The Certificate is co-led by two industry pioneers. Alisha and Meri have both been recognized nationally for their experience and leadership in sports philanthropy and entertainment philanthropy.
Alisha Greenberg is an internationally recognized expert on sports philanthropy who has spent 19 years educating and advising social impact leaders.
Alisha oversees the national award cycle for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Sports Award. Her evaluation of hundreds of organizations that apply offers a unique perspective on the industry landscape.
She formed Rounding Third LLC in 2009 to pioneer innovative solutions for prominent clients including Justin Verlander’s Wins for Warriors, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, 3x Olympian Tracy Evans & Kids Play International, Athletes for Hope, Positive Tracks and The Skatepark Project.
Early in her career, Alisha spent eight years at the Sports Philanthropy Project (SPP) managing all sports partnerships with teams, athletes, leagues and others, enabling her to build an extensive network within the field.
Alisha graduated from Indiana University, earning a degree in Sports Marketing and Management with a minor in Business. She holds a Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from The Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University.
Meredith Wolff is the founder of Seek to Be LLC, a philanthropic consulting business specializing in services for athletes, teams, agencies, sports-based nonprofits and entertainers.
With over 15 years of sports and philanthropy experience, Meredith currently serves as Executive Director of Ladd Foundation, COO of YourMomCares and Senior Program Director of the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (HLF) Young Ambassadors Program. She previously served as founding Executive Director of HLF and Eric and Jessie Decker Foundation.
Prior to consulting, Meredith served as in-house counsel at NHL Enterprises, L.P. where she was responsible for sponsorship, marketing and charitable partnerships and events and licensing agreements. Meredith also worked for the Sports Philanthropy Project as well as at the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation.
Meredith earned her law degree from Brooklyn Law School and studied fundraising and grantmaking at the Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at New York University. She received her B.A. from the Honors College at the George Washington University.
Meet the Faculty.
Our faculty is comprised of professionals from across the sports and entertainment impact industries with immeasurable experience leading and advising some of the biggest names in the field.
Founding Partner, WCPG
Harrie Bakst is the founding partner of WCPG, one of the leading philanthropic advisory companies in world. Bakst co-founded the company after surviving cancer, and has grown the company to a staff of 6 people. With Harrie’s leadership and vision, WCPG was named by Fast Company in 2014 as a Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Sports.
Harrie leads the corporate consulting division of the company with clients such as Unilever, Fotografiska, NeueHouse, among others. Additionally, Harrie heads up the sports department of the company and manages current client relationships with Pelé, Taste of the NFL, The USTA Foundation, James Blake, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Cycle for Survival, Hackensack University Medical Center / New York Giants Tackle Kids Cancer, among others. Over the years, Harrie has also represented and worked with some of the top names in sports and their respective foundations / philanthropic endeavors including: Pelé,Victor Cruz, Cam Newton, Cole Hamels, Mark Teixeria, CC Sabathia, Paul Pierce, Curtis Granderson, Tiki Barber, Alex Rodriquez and Meb Keflezighi, and corporate brands such as New Balance, Tag Heuer, Adidas, and Cola Cola Company.
Founder and CEO, Candlelion LLC
Michael is a 25-year veteran of global philanthropy, corporate responsibility, strategic communications and leadership development. As Senior Vice President at the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) for a decade, he has reached millions on issues of education, health, military families, and youth. Michael has advised Oscar, Emmy and Grammy Award winners like George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Charlize Theron, Katie Couric, and the Black Eyed Peas - global media corporations such as Disney, Sony, Time/Warner, Fox and News Corp - and best known brands, like Major League Baseball. Today, Michael is Founder and CEO of Candlelion LLC (a strategic communications firm). He designs and delivers leadership and communication programs and works one- on-one with philanthropists, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and executives in business, media, technology, health, and education.
A public interest attorney with a J.D. from UCLA, Michael has taught students, staff and faculty around the world and across the U.S., from USC and UCSF to Northwestern and MIT.
Vice President of Programs and Education, TGR Foundation
Dr. Kathy Bihr
Kathy has served in this role for over 12 years. Her responsibilities include providing direction to the personnel, programs and operations of both the TGR Learning Lab and the Earl Woods Scholar Program. Dr. Bihr serves on the board of directors for the El Viento Foundation and Project Tomorrow. She also serves on the National STEM Funders Network Advisory. Dr. Bihr is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. She has been recognized for her work on the Board of Councilors for the Rossier School of Education at USC as well as the USC Alumni Board of Governors.
In addition, she sits on the Department of Education Leadership Council for the University of California, Irvine and California State University, Fullerton. In Washington, DC, she is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Cesar Chavez Charter Schools for Public Policy.
Executive Director, TB12 Foundation (Tom Brady)
Lisa A. Borges is CEO and Founder of Anchor Foundation Consulting, LLC, helping nonprofits fulfill their dreams and achieve long term sustainability. She also serves as Executive Director of the TB12 Foundation (founded by Tom Brady).
Prior to Anchor Foundation Consulting, Lisa served as Executive Director of the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for over eighteen years where she was responsible for the overall leadership and strategic development of the organization.
Lisa serves on the board of several nonprofits in a leadership capacity and has been a guest speaker or presenter for multiple conferences, workshops and college level courses.
Lisa earned a JD from New England School of Law and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Clark University.
Lisa also founded the Celebrity & Athlete Foundation Forum in Boston to build a network and share best practices in this specialized charitable community.
Vice President, Garden of Dreams Foundation (Madison Square Garden Company)
Kristine has over 20 years of experience in sports philanthropy. In her role she works with all areas of MSG and MSG Networks to make dreams come true for kids facing obstacles. She began her career with MSG in 2001, following seven years with Special Olympics New York as Director of Program. Burton is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a BA in Communications. She also completed the GWU Sports Philanthropy certificate program in 2014.
Chief Development Officer for Clarke Schools for Hearing and Listening
Cindy has extensive experience in fundraising, board training and corporate event production. She is currently the Chief Development Officer for Clarke Schools for Hearing and Listening.
Prior to joining Clarke Schools, Cindy led a consulting firm focused on providing strategic advisement for clients - nonprofit organizations and philanthropic foundations - who have budgets up to $5 million. Smaller organizations compliment her skills, creativity, and expertise. Clients included Reconstructing Judaism, Games for Change and E-school for Girls.
Cindy has held senior development positions with national organizations including the Union of Reform Judaism, Got Your 6, Hadassah, and the Anti-Defamation League. She has also worked with the Beginning with Children Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and Hillels of Broward and Palm Beach.
Cindy holds a bachelor’ s degree from the University of Florida where she was a member of Florida Blue Key. Cindy is a former board member of Whole World Theater and A More Perfect Union.
Her professional passions focus on philanthropy and fashion. For over 10 years she has built a personal shopping business, The Cindy Goldberg Experience, with clients around the globe
Network President, America SCORES and CEO, DC SCORES
Bethany is a cross-sector leader whose career has spanned the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Under her leadership, DC SCORES has increased the number of children served by 50% (to nearly 3,000/year), while youth outcomes held steady or improved and America SCORES has become internationally recognized as both a sports-based and arts-based youth development leader. Bethany has won multiple awards for social impact and nonprofit management, including being named a 2017 Washington Business Journal nonprofit ED of the year, selected for the 2017 REALITY Sports program, and securing a prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship for social entrepreneurs.
As a White House Fellow, Bethany helped scope President Obama's public-private partnership My Brother's Keeper. Previously, Bethany was an intellectual property litigator at litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel and a member of the 5-person team that helped the City of New York government transition into the Internet era under then-Mayor Giuliani. Bethany has a JD from Harvard Law and both an MA and BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She is adjunct faculty at University of Maryland and regularly speaks and publishes on youth development and social innovation.
Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, Umpqua Bank
Robin M. Johnson
Robin has been a diversity and inclusion professional for over 15 years and has consistently managed the trajectory of organizations as they embark upon the creation, refinement, and implementation of their equity plans into their overarching organizational and strategic aims and objectives over the course of her career. Robin’s work also entails providing executive level coaching and support to ensure the success of infusing diversity and inclusion broadly and deeply throughout the course of an organization’s transformational journey. Previously, Robin was the Director of Equity Advancement at the Center for Equity and Inclusion (CEI), focusing on the implementation side of organizational change and managed a portfolio across a wide variety of sectors. Before her time at CEI she was the Inclusion Policy Advisor with the Office of the Governor, where she focused on issues around workforce diversity and inclusion, civil rights, and organizational change management. Robin finds meaning in the work of advancing diversity and inclusion because she recognizes the vital importance for organizations and agencies to be able to effectively meet the needs of their constituencies, and to value and engage their employees. She believes this is best done through the strategic and meaningful application of an equity lens to the internal and external operations of an organization, while also deepening our personal connection to the issues of the day to hone our application skills.
Senior Director, Purpose Initiatives, WD+C at NIKE, Inc.
Luis is a collective impact professional that is passionate about working with diverse actors to design, implement, and scale innovative solutions to complex social and environmental challenges. Luis is currently the Senior Director for Purpose Initiatives for Nike’s Workplace Design and Connectivity team where he leads efforts to create a healthy planet, active communities and an equal playing field for all. Previously, Luis led strategic planning efforts for Nike’s Global Community Impact team and before joining the Swoosh, Luis had the privilege of leading social impact efforts at Walmart and the United States Agency for International Development.
Luis holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the University of Virginia, a Master’s of Education degree from Harvard University and a Master’s of Public Policy degree from Duke University. At the end of the day, it's all about maximizing human potential and driving game-changing impact. Luis is a proud husband, father, son, brother, Wahoo and Blue Devil.
Executive Director, Steve Nash Foundation
Jenny’s career-long focus on outcomes for children in the legal system led to her role at the Steve Nash Foundation. Following a clerkship with the U.S. District Court in Alaska, she served as project attorney to the Alaska Judicial Council, evaluating therapeutic and restorative justice initiatives, and as staff attorney to First Star in Washington, D.C., developing public policy-based initiatives and best practices to address legal issues for children underserved by systems responsible for their care, before joining Steve’s efforts in 2005. Her past work on child welfare, legal rights for and representation of children in dependency informs her daily work at SNF, which also includes original program development for infants, children, youth and families. Jenny also represents SNF on the Board of Educare Arizona, part of the nation-wide Educare Learning Network.
Raised in Victoria, BC, and Brooklyn, NY, Jenny earned her B.A. at UC Berkeley, and her law degree at the American University Washington College of Law. She is a member of the NY and MA Bars, and currently lives with her family in Anchorage, Alaska.
Deputy Director of Sports Partnerships, UNICEF USA
Shanell oversees Sports Partnerships at UNICEF USA and manages relationships with US sports leagues, teams and athletes that are dedicated to educating, advocating and fundraising to help the world’s most vulnerable children. It is her personal mission to help others find their purpose and make a difference for future generations to come. Through the work she has done international, Shanell has had the opportunity to live and travel to countries such as Ghana, Ethiopia, Senegal, Guyana, Mozambique, Angola, Greece and South Africa.
Shanell previously worked at Scholar Athletes and was responsible for the success and growth of their academic and athletic programming across Boston Public Schools. Under Shanell’s leadership, thousands of student athletes participated in high school sports, improved their academic performance, and developed a plan after high school.
Prior to this, Shanell worked for AmeriCorps where she was committed to educating and empowering young people. She additionally has worked for the U.S. Department of State in Guyana and Girl Scouts of America. Shanell graduated from Bentley University with a BS double major in Business Management and Global Perspectives and attended Northeastern University where she received her MS in Nonprofit Management with a focus in Sports and Social Change. Shanell also has an Executive Certificate in Sports Philanthropy from George Washington University.
Shanell plays an active role in her community by serving at Hillsong Church, as well as on the Women’s Council for Habitat for Humanity, the Advisory Board for Beyond Sport, and as a member of Women in Sports & Events (WISE).
President + Chief Impact Officer (CImO) – Oliver+Rose LLC
Joanne Pasternack is a dynamic and visionary corporate social responsibility and philanthropic impact strategist who, over the past two decades, has galvanized community engagement with internationally recognized brands including the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco 49ers, ServiceNow, City of Mountain View, and Special Olympics. Currently, as the President + Chief Impact Officer (CImO) of Oliver+Rose LLC, she works directly with professional athletes, legends, entertainers, philanthropists, corporate executives and high net worth individuals to amplify their impact to inspire change around their areas of passion, commitment and expertise.
Joanne holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, a JD from Santa Clara University, and completed the Executives in Non-Profit Leadership program at Stanford GSB. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Sports Management and Sports Philanthropy programs at Georgetown University, the University of San Francisco, and John’s Hopkins University.
Joanne resides in San Jose with her husband, Robert Bardin, who works for the San Jose Earthquakes, and their children, Kira (12) and Reid (10). An advocate for inclusion and access, Joanne is on the boards of Special Olympics Northern California/Nevada, the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI), Figure Skating in Harlem, Wender Weis Foundation for Children, and Beyond Sport and speaks regularly on a variety of topics around inclusion – including bringing awareness to early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She also serves on the corporate advisory board for Applied Silver, looking to eradicate resistant microbes in locker rooms and hospitals
Executive Director, Giants Community Fund (San Francisco Giants)
Sue serves as Executive Director of the Giants Community Fund, having joined the world of professional sports with the San Francisco Giants in 1993. Under Sue’s management, the Fund and its Junior Giants Program have been the recipients of national industry awards including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award, the Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence and the ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award. She has served as a panelist at conferences, including Engage for Good, and currently serves on the selection committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award and the Good Tidings Foundation Community Service Scholarship.
A Bay Area native and UC Berkeley graduate, she began her non-profit career with the San Francisco Education Fund.
Janice Simsohn Shaw
Janice is an adept, high-energy facilitator with 20 years of experience training foundation and social change leaders to be better partners, listeners, and givers. She is a passionate and vocal advocate for the power of communal learning and proudly serves her clients by helping them move their work forward in meaningful ways. In the philanthropic sphere, Janice has designed and facilitated leadership development programs for Next Gen philanthropists and executive directors. As a consultant, Janice is proud to work with a healthy mix of non-profit organizations and philanthropic entities including family foundations and giving collaboratives. Her writing has been published on a topics including capacity building, investing in non-profit leaders, program-related investments, facilitation, and multi-generational philanthropy. Earlier in her career, she served the environmental field and the Jewish community, working for a number of non-profit organizations, and was a journalist and fact-checker.
Janice studied at Skidmore College and Oxford University, and has benefited greatly from training with the National Outdoor Leadership School, the Interaction Institute for Social Change, and the Social Transformation Project.
Senior Director Institutional Partnerships at Resilia
As Director of Business Development for Pledge It, Todd is responsible for growth and relationship management across professional sports. Todd brings more than seventeen (17) years of experience in the sports philanthropy sector, including running his own consulting practice for six years. Previously Vice President and Director of Programs, and current Consultant and Board Member of Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation, Todd also served as Managing Director for Weinstein Carnegie Philanthropic Group, as well as Co-Director of the Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate at George Washington University School of Business.
A graduate of Amherst College, Todd is a Masters of Education recipient from New York University.
Senior Vice President, Innovation & Technology, Portland Trail Blazers
Christa Stout, Senior Vice President of Innovation & Technology, is responsible for driving business and customer solutions through innovation and technology. In this role, she oversees the organization’s IT, Business Analytics, Digital Innovation, Advertising and Customer Experience departments. Her previous roles at the Trail Blazers include over six years leading Social Responsibility and the Trail Blazers Foundation, and three years leading Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Prior to joining the Trail Blazers in February of 2014, Stout oversaw the Portland Timbers Community Relations Department starting in 2011.
Stout worked in sport and international development in South Africa, Australia, Central and South America and Europe prior to moving back to her hometown, Portland, in 2011.
Stout holds an MBA in International Business and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology. She is a faculty member for the Sports and Entertainment Impact Collective in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, serves on the Latino Network and Boys & Girls Club boards and in her free time enjoys adventures with her husband and two daughters.
Manager of Partnerships & Development, MLSE LaunchPad
MLSE LaunchPad is a Sport For Development facility in Toronto focused on combining sport, education and research to address social issues. Prior to joining MLSE LaunchPad, Lisa spent 3 years working with MLSE Foundation organizing large scale fundraising events for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC and 3 years working with a small Management Consulting firm.
Lisa has a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, a Post Graduate Certificate in Fundraising Management from Humber College and an Executive Certificate in Sports Philanthropy from George Washington University.
Caren Croland Yanis
Caren has built and run foundations for Oprah Winfrey and for the Crown Family in Chicago. She began Croland Consulting to help families, celebrities, athletes, and businesses develop philanthropic practices in line with their values.
She currently chairs the board of the Poetry Foundation, which received a significant bequest from Ruth Lilly in 2003. She is a board advisor at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, the Women in Philanthropy Institute, and the Pardee RAND Graduate School of Public Policy.
She is an adjunct professor at Tulane’s School of Professional Development and in the Private Wealth Management program at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.
Caren has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College and a certificate in strategic leadership from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. She enjoys writing, coaching, mentoring, and working alongside people who believe they can make the world a better place and are ready to get started.
Our faculty is comprised of professionals from across the sports and entertainment impact industries with immeasurable experience leading and advising some of the biggest names in the field.
SEIC Academic Advocates are professors, researchers and facilitators from around the world, focused on sports, entertainment, and philanthropy, uniting around their common interest in knowledge and education. By collaborating across institutions, SEIC has created something stronger than any one academic institution on its own. Our Advocates' expertise and support ensure that SEIC maintains a rigorous academic standard.