Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Leaders for Every Sector

National Service as a Strategy for Leadership and Workforce Development

WASHINGTON, DC – National service has become a powerful strategy for developing leaders with values, skills and optimism to address problems in every sector of society. National service alumni bring the kinds of skills and attitudes sought by leaders from private companies to nonprofit organizations. National service has proven a powerful strategy to expose youth to potential careers and motivate them to achieve.

A luncheon discussion co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress, Hudson Institute, Voices for National Service, and the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University, will examine the role that national service plays in workforce and talent development for the country. Two expert panels will bring together a thoughtful group of leaders from national service, higher-education, and the private sector for a policy discussion on service as a strategy for public and private leadership.

Panel Discussion: National Service Alumni Tell Their Stories

Kellie Bentz, Director of Hands On New Orleans
Kaya Henderson, Deputy Chancellor for the District of Columbia Public Schools
Jason Phillips, Crispus Attucks YouthBuild Charter School
Tondalaya Shepard-Turner, Director of Volunteer and Community Service for Mt. Sinai Health System

Panel Discussion: National Service as a Strategy for Workforce Development

Arthur R. Block, Esq., Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Comcast Corporation
Cheryl L. Dorsey, M.D., M.P.P., President of Echoing Green
Robert Hollister, Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University
Sally T. Prouty, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Corps Network
Paul Schmitz , President and CEO of Public Allies

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Program: 11:30am to 2:30pm
Admission is free.

Lunch will be served at 11:00 AM

Special thanks to Comcast for its generous support of the luncheon.

Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Map & Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

RSVP for this Event

For more information, please call 202-682-1867.


Arthur Block has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since 2000. He is the Company’s chief legal officer, overseeing Comcast’s legal and corporate governance functions. Mr. Block has been with Comcast since 1989; during this time, he has served as the lead in-house attorney for Comcast’s mergers, acquisitions and financings.

Prior to joining Comcast, Mr. Block was a partner in the Corporate Department of the Philadelphia law firm Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen, which he joined in 1978.

Mr. Block currently serves as Vice Chair of the Site Board of City Year Greater Philadelphia and as the Chair of the Finance Committee of the Board of Managers of Moore College of Art and Design.

Mr. Block received his B.S. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 1975, and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1978.

Cheryl Dorsey is an accomplished social entrepreneur with expertise in health care, labor issues and public policy, and was named President of Echoing Green in May 2002. She is the first Echoing Green Fellow to lead the social venture fund, which has awarded nearly $25 million in start-up capital to over 400 social entrepreneurs worldwide since 1987.

As a medical student committed to improving access to quality health care for poor families, Cheryl received an Echoing Green Fellowship to launch The Family Van, a community-based mobile health unit that provides basic medical and outreach services to at-risk residents of inner-city Boston neighborhoods.

As a public policy innovator, Cheryl served as a White House Fellow from 1997-1998, serving as Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor, advising the Clinton Administration on health care and other issues. She was later named Special Assistant to the Director of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Labor Department, where she helped develop family-friendly workplace policies and spearheaded the labor secretary’s pay equity initiative.

Most recently, Cheryl served as the first Director of Public Health Initiatives at Danya International, Inc., where she developed products and services aimed at substance abuse treatment and prevention, child and family services, minority health and community outreach.

Cheryl has received numerous awards and honors for her commitment to public service, including the Pfizer Roerig History of Medicine Award, the Robert Kennedy Distinguished Public Service Award and the Manuel C. Carballo Memorial Prize. Cheryl currently serves as a board member of CORO, a leadership development organization.

She holds a B.A. in History and Science from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, an M.D. from the Harvard Medical School and an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Kaya Henderson is the Deputy Chancellor for the District of Columbia Public Schools where she focuses on organizational strategy, human capital and external relations. Prior to her appointment, Kaya served as the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at The New Teacher Project (TNTP), where she oversaw the organization’s work on improving teacher hiring for school districts from a process, policy and capacity-building perspective. She also launched a managed alternative certification programs in a number of districts including the DC Teaching Fellows Program. Her work contributed to the organization’s two major reports: Missed Opportunities: How We Keep High-Quality Teachers Out of Urban Classrooms, and Unintended Consequences: The Case for Reforming Staffing Rules in Urban Teachers Union Contracts.

Kaya began her career in education as a Teach For America corps member, teaching middle school Spanish in the South Bronx, and overseeing the development of new teachers at summer institutes. She served the organization for a number of years as a Recruiter, National Director of Admissions, and the Executive Director for Teach For America-DC, where she was responsible for 170 teachers in over 50 DC Public Schools. Kaya has also worked with the Fresh Air Fund’s Career Awareness Program, and led groups of students on overseas experiences through World Horizons International. She holds a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, where she is also currently completing a Master’s in Leadership at the McDonough School of Business. Kaya lives in the District and is active in local education organizations.

Kellie Bentz is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a B.A. in Corporate Communications and Business Administration. Kellie has been the Director of Hands On New Orleans for the past year and a half. Prior to this position Kellie worked with the Hands On Network national office working with the Director of AmeriCorps Alums to launch AmeriCorps Alums at the annual Points of Light Conference Washington D.C.. Kellie became the President of the Atlanta Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums while serving on the AmeriCorps Alums national strategic planning committee. In January of 2006 she was asked to help initiate the Hands On New Orleans Disaster Response Project that is now in the process of becoming a thriving local organization. Kellie’s passion for Hands On Network was sparked during her term as an AmeriCorps Team Leader for the Hands On Atlanta School Based AmeriCorps program. Kellie’s background includes business development, event planning, project management, marketing and strategic planning in both non profit and for profit organizations.

Jason Phillips works with the Crispus Attucks YouthBuild Charter School in York, Pennsylvania where he teaches Mental Toughness, a central component of the school curriculum that focuses primarily upon self-discipline and positive self-image. He first joined Crispus Attucks as a YouthBuild service participant in 2001 when he learned of the program while incarcerated. Jason completed the program, and then worked for one year as an intern before beginning full employment at Crispus Attucks. A part-time student at Penn State University, Jason is using his AmeriCorps Education Award to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies.

Paul Schmitz was the founding Executive Director of Public Allies Milwaukee in 1993, was promoted to VP and Chief Strategist in 1997, when he led program expansion efforts, and was promoted to President & CEO in February, 2000. Beyond Public Allies, Paul has been active in Milwaukee and nationally on issues of education reform, juvenile justice reform and youth development. He co-founded an educational advocacy group in Milwaukee, two youth-led credit unions, a foundation supporting juvenile justice reform, a national coalition of nonprofit groups that are creating a workforce development strategy for the nonprofit sector, and has advised many other projects. Milwaukee Magazine profiled him as “a tireless advocate for youth empowerment and diversity.” Paul currently serves on the boards of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the UW-Milwaukee Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management, the Nonprofit Sector Workforce Coalition, and the steering committee for Voices for National Service. Paul was a Next Generation Leadership Fellow with the Rockefeller Foundation and serves on the faculty of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University. Paul graduated phi beta kappa from UW-Milwaukee in 1994 with a degree in political science, and received their “Graduate of the Last Decade” alumni award. He lives with his three children Maxwell, Maya and Olivia in Milwaukee.

Robert M. Hollister is the dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, and the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Professor of Citizenship and Public Service. He has led the development of Tufts’ uniquely comprehensive approach to education for active citizenship. Previously, Dr. Hollister was dean of the Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and director of the Lincoln Filene Center for Citizenship and Public Affairs. His career has focused on strengthening the civic engagement roles of higher education both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Hollister coordinates the Talloires Network, a global alliance of universities working together to strengthen their civic engagement and social responsibility. He is co-editor and contributing author of Governing, Leading and Managing Nonprofit Organizations; Cities of the Mind; Neighborhood Policy and Planning; and Neighborhood Health Centers; and co-author of Development Politics.

Sally T. Prouty is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Corps Network.

Sally has 30 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors as well as in volunteer non-profit positions at the local, state, national and international levels. She has worked extensively in health care, as a Registered Nurse and as an administrator, supervisor, and teacher in medical settings.

Immediately before her appointment at The Corps Network in 2002, Sally served four years as Deputy Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and seven years as Director of the Ohio Civilian Conservation Corps (OCCC), a division of ODNR, operating two residential and six non-residential facilities statewide.

Under Sally’s leadership, OCCC enrolled both middle class young men and women in a traditional Conservation Corps model and also unemployed young adults in a program focused on conservation based service-learning and youth development. In 2000, the Department of Labor recognized OCCC asone of ten effective youth initiatives in the nation, and in 2002 the Annie E. Casey Foundation recognized OCCC as “one of the premier youth programs in the nation” for effectively serving youth exiting the juvenile justice system.

Currently, Sally is co-chair of both Voices for National Service and the national Campaign for Youth. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Youth Employment Coalition.

Tondalaya Shepard-Turner is the Director of Volunteer and Community Service for Mt. Sinai Health System in Chicago. In this role she has increased the volunteer base by 80% and founded several new initiatives including the Medical Interpreters Program and the Caregiving Beyond Sinai Program which recruits teams of 10-12 Sinai staff members to go out into the community and complete service projects. Tondalaya has spent 10 years working in the non-profit sector including seven years with the Women’s Business Development Center where she led advocacy efforts on behalf of women and minority business owners. Her commitment to empower others has led her to found breakthrough initiatives including WYSHB University which provides training for ex-offenders in developing business plans and assists them in finding gainful employment. The name WYSHB (pronounced Wishby) was inspired by a George Elliot quote: It’s never too late to be What You Should Have Been. As a student on the campus of Columbia College in South Carolina, she co-founded and directed the first and only Volunteer Service Office in 1995, where she placed more than 500 student volunteers with community organizations. Tondalaya served as a corps member with City Year Boston in 1993-1994 and a founding staff member with City Year Columbia. She is a graduate of Columbia College and holds a Masters in Community and Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.