FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Nicole Gallant and Bill Poston join Service Year Alliance’s Board of Directors
Gallant and Poston bring both personal and professional connections to the organization’s mission of making a year of paid, full-time service an expectation and opportunity for all young Americans
WASHINGTON, DC (May 22, 2023) – Service Year Alliance announced two new additions to its board of directors today: Nicole Gallant, founder of the Downie Street Collective, and Bill Poston, founding partner of The Launch Box. Gallant, an AmeriCorps alum and social change consultant, and Poston, an entrepreneur and business leader whose children both did a service year, join the organization with a deep commitment to bringing to life the organization’s vision of making national service part of growing up in America.
“Nicole and Bill bring two very diverse lived experiences — and strong connections to national service — to Service Year Alliance, offering fresh perspectives on our work and new areas of expertise to our board of directors,” said Kristen Bennett, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “It’s an honor to work alongside such accomplished leaders to advance our mission and ensure that young people of all backgrounds have an opportunity to spend a year transforming their lives, strengthening local communities, and fueling civic renewal in America.”
Nicole Gallant’s twenty-five year career has centered on race, gender, and economic justice through philanthropy, government, nonprofits, and corporations. From her own service year with AmeriCorps to her tenure at United Way of New York City and her political appointment under President Obama to advise the education strategy for the Serve America Act, Gallant has an impressive depth of knowledge about national service and brings decades of leadership in the youth development and education sectors.
“I am thrilled to join Service Year Alliance’s board and am inspired by the organization’s commitment to reimagining national service and bringing it into a new era where all youth — no matter their race, zip code, or background — are invited and able to serve,” said Nicole Gallant, founder of the Downie Street Collective. “As an AmeriCorps alum, I’ve experienced the power of service years to offer transformational, definitive pathways to meaningful careers, and am looking forward to contributing my perspectives on education and youth development to the board.”
A serial entrepreneur and business advisor, Bill Poston is the founder and principal owner of over twenty companies and nonprofits. He launched the nonprofit Stelos Alliance to help young leaders at the collegiate level reach their potential through financial assistance and educational programs. Following a decade at Deloitte, Poston started the innovation consultancy, Kalypso to deliver on the promise of innovation for the world’s most successful companies. He also runs a resort and tour management business in Belize. Poston is the parent of two service year alums.
“I’m proud to support Service Year Alliance and encourage young leaders to pursue a year of service. My own children, and many of the students I teach, have found their paths through national service — while serving their community alongside peers from different backgrounds,” said Bill Poston, business adviser and founding partner of The Launch Box. “I am eager to bring my entrepreneurial background and experience teaching and mentoring college students to this important work and helping to build the next generation of young leaders through national service.”
Gallant and Poston were approved and added to Service Year Alliance’s board of directors on April 19, 2023.
With questions or for more information, please contact Aly Ferguson at [email protected].
About Nicole Gallant
Nicole Gallant is the Founder & Principal of the Downie Street Collective, a consulting firm devoted to enabling leaders and their teams to drive and sustain social change. For nearly 25 years, her work has centered around race, gender, and economic justice through philanthropy, government, nonprofits, and corporations.
At United Way of New York City, Nicole led the program and policy initiatives supporting hundreds of community-based organizations in New York City to increase the self-sufficiency of low-income New Yorkers. Nicole served as an appointee in President Obama’s Administration where she created the education strategy for the Serve America Act. Under her leadership, AmeriCorps shifted its $350 million education budget toward proven and promising practices. Nicole was a Program Executive at the Atlantic Philanthropies, overseeing a nationwide Learning Portfolio committed to improving education outcomes for children and youth in the United States.
She holds an undergraduate degree in African American Studies and a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Administration, both from Columbia University. She currently serves as the co-chair of the New Politics Leadership Academy. Her work is published in the Journal of African-American History, and she is a proud AmeriCorps alum.
About Bill Poston
Bill Poston is the founder and principal owner of over twenty companies and nonprofit enterprises. He is now focusing his energy, expertise, and experience on turning The Launch Box into a value-creating machine for other entrepreneurs.
In 2004, after a decade at Deloitte, Bill started the innovation consultancy, Kalypso, with friend and colleague George Young. The two of them and their partners grew the firms to operate on a global scale with over 300 people delivering on the promise of innovation for the world’s most successful companies across multiple industry sectors. In 2020, the firm was sold to Rockwell Automation and the team continues to help clients innovate in a digital world.
Bill is a proud graduate of Pearland High School, Texas State University, and the University of Texas, which granted him a master’s degree in business administration. Bill found his true vocation when he launched the nonprofit Stelos Alliance in 2008 with longtime friend, Melinda Keller. The mission of the alliance is to help extraordinary young leaders at the collegiate level reach their potential through financial assistance and educational programs. Stelos awards numerous scholarships annually to deserving student leaders and it is the home to the Housley Principled Leadership Program, which Bill teaches with passion and purpose at multiple universities.
Bill returned to his roots in the hospitality business in 2013 with the start of Muy’Ono, a resort and tour management business in Belize, which manages a portfolio of sixteen resorts, islands, and related businesses. Along the way, Bill has served as a director on multiple corporate and nonprofit boards, including Texas State University Development Foundation and Alumni Association, Hornblower Group, and Equity Estates. His latest business venture is The Launch Box, a platform for starting and growing professional service firms that enables founders to focus exclusively on selling, serving clients, nurturing talent, and growing the business.
Through his family investment firm, Kianalei Capital, Bill is the principal investor in several startup companies, real estate ventures, a wine business, a chart boat, a good fantasy fiction trilogy, a bad feature-length comedy, and an island or four. He lives with a “no fixed address” mentality, he feels at home in Austin, Telluride, Belize, Hawaii, Napa, the Texas Hill Country, or wherever his boat happens to be. He is also a proud parent of two service year alums.
About Service Year Alliance
Service Year Alliance is working to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. We envision a future in which national service is part of growing up in America. As we enter a new era for national service fueled by recent investments in AmeriCorps, we are focused on ensuring these expansions are successful and set the stage for future growth of the field. We identify opportunities for shared recruitment and data systems to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our sector. Finally, we foster collaborative approaches to demonstrate the impact of service years as an experience that transforms lives, strengthens communities, and fuels civic renewal at scale. Learn more about our work at ServiceYearAlliance.org.