Meet the Faculty

We're proud to work with a team of expert faculty for the Building Healthier Nonprofit Organizations Through High-Performing Boards series. 

Phyllis Braxton is president and founder of PINK Consulting, LLC and has been in the diversity and inclusion field for nearly 20 years. Phyllis is a native of Moss Point, Mississippi and currently resides in Minneapolis, Minn. Phyllis was an adjunct professor teaching graduate level courses in diversity and received her Master’s degree at the University of Minnesota.

Additionally, she is a training team member of the Blandin Foundation’s Leading in Ethnically Diverse Communities, has experience as an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University for Culturally Responsive Teaching Certification, former Co-Director and team leader for Minnesota S.E.E.D. (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity), Intercultural Conflict Styles (ICS) trainer/facilitator, Cultural Detective, Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) and The Leadership Circle (a 360 degree feedback leadership tool). Phyllis’ client list includes educational institutions, foundations, non-profits, fortune 500 companies, government agencies, religious affiliations and the health care industry.

Larry Capo is the former president & CEO of Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. He has held leadership positions in statewide arts education and arts organizations, higher education, regional theater and nationally recognized architectural firms. Larry served on the Board of Trustees of Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania for over a decade prior to his appointment as president & CEO in 2005. He served as a trustee for Art Pride New Jersey, and currently serves as president of the New Jersey Theater Alliance, and chair of the Creative New Jersey steering committee. Upon his retirement in 2015, Larry was awarded the New Jersey Governor’s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Arts Education.


David Grant
 was president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation from 1998 to 2010. He now lives in Vermont and consults with mission-based organizations around the world. A career educator, David co-founded and directed from 1983 to 1994 The Mountain School of Milton Academy, a semester-long, residential environmental studies program in Vermont for high school juniors. At Dodge, he instituted a highly successful assessment training program for Dodge grantees, which has evolved into the current series of workshops. 

His book, The Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations, was published by Chelsea Green Publishing Company in March 2015. David holds a BA in English from Princeton University and an MA in American Studies from the University of Michigan. In 2008, he received an honorary Doctorate in the Humanities from Drew University. 

Laura Otten has been the director of The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University’s School of Business since 2001 and is also the first director of La Salle’s new MS in Nonprofit Leadership. She began her affiliation with The Nonprofit Center shortly after it was formed in the early 1980s, working as a consultant and trainer, primarily in the areas of Board development, strategic planning and program evaluation. Laura continues to play these roles in addition to providing direction and leadership to The Nonprofit Center's educational, consulting, and leadership development programs. She is an Associate Professor in La Salle’s Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice and former director of the Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies Programs.

Laura, a national expert in numerous aspects of nonprofit management and governance, earned her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College. 

Hilda Polanco, (CPA, CCSA, CGMA) is the founder and CEO of Fiscal Management Associates, the go-to advisor foundation and nonprofit leaders seek when addressing nonprofit financial management capacity. Hilda provides capacity building, training and coaching services to foundations and nonprofits throughout the country. Prior to founding FMA in 1999, Hilda worked with Citigroup and previously with the firm of Ernst & Young, serving Fortune 100 companies in various industries.

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, in addition to holding the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

 
Allison Trimarco is the founder of Creative Capacity, which helps nonprofit organizations increase their management capacity and mission effectiveness.

Her practice focuses on fundraising, communications, strategic planning, and Board development projects. Prior to beginning her consulting practice, she held leadership positions at nonprofit theatres, public libraries, and public television. Allison serves as an instructor and consultant at The Nonprofit Center, and is also an adjunct faculty member at both Drexel University and La Salle University. 

She earned her MA in Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University and her BA in Theatre at Smith College.

Beth Zemsky (MAEd, LICSW) comes to her work out of her continued commitment to engage people in learning activities that move them to understand critical social and cultural issues. Building on best practice approaches, Beth specializes in intercultural organizational development with organizations working towards social change and structural transformation including foundations, non-profits, educational, health, faith-based, and social change organizations.

Beth has over 35 years of experience working as a consultant, community organizer, psychotherapist, educator, and organizational leader including serving as the principle of Zemsky and Associates Consulting, founding Director of the GLBT Programs Office, Supervisor of the Diversity Institute, and Coordinator of Leadership Development & Organizational Effectiveness at the University of Minnesota.