Banner for NP Leaders Advancing Racial Equity

CNPE and Michele Shelton, LLC, have developed a training series to prepare white nonprofit CEOs, personally and pro­fes­sionally, to do work that engages them in collective efforts to foster greater racial inclusivity and equity throughout their organizations and our community. Sixteen nonprofit CEOs have embarked on a six-month journey that will build a network of trust and support as they explore challenges and opportunities presented by the current social justice and anti-racism movements. These are realities that now confront how they perform in their roles.

The first “cohort” of Nonprofit Leaders Advancing Racial Equity met monthly from January through June of 2021. If you are interested in participating in a future training series like this, contact Merv Antonio, our Director of Learning, at

This program was made possible by generous contributions from these corporate sponsors:

Here are the leaders participating in this inaugural cohort:

Christen Boone Christen Boone
President and CEO
Fund for the Arts
Christen Boone is the President & CEO of the Fund for the Arts in Louisville, KY and is deeply committed to building stronger and more vibrant communities. She is a community connector, a social entrepreneur, and a leader in non­profit development and strategic philanthropy.

Before joining the Fund for the Arts, Christen served in leadership roles for some of the country’s most treas­ured cultural institutions and has raised nearly $300 million for regional nonprofit organizations including Actors Theatre of Louisville, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and Cincinnati’s Fine Arts Fund. She served as Director of the Greater Louisville Project and founded the Boone Group, coaching and consulting in nonprofit and commu­nity development. Chris­ten led the efforts to raise more than $120 million to build The Parklands of Floyds Fork, one of the nation’s largest new urban parks. She serves on the national Private Sector Council for the Americans for the Arts, and locally on the board of the Governors Scholars Program and Foundation. She was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni from Bellar­mine University, Top 100 Most Influen­tial People by Insider Louisville, 40 Under 40 leader by Louisville Business First, and as Volunteer of the Year by SafePlace Services.

Ann Coffey Ann L. Coffey
Center for Nonprofit Excellence
Ann has been creating, building, and improving organizations for over 25 years. She strives to bring out the best in people and organizations to accomplish an important mission. Her expertise includes strategic planning, leadership development, team building, culture assessments, community engagement, fundraising, and communications.

Ann currently serves as the CEO of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. She also founded and co-created Forté, LLC, a consulting, coaching, and facilitation company. From 2011 to 2017, Ann served as the Chief of Staff for U of L’s Office of Advancement, where she helped implement the university’s fundraising campaigns and oversaw the business and human resources office.

Ann earned her BA from the University of Kentucky and her M.S. in Positive Organizational Development and Change from Case Western Reserve University. In 1995, she was selected as a National Leadership Kellogg Fellow, which provides a three-year experiential education for emerging leaders to address societal and community issues. She received her Executive Leadership Coaching certification from Georgetown University in 2015. She also holds certifications in Emotional Intelligent Leadership, 360 Emotional Social Competency Inventory, and Appreciative Inquiry.

Ann has served on many nonprofit boards – most recently, Louisville Public Media.

Pam Darnell Pamela Darnall
President and CEO
Family & Children’s Place
Pam Darnall is president and CEO of Family & Children’s Place and has worked with the agency since 1994. She became president and CEO in January 2014, and is responsible for overall direction, leadership, and coordination of organizational activities.

The former president of The Family Place, Darnall helped lead the merger with Family & Children First in 2008, which created Family & Children’s Place. She has served in leadership roles for more than 25 years.

Darnall is a graduate of the 2013 Leadership Louisville class, Bingham Fellows Class of 2015, and the Execu­tive Leadership Institute at the University of Michigan. She serves on several committees, including the national Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, the Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinating Council, and is a current Board member of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. She was an inaugural Alden Fellow, and is a past recipient of the Louisville Busi­ness First Enterprising Woman award. Darnall holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Spalding University.

Abby Drane Abbreial P. Drane, CPA, MBA
President and CEO
Seven Counties Services
Abby Drane is the President & CEO of Seven Counties Services / Bellewood & Brooklawn and has spent the last three decades building on a career in behavioral healthcare for citizens of Kentucky. Abby specializes in finance, strategic problem solving, and leadership development. She has a passion for those in our commu­nity who are living with the behavioral health consequences of trauma and abuse.

A strong believer in the power of collaborative problem solving and rebuilding families, Abby works tirelessly to engage community partners in rebuilding our community’s response to the least among us. Abby enjoys a beautiful sunset, camping, and the laughter of her grandchildren.

Maggie Elder Maggie Elder
Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana
Maggie Elder became the Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana in April 2020. At Girl Scouts of Ken­tuckiana she leads a team of staff and volunteers across 64 counties in Kentucky and Indiana who build girls cour­age, confidence, and character who make world a better place. Maggie’s experience includes 20 years of nonprofit leadership.

Prior to Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, she served as Chief Operating Officer at Metro United Way. Maggie was with MUW for 13 years, and in that time, she helped successfully reverse declining revenue trends and grow its impact on the community’s most pressing needs. Before MUW, Maggie served as Associate Executive Director at the American Cancer Society after having served in both fundraising and impact roles.

Lori Flanery Lori Hudson Flanery
President & CEO
New Directions
New Directions is a dynamic community development corporation specializing in housing and community devel­opment in the Louisville area. We are proud of our 50 years of work in affordable housing, after-school learning cen­ters, neighborhood revitalization and, for the last several years, saving and rejuvenating a full-time childhood education center in the California neighborhood.

Ranking among the 25 largest nonprofits in the area, New Directions has been recognized in recent years for “Inc.credible Nonprofit Impact” (2017, GLI); “Outstanding Performance: Property Management Company” (2017, Kentucky Housing Corporation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) and for “Best Collaborator” (2018, Center for Neighborhoods).

Before joining New Directions in the fall of 2016, Lori served as the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Finance Secretary, responsible for state’s facilities, network, procurement, accounting, tax revenue collection and administration, and debt issuance and manage­ment. Her professional experience includes executive or legal positions in agencies focused on economic development, utility reg­ulation, executive branch ethics, and affordable housing.

Lori serves as a trustee for the Gheens Foundation and is a board member for the Kentucky Nonprofit Network, the Center for Non­profit Excellence, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati Advisory Committee, and several other housing and finance entities.


Deb Frockt Deb Frockt
President & CEO
Jewish Family & Career Services
A Louisville native, Deb Frockt returned to her hometown in 2019 to become Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Family & Career Services. Her career includes nonprofit leadership positions in the arts, education and human services, with a focus on advancement, external relations and government affairs. Though the majority of her working life has been spent in Seattle, Washington, she is proud to have started her career at Actors Theatre of Louisville and to have had her plays produced at StageOne Family Theatre. She is an alumna of Stanford University the University of London.


Ron Gallo Ron Gallo
President and CEO
Community Foundation of Louisville
After 25 years in the community foundation field, Ron continues to be energized by the potential and power of community philanthropy. Ron believes that because they operate at the nexus of money, ideas, convictions, and passions, community foundations are perfectly positioned to harness and focus human and financial capital in ser­vice of their region’s best collective future. Particular research and practice interests of Ron include equitable eco­nomic development, affordable and accessible healthcare, identifying and empowering new leadership, building the entrepreneurial capacity of nonprofits, and deploying all the tools of philanthropy to help build resilient communi­ties.

Before coming to Louisville, Ron led both the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Rhode Island Foundation. He started his career in foundations as Program Officer and eventually Executive Director of the Jesse Ball duPont Fund. Ron started out life in the Bronx, New York, and credits growing up in a working-class immigrant neighborhood for his life-long passion for working to ensure that every person is afforded a fair chance to live a life of dignity and opportunity. Ron holds a BA in History and Asian Studies from Connecticut College, a MS in Social Work from Columbia University, and an Ed.D. in Social Policy from Harvard University.

Paula Garner Paula Garner
President and CEO
Paula Garner has worked at Maryhurst for 24 years in both direct clinical practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and administrative roles. During her recent career, she has served as Vice President of Strategy Integra­tion, Chief Operating Officer, and assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer in July 2020. Throughout her career, she has led dynamic teams, developed programs, and overseen initiatives to advance the mission of strengthening and empowering children and families in greatest need.

Paula currently serves on the board of the Kentucky Children’s Alliance and has previously served on the Children’s Alliance Public Policy subcommittee. Paula is a graduate of Leadership Louisville, class of 2018. She is an active member of her church, leading women’s ministry, and serves as a volunteer for Shelby County Public Schools and Colonial Hall.

Paula received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Arkansas, a master’s degree in Social Work from Southern Seminary, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Jennifer Hancock Jennifer Hancock
President and CEO
Volunteers of America Mid-States
Jennifer Hancock is the President and CEO of Volunteers of America of Mid-States. She has served our community in many capacities during her 20 years of professional leadership in the social service field and in her 14 years advanc­ing the mission of VOA. Under her leadership, VOA has become a nationally recognized expert in providing family-focused and results-oriented solutions for the opioid and addiction crisis. Working closely with elected offi­cials and community partners, VOA has earned consistent recognition for providing best of practice care in more than 40 pro­grams in four states.

Jennifer has guided VOA through extensive growth, more than doubling its capacity to serve women overcoming substance use disorder and their children through the nationally recognized Freedom House program.

Jennifer is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work. She serves on the Kentucky Chil­dren’s Justice Act Task Force, University of Louisville School of Public Health Community Advisory Board, the Leadership Louisville Center, Impetus, Safe City Roundtable, Smart on Crime, National Volunteers of America Board of Directors, the AdventHealth Manchester Board of Directors, and as an Advisory Council Member of Young Professionals Association of Louisville.


Jennifer Helgeson Jennifer Helgeson
President and CEO
Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana
Jennifer Helgeson joined the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana in 2010 as President and CEO. Under her leadership, BGCK has more than doubled the number of children served, and opened the Newburg and Parkland Boys & Girls Clubs and five school site-based clubs.

In 2015, Jennifer received the Optimist of the Year Award for her leadership to the community and her service to the club. Jennifer also received the Community Leadership Award from Mercy Academy; and the 2015 Horizon Award from the Midwest Region of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which nominates an outstanding CEO for their commitment to the movement. In June of 2019, Jennifer was awarded Today’s Woman Most Admired Woman in Community/Non-Profit category from the Today’s Woman Publication.

She previously served St. Joseph Children’s Home as the Director of Program Operations.

Jennifer has an M.S. in Social Work Degree from the University of Louisville, and was selected as an Inaugural Alden Fellows. She attended Duke and obtained the Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. She has also participated in Leadership Louisville Class of 2017, Harvard Leadership Summit Class of 2018, and the Kosair Charities Leadership Development Institute Class of 2019.


Craig Meador Dr. Craig Meador
American Printing House for the Blind
Dr. Craig Meador became President of the American Printing House for the Blind in 2015. Dr. Meador is a former teacher and educational leader for children who are blind and visually impaired. Before assuming the presidency, Dr. Meador served as APH’s Vice President of Educational Services and Product Development.

Dr. Meador came to Louisville and APH from the state of Washington, where he was employed as the Director of Outreach Services/State Vision Consultant. In that position, he served as the Washington State Department of Public Instruction’s APH Ex Officio Trustee and as a member of the APH Educational Products Advisory Committee. Before that, he was Principal of the Washington State School for the Blind and he had served the state school for 24 years, begin­ning as a teacher. Dr. Meador earned an undergraduate degree from Western Oregon State University, a master’s degree in Special Education from Portland State University and an Ed.D. from Washington State University.

Lori Redmon Lori Redmon
President and CEO
Kentucky Humane Society
Lori Redmon is President and CEO of the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS), the largest animal welfare agency in Ken­tucky. Redmon spent her first 10 years in animal welfare at the Michigan Humane Society then joined the KHS team in 2000 when she was recruited to establish a behavior training program. She was promoted to chief operating offi­cer in 2003, then to President and CEO in 2004.

She has a B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University and has worked in the humane field for over 30 years. She serves as a board member and treasurer of the National Council on Pet Population, and served on the board of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement from 2012-2018. In addition, Redmon is a past board member of the Kentucky Horse Council where she chaired the equine health and welfare committee.

Lori has participated in the Leadership Louisville and Bingham Fellows programs through Leadership Louisville, and was recognized for her leadership role at KHS by Today’s Woman magazine.

Paul Robinson Paul W. Robinson
President and CEO
Home of the Innocents
Paul W. Robinson has served as President & CEO of Home of the Innocents since 2016. In the past few years, the Home has opened a new pediatric development and therapy center, a new learning center for their on-campus school, a children’s assessment and transitional services center, and added Multi Systemic Therapy to their pro­grams. He has focused on improving the organization’s financial sustainability and raising engagement for the agency’s workforce by prioritizing a trauma-informed culture of support and development. In 2018, Louisville Business First recognized Home of the Innocents as “Non-Profit Organization of the Year.” In 2020, they named Paul “Most Admired CEO.”

Before leading Home of the Innocents, Paul was a private-sector business owner for 21 years. His Papa John’s Pizza franchise con­sisted of 19 stores in two states. His franchise was recognized several times as a top performing franchise.

Paul has an undergraduate degree from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Louisville. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of Louisville College of Business and Louisville Youth Philanthropy Council. He is an active member of Vistage and the Knights of Columbus. He is a Leadership Louisville 2018 graduate.

Linda Speed Linda Speed, J.D.
President and CEO
Community Foundation of Southern Indiana
Linda S. Speed, J.D., is the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana (CFSI). Linda has 16 years of experience in the community foundation field. Before joining CFSI, her nonprofit work experience included serving as the vice president of Development & Stewardship for the Community Foundation of Louisville, vice pres­ident of Gift and Trust administration for the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation, and director of the Samuel L. Greenebaum Public Service Program at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. She is a former litigation attorney with the Louisville law firm of Frost Brown Todd. She received her B.S. from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University.

Linda serves on the board of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence and in December concluded her term on the board of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (Chair, 2018-2020). She is also a member and past president of the Southern Indiana Estate Planning Council, the Kentuckiana Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, and the Fund Raising Executives of Metro Louisville. She is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Metro Louisville.


Mark Wourms Dr. Mark K. Wourms,
Executive Director
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Dr. Mark K. Wourms is the Executive Director of Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. Since 2008, he has worked to enhance Bernheim’s mission of “Connecting People with Nature” while developing a more compre­hensive visitor experience and increasing visibility of Bernheim throughout the region. Bernheim now conducts education and play activities beyond its borders and has ecological and conservation programs that continue to expand in scope and scale.

Dr. Wourms received his Ph.D. in ecology and animal behavior from Boston University, his bachelor’s degree in botany from Ohio University, and holds a Business Certificate from New York University.



Michele Shelton
CEO and Principal Consultant
Shelton Holdings LLC

Michelle Shelton LLC logoMichele L. Shelton, CDP, CPC, is founding CEO of Shelton Holdings LLC, and Principal Consultant of Michele Shelton LLC, a DEI management consulting firm based in Louisville. An international speaker, author, executive coach, and thought leader on diver­sity, equity, and inclusion, Michele guides courageous organizational leaders beyond barriers that impede DEI suc­cess. She is respected for empowering others to confront and conquer the -ism’s that impact our humanity and the bottom line at work and beyond. Along with her team, Michele is on a mission to support communities and organizations committed to creating inclusive, equitable cultures that acknowledge, affirm, and add value to the total experience of every person under their influence.

Michele has been featured in Who’s Who publications, The Louisville Defender, the Courier-Journal, Today’s Woman magazine, on radio, and on television. An alumna of the University of Louisville and Louisville Seminary, Michele also holds multiple certifications for diversity, leadership training, and coaching. She is a member of the Dean’s Council for the UofL College of Arts & Sciences, National Speakers Association, Society for Human Resource Management, National Association for Female Executives, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and Leadership Louisville.

Michele was recognized as a Top 100 Diversity Trailblazer in 2020 by Talenya, Ltd. She is a former and current member of the advisory board and board of directors for several organizations promoting equity in employment, education, and entrepreneur­ship. A contributing author to three international anthologies, she is currently working on her fourth and solo title, The Simplicity of Diversity.