2019 Conference Award Winners

Partner in Social Innovation Award

Susan Crown Exchange

Susan Crown is a philanthropist and business executive with a strategic, results-oriented approach. She is Chairman and Founder of the Susan Crown Exchange (SCE) and Chairman and CEO of Owl Creek Partners.

Susan Crown Exchange's Bio

Susan Crown is a philanthropist and business executive with a strategic, results-oriented approach. She is Chairman and Founder of the Susan Crown Exchange (SCE) and Chairman and CEO of Owl Creek Partners.

SCE’s mission is to help people acquire skills needed to thrive in a rapidly changing, connected world. SCE focuses on two program areas: digital learning and social-emotional skill development (grit, empathy, emotion management).

Susan Crown has dedicated herself to social causes and the business world. As Partner of Henry Crown & Co, she helped manage businesses as diverse as oil and gas, defense, banking, cellular technology, and real estate. As Chairman of the Crown Family giving programs, she professionalized an ad hoc family process and spearheaded numerous initiatives including the celebrated Crown Fountain in Millennium Park and the Covenant Awards for leaders in Jewish education.

The first woman board member of Illinois Tool Works (ITW) – a multi-faceted manufacturing and engineering business – Ms. Crown now chairs its Executive Committee. She’s also a board member of The Northern Trust Company and a former board member of Baxter International.

Ms. Crown serves as Chairman of Rush University Medical Center. She led a $1 billion transformation of the medical center campus, including developing Chicago’s first gold level LEED-certified hospital, which won the World Architecture Prize/best designed health care facility in 2014. She’s a former Fellow of Yale Corporation and co-chaired the Yale Tomorrow Campaign. She is also a Trustee of the Brookings Institution, and a director of CARE USA. She co-chaired its National Conference on Global Poverty in 2011, leading to legislative reforms.

Susan Crown graduated with high honors with a B.A. from Yale University, earned an M.A. from New York University and attended Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She and William Kunkler, are based in Chicago, IL. They have two children.

Exemplar Award

Matthea Marquart, MSSW

Matthea Marquart is the Director of Administration for the Online Campus at Columbia University’s School of Social Work (CSSW), where she is proud to lead a team of social workers dedicated to providing the highest quality social work education. CSSW’s Online Campus serves students across the country and offers clinical, management, and policy programs. 

Matthea Marquart's Bio

Matthea Marquart is the Director of Administration for the Online Campus at Columbia University’s School of Social Work (CSSW), where she is proud to lead a team of social workers dedicated to providing the highest quality social work education.  CSSW’s Online Campus serves students across the country and offers clinical, management, and policy programs.  She teaches in the management program, preparing a new wave of nonprofit and human services leaders, and facilitates the award-winning, intensive Institute on Pedagogy and Technology for Online Courses.

Ms. Marquart’s social work values are reflected throughout her career.  She previously served as the National Director of Training at Building Educated Leaders for Life, in which role she launched an award-winning blended e-learning and in-person training. She also served as President of the NYC Chapter of the National Organization for Women, and as Director of Foundation and Government Relations at the environmental research organization Inform, Inc. She has been a member of the Community Resources Exchange Leadership Caucus for Early Career Executive Directors, a member of the Online Learning Consortium’s Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning, a blogger for New York Nonprofit Press, and a 2017-18 Policy Fellow with the Network for Social Work Management.

Ms. Marquart writes and presents regularly on topics she is passionate about:  innovative and inclusive education, training, and nonprofit management.  Recent publications include “Taking Online Courses — 7 Professional Benefits for Social Work Students” in Social Work Today, “Practical Tips: Applying Accessibility Practices across a Curriculum” in the book Teaching Social Work with Digital Technology (Hitchcock, L., Sage, M., & Smyth, N., Eds.), and “How Co-Teaching and Other Strategies Promote Lively Student Engagement” in the book Creating Engaging Discussions: Strategies for “Avoiding Crickets” in Any Size Classroom and Online (Herman, J. & Nilson, L., Eds.). She facilitates about 20 presentations, workshops, and talks each year, both in person and online.

She holds a BA in English from Emory University, during which time she completed a year at Oxford University and coursework at UC Berkeley, and an MSW from the Columbia University School of Social Work. Her additional coursework includes a United Way of NYC Senior Fellowship in the Nonprofit Leadership Development Institute at Baruch College, and a Business Certificate from Columbia University.

Mark Moses Distinguished Fellowship Award

Elise Verdooner, MSW

Elise Verdooner is the Executive Director at TEEEM (The Empathic Entrepreneur Equality Mission), an international nonprofit focused on supporting international communities. Before joining TEEEM, she completed her MSW at Columbia University with a focus on social enterprise administration and international social work.

Elise Verdooner's Bio

Elise Verdooner is the Executive Director at TEEEM (The Empathic Entrepreneur Equality Mission), an international nonprofit focused on supporting international communities. Before joining TEEEM, she completed her MSW at Columbia University with a focus on social enterprise administration and international social work. Elise served in the Peace Corps and lived in Botswana for two years where she worked in a primary school as a youth development volunteer and focused her efforts on organizational capacity building, HIV prevention and outreach, and gender equality initiatives. It was there that she developed a love of international social work and working with communities around the world. 

Elise is a member of NASW’s New York City Chapter and the Immigration and Global Social Work Committee. She is a Graduate Teaching Associate at Columbia School of Social Work. Elise is a member of The Network for Social Work Management and is currently participating in the Network’s International Mentorship Program.