Driving Force Group

ABOUT

Meet Our Team

 
 

 

CEO

Jenny Goldstock Wright

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Jenny is the Founder and CEO of Driving Force Group.  Jenny works with clients on how to most effectively and efficiently donate their charitable dollars through partnerships with existing entities, the creation of a Donor Advised Fund or Sponsored Project, or when necessary and appropriate, creating a new public charity or private foundation. While Jenny works with corporations, foundations, and wealthy individuals, a significant portion of her work is done with professional athletes and professional sports leagues. The backbone of that work is educating both new and existing philanthropists, and those surrounding the philanthropists, on the P.E.E.R.S (Participatory, Efficient, Effective, Replicable and Sustainable) model of philanthropy she identified.  This includes ensuring the philanthropists understand the nuance of IRS governance and industry best practices. Coupled with educating clients and creating a philanthropic plan, Jenny acts as the liaison between the donors and recipients; identifying nonprofit organizations and strong leaders, dissecting programs, leadership, success rates and replication possibilities.

As a direct Program Consultant, Jenny also performs crisis management within leadership, strategic planning for organizational growth, and creates opportunities for organizations and leaders to work in collaboration with one another and ready the organization for corporate and foundation dollars.

HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Ed.M, 1996

SKIDMORE COLLEGE
B.A., 1993

Senior PHILANTHROPIC Advisor

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Stephanie Sandler

 

Stephanie has nearly two decades of nonprofit management and consulting experience, specializing in working with emerging donors and nonprofit organizations in transition. Throughout her career, Stephanie has worked with dozens of influencers to help guide their philanthropic interests and unique resources into effective and impactful charitable initiatives.

Stephanie's wide-ranging nonprofit expertise includes operations management, evidence-based program development, strategic business planning, governance, grantmaking, fiscal sponsorship, corporate sponsorship solicitation and activation, and corporate and strategic alliance development.

Stephanie graduated from Emerson College with a B.F.A. in Professional Writing and a focus in poetry.


Comptroller

Yvette Chong-Coontz

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Yvette Chong-Coontz is an accounting and finance professional who has been working for 20+ years as Chief Financial Officer managing accounting, financial operations and upgrading accounting and data systems for social services agencies, health and human services providers, public education improvement organizations and a variety of for-profit small business organizations. Yvette began operating as an independent consultant in 2015. Yvette earned her BS in Finance at California State University Los Angeles and is certified in Non-Profit Accounting. Yvette and her husband Bob live in Burbank, California with their daughter Kylie.

Recruiter

Heather Schwager

 

Heather Schwager serves as Human Resources Director for Driving Force Group.  Heather supports the DFG leadership team on all people related issues and introduced a research based interview approach across DFG. Heather is a seasoned HR and recruiting specialist with 20+ years of experience across the nonproft and for profit sectors.  When she's not supporting DFG, Heather is the Founder & Principal of Revive Recruiting and helps both nonprofit and for profit organizations find their people and their freedom. 

Prior to launching her own consulting firm, Heather took over the search practice of a boutique talent matchmaking firm—the Offor Walker Group—from the Founder & CEO.  Consistent with the firm’s belief that ‘genius is equally distributed but access is not,’ Heather’s work embedded multiple anti-biasing experiences into her searches which resulted in 81% of the leaders she placed being leaders of color.  

Heather lives in Washington, DC with her husband and her “Z girls.” She enjoys hikes in the nearby woods and spontaneous adventures, and she has a weird obsession with in flight magazines.

Grantwriter

Akoshia Yoba

Akoshia Yoba serves Driving Force Group in numerous vital facets including fund development, grant writing and story-telling around Driving Force Group’s programming. Yoba has decades of experience as a leader of educators, an expert in fund development and a facilitator of seminars that informs her work.

In her current role as Career Academy Director for Maya Angelou PCS, she has led a team of dedicated educators to significantly move the needle of student achievement in the areas of academics, attendance and behavior.  Yoba has been providing management consulting services for a wide range of organizations for over fifteen years, in support of strategic fund development and professional/personal growth.

Yoba is the co-author of Please Return My Phone Call! Preventing the Demise of Personal and Professional Relationships, a handbook on communications etiquette she wrote with her brother, actor and educator Malik Yoba. Using the principles of their book they have consulted with corporate and educational organizations nationwide, to design and implement professional development seminars and corporate trainings geared to enhance employee skill sets, work habits and business acumen to increase company profitability. This book leaves readers “switched on” and conscious of their habits that either enhance or sabotage their business and life.   Since February 2006, she has worked with clients including Citrix, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), Delano and Shore Club hotels in Miami FL, and Automated Healthcare Solutions (AHCS) among others.  

Yoba graduated cum laude from the City College of New York in 2002 with a degree in English and a concentration in Education and earned an Executive Leadership certificate from Cornell University in 2017.

Program associate

Carly Gritton

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Carly Gritton works as a program associate for Driving Force Group. With a dedication to social justice and empowerment through education initiatives, she works to implement after school programs, college readiness workshops and enrichment field trips and activities for students in underserved communities.

Carly is a Masters graduate of American University's School of International Service with a concentration in International Education Development. Prior to her work with Driving Force Group, she worked for the United Way of Greater Cincinnati as a development associate and as the Deputy Finance Director for PG Sittenfeld's US Senate campaign. Carly has had the opportunity to work internationally on various humanitarian and consulting projects in Nairobi, Kenya and Guatemala. She holds a Bachelors from the University of Cincinnati in International Business.


Yetunde Price Resource Center

Center director

Kellee Kemp

 

Kellee Kemp is a Los Angeles native, dedicated to empowering communities of color. She is a double alum of Loyola Marymount University where she obtained her BA in Urban Studies and MA in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Art Therapy. As a first generation American, she has always felt it was her duty to support the work being done by communities of color. Kellee is dedicated to social justice and passionate about empowering marginalized communities from within.

This desire has taken her internationally to support various humanitarian projects in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, and India. Locally, she has worked closely with organizations addressing literacy, poverty, and mental health disparities in Watts, Compton, Boyle Heights, South Los Angeles, and Long Beach.

Kellee is excited about the work being done by YPRC in the community. Kellee’s specialization in trauma and trauma-informed care will continue to support the mission of the organization. She brings culturally attuned and relevant programming to the center that addresses mental health, wellness, financial, physical and spiritual well-being.

Program Manager

Abigail Lopez-Byrd

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As the Program Manager for the Yetunde Price Resource Center (YPRC), Abigail works closely with the Center Director to support the development of programming for the Compton community. Originally from Compton, CA, Abigail has always sought to incorporate art, history, creativity and community-building to better support underserved communities through art initiatives and a holistic approach.

Prior to joining YPRC, Abigail served as a Senior Program Coordinator for Virtual Learning and College Success with The Opportunity Network in New York City where she developed curriculum for high school and college students surrounding areas of college retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion and self-care. She also served as a counselor and program coordinator at the University of California, Santa Cruz with the Educational Opportunity Programs office, working primarily with first-generation college students, students of color and undocumented students. Abigail holds her M.A in Sociology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.A. in Art and Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

Growing up in Compton, Abigail quickly became passionate for the arts and social justice. She is the first in her family to go to college and the first to obtain a masters degree. Outside of work, Abigail enjoys doing photography, building on her record collection and reading novels. Her family and God have been her foundation and rock throughout her life and continue to guide her.  Abigail recently relocated back to CA after welcoming her new baby girl and is excited to be a part of the YPRC and Compton community. 

Outreach Coordinator and Office Manager

Juan Trenado-Sandoval

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Juan Trenado-Sandoval is the Outreach Coordinator/Office Manager at the Yetunde Price Resource Center. He attended the University of California, San Diego where he majored in Global Health. Before the Yetunde Price Resource Center, he worked as a research assistant for the Health Frontiers in Tijuana (HFiT) Clinic in Tijuana, Baja California.   

Asset Mapping

Thanh Mai Bercher

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Thanh Mai Bercher graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Public Health and minor in Global Poverty and Practice. In her work and research, Thanh has focused on issues relating to human rights, community health and development, gender-based violence, and human-centered design. She has completed fellowships with the Blum Center for Developing Economies, the Human Rights Center, and the John Gardner Association. She has also received grants for her projects from the Davis Peace Prize, the Clinton Global Initiative, and University of California Global Health Institute.

Thanh has contributed to mapping projects that assess marginalized communities, available resources and services, and accompanying barriers to access. She has worked with communities in the Bay Area, Vietnam, Palestine, Jordan, Greece, New York City, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota. Her projects have included racial data disaggregation, reproductive health policies, sexual violence reporting mechanisms, refugee access to public social services, LGBTQ inclusion in service delivery spaces, and accessible content for second-language learners. Her investment in trauma-informed care led her to DFG, where she is working with the Yetunde Price Resource Center to map and consolidate community assets and services in Compton.


Huddle Up, Kansas City

Site Director, Kansas City

Pam Harris

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Pam considers herself a change agent and is passionate about changing the lives of those she touches. Pam brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the HU work and has background in social services, public education, post-secondary education, community engagement and parent and family engagement. She lives and breathes the "golden rule", do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Angela Turrentine

 

Angela has been a part of the Kansas City urban school district for 18 years. She believes that in order to equip Parents and Families, you must possess love, patience and a caring attitude about those you serve. Showing empathy, kindness, compassion and empowering others, are things that can be given at no cost. She has held two positions in the district, one as an Early Childhood Teacher and the second as a Parent & Community Liaison. She loves touching the lives of students, parents, families and the community. 

Yvonne Boyd

Yvonne has been a part of the urban school system for over 19 years. She has held positions such as Head Start Instructor, Head Start Para and currently serves as the Parent & Community Liaison for an elementary school in Kansas City. She believes that Transforming the lives of inner city children and families leads to success. 

Rhonda Wright

Throughout my years of working with children, families and the community, I have realized that my talents are teaching and motivating others. My goal in this work is to help others fulfill their potential and at the same time, fulfill their hopes and dreams. I want to leave an impact on the lives of those that I come in contact with.

Huddle Up, Memphis

CEO of gestalt community school & Huddle up team member

Yetta Lewis

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Yetta Lewis is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gestalt Community Schools. Gestalt’s vision is building better communities through education. To this end, Gestalt targets underserved communities that have failing schools, then catalyzes grassroots leadership to revitalize the neighborhood, educates the youth through high-performing schools, and partners with providers to tackle out-of-school challenges that hinder students from succeeding.

Prior to her role as CEO, Yetta served as the Chief Academic Officer for 5 years where she managed the academic program for the network. Yetta was the founding Principal of Power Center Academy Middle School, Gestalt’s first school. As a founding Principal, she led a team of extraordinary educators, dedicated parents, and supportive community partners who in just three years moved the school to the top-performing middle school in Tennessee.  

Yetta started her educational journey as a teacher in Baltimore City, where she taught middle school language arts for eight years and served on the Board of Head Start. Yetta holds a B.A. from Salisbury University, a M.Ed. from Loyola University, and a Certificate of Technology in Education from Johns Hopkins University.  She is a proud Pahara-Aspen 2015 Cohort member.

Site Director, Memphis

Nichole Crane

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Nichole Crane is the Director of Special Populations for Gestalt Community Schools.  Nichole has been employed with Gestalt Community Schools for 6 consecutive years serving in various capacity as Lead Interventionist, Regional Lead Interventionist, Regional Special Education Coordinator, Director of Special Populations, and currently as Director of Scholar Support. In this role, Nichole has set high standards in advocating for quality programs for our Scholars with Special Needs, English Language Learners, and Scholars requiring 504 Services.

Programs that Nichole has developed within Gestalt Community Schools include: Comprehensive Skills, Comprehensive Bridge, and Educational Therapeutic Program. She is currently in process of establishing the Gifted-Academically and Talented Scholars and is in the research process of establishing an Autism Program. She is currently refining the Inclusion and ESL programs by ensuring a more inclusive team-teaching approach to learning for all scholars by focusing on increasing mastery of state standards and overall growth for scholar receiving scholar support services.    

Nichole holds a B.S. Chemistry from Rust College, a M.S. Special Education from University of Memphis, and M.Ed. from Cambridge College. She is currently seeking a M.S. in Applied Behavioral Analysis from the University of Memphis.

Huddle up, memphis team member

Cassandra Smith

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Cassandra is a native Memphian who is a product of the Memphis City Schools System. A few years after high school, she became a licensed cosmetologist; and three children later, enrolled in the University of Memphis as an untraditional student where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

In 2011, Cassandra became a Parent Counselor for the Memphis City School Systems and soon after transitioned to Gestalt Community Schools as a Parent and Community Liaison where she then shifted into the role of an Office manager. Later in 2017, she served as a Neighborhood Organizer supporting the Whole Child Strategy in Klondike Smokey City through Mid-South Peace and Justice Center and Whole Child Strategies Inc. She is now serving as a Site Director for Driving Force Group-Huddle Up Memphis supporting the young Black males and their families at Power Center Academy Elementary Schools managed by Gestalt Community Schools. This opportunity has allowed her to transform parental engagement in the school community from an expectation of parents physically being in a brick and mortar space to excepting virtual parental engagement as well.