of Directors of GloATL and the Advisory Board of Women Engaged. She has a background in international arts marketing with experience working on five different continents with socially driven agencies. Her passion is fighting for human rights and freedom in all its forms.