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YAP’s CEO reports to a diverse and independent Board of Directors who contribute a wealth of experience and expertise. The Board meets regularly during the year, both collectively and in Committees such as Executive, Finance, Audit, International, By-Laws, and Nominations. Our Board Members represent YAP’s service areas in the United States and abroad.
Lynette M. Brown-Sow is a highly experienced leader who has guided high-impact public and private institutions throughout the city and the world, delivering results through common sense corporate governance, service to public and nonprofit agencies, and community engagement.
Brown-Sow has served Community College of Philadelphia as a consultant, program director and as Vice President of Marketing and Government Relations, providing more than 25 years of service. She has engaged communities, businesses and governments in constructing frameworks that promote progress and prosperity.
As a member of the president’s cabinet at the College, Brown-Sow led a creative, award-winning staff that marketed the brand, overseeing advertising, public relations, creative services, publications, special events, and government and community relations. She developed and strengthened partnerships nationally and locally; working with the American Association of Community Colleges and the White House to support free-tuition programs at community colleges, and to sustain funding for Pell Grants.
Brown-Sow travels internationally for business and to work on behalf of youth through YAP (Youth Advocates Program). She chairs YAP Inc., a global juvenile justice organization, and sits on the board of YAP/Ireland.
An entrepreneur and founder of L M Brown Management Group, a consultant firm founded in 1980 that provides a range of professional services, Brown-Sow has worked in the public and private sectors, gaining deep insights into their distinct challenges and operations.
A visionary in the healthcare field, Brown-Sow served as a vital change agent, advocating the design of culturally competent health-care systems. She served as chair of the Board of Directors of the Consortium, a behavioral health-care organization that pioneered the strategy of balancing the input of community leaders and medical experts. In 2007, the Consortium named its newest service center the Lynette M. Brown Center of Hope.
In January of 1991, she managed Philadelphia Mayor Edward G. Rendell’s transition team and was later appointed as Deputy Mayor of Administration. She co-chaired then Mayor-elect Michael A. Nutter’s transition team as well. She also chaired the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment during a city-wide code change. In 2012, she was nominated by Mayor Nutter and approved by City Council, eventually becoming Commissioner and Board Chair of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, which was returning to local control following governance issues.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf appointed Brown-Sow to the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board, which works with state educational policies to build a strong workforce development system. She served as a member from 2015-2018.
A life-long Philadelphian who attended public schools, she founded and chairs the Hardy Williams Education Fund, which provides scholarships for students interested in law and social justice. She is also chair, and one of the founders, of Women of Destiny, an organization that mentors professional women of color in an effort to develop new pipelines of talent to serve area corporations and nonprofits.
Brown-Sow has received numerous honors, awards and recognitions, including the Sammy Award for Outstanding Community Service by the Laborers International Union of North America; Communicator of the Year by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (2009); and the Energy for the Community Award from PECO. She was recognized by her peers as one of 100 Distinguished Alumni at Bryn Mawr College; and named, for five consecutive years, one of the City’s most influential Philadelphians by the Philadelphia Tribune. The Tribune also has named her one of the 10 most influential African American women in the City.
Brown-Sow graduated from West Philadelphia High School in 1968, and went on to earn a diploma in programming from the Institute of Computer Sciences. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Administration from Antioch University (1979) and a M.S.S. in Policy, Planning and Development from Bryn Mawr College (1981). She received a “Governing for Non-Profit Excellence” certificate from Harvard University Graduate School of Business and a certificate for “Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management” from Harvard’s Graduate School of Administration (1985). She has taught and/or lectured at Antioch University, Community College of Philadelphia, Temple University and Bryn Mawr College.
Joseph Allen (Jay) Snyder has over 20 years of state government experience in human services. Mr. Snyder also has 30 years experience in professional tennis both as an officiator and administrator. He is a United States Army veteran. Mr. Snyder's Pennsylvania state government experience includes service to the Governor's office, the Department of Community Affairs, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the Department of Public Welfare. He also served as Pennsylvania Commissioner for the Blind, President of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and President of the National Council of State Agencies of Vocational Rehabilitation. He became a Certified Umpire in 1967 and has worked as an umpire at the US Open, Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. He has held positions as the United States Tennis Association Director of Officials, Chief Umpire for the US Open Championships and Director of the US Open and has taught tennis officiating worldwide. Mr. Snyder holds a Master of Public Administration, from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School and a BA in English Literature and Theatre, Susquehanna University (Pennsylvania).
Frances V. Lanigan has over 36 years of local government experience in human services. Now retired, she is the former Commissioner, Oswego County (New York State) Department of Social Services. Her government experience includes identifying strategies to reduce the cost of foster care at the local level combined with the concept of building families to succeed for the long term. In the mid- 90's she was instrumental in reaching out to YAP and bringing their services to a rural upstate county with very limited resources. She is a past president of the New York Public Welfare Association, the state association of local district commissioners from across New York State who advocate for local concerns to State Legislators and oversight agencies. Ms. Lanigan also held leadership positions that led to mergers and professionalization of local services that strengthened and improved the local delivery of human services. She currently volunteers for a number of not for profit agencies that focus on the positive development of and protection of children and families. Ms. Lanigan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Certificates of Study in Leadership, Strategic Thinking, Organizational Development, Public Policy & Government Financing.
Kamia has excelled in the roles of leadership, relationship-building, problem resolution and being of great service to the public. She holds extensive knowledge of laws, the legislative and political processes and protocol, as well as experience with non-profit community organizations and fundraising. She was honored by the Children's Home Society as "Legislative Champion Freshman Legislator of the Year" and by the Florida Education Association with the"Freshman Legislator Friend of Public Education Award."
Emily Ferguson is an educator and parent advocate. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State Harrisburg and received a Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Turabo, Puerto Rico. Emily points to her personal experiences growing up in a low-income community and her time spent volunteering in Mexico as factors that shaped her belief that all children should be valued, respected and accepted. She is a mother of four children, and a committed advocate for her son, who has severe, non-verbal autism. Emily is an Executive Board Member of The Vista School and a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Project MAX Statewide Parent Network.
Donncha has served on the YAP Ireland Board of Directors since July 2015 and was appointed Chair in May 2018 following the successful tenure of Aidan Browne. Donncha is an independent business advisor and mentor specialising in providing supports to include training and consultancy to startups in Ireland. Donncha is a member of the Advisory Board of Bizmentors an organisation providing pro bono mentoring to startups and microenterprise in Galway. As a Bizmentor, Donncha was assigned to meet with Andrew Chappie of YAP Ireland also based in Galway as he was looking to expand the Investing in Children initiative. Donncha was later nominated to the Board of YAP Ireland to bring a different perspective to the organisation. Donncha’s professional background is Marketing having qualified with a B.Comm and MBS in Marketing from NUI Galway. Outside of work, Donncha is a coach and player with the local hurling and camogie club helping out with u6 Boys, u8 Girls and u18 Boys teams. He is also an active player of this very skilful and fast game.
Margaret Alexis Kennedy, Ph.D., is a recognized expert on sexual exploitation. Her areas of interest include child abuse, sexual assault, body image, exploitation through prostitution and internet crime. A former lawyer, Dr. Kennedy has successfully integrated these professional foci into her research agenda examining sexual exploitation. She has published in numerous journals such as the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Kennedy has testified in court, spoken throughout the United States to organizations, including the American Psychological Association, and is quoted frequently in the media. She has received grants to study crime in Clark County, Nevada and has led a number of task forces. Her work in Nevada included Juvenile Justice Girls Research at the Clark County Detention Center. Dr. Kennedy has taught at the University of Toronto, Argosy University (CA) and the University of Nevada—Las Vegas (UNLV). She is an active mentor to UNLV students and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Kennedy received her law degree from the University of Manitoba, Canada in 1993 and her Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology from the University of British Columbia, Canada in 2004. Her doctoral dissertation on cross-cultural perceptions of child abuse won two American Psychological Association Awards (Divisions 37 and 41).
Tremaine “Teddy” Reese is principal owner and managing attorney of The Reese Firm, LLC. Mr. Reese’s memberships have included the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Florida Bar, State Bar of Georgia, Fountain City Bar Association and the Columbus Bar Association. He was among the 2014 Columbus and the Valley Magazine Top 5 Under 40 Professionals, 2016 Rural Leader Magazine Top Professional Under 40 and 2016 Georgia Trend Magazine Top 40 Under 40. He graduated with the 2014 Class of Young Game Changers through Georgia Forward and Leadership Georgia Class of 2015. Mr. Reese received the Center for Legal Education Opportunity Diversity Leadership Award and American Bar Association Law Student Division Golden Key Award. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the Columbus Inns of Courts and serves on the Planning Advisory Council for the City of Columbus.
Mr. Reese has a bachelor’s in computer science from Albany State University, where he was Student Government Association president for two terms; founded the Annual Student Leadership Conference; served as vice president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Delta chapter, and was District of Georgia College Brother of the Year. Mr. Reese served on committees for former Governor of Georgia Sonny Purdue, former Secretary of State, Cathy Cox, and the University System of Georgia. He received a master’s in Public Administration from Georgia College & State University and graduated Cum Laude from Florida A&M University College of Law. He and his wife, Dr. Chasity Reese, have one daughter, Catherine Reese.
Vivian Sanks-King, Esq. practices law in New Jersey and frequently speaks to national and state professional organizations, university faculty and community groups on various health law topics. Her professional history includes several legal positions at the University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey (UMDNJ), Assistant Counsel to the Newark Board of Education and Assistant Dean of Seton Hall University School of Law. Ms. Sanks-King is a past president of the Seton Hall University School of Law Alumni Association and past chair of the Community Health Law Project, a legal advocacy organization for individuals with disabilities. Her numerous awards include the 2002 Raymond A. Brown, Esq. Social Justice Award from Babyland Services, Inc., the 2002 Community Service Award from the Northern New Jersey Black Nurses Association, and the Salute to Policy Makers award from Executive Women of New Jersey in 1998. She serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey, the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute (Chairperson), the Garden State Bar Association, the New Jersey Women and AIDS Network, and Leadership Newark (Vice Chair). She was honored by Seton Hall University School of Law as its Distinguished Graduate (1995) and by Rutgers University Newark College of Arts and Sciences' Alumni Association as its Distinguished Alumni in 1998.
Randolph N. Stone is a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. There he directs the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project of the Clinic, offering law and social work students supervised opportunities to provide quality representation to children and adults. He was the Director of the Mandel Clinic from 1991 to 2001 and previously served as the Public Defender of Cook County where he was responsible for management of a $32M budget and leadership for a 750 person law office. He has also served as deputy director for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, partner in the Chicago firm of Stone & Clark, attorney with the Criminal Defense Consortium of Cook County, and as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow for the Neighborhood Legal Service Program in Washington, D.C. He is a past chair of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section, and serves on several boards and committees including the Sentencing Project, Inc., the Federal Defender Program, and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. Mr. Stone attended Lincoln University ( Pennsylvania), received his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his JD from the University of Wisconsin.
Ricardo Villalobos serves as the Executive Director for the College of Southern Nevada’s Division of Workforce & Economic Development. He has also served as the Director of Workforce Development Programs at Workforce Connections (Local Workforce Development Board) and as the Director of YouthBuild Las Vegas. Each of these endeavors has been an expression of his passion to serve and empower underrepresented populations.
Ricardo received his undergraduate degree from BIOLA University and Master’s degree from the University of San Diego, with an emphasis on Student Development. He also received his Ph.D. in Workforce Development & Organizational Leadership from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, with a dissertation focus on how out-of-school youth successfully navigate workforce development programs. He is a member of the Clark County Juvenile Justice Services Citizen’s Advisory Council, Governor’s Oversight Juvenile Justice Commission, Latin Chamber of Commerce Business Council, Urban Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and Workforce Connections Program Committee.
Bill Wachob's unique background combines government, communications, electoral and public policy expertise. His insight into campaigns comes from a professional political career spanning over three decades.
In 1975, Bill began his public service career as the Director of Administration and Finance for the Youth Advocate Program of Pennsylvania. At the age of 25, Bill was elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature where he focused on juvenile justice, welfare and senior citizen issues. After serving three terms (1979 – 1984), Bill worked closely with United States Senator Tom Harkin as the Executive Director of Independent Action PAC.
Since 1989, Bill has directed the west coast office of The Campaign Group, Inc., a national media/political consulting firm with offices in Philadelphia and San Diego. He received national recognition for consulting on the campaigns of five successful congressional campaigns. In 1994 Campaigns & Elections magazine called The Campaign Group one of the premier media/communications firms in the country and called Bill Wachob a “rising star” in national politics.
Bill has been a Governor’s Appointee to the California Youth Authority Board and involved in public affairs campaigns for Southern California Edison, California Power Exchange (CalPX), Automated Power Exchange (APX), San Diego Gas and Electric, SEMPRE Energy, and numerous public interest organizations.
Bill holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an MGA from the Fels Center of Government, University of Pennsylvania.
He lectures extensively on campaign strategy, communications, and public policy and recently completed teaching a course, Influencing Public Policy, at the Fels Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mamie is the vice president of development for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington (PPMW), where she strategically completed their $20M Capital Campaign for the organization’s new administrative headquarters and clinic in Washington, DC. PPMW’s philanthropy has more than doubled under Mamie’s leadership.
Previously, she served as the executive director of development for George Washington University School of Business (GWSB). While at GWSB, she managed the day-to-day operations and the School’s $80M Campaign. Before GWSB, she was with the Smithsonian Institution, where she crafted the initial philanthropic programming for the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Institution’s Archives as the associate director of advancement in the organization’s history. As a seasoned development professional, Mamie previously worked in higher education as associate vice president of development for Spelman College, where she spearheaded major gifts and planned giving activity in their largest Campaign ever. In addition, Mamie served as a major gift officer at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland-College Park, Rutgers University Division of Life Sciences, and Purdue University. At Purdue University, Mamie secured the Gupta Professorship in Nanotechnology and raised over $15M towards their Nanotechnology Center.
Mamie is a contributing author to Philanthropy in America: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. She earned a Masters of Arts in Philanthropic Studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and an undergraduate degree from Sweet Briar College and has served as faculty for CASE’s Conference on Diverse Philanthropy and Leadership.
Mamie enjoys traveling, knitting, and spending time with her husband Robert and daughter, Abigail Faye.
For over three decades, John L. McKnight has conducted research on social service delivery systems, health policy, community organizations, neighborhood policy, and institutional racism. At Northwestern University, his alma mater, he has served as Professor of Communication Studies and Education and Social Policy. He also serves as Director of Community Studies, Institute for Policy Research; and Co-Director, Asset-Based Community Development Institute. He currently directs research projects focused on asset-based neighborhood development and methods of community building by incorporating marginalized people. Mr. McKnight has been associated with many of the Institute's major research projects since he joined the organization in 1969. These have included research on the urban determinants of health, law enforcement, urban disinvestment and metropolitan government, deinstitutionalized child welfare services, police anticrime programs, and the effects of the perception of crime upon community responses. He also directed the Chicago Innovations Forum, an IPR-based dialogue among neighborhood leaders and innovators in economic, political and social development. Much of his work on asset-based community development is captured in his co-authored book, Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets (1993), which has circulated through a broad range of community, government, business, nonprofit, and educational institutions in the United States and Canada. Articles he has written over the past two decades were published in The Careless Society (1995). He serves on the Board of Directors of numerous community organizations including the Gamaliel Foundation and The National Training and Information Center.