President & Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Nonprofit Practice
Yolanda is the President and CEO of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. The Institute seeks to equip, connect and diversify the nonprofit sector’s managers and leaders. In her role, Yolanda is leading the development and implementation of a plan to scale the organization nationally. Prior to the Institute, Yolanda was the Chief Operating Officer at Horizons for Homeless Children where she oversaw all center-based programs, as well as national and local training efforts focused on early childhood education and care for homeless children. She also served as the Vice President for Programs at YWCA in Boston which focused on programs aimed toward eliminating educational and health disparities in the Greater Boston community.
Yolanda began her career in nonprofit management leading Cutting EJ, a Somerville-based economic justice and anti-racism organization. Additionally, Yolanda worked at The Home for Little Wanderers as the Director of the Safe At Home Program where she oversaw a rapid and successful expansion, growing the operating budget from 1 million to 5 million, quadrupling the staff size and establishing a competitive internship program modeled after those in Boston area’s teaching hospitals.
Yolanda has led efforts to develop a plan for building a pipeline of trained and diverse community mental health workers for the Massachusetts Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI). She chaired the Health Disparities Committee for the CBHI Advisory Council and served on the board of Silver Lining Mentoring. She is also an advisor for the Harvard-Kent Leadership and Scholarship Fund.
As a Diversity and Organizational Development practitioner, Yolanda consults with various nonprofits and state agencies with a focus on diversity and inclusion, leadership development and organizational culture change.
Yolanda is a graduate of Boston College and has her Master’s in Social Work.
Chief Operating Officer, Institute for Nonprofit Practice
Jenn Bender is the Chief Operating Officer for the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. Prior to joining the Institute, Jenn served as CEO of New Sector Alliance, a national nonprofit organization that builds the social sector talent pipeline through fellowship programs for early career professionals. She led New Sector as it built scalable infrastructure, doubled in size, and developed its theory of change and core curriculum. Her experiences as a trainer and mentor of New Sector Fellows have strengthened her drive to continue to focus on the field of leadership development.
Before joining New Sector (first as Managing Director), Jenn served as Executive Director of The Bridge Center, a therapeutic recreation organization supporting children and youth with developmental disabilities, where she focused strategic growth. Prior to her work there, she was Program Director of Aspire MGH, which supports children, teens, and adults with autism spectrum disorder in their social development.
Jenn earned her MBA from Babson College, Ed.M. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and A.B from Cornell University.
Faculty Director, Institute for Nonprofit Practice
Aviva brings her experience facilitating dialog, creating generative workplace culture and weaving relationships among diverse stakeholders. Before joining INP, she directed Harvard University’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations where she managed global civil society research teams, and taught courses on strategic financial management, collaborative team design, and fundraising. Additional experience includes work with the Oak Foundation, FUSE Corps, RAND Corporation, and Coro leadership centers where her work has focused on social sector leadership, bringing voice to historically marginalized communities, and coaching. She holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA from Pomona College.
Aviva’s passions center on inspiring professional and personal resilience, modeling authentic leadership, and developing cross-cultural competency. As a mother and social activist, her resiliency tool kit includes holistic personal and family health, local food, and yoga. Keep an eye out for Aviva biking between engagements and her home in Cambridge, MA where she, her husband and two children build community.
Development Director, Institute for Nonprofit Practice
A Massachusetts native, Audrey Gillis graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in Spanish and Women’s Studies and spent those years serving as a Big Sister, playing ice hockey, studying abroad in Madrid, and kindling her passion for social justice. After graduating, she began volunteering full time at Rosie’s Place, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women, teaching classes in English as a foreign language. She soon was brought on as an intern, became certified to teach EFL, and was later hired as the first Teacher Coordinator of the Women’s Education Center. In her role, Audrey oversaw 100 volunteer teachers annually, and over four years, she helped to double the size of the program.
An interest in nonprofit leadership led her to explore a career in fundraising. She began as a major gifts officer at Italian Home for Children, and in 2015 she was hired as the first Development Director at the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP). Audrey is an INP alum, having graduated in 2016. Audrey has performed stand-up comedy, has lifted 250 pounds, and has been featured in the Boston Globe’s “Dinner with Cupid.”
Director of Community Engagement, Institute for Nonprofit Practice
Presceia Cooper is Director of Community Engagement for the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. Before joining INP, Presceia worked at Commongood Careers where she played a number of roles. Most recently, she served as a Search Consultant, leading a portfolio of searches with high-impact nonprofit client organizations and acted as a co-leader of the organization's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In addition to her experience at Commongood Careers, Presceia earned a Certificate in Culinary Arts from Boston University and has worked as a professional baker and restaurant manager. Leveraging this training, Presceia created a cooking and nutrition program to teach elementary school students healthy cooking techniques and volunteered with Future Chefs, a nonprofit organization that prepares youth for work in the restaurant industry. She also serves on the Associate Board of Breakthrough Greater Boston and is a 2016-17 Delegate of City Awake. Presceia holds a BA in Communications from Boston College and is a 2016 graduate of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice.