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Nonprofit Conference

Nonprofit Conference

Building Nonprofit Infrastructure to Strengthen Community Services

Nonprofit Conference

September 14, 2023

WDCE's Nonprofit Leadership Institute was proud to launch this new Montgomery College event at the Bioscience Education Center on the Germantown Campus on September 14, 2023. The theme for the inaugural conference was Building Nonprofit Infrastructure to Strengthen Community Services.


Thank you for attending!

We appreciate the support the community gave us for our first event. The day was full of learning opportunities.

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Presenter Biographies

Keynote Speaker

Headshot of George L. Askew, MD

George L. Askew, MD, is the President and CEO of the Meyer Foundation. He is the former Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Health, Human Services, and Education for Prince George’s County, Maryland, and also the former Deputy Commissioner of Health in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where he was responsible for overseeing and managing the Division of Family and Child Health. Prior to that he was appointed by the Obama Administration to serve as the first Chief Medical Officer for the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In that role he provided expert advice and consultation to the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families on plans, programs, policies, and initiatives that addressed the health needs and strengths of children and families facing significant social, health, and economic challenges. This included: Affordable Care Act outreach and education, early childhood health and development, and the health of victims and survivors of human trafficking. Of note, Dr. Askew was one of the core developers of the SOAR Human Trafficking Training for Health Care and Social Service Providers and serves as Chairperson of the Board of HEAL Trafficking.

Dr. Askew was born and raised in inner-city Cleveland, Ohio. He earned a BA in Psychology and Social Relations at Harvard University, is a graduate of the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Class of 1992 Epidemic Intelligence Service.

Funding Priorities Panel

Headshot of Maryland State Senator, Cheryl Kagan, District 17

Sen. Cheryl C. Kagan (D–17) has served in the Maryland Senate since 2015, where her energy, dedication, and experience in all sectors– public, private, and nonprofit– have made her an effective advocate for the residents of Gaithersburg and Rockville.

With a long career in this vital sector, Senator Cheryl Kagan is often described as “The Senator for Nonprofits” for her leadership and advocacy on their behalf. In 2017, Kagan enacted legislation that created the Nonprofit, Interest-Free, Micro Bridge Loan (NIMBL) fund, which provides loans of up to $25,000 to organizations that have earned (but not yet received) government grants or contracts. In 2020, the Senator passed a bill to streamline all State grant applications for nonprofit organizations into what is essentially a “Common App,” saving organizations time (and therefore costs!) and increasing efficiency. Her legislation guarantees “Prompt Payment Parity (enacted 2023);” increased funding for NIMBL (enacted 2023); and engaging nonprofits in climate change solutions through loans (introduced 2023) have passed unanimously twice in the Senate; and she plans to continue pursuing these initiatives in the future.

In partnership with the National Council of Nonprofits and the National Conference of State Legislatures, Sen. Kagan established the National Nonprofit Legislative Caucus, convening legislators from around the country in order to swap “best practices” policy ideas. In recognition of Kagan’s effective advocacy for nonprofits, she was presented with the prestigious Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Award by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement (2017) and recognized (along with Del. Pena-Melnyk) as the first-ever “Legislative Champion” by Maryland Nonprofits (2019).

Headshot of Rafael Murphy.

Rafael Pumarejo Murphy is the Director of the recently created Office of Grants Management (OGM) whose mission is to develop and support best practices for grants management throughout Montgomery County Government that are consistent with the County’s racial equity and social justice goals. Rafael’s grant career began 20 years ago as Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkmenistan training youth and community leaders how to design projects, apply for federal micro-grants, and successfully implement their projects. After completing graduate school and earning a Presidential Management Fellowship, Rafael held a variety of strategic, grantor, and grantee roles within the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), American University, and Montgomery County Government. In addition, he led the largest nonprofit in Turkmenistan for six years with an over $1 million annual budget, four in-country offices, up to 36 multi-ethnic staff, hundreds of volunteers, and up to 26 active federal grants. His primary focus is building connections and understanding between the grand strategic and grass-roots perspectives to shape policies that serve both the government grantor and the nonprofit grantee. Rafael holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, a Masters of Public Affairs from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs as a Peace Corps Fellow, and a Graduate Certificate in Game Design from American University.

Headshot of Jeffrey Slavin.

Jeffery Slavin grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. A licensed real estate broker since 1983, and the owner of a property management company, he is a dedicated community activist, philanthropist, businessman and believes strongly in social justice. Giving back to the community motivates Jeffrey to make connections every day that strengthen the community through giving, growing, and organizing. A graduate of Tufts University, Georgetown University Law Center, and the State and Local Government Program at Harvard's Kennedy School, he currently serves as the Mayor of the Town of Somerset, Co-Director of the Sanford and Doris Slavin Foundation, Third Vice Chair of the Democratic Party, and President of the Montgomery County Media Board of Directors. Jeffrey is tireless in his efforts to make life better for those in need, and regularly helps nonprofits like C.A.S.E. engage smarter, organize better and grow their organization with meaningful advances. 

Headshot of Crystal Townsend.

Crystal Townsend is the President & CEO of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF), which supports organizations that offer solutions to improve the capacity, availability and the delivery of quality health and wellness services for Montgomery County residents. The Foundation has distributed over $86 million since inception focused on equitable community outcomes for all Montgomery County residents. Townsend currently serves on the Leadership Montgomery Board as immediate past Chair; Montgomery Women Board; Regional Primary Coalition Management Team; Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers Executive Board as Treasurer; MCPS COVID Operations Advisory Team, and the BlackRock Center for the Arts Board. Townsend attained her Bachelor of Arts from Hood College in Law and Society and holds a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University from the International Public Service and Development Program. 

Breakout Session Presenters

Headshot of Lewis Flax.

Presenting: Conducting Successful Board Retreats

Lewis Flax specializes in helping nonprofits generate additional revenue. This involves developing income generating programs, creating strategic plans, and enhancing board involvement. His hands-on approach has helped numerous organizations implement strategies and tactics to increase their effectiveness and raise additional funds. His firm, Flax Associates, established in 2008, serves as a partner in driving revenue and results. Lewis understands the challenges nonprofits face, both from an outside consultant's point of view and from the internal perspective of a nonprofit executive. Previously, Lewis served as a Vice President for IEG (a sponsorship consulting firm) and on the leadership team at Financial Executives International (FEI). He is a certified instructor for Dale Carnegie Training, an AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) Master Trainer, and frequently leads nonprofit training programs/workshops.

Headshot of Jacquelyn Lendsey.

Presenting: Tools for Hiring Interim Executive Directors

Jacquelyn L. Lendsey has served as a Nonprofit Interim CEO/Executive Director consultant and a senior management executive leading and managing national, local and affiliate based nonprofit organizations. As a Nonprofit Interim CEO/Executive Director consultant, Ms. Lendsey currently serves as Interim Executive Director of the Greater DC Diaper Bank (GDCDB) working to empower vulnerable families and individuals by providing an adequate and reliable source for basic baby needs and personal hygiene products across the Washington, DC metropolitan area; and has served as Interim President & CEO of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, investing in the power of women and girls of color in the Washington metropolitan region. She has served on the Boards of Directors of DC Scholars Public Charter School, Consumer Health Foundation (now known as if), Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC; and, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. She is a native Washingtonian and a life member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., and Leadership Greater Washington.

Headshot of Tina Patterson.

Presenting: Addressing the Needs of Small Nonprofits

Tina E. Patterson MDR, CF APMP, MCIArb, Principal of Jade Solutions, LLC, specializes in consulting services to clients about community engagement, facilitation, dispute resolution, proposal management and grants management support to a wide range of clients. In addition, for more than two decades, Tina has been a speaker and guest lecturer on various topics, including grant evaluation, human trafficking, minority leadership, landmine removal, mediation and women’s rights. Tina has served on the board of several local and national nonprofits including UN Women (formerly known as UNIFEM). Currently, Tina serves on the boards of the FBI Baltimore Chapter Citizen Academy Alumni Association, the Academy of Court Appointed Neutrals, the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Council, and Women Impacting Public Policy Leadership Council. Ms. Patterson has been featured in several publications including the Association for Conflict Resolution‘s ACResolution magazine, the United Nations Association of United States Interdependent magazine, Rolling Out magazine, the US Geospatial Foundation's Trajectory magazine, the George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership newsletter.

Headshot of Justin Pollock.

Presenting: Benefit Building: Community Focused Design for Thriving Organizations

Justin is founder of Orgforward, a consultancy that partners with community benefit agents and capacity builders to develop leadership and strategies that create communities where equity, dignity, engagement, and a healthy environment exist for everyone. His focus is supporting people in building the leadership capacity that sustains well governed and operated, values and outcomes driven organizations that actively and consciously make the world a better place. Justin is an active educator, coach, writer, and strategist with more than 25 years of experience in the community benefit field. He works with board members, staff, and volunteers from agencies ranging from small start-ups to large well-established agencies on topics of community outcomes, values and culture, governance, financial management, planning, supervision, leadership development, and organizational sustainability. Justin holds a dual B.A. in Organizational Theory and Environmental Studies from Pitzer College and a Curriculum and Teacher Education from Stanford University. 

Headshot of Jasmine White.

Presenting: Using Media Tools to Advance Your Mission

Jasmine White is the CEO of Montgomery Community Media (MCM), which providing access to public media (public access television and broadband media) directly to Montgomery County’s over one million residents as well as the resident non-profit organizations, associations and businesses. White served as the Executive Director of Capital Community Media in Salem OR, where she led a successful organization restructure and created their first fund development strategy.  She previously worked for Montgomery Community Media as the Director of Education and Community Engagement, and DCTV, where she managed Production Services, Creative Services and DCTV’s Youth Training Institute.  She spearheaded both organization’s media education programs, and managed membership and outreach initiatives. White earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from Ramapo College of New Jersey and holds a Master of Film and Video degree from American University, as well as a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of the District of Columbia.

Headshot of Maryland State Senator, Craig Zucker, District 14.

Presenting: Essentials of the Maryland Bond Bill Process

Craig J. Zucker is a Democratic state senator from Maryland’s 14th District and represents more than 130,000 residents. He was appointed to the Maryland State Senate in 2016 and elected for a full term in 2018.

In 2020, Senator Zucker became Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus and serves on the influential Budget and Tax Committee. He is the Chair of the Capital Budget Subcommittee, where he has helped deliver over $250 million in additional funding to Montgomery County and invested over $50 million in District 14 for our schools and local arts and cultural and historical landmarks. The Senator also serves as a member of the Education, Business, and Administration.

Earning a reputation for being a tireless legislator and a champion for those with developmental disabilities, Senator Zucker has been recognized more than five times with the Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award from the Arc of Maryland. He has championed legislation that provides the opportunity for thousands of students with developmental disabilities to go to college. During his tenure as a Delegate, he led the passage of HB 1105 – The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act – which is now law. ABLE allows for special savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families. ABLE accounts help fund qualified expenses for individuals with disabilities, including medical care, education, housing, and assistive technology. This legislation helps ensure that individuals with disabilities have the resources they need to be successful.

Reception Presentation

Headshot of Dr. Sonya J. Bruton.

Dr. Sonya J. Bruton is the CEO and President of CCI Health Services, a licensed clinical psychologist and the author of Finding Your Way in the Nonprofit Sector: Your Portable Mentor for Avoiding Pitfalls and Seizing Opportunities.  Through academic course work, job experiences and coaching, Dr. Bruton has been on the theoretical and practical sides of nonprofit management for three decades. She has supported nonprofit leaders as an executive coach and emerging leaders as a mentor for twenty-years and has a portfolio of successful executives and organizations to show for her efforts. Dr. Bruton holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill, a master's degree in public administration from NC State University and masters and doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She won the NACHC John Gilbert Award for Excellence in 2022 and was honored by Montgomery County Commission on Women - Women Making History (2022) and The Daily Record as a Healthcare Hero (2021). 



View Full Program

We are conscious of the amount of paper used to create a large program so the full program can be viewed digitally. At the event, we had a one page companion program available to attendees.


Message from the Interim Vice President/Provost of Workforce Development and Continuing Education

Headshot of Interim Vice President/Provost of Workforce Development and Continuing Education, Steve Greenfield.

Mr. Steve Greenfield

We cannot thank you enough for being in attendance with our Nonprofit Institute team for this conference. Throughout the day, I hope you were able to take something with you that you can use at work tomorrow. WDCE is excited to grow our partnerships and create meaningful connections with the nonprofit sector. This is a wonderful event and I hope you have a safe and productive fall.