Meet Our Team

Under the leadership of Mishaela Durán, a recognized leader and champion in the youth development field, the Forum’s diverse team includes researchers, educators, policy analysts, youth work practitioners, advocates, and communications specialists.

Office of the CEO

Abby Cohen
Executive Assistant to the President & CEO
Mishaela Durán
President & CEO

Mishaela serves as President & CEO of the Forum.

Tiffany Erickson
Executive Vice President, Strategic Communications

Tiffany Erickson is the Forum for Youth Investment’s first Executive Vice President, Strategic Communications.

Amanda Heckenkamp
Communications Manager

Amanda is a skilled digital communicator and content creator working to amplify the Forum's message and role in advancing youth-serving systems.

Improving & Aligning Policies

Gerod Blue
Senior Manager, Advocacy

Gerod manages the development of policy programs, agendas, & various campaigns focused on decreasing the Opportunity Gap & furthering the mission of the Forum.

Meghan McCann, J.D.
Vice President, State Policy
Tralonne R. Shorter
Executive Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs

Tralonne oversees the Forum’s strategic policy development, alignment, and engagement at the federal, state & local levels to improve outcomes for young people.

Planning and Partnering for Impact

Dana Kunzman
Director, Cross-Systems Consulting
Tracy Velázquez
Director, Cross-System Consulting

Strengthening Practices and Programs

Venalin Aguilar
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Specialist

Venalin designs learning experiences and provides coaching, project leadership, and technical assistance to support equitable CQI system building.

Jacqueline Banda
Administrative Assistant

Jacky will be assisting the Weikart Center as an administrative assistant.

Adrienne Bard
Director, Statewide Quality Improvement Systems

With an enthusiasm for details, Adrienne provides training and technical assistance to partners across the country engaged in continuous quality improvement.

Taylor Davis
Learning & Development Specialist

Tay’s work centers around delivering training and technical assistance in support of continuous quality improvement.

Shavon Dotson
Senior Learning & Development Specialist

Shavon designs and oversees training content and delivery.

Jherconna Ford
Training Program Associate
Edgar Gomez
Learning & Development Specialist

Edgar provides support in coaching and training to clients in Michigan.

Mostafa Hashemi
Senior Research and Evaluation Analyst
Nadia Jabbar
Administrative Assistant

Nadia supports the Statewide portfolio team at the Weikart Center.

Paige Kennedy
Learning & Development Specialist

Paige facilitates engaging training sessions that build and strengthen adult skills and provides coaching and technical assistance on CQI efforts.

Donna Lloyd
Business Systems & Engagement Specialist

Donna provides leadership, coordination, and support in the design, maintenance, and implementation of the Weikart Center’s internal & external business syste

Steph Love
Senior Learning & Development Specialist
Dave Martineau
Director of Design & Innovation

Dave returns to the Weikart Center as the Director of Design & Innovation with more than 20 years of experience in youth development and facilitation.

Sheely Mauck
Director, Equitable Quality Improvement Systems

Sheely is the Director of Equitable Quality Improvement Systems for the Forum for Youth Investment.

Ari Pak
Senior Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Specialist

Ari leads projects, provides coaching and technical assistance to system leaders, and designs learning experiences to advance equitable CQI systems.

Lisa Rice
Senior Continuous Quality Improvement Specialist
Kimberly Howard Robinson, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Youth Program Quality

Kim works to strengthen programs and practices that nurture the potential of youth with continuous improvement approaches that marry research and practice.

M. Brook Trejo
Youth Program Quality Associate
Salem Valentino
Senior Director of Research & Evaluation
Tiffany Walker
Research and Evaluation Specialist

Tiffany provides technical assistance and evaluation support in partnership with youth development organizations focused on continuous quality improvement.

Leah Wallace
Learning & Development Specialist

Leah provides coaching, training, and technical assistance to Weikart Center clients around the country.

Internal Services & Administration

Alexis Allen
Internal Services Associate

Alexis is an associate with the internal services staff, providing support to the internal services team and the Forum as a whole.

Ruth Chandler
Vice President, Talent and Equity

Ruth leads the human resources functions of the Forum.

Yael Coburn
Grants and Contracts Manager

Yael serves as the Grants and Contracts Manager at the Forum.

Paul LaMacchia
Manager, Business Systems

As the Manger of Business Systems at the Forum, Paul oversees our online systems and provides guidance to the users of those systems.

Stephanie Lipper
Events Manager

Stephanie brings her expertise in event management and her passion for fostering meaningful connections to her role as the Events Manager at the Forum.

Isabel Gastulo
Senior Accountant
Ora Shamley
Staff Accountant

Ora is a Staff Accountant, working on accounts payable, accounts receivable, and many other financial matters for the organization.

Neil Sumilas
Chief Operating Officer

Neil is an experienced senior non-profit executive focused on financial and operational management, talent management, board governance, and strategic planning.

Kathy Turner
Director of Budget and Finance

Kathy works on budgeting, internal controls, policies & procedures, financial system implementation, & leading the team on financial reporting & analysis.

Our Vision

All young people reach their fullest potential - in education, work, and life.

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