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Leadership of Standards for Excellence


Heather Iliff, President and CEO

Heather Iliff is President & CEO of the Standards for Excellence Institute and its sponsor, Maryland Nonprofits, and is responsible for advancing both organizations’ vision to create a highly effective, ethical and accountable nonprofit sector that drives change through collective action and advocacy. 
Read her complete bio on the Maryland Nonprofits website.

Amy Coates Madsen, Director

Amy Coates Madsen is the Director of Programs for Maryland Nonprofits and the Director of the Standards for Excellence Institute.
Read her complete bio on the Maryland Nonprofits website.

Kate Hull, Accreditation and Recognition Program Manager

Kate Hull manages the accreditation and recognition program of the Standards for Excellence Institute.
Read her complete bio on the Maryland Nonprofits website.

Rachel Mygatt, Program Manager

Rachel Mygatt provides program support to the Standards for Excellence Institute.
Read her complete bio on the Maryland Nonprofits website.

Darryus Johnson, Member Relations Manager

Darryus Johnson is the Member Relations Manager at the Standards for Excellence Institute and its sponsor, Maryland Nonprofits.
Read his complete bio on the Maryland Nonprofits website.

Juliana Thomas, Finance Manager

Juliana Thomas supports the Standards for Excellence and Maryland Nonprofits.
Read her complete bio on the Maryland Nonprofits website.

Governing Body

The Standards for Excellence Institute is governed by members of the Maryland Nonprofits Board of Directors and its Standards for Excellence Committee, and individual volunteers who serve on the Standards for Excellence Council.

The Standards for Excellence Board Committee provides oversight and support to the staff of the Standards for Excellence Institute in the implementation of its goals and objectives. The Committee acts as a liaison between the Standards for Excellence Institute and the Maryland Nonprofits Board of Directors. The activities of the Committee include: maintaining the Standards for Excellence certification of the Corporation, and ongoing compliance of the Corporation with the Standards for Excellence code; serving as an advocate for the Standards for Excellence program as a whole and helping to inform the Board of Directors of the program’s features.

The National Standards for Excellence Council is charged with overseeing the Accreditation and Recognition Programs of the Standards for Excellence Institute. The Council’s main roles and responsibilities include: Providing advice and guidance to staff regarding the periodic review and evaluation of the application policies, procedures, and processes; providing advice and guidance to staff regarding the periodic review of content of the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector; and reviewing and approving or denying all Accreditation or Standards Basics Enhanced applications.

Maryland Nonprofits Board of Directors

Walter Simmons, Employ Prince George’s

Will Pass, Park Heights Renaissance, Inc

Katy McGuire, The Arc Baltimore (Retired)

Cheryl Thomas, CPA, Thomas and Associates


Veronica Cool, Cool & Associates LLC, Maryland Latinos Unidos

Erica Joseph, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore


Chloe Bernardi, LICSW, LCSW-C, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County

Nona Carroll, Maryland Business Roundtable for Education

Helen Kim, Hoffberger Family Philanthropies

George Leventhal, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente

Jarred M. Ricks, Greater Washington Business Banking Group, M&T Bank

Tom Riford, Maryland Department of Commerce (Retired)

Dana Vickers Shelley, ACLU of Maryland

Rebecca Teaff, Notre Dame of Maryland University

Duane Yoder, Garrett County Community Action (Retired)

Zosia Zaks, Zaks Autism Consulting


Heather Iliff


Standards for Excellence Council

Edward (Ted) Bilich (Chair)

Before founding Risk Alternatives, a risk management and process improvement consultancy based in the DC Metro, Ted was a Distinguished Visiting Professor from Practice at Georgetown University Law Center. Before that, Ted spent more than 20 years in the Washington DC office of the international law firm of Jones Day.  He is a member of the American Law Institute, where he serves on the Member Consultative Group for the ALI's current project on Principles of the Law: Compliance, Enforcement, and Risk Management for Corporations, Nonprofits, and Other Organizations. He has served on the Arlington Economic Development Commission and the boards of the Leadership Center for Excellence, Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, Latino Student Fund, Washington Humane Society, and the Hispanic Bar Association of DC Foundation. He also was a member of the DC Bar Litigation Section Steering Committee.  Ted speaks regularly before large and small groups throughout the United States on risk management, board governance, civic engagement, ethics, and numerous other issues. He is the author of three editions of a leading law school casebook on class actions and other multi-party dispute resolution.  Ted received his B.A. in economics summa cum laude from Wake Forest University, and his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School.  

Marla Bobowick

Marla has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience and a history of creative problem solving. Specializing in nonprofit management and leadership, she has extensive experience with board governance, strategy, and publishing. She has worked with nonprofit organizations of all types and sizes, including regional healthcare and social service providers, educational institutions (independent schools and colleges and universities), family and other private foundations, and local and national offices of federated organizations and professional associations.

Marla is affiliated with BoardSource as a senior governance consultant and Standards for Excellence® as a licensed consultant. She is the co-author of Assessing Board Performance: A Practical Guide for College, University, System, and Foundation Boards (Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges © 2018).

Previously, Marla was a Vice President of Products at BoardSource, where she oversaw publications, online products, and research. During her tenure at BoardSource, she was an active consultant and trainer, developed educational curriculum, managed regional capacity building projects, oversaw the global program, and coordinated the annual conference.

While at BoardSource, Marla managed the “Nonprofit Governance Index,” a research project that gathers baseline data about board practices in the United States. She was also a member of the working group for The Source: Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards (BoardSource © 2005) and developed a corresponding online survey. She managed “Governance Futures: New Perspectives on Nonprofit Governance” a multiyear research project that culminated in publication of Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards (John Wiley & Sons © 2005).

Previously, Marla was an acquisitions editor at John Wiley & Sons, where she developed Wiley's Nonprofit Law, Finance, and Management Series and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Fund Development Series.

Marla holds a bachelor's degree in English from Amherst College, a master's degree in business administration and a certificate in nonprofit management from Case Western Reserve University. Marla is the past board chair of Maryland Nonprofits.

Stephanie Cory

Based in Wilmington, Delaware, Stephanie Cory has dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector since 2003. She has served as an executive director for a health advocacy organization as well as held development and program management roles for nonprofit organizations serving seniors and people with disabilities. Stephanie has also consulted for a variety of educational organizations. Stephanie has been a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 2008 and received her designation as a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) from the American College in 2007. A graduate of the Association of Fundraising Professional's Faculty Training Academy, she has been an AFP Master Trainer since 2010. Stephanie is a Certified Governance Trainer through Board Source. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern California. Stephanie is a frequent trainer on a variety of fundraising and nonprofit topics. Her own service as a board member includes officer roles for the local chapter of a professional association, district representative on an international board of directors, board member for a grassroots community redevelopment organization with no paid staff, and president of her local Junior League. Stephanie has worked for a Standards for Excellence® accredited organization and has volunteered as a peer reviewer for Standards for Excellence replication partner Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) since 2010.

Cheryl Petty Garnette

Cheryl Petty Garnette served as the Executive Director of The Ivy Community Charities of Prince George’s County, Inc. from January 2008 – January 2024. The organization provides tutoring, mentoring and leadership development from elementary through high school, training for parents, scholarships for high school seniors, social activities for the elderly, and a host of workshops on financial literacy, health and wellness, the arts, civic engagement, equity and social justice. Through Cheryl’s efforts, the organization earned the Maryland Nonprofits Standards for Excellence Accreditation in 2022.  

Cheryl was named the 2023 Nonprofit Leader of the Year by the Greater Washington Community Foundation.

Cheryl serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Nonprofit Prince George’s County which is an umbrella arm for nonprofits throughout the County. She also serves as the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Prince George’s Community College Foundation Board of Directors, which was established to support scholarships and services of the College to advance the academic and career aspirations of its students. She is the Director of Christian Education at Seaton Memorial AME Church in Lanham, MD.

Cheryl earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Master of Arts degree in Measurement and Statistics, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. She served as the Director of the Office of Technology in Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education, retiring in January 2011 after 31 years of service. 

William Gorman

William "Bill" Gorman is the founder and managing principal of Alacritas Advisers, LLC. Bill has served as a chief operating officer in a large nonprofit and a university for over a decade.

Furthermore, he has worked with numerous non-profit organizations, including faith-based institutions, human and social services, assisted and independent living, workforce housing, advocacy groups, foundations, primary and secondary education, higher education, and government.

Areas of Focus

·         Strategic Planning

·         Executive Leadership

·         Fundraising

·         Operations

·         MarCom


Passionate about cause sector organizations, William has provided strategic counsel to dozens of organizations regarding their strategic planning and implementation efforts. Additionally, William has participated in or led advocacy efforts on behalf of people with developmental differences, migrants and refugees at the local and national level, better access to health care, and services for children, youth, and families at the local and state level.

William has furthered and been responsible for a university, a system of 98 K-12 schools, operations in 215 locations, 23 subsidiary corporations, two newspapers, and two hotels in the United States and one in Austria (with restaurant and brewery), along with functional areas such as Finance, Advancement, Communications, Real Estate, Information Technology, Admissions and Enrollment, Human Resources, and Public Affairs. 


University of Leicester, England
MBA: Marketing

University of Leicester, England
PgD Management

Christina Hanger

Christina Hanger has held executive positions in a wide range of technology companies, from venture-backed software companies to Fortune 20 companies like HP and IBM. Additionally, Christina has served as the nonprofit CEO for Dallas Afterschool for eight years, earning the DFW Nonprofit CEO of the Year, 2018.

Christina holds an MBA from Wake Forest University and a BSME from Virginia Tech. She has served on the Boards of the Houston Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Houston Minority Business Council, Social Venture Partners Dallas, and as Treasurer of the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Executive Women’s Roundtable. Christina also serves as a Trustee for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

In addition to being a Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant for nonprofits, she has earned the Directorship Certification from the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Julie Hart

Julie is the Senior Director of Museum Standards and Excellence. She has been involved with accreditation and efforts to nurture institutional excellence throughout her 20 + year tenure at the American Alliance of Museums. Her access to, and assessment of thousands of museums’ operations, plans, governance, and policies during her two decades at AAM—plus service on other non-profit certification review panels—provides her with unique and holistic insight into the best practices and challenges faced by museums and non-profits. Julie is regularly sought after by other countries and industries as an expert to advise and speak about the US/AAM museum accreditation model. She has delivered numerous presentations and trainings on accreditation and museum standards across the U.S. and at international venues including Italy, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, China, Taiwan, and Canada. Also, she recently led a comprehensive, five-year reinvention of the Accreditation Program, which included everything from streamlining forms and processes to creating a new economic model to developing new preparatory programs.

Julie has been an Ethics Standards Committee Member for the Maryland Nonprofits’ Standards of Excellence Program since 2015, and served as a Peer Reviewer for eight years prior to that. She holds an M.A. (1996) in Art History from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Andrea Hill

Andrea Hill, Chief Program Officer, Tennessee Nonprofit Network

Andrea Hill has received her Bachelor of Science in Human Services Management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and her Master in Public Administration from Kennesaw State University. She is certified in Volunteer Administration through the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration. She served as the 2018-2020 President of Directors of Volunteers In Agencies (DOVIA). She is also an appointed member of the Volunteer Tennessee board.

She has been named one of the 2017 Top 40 Under 40 Urban Elite professionals. She was also named one of the 2018 Memphis Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 professionals. She was awarded the National Urban League Young Professionals Inaugural Heroes In The Movement Award. She is the 2017 Junior League of Memphis- Provisional of the Year, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis- GIVE 365 member, Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement Board member, Leadership Memphis Alumni, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Andrea is also a proud supporter of WKNO.

Johanna Licharowicz
George Neighbors

George Neighbors brings 20+ years of experience managing people, leading teams, coaching leaders, and advising organizations, teams and individuals through change to build capacity and improve operations to produce strong and resilient organizations, people and projects.

Engaging leaders through consulting, executive coaching, training and facilitating at X-Roads Advisory, his approach is grounded in a systemic approach to change management at the crossroads of People, Process, Systems & Structure.

Educated at Johns Hopkins University in Applied Behavioral Science, George continues his executive education and learning in a variety of programs, including Allstate Foundation’s Nonprofit Management Essentials at Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, the Board Academy at the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, and Emory University's Goizueta Business School's Executive Coaching program.

He currently volunteers serving on the national nonprofit best practices National Council of the Standards for Excellence Institute, as the Workforce Readiness chair and board of Shenandoah Valley SHRM, on the board development committee of Friends of the Middle River, and with Shenandoah Community Capital Fund.

Based in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, he works locally and travels to where you & your projects are to meet you at the X-Roads. Services offered virtually everywhere.

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