Susan Dreyfus

Headshot of Susan DreyfusPresident and CEO

Susan N. Dreyfus is president and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a strategic action network of social sector organizations that has a national reach in thousands of communities across America.

She is dedicated to advancing equity in society through access and opportunity so all people can reach their full potential. She believes in the power of the social sector to be influencers of larger systemic change through its excellence, distinction, innovation, and influence.

Prior to joining the Alliance in 2012, Dreyfus was secretary for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. She was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in May 2009 and approved by the senate. She served as a member of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet. She had responsibility for Medicaid, aging and long-term care, child welfare, behavioral health care, juvenile justice, economic assistance, and other human services.

Before her work in Washington state, Dreyfus served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for the Alliance.

In 1996 she was appointed by the Gov. Tommy G. Thompson Administration in Wisconsin to be the first administrator of the Division of Children and Family Services. Her responsibilities included child welfare, child care quality and licensing, youth development, and an array of emergency assistance and other community programs.

Dreyfus is chair of Leadership 18, a coalition of CEOs from the largest and most respected nonprofit organizations in America, and was also the chair of its 2016 Executive Committee. She serves on the governing boards of the American Public Human Services Association, Generations United, the National Human Services Assembly, and the International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers. She was appointed through the Speaker’s office in the U.S. House of Representatives to serve on the National Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities from 2013-2015.

In 2017, Dreyfus was named to The NonProfit Times’ Power and Influence Top 50 list of nonprofit leaders who have “distinguished themselves as initiators of concepts that will have legs and are already having impact.” She also was included in the Power and Influence Top 50 list in 2015.  The American Public Human Services Association awarded Dreyfus its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 for her contributions to the field of health and human services in both the public and private sectors.

Dreyfus loves being with her family, including her husband of 39 years, circuit court judge Lee S. Dreyfus Jr, her adult children, and grandchildren.

Ron Clewer

Headshot of Ron ClewerCOO

Ron Clewer is COO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. In this role, he manages the strategic direction and core operating activities of the organization. He ensures the organization’s accountability to highest performance and achievement, and is be tasked with overseeing growth and outcomes and maintaining long-term sustainable operations and revenues.

Clewer also works to support the organization’s culture of teamwork and collaboration, professional development, and accountability, as well as removing barriers that stand in the way of accomplishing both team and organizational goals.

Before joining the Alliance in 2017, Clewer was CEO of Rockford Housing Authority. He was appointed CEO in 2012 and deputy executive director for development in 2010, and its CEO in 2012. He launched Bridge Rockford Alliance in 2011, a nonprofit community development corporation that provides pivotal community leadership to address the root causes of poverty and integrates human services and supports with housing.

Under Clewer’s leadership, Bridge Rockford Alliance and Clewer’s team were highly visible and active in the Alliance. Bridge Rockford Alliance won the 2016 Commitments Award for Engaging All Voices, one of the Alliance’s Commitments of High-Impact Organizations.

Clewer has served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for topics such as fair housing, social determinants of health, green energy, healthy homes, affordable housing reform, and mobility programs. His work earned him the Mary K. Nenno Advocacy Award recognizing him for outstanding and innovative achievement in the area of legislative advocacy.

Clewer was instrumental in developing innovative partnerships and creative community-building initiatives at Bridge Rockford Alliance that focus on supportive housing and human services to improve the quality of life for residents. With a belief that health starts at home, he has redirected focus to the integration of housing with the social determinants of health to ensure that all residents have equitable opportunities and can lead their lives to their full potential.

He received his associate’s in business administration from Benedictine University and has completed the Alliance’s Executive Leadership Institute.

Polina Makievsky

Headshot of Polina MakievskyPolina Makievsky is the senior vice president of knowledge, leadership, and innovation for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. In this role, she manages the organization’s portfolio of leadership development, knowledge management, program replication, and evaluation services designed to help member organizations strengthen their capacity to achieve their missions. She joined the Alliance in April 2010 as COO.

Previously, Makievsky was director of programs at Alliance member La Casa de Esperanza in Waukesha, Wisconsin. At La Casa, she managed multiple programs and departments, including services for children, youth, and families; the workforce development and financial stability program; outpatient mental health services and an alcohol and other drugs abuse clinic; senior housing program; and the fitness center.

Prior to joining La Casa, Makievsky worked in Washington, D.C., as director of model programs for the Points of Light Foundation. She also worked as a policy analyst for the Family Strengthening Policy Center, which operates in collaboration with the National Human Services Assembly and National Collaboration for Youth.

Makievsky also served a Women’s Research and Education Institute Congressional Fellowship with the office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). Prior to that, she spent four years in the capital city of the Republic of Georgia, as part of work with Project Harmony, headquartered in Waitsfield, Vermont.

She was selected as a member of Independent Sector's American Express 2014 NGen Fellows cohort. Makievsky earned a master’s in public policy from Johns Hopkins University Institute for Policy Studies in Baltimore. She attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, for undergraduate studies.

Marlo Nash

Headshot of Marlo NashSenior Vice President of Public Policy and Mobilization 

Marlo Nash has served as the senior vice president of public policy and mobilization since July 2015, and she led the process to develop the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ public policy platform and 2017-2019 federal legislative agenda. She returned to the Alliance in this role after a brief time away to help lead the startup of the National Foster Youth Institute, founded by the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth. In 2013, Nash began working at the Alliance as its director of external relations and network mobilization. She designed the network mobilization approach that is in action today.

Previously, she served on the leadership team of Voices for America’s Children as its vice president of membership, which allowed her to reconnect with her state child advocacy roots. Prior to this role, Nash’s early childhood network building, awareness, and engagement efforts captured the attention of United Way of America, and she was recruited to join its national team to lead 2-1-1 and Success By 6, the nation’s largest public-private network of early childhood advocates.

During nearly 10 years with the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) as the director of Oklahoma KIDS COUNT, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s long-running data tracking and policy change initiative, Nash trained hundreds of child advocacy leaders, produced the annual KIDS COUNT Factbook, and worked closely with media outlets to elevate key issues. While with OICA, Nash served on the Governor’s School Readiness Task Force, worked with business leaders to establish a state-level public-private early childhood partnership, and built a statewide community network of public-private coalitions.

Nash moved into public policy advocacy as the director of central Oklahoma’s child care resource and referral center after starting her professional life as an administrator in the U.S. military child care system.

Kristi Scharl

Headshot of Kristi ScharlCFO

Kristi Scharl is CFO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. She joined the organization in October 2012 as controller.

Previously, Scharl was a financial analyst at MillerCoors, working within the company’s technical accounting department.

For the first five years of her career, Scharl worked in public accounting, specializing in nonprofit accounting and government auditing standards. As a senior accountant, she led audits for clients of varying size and complexity.

Scharl earned bachelor’s degrees in accounting and marketing from Winona State University in 2007.

Lenore Schell

Headshot of Lenore SchellSenior Vice President of Strategic Business Innovation

Lenore Schell is the senior vice president of strategic business innovation for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. 

A passionate, energetic, and results-driven professional, Schell leads the organizations efforts to diversify its revenue streams and provide leadership to drive innovation. She is responsible for influencing the development of and the launch of a business offering portfolio that differentiates the Alliance, increases revenue, and enhances Alliance network member value. 

In her previous role at the Alliance, she was responsible for leading the Alliance network engagement, marketing, and information technology efforts, which included the effort to build a comprehensive account management system. Schell implemented rigorous processes for applying data and predictive analytics to strategically grow the Alliance network, achieve higher member engagement levels, and industry-leading retention levels.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Schell was the director of provider operations for DentaQuest, a leading dental benefits administrator. While at DentaQuest, Schell was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Provider Operations division. This included the credentialing and re-credentialing of 35,000 providers in the DentaQuest networks, enrollment in claims processing systems, and committee support.

As director of operations for Direct Supply, the nation’s leading supplier of equipment and e-commerce systems to the senior living industry, Schell served as a member of the senior leadership team of DSSI, a strategic business unit within Direct Supply. In this role, Schell led the Operations division.

During her tenure at DSSI, she developed a project management discipline and consistent use of implementation project plans, issue tracking, and project status reporting across the division, created and implemented a post-implementation client satisfaction survey process, and developed a formal hand-off process from implementation to operational steady-stat.  

Schell also has extensive banking industry experience including specific work in acquisition integration management, product management and marketing, human resources, information controls, branch automation, and outsourcing and support services management.

She earned a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, and has completed other training such as University of Wisconsin Milwaukee – Strategic Management Development and DentaQuest University Leadership Development Program.

Ted Uczen

Headshot of Ted UczenPresident and CEO FEI Behavioral Health

As president and CEO of FEI Behavioral Health, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ social enterprise, Ted Uczen directs all strategic aspects of the business and directly oversees all sales and marketing activities of the organization. He holds a key management position on the executive leadership team and works directly with hundreds of nonprofit human services organizations. He regularly supports these nonprofit organizations by helping to define strategic sales and marketing opportunities that help grow revenue from nontraditional sources.

As senior vice president of banking solutions at Metavante (now FIS), Uczen managed the customer relationship management business and grew overall revenue by more than 20 percent in less than two years, making it a $100 million-dollar business with over 250 employees. In addition, he started the Global Banking business unit as a joint venture with an international partner.

As chief customer officer at NuEdge Systems, he redesigned and managed all aspects of the customer facing organizations. In addition, he developed and implemented many successful loyalty, acquisition, retention, and reactivation programs for some of the most successful and fastest growing companies in the country.

With over 25 years of database marketing and strategic business consulting experience, he has held several management positions and developed a detailed and extensive experience of numerous industries. He began his career at Kobs & Draft Worldwide (now Draftfcb), one of the largest direct marketing agencies in the world, and has worked with both consumer and business-to-business marketers impacting dozens of clients. In addition, his experience includes developing and conducting training for media companies on direct marketing, database marketing and database systems.

His speaking appearances have included the Social Enterprise Alliance Summit, the Alliance National Conference, the Alliance Senior Leadership Conference, the National Industries for the Blind National Conference, National Center for Database Marketing Conferences, the Direct Marketing Association’s Senior Executive Forum, Direct Marketing Days in New York, and the Direct Marketing Association’s Professor’s Institute.

Uczen is a graduate of Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin, and holds degrees in Psychology and Philosophy.