2013 Excellence in Leadership Award Winner: Kit Jenkins, Executive Director and Co-Founder, and Mary Flannery, Founder, Raw Art Works
Kit Jenkins, Co-Founder and Executive Director, and Mary Flannery, Founder, are the heart and soul of Raw Art Works, a nationally recognized youth arts organization that ignites the desire to create and the confidence to succeed in underserved youth. Founded in 1988, RAW provides a continuum of free arts-based groups for youth aged 6-19 that integrate leadership development, mentoring, life and work skills, employment and college access. Led by art therapists and/or teaching artists, RAW employs the arts as a powerful tool to deeply engage at-risk youth. RAW serves over 430 youth each year in weekly groups and another 850+ in community programs. Kit is in charge of overseeing the “big picture” of life at RAW. She is responsible for the fiscal management of the organization and the coordination all fundraising efforts, her own emphasis being building sustained relationships with individual donors. Mary is the visionary of RAW, working closely with the Program Director to guide the direction of programming to address the ever-changing needs of the youth that we serve. Mary also leads two weekly art making groups with teens. With their leadership, perseverance, and vision, Kit and Mary have built RAW from a two person operation, serving small juvenile lockup facilities with a budget of $87,000 to a nationally recognized and acclaimed organization with a 21 person staff, a four story building in the heart of downtown Lynn, and an operating budget of $1.44 million that serves over 450 youth a year.
Fred Kaelin, Executive Director, Dyanamy
Fred Kaelin became Dynamy’s executive director in 2007, after a decade on the education side of the agency. Fred was a first-time executive director at a time of fiscal and strategic crisis for Dynamy. Dynamy was a standalone nonprofit for 40 years, running two proven experiential learning programs: Internship Year, a gap year program of 40 students who learn differently from all over the country, and the Youth Academy, a college success and leadership program for 60 traditionally underserved WorcesterPublic School high school students. Under Fred’s steady leadership, Dynamy completed a strategic merger with Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc. (Y.O.U. Inc.), a large social service agency throughout WorcesterCounty, in 2009. That year Dynamy also completed strategic planning (led by Fred) to reinvigorate both programs and to strengthen revenue in order to strengthen mission delivery. The year before he became executive director, Dynamy struggled with a $370,000 deficit on a budget of $1.1 million. At the end of his first year, Dynamy broke even, and has had increasingly larger surpluses each year since. Over the same period, the curricula and outcomes for both programs have also improved significantly. Fred is Dynamy’s visionary, primary grant writer and fundraiser, and experiential education expert.
Diana Lam, Head of School, Conservatory Lab Charter School
As Head of School at the Conservatory Lab Charter School, Diana Lam functions as the CEO of the school and has ultimate responsibility for goal setting, staffing, curriculum, admissions, operations, facilities, finances, development, communications, and parent and community relations. It is an elementary school that, under the leadership and guidance of Ms. Lam, has gone from having 121 students K-5 in 2008 to having 312 student pre-K thru 8th in 2013 and soon thereafter will grow to 444 students. Programs that form the core of the school’s practice is the union of two proven and exemplary programs: Expeditionary Learning and El Sistema. Taken together, these two programs motivate and nurture all students to become dedicated scholars, skilled musicians, and compassionate leaders. Upon her arrival at Conservatory Lab in 2008, the school was experiencing difficulties in key areas. There was no unified curriculum, teachers were not working together harmoniously, and although the school was founded on the principle that an infusion of music throughout the day was key to cognitive growth and development, students received only 2 one hour sessions of music a week from music teachers. In 2013, after five years of Diana’s leadership, the school has 21 Learning Through Music project-based, music infused interdisciplinary curriculum units (3 per grade level).
Sandra Cotterell, CEO, Codman Square Health Center
Founded in 1979, Codman Square Health Center (CSHC) is a community-based, outpatient health care and multi-service center in the heart of Dorchester. CSHC serves more than 25,000 patients with over 115,000 annual visits, providing comprehensive primary and specialty care. CSHC was recently designated as a certified patient-centered medical home – a designation which signals that patients are the center of care at CSHC. Sandra Cotterell is CEO of the organization with a $23M annual budget. She joined CSHC in 1994 as COO and in 2011 became CEO. Cotterell has been involved in every aspect of implementing CSHC’s mission of creating a culture of health in the community. She has devoted 19 years to community and public health and pursues a vision of building a foundation of preventive and primary care services that engages consumers and embraces innovation — while never losing sight of CSHC’s mission to provide access to care. Under her leadership CSHC completed a major expansion of its facilities, adding 34,000 square feet and enabling CSHC to serve 5,000 additional patients. She has led the drive for CSHC to become one of 14 community health centers in Mass designated as a patient-centered medical home. Sandra has nurtured and supported programs including the free or low cost Healthworks for Women gym, veggie prescriptions, Centering Pregnancy and Centering Parenting programs to help first time parents and reduce low-birthweight pregnancies, adult and pediatric weight loss initiatives and healthy cooking and eating programs.