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. Ms. Iliff previously served as Vice President of Maryland Nonprofits and Director of the Maryland Nonprofits Consulting Group, She is an experienced facilitator, trainer and manager with international, national and local nonprofit organizations. Ms. Iliff served a 4-year term as an elected member of the Prince George’s County, Maryland Board of Education, and was appointed to County Executive Rushern Baker’s Commission on Educational Excellence for Prince George’s County. Previously, Ms. Iliff was Deputy Director of Alliance for Nonprofit Management and Assistant Director of the Institute for Educational Policy at Open Society Institute – Budapest. Ms. Iliff has been featured as a speaker at national conferences including Organizational Development Network Annual Conference, The Philanthropy and Non-Profit Performance Conference, Alliance for Nonprofit Management Annual Conference, and the Association of Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action. Ms. Iliff holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from The American University and a Masters in Political Science from the Central European University (University of the State of New York).
Amy Coates Madsen, Director
Amy Coates Madsen is the Director of the Standards for Excellence Institute, a national initiative to promote the highest standards of ethics and accountability in nonprofit governance, management, and operations, and to facilitate adherence to standards by all organizations. The Standards for Excellence Institute is a program of the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations where Amy has served for more than sixteen years. Amy is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the association’s comprehensive ethics and accountability program and efforts to replicate the program nationally. She serves as a frequent trainer and writer in the areas of board conduct, program evaluation, program replication, fundraising ethics, and nonprofit management. She has taught courses on nonprofit ethics and accountability at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies Certificate Program on Nonprofit Management.
She has held positions at the Trenton lobbying firm of the Princeton Public Affairs Group, and the Public Policy Liaison Unit at the world headquarters of Catholic Relief Services. Amy received her Master of Arts in Policy Studies degree from the Johns Hopkins University – Institute for Policy Studies in Baltimore, Maryland; and her Bachelors degree from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Amy is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Amy serves on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT). Amy is a former member of the Disaster Action Team of the Central Maryland Chapter of the American Red Cross and is qualified to provide disaster preparedness training to children and adults. She has also served as the former President of Central Maryland CAN TOO and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the largest United Methodist Church in Baltimore City. She serves on the board of her children’s preschool PTA and is a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. Amy is currently leading an effort to establish an endowment for the Virginia Tech University Honors Program.
Melissa Sines, Director of Education and Accreditation
Melissa Sines joined the Standards for Excellence Institute in March 2011. As Director of Education and Accreditation, Melissa is responsible for overseeing the Institute’s Accreditation and Recognition programs, as well as developing strategy and content for the Institute’s learning community in order to promote excellence in nonprofit management and governance, and to provide substantive opportunities for nonprofit leaders to connect. Melissa is an adjunct professor at Hood College in Frederick, MD, teaching nonprofit management. She is one of the founding donors of the Frederick Giving Project, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Frederick County, dedicated to nurturing the next generation of philanthropy and service. She also serves on the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers’ Giving Circle Connector committee and as an advisor for her local Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Frederick County Leaders on Loan Program. Melissa is self-professed nonprofit dork and is passionate about organizing people and projects to create positive social change. Melissa received her MPA from the University of Baltimore and her BA from Hood College.
Eshanda Fennell, Senior Consultant and Accreditation Manager
Eshanda Fennell holds the position of Senior Consultant and Accreditation Manager with the Standards for Excellence Institute and has been providing consulting services in Maryland and Washington, DC for the past decade. Ms. Fennell has worked in various capacities at national, local and internationally based nonprofits and is committed to health and education issues related to women’s health education, international development and nonprofit organizational development.
As a researcher and International Fellow, she has performed organizational assessments including a feasibility study and evaluation assessment of social service programs. In addition, she has provided a multitude of trainings for nonprofit organizations on board governance and development initiatives.
Ms. Fennell successfully earned her Master of Arts degree from Howard University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology and is passionate about travel, culture, family, friends, music, and authentic food.
Darryus Johnson, Member Relations Manager
Darryus Johnson is the Member Relations Manager at the Standards for Excellence Institute and its sponsor, Maryland Nonprofits. He manages all customer retention activities and takes initiative in customer satisfaction via process improvement plans and efficient reporting and flow of information. He acts as a “first-responder” handling feedback from customers, advocating their concerns, resolving and escalating as needed. He develops understanding of member issues, offers suggestions and identifies alternatives and develops unique solutions. He also maintains database information as well as assists members with using fundraising databases.
Darryus previously worked for the MVA, Air Tran Airways and Danya International. Darryus’ work as Communications Coordinator for Danya International and as a flight attendant for Air Tran Airways afforded him the opportunity to support global as well as domestic business operations, and to work with all levels of employees, from frontline staff to executive leadership.
Lydia Alcock, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Lydia Alcock joined the Standards for Excellence Institute in February 2017, and joined its sponsor, Maryland Nonprofits, in March 2016. She is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator.
Born in England and raised in New York, Lydia moved to Baltimore in 2008 to earn her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. Lydia previously worked at Maryvale Preparatory School, Port Discovery Children’s Museum and the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and also has extensive experience volunteering with an animal rescue nonprofit. Lydia keeps busy exploring the Baltimore region and riding her horse, Ace. She lives in Baltimore City with her cats, dogs, and backyard chickens.
Juliana Thomas, Finance Manager
Juliana Thomas is an accomplished financial and human resources manager with experience in nonprofit and for-profit businesses. She served as accounting and human resources manager for Juele Enterprises, PTC International, and Mid-Atlantic Lifespan and its subsidiaries. She was also tax associate for Reznick, Fedder and Silverman CPAs. Juliana attended Coppin State College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Management Science. Outside of work she is stays busy in ministry work with her church and spending time with family and friends, all of which she enjoys. Juliana enjoys traveling with her family and friends also.
Maryland Nonprofits Board of Directors
Michael Mitchell, HIAS
Marla Bobowick, Bobowick Consulting
Grace Lee, Maryland New Directions
Kimberly Corbin, Greater Washington Urban League
Destiny-Simone Ramjohn, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente
Violet Apple, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland
Sheryl Brissett-Chapman, National Center for Children and Families
Kelly Chambers, Calvert County United Way
Melissa Curtin, Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County
Carl DeLorenzo, Howard County, Maryland
Tom Graham, Sheppard Pratt
Janice Liggins, The Clarion Call
Patty O’Malley, Rubino & Associates
Josh Pedersen, Maryland 2-1-1, Inc.
Lisa Sartorius, Boys Hope Girls Hope Baltimore
Philip Symonds, CPA
Allen Tien, MD Logix
PRESIDENT & CEO
The Standards for Excellence Board Committee
Mark Muedeking, Chair
Barbara Huston, Consulting Member
Lisa Rusyniak, Consulting Member
The Ethics Standards Committee
Lise Anne Slatten