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Meet The Board

Board of Advisors - Dr. Lester M Salamon

DR. LESTER M. SALAMON is a Professor at the Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. In addition, Dr. Salamon holds an appointment as Senior Research Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Bologna Center and serves as Scientific Director of the International Laboratory for Nonprofit Sector Studies at National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow. He previously served as Director of both the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Governance and Management Research at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. and as Deputy Associate Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President. Dr. Salamon pioneered the empirical study of the nonprofit sector in the United States and has extended this work to other parts of the world.

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

― John F. Kennedy

Founding President/B. Chair/CEO - David Johnson

Native to Indianapolis, Indiana 25 year old David Johnson is an undergraduate student entering the accelerated masters program intending on getting his Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies from the Lilly School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. Volunteering and working in Non-Profit since he was 13 years old David decided to found Spring Oath in 2017 to maximize community assets through philanthropic strategies primarily in the Indianapolis area. His vision to unify our communities zip code by zip code, by creating strategic plans to address local issues has inspired others to join his efforts. 

 “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” -                                                             Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Board of Advisors - Dr. Lehn Benjamin 

Spending the past 25 years working to address issues of inequity, Dr. Lehn Benjamin has worked in South Africa during the democratic transition, on the Senate Banking Housing and Urban Affairs Committee as a Congressional Fellow, and for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Prior to joining the faculty at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, she spent 10 years on the faculty at George Mason University where she taught courses on nonprofit management, public management, and evaluation.

Her most recent research takes a closer look at daily work of frontline staff and the experience of the people that seek services from nonprofits to develop a fuller picture of nonprofit impact than is typically captured in program evaluation models. She is interested in how participating in these nonprofits affects the health and political efficacy of citizen-clients. Although most of her current research focuses on human service organizations, as an urban planner who has worked in both governmental and grassroots organizations as well as at a policy level, she is also interested in broader community development and governance questions.

“In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.”

― Barack Obama 

B. Treasurer/CFO - Kanneitha McGruder

Originally from Chicago IL, Kanneitha McGruder is currently the CFO of Spring Oath where changing communities through acts of philanthropy is the focal point. Alongside CEO/founder and other executive leaders of Spring Oath, Kanneitha wears multiple hats and take on different roles. Before her role at Spring Oath, Kanneitha worked four years as a Human Resources Assistant for one of the largest online retailer. There, she was able to sharpen her skills in corporate finances, operations, and administration. In 2009, Kanneitha graduated from IUPUI (Indianapolis, IN) where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. That same year, Kanneitha also started a small LLC. Today, Ms. McGruder currently works Full-Time at Anthem Inc. as a leading Medicaid Representative. When Kanneitha is not applying her skills & knowledge at Spring Oath, you can find her deeply immersed in her local community! Kanneitha is a passionate advocate for Sickle Cell Awareness and head of finances for her local church as well.

“If I had one super power, it would be the power to Transfer Energy. We may not always remember a person’s name or face, but we always remember how that person made us feel. If the way we make others feel could be transferred one to another, I think we all would treat one another with a little more compassion"

 -Kanneitha McGruder

Board of Advisors - Ed Sandifer

Ed Sandifer serves as the Planned and Major Gifts Officer for the Indianapolis Zoo, joining the Zoo in 2002. Ed began his career in philanthropy in 1999 as Director of Planned Giving at Marian College (now Marian University) in Indianapolis, while concurrently serving as Assistant Counsel to the Indiana State Senate. Ed previously served as an attorney in private practice focusing on estate planning, probate, real estate, and family law matters.

Ed currently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. He is a member and former president of the Charitable Gift Planners of Indiana, and he is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Indiana Chapter. Ed received his B.A. from Indiana University and his J.D. from Indiana University McKinney School of Law.

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated." 

- Mahatma Gandhi

B. Secretary/ WAC Chair - Deborah Quarles

56 year old Deborah Quarles, a native of Indianapolis Indiana, is a graduate of John Hope School #26 and Arsenal Technical High School and received her Baccalaureate degree in Nursing at Ball State University and a MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Working as a nurse for the passed 33 years at Community Hospital Network, much of her service to the Community has occurred through her church at The Caring Place as an Intercessor Team member. She participates in Women’s Ministry, acts as a Sunday School Teacher, volunteers at the Ronald McDonald's House and also does missionary work in Africa, Haiti and Cambodia. She is a volunteer with Friends Fellowship Ministry, a Ministry to women incarcerated at Indiana Women's Prison and Rockville Correctional Facility.

Her strategic work in the Light in Darkness Ministry where she enters night clubs sharing love to women who are professional adult dancers has set her a part and given her a diverse perspective. Debbie is a tissue donor and supporter of Komen Cancer Center and a member of both the Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority as well the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. 

In addition, she is a member of the National Association of Female Executives, Women in Networking and now serving as the Board Secretary of Spring Oath where she shares her expertise to the board advising and advocating for women in all capacities. 

“My heart is for women who are in any form of bondage.” 

 - Deborah Quarles

Board of Advisors - Donald Kent

Founder of Net Literacy and mentor to David Johnson since he was 13 years old, Don has chosen to aid in the growth of Spring Oath.

Don has volunteered in the nonprofit sector for more than ten years with a focus on community building and youth development and most recently the Indiana After School Network and Net Literacy. Prior to this, he worked in the for profit sector in the areas of finance, strategy and operations. His MBA is from the University of Utah and he earned his Bachelors from the Air Force Academy. 

“It's not a faith in technology. It's faith in people.”

- Steve Jobs

Board Member - Jalen Malone

Jalen Malone is originally from New Castle, IN and a graduate of Indiana State University where he received his Bachelors degree in Social Work with a minor in African and African American Studies. Jalen currently serves as a Minister/Organist at Greater Works Worship Center under the leadership of Dr. Jonathan D. Mason. Jalen is very passionate in working in Youth Development, homelessness, and ministry. He believes that his love for people will be a blessing to the Indianapolis community.

"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."

-Malcolm X

Board Member - Jonathan Collier

From London, UK, 25-year-old Jon Collier has been in Indianapolis for over 4 years after being recruited to run track and cross-country at Butler University while studying his MA in History. Jon is now in his second year of an MA in Philanthropic Studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. Jon works in fund development and grant management during his Graduate Assistantship and is also involved in Graduate and Professional Student Government. It was at the Lilly School of Philanthropy that Jon met David and became enamored with the intention of Spring Oath. Jon’s belief in the potential of others and their ideas developed during his time in student leadership and has now led to him becoming involved in Spring Oath.

"It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."

- Paulo Coelho