Meet our Staff

Gregory Nielsen - Chief Executive Officer  Greg Nielsen Small

Gregory joined the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in 2015.  Prior to this position, he was the Executive Director for Green Hill Therapy (2008-2015).  Gregory oversaw the administration and fiscal integrity of Green Hill including fundraising, marketing, and community outreach. During his tenure, his strategic vision and innovative approach led the organization to new heights and vast growth in an extremely challenging economic environment.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and International Relations from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctorate from Notre Dame Law School. He previously served as an officer and attorney in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.  Email: or direct (502) 618-5331

Darlene Headshot Darlene Whitney - Director of Operations

Darlene joined the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in 2008. Darlene has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Arizona State University. While attending ASU, she worked at the Center for Professional Development in the College of Engineering where she assisted the program coordinators and handled all registrations – an expertise much needed at CNPE. Prior to joining our team, Darlene was the office manager of a successful cabinet company for over ten years. She is active in her community having chaired and co-chaired on a number of committees at her son's school. With her bookkeeping and organizational skills, Darlene is a great asset to the Center for Nonprofit Excellence.  Email: or direct (502) 618-5330

    Mervin P. Antonio - Director of Learning Merv Headshot

Merv joined the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in 2009. He brings over 18 years experience in the Non Profit sector, primarily in the field of the performing arts, developing and nurturing the next generation of talent at award winning organizations such as Actors Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and New York Shakespeare Festival. Merv also holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Design and Renewal from Seattle University, and has worked with groundbreaking local initiatives such as Metro United Way's Community Change Incubator and Social Innovation Prize, Louisville Green Convene and the Arts and Cultural Attractions Council, among others. He uses his experience and passion for collaboration, storytelling, whole person learning, and systems thinking to advance organizational, community, and personal learning and performance. Email: or direct (502) 618-5328

Ed Cortas Ed Cortas - Director of Consulting Services

Ed joined the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in 2013. He comes to CNPE with nearly 20 years of development, operational and management experience in the nonprofit sector, and has served on various local and regional boards of directors during that time. Prior to that, Ed worked in information systems analysis and development with the General Electric Company and is a graduate of its management program. He holds a Master of Nonprofit Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame. Ed’s experience has taught him that sound, strategic systems of governance, management and administration do not merely support nonprofit missions—they drive them. His passion is helping nonprofits evaluate, develop and maintain those systems. Email: or direct (502) 618-5329.

    Sarah Stalker - Membership Services Coordinator Sarah Stalker

Sarah joined Center for Nonprofit Excellence in 2014 and holds a BFA from Stephens College in Columbia, MO. Though a native of Louisville, Sarah spent many years living in other cities across the United States and has worked in the private and non profit sector. With a dedication to serving her community, she volunteers with local organizations and schools as well as serves on Boards. Previously a small business owner herself, she values supporting her community and wants to see it flourish through true partnerships; bringing likeminded individual's together to advocate for a better today. "What is true of the individual will be tomorrow true of the whole nation if individuals will but refuse to lose heart and hope" -Mahatma Gandi  Email: or direct (502) 618-5327

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