Meet the community’s new lead organizers

Please join NTEN in welcoming our new Lead Organizers, Dave Tinker (Pittsburgh, PA) and James Porter (Denver, CO) for Tech Clubs and Dar Veverka (Baltimore, MD), and Jonea Agwa (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) for online groups. This team of dynamic and enthusiastic community leaders kicked off their roles in November to support the network of about 50 volunteer organizers of the 20 Tech Clubs and 11 online groups. 

We work together to connect with the Tech Club and online group organizers to hear what resources, tools, and support they need to be more successful in their roles. The Lead Organizers are planning an orientation next year for the many group organizers to connect virtually and also during the 22NTC Community Conversations.

Let’s get to know the new Lead Organizers.

Lead organizers for Tech Clubs

Dave Tinker

Pronouns: he / him

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dave Tinker headshot

I have been in fundraising for over thirty years now – more than half of that time at disability-related nonprofits and have been an adjunct in a graduate informatics program for over a decade. I am from and currently live in Pittsburgh, PA, and am an elected public school board director. During the pandemic, I picked up jogging 5 and 10k races as a hobby. I am starting to train to run a half-marathon next.

I was named to the inaugural class of Distinguished Fellows of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in 2017, became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2001, and have traveled all over North America teaching fundraising and nonprofit management.

What do you look forward to the most in this role? 

I am really looking forward to helping like-minded individuals.

What is something you do really well? 

I’ve always been able to do research really well. It doesn’t matter the subject. This has helped me through my work as a fundraising professional.

James Porter

Pronouns: he / him

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

James Porter headshot

After having grown up outside of New York City and living in the city for the last 10 years, my husband and I (and our dog Charlie) decided to move out to the Denver area earlier this year and have been loving it since. Hiking, leaf peeping, and just generally more space! 

Career-wise, I’ve spent close to 14 years working in marketing and communications for nonprofits. From immigration to refugees, neglected tropical diseases, and now working to end child marriage with VOW for Girls, I’ve been involved in a variety of issue areas. I have a sweet spot for helping nonprofit startups grow their brands, tell their stories, and differentiate their voice. 

What do you appreciate/like the most about NTEN and the NTEN Community?

I got involved with NTEN in 2013 through the Nonprofit Technology Conference in Minneapolis. After that experience (and now seven NTCs!), I knew that I had found my people. Fun-loving, willing to share knowledge and learnings, compassionate, open, and welcoming – the NTEN world had it all! It doesn’t matter if you are first starting out in your career or are a seasoned professional. NTEN has something for everyone. I was still early in my coming out journey in 2013 as a gay man. The NTEN community welcomed me with open arms and helped me grow in my confidence as a nonprofit leader and, in general, as a human. I later joined the New York City Nonprofit Tech Club, became an organizer for five years, and look forward to my next NTEN chapter.

What are your top three apps/ books/ movies? Why?

I’m a travel fanatic and can’t live without a few travel-related apps:

  • App in the air — collects data on all of your air travel (when it becomes more of a thing again) and gives you stats like countries visited, miles traveled, most frequently flown aircraft, and allows you to buy carbon offsets for your flights!
  • FlightRadar — Ever looked up at the sky and wondered where the planes you see are going? Enter FlightRadar! Open it up, allow GPS, and see all of the planes near you and where they are headed from/to. 
  • PlugShare – My husband and I have electric vehicles and love them. PlugShare enables us to travel more easily by showing nearby charging stations along with reviews of them in case there are any issues. 

Lead organizers for online groups

Dar Veverka

Pronouns: she / her

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dar Veverka headshot

I’ve been working in tech for 20 some odd years. I’ve done for-profit and nonprofit tech and spent a few years as a nonprofit IT Director. Currently, I’m a Solution Architect working with nonprofits on CRM implementations for Idealist Consulting. I’ve volunteered for NTEN for a few years and love the community around NTEN and the work the organization does. I’m a data governance nerd and generally enjoy solving nonprofit tech issues. Besides software implementations, I focus on broadening representation in tech and tech leadership, accessibility issues in tech, and just generally trying to give back to the nonprofit tech community. I love hiking and reading in my spare time — the count this year is 49 hikes, and a couple dozen books read.

What do you look forward to the most in this role? 

I’m looking forward to helping energize and support NTEN’s online community group organizers and help increase involvement for folks in the various groups.

What do you appreciate/like the most about NTEN and the NTEN Community? 

It’s hard to say what I appreciate the most about the NTEN community – probably the community itself. It’s always a welcoming, thoughtful and inclusive space. I’ve met such a wide variety of folks and lifelong friends in the NTEN forums and at the NTCs.

Jonea Agwa

Pronouns: she / her

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jonea Agwa headshot

I am interested in technology, particularly as it relates to digital equity, digital inclusion, and the ethical uses of technology. I believe technology has the ability to open doors of opportunity closed to people from marginalized communities. I also believe that technology isn’t the answer to everything and that indigenous traditional ways of knowing and doing need to be protected and preserved. When I am not working, I enjoy reading, learning, spending time with my dog Lulu, and hiking.

What is your most memorable experience with NTEN?

I have had so many memorable experiences with NTEN. I learned about the NTEN community through a LinkedIn post. What amazed and surprised me was that even though they didn’t know me, they treated me with kindness, respect, and love. Even though they didn’t know me, they created space for me to learn, grow, be seen, be heard, and be myself. 

What do you hope to bring to this role?

Honesty and compassion.

Jude Koski
Membership & Community Director
NTEN

I have dedicated my career to serving marginalized communities through work in the nonprofit sector since 1996. I have helped youth experiencing homelessness access education, advocated for LGBTQIA+ youth and families, worked to reform foster care policy, and helped preserve urban open space and community gardens. Before joining the NTEN staff, I served on the NTEN Board of Directors and participated in the NTC since 2012. I hold an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. As a transgender professional, I have experienced the NTEN community as particularly welcoming and supportive. As membership and community director, I am deeply committed to ensuring everyone experiences solidarity within this important and unique community.

Outside of work, I am a Trap-Neuter-Return practitioner and advocate for feral community cats and serve on the Guiding Coalition for the San Francisco SPCA Community Cats Program. I live in San Francisco with my partner and four rescued kitties. I enjoy being creative through designing and woodworking with repurposed materials, gardening, and hiking in the Bay Area.