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Vu Le’s talk will stretch current practices in the nonprofit sector and explore how to move toward the future.


Frederick is honored to welcome Vu Le, nationally recognized blogger of nonprofitwithballs.com and his newest blog, NonprofitAF.

Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts. He is a writer, speaker, blogger, and former executive director of Rainier Valley Corps, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice. NonprofitAF brutally examines the joys and frustrations of the nonprofit sector, challenges established norms and provokes discussions. Vu’s passion is to make the world better while recognizing the humor in daily tasks. In his time working in the nonprofit sector, he learned that “we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves”. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it.


A diverse group of panelists will take a deeper dive into equity, governance, and leadership.

Lauren Marra >>

Groundwork Partners, President & CEO


Lauren Marra is a seasoned facilitator, skilled strategist, introspective people leader, business owner, and mother who aims to change systems, shift power, and create a more inclusive and equitable world. In 2019, Lauren founded Groundwork Partners, a social impact consulting consortium that partners with foundations, nonprofits, and networks to achieve racial, gender, and economic justice. Because Groundwork believes that how change agents work together is just as important as the results they seek to achieve, Lauren and her partners create environments that bring intention to who is at the table, why they are there, and who gets to make decisions.

Prior to founding Groundwork, Lauren held senior leadership positions at two consulting practices: she led the strategy and learning practice at Community Wealth Partners and directed Arabella Advisors’ 25+ person philanthropic advisory practice. In addition to her business and talent management responsibilities, Lauren facilitated the development of over 30 strategic plans, created nearly a dozen grant-making programs, launched and managed learning networks of varying sizes, and conducted numerous formative, developmental, and summative evaluations. She also designed and managed several donor collaboratives, coached dozens of leaders on leadership, management, and board governance issues, and supported organizations undergoing major change management and cultural shift initiatives.

Lauren previously led federal advocacy campaigns, designed policy solutions, and developed cross-sector partnerships on issues related to early childhood and K-12 education, workforce development, and opportunity youth. She held policy positions at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Pew Charitable Trusts, Economic Policy Institute, and the United States Department of Labor. Lauren began her career as a case manager, providing people living in poverty the resources and support needed to find and retain employment. Lauren holds a BS in economics from Boston College and a Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University, where she was a Nielson Philanthropy Fellow at the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership.

Vu Le >>

NonprofitAF, Founder


Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the former Executive Director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.
Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.

Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at NonprofitAF.com, formerly nonprofitwithballs.com. .

Lisa Brown Alexander >>

Nonprofit HR, President & CEO


“If an organization can strengthen its internal talent capacity, it can better serve the community and those in need.” That is Lisa Brown Alexander’s mantra, and she has been beating the drum for it for over 20 years! Driven to serve the often-overlooked human resources needs for the social-impact sector, Lisa set out to build a market where one didn’t exist. She founded Nonprofit HR, the leading talent management firm in the country that works exclusively with the nonprofit sector. Today, fueled by the passion of 50-plus employees and consultants nationwide, the thriving company is helping many of the nation’s most prominent nonprofit organizations get ahead through smart people management strategies. In the process, they’re changing the way an entire sector thinks about talent and culture.
Lisa has inspired Nonprofit HR to become a force which thousands of nonprofit and talent management leaders look to for consulting services, thought partnership, sector-specific hiring and executive search needs, professional development and information. Lisa’s leadership and the work of her firm have proven that better talent practices can play an integral role in nonprofit success. Nonprofits have benefited from her wealth of knowledge and experience to make their people-driven initiatives successful. Lisa’s goal is to ensure that every Nonprofit HR engagement inspires social sector leaders to strengthen their most important asset: their people.
A leader within the Greater Washington, DC Metropolitan region and the national nonprofit sector, author, international speaker, and key industry influencer, Lisa actively contributes to the strength of the sector through her advisory roles with Fund the People and Equity in the Center initiatives. She frequently addresses national conferences and events and has authored scores of articles in nonprofit and HR publications on human resources issues. Lisa also serves on the board of directors of the DC Chamber of Commerce, and the Prince George’s Cultural Arts Foundation, and is a former board member of the DC Rape Crisis Center and Community Youth Advance (formerly Mentoring to Manhood). A proud Canadian-American, mother and wife, Lisa is also the co-owner of Wellspring Manor and Spa, an upscale retreat destination and full-service bed and breakfast located in suburban Maryland. Learn more about Lisa Brown Alexander and her contributions to the social impact sector at nonprofithr.com.

Franklyn Baker >>

United Way of Central Maryland, CEO


Franklyn was named the President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Central Maryland in November 2016. Under his leadership, the organization has expanded the number of its family stability sites that provide homelessness prevention and shelter diversion services to families in locations across central Maryland, as well as expanded its On Track 4 Success early intervention education program that helps children succeed in school with the goal of graduating.

The Maryland ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report was released at the beginning of Baker’s tenure, and he is a staunch advocate of the report’s findings, which show that nearly 40% of Maryland working families cannot afford the state’s high cost of living. He has been working with legislators, companies and investors to reduce barriers and increase assets for these ALICE families.

Under Baker’s leadership, United Way also assumed the operations of the award-winning, south Baltimore Ben Franklin Center for Community Schools, now The United Way Ben Franklin Center at Brooklyn/Curtis Bay. Based at Benjamin Franklin High School, the center provides onsite daycare and early childhood development programs for teen parents and their children, as well as resources to help families become more stable and self-sufficient. He is now expanding this successful strategy into west Baltimore in partnership with the University of Maryland Baltimore.

Other achievements include the largest ever Project Homeless Connect, one of the largest resource fairs in the country for people experiencing homelessness, and successful completion of the United for Change campaign. Separate from its annual fundraising campaign, this was United Way’s first above and beyond campaign in its 95-year history. The campaign surpassed its goal of raising $4.5 million to help struggling families and individual and to improve the organization’s effectiveness.

A cross-functional senior executive with diverse expertise in non-profit organizations, he has demonstrated passion for and commitment to exceeding operational, strategic planning and financial goals. A solution-focused and performance-driven leader, Baker has the vision, experience and business acumen to move beyond layers of traditional organizational dynamics to formulate cost-effective strategies to overcome potential shortfalls and maximize resources. He is a skilled contract negotiator who consistently builds positive, mutually respectful relationships with federal, state and local government officials, vendors, providers, community partners and clients to improve social impact.

In his previous position as Principal Deputy and Chief Operating Officer for Greenpeace USA, Baker improved national operations and helped to bolster fundraising efforts ($45 million non-profit with 600 staff). Prior to this role, Baker served for more than five years as Chief Operating Officer and at the end of his tenure as Chief of Staff and External Affairs Officer with Volunteers of America Chesapeake. While there, he held primary responsibility for leading and improving operations of 32 diverse programs employing more than 750 staff geographically located from Baltimore, Maryland to Virginia Beach to Washington, DC. Baker also spearheaded the human resources, development and information technology functions, ensured its multiple facilities were well managed and met regulatory and contractual expectations while assisting with the acquisition and management of government contracts and grants comprising 92% of its $34 million in revenue.

Before Volunteers of America Chesapeake, Baker worked as Director and Executive Administrator of Public Sector Partnerships within Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. In prior leadership roles, Baker added value with such companies as Columbia, Maryland-based Magellan Behavioral Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and others in various positions ranging from Senior Manager to Vice President.

Baker earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Howard University and a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.

Baker has served on multiple boards including as board chair of the $95 Million Unity Healthcare, has completed a two-year Executive Development Program, and is a 2013 class member of Leadership Greater Washington. He is a 2018 class member of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s LEADERship Program, and serves on the boards of Baltimore’s Promise and Parks and People Foundation. Baker lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife, Michell and teenage daughter, Gabriell.

Satonya Fair >>

The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), Vice President & Chief Philanthropy Officer


Satonya Fair is Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer of The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the preeminent membership organization for the development of global black leaders. She is responsible for the organization’s philanthropic engagement strategy, ensuring that all charitable efforts support The ELC’s purpose of opening channels of opportunity for the development of black executives to positively impact business and communities. The ELC’s philanthropic strategy focuses on investments in social enterprise, closing the achievement gap, developing next generation black leadership and highlighting the continued need to drive greater diversity in C-Suites and on boards.

Prior to joining The ELC, Satonya served as the Director of Grants Management at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she and her team administered more than $100MM in charitable investments annually. She led the development of a customized grants management system, including a comprehensive online grant portal. Her work focused on system innovations within her department and throughout the foundation, with an emphasis on using data to drive decision-making and accountability.

Before joining the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Satonya supported Citi’s Global Community Development corporate and foundation giving, employee engagement and volunteerism, program development, and outcome measurement. Her roles at Citi included Senior Grants Manager for the North America Community Grants Program and Community Relations Manager at CitiFinancial (now One Main Financial), where she successfully redeveloped community relations and volunteer engagement to include CitiFinancial’s branch network offices in the U.S, Canada and Puerto Rico. Prior to joining Citi, Satonya was Community Relations Manager at The Baltimore Sun newspaper.

A consistent theme in her work and volunteerism has been ensuring low-income children, families and communities receive the support they need. Satonya earned her JD from the University of Cincinnati and a BA in Psychology and Political Science from Miami University (Ohio). She graduated from the Council on Foundation’s Career Pathways Executive Leadership Program and is a certified Change Management practitioner. She is an active volunteer with many efforts including PEAK Grantmaking, the Technology Affinity Group, the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers and the Bridges Program in Baltimore.

2021 Registration is Open

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