13th Annual Nonprofit Institute Conference

 Conference Speakers


yolanda-wilson-headshots-2023.jpgYolanda Wilson, Ed.D.


College of Southern Maryland


In January 2023, Dr. Yolanda Wilson became CSM's sixth president and the first African American president to lead the college in its 64-year history.

Dr. Wilson served as the vice president of instruction, Ashe Campus and Alleghany Center at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and was a leadership coach for Achieving the Dream. She has worked in the North Carolina and South Carolina Community College Systems for more than 22 years, beginning her career as an adjunct faculty member before moving into more progressive leadership roles in academic affairs, student services, and campus operations. Her work in higher education has centered on creating a student-ready college culture, mitigating institutional barriers to access, retention, and completion, and strategically focusing on programming and policies that support all students to success.

Wilson has completed the 2019-2020 Aspen Rising President's Fellowship program, received the Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished College Administrator's Awards – both internationally and within the Carolinas, and was recognized as the South Carolina Technical Education Association Administrator of the Year at York Technical College. She serves on the Aspen Institute Alumni Advisory Council, the Wilkes Community Foundation Board, and three North Carolina Community College System committees: the Curriculum Committee, the Transfer Advisory Committee, and the Developmental Education Advisory Council. She is the board secretary and Region 2 director for the American Association for Women in Community Colleges and chairs reaffirmation visits for the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Wilson earned her bachelor’s degree in English education and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Ed.D. in adult and community college education from North Carolina State University. She is blessed to be married to her best friend, Dale, and they have three sons: Bryan, Brandon, and Braxton.



mia-bowers160.pngMia Bowers

Executive Director

Community Mediation Center St. Mary’s County


Mia Bowers is the executive director of Community Mediation of St. Mary’s County. Bowers is a hardworking and dependable community leader with a strong record of having an impact on those around her. For over 15 years, Bowers has demonstrated her passion by serving the St. Mary’s Community in a variety of ways.


As a member of the Transformative Mediation community, Bowers has been trained to conduct mediation including but not limited to child access, attendance, re-entry, property, and district court (landlord/tenant, small claims, peace orders). In addition to mediation, Bowers is also a skilled facilitator trained to provide facilitation for large/small groups, individualized education plans, and community conversations.


In 2022, Bowers created a national product (webinar) for the National Association for Community Mediation: Connecting Mediation Centers to their Community and will be releasing a guide on strengthening community connections in July 2023.


brianna-bowling160.jpgBrianna Dunbar Bowling

Owner and Facilitator

Retreat & Learn


Brianna Bowling graduated from Goucher College in 1992 and then successfully ran Zekiah Technologies, a defense software firm for over 20 years. She is an avid volunteer and her current volunteer roles are as a board member of Charles Regional Medical Center and University of Maryland Medical System, where she serves on both the governance committee and patient quality and safety committee. She is also a lector and choir member at St. Ignatius Church. She is the author of “How to Start, Manage, and Exit a Profitable Government Contracting Firm” which will be released later this year.


Bowling loves to share what she’s learned over the years as a business owner, community advocate, mother, daughter, and wife. She is also the host on a YouTube Channel where she interviews subject matter experts on a variety of topics. Bowling is the owner and facilitator of Retreat & Learn, founded with the purpose of providing workshops and retreats while preserving farmland and open space at Ravens Crest, a 173-acre cliffside farm offering panoramic views of the Potomac River in Newburg, Maryland.



tom-brush160.pngTom Brush


Advancement Designs


Tom Brush is a nonprofit consultant/coach who partners with nonprofit leaders and organizations to design strategies to further engagement with their constituencies, effectively manage volunteers and boards, increase donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and creatively steward donors. After spending nearly 25 years working in leadership, engagement, and development in the nonprofit sector, Brush knows that each organization is unique, and he helps them find their own unique pathway to success.


As the founder of Advancement Designs, Brush has supported nonprofits of all sizes in the areas of strategic planning, organizational leadership, board and volunteer management, and resource generation. He regularly presents and speaks on these topics at conferences and in front of groups large and small.


As a result of working with Brush, nonprofits have focused their efforts enabling them to spend more time on the actions that produce the greatest results and help them take their next step along their unique pathway to success.


Brush holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA and has served as president of two nonprofit boards. Outside of his passion for consulting and coaching, he loves to network, connect with other professionals, and officiate girls’ and women’s lacrosse.



ruthy-davis160.jpegRuth A. Davis

Director of Regional Workforce & Business Development


Ruth A. (Ruthy) Davis is the director of regional workforce and business development for the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland. In this capacity, Davis implements the policies, goals, and objectives set by the regional workforce development board and oversees management of the operations of the region's American Job Center delivery system, the Southern Maryland JobSource. She also serves as the liaison with federal, state, and local governments and community organizations in advancement of workforce and regional economic development efforts. 
Davis has extensive business experience, having owned a small business in Southern Maryland and having held numerous leadership positions with Verizon, Bell Laboratories, and Bell Communications Research. She was hired by the council in 2010 as a business services representative for the JobSource Workforce Program and spent six months working for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation as a project manager for discretionary grants.  
Davis is a long-time resident of Southern Maryland and holds bachelor's degrees in mathematics and English from Bethany College.


judi-ferarra160.jpgJudi Ferrara

Director, Adult and Community Education

College of Southern Maryland


Judi Ferrara is the director of Adult and Community Education at the College of Southern Maryland and has held various positions for the past 23 years. Ferrara is responsible for leading a team of professionals in the adult education and personal enrichment program areas, and at the Nonprofit Institute in the School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development within the Division of Learning.


Ferrara’s passion lies in wellness education and sharing her love of practicing self-care with young people and adults to enrich and transform their lives. She has completed practical and advanced training in mind-body medicine skills through the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C.


Ferrara holds a bachelor’s degree from California University of Pennsylvania and is a proud alumnus of the College of Southern Maryland. She has two lovely daughters and sons-in-law, adores her 10-year-old yellow lab, Bella, and has been happily married to her husband Todd for 39 years.


ellen-flowers-fields160.jpgEllen Flowers-Fields 

Associate Vice President  

Continuing Education and Workforce Development 

College of Southern Maryland 


Ellen Flowers-Fields is the Associate Vice President for Continuing Education and Workforce Development at the College of Southern Maryland. She is responsible for continuing education programs in workforce development and community education; the Maryland Center for Environmental Training; the Velocity Center; the Small Business Development Center; the WorkForce Center, and the Nonprofit Institute.  


Flowers-Fields has over 30 years of progressive professional experience in the field of workforce development and human capital management. Her diverse background includes supporting entrepreneurship and small business development efforts, grant acquisition, project management, and implementation of various federal, state, and local programs that address community economic development needs.  


Flowers-Fields holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Pace University; certification from the International Business Innovation Association in Business Incubation Management; and is credentialed as a global career development facilitator from the Center for Credentialing and Education. She is a 2009 graduate of the inaugural class of Leadership Southern Maryland, an entrepreneur, and a self-published author.  


Affiliations include executive board member of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland; vice chair of the MD Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO); appointee to the American Association of Community College's Workforce & Economic Development Commission; member of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, and the Maryland Economic Development Association.  



bonnie-grady160.jpgBonnie Grady

President & CEO

Charles County Chamber of Commerce


Bonnie Grady is an experienced, credentialed nonprofit executive. For the past 23 years, she has managed and consulted for chambers of commerce throughout the United States. Grady has served as president and CEO of five chambers, including Carroll County, Cecil County, and Charles County in Maryland, a chamber in West Virginia, and a chamber in North Carolina.


nancy-hall160.jpgNancy Hall


501(c) Solutions



Nancy Hall has worked in the nonprofit sector for decades. Her business, 501(c)Solutions, provides financial and administrative services to dozens of nonprofits. In addition to her consulting work, Hall is adjunct faculty at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she teaches nonprofit management. Hall has been an expert witness in several lawsuits involving nonprofit fraud.



elisabeth-hyleck160.jpgElisabeth Hyleck

Director of Learning and Partnership

Maryland Philanthropy Network


Elisabeth Hyleck is the director of Learning and Partnerships for the Maryland Philanthropy Network (MPN). She manages MPN’s Affinity Groups and 100+ educational programs with a focus on moving funders from learning to action. Hyleck is the point person on partnerships focused on Baltimore and with colleague organizations, and leads MPN’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. She provides members with peer connections and assistance related to a wide variety of philanthropic initiatives and community issues. Building on the collaborative culture established among the team, Hyleck leads with intentionality to honor all voices and perspectives. Prior to joining Maryland Philanthropy Network in 2007, she worked at the Annie E. Casey Foundation as the leadership development program assistant and was the administrative coordinator for a residential treatment facility for chemically dependent women and their children.


With a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Morgan State University, Hyleck has a great interest in the relationship between people and the natural and built environment. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and French and a minor in women’s and minorities’ studies from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2018, she was elected to the board of directors of City Neighbors Hamilton as director of family participation after having served on the board of Blue Water Baltimore for six years. When not at work, she can be found assisting with school activities and spending time outdoors.



tom-morley160.pngTom Morley

Managing Director

Snowflake Consulting


Tom Morley has 25 years of experience consulting nonprofits, governments, and businesses, helping them become sustainable, get better outcomes, and accomplish more through strategy, organization, people, and marketing solutions. After 15 years with “Big 4” consultancies, Morley launched Snowflake Consulting, a Certified B Corporation(r), in 2014 with a mission of transforming organizations to transform lives. Over the course of his career, Morley has worked with more than 100 clients across sectors and industries, in the United States and abroad.



christine-parker160.jpgChristine Parker

Managing Director

Parker Financial, LLC


Christine Parker is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) practitioner. Chartered SRI CounselorSM, and managing director of Parker Financial, LLC; an independent fee-only registered investment adviser in the state of Maryland providing financial planning and investment advisory services.



stephanie-rolle160.jpgStephanie Rolle


United Way of Southern Maryland


A results-driven leader, Stephanie Rolle is a graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University with a double major in business administration and retail. She is a certified facilitator, corporate trainer, and certified grief coach. Driven by a passion to be a part of the forces that uplift and develop people, her professional achievements have garnered success in corporate, nonprofit, government, and faith-based spaces nationwide with international work in South Africa, Western Canada, and Brazil.


Currently serving as the chief executive officer of the United Way of Southern Maryland, Rolle is excited to be a part of this movement to uplift and improve the lives of the most vulnerable. She is responsible for community impact, fundraising, and advocacy outcomes in St. Mary’s, Charles, and Calvert Counties. Currently launching affinity groups that include Women United Win!, Future Force (youth and young adults), and Mission United (veterans) that will craft the advocacy agenda for each focused group, she is poised to position the United Way of Southern Maryland to be an effective convenor for people making a positive difference through the lens of diversity, inclusion, and equity.


The published author of two books - “Love Has Something to Say” and “Jewels for Grace-Filled Living,” Rolle’s third book will be available in April 2023. Working as a grief coach, her faith-based approach is refreshing and healing. Her belief is the only reason we grieve is because we have loved, and it is from that loving place that she serves. With more than 12of years with rich and rewarding outcomes, she is excited to share new, effective ways to deal with loss and is always hopeful that the pain of loss will be transformed into peace. 


Finally, Rolle is an artist and designer who works with acrylics on canvas and mixed media and is the curator of custom-designed note cards and invitations. She loves good music, the performing arts, reading, traveling the world, and advocating for what she believes in. 



bert-ruiz160.pngBert Ruiz

Managing Director

Impact Search Advisors by Nonprofit HR


Bert Ruiz serves as managing director for Impact Search Advisors by Nonprofit HR, where he leads a team of 30 talented experts who deliver executive and professional retained search and recruitment outsourcing services. With a 23-year career in the nonprofit industry, Ruiz serves as a trusted advisor on search and recruitment outsourcing engagements with client partners.


Ruiz’s most recent role includes serving as senior consultant for DBD Group overseeing executive search services. Prior to that, he spent several years with the YMCA of the USA, the national resource center supporting over 800 local YMCA affiliates, where he served as region director, CEO Search. He also served as senior manager of programs, which included the development of a national strategy to promote adoption and implementation of approaches to address health disparities and healthy aging, with specific focus on primary chronic disease prevention and screening. Prior to serving at the national level, he spent almost a decade in operations, including the role of executive director with a local affiliate in Houston.


Ruiz is experienced in diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development initiatives. He served as a participant, as well as coach and mentor, for national multicultural development programs, and was certified as facilitator to deliver training to local affiliate staff. Ruiz also served on national employee resources group leadership committees.


Ruiz has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Houston, a Master of Science in Organizational Management and Leadership from Springfield College and is bilingual in English and Spanish. Bert Ruiz and his wife, Wendy, have two adult children.



angelasmall160.jpgAngela Walters Small, Moderator

Public Information Officer and Director of Communications

College of Southern Maryland


Angels Walters Small is the public information officer and director of communications for the College of Southern Maryland. Prior to this role, she was a public information specialist for Calvert County Government. Small holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from American University and has more than 35 years of communication experience.


Born and raised in Southern Maryland, Small spent the first seven years of her career as a journalist, photographer, and editor-in-chief working at weekly newspapers throughout Southern Maryland. From there she spent 10 years with Constellation Energy providing corporate communications, media relations, leadership and employee communications, and crisis communications support at the Fortune 200 company’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant and Constellation Nuclear Services.


Small took a few years to stay home and raise her newborn twin daughters in 2004 and returned to the workforce in 2011 as the manager of strategic leadership support and site contract lead for OMNITEC Solutions, a defense contractor at NAS Patuxent River. In that role, she served as the lead speechwriter and supported all leadership communication efforts for the commander of Naval Air Systems Command.


Small is currently a member of the Leadership Southern Maryland Board of Directors (Class of 2016); a non-voting member of the Calvert County Economic Development Advisory Commission; and the volunteer PIO for the Maryland Fire-Rescue Services Memorial Foundation. She and her husband Robert live in Calvert County with their adult daughters and two sweet and aged rescued fur babies.



sheebah-smith160.jpgSheebah Smith

Deputy Director

Calvert County Economic Development


Sheebah Smith comes to the Calvert County Department of Economic Development Department with over 15 years of experience establishing marketing foundations that have expanded organization, lead generation, and growth efforts. She has held multiple marketing business development positions for small to midsize businesses nationwide, most recently serving as the marketing director for eTrepid's managed security services global team.


Smith is a motivated, mission-oriented professional with a wide array of specialties, including brand management, promotion, strategy development, and forging strategic alliances.


She remains devoted to community enhancement and social improvement by sharing her expertise with organizations that enhance the economic stability of the Southern Maryland community. She is currently a member of the American Marketing Association and presides as the president of the Zonta Club of Charles County. In addition, she is a member and past president of the Charles County Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and has held board positions for the Charles County Chamber of Commerce.


Smith holds an MBA, a master’s in management specializing in marketing from the University of Maryland University College, and a bachelor’s degree in communications and electronic media/film from Towson University.




dawn-tucker160.jpgDawn Tucker


Lord and Tucker Management Consultants, LLC


Dawn L. Tucker, MPM, CPA (non-practicing), is the principal of Lord and Tucker Management Consultants (LTMC), a federal 8(a) and Maryland (MD) Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified consulting firm that specializes in government procurement advice and assistance, entrepreneurship, and management training. LTMC provides comprehensive management advisory services which includes lifecycle acquisition support, program and project coordination, professional development and training programs for government, commercial, business-to-business, and nonprofit organizations. Tucker has more than 30 years of a wide variety of business management experience including accounting, finance, budgeting, and federal government contracting. In these roles, she has worked with businesses and senior level executive staff providing top notch customer service, advice, and assistance.


carmella-davis-watkins160.pngCarmella Davis Watkins 

Executive Director

Ivy and Pearls of Southern Maryland Community Charities, Inc.


A graduate of the University of Maryland in mathematics, Carmella Davis Watkins was employed as a research meteorologist for 33 years with the United States government. She is now retired. Davis Watkins has also been an adjunct professor at North Carolina A&T State University. She is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians since 2015, certified as a registered parliamentarian in July 2019, and a professional registered parliamentarian in June 2021. She presently serves as executive director of Ivy and Pearls of Southern Maryland Community Charities, Inc.



wendy-wolff160.jpgWendy Wolff

Director of Consulting and Strategic Engagement

Maryland Nonprofits


Activating and coordinating community responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic was how Wendy Wolff began her career in the nonprofit sector. Her early career helped her to build a strong understanding about the value and role of the community in program planning and policy development.


Wolff brings nearly 30 years of diverse consulting experiences to her role at Maryland Nonprofits. She has collaborated with government agencies; universities; nonprofit organizations; and faith-based organizations to enhance the quality of life within many communities throughout the United States. She uses her strategic thinking skills to help clients synthesize information from wide-ranging sources and reframe problems while uncovering root causes to find refreshing, creative, and effective solutions. Over the past two decades, Wendy has helped hundreds of organizations and their people to create brighter futures for the communities in which they serve. Her excitement in working with the members of Maryland Nonprofit’s is infectious. She values the genius that each and eve person brings to their role in the sector and works diligently to elevate any person that she engages with. Her current work for Maryland Nonprofits is leading the “This is the Moment to Care” campaign, honoring the brilliant human beings who lift up our nonprofit missions.


Wolff holds a master's degree in public health from New York University. She has resided as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver and as an associate faculty member at Indian River State College. Wolff is a licensed consultant with the Standards for Excellence® Institute. Her first book, “The Letter Writing Project” (Blooming Twig Books), was published in August 2014 and her next book is due to be released in 2023.



corae-young160.jpgCorae Young


Young Consulting Services, LLC


Corae Young has been working in the nonprofit and faith-based field for almost 20 years. She has extensive experience in grant writing, partnership development, and program development and implementation. She has a Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management and bachelor’s degrees in sociology and marketing. Much of her nonprofit experience has been spent serving as the chief program officer at LifeStyles, a Southern Maryland nonprofit that focuses on human and social services activities. Young has also assisted faith-based entities along the east coast in developing programs, policies, and partnerships that meet the greater needs of the community.
















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College of Southern Maryland
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