How did we get started?

 YNPN Orlando was established in 2005 by the Rollins College Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Center as a way to engage young upcoming nonprofit professionals in career development. The seeds for the establishment of YNPN Orlando came from the key note event with Patrick Corvington, Senior Associate of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Mr. Corvington came to Orlando to speak about the “next generation of nonprofit leaders” – this was the first unofficial YNPN event. Mr. Corvington at the time was on the board of directors for YNPN National, which received funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

By November 2005, the first organizational meeting of YNPN Orlando took place with the Philanthropy Center giving support. Virginia Edelstein, Development Manager of United Arts of Central Florida, and Eric Gray, Executive Director of the American Lung Association of Central Florida, were elected the first co-chairpersons for YNPN Orlando for the initial membership of 25 members.

Past YNPN Orlando Board Chairs have included: Autumn Ames, Executive Director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida; Dawn Hatton, Director of Development at the Orange County Regional History Center; Dan Samuels, Director of Development for Devereux Florida; Tim Pehlke, Program Coordinator of Orange County 4-H; and Katie Moore, Director of Development for Girl Scouts of Citrus Council.

Today, YNPN Orlando is one of the fastest growing professional networks in Central Florida, with an ever-increasing membership of over 300 nonprofit professionals, volunteers, students, and advocates.  Our members represent the rich diversity of the Orlando nonprofit sector and range from entry-level professionals to CEOs, with everything in between!  Jessica Schwendeman, Manager of Community Participation for Heart of Florida United Way, serves as the current Chair.  To meet her and the rest of the leadership team, click here.

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