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Latest News: National Service News

Senate Confirms 5 Members To Serve On National Service Agency Board

Wednesday, November 21, 2007  
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Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Senate acted last Friday to confirm five nominees to serve on the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  Two of the nominees -- Julie Fisher Cummings and former U.S. Representative Tom Osborne, are new to the board. The other three -- Mark Gearan, Alan Solomont, and Donna Williams, are returning members. All were nominated by President Bush.
 
The bipartisan 15-member board sets overall policy and direction for the Corporation and its programs. The Corporation is the nation's largest grant maker for volunteering and service, engaging more than two million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service each year through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, VISTA, NCCC, and Learn and Serve America programs. The Corporation works closely with USA Freedom Corps, a White House office dedicated to expanding volunteer service in America.
 
“We're delighted the Senate has confirmed these outstanding individuals,” said board chair Stephen Goldsmith. “These are strong leaders who will provide key insight and direction as we work to strengthen the Corporation and engage more Americans in service to their communities.”
The appointments come at a time of strong positive momentum for the agency and the larger volunteer sector. Volunteering is at historically high levels, with more than 61 million Americans giving an estimated 8.1 billion hours of service in 2006. The two million participants in the Corporation's programs are providing results-driven service through tens of thousands of nonprofit and community organizations, addressing America's toughest problems of poverty, illiteracy, gangs, and disasters and acting as a powerful catalyst and force-multiplier for community volunteering. On the management side, the agency just received the most successful audit opinion in its 14-year history, capping a series of improvements to cut costs, increase efficiency, reduce burdens, and improve customer service.
 
The new board members are:

Julie Fisher Cummings– A Detroit native, Cummings is a community leader with vast experience in the nonprofit world, including serving on the City of Detroit Arts Commission, the Michigan Community Service Commission, and as President of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. She is currently obtaining a dual degree from Columbia University at the School of International and Public Affairs and the School of Social Work to enhance and support her new position as Managing Trustee of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Family Foundation. Cummings' term lasts through September 14, 2011.

Tom Osborne– Nebraska native Tom Osborne served in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2007, representing Nebraska's 3rd Congressional District. Before his election, he served for 24 years as the head football coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. A former Co-Chairman of the National Service Caucus while in Congress, Osborne and his wife Nancy founded TeamMates, a school-based mentoring program for youth needing an additional caring adult in their life. Osborne's term lasts through October 6, 2012.

The returning members are:
 
Mark Gearan– A resident of Geneva, New York, Gearan is President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where he has reinforced the Colleges' commitment to global understanding, community service, and service-learning. He served as the Director of the Peace Corps, as Assistant to the President and White House Director of Communications, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff under President Clinton. Gearan served two previous terms on the Board, from December 2000 through December 2002, and from December 2004 to December 2005. His current term extends through December 1, 2010.
 
Alan Solomont– A resident of Weston, Massachusetts, Solomont is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and political activist. Solomont was the founder and CEO of the A.D.S. Group, an innovative network of post-acute, eldercare services and is currently Director of the Boston Private Bank & Trust Company and a managing member of Angel Healthcare Investors, LLC. A volunteer and supporter of many community institutions and charitable organizations, Solomont returns after serving on the Corporation's board from May 2000 to October 2004, where he where he held a number of leadership positions including Chair of the Grants Management Task Force, Chair of the Management Committee and Vice Chair of the Board. His new term lasts through October 6, 2009.

Donna Williams– Arlington, Texas resident Donna Williams is Vice President and Program Manager for Parsons Infrastructure and Technology, Inc., a subsidiary of the Parsons Corporation. Williams has twenty-three years of program management, business development, and project management experience and was named one of the “100 Most Important Blacks in Technology” by the US Black Engineer and Technology magazine in 2006. In addition to her extensive community and charitable activities in Dallas and Arlington, Texas, Williams has served two previous terms on the Corporation's board, from April 2003 through December 2004 and again from December 2004 to October 2006. Her current term expires on October 6, 2009.

To spur further growth in the ranks and effectiveness of America's volunteers, the Corporation's Board approved a five-year strategic plan in 2005 that embraces bold national goals in four specific focus areas: mobilizing more volunteers, ensuring a brighter future for all of America's youth, engaging students in communities, and harnessing baby boomers' experience. The plan includes specific targets for the country to reach by 2010, such as 75 million Americans volunteering, 3 million more at-risk youth with mentors, 3 million at-risk youth serving others in their communities, service-learning in half of all K-12 schools, and 3 million more baby boomers in service. Last May, the board directed the agency's CEO to work with OMB to add a fifth strategic initiative on disaster preparedness and recovery to the plan.

The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Providing service opportunities for millions of Americans of all ages and backgrounds, Corporation programs include Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov.

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