Scott Asalone | Co-Founder A&S Global Management Consulting, Inc.

SA_photoScott Asalone is partner and co-founder of ASGMC, Inc. He co-founded the firm in 1999 to inspire and guide people in business to be their very best, through his awareness of human psychology and his leadership development expertise.

Scott was a leadership development executive with Merrill Lynch from 1995-2000. He worked with executives responsible for sales and profitability in their branches, as well as with their salespeople. Scott managed a corporate-wide assessment center, helping to select high-potential leaders for intensive career development. He also designed, developed, and trained these executives, including customized training, consulting, and coaching. Further, his responsibilities at Merrill Lynch included training corporate and service professionals and managers in the home office.

Keynotes: Based on research from positive psychology and his corporate experience Scott delivers keynotes on how individuals and organizations can achieve their highest performance. Scott utilizes research from The Greatness ProjectTM to explain how to achieve the best.

Teamwork: Over the past 15 years, as a Partner in ASGMC, Inc., Scott worked with over 3000 teams and workgroups across the country and around the world to facilitate higher synergy and performance. He has spoken at three international psychology conferences on high performing teams including the 2013 World Congress on Positive Psychology. His chapter on “Positive Psychology and High Performance Teams” was published November 2013 in the new book Positive Psychology and Work.

Consulting/Facilitating: Scott also works in a consulting capacity with both large and small organizations. The focus of this work is to help identify the next level of success for each individual and/or organization, map out a process, and facilitate the movement toward success. Scott has facilitated numerous multi-stakeholder processes such as strategic thinking and planning, and Appreciative Inquiry formats.

Workshops: Scott designs and delivers customized workshops around three focal areas: teamwork, leadership and communication based on the latest best practices and scientific research on optimal success. Because of ASGMC’s consistent exceptional work with businesses, Scott has facilitated or co-facilitated sessions across the United States, in Canada and Brazil. Scott has also facilitated or co-facilitated sessions in Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mumbai, Israel and across most of Europe.

Scott holds a BA in Philosophy and a Master of Divinity. Scott is also a published author and poet and received his Master of Applied Positive Psychology in 2008 from the University of Pennsylvania. He published his third book, with co-author Jan Sparrow, Pathways to Greatness: 77 Essays from the Greatness Project. He is a regular contributor to Positive Psychology News Daily and is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association and the American Psychological Association.

Daniel Bahner | National Manager of Education and Training, Keshet

Daniel Bahner
Originally from Southwest Ohio, Daniel quickly formed a connection between his Jewish identity and the importance of inclusion and working towards a more socially just society. Daniel dived further into social justice and Jewish thought in his undergraduate experiences at Lehigh University. Studying classics and religion studies, he learned the importance of reflecting upon the past but at the same time finding meaning for the present. At the same time, Daniel began to become involved in many social justice education groups, winning multiple campus awards for his involvement. His passion for social justice and education continued in his graduate studies at New York University, where he received his masters in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs.

Daniel recently joined Keshet as the National Manager of Education and Training after spending three years working at a small liberal arts college as Assistant Director of Residence Life. There, Daniel trained students on building inclusive residential communities as well as assisting students whenever they had concerns about their community environment. Daniel was highly involved with campus inclusion projects, presenting at conferences, putting together programs, sitting on committees, managing educational processes. For his work, he was awarded a major regional award for “Commitment to Social Justice”.

Ken Berger | President & CEO, Charity Navigator

Ken Berger joined Charity Navigator in 2008 after almost thirty years experience working in the charitable non-profit sector. He has held leadership positions at a variety of human service and health care agencies, both large and small, and has operated programs serving many underserved populations including the homeless, the developmentally disabled, the mentally ill, substance abusers, the medically needy, and persons with HIV/AIDS, among many others. Ken earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Buffalo. He went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Psychology from Antioch University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Rutgers University.

Ken has a deep passion for helping donors become wise social investors (charitable givers who see their donations as a long term social investment) by learning how to identify and then support high performing nonprofits. He also has a deep interest in encouraging charitable non-profits to perform effectively and thrive even in challenging times. He is a regular presenter at conferences on both the domestic and international stage, is frequently interviewed by regional, national and international media on nonprofit issues and has published numerous articles on issues affecting the nonprofit sector’s effectiveness. In addition, he is the author of Ken’s Commentary, a blog about his thoughts on the non-profit sector. Ken is also a LinkedIn Influencer and writes a monthly article on charity issues there.

He is a member of the Alliance for Effective Social Investing and was a founding member of the Social Impact Analysts Association. He was also a member of the CFC-50 Commission which was formed under the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to strengthen the integrity, operation and effectiveness of the Combined Federal Campaign (the largest workplace giving campaign in the world).

Casey Conrad | Communications Consultant, Author, Fitness Expert

Casey Conrad
Casey Conrad has been in the health and fitness industry for over 30 years. She is the President of Communication Consultants, a company dedicated to providing high quality sales, marketing and management seminars for professionals in the health and fitness industry worldwide.

In addition to authoring “Selling Fitness: The Complete Guide to Selling Health Club Memberships,” she has created and published over 24 other sales and marketing products specifically for the health and fitness industry, including her newest, “Selling Personal Training.” Most recently Casey launched Smart Club Marketing, an Internet site that provides hands-on training and tutorials on how to use e-technology to drive more prospects through a clubs’ doors.

Casey is also the creator of the in-club weight loss-licensing program called Take It Off that provides clubs with a simple weight loss solution for their members while adding a valuable ancillary revenue stream.

In 2000 Casey founded Healthy Inspirations, an international chain of women’s weight loss and fitness centers. She was responsible for creating all the sales training programs and marketing materials for the entire organization, which reached 122 locations before she sold out in 2008.

She has been a featured presenter in 22 countries, and has spoken for numerous industry organizations including IHRSA, Club Industry, Network for Fitness Professionals in Australia, Gold’s Gym Enterprises, Bodylife in England and Germany, Forum in Italy, EFFA in Holland and Asiafit in Hong Kong. In addition, Casey is a featured columnist for numerous industry magazines and publications.

She received her BA from The American University, her JD at Roger Williams University School of Law. In addition, she is certified in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Neuro Associative Conditioning.

Alwyn Cosgrove | Owner of Results Fitness

Alwyn CosgroveAlwyn is the Founder of ResultsFitnessUniversity.com, a worldwide fitness consulting and coaching company with 80 affiliates worldwide. He is the author of 8 best selling fitness books including 5 books in the New Rules of Lifting series. Alwyn is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, consultant for Rodale Publications, Nike and Men’s Health magazine, and has been published in Mens Health, Mens Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Oxygen, Self, Shape and many others.

Eva Cowen | Camp JCC, JCC of Greater Washington

Eva Cowen
Eva Cowen was the Director of Special Needs Programs at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, in Rockville, Maryland, from 1993 to 2009. She coordinated, facilitated and oversaw the inclusion of people with disabilities into all Center programs and activities including classes, sports leagues, Summer camp, Winter and Spring Camps sports and fitness programs, lectures, concerts, festivals and other activities. She has presented and been consulted nationally and internationally on best practices for inclusion. She has been a member of the Maryland State Developmental Disabilities Council for 8 years and also serves on the advisory committee for the Sunflower Bakery and sits on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes.

For 29 consecutive summers she has been on the leadership team of Camp JCC at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville, Maryland. She has overseen the full inclusion of children with a complete range of disabilities and has also run the summer program for teens and young adults with multiple disabilities.

She has received several awards from parent advocacy groups, the JCC of Greater Washington, The Association of Jewish Center Professionals, the American Camp Association, and The Jewish Federation of Washington.

Currently Eva does consulting work for the Anti Defamation League, The Sunflower Bakery, Balancing Life’s Issues, Howard County Department of Recreation and other organizations.

Eva also has an older brother who has autism and she has always been very involved in ensuring that he lives a happy, fulfilled and productive life.

Howard Deitcher | Educational Director, Revivim Program at Hebrew University

Rabbi Dr. Howard Deitcher is a faculty member at the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University and its former director. In addition, he is the director of the Florence Melton Institute for Adult Jewish Learning at Hebrew University. Dr Deitcher is the current educational director of the Revivim Program at Hebrew University, which trains outstanding university students to teach Bible in Israeli national (non-religious) schools. He also serves as the academic advisor for the Legacy-Heritage Fund Institute for Jewish Studies teachers at the Hebrew University.

Deitcher was director of the Jerusalem Fellows at the Mandel Foundation for six years and also directed the Foundation’s Intensive Development Programs. He served as a consultant to the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and in that capacity advised the PJ Library and Voices and Visions projects. He has published numerous articles, co-edited four books, and produced several teaching guides that are being used in schools in Israel and around the Jewish world.

Dr. Deitcher is currently directing educational projects in 5 countries worldwide and recently received a grant from the Covenant Foundation to produce a Bible Education program integrating a Philosophy for Children Approach for Jewish Schools in the USA. He is writing a children’s book on “Questions about God and the Meaning of Life”, and is also researching “Questions of Jewish Spirituality in Children’s Lives.”

Paul Fireman | President, Fireman Creative

Paul is an award-winning expert in strategic marketing who specializes in building engaged online communities. A graduate of Kenyon College with 30 years of experience in communications, advertising, marketing, and interactive design, Paul is committed to helping his clients grow by creating high quality digital experiences and simplifying message and content. He recently won his first Emmy Award and was a keynote speaker at SXSW for his work on the PostSecret project. For the last 15 years, he has focused his efforts on Jewish community centers, agencies, camps, and congregations. Recent work includes the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco, the Holocaust Center of Northern California, JCC Pittsburgh, Stroum JCC of Seattle, Emma Kaufmann Camp West Virgina, PostSecret.com, and The Motherhood. Past work includes the Jewish Association on Aging, Prosserman JCC Toronto, and Swartz/Reisman Centre Toronto.

Prior to founding Fireman Creative in 2001, Paul worked for Walt Disney Studios and Disney Publishing. Passionate about history and old buildings, his latest project is renovating a 120-year-old engine house. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Gail, daughters Anna and Leah, and 8-year-old lab Abby.

Read more on Paul’s work and all things marketing at Fireman Creative’s blog, The Hydrant.

Jeff Kline | Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of Accrinet Corporation

Jeff Kline has 15 years of experience helping Jewish Community Centers leverage the Web to grow membership, engage the community and drive donations.

In addition to providing JCCs across the country with beautiful, functional websites, Jeff also counsels JCCs on important components of internet marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, blogging and social media.

Jeff blogs about the latest trends in JCC website design and internet marketing on the Accrinet Blog.

Naomi Korb Weiss | CEO, Presentense Group

Naomi is CEO of the PresenTense Group, overseeing programs and operations in North America as well as global organizational strategy and growth. PresenTense currently operates 18 community-based accelerator programs across the globe as well as innovation workshops for hundreds of organizational professionals.

Previously Naomi worked in experiential Jewish education, managing training and professional development at the Foundation for Jewish Camp and JEXNET and serving as the Bronfman Fellow to Avraham Infeld at Hillel’s International Center.

Naomi earned her MBA and MPA in Business Strategy and Nonprofit Management from NYU’s Stern School of Business and Wagner School of Public Service, where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and Vice President of Philanthropy for the Jewish Students Association. She is a graduate of Babson College’s Symposium on Entrepreneurship Education. Naomi also holds a B.S. in Marketing and Rhetoric from the University of Maryland and spent a year in Israel studying Jewish texts at Midreshet Lindenbaum. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, Hadar.

Orlee Krass | Director of Education, Matan

orleeOrlee Krass, has served as the Director of Education for Matan since 2010. In this capacity, Orlee manages educational staff, oversees consultations and professional development, and designs curricula.

In addition to her work with Matan, Orlee serves as the Inclusion Specialist at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, NY, working closely with senior staff to accommodate campers with special needs in their mainstream program. Orlee also works as the National Tikvah Network Coordinator for the Ramah Camping Movement.

Before joining the staff of Matan, Orlee spent eight years teaching students with a wide range of special needs at elementary schools in Manhattan and the Bronx. Orlee earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Judaic Studies from the University of Massachusetts and her Master of Science degree in Education from Mercy College in New York. Orlee is a state certified special education teacher in New York and New Jersey.

Iris Lax | Director of Marketing & Strategic Projects, Osher Marin JCC

Iris Lax is the Director of Marketing & Strategic Projects at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael, California and has been with the JCC for over 9 years.

Iris received her BA in Communications, specializing in public relations and advertising, before embarking on a career in the corporate arena. More recently, she has been devoting her talents to making an impact in the Jewish community. She was the Community Campaign Director for the North Peninsula Jewish Campus in Foster City, the New Building Campaign Director for Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon, PA President for Brandeis Hillel Day School, before joining the Osher Marin JCC in her current role.

Iris was born in Tel Aviv and came to the Bay Area when she was three years old. Iris and her husband Michael met through NCSY (Jewish youth group) when they were 15 and have two children (Nicolette and Joshua), both alumni of Jewish Day School and Camp Ramah.

Gayle Levin | Director of Organization Enrichment, JCC of Greater Kansas City

Gayle Levin
Gayle Levin currently serves as Director of Organization Enrichment (great title, right!) for the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. Gayle has been in this capacity since officially beginning work at the J in July 2011. However, her involvement actually dates back to 1988 when Gayle began her volunteer “career” with the J, ultimately serving on the Board for nine years and winning the Young Leadership Award and attending the Biennial in Los Angeles. Prior to joining the J, Gayle spent her career in the banking and telecommunications industries, in positions focused primarily on Project Management and Professional Development/Training.

Brandon Murphy | Chief Strategy Officer, 22squared

bmurphyBrandon Murphy is an 18-year veteran of the advertising and marketing industry. He specializes in helping brands and companies realize their purpose and cause ripples in the market with their communications and actions.

Currently, he’s the Chief Strategy Officer at 22squared, an independent advertising agency that works across all media channels for national brands. In 2007, he helped reinvent and rebrand the agency making it a unique contender in both the digital and offline space, while helping it grow to the 4th largest independent full-service agency in the country.

Brandon is a breaker of rules, a student of consumer behavior, a connoisseur of media, a data-geek and a creative problem-solver. He’s helped win 5 Effie awards (for marketing effectiveness) for 22squared in the last 5 years and is busy charting the course for the next 5 years. He rides a motorcycle, runs like crazy, loves anything associated with Star Wars and superheroes and is constantly fascinated by what makes people tick.

Tom Nelson | Vice President, MediFit Community Services

Tom brings over 20 years of management experience in the areas of community centers, medical fitness centers, corporate wellness and commercial clubs. He is currently Vice President of Community Services, at MediFit, supporting the operations, programming, and new business for JCC’s across the country.

Prior to joining MediFit, Tom served as Vice President of Club One’s (San Francisco) JCC and Medical Fitness division, where he successfully lead over 1000 employees and operations totaling over $40 Million in operating revenue. Tom has a long history working with JCC’s including, helping the JCCSF launch their brand new facility serving as their very first Fitness Center director.

Tom earned his BS and MA degrees in Kinesiology from San Jose State University. He is a frequent presenter on the topics of Membership, Management, Engagement and Programming at the JCC Association, Medical Fitness Association (MFA), Medical Wellness Association (MWA), Club Industry, IHRSA, and other health and wellness industry conferences.

Hilda Polanco | Founder and Managing Director, FMA

hpolancoAs Founder and Managing Director, Hilda has led FMA to become the go-to capacity builder foundation and nonprofit leaders seek to address nonprofit financial management issues.

A nationally recognized and sought after leader in the field, Hilda serves the sector in many ways. Since its inception, Hilda serves on the selection committee of the New York Nonprofit Excellence Awards, established by the New York Times and the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee. Hilda also is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Department of Health Policy and Management, as well as on faculty with the Donor’s Forum of Chicago.

Hilda’s other public service duties include being a frequent speaker at the New York State Society of CPA’s annual Nonprofit Conference, where she also is a member of the conference planning committee. She also speaks annually in San Francisco at the AICPA Not-for-Profit Financial Executives Forum.

When not speaking publically or leading FMAs team, she provides direct capacity building, training and coaching services to foundations and nonprofits throughout the country.

Recognizing the need to develop nonprofit leaders with strong financial management skill, in 2007, Hilda spearheaded the creation and launch of the FMA Institute.

Hilda currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the New York Better Business Bureau Foundation and chairs the Foundation’s Hispanic Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Corporate (as Audit Committee Chair) and Advisory Boards for Acelero Learning, an organization that works with local communities to support high quality Head Start programs.

Additionally, she serves on the National Advisory Board of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy and is an active member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers.

In 2008, Hilda was honored with the Social Entrepreneur Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners-New York City. Her previous honors include an award from WHEDCO for outstanding leadership in the field of nonprofit finance and the Latina Excellence Award in Community Service from HISPANIC Magazine.

Hilda graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Accounting. She holds the Certification in Control Self-Assessment from the Institute of Internal Auditors awarded to practitioners who can provide guidance on risk, controls, and business objectives. In addition, Hilda holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The CGMA demonstrates management accounting expertise, determination and commitment to achieving sustainable business success.

Meredith Englander Polsky | Co-Founder & Director of Training and Advocacy, Matan

mepolskyMeredith Englander Polsky co-founded Matan in 2000, and has served as Matan’s Director of Training and Advocacy since 2009. In this role, Meredith designs and implements The Matan Institutes, Matan’s national flagship training programs, serving Congregational School educators and directors, Jewish Early Childhood Educators, and other cohorts of Jewish leadership.

Meredith teaches online courses in Jewish Special Education for Gratz College, and speaks nationally on the topic of Jewish Special Needs. She is a frequent contributor to Kveller.com and The New Normal: Blogging Disability of the New York Jewish Week. Meredith has published articles in various print and online publications, including The Washington Jewish Week, PresenTense, RAVSAK’s HaYidion, The Institute for Southern Jewish Life and eJewishPhilanthropy.

In 2001, Meredith was awarded a fellowship by Joshua Venture Group as part of their inaugural cohort. Meredith holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Bank Street College, a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University and a graduate certificate in Early Intervention from Georgetown University. Meredith lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and three children.

Teri Talan | Director of Policy Initiatives, McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership

Teri N. Talan is Director of Policy Initiatives for the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership and Professor of Early Childhood Education at National Louis University in Wheeling, Illinois. She promotes action by state and national policymakers on early childhood workforce and program administration issues. She holds a law degree from Northwestern University as well as an Ed.D. in Adult and Continuing Education and an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy from National Louis University. Dr. Talan’s research interests are in the areas of early childhood leadership, workforce development, systems integration, and program quality evaluation. She is co-author of the Program Administration Scale (PAS), Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care (BAS), and the reports, Who’s Caring for the Kids? The Status of the Early Childhood Workforce in Illinois and Taking Charge of Change: A 20-Year Review of Empowering Early Childhood Administrators through Leadership Training.

David Valinsky | Founder, David Valinsky Associates

dvalinskyDavid Valinsky CAP®, is the founder of David Valinsky Associates. With more than 30 years of fundraising experience, he is the co-author of The Mercifully Brief, Real World Guide to Raising Money Through Bequests and the JCCS Getting The Most From Your JCC’S Annual Appeal manual.

Prior to founding the firm in 1998, he served in both national and regional senior development roles with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Foundation, a national Catholic health care organization based in New York with facilities in six states. He served as their Vice President of Development and Social Services in Cincinnati and Dayton. Prior to this, David served in executive positions with Jewish Community Centers in Ohio, Wisconsin and Connecticut. He was also selected to participate in the first Israel visit and workshop of Jewish Community Center health and physical education professionals.

In David’s role as the JCCA’s national fundraising consultant, he has visited more than 40 JCCs in working with their staff and leadership on a variety of fundraising and development planning projects. In addition, David and his staff are currently managing a number of capital campaign projects with JCCs, Jewish Federations, synagogues and health care organizations.

David is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP). He has been a member of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP). David is a frequent speaker on planned giving and capital campaigns.

A frequent speaker, David has presented at the JCCA Biennial (2014), the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s 40th Annual International Educational Conference (2006) and a featured presenter at the United Jewish Communities’ GA Conference (2007).

He received his bachelors of arts degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh, and his master of science degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.