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CAELI Faculty

Ronnie Brooks, Director, Shannon Leadership Institute

Ronnie-Brooks-Headshot-Edited.jpgRonnie Brooks is the founding director of the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute, a program that provides a yearlong renewal experience for foundation and nonprofit organization leaders. The Shannon Institute is based at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, where she has served as the Director of the Wilder Center for Communities. Ronnie has extensive experience in the public and private sectors in Minnesota. She served as special assistant to the governor of Minnesota and as director of majority research for the Minnesota State Senate and has managed development projects for the mayors of both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Ronnie was also vice president of the Keystone Center, a Colorado-based public policy organization; executive director of the Saint Paul Downtown Council; and manager of community development and policy planning for the Dayton-Hudson (now Target) Corporation.

Ronnie has played a leadership role in several Minnesota civic and professional organizations. She was president of both Citizens League and the Mediation Center and a board member of the Voyager Outward Bound School, the David Preus Leadership Council, the Civic Leadership Foundation, Graywolf Press, and MAP for Nonprofits. She was a McKnight Fellow and an International Business Fellow. In addition, Ronnie is a recipient of the Lloyd Short Award for Distinguished Public Service and of the YWCA Outstanding Leadership Award. She currently serves on the boards of Graywolf Press, the David Preus Leadership Council, the National Advisory Council for the Center for Servant Leadership at Gustavus Adolphus College, and she is a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on the Ford Motor Company plant.

Ronnie did her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan and received her master of arts degree in political science from Michigan State University. She has been on the faculty of the National Conference of State Legislature’s Legislative Staff Management Institute, the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, the League of American Orchestra’s Executive Leadership Academy, and University of St. Thomas Center for Nonprofit Leadership, where she focused on leadership and management in the nonprofit sector.

Craig Coble, Founder, Coble Consulting, Inc.

Craig-Coble.jpgCraig Coble has over 20 years of experience as a facilitator, leadership development specialist, and executive coach. In 2000 he founded Coble Consulting Inc., specializing in individual and organizational development. Craig has been a lead facilitator for several leadership development programs and administers several workshops on topics including the Psychology of Decision Making, Aspiring Leaders and Emotional Intelligence, Effective Communication, Conflict Resolution. His clients include the United Nations, Associated Press, Department of Commerce, NIH, Citi, Washington Post, Department of Justice, FCC, DHS, NASA & NOAA, World Bank, WWF, U.S. Merit System Protection Board, Louisiana Primary Care Association, Industrial Bank of Washington, and many other government, financial, and nonprofit institutions.

Craig is a qualified administrator of a number of psychological and personality assessments, as well as 360-degree feedback instruments including MBTI, DiSC, FiRO, Booth 360, Richard Barrett Cultural Transformational Tools, Emotional Intelligence, Achieve Global Leadership and Customer Service tools, and the Leadership Circle. Craig has also been a certified and practicing Action Learning coach through WIAL since 2009.

In 1982, under Vice President Bush, Craig helped rewrite section 504 of the Civil Rights Act to address Civil Rights for Disabled People. He also organized all of the special interest and lobby groups for the disabled and compiled their recommended rewrites for implementation. In 1993 Craig founded Ex’s Inc., a greeting card company for ex-relationships. With articles in the Washington Post and several magazines, and appearances on the Maury Povich show, the Today Show, and Good Morning America, Ex’s has expanded to 38 states, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Craig received his B.S. in psychology from George Washington University, and also attended New York Law School. He holds life and executive coaching certification from the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), CPCC, and in 2012 he received certification as Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Ama Codjoe, Social Justice Consultant & Trainer

Ama-Codjoe-Headshot-EDited.jpgAma Codjoe is the former director of the DreamYard Art Center in the South Bronx where she taught and directed arts and social justice programming for young people and professional development for educators and administrators. Ama has conducted anti-racism trainings and workshops for Pratt, the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), and numerous educator and parent groups in New York City. As a writer she has received fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops. Her Pushcart Prize nominated poems have appeared in Tidal Basin Review, Pluck!, Washington Square, Apex Magazine, and Callaloo. Recently, she received the Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellowship at NYU's Department of Creative Writing. Ama was raised in Youngstown, Ohio, with roots in Memphis and Accra.

Valerie Heron-Duranti, Director of Creative Youth Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of America

HeadShot.jpgValerie Heron-Duranti has fourteen years of experience in the field of arts education and creative youth development with specific focus on arts program development and management, research and evaluation in arts education, and cultural group building in the arts across demographics. For the past four and a half years, Heron-Duranti has directed a groundbreaking research project at Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in collaboration with The Wallace Foundation, focusing on implementing high quality arts programs in Boys & Girls Clubs around the country. Research findings for Heron-Duranti’s project are the foundation for a new national creative youth development strategy at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and will also be presented to the broader field of arts education and out-of-school time programs.

Aside from receiving her Master’s in Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, some of Heron-Duranti’s noted accomplishments include collaboratively developing the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Leadership Development Initiative with Partners in Performance’s founder, John McCann; serving as a Southeast Ambassador for the National Guild for Community Arts Education; creating and directing summer collaborative youth development opportunities in the arts for youth and tweens; directing a performance company for public high school students; and creating the Harvard to Harvard Arts Symposium.

Heron-Duranti is delighted to be serving as a faculty for CAELI this year. She believes strongly in the program, contributing her growth in leadership largely in part to her experiences with CAELI and the National Guild.

Magda Martinez, Director of Programs, Fleisher Art Memorial

kwame.jpgFor over 25 years Magda Martinez has worked as an arts administrator, teaching artist, and high school teacher. She is the director of programs at the Fleisher Art Memorial. During her tenure at Fleisher, as part of the leadership team, Magda has supported and created the strategic vision of the institution. In addition she has designed and implemented Fleisher’s nationally recognized community engagement initiatives, including ColorWheels, Fleisher’s mobile art studio; the FAMbassadors, Fleisher’s community liaison program; and the nationally recognized Teen Lounge, an arts based drop in program for young people between the ages 13-18. She also initiated Fleisher’s annual street fair, Artspiration! Magda currently serves as a board member of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and has served on the board of the Bartol Foundation and Taller Puertorriqueño. Her advice and thought leadership is sought by the American Association of Museums, Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the national advisory panel for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's national afterschool arts programs. Magda is a writer, vocalist, educator, and performer whose belief in the power of the arts to transform lives began in her youth. She has written, performed, and produced her original works nationally. She is a member of Las Gallas, a Philadelphia-based artist collective which has toured nationally and internationally, most recently in May 2014 to Cuba for the International Poetry Festival in Havana. She has received a Fellowship in the Arts from the Independence Foundation, a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Artist as Catalyst grant, and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award in recognition of her work using art as a tool for community transformation.

John McCann, President, Partners in Performance

John McCann has more than 25 years experience in helping leaders work more effectively. His clients have ranged from the American Association of Retired Persons to the New York Youth Orchestra.

In the area of innovation and strategy, McCann has worked with more than 300 of the nation’s leading cultural institutions including the Association of Arts Presenters, Dance/USA, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, Chicago Opera Theatre, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the National Symphony Orchestra. His clients within the philanthropic community have included the Wallace Foundation, Bush Foundation, Maryland State Arts Council, Grantmakers in the Arts, Grantmakers in Education, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

McCann has assisted in the formation of unique partnerships and strategic alliances including Latino New South, a coalition of the Levine Museum of the New South, Atlanta History Center, and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; and the Global Artist Network involving the Museum of International Folk Art, International Folk Art Alliance and leading folk artists from Rwanda, Afghanistan, Ghana, and seven other nations. Both projects are initiatives of the Innovation Lab, a program of EmcArts, Inc. He has also facilitated the discussions leading to the merger of Tribeca Film Institute and Renew Media; Company of Fools and the Center for the Arts; and of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop to form New York Live Arts.

At the graduate level, he has taught management and leadership at Drexel University and Virginia Tech, where for ten years he served as the Director of the Institute for Cultural Policy and Practice. He has delivered guest lectures at Duke University, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

His pro bono work includes engagements with the Clinton Global Initiative, New Orleans Recovery and Rebuilding Coalition, and the Women’s Regional Network (Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan).

McCann is co-founder and currently a board member of EmcArts, a nonprofit social enterprise for learning and innovation in the arts.

José Ochoa, Executive Director, The Chicago High School for the Arts

José Ochoa is the founding Executive Director of The Chicago High School for the Arts. Previously he was the Superintendent of Cultural Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, where he supervised the dance, music, theatre, and visual arts departments, two museums and the special events department. He is also the founder of the Bay Islands School of Music on the island of Roatán, Honduras. 

He served as an honorary trustee for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and he is a board of trustee for the National Guild of Community Schools for the Arts, Arts Alliance Illinois, and Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts. In 2013 he was included in the prestigious 40 Under 40 List by Chicago Crain’s Business. He attended the Harvard Business School Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management program with a scholarship from the Harvard Business School Club of Chicago. José is an alumni and faculty member of the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI). 

He received a Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance from the University of North Carolina School for the Arts and he has a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies—dance, music, theatre from West Texas A&M University. 

Mary Parish, MVP Associates

Since the 1978 launch of MVP Associates, her consulting and training practice, Mary Parish has worked with over 200 different organizations, in both the public and private sectors. She focuses on creating practical strategies for developing leadership and effectiveness at all levels within the organization.

Mary’s work has three channels: Coaching individuals and teams to reach their highest potential; Training design and delivery on topics such as: strengthening interpersonal communication skills, developing emotional intelligence and managing different personality types; and Facilitating groups to work together more effectively, successfully navigate organizational transitions and move their mission forward.

People who have worked with Mary say her deep listening and questioning skills open people to possibilities that may have seemed out of their reach. Mary approaches her work with depth, humor and practicality that gives people specific steps to take to increase their effectiveness in their organization.

At Michigan State University Mary received a B.A. television and radio—as one of only two women in her class—and later earned an M.A. in communication arts.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.