The University of Houston-Downtown’s Masters of Nonprofit Management program has the finest adjunct faculty in the discipline. Meet them up close and personal.
Dr. Sanborn is a noted leader, advocate, and activist for education and children and the President and CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK. He earned his undergraduate degree at Florida State University and his doctorate at Columbia University in New York City. Before entering the non-profit sector, he had a distinguished career in higher education at institutions such as Rice University and Hampshire College.
Under his leadership, CHILDREN AT RISK has expanded its influence considerably. Notable achievements include opening up centers in Dallas and Fort Worth; launching the Public Policy & Law Center, the CHILDREN AT RISK Institute, the Center for Parenting and Family Well-Being and the Center to End Trafficking and Exploitation of Children. Sanborn is the Executive Editor of two peer reviewed, open-access academic journals, the
Journal of Applied Research on Children and the
Journal of Family Strengths. He is also the host of the popular radio program and podcast Growing Up in America on the Pacifica Radio Network.
Elliot Gershenson, principal of Gershenson Consulting, LLC, has been a non-profit leader for over 45 years, from which he retired as president and CEO of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (IM) after 11 and 1/2 years of service. During that time, Gershenson helped IM triple its budget and grow its core services.
Prior to coming to IM, Gershenson worked in the Jewish Community as the Executive Director of a number of non-profits including the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, PA; Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas; and the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston where he served as Director of Jewish Philanthropy.
Gershenson is known as a problem-solver and a “turn-around” specialist with special interest in philanthropy, leadership development, project management and coaching new and more seasoned executives. Gershenson’s last project at IM was to complete a $14 million capital campaign and building project, which was completed prior to his retirement. Gershenson was honored by IM with the title president emeritus as of July 1, 2015.
Gershenson is a proud graduate of Penn State University (BA) and Lehigh University (Masters) with degrees in Psychology and Counseling. He is currently an adjunct professor at UHD,
co-teaching two classes, Governance and Organizational Behavior and the Ethics in Non-Profits with Andy Hoffman, in the school’s master’s degree program in Non-Profit Management.
Adjunct Professor of Nonprofit Management
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
He is also the President and CEO of the
Houston Food Bank
Brian Greene is President and CEO of the Houston Food Bank, a non-profit organization that feeds the hungry by seeking food donations and distributing them to a network of 1,500 community partners in 18 southeast Texas counties. Founded in 1982, the organization helps 800,000 individuals each year through food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and other meal sites.
Since taking the top post at the Houston Food Bank (HFB) in 2005, Brian has led the organization to unprecedented growth. In August 2011, the Food Bank moved into its new home, a 308,000 square foot warehouse and office facility, purchased and renovated thanks to a $55.6 million capital campaign. The new building is four times larger than the old one.
Last fiscal year, HFB distributed 122 million nutritious meals and other necessities. HFB is the nation’s largest size Feeding America food bank. The vision for the future is to expand service to the community to 100 million nutritious meals by 2018.
In fall 2008, the Food Bank merged with End Hunger Network, a Houston-area food rescue organization, thus making more effective use of community resources by working together as one. Through Brian’s leadership, Food Bank programs have expanded to feed more children and tap into additional sources for food donations.
Before moving to Houston, Brian was the executive director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana for 12 years. In the five years prior, he held the same position at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Social Policy Design and Public Finance Expert
Adjunct Professor, University of Houston
Elena is a social innovator, political scientist, and a public policy and public finance expert with a proven track record of engaging the public, press, government officials, industry analysts, and the investor community. Her views on public financial sustainability and the nation’s pension challenges are frequently featured in newspapers, blogs and TV programs.
Elena teaches Policy Design and Innovation at the University of Houston, focusing on how to incorporate insights from behavioral studies into design of social programs and public services to resolve our society's most challenging problems. Social Finance, an innovative tool to leverage public funding to produce measurably better outcomes for those most in need, is an integral part of the curriculum.
As a co-founder at Blue Orange Innovations, Elena advises social purpose ventures on strategies to scale and get access to funding by focusing on evidence-based approach. Elena is on the Board of Directors for Good Works Houston, an innovative platform to accelerate local social ventures to maximize their impact and scale.
Elena’s prior roles include Director of Public Accountability with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to identify and evaluate disruptive, high leverage philanthropic investment opportunities in the areas of retirement and tax policy, economic mobility, and evidence-based policymaking. Prior to LJAF, Elena worked as a public finance analyst with Moody’s Investors Service in New York, where she assessed long-term credit strength for a portfolio of 300 municipalities.
Elena holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Houston, as well as a master’s of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and an M.A. in Eastern European studies from the University of Texas at Austin. In her spare time, Elena’s enjoys yoga, traveling and spending time with her husband and their two children in Houston, TX.
Former CEO of Interfaith Ministeries for Greater Houston
Consultant for Gershenson Consulting, LLC
Adjunct Instructor, University of Houston-Downtown
Andy Hoffman was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He attended Yeshiva from Kindergarten to 8th grade followed by John Dewy High School.
He earned an associate degree in Recreation Leadership in 1976, a BA in Social Science from Pace University in 1978, a MA in Community Development from the University of Missouri in 1981, and an MS in Publishing from Pace University in 1988.
He began his professional career working for the Boy Scouts of America in Kansas City and was promoted to serve as the Executive Director of the American Humanics program in New York City and finally to Dallas where he served as the Associate Director of the Relationships Division and Director of Jewish Relationships.
In 1990 he began working as SW Region Director for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism where, at first, he also served as the Regional Youth Director for USY and Kadima.
Leaving the United Synagogue, in 2001-2002 he worked for a year as a special project assistant at Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas where he provided professional support and guidance to their Capital Campaign Feasibility Study and coordinated a $700,000 annual campaign for this 1500 family Conservative synagogue.
In August of 2002 he became Director of Operations for the Solomon Schechter Academy of Dallas and held that position until his employment as Executive Director of Congregation Beth El in La Jolla in 2004.
In 2011 Andy relocated to Houston, TX to serve as the Chief Operating Officer of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston where he supervised the agency’s primary programs including Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston, Refugee Resettlement, and Interfaith Relations.
In late 2016 he retired from Interfaith Ministries and subsequently joined Gershenson Consulting, LLC, as a consultant for nonprofit organizations. His professional practice focuses on strategic
Tony Van Slykevanslykej@uhd.edu
He is also the CFO of
Goodwill Industries of Houston
Back in 2008, Goodwill Industries of Houston was looking for a CFO who could wean the struggling non-profit off its contributed-income dependency and make it run like a business. Tony Van Slyke (MBA ‘91) was looking to expand his repertoire with a CFO position. It was the perfect match. “It allowed me to use my accounting and financial skills with an organization where I really believed in the mission,” said Van Slyke, an executive with a wealth of experience in the banking, health-care and energy industries. Though it is known for its thrift stores, the purpose of Goodwill is to find jobs for people with barriers to employment.
Today the graduate of the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business has proven his mettle. In May, Houston Business Journal named Van Slyke the Best CFO of the Year in the non-profit category. The award was a tribute to the remarkable turnaround of the financially challenged organization. Under Van Slyke’s watch, Goodwill Industries of Houston has become a self-sufficient entity that no longer relies on charitable gifts to operate.
The honor also speaks to Van Slyke’s ambition as a goal-driven businessman who realized early on that he needed to bolster his academic credentials in order to move up the corporate ladder. Van Slyke didn’t stop with his MBA in Finance from Bauer; he later studied accounting at Tarleton State University and became a CPA. We recently talked to the Houston native about his life and career.