Skills-Based Volunteering

Volunteers from the business community are vital to the success of our young entrepreneurs. They bring real-world experience to classrooms and competitions and help our young people begin to build their own professional networks.

NFTE volunteers don’t just donate their time for a good cause — they generously share their know-how through project-focused, skills-based volunteering that has a meaningful impact on the lives of young people.

Our volunteer guest speakers connect with students in the classroom and share insights from their own entrepreneurial journeys, business plan coaches work one-on-one with young entrepreneurs to help them refine their businesses, field trip hosts welcome NFTE classes into their own workplaces to demonstrate businesses in action, and competition judges provide important feedback and encouragement at local, regional, and national competitions.

NFTE Volunteer Hall of Fame

The NFTE Volunteer of the Year Awards program was created to honor the valuable role that volunteers play in the development of NFTE’s young entrepreneurs — and to recognize those whose service has been extraordinary. The Alper Family Foundation recognizes both an Individual Volunteer and a Corporate Volunteer each year for their contributions.

These recipients are powerful examples of how business leaders impact the lives of young people. Combining mentorship with a project-based learning model is, as Patty Alper explains in Teach to Work, a potent catalyst for success. Our volunteers help us connect programs to the future of work and inform our understanding of the industry in the next generation.

Individual Volunteer of the Year – National

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year

Alex Van Atta

Customer Engagement Consultant, Slalom Consulting

Alex’s commitment to NFTE has grown in depth and breadth since he began volunteering in 2016. He is a champion within his company, supporting two classrooms with advisor teams on a monthly basis. As a member of NFTE Chicago’s eCouncil, Alex acts as an extension of the NFTE team and is always looking for innovative ways to engage volunteers. In 2019 he pioneered a new virtual volunteering format that engaged both Slalom employees and Slalom clients, expanding NFTE’s community outreach and providing students with more feedback on their ideas. Alex believes in building equity through entrepreneurship, encouraging his team to dig deeper with students and go beyond the curriculum in providing support as advisors and role models.

2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Stuart Halpert, Chairman Emeritus, First Washington Realty
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Jim Yim, Investor and Entrepreneur, Cofounder of Intracell Life Science
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Randy Haran, Entrepreneur and President, The Business Crusader

Corporate Volunteer of the Year – National

 

2019 Corporate Volunteer of the Year

SAP

SAP was honored for longtime involvement with NFTE programs across the country. Since 2005, hundreds of SAP team members have volunteered as business coaches, judges, classroom speakers, and field trips hosts. SAP team members have also provided leadership through service on NFTE’s Board of Directors and Regional Advisory Boards. Learn more at sap.com

2018 NFTE Corporate Volunteer of the Year: Citi
2017 NFTE Corporate Volunteer of the Year: Mastercard
2016 NFTE Corporate Volunteer of the Year: EY

Volunteer of the Year Honorees by Region

 

NFTE Baltimore Metro 

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Jasmine Caple,  UPS 
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Darlene Peters,  UPS 
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: David Cahn,  Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Elsie Davis

 

NFTE Bay Area 

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Manny Cervantes,  Univision 
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Rachel Claudio,  PayPal 
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Dean Sivara,  SAP 

 

NFTE Chicago Metro 

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Alexander Van Atta,  Slalom Consulting 
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Rudy Gonzales,  CIBC
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Lisa O’Keefe,  Pritzker Venture Capital 
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Ryan Douglas,  LinkedIn

 

NFTE Los Angeles Metro

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Nick Hare & Heather Wetzler,  CueCareer
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Leo Gestetner,  Heath Capital 
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Elliot Schwartz,  EmptyLegMarket
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Stephen Le Vine,  Grapevine PR & Consulting 

 

NFTE New England 

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Jack McCarthy,  Babson College 
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Christina Divigard & Bob Demetrius,  Valvespring
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Jim Yim,  Intracell Life Science
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Ann Daley,  Pitney Bowes

 

NFTE New York Metro 

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Toby Baba,  Santander 
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Ryan Crowe,  Mastercard
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Stephen Regan,  DealStat REI, Inc 
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Kristina Beilinson,  Warby Parker 

 

NFTE North Texas

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Adrienne Palmer,  Entepreneurs’ Organization 
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Florence Williams,  EY 
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Cheri Garcia,  Cornbread Hustle 
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Randy Haran,  The Business Crusader 

  

NFTE Philadelphia Metro 

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Armard Bellamy,  Guru
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Bob Zecca,  Nowak Associates, Inc. 
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Kevin M Wolfgang,  Evergreen Apartment Group 
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Sally Solis-Cohen,  BI Worldwide

 

NFTE St. Louis Metro 

2020 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Susan Salzman,  Brand2Creative
2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Jason Schupp,  Ferguson Roofing
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Jesse Sanders,  Clayco
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Laura Gardner,  St Louis University 
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Nikki Zvradinos,  Mastercard 

 

NFTE Southeast 

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Patrick Corbett,  Mind Stimuli Labs, Co.
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Stuart Halpert,  First Washington Realty
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Miri Rodriguez,  Microsoft 
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Andrea Mayorca,  Klerigi Group 

 

NFTE Washington Metro

2019 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Phillip McNeill,  Farragut Capital Partners
2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Delanda Bartens-Perez,  EY 
2017 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Linda Berdine,  G&B Solutions 
2016 Individual Volunteer of the Year: Delanda Bartens-Perez,  EY