Meet our 2021 Nominees for the Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year Award

The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Cleveland is proud to introduce you to its third cohort of Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year award nominees! Five young professionals from around the city were nominated by directors, co-workers, friends, and mentors.

The Five nominees represented various causes and missions, but they all had one thing in common: they truly care about who (and what!) keeps Cleveland great!

We appreciate all the nominators who took the time to tell us about what makes these young professionals special. Our Board loved reading about the work being done throughout the city and appreciate all that they do. 

Without further ado, our nominees:


Michael Bernot, Director of Advancement at West Side Catholic Center

“Michael leads by example. He has a positive attitude in the face of adversity. Many of us in the industry struggle with burnout and let the circumstances of those we assist affect us personally. Mike is able to remain professional and understands how his mission has a broader impact than a single person’s bad day. I look up him.”


LaToya Logan, Executive Director of Project LIFT Services

“LaToya builds coalitions, collaborations and connectivity. Under her leadership, Project LIFT Services has become a prevention and social justice agency providing behavioral health services, targeting the needs of Black teens and fathers most at-risk for homelessness, economic instability, and incarceration who live within Cuyahoga County. When I think about the future of Cleveland, it is more hopeful because of LaToya’s deep commitment to her work, her clear sense of impact through service, and her vision for better outcomes for all.”


Maria Rouzzo, Executive Assistant and Office Manager at the Greater Cleveland Film Commission

“Maria’s role at the film commission focuses mainly on our internship program, and more recently, the workforce development pillar of our mission. Maria is a strong leader in that she is always the first one to offer a helping hand to her co-workers, she is a compassionate listener to any concerns or questions our interns may have for her, and she is always searching for new ways she can improve organization processes so we can better fulfill our mission. Her direct leadership and professionalism in the areas previously mentioned have grown our internship program and will result in expanding workforce development programming.”


Jennifer Salkin, Development and Engagement Manager at Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging

“Over the last 4 years I have watched Jennifer go from learning the ropes of development for nonprofits to jumping in and spearheading the BRIA YP council with me on top of her full time position. Her dedication, hard work, creativity, and passion for helping the aging population in NE Ohio always goes above and beyond what is required. With her leadership and guidance we have grown from a small council to a council with 24 members, 4 committees, and have raised over $8000 last year. Her leadership during covid made this all possible. She does this all quietly and without the need for congratulations or reward.”


Madeline (Maddie) Wallace, Director of Development at Joseph’s Home 

“As the Director of Development, Maddie has led an extremely successful $1.3 million dollar capital campaign to expand medical respite services to acutely ill homeless women in Cleveland, Ohio. The medical respite facility will expand upon the successful medical respite model that Joseph’s Home offers to acutely ill homeless men. Maddie is young, but her experience and professionalism is far beyond her years. She has elevated the fundraising activities of Joseph’s Home/Mary’s Home to the next level, helping provide essential respite stay services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. ”


Thank you for reading and helping us celebrate these amazing young professionals in our local nonprofit community. Check back tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon for the announcement of our 2021 Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year!