Compass Connect Conversations

Compass Connect Conversations

Compass Connect Conversations, hosted by The Sorkin Center at Compass, are virtual gatherings of nonprofit leaders coming together to support each other – to share ideas, concerns, best practices and community.

To stay up to date on upcoming events, please reach out to Wendy Gualtieri at

Past Events

Cybersecurity for Nonprofits  Boards – Watch the recording here. 
Thurdsday, November 9 
Overview of cybersecurity for nonprofits, including how to identify and protect vulnerable data and information, featuring cybersecurity expert Erik Gaull, Sr. Account Manager, Samsung Electronics America.

Junior and Young Professional Boards  – Watch the recording here.
Wednesday, June 16
Exploring best practices for establishing a successful and engaged junior or young professional board for your nonprofit.

  • John Odenwelder – Executive Director, Washington English Center
  • Alana Garellek – Associate Board Chair, Washington English Center
  • Emma Stern – Director of Development, Bethesda Project
  • Michael McGuire – Chair of Young Professionals Advisory Board, Bethesda Project
  • Theresa Fifarek – Relationship Manager, Little City
  • Kyle Prentice – Associate Board Co-Chair, Little City
  • Laura Dierking – Associate Board Co-Chair, Little City

DEI Language – Watch the recording here.
Thursday, April 14
The importance of language in supporting you and your organization on your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey.

  • Dr. Lonie Haynes – Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, AmerisourceBergen
  • Dr. Jennifer Love – Supervisor of Language Access & Engagement, Prince George’s County Public Schools
  • Dwayne Wharton – Founder and Senior Advisor, Just Strategies

Collaborative Leadership – Watch the recording here.
Thursday, March 25
Creating successful partnerships between nonprofit CEOs/Executive Directors and Board Chairs.

Creating a Culture of InnovationWatch the recording here.
Thursday, February 18
How to grow and innovate your organization, team, and self during transformational times.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Watch the recording here.
Thursday, January 28
What to consider and where to begin to develop a culture, policies, and programs that support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for your nonprofit.

  • Renetta McCann – Chief Inclusion Experience Officer, Publicis Groupe
    Renetta McCann has been recognized as one of the leading innovators and most influential executives in the advertising, marketing and media industries, with a global reputation for building brands and the organizations and leadership to sustain them. As Chief Inclusion Experience Officer for Publicis Groupe, she works to drive inclusion at all levels of the organization, with an emphasis on ensuring that the company’s clients are benefiting from the many strategic advantages that diverse teams deliver.
  • Grady Tripp – Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, TEGNA Inc.
    Grady Tripp is vice president and chief diversity officer for TEGNA Inc. where he oversees all aspects of TEGNA’s diversity strategy, including attracting, retaining and growing diverse talent at all levels of the company; developing training programs to enhance awareness and accountability in diversity issues; and facilitating the company’s racial diversity and inclusion employee working group.
  • Andrea Sáenz – Chief Operating Officer, The Chicago Community Trust
    Andrea Sáenz is chief operating officer for The Chicago Community Trust, where she partners with colleagues across the organization to deliver on the its mission and goals. Sáenz joined the Trust from the Chicago Public Library where she served as first deputy commissioner and chief strategy officer. She previously served as chief of staff to Chicago Public Schools’ CEO, leading planning and implementation of district-wide initiatives.

Community Members Serving on Nonprofit Boards – Watch the recording here.
Wednesday, November 18
As many organizations are focusing on better understanding the communities they serve and becoming more inclusive, some nonprofits are exploring inviting community members to serve on their boards. Join us for a conversation about the benefits and challenges to bringing community members onto a board. Our panelists lead nonprofits with community board  members or advisory board members and we will hear their stories and look to identify best practices.

  • Vincent Keane, President & Chief Executive Officer, Unity Health Care
  • Brooke Kidd, Founder & Executive Director, Joe’s Movement Emporium
  • Lupi Quinteros-Grady, President & Chief Executive Officer, Latin American Youth Center
  • Dan Rhoton, Executive Director, Hopeworks N Camden
  • Schroeder Stribling, Chief Executive Officer, N Street Village

Allyship: Become a Bridge-Building Ally in Promoting Social Justice
Friday, October 2
Speaker: Whitney Parnell, CEO/Founder, Service Never Sleeps (SNS)
What does it mean to be effective allies in our work for racial equity? Guest speaker Whitney Parnell will lead an intensive, fast-paced presentation designed to explore how to use individual and collective areas of privilege to advance racial justice. Using SNS’ CLAIM framework (Care, Learn, Act, Influence, Maintain), this presentation will explore what it means to adopt an Allyship lifestyle.

The Critical Role that Nonprofits Play in the Fight for Social Justice and Racial Equity
Thursday, September 10 
Speaker: David Johns, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC)
As leaders of nonprofit organizations with social justice missions, racial equity has become one of our community’s greatest priorities and challenges. Guest speaker David Johns will lead a discussion on how nonprofits can use their platforms to advance racial equity awareness and conversations in our communities. This session will include an opportunity to ask David questions on the current state of affairs and his perspective on possible steps forward.

Managing Staff Engagement, Productivity and Culture in the Virtual World
Thursday, July 16
Speaker: Michael Hynes, Senior Manager, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Panelists: Dominque Bernardo, Executive Director, Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley; Michelle Tafel, Executive Director, City Year Washington, D.C. 

Understanding Anti-Racism and Your Role – Watch the recording.
Tuesday, June 23
Speaker: Michelle Molitor, The Equity Lab

Virtual Sorkin Summit – The Role of the Nonprofit Board During Covid-19 
For board members and Executive Directors 

  • Thursday, May 21 – Board Role in Fundraising 
    Panelists: Darryl Bundrige, Executive Director; Arlin Green, Board Chair, City Year Philadelphia; Christopher Morgan, Executive Artistic Director, and Adam Weers, Treasurer, Dance Place 
  • Thursday, May 14 – Nonprofit Governance 
    Speaker: Lucretia Risoleo, Compass board member, Adjunct Law Professor, American University 
    Panelists: Jamila Larson, Executive Director, and Char Beales, Board Chair, Homeless Children’s Playtime Project; Kevin Hinton, Executive Director, and Beth Harrison, Board Chair, Beacon House 

Nonprofit Partnerships and Mergers: Saving Impactful Programs in a Crisis
Thursday, May 7
Speaker: Nadya Shmavonian, Director of the Nonprofit Repositioning Fund and a partner at SeaChange Capital Partners

Communicating in the Time of Coronavirus
Thursday, April 23
Speaker: Kerry-Ann Hamilton, CEO and Principal Counselor, KAH Consulting 

Greater Washington Executive Director Virtual Gathering
Thursday, April 16
Topics: Caring for Your Team and the Urgency to Innovate 
Discussion lead by Michelle Edwards, Executive Director of Live It Learn It, and Jeff Franco, Director of The Sorkin Center at Compass 

Philanthropy in Light of Covid-19
Thursday, April 9
Speaker: Henry Berman, CEO of Exponent Philanthropy 

Greater Washington Executive Director Virtual Gathering
Thursday, March 26


About the Sorkin Center:

The Sorkin Center at Compass builds on Compass’ years of experience and expertise in the local nonprofit sector. The Sorkin Center works with nonprofit boards and leaders by bringing services to support board work, matching business professionals to nonprofits seeking to grow and diversify their boards, and providing trainings for board members, Executive Directors and individuals interested in board service.