Executive Director and Founder
As founder and executive director of Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Deborah Shore has led groundbreaking work in youth and family service development in the District of Columbia. Her vision for empowering at-risk and homeless youth through a competency-based approach to counseling and supportive services has been enhanced through the recruitment and training of an exceptional staff and the development of strong management systems to ensure that SBY’s work meets the highest standards of quality and cost-effectiveness. Ms. Shore has received several awards for her leadership in the nonprofit sector. In 2012, she was given the prestigious Champions of Change Award from the White House for her ongoing work in preventing youth homelessness. In 2014, Shore was inducted into the Washington DC Hall of Fame in recognition of her historic contributions to civic and community development in the nation’s capital. Washingtonian Magazine also cited Shore’s leadership by designating her as a 2016 Washingtonian of the Year.
Chief of Finance and Operations
Prior to joining Sasha Bruce in 2020, Ms. Nelson was the Chief Financial Officer of Education Week, the nation’s premier publication about K-12 education; a mission-driven non-profit. During her 15 year tenure, she was an integral member of the senior leadership team that transformed Ed Week from a traditional print publisher to a very entrepreneurial digital media organization. In her role, she oversaw finance, accounting, and investments, and helped shepherd the launch of several new products, including EdWeek Market Brief, Education Week’s business intelligence service.
Prior to Education Week, she was the Vice President of Finance and Administration at a technology start-up, which developed training simulators for medical procedures. She played a key role in raising $10 million in private equity, corporate, and bank financing, and participated in successful merger negotiations with Immersion Corp, a publicly held company.
Chief of Programs
Donnell Potts was promoted to Chief of Programs in 2019. Prior to this role, Potts directed the Sasha Bruce House emergency shelter. He began his career in human services in 2004 as a teacher in the family home program at Boys Town. Along with his wife, they cared for more than 80 troubled youth. In 2012, Potts was promoted to Director of Residential Services at Boys Town. He spearheaded a collaboration with court social services and established the “Cool House” program in the District. During his career, Potts has received multiple accolades including Most Outstanding Youth Advocate in D.C. from the Consortium of Child Welfare in 2008, the P.G. County Outstanding Advocate, 2015, and Youth Advocate of the Year 2016, from Men of Change.
Director of Development and External Relations
As Director of Development and External Relations, Rico oversees the organization’s fundraising and communications efforts. Mr. Rico has more than ten years of experience working in the civil rights, education, healthcare, and social justice sectors where he has brought together caring philanthropists looking to make a difference in the lives of others in their community. He is committed to working with donors to help them meet their philanthropic goals, while supporting our efforts to end youth homelessness. Rico lives in Adams Morgan in DC, and is a proud Hoya with a BS and MA from Georgetown University.
Board Of Directors
The Executive Director reports to SBY’s governing Board of Directors. The Board has fiduciary responsibility for the agency and is active in fundraising, strategic planning, public policy and oversight of SBY’s finances. The full Board meets at least five times per year, and its committees meet every other month. Each member has equal and full voting status as outlined in SBY’s By-Laws. Board membership is a voluntary commitment and members are not compensated by SBY.
John M. Crain, Chair
Principal, 452 Consulting
Shaunda Patterson-Strachan, Secretary
Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Don Auerbach, Treasurer
Chief Operating Officer
Investment Company Institute
Principal, MA Investment Properties
Chevy Chase Trust
Public Policy Consultant
Deputy Press Secretary
US House of Representatives
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
President & CEO
NIHCM LLC & NIHCM Foundation
Major McKinley Lewis
Director, Private Exchanges & Mid-Market Commercial Accounts
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Nate J. Oleson, Esq
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Heideh R. Shahmoradi
O’Keeffe Shahmoradi Strategies
DBT-Data Holdings, Inc.
Timothy H. Watkins
Goulston & Storrs LLP
Tracy M. Bernstein
Ann Dibble Jordan
Michael S. Mandel