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Philanthropy Kids New Board Member Class Demonstrates that Experience is Separate from Age

Updated: May 2

[DALLAS, TEXAS] - [26 MARCH 2021] — Philanthropy Kids, a Dallas-based nonprofit dedicated to celebrating and inspiring philanthropy in youth, is driven by the notion that one does not need to be rich or old to make a difference. This lens also applies to how the organization nominates new members to their Board of Directors. Many nonprofits across the country have historically appointed or elected Board Members who are ultra-high-net-wroth individuals and who are typically much older.

When deciding the slate for the Board Member Class of 2023, Philanthropy Kids didn’t weigh age as a major consideration of who should be nominated to the Board of Directors, focusing their evaluation entirely on historical performance as a community leader and enthusiasm towards the mission of the organization.

The organization understands that there is often overlap between those who are older, those who have a high net worth, and those who have a long history with charitable activity. However, Philanthropy Kids was driven to find seasoned philanthropic leaders that find themselves on the younger side of adulthood.

Board members, Nick Marino, Krista Nightengale and Damian Williams, consider themselves millennials, yet their cumulative experience leading different nonprofit organizations and social enterprises spans decades. The deep understanding of industry knowledge these individuals bring to the nonprofit are priceless, and Philanthropy Kids did not want to discount that insight simply because they would bring down the average age of the Board.

Board Members Gigi Gartner and John Kazor, while not considered a part of the millennial generation, have a long history as instrumental members of major community organizations such as Common Cents Dallas and the Lewisville Noon Rotary Club. At these organizations they oversaw the establishment of brand new programs and helped facilitate the evolution of long-standing institutions into a more modern era, skills that Philanthropy Kids expects to heavily utilize over the next year.

Philanthropy Kids is very excited for these new Board Members, and encourage readers to learn more about each of them and the organizations they represent outside of their Board Leadership.

In alphabetical order, the Board Member Class of 2023 consists of:

Gigi Gartner - Founder & Director, Common Cents

Gigi Gartner is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who was born and raised in Dallas, TX. She attended Greenhill High School and received a BSM degree from Tulane University. She credits her real estate business for putting her in a position to give back to her community.

Inspired by her mother’s charitable work, Gigi co-founded Common Cents Dallas, a student-driven education program offered through Dallas ISD, to teach and enable students to actively raise money for various causes affecting their communities.

Gigi is also involved with the North Texas Food Bank and the Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas. She is an avid dog rescuer and works to fund various canine support organizations around the world.

Bob Hopkins - Chief Development Officer, Philanthropy Kids

Bob Hopkins is the founder of Philanthropy World magazine. In his 30 year career, he has been actively helping non-profit organizations who desperately need funds. He has been the Executive Director and Fund Development officer for numerous health and educational organizations. He has received the Hero of Humanity Award from the Art of Living Foundation in India for his PAVE program: Philanthropy And Volunteerism in Education, a program to teach our youth about GIVING. He is currently a college and university professor teaching Communications and Social Entrepreneurship.

John Kazor - Manager, MT Partners

John Kazor is a telecom property investor who owns wireless communication towers in the Dallas Fort-Worth, Houston, and San Antonio regions. John was born in Fairbanks, Alaska and grew up on Air Force bases in Georgia, California, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, and the Philippines. He made his way to Texas in 1979 when he attended the University of Texas at Austin on an academic scholarship, receiving a BBA in Accounting and meeting his wife, Lisa.

John started working at an accounting firm now known as Deloitte and Touche as a controller for an excavation company. In 1985, he founded his first company, Hydrodine Contracting, in Lewisville, TX and has since built a 30+ year career in commercial construction and real estate development.

John has spent over 35 years as a member of the Lewisville Rotary Club and got involved with Rotary International in 2013, traveling to countries all around the world including Portugal, Honduras, Brazil, Belize, and Guatemala. He has served as President of the Lewisville Noon Club and as Area Training Officer for Rotary Club District 5790.

While formally trained as an accountant, John enjoys restoring classic cars and anything old. He is always eager to talk about his latest restoration project and is happy to speak to you in English, Portuguese, and Pig Latin.

Nick Marino - Co-Founder, Revolving Mind Media

Over the past decade, Nick Marino Jr. has been focused on making an everlasting impact in the community. Nick has an extensive background in marketing and has helped build brands from the ground up. These include and are not limited to TangoTab, Revolving Mind Media, Curis Functional Health, That’s Just Good, and more.

When becoming part of an organization I look at 3 main components. One, do they have a why? Two, what is their mission? Three, who are the people running the day-to-day. I firmly believe in all 3 of these with Philanthropy Kids. I am extremely excited to work with this team to take this organization to the next level and help impact our next generation.

Krista Nightengale - Executive Director, The Better Block Foundation

Krista Nightengale is the Managing Director of the Better Block. She began her career at D Magazine, the city magazine in Dallas, where she served as Managing Editor, Executive Director of a leadership group aimed at empowering citizens to take action, and Executive Director of a literacy nonprofit that united the city in reading together. She then served as Chief of Staff of the Coalition for a New Dallas, an advocacy group that worked to reunite communities by removing an elevated highway between two neighborhoods in Dallas. Krista then launched Dallas Innovates, a news site that promotes Dallas-Fort Worth as a hub of innovation. While covering the city, Krista became intrigued by the built environment.

In 2016, she joined the Better Block, an international, urban design nonprofit that educates, equips, and empowers communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. At the Better Block, Krista works to help with its growth, spread its story, and make the world a little better by working with communities to demonstrate how wonderful walkable/bikeable districts are through the use of digital fabrication and great design.

Nancy Urias - Civic Leader

Before becoming a wife, mother of 2, a stepmother of 2 and a grandmother of 6, I was a daughter and a sister. My brothers and I were fortunate enough to be raised by kind and compassionate philanthropic parents who were always ready to reach out to those who needed food, a hot meal, clothing or just a friendly smile. They both contributed to community events by actively volunteering their time as well as being organizers and leaders of specific church, school and civic activities. This role modeling created a desire for my brothers and myself to care about others and to continue with community service.

Throughout my parenting and continuing into grandparenting years, I volunteered for youth programs such as 4-H, Girl Scouts, team sports, teaching Sunday School, classroom volunteer, reading coach, tutor and PTA.

I was lucky to find a life-partner in my husband Rudy who also enjoys giving back to his community. Rudy started volunteering as a coach of youth athletics when he was a teenager and continued his involvement in several coaching and board positions throughout our children’s participation in school and team-club sports. In retirement, we both enjoy actively volunteering in our church, our grandchildren’s school and athletic events, donating to and fund-raising for various non-profits such as the Tucson Community Food Bank, the Casa Maria Homeless Shelter, the Interfaith Community Services and the local Animal Shelter. I have seen Philanthropy Kids in action and agree that kids who are exposed to organized giving creates more well-rounded people. I am looking forward to being a part of this project.

Damian Williams - Attorney, Hamilton Wingo

Damian dedicates himself to helping those without the voice and resources to defend themselves. As a former Dallas County Assistant District Attorney, he worked alongside local law enforcement and represented the State of Texas in felony cases to protect the community from serious crimes. Now, as a trial attorney at Hamilton Wingo, LLP, Damian helps victims of catastrophic injuries put their lives back together. For Damian, the strength of the community is measured by how people share their resources and lift up those with the fewest among them. The community is strongest, however, when everyone has an equal say and a fair shot at reaching for their dreams. Damian believes that members of the community have a duty to help where and when they can.

For a few years now, Damian has been a member of the Board of Directors for the nonprofit Focus on Teens, which services the homeless population of Dallas ISD and Fort Worth ISD. Damian is a panel-member of the City of Dallas Zoning Board of Adjustment, which is a position appointed by the Dallas City Council. He was a member of the Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy Cohort with the Communities Foundation of Texas, and a former co-chair of the Lawyers Against Domestic Violence Committee in the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers. Damian was also a member of the Leadership Class of the Dallas Breakfast Group.

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