This group of renowned and talented professionals are dedicated to advancing the vision and mission of City Year.
Jared BillingsVice President and Executive Director for City Year Orlando
Prior to joining City Year, Jared was a program director in the Education Division of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center). Prior to joining the NGA Center, Jared was a senior policy advisor to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. In this capacity, he advised the governor, senior executive staff, and cabinet secretaries on the development and implementation of a wide range of policy issues. His policy portfolio included higher education, workforce development, early childhood development and K-12 education.
Jared was also the executive director of Teach Plus Mid-Atlantic; a high school psychology, government and history teacher; an academic advisor at Florida State University; and worked in Khayelitsha, South Africa and Siteki, Swaziland designing curriculum, building schools and training teachers.
Darryl BundrigeVice President and Executive Director for City Year Philadelphia
For Darryl Bundrige, service is a lifestyle. After graduating from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a minor in business, it was service that brought this Pittsburgh native to the City of Brother Love and Sisterly Affection. During the 1997 school year, Darryl enthusiastically served as a National School and Community corps member where he tutored and mentored elementary school students.
Darryl’s work in education later advanced to roles such as Dean of Students for Belmont Charter School and Managing Director of City Year Philadelphia’s Impact Department.
Since becoming Executive Director, Darryl has enlarged the education nonprofit’s public and private funding, expanded the staff from 35 to 50 employees, and reached an operating budget of $10 million, up from $8 million. Daily, he inspires, challenges, and supports staff along with more than 200 AmeriCorps members who serve in schools across Philadelphia.
Sandra Lopez BurkeVice President and Executive Director for City Year Boston
Sandra Lopez Burke has a wealth of experience building public-private partnerships that have successfully helped youth reach their full potential in both the sports and academic sectors.
Prior to moving to the Boston area, the native Texan worked for the San Antonio Sports Foundation, where she managed national sporting events and helped establish Dreams for Youth, a program aimed at introducing San Antonio’s disadvantaged youth to Olympic sports. She culminated her decade of service in Texas as the Executive Director of the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
In 1998, Sandra relocated to Massachusetts and joined Mayor Menino’s millennial celebration committee as the Vice President of Boston 2000. After the turn of the millennium, Sandra joined City Year, Inc. as the Director of Individual Giving. She subsequently served four years as Vice President and Chief of Staff to the CEO and in 2007, was named Vice President and Executive Director of the organization’s founding site, City Year Boston.
Kelly Hughes BurtonVice President and Executive Director for City Year San Antonio
Kelly Hughes Burton began her City Year career in 2009 with City Year Boston, where she supported the Executive Office team and the City Year Boston Board as the site prepared for significant growth. When City Year Boston doubled in size in 2012, Kelly became the site's Senior Manager of Human Potential and Site Operations, where she was responsible for overseeing site operations and leading staff recruitment, development and retention strategies.
In 2013, Kelly transitioned to the City Year Headquarters team overseeing the organization's Operating Model Transformation, where she served as the Director of Operations Transformation. In this role, she was responsible for leading an integrated change management and communication strategy and developing systems to monitor the quality of City Year's support services. Kelly also managed City Year's Internal Communications and oversaw the LEAD Executive Program.
Audra ClarkVice President and Executive Director for City Year Kansas City
In this role, Audra maintains strategic relationships with Kansas City public schools, City Year Kansas City’s Board, corporate and philanthropic partners, and the wider Kansas City community.
Audra's nonprofit career began with a year of service as an AmeriCorps*VISTA in San Antonio, Texas. She then joined City Year Washington, DC as a staff member in the fundraising department. For 11 years, Audra held many fundraising positions with City Year Washington, DC, including serving four years as the Development Director. In that role, she was responsible for all areas of fundraising for a $5 million budget and helped the site triple in size from 55 to 160 AmeriCorps members.
Audra has a B.A. in Communication and Business Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a Masters of Public Administration from The George Washington University, where she concentrated in non-profit management.
Toi ComerVice President & Executive Director for City Year Cleveland
A native Clevelander, Toi serves as the primary leader of City Year Cleveland as its Vice President and Executive Director. Toi comes to City Year with more than 15 years of diverse experience in resource development and community relations, strategic planning, management and communications. She began her career at City Year Cleveland in 2011 as its Development Director where she led its fundraising team and efforts to build structures to support the site’s scaled impact growth plan. Eventually Toi was promoted to Managing Director of Development for the site. During Toi’s tenure, she more than tripled the size of the development team as the site’s revenue continued to increase annually.
Prior to coming to City Year Cleveland, she served as the Development Director for Eliza Bryant Village, a nonprofit that provides services and outreach programs to seniors. Thereafter she spent several years serving as the Resource Development Manager of the United Way of Greater Cleveland.
Dr. Catherine CushinberryVice President and Executive Director for City Year Memphis
Catherine relocated back to Memphis from Indianapolis where she served for almost three years as the National Executive Director of Parents for Public Schools. Prior to that role, she served for five years as the Director of Research for the National Office of Girls Inc. and four years as the Executive Director of a Boys and Girls Club in Tennessee. During her career, Catherine has published regularly on a wide variety of topics, including diversity issues and STEM. Additionally, she owned a consulting business and worked with clients in the U.S. and the Philippines, where she lived for a year.
She received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Human Development and Family Studies. Her Master of Arts from the University of Memphis and Bachelor of Science from Murray State University are in Organizational Communication. She is a seasoned nonprofit executive with over twenty years of experience in the education and nonprofit sectors.
Paul DavisVice President and Executive Director for City Year Tulsa
Paul is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in fundraising, board and people development and operations. He was attracted to City Year because if its local and national scale, well-researched model and ability to drive impact in education in the Tulsa community.
In his role at City Year, Paul sees the impact that decisions made at the policy and school leadership levels have on students in the schools on a day-to-day basis. He works closely with leadership in the public school system to better understand their vision and collaborate on how decisions impact students at the school level. Because of his work, Paul has key areas of expertise in systems change and public policy as they impact complex ingrained systems and the people they serve, such as building coalitions of support for school reform.
Prior to joining City Year Tulsa, Paul spent nine years in progressively senior roles with the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma (MHAOK), a $30M organization with over 190 employees.
Dan FoleyVice President and Executive Director for City Year Jacksonville
In this role, Dan maintains strategic relationships with Duval County Public Schools, City Year Jacksonville’s board, corporate and philanthropic partners, and the wider Jacksonville community.
Dan began his career with City Year as a corps member in New York, and later joined City Year Los Angeles as program manager and senior program manager. Also, he is a Vice President of City Year, Inc. and a member of the organizations National Executive Leadership group. "I am honored to join the Jacksonville community and work with our dedicated board to positively impact students in our highest-need schools," Dan said. "Having seen the power of City Year AmeriCorps members in schools first-hand, I look forward to collaborating with our school system and community members to ensure that these talented and diverse young people have the greatest impact possible. City Year Jacksonville stands ready to help students realize their individual potential and graduate successfully from high school."
Tasha (Booker) FowlerVice President and Executive Director for City Year Columbus
Tasha has nearly two decades of nonprofit and K-12 education experience. Prior to leading City Year Columbus, she served as the Director of Development and Public Relations for I Know I Can, a college access organization and has held leadership roles for United Way of Central Ohio, The Boy Scouts of America and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Tasha serves as a member of the Board of Directors for First Night Columbus, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and was a founding member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Central Ohio Chapter. She was recognized in Business First’s 2014 class of Forty under 40, the Class of 2017 Smart Business Executive Directors of the Year and is a 2017 Young American Leadership Program (YALP) fellow and Pahara Institute NextGen Fellow. Tasha was recognized by WELD Ohio as a 2018 Women WELDing the Way honoree, a 2018 Progressive Woman by Smart Women Columbus and received an Honorary Doctorate for Community Leadership from Franklin University.
Myetie HamiltonVice President and Executive Director for City Year Chicago
Myetie Hamilton brings over 20 years of experience leading innovative change in K-12 education. She served most recently as Executive Director of EPIC Academy, a public charter high school on the far southeast side of Chicago where she led organizational strategy and vision, fundraising and external relations, and board engagement. Prior to taking on the role with EPIC, Hamilton served as Deputy Chief of Schools for Network 9 with Chicago Public Schools (CPS), managing transformation efforts for 28 schools in Chicago’s Woodlawn, Bronzeville, and Hyde Park communities. She also held positions in CPS as Deputy Chief of Staff in the CEO's Office and Chief of School Support Services for the District.
Hamilton received an undergraduate degree in business management from Alabama A&M University, a master’s degree in public administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow (Class of 2016).
Laura HammVice President and Executive Director for City Year New York
Laura re-joins City Year New York, where she began her City Year career as an AmeriCorps member in 2005. Her corps experience, and the growth she saw in herself and others, is why she continues to serve with City Year today.
After two years in the corps, Laura played various roles on City Year New York staff, including Chief of Staff and Director of Development. She transitioned from City Year New York to serve as Executive Director of City Year Baton Rouge in her home state of Louisiana. During her tenure as Executive Director at City Year Baton Rouge, the site increased revenue, expanded the number of AmeriCorps members, and garnered the trust and respect of the Baton Rouge community. For the past decade, Laura has gained experience in contributing to and leading successful fundraising initiatives in New York, Baton Rouge, and, most recently, nationally.
Meralis HoodVice President and Executive Director for City Year Milwaukee
Meralis was named one of the Wisconsin’s most powerful Latinos in 2019 by Madison365. She joined City Year Milwaukee in 2015, serving as the managing director of impact. Prior to joining City Year, she was the assistant principal at Bay View High School in Milwaukee Public Schools. Hood served as a bilingual teacher for nine years before moving into instructional coaching and administrative roles in the district. In 2012, Hood received the Educator of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Association of Bilingual Educators.
Hood participated in the 2018 Pahara NextGenFellowship, a 12-month leadership program to shape the future of the educational excellence and equity movement. She is/has been a member of the following organizations: Leadership Advanced Milwaukee (2019), Georgetown University New Strategies Program (2018), Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, Professional Dimensions, Oak Creek Assembly of God and Milwaukee Public Schools’ Emerging Leadership Program (2013).
Jennie JohnsonVice President and Executive Director for City Year Providence
Jennie was named a recipient of the 40 Under Forty award from the Providence Business News, the Women of Excellence award from the Women’s Center of RI, has participated in The American Express Non-Profit Leadership Academy and was named one of GoLocalProv's 12 People Who Made a Difference in 2012. In 2015, City Year Providence was proud to be honored by the Providence Business News with a Business Excellence Award for Excellence at a Non-Profit.
Prior to joining City Year Providence, Jennie worked as a Community Director for the March of Dimes Rhode Island Chapter. Born and raised in Warwick, Jennie became immersed in public service at an early age; her family was involved in local politics, and her grandfather, Walter Constantine, served on the Warwick School Committee for 20 years. Jennie is proud Rhode Island College alum who in 2000 earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing and psychology.
Lee LambertVice President and Executive Director for City Year Seattle/King County
Lambert is an experienced nonprofit leader who has held positions at Washington STEM as the Director of the Statewide STEM Network and at the College Success Foundation as the founding Director of the Washington College Access Network. Prior to his career in the nonprofit sector, Lambert worked for Congressman Adam Smith and Senator Maria Cantwell in their Washington State Offices.
A native Washingtonian, Lee grew up on the eastside of Tacoma. A first-generation college graduate, Lambert earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington State University and a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University.
Jada LewisVice President and Executive Director for City Year Baton Rouge
Jada maintains strategic relationships with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, IDEA Public Schools South Louisiana, Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School, Redesign Schools Louisiana, City Year Baton Rouge’s Board, corporate and philanthropic partners, and the wider Baton Rouge community.
A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Jada served as Assistant Dean for Diversity at LSU in the College of Engineering. She is also serving her first term as an elected member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education representing District 8, which is composed of fourteen parishes and seventeen school districts in Louisiana. Prior to joining the LSU College of Engineering, she held positions as a Regional Technical Advisor for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and as an Operations Planning Engineer for the Shell Motiva Convent Refinery.
Arielle McConduitVice President and Executive Director for City Year New Orleans
Arielle is an experienced nonprofit executive who most recently served as the vice president of education and youth development for the Urban League of Louisiana. In this role, she managed programming, advocacy, policy and fund development in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, including the agency’s Parent Information Center, Project Ready program and the Clarence L. Barney Head Start Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola University and a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law. Her experiences in both sectors inspired her passion for serving students and families holistically.
"I am joining a talented team of professionals dedicated to advancing equitable outcomes for the youth in my hometown,” she said. “City Year is poised to expand our work in New Orleans, and I look forward to partnering with our community and school district, so together we can support more students on their path to graduation.”
Pawn NitichanVice President and Executive Director for City Year New Hampshire
Pawn has served as Executive Director at City Year New Hampshire for 20 years. With her leadership and commitment to helping students, AmeriCorps members, and staff succeed, City Year New Hampshire has more than tripled its service capacity and developed a widely recognized culture of idealism. The organization consistently provides high quality service to students and communities as reflected in numerous awards including eleven Best of City Year Awards, City Year National’s highest recognition, as well as a Corporate Fund’s Dunfey Award.
Among Pawn’s community and professional commitments, she serves on the boards of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Reaching Higher New Hampshire and Manchester Proud. She also serves on the Governor’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council.
Jeff OwenVice President and Executive Director for City Year Sacramento
Previously, Jeff worked with education, non-profit, and state and federal leaders, in the effort to reduce chronic absenteeism and dropout rates starting in 2003. He is incredibly proud of his work in creating SI&A’s award winning software/service called Attention2Attendance®, his contributions to the California Attorney General’s 2013 groundbreaking report In School + On Track, and the many partnerships he’s forged across private, public and non-profit sectors that are committed to the same mission.
Jeff works closely with state and national truancy prevention organizations and is an active member of the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance (CASCWA) and the State SARB (School Attendance Review Board). Jeff has a passion for improving student outcomes, public service, and City Year’s mission of increasing the number of students on track to graduating College & Career ready.
Morris Price, Jr.Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Denver
Prior to assuming the position, Morris was the district director for Colorado's First Congressional District and served as the national program officer for the Gill Foundation, developing relationships and providing technical assistance and financial support to national nonprofits involved in LGBT advocacy and civil rights. Prior to the Gill Foundation, Morris was one of the founding employees of the Daniels Fund and the Danials Scholarship Program. Morris spent 15 years in higher education administration working for institutions including DePauw University, Montclair State College, and Wabash College, and served as the director of undergraduate admission at the University of Denver.
Morris’s community leadership includes serving as past board chair of many local commissions and organizations, and he currently serves as a member of Rose Community Foundation's Committee Board of Trustees and a board member of the Colorado Non-Profit Association.
Sarah RobersonVice President and Executive Director for City Year Little Rock
Sarah Roberson is a proud City Year AmeriCorps Alum who served in San José, California. After her service year, she became a member of the City Year San Jose staff. In 2004, she moved to Little Rock as part of the Start-up team for City Year Little Rock.
Sarah has a long history in the non-profit field, previously serving as the Program Coordinator for American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley and the Director of Programs for The Woman's Foundation of Arkansas.
Sarah has a degree in political science from San Jose State University. She is a recipient of the Comcast Leadership Award, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Economic Security Award, and the Pulaski County Youth Services Champions of Youth Award.
Pete SettelmayerVice President and Executive Director City Year San José/Silicon Valley
Previously, Pete worked for the Walt Disney Company, starting with the Disney Theme Parks in Anaheim, California and ending his employment in training development, where his love of educating took hold. After graduating from Georgia State University, Pete's teaching career commenced at Sarah Smith Elementary, where he taught in the upper elementary grades while serving on the founding board of the Sarah Smith Educational Foundation.
In his current role, Pete leads a staff of nearly 40 full-time employees and a corps of more than 100 AmeriCorps members. Pete has achieved a number of remarkable accomplishments in his time at City Year, including implementing innovative new pilot programs; expanding the site's impact footprint; significantly elevating the AmeriCorps member stipend to meet the rising cost of living in Silicon Valley; and cultivating partnerships with nearby educational institutions to create local recruitment pipelines.
Andrew SteinVice President and Executive Director for City Year Detroit
Andrew Stein is Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Detroit, an education-focused nonprofit that places 105 AmeriCorps members in 11 Detroit schools for one year of full-time service. The AmeriCorps members serve all day, every day, providing whole school support, as well as targeted interventions to students who are off-track in Attendance, Behavior, or Course performance in math or English.
Andrew was born and raised in the Detroit area. He is a proud alumnus of Detroit Country Day School and Michigan State University. In 2004, after college, Andrew spent a year serving as a City Year corps member in Washington, DC, where he worked in the schools and neighborhoods in Southeast DC. After his service, Andrew attended law school at Georgetown University. He then worked at the law firm, WilmerHale, before returning to City Year.
Michael StevensVice President and Executive Director for City Year Buffalo
Michael has been with City Year more than 12 years, having served in several roles at Headquarters and locations across the network. His career in national service began with by serving in the founding corps for City Year Louisiana, followed by a second year of AmeriCorps service with Habitat for Humanity in Jacksonville, FL.
Following his service years, he joined the staff of City Year Washington DC where he served in several positions during his 7-year tenure. Michael later joined the City Year Jacksonville team as the Managing Director of Impact where he managed the full operation of a department that included 120 AmeriCorps members and 17 staff members. After his time in Jacksonville, Michael served as the National Student Engagement Services Director with City Year’s National Program Design Team, leading the vision, strategy and pilot opportunities for Student Engagement services supporting 300+ schools across the network. He returned to the field to serve as Startup Director for City Year Buffalo.
Mary Jane StevensonVice President and Executive Director for City Year Los Angeles
Previously, Mary Jane was a leader in President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and his administration’s organizing work. She served as California State Director for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 and as the California State Director of Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee known as the President’s Field Team, where she organized staff, surrogates, political officials and volunteers across the state to support the President’s agenda. In 2008, she served as the California Field Director of Obama for America.
After her work on the presidential campaigns, Mary Jane founded and directed a political action committee (PAC) in support of Eric Garcetti for Mayor of Los Angeles. The PAC forged an unlikely coalition of union leaders and private donors to help propel Garcetti into office.
Michelle TaffelVice President and Executive Director for City Year Washington, D.C.
Prior to joining City Year in December 2017, Michelle was a member of College Summit’s executive leadership team where she served as Chief Strategy and Advancement Officer and Chief Innovation Officer. In those roles, she was responsible for raising significant private funding to support the organization, leading the strategic planning and transition from a legacy program and organizational model to a new program, running product pilots, and overseeing alumni initiatives.
Prior to this, Michelle served as Chief of Staff at College Summit where she worked with the president, CEO, executive team, and board of directors to drive the achievement of College Summit’s mission. Prior to her time as Chief of Staff, Michelle served in various roles at College Summit beginning her time there as an AmeriCorps*VISTA.
Karen Valezquez-VargasVice President and Executive Director for City Year Miami
Prior to her Executive Director role, Karen served as the Managing Director of Impact and Senior Program Director at City Year Philadelphia for six years. As an innovator in Impact, Karen worked closely with the Executive Director of City Year Philadelphia to build a coalition of district partners and principals to create the site’s first principal summit. Her contributions and leadership resulted in an improvement in impact, staff engagement, and culture, and increased funding from the district.
Prior to City Year, Karen worked as a Bi-Lingual Discipline and Truancy Liaison to navigate crises and disciplinary procedures with students, families, and district personnel covering 44 schools and impacting 16,000 students with the School District of Philadelphia. Earlier in her career, Karen also worked with several consulting and social work agencies, with a focus on performance management improvement and supporting bi-lingual communities.
Gail Wilson-GiarrantanoVice President and Executive Director for City Year Columbia
Dr. Gail Wilson–Giarratano, (a native of Lancaster, SC) joined City Year Columbia on March 26, 2012. She was the President and CEO of Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region in Albany, NY. She has a Bachelor of Arts in education from Winthrop College, a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education: Leadership & Policy from Wheelock College and a PH.D. in applied management & decision sciences.
Gail is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She has a vast experience in teaching, child welfare, research, public policy, and mental health. She is thrilled to return to her home state and make strides in reducing our state’s dropout rate. Gail is committed to supporting City Year’s mission to be an education-focused nonprofit that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate.