Five “Best and Brightest” Nonprofit Leaders Receive 2008 Meyer Foundation Exponent Award

October 6, 2008

Washington, DC – The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation announces the recipients of its 2008 Exponent Award, which celebrates visionary nonprofit leadership and includes a $100,000 cash award for the recipient’s organization. The 2008 winners are:

  • Mary Brown, Executive Director and co-founder of Life Pieces to Masterpieces, a community activist whose arts program has had great success in nurturing and mentoring African American boys and young men, many of whom are not in school, have grown up without fathers, and have families plagued by poverty and substance abuse.
  • Julie Chapman, President, NPower Greater DC Region, a former for profit marketing/management executive in the technology field who led NPower to provide over 20,000 hours of technology consulting and support to over 150 nonprofits.
  • Steve Galen, President and CEO, Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County, an expert in organizational change who has been a key player in bringing quality healthcare to the estimated 80,000 uninsured people in suburban Montgomery County, Maryland.
  • Anne Corbett, Executive Director, Cultural Development Corporation, a savvy entrepreneur who creates new spaces for arts organizations that animate DC neighborhood and was instrumental in saving DC’s Source Theatre.
  • Veronica Nolan, Executive Director, Urban Alliance, a former Teach for America member who matches high school students in underserved areas in DC with paid internships with mentors, and helps 96 percent enroll in college.

The five nonprofit organizations served by these executives vary in staff size, budget, geography and numbers served in the District, Maryland, and Virginia. The recipients range from seasoned professionals who have many years of experience to next generation leaders who are managing their first organizations. They demonstrate the diversity of leadership talent found in the Greater Washington region’s nonprofit community.

“These enormously talented and committed leaders represent the diversity of great nonprofit organizations in our region that serve countless people in need and make our community stronger,” says Julie L. Rogers, President of the Meyer Foundation.

The goal of the Exponent Award is to celebrate the accomplishments of these leaders, raise their visibility, and increase their leadership skills. In selecting its awardees, the Foundation considered each nominee’s track record as a manager and leader, including his or her success at increasing the quality and impact of the organization’s work; instituting sound financial management; working in partnership with an engaged board of directors; and taking on leadership roles in the broader community.

The Meyer Foundation Exponent Awards, is the centerpiece of an initiative called “Rewarding Leadership,” designed to support and sustain the most capable nonprofit leaders in the Greater Washington region. Meyer developed the initiative as a response to Daring to Lead 2006, a study of executive directors in eight U.S. metropolitan areas conducted by Meyer in partnership with CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. The study revealed that three out of four nonprofit executive directors of small and mid-sized organizations are likely to leave their jobs within the next five years due to relentless fundraising pressure, challenging relationships with boards of directors, low salaries, and lack of management support.

The Meyer Foundation will honor the 2008 Exponent Awards recipients at an award celebration with an invited audience of elected officials, and business, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders at an event hosted by WAMU 88.5’s Kojo Nnamdi on Monday, March 2, at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C.

For bios, profiles, and photos of the five winners; details about the Exponent Award and the Rewarding Leadership initiative; and more information about the Meyer Foundation and its work, visit the Meyer Foundation website at www.meyerfoundation.org.

Established in 1944 by Eugene Meyer, owner and publisher of The Washington Post, and his wife Agnes E. Meyer, the Meyer Foundation is one of the Washington, DC region’s oldest and most experienced private grant making foundations. It strengthens Greater Washington as a community by supporting capable, community-based nonprofit organizations that foster the well-being of all people in the region.