Spalding’s Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute | Get to know the 2021 cohort

Information on the 20 area nonprofit leaders who will participate in Spalding's yearlong professional development program

Steve Jones

On Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, Spalding University and Kosair Charities announced the 2021 cohort of the Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute – an innovative yearlong professional development and executive coaching program at Spalding for nonprofit leaders. Learn more about the 20 nonprofit leaders in the upcoming class below:

STACY BAILEY-NDIAYE, Executive Director, Bridge Kids International

About the organization: Bridge Kids International uses the power of African heritage culture to create communities that support the well-being of young people.  We help young people develop their own solutions to community challenges and build positive relationships between African, African-American, Caribbean and other African Diaspora groups for the purposes of friendship, cooperation, and individual and community empowerment.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I was honored to be asked to participate in LDI.  I am excited to build my capacity to lead from my strengths, develop a strong and balanced team, and incorporate sound business strategies to grow my organization.”

KARINA BARILLAS, Executive Director, La Casita Center

About the organization: La Casita Center is a community of Latinx Hospitality. We are a grassroots nonprofit located in Louisville, accompanying families in the Latinx community.  Our mission is to empower these families, providing a foundation for systemic change with long-term effects.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I am honored to have been invited to participate and to be part of the KCLDI.  I am looking forward to acquiring new knowledge, participating and strategizing the steps for La Casita to go to the next level.  I am also very excited to meet amazing nonprofit people in my cohort, and learn from them as well.”

**NEWS RELEASE | Announcing the Spalding’s 2021 Kosair Charities LDI class

KAITLIN BLESSIT, Executive Director, Marty’s Orchid House

About the organization: Marty’s Orchid House is a therapeutic and health-focused day center for preschoolers with autism, sensory processing disorders and overlapping health conditions. We offer all day services for working parents of high-risk children, including skilled pediatric nursing care, adapted curriculum, therapeutic services and nutritional support.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “What an honor to be chosen for the Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from the best of the best. I look forward to learning about my own leadership style analysis so I can maximize my strengths strategically and become aware of areas needing more strength and balance to boost my organization to excellence. We all have the ability and great responsibility to continuously develop ourselves professionally to support our organizational mission and vision. In order to best serve our community, we must first begin with ourselves.”

MARLAND COLE, Executive Director, Evolve502

About the organization: Evolve502 is a public-private partnership working to ensure that every child in Louisville is prepared for college, a career and a successful, productive life.  Evolve502 does this work by convening and organizing community partners to better link youth to resources to ensure academic success and by providing access and funding to pursue a postsecondary education, beginning with the Jefferson County Public Schools class of 2021. Focusing on systems, scholarships and supports, Evolve502 is committed to removing and mitigating the systemic barriers of poverty and racism, and to ensure an educated, growing and vibrant community where all citizens can prosper.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I am honored to be selected as a Kosair Charities LDI participant. I am looking forward to gaining new tools and perspectives that will enable me to grow in my leadership role. I also appreciate the opportunity to build a network of relationships with other nonprofit thought leaders who share similar experiences and challenges.”

MEGAN COOPER, Executive Director, Camp Hendon

About the organization: Camp Hendon supports children with Type 1 Diabetes and their families through summer camp, weekend retreats and other year-round events. We empower our campers and their families by providing the tools, guidance and camaraderie they need to take control of their journey with diabetes.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I am really honored and excited to be a part of the Kosair Charities LDI at Spalding. As a young professional with only a few years of nonprofit experience under my belt, I am looking forward to honing my leadership skills, gaining greater confidence in myself as a leader, and tapping into all of this for the benefit of Camp Hendon.”

ARTHUR COX, Executive Director, St. George’s Scholar Institute

About the organization: The St. George’s Scholar Institute (SGSI) is a youth development agency that provides quality, out-of-school programming for social, emotional and academic learning to vulnerable youth in the California neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. Our mission is to Embrace, Educate and Empower youth in Louisville.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I was honored to know that I was selected to take part in the Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute. The distinction came at a pivotal time in my career. I look forward to learning about myself, my assets and deficiencies and how I can best lead the team I’m a part of.”

JENNIE JEAN DAVIDSON, Executive Director, Neighborhood House

About the organization: Neighborhood House is a whole-family community center serving the neighborhoods of Louisville’s West End. We serve families from the twinkle to the wrinkle! That includes a world-class child development center, a robust youth program (currently providing all-day NTI support to four classrooms of Jefferson County Public Schools students), a family engagement and family coaching program, a senior program (which is safely virtual during the pandemic), and an emergency food bank.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I am excited to bring new tools to Neighborhood House to help us increase our impact and our ability to ensure that families are better off as we enter our 125th year serving kids and families in Louisville.”

EMILIE DYER, Program Director, Americana World Community Center

About the organization: Americana World Community Center is bridging the gap from surviving to thriving for Louisville’s refugee, immigrant and underserved populations through education, family support, youth achievement, and career and financial development.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I am excited to be part of the unique professional learning opportunity provided by the Kosair Charities LDI. I believe this training will allow me to further develop my professional network and build my finance and advancement skills for nonprofit management.”

EDWIN FOX, Tutoring Program Coordinator, First Gethsemane Center for Family Development

About the organization: First Gethsemane Center for Family Development Inc. has provided our youth with several Out-of-School-Time Academic Enhancement Programs, which include summer enrichment camps, free spring/fall after-school tutoring, robotics workshops and Saturday ACT prep workshops. We focus on improving reading comprehension, mathematics and writing skills for the youth.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I was very excited to be selected for the Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute. This is an opportunity to learn how to enhance and improve the daily operation of our organization in providing life-changing academic support to youth in our community.”

TANISHA “TISH” FREDERICK, Founder, BAYA (Beautiful As You Are)

About the organization: The BAYA (Beautiful As You Are) program provides self-esteem building services for girls ages 6-18.  We serve as an after-school program for some JCPS schools, Boys and Girls Club and the Cabbage Patch Settlement House, to name a few.  The “BAYA Center,” located in Clarksville, Indiana, provides weekly interactive self-esteem building workshops and activities to girls and their families at little to no cost.  Our overall goal is to teach girls to cope with stress in a positive way and to love themselves unconditionally.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “My initial reaction was shock and excitement! I couldn’t believe I was chosen to be in a class with so many excellent nonprofit leaders. I am looking forward to growing as a leader, stretching myself mentally and being challenged by the curriculum in this program.  I have high expectations that when I graduate from this program I will be in a better position to take our organization to the next level and truly build sustainability as a nonprofit.”

SONJA GREY, Executive Director, ECHO (Exploited Children’s Health Organization)

About the organization: For over 30 years, ECHO’s mission has been dedicated to preventing and reducing the incidences and impact of child abuse by providing education, advocacy and support services to the children and families of Metro Louisville. ECHO provides comprehensive and evidence-based prevention education. Our program provides educational information about child abuse prevention and is targeted for children and youth, youth-serving organizations and concerned adults. The program helps to empower the voices of children and seeks to create a stronger and safer community for all.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “My reaction to being selected for this program was pure excitement! I am honored to have been selected to participate with such an elite group of community leaders. I am most looking forward to cultivating new relationships with my classmates, learning new tools or skills from experts, and ways to engage with each other. With this experience, I want to continue to learn about myself and how I can be the most effective, compassionate leader for ECHO and the community.”

SARAH HALFACRE, Executive Director, Green Hill Therapy

About the organization: Green Hill Therapy’s mission is to help children reach their full potential through proven playful intervention. We accomplish this by providing highly specialized and individualized Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy services.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “The Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute at Spalding makes me extremely hopeful for the future as it sets all of our organizations up for success. I am eager to further develop and implement the essential skills of leadership so that I can best position Green Hill Therapy to help children in our community. This is an extraordinary opportunity that promotes networking and cooperation between nonprofits in our area.”

JOE MCCOMBS, Director of Operations, enTECH at Spalding University

About the organization: Kosair Charities Enabling Technologies of Kentuckiana – or enTECH – is one of five assistive technology resource centers (ATRC) in the state that receive funding from the Kentucky Assistive Technology Network (KATS) to assist those in need of durable medical equipment and communication devices that enhance the quality of life for individuals across the lifespan. A division of Spalding University’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy, enTECH also partners with Kosair Charities to support medically fragile children and others to overcome barriers with mobility and communication.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute, and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to be included in this cohort. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues and to learning more about the how’s and why’s that make their organizations successful.”

KATHY MULLEN, Director of Education, VIPS Louisville

About the organization: Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) providers early intervention services and educational consultation for children who are blind or visually impaired. We are statewide providers across Kentucky and Indiana. In Kentucky, we serve children aged birth to 5 years, and in Indiana, we serve children aged birth to 3. We serve children in their homes and the community, coaching parents on how to fully include their child in their family life and to prepare them for their next educational setting. We have offices in Louisville (headquarters); Lexington, Kentucky; and Indianapolis. Our Louisville campus is home to VIPS Kids Town Preschool, of which Kosair Charities is a major supporter.  Kids Town Preschool is recognized internationally as a premier center for educating young children who are blind or visually impaired.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I humbly acknowledge that others recognize me as a leader in the field of early intervention. Participating in LDI will help me confirm that recognition comes from my leadership skills and experience and not my age. As a lifelong learner, I am truly honored and extremely excited about being selected for the second LDI class. Very grateful, too!”

CHRISTINA POOLE, Founder/President, City Schoolhouse

About the organization: We are a private neighborhood school serving children ages 6 months to 12 years where ability to pay does not infringe on a family’s access to attend our school. There are three main factors that distinguish City Schoolhouse from other schools. First, we educate the whole child with an individualized learning plan. Second, we use a two-generation approach to education. Third, our schoolhouse model is intentionally designed to be close to the people it serves.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I was honored to be selected to participate in the LDI at Spalding! I believe it is a great opportunity to connect with other nonprofits and leaders in the community. I look forward to developing more leadership skills to carry our organization’s mission far and wide and for many years to come!”

KISH CUMI PRICE, Director of Education Policy and Programming, Louisville Urban League

About the organization: The Louisville Urban League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, community service organization dedicated to eliminating racism and its adverse impacts on our community

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I am excited to be in great company with some of the city’s most impactful leaders as we prepare to learn from each other and benefit from the personal and professional development opportunities offered by the Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute at Spalding.”

KATHERINE SIX, Executive Director, Educational Justice

About the organization: Educational Justice strives to end educational inequity by pairing a fifth- to eighth-grade student with a high-achieving high school student for long-term academic mentorship aimed at both improving academic performance and providing a meaningful student leadership experience.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “My honest first reaction to being selected for the Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute at Spalding was honor and excitement, quickly followed by reservation of not knowing if I would have the time to dedicate to the institute in this particularly challenging season due to COVID-19. However, after the first meeting with the program directors and other participants, I knew this was the exact time to participate in this opportunity. Now more than ever as a young leader, I need the lessons in leadership and communication that this institute will provide so that I can better support the rest of the Educational Justice staff who are working tirelessly to provide students throughout Louisville with the academic assistance they deserve.”

DAVID WEATHERSBY, Chief Operating Officer, Seven Counties Services

About the organization: Seven Counties Services is a community mental health center and provides behavioral health services to the people of the seven counties region surrounding Louisville.  We serve people with issues related to mental health, addictions, and intellectual and developmental challenges.  Our mission is to help people find and reach their potential.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I am grateful and excited to have this opportunity and look forward to learning all about strengths-based and possibility-driven leadership.”

PATRICIA WILLIAMS, President and CEO, Wesley House Community Services

About the organization: Wesley House Community Services is a cornerstone nonprofit 501(c)(3) institution serving Louisville Metro and surrounding areas for more than 117 years. Our programs include early child development, Out-of-School Time services for youth and economic empowerment resources for adults. We provide direct services to our communities’ most marginalized and economically vulnerable populations.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I am delighted to be a part of the 2021 KCLD cohort. I look forward to accessing knowledge about my leadership style that will allow me to leverage it as a resource to drive our agency’s mission forward. I’m super excited to share this opportunity with a table of phenomenal leaders.”

LORI WILSON, Executive Director, Carriage House Educational Services

About the organization: Carriage House Educational Services provides inclusive preschool and early intervention ABA group services to children ages 2-6 years. We also provide home- and community-based behavior intervention services through the Michelle P. Waiver.

On being part of the Kosair Charities LDI: “I was honored to be selected to participate in Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute at Spalding University. I am looking forward to enhancing my leadership skills and applying what I learned to our organization.”