Cooper Coleman Recruits CEO for BootUp

June 20, 2023 – After an intensive nationwide search, Chicago-based Cooper Coleman LLC has assisted in the recruitment of Savita Raj as CEO of BootUp Professional Development (BootUp). The assignment was led by executive search consultant Paul Towne.

“We are grateful to our staff, board, and partners who played a crucial part in our decision-making, and to the entire BootUp community for your encouragement and continued support through our search process,” the non-profit organization said. “We are especially grateful to Lien Diaz, vice chair of the BootUp board of directors, who served as interim executive director during this leadership transition. The board of directors is deeply committed to working with Savita to ensure her successful and visionary leadership as BootUp enters its next chapter. On behalf of the entire BootUp team, we are grateful for your past, present, and future continued support.”

Ms. Raj is a non-profit leader with deep experience in expanding access to STEM
education programs, with a special emphasis on girls and underrepresented communities, at the local, state, and national levels. She previously served as chief program officer for Girl Scouts of the USA. In this role, she was responsible for defining and executing the organization’s program strategy and driving the development of inclusive, innovative, and relevant national programs that fulfill the Girl Scout mission. Prior to that, Ms. Raj served as executive director for the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering. In this role, she led the development of creative STEM initiatives including the publication of bilingual comic books, the design and operation of mobile museums filled with hands-on activities, and annual STEM competitions.

An engineer by training, Ms. Raj has worked with non-profits that support youth empowerment and engagement in STEM for almost 20 years, beginning at Girl Scouts of Central Texas, where she established innovative STEM programs that included Techbridge Girls, an afterschool STEM program, and one of the first Girl Scout robotics teams.

Related: Cooper Coleman Recruits COO for AIDS United

BootUp is a national non-profit specializing in district-wide elementary computer science initiatives focusing on creativity and problem-solving. Since 2015, the organization has worked with more than 700 elementary schools in twenty-one states, impacting over 260,000 students. BootUp prepares teachers to facilitate open-ended coding projects that are project-based and personally meaningful. Students are empowered with creative and interactive curricula that allow them to explore their personal interests through coding with design, music, animation, games, or stories.

Proven Search Consultants

Founded in 2020, Cooper Coleman is a full-service executive search and consulting firm partnering exclusively with non-profit organizations, foundations, and research and academic institutions to drive meaningful growth. Its team moves organizations forward by placing “the right leaders in the right roles at the right time” and helps to strengthen their management and fundraising capacity to amplify their mission and impact.

Cooper Coleman Seeks Strategic Partnerships Officer for Proteus Fund

Cooper Coleman LLC has been enlisted to find a strategic partnerships officer for the RISE Together Fund (RTF), an initiative of Proteus Fund, a public foundation that works to advance democracy, human rights, and peace, in New York City. The assignment is being led by executive search consultant Paul Towne. “Ongoing violence and discrimination against black, African, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (BAMEMSA) communities underscore the need for a deeper commitment from philanthropy,” said Cooper Coleman.

Johnny Cooper, founder and CEO of the firm, has more than 16 years of leadership experience throughout the social sector. He partnered with his father-in-law, William B. Coleman, to establish Cooper Coleman as a firm that “prioritizes making the essential services of executive search accessible to organizations across the social sector, knowing the transformational impact having the right leaders in the right roles can have on an organization and its mission,” the firm said. Mr. Coleman has more than 25 years’ experience in retained executive search, including leading his own firm, Coleman Search Consulting LLC, for more than 10 years until its sale in 2018.

Mr. Towne has devoted his career to advancing social good, splitting his time between raising funds for some of the world’s most impactful organizations and championing technology that promotes charitable giving and organizational effectiveness. He most recently served as senior director of institutional partnerships for Resilia, a social impact start-up that partners with foundations to support capacity building, storytelling, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. He held similar sales and business development roles with United Way Worldwide, CyberGrants, and IBM.

Related: Cooper Coleman Recruits Chief Technology Officer for Lambda Legal

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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