Founding Director, Shannon Leadership Institute
Ronnie 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 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. 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.
Founder, Coble Consulting
Craig 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. 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. 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).
Social Justice Trainer and Consultant
Ama 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, OH, with roots in Memphis and Accra.
Director of Learning and Leadership Development, National Guild for Community Arts Education
A 2018 alumna of CAELI and previous steering committee member for the Guild's ARE and Emerging Leaders Networks, Quanice G. Floyd is a renaissance woman who wears many capes. Born and raised in NYC, she has spent over a decade in Washington, DC where she has received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from Howard University and Kent State University respectively. Her passion for arts administration led her to pursue her second Master’s degree in Arts Management at American University and is currently a doctoral student at Drexel University. Quanice is also the Founder & Director of the Arts Administrators of Color Network, an organization committed to empowering artists and arts administrators by advocating for access, diversity, inclusion, and equity in the arts in the DC and Baltimore metropolitan areas. For the past decade, she has been a public-school music educator where she taught elementary school general music, chorus, band, and orchestra. Quanice also serves as a board member for two DC arts organizations, and is an alumna of ArtEquity's Racial Facilitator Cohort, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Music Educators and Arts Administrators Academy, 4.0 Schools' Essentials Program, and the Arts Education Collaborative’s Leadership Academy. In 2018, Quanice was honored with the American Express Emerging Leader Award by Americans for the Arts.
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. 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.
Founder and President, 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. At Michigan State University Mary received a B.A. in television and radio—as one of only two women in her class—and later earned an M.A. in communication arts.
G. Kwame Scruggs has over 20 years of experience using myth in the development of urban male youth. the founder and director of Alchemy, a non-profit organization in Akron, Ohio established in 2003. Alchemy uses mythological stories to engage urban adolescent males. In 2012 Alchemy was one of 12 programs to receive the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities—the nation’s highest honor for after-school and out-of-school programs. He holds a Ph.D. and MA in mythological studies with an emphasis in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. Kwame also holds a MS degree in technical education with an emphasis in guidance and counseling from the University of Akron where he also completed all the course work for a MS degree in community counseling. In 1993, after being formally initiated into the Akan System of Life Cycle Development (African-based rites of passage), Kwame became a Certified Facilitator of this process.
Xavier Verna is currently the executive director of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts. He previously served for five years as director of education for the Sphinx Organization in Detroit, MI. He oversees fundraising, programming, and building management at the historic Ramsdell Theatre in beautiful Manistee, MI. Xavier is an alum of the 2017 Community Arts Education Leadership Institute program. Xavier is also involved in state-wide efforts to support other Michigan arts and cultural organizations as a councilmember for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. He also serves as the president for the Michigan Presenters Network.
Argentine-born Guillermina Zabala is a multidisciplinary artist and educator whose artworks examine the intersection between the individual and their sociopolitical and cultural environment. She graduated from Columbia College Hollywood with a B.A. of arts in cinema and has been the media arts director at San Antonio’s SAY Sí for the past 14 years. She’s the recipient of UTSA’s 25Veinticinco Award, the SA Artist Foundation Award and the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant. She is a Mentor for the 2019 NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program and was a member of the 2018 Luminaria Artistic Advisory Committee; she served as Curator for numerous film festivals, including the 9th LA Freewaves; and she is an alumni of the 2017 Community Arts Education Leadership Institute, 2008 Creative Capital Artist Retreat, and the 2007 NALAC Leadership Institute. Her artworks have been exhibited in museums and art galleries in Los Angeles, New York, Texas, Miami, and San Francisco; and internationally in Germany, Latin America and Spain. Several of her photographs are part of the UTSA Art Collection and have been published in several books and publications.