Please note: This webinar is at 1pm - 2pm Eastern Time on November 5, 2014.

The growth of collective impact initiatives around the country gives rise to this dilemma: What happens when several initiatives in one community pursue overlapping missions, members and audiences? How can they reduce competition and redundancy, and increase impact? The Forum for Youth Investment shares lessons from its work with communities to align multiple collective impact efforts, and then turns to two cases studies: Leaders from Northern Kentucky will explain how several education-focused initiatives aligned through one backbone organization, while Bartholomew County, Ind., shows how three local partnerships aligned their goals and indicators, and identified areas for joint work.

This webinar will further explore the themes discussed in the article, Aligning Collective Impact Initiatives

Download the webinar presentation in the Forum Resource Library.


  • Merita Irby, co-founder and chief operating officer, the Forum for Youth Investment
  • Polly Lusk Page, executive director, Northern Kentucky Education Council
  • Karen Pittman, president and CEO, the Forum for Youth Investment
  • Marianne Schmidt Hurtt, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager, PNC Bank
  • Mark Stewart, President, United Way of Bartholomew County

Register: Register here to attend this webinar ($60).

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Merita Irby is co-founder and chief operating officer at the Forum for Youth Investment, and is a chief architect of both the Forum and its signature initiative, Ready by 21®. Irby previously worked as a classroom teacher in Central America and inner-city schools in the United States. As a senior research associate at Stanford University, she worked on a five-year study of community-based urban youth organizations and co-authored Urban Sanctuaries: Neighborhood Organizations in the Lives and Futures of Inner-City Youth. Irby also directed a multi-site study on school collaboration with youth organizations with Karen Pittman at the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research. In 1995, she joined Pittman in starting the President's Crime Prevention Council, chaired by Vice President Al Gore. They then joined the International Youth Foundation, charged with creating its Learning Department. Irby has also served on the boards and advisory committees for numerous organizations, including the American Camp Association and the Civic Mission of Schools. She earned a master's degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Polly Lusk Page is the executive director for the Northern Kentucky Education Council. Previously the director for community engagement and education initiatives with the Partnership for Successful Schools, Page also served as the literacy specialist for the Kentucky Department of Education, and taught at both the elementary and post-secondary levels for over thirty years. Page served as chair for the first NKY Dropout Prevention Summit and chaired the Education Business Summit: Champions for Education: Focus Locally, Compete Globally a NKY Community Summit. She was also a member of the state Blue Ribbon Panel on Interventions for Low Performing Schools and Districts, statewide Adolescent Literacy Taskforce, and was appointed by Governor Beshear to serve on the School Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Council.  She serves as a board member for both the NKY Workforce Investment Board (WIB), and the Brighton Center and is a member on several committees. She has been recognized for leadership and outstanding contributions to civic education and engagement in Kentucky by The Congressional Conference on Civic Education, and was the recipient of the 2013 Kenton County Public Library Foundation's Mary Ann Mongan Literacy Award and the 2014 Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky Helen Carroll Lifetime Leader in Education Award.

Karen Pittman is president and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment. Pittman started her career at the Urban Institute, conducting numerous studies on social services for children and families. She later moved to the Children's Defense Fund, starting its adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives and helping create its adolescent policy agenda. In 1990 she became a vice president at the Academy for Educational Development, where she founded and directed the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research and its spin-off, the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work. In 1995 Karen joined the Clinton administration as director of the President's Crime Prevention Council. From there she moved to the executive team of the International Youth Foundation (IYF). In 1998 she and Rick Little, head of IYF, worked with ret. Gen. Colin Powell to create America's Promise. Pittman has written numerous books and articles on youth issues, and has served on numerous boards and panels.

Marianne Schmidt Hurtt is senior vice president and regional manager of PNC Bank, where she is responsible for retail banking operations in Northern Kentucky and downtown Cincinnati. She also serves as chair of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors for the Northern Kentucky Education Council. In these roles, Marianne has helped the council align the work of multiple collective impact initiatives in the region. She helped to expand and balance board representation to include education, business, and community leaders and has developed new policies, expanded partnerships, and secured funding that has enabled the council to provide backbone supports for education initiatives in Northern Kentucky. Marianne also serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Stewart is president of the United Way of Bartholomew County in Columbus Indiana. Mark has over 20 years of experience in the field of community development and human services. Previously the President of Southeast Neighborhood Development, Mark oversaw the rapid transformation of the Fountain Square neighborhood in Indianapolis. He catalyzed robust residential and commercial redevelopment of the distressed neighborhood while successfully balancing the interests of incumbent neighborhood residents and private developers. Mark served the City of Indianapolis under two Mayors on a number of Blue Ribbon Panels including: abandoned housing, crime, court reform, sustainable neighborhood design, and infrastructure improvements in core neighborhoods. Earlier in his career, as director of Housing for the South Central Community Action Program, Mark oversaw the rehabilitation of thousands of units of affordable housing in a four county area. Mark holds a master’s degree in public administration from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

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Emily Benson

funder of initiatives


I took part in this webinar but do not have a copy of the receipt I need to file with my employer. Here is info from my order:

  • Email address:
  • Event ID: 21905
  • Order number: 1137547

Could you send me a copy of my receipt? Thank you, Emily Benson

Submitted by Emily Benson on Mon, 2015-01-05 10:19

Tracy Timmons-Gray

administrator, backbone organization, community manager, funder of initiatives, partner organization, other, technical assistance provider / consultant, content administrator, blogger, funder community of practice

Hi, Emily. Our webinar platform provider KRM should be able to help you with this. If you contact them at this email,, they should get back to you shortly regarding your request. Please let us know though if we can be of further assistance.

Submitted by Tracy Timmons-Gray on Mon, 2015-01-05 18:24