The Well Connected Communities Team is made up of three separate groups.
Leadership and Core Teams
These two teams oversee the leadership and day-to-day management of the grant.
Mission to Market Director, National 4-H Council
Beth brings to Council more than 40 years of experience in leadership of 4-H and Cooperative Extension with the land-grant system. Her experience spans both administrative and program leadership for 4-H, Family and Consumer Science and professional development of Cooperative Extension at the state level.
Before joining National 4-H Council in 2012, Beth was the Associate Dean and Associate Director of University of Nebraska—Lincoln Cooperative Extension. During this same time, she served as the administrator of the Nebraska 4-H program, which involves one in every three, age eligible youth in Nebraska. Beth received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln in the Administration of Community and Human Resources.
Her work has been recognized by others through awarding her: the HERO Award for Service to 4-H by the Knights of AKSARBEN Foundation; Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture’s Award of Merit, Gamma Sigma Delta Society; Election into to the Nebraska Hall of Ag Achievement and multiple team awards, such as Annie Casey for 4-H and Family and Consumer Science programming.
Director of Health, Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP)
As the Health Director for the Cooperative Extension System, Roger serves as the key strategist and systemwide catalyst for ensuring that the aims and goals of the Well Connected Communities initiative are adopted and sustained as a part of Cooperative Extension’s ongoing work. Those aims and goals include building the capacity of the Cooperative Extension System to lead and implement local efforts to achieve health equity through policy, systems, and environmental change.
More specifically, Roger’s work focuses on four main objectives. These include establishing a robust and mutually-supportive network of Extension professionals working in the health and well-being, increasing the visibility of the Cooperative Extension System as a national leader in health, building partnerships and acquiring resources necessary to achieve system goals, and increasing the availability of professional development opportunities related to this important area of work.
Immediately prior to his current position, Roger served as Director of Ohio State University Extension in Columbus, OH. From 2005 to 2015, Roger served as Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University where he provided overall leadership to both the 4-H Youth Development (4-H) and the Family and Community Health (FCH) Extension programs. At Oregon State, he led an effort to build the nation’s first health-focused Cooperative Extension program within an accredited school of public health. Roger is a graduate of the Engagement Academy and a founding member of the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship.
Equity Director, National 4-H Council
Dorothy Freeman, Ph.D. joined National 4-H Council following a distinctive career in Cooperative Extension at the University of Minnesota and Virginia Tech University. As Council’s Mission to Market Equity Director, Dr. Freeman will ensure that private sector donor partnerships are tightly aligned to the strategic vision and programmatic priorities established by the Equity, Access and Belonging Committee. She retired on July 31, 2019 after 15 years as Associate Dean and State 4-H Director with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development and 25 years with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Dr. Freeman’s experience as an administrator, Extension agent, district program leader, district administrator and 4-H specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension positions her well to support Council’s fundraising efforts in support of equity, access and belonging. Dr. Freeman has a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics Education from Norfolk State University; a Master of Science degree in Adult and Continuing Education and a Doctorate in Human Development; both from Virginia Tech. Throughout her career, Dorothy is known for visionary leadership and innovation in program development and management of complex organizational structures to engage the public in the research, teaching, and engagement mission of 4-H Youth Development and Extension.
Director of Development, Foundations, National 4-H Council
An attorney and community builder, Rebecca Kelley brings a commitment to asset-based community development, public-private partnership, and collective impact. She currently serves with the National 4-H Council’s Resource Development team supporting the growth of capacity-building and strategic initiatives in partnership with Cooperative Extension at over 110 land grant universities. Previously, Rebecca served as a national director for YMCA of the USA scaling evidence-based programs and Director of Knowledge and Innovation for StriveTogether, then a subsidiary of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, where she partnered with over 90 communities nationwide on cradle-to-career initiatives. In her hometown of Cincinnati, Rebecca facilitated several cross-sector healthy living partnerships funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, U.S. Health & Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control. She earned a BA in Politics and Public Policy from Goucher College in Baltimore and a law degree from University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Well Connected Communities Program Director
Nanya is a public health professional with a strong background in program evaluation, research and public policy. Nanya has worked in state, national and international programs and brings a robust experience in public health leadership, implementation of policies to reduce health disparities and translation of data into policy formulation and systems change. She comes from Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development where in her role Associate Director, led a grant-funded $5 million health initiative to improve quality of health access and delivery to people with developmental disabilities. As Program Coordinator at the Michigan Department of Community Health, she led a fund of $3 million for children with special needs that provided service to 83 counties across Michigan. Nanya’s passion and commitment to reducing health disparities has had her engaged in global health, where she worked with an International NGO and national governments to evaluate the impact of interventions designed to eliminate infectious diseases. She received both her Master’s in Public Health and B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan.
Well Connected Communities Administrative Coordinator
Hayat is a recent graduate of the Marymount University Malek School of Health Professions where she received her Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion. She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from the University of Washington. Hayat’s interest in health education was sparked while working as a Travel Coordinator supporting the USAID ASSIST program. This program focused on improving outcomes in USAID-assisted countries by strengthening health and social systems and advancing improvement science. While completing her master’s degree, Hayat also worked as a Travel Auditor at Strategy and Management Services supporting the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, and as an administrative coordinator at a health care business in Virginia. Hayat joins us as the Administrative Coordinator for the Well-Connected Communities team where she will focus on logistics including website content and event management. She also hopes to expand her knowledge of public health and specifically health equity while providing support for the team.
Jennifer Grizzard Ekzarkhov
Well Connected Communities Senior Integrated Marketing Manager
Jennifer is crafty, a storyteller, an idea-hatcher, a maven and a geek. She cut her professional teeth working for national and international nonprofit organizations, both large and small. Managing and directing communications and marketing at organizations like The Nature Conservancy and TechnoServe, Jennifer worked lockstep with fundraising and program professionals. For more than seventeen years, she put powerful storytelling, strategic communications and authentic branding to work for these organizations. For the last five years, Jennifer has worked as a consultant, putting great communications and brand to good use for local, national and international nonprofits like the Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center and the Jane Goodall Institute. Jennifer received her B.A. in English and a B.S. in Interior Design from Virginia Tech and her M.A. in Creative Writing from University College, Bretton Hall, University of Leeds.
Professional Development Team
The professional development team provides coaching, resources, and technical assistance to the leadership teams, volunteers, and youth leaders to facilitate the accomplishment of the health goals visualized for their communities. Coaching and technical assistance may be done one-on-one, in groups, or peer-to-peer. Resources may include facilitating connection with already existing toolkits, websites, subject matter experts, etc., or development of webinars, discussions, and other means. Grantees can reach out for help or the team also reviews RFAs, action plans, and reports to glean areas of support needed. The PD team also includes the strengthening of youth-adult partnerships and facilitation of Master Volunteer certification.
Program Director for Foundations, Healthy Living, Mission to Market, National 4-H Council
JoAnne found a special organization when she joined 4-H at age 11 with projects in leadership, dairy cattle and family/consumer science. A National 4-H Dairy Scholarship fueled her University of Maryland academics, earning BS and MS degrees, as well as MBA from Frostburg University and a project leadership certificate (e-Cornell). JoAnne was a County 4-H Agent for 15 years, a 4-H parent and still a 4-H volunteer. She is currently Program Director, Foundations and Healthy Living at National 4-H Council.
Center for Community Health & Evaluation Director
Monte’s personal passion and professional journey have always revolved around community. Whether helping establish a public park system in Russia, working to alleviate poverty through micro finance in Tajikistan or coaching multi-sector coalitions across the U.S., creating healthy, sustainable and just communities has been at the heart. Monte is also fortunate to be part of two vibrant communities.
He lives in Portland, OR and regularly works out of the Community Initiatives, CI, office located in his hometown of Fort Collins, CO. As a consultant, coach, trainer and facilitator, Monte has helped hundreds of communities and a wide range of organizations, community partnerships and national initiatives to develop change strategies resulting in healthier people and places. He and the CI team also partner to create and curate the Community Commons, a powerful platform to help anyone who is, or wants to become, a change maker in their community.
Senior Associate, Community Initiatives (CI)
As Senior Associate of Community Initiatives, Stacy has more than 20 years of preventive health experience. She has served as a leader in public health, advancing the healthy communities movement. The focus of her work is the development of collaborative teams serving a greater good, meaningful community engagement and the implementation of sustainable strategies. She has served as Principal Investigator for the CDC Strategic Alliance for Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Kids Healthy Communities and Communities Putting Prevention to Work projects in Hamilton County, OH. Stacy brings a community voice to the development of Community Commons and supports communities as they leverage the Commons to create change.
Deputy Director, Community Transformation, County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
Director, Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems (MU CARES)
Chris serves as the Director of the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems (CARES) at the University of Missouri. Chris and his team integrate geographic information systems (GIS), data visualization, community engagement tools and Internet accessibility to better serve vulnerable and underserved populations. These web-based technologies help organizations and policy makers make more informed decisions about access, equity and allocation of resources. His systems-based approach to decision making enables public and nonprofit sector organizations to effectively address social, economic, environmental and public health issues using unique collaborative management systems such as Community Commons. Chris received his BS in Agricultural Engineering and his MS in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri and in 2005 he completed his National Library of Medicine Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health
Project Coordinator, Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems (MU CARES)
Jamie has trained thousands of organizations, community-level professionals, government agencies and healthcare systems on the use and application of data and GIS for community assessment, programming and evaluation. Jamie has an MS in Rural Sociology with an emphasis in community development from the University of Missouri and a BA in Political Science from Western Illinois University.
The Center for Community Health and Evaluation is an outside evaluator for Well Connected Communities tasked with assessing the effectiveness of the initiative’s implementation. Learn more about the evaluation of Well Connected Communties.
Center for Community Health & Evaluation Director
Maggie became the CCHE director in July 2018. For several years she provided oversight of CCHE’s portfolio of evaluation projects as CCHE associate director. She leads many of our large-scale evaluation efforts related to community health improvement, clinical quality improvement, health policy, health equity, and public health training programs. Maggie’s work has focused on providing health-related organizations with the information, tools and resources they need to more effectively achieve their goals and build their evaluation capacity. She holds a BS in business from the University of Minnesota and an MPH from the University of Washington.
CCHE Senior Evaluation & Learning Consultant
At CCHE, Lisa manages a number of evaluations related to philanthropic grantmaking and clinical quality improvement. Her past experience includes evaluation of a malaria prevention intervention in rural Ghana and a project targeting metabolic syndrome among Latino communities in Idaho. She received her MPH in community-oriented public health practice from the University of Washington.
CCHE Evaluation and Learning Associate
Monika has a background in economics, public policy, education, and community research. Her interests include health and wellness in schools, early childhood and family support, and cross-sector community collaborations. Monika received her master’s degree from the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Evaluation & Learning Associate
Crystal has a background in public health programming, research, and stakeholder engagement. Her interests include analyzing health disparities, advancing health equity, and data analysis. Crystal earned an MPH from the Colorado School of Public Health with a concentration in Global Health and Health Disparities.