Thursday, October 27, 2011

The NEA Foundation Names Four New Board Members

Donna Meacham Blackman, Crystal Brown, Lola Kelly, and John C. Stocks

WASHINGTON, DC (October 27, 2011) – The NEA Foundation today announced four new members named to its board of directors: Donna Meacham Blackman, Vice President, Finance for Marriott International; Crystal Brown, Vice President of Widmeyer Communications; Lola Kelly, a high school educator; and John C. Stocks, Executive Director of the National Education Association.

New Board member Donna Meacham Blackman has held several key roles at Marriott International, Inc., including, vice president of investor relations, director of financial reporting and accounting policy, and, currently, vice president of finance. Prior to joining Marriott, in 1999, she served as senior manager with KPMG LLP in New York and Washington, D.C., working with a variety of public and private clients, from Howard University to Volunteers of America. “Donna’s background in finance and experience with non-profit organizations will serve us well, and we look forward to having the benefit of her thinking during these tough economic times,” said Harriet Sanford, the NEA Foundation president and CEO.

Crystal Brown is a veteran of public relations and communications, expertise ranging from strategy and messaging to crisis communications. Brown currently serves as vice president of the education practice at Widmeyer Communications, in which she oversees communication strategies for the firm’s largest client, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She has also worked as senior vice president of marketing communication for E-Luminate Group, a marketing firm specializing in education technology and policy. “Even before her first board meeting, we called on Crystal for help, and she delivered,” said Sanford. “Not only is she a savvy and strategic communications expert, whose advice is already making a difference, she is thoughtful and generous. We are so grateful for her many contributions.”

Lola Kelly teaches U.S. History and Government and AP U.S. History in the East Rochester School District and serves as president of the East Rochester Teachers’ Association. “As a history teacher with 35 years of experience, and an active union member for more than 30, Lola brings invaluable insights to the board that can only be found from someone who has spent most of his or her professional life in the classroom and advocating for the profession,” she said. “We are delighted to have her join us.”

“As a top-ranking official of the 3.2 million-member National Education Association, John C. Stocks brings to our board a unique expertise in finding and building support for important solutions in public education,” Sanford said. “He is a true bridge builder: he has forged many new strategic alliances for the organization and spearheaded top political and membership priorities. We welcome the opportunity to find new ways to align the important work of our two organizations for the betterment of teachers and their students.”

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About The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

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