ASU alumna honored for nonprofit service

Michelle Dueñas, a Certified Nonprofit Professional and 1990 graduate of Recreation Management, was named as the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) of the Year by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (formerly American Humanics). 

Dueñas was recognized at the Alliance Management Institute on January 5. Only one award is given annually, recognizing a professional whose "exceptional leadership has strengthened the nonprofit sector and his/her organization's ability to fulfill its mission."

Dueñas has served the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley for 22 years, in increasing roles of responsibility. During her tenure, BGCEV has grown from five branches to a network of 12 that serve more than 36,000 youth and teens annually. Dueñas has helped to expand the organization to include full branches in new facilities, advance the Mesa Arts Academy (K-8 Charter School), open the first Club in a Native American community, and recently helped guide efforts to incorporate the Globe, Arizona branch.

Among her honors, Dueñas received the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Professional Development Award of Excellence, the highest honor a professional can receive from Training and Professional Development. 

One particular point of pride is her mentorship of Donald E. Smith. In 2002, Donald earned the National Youth of the Year and visited the White House. 

In his nomination of Dueñas, Robert Ashcraft, director of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, cited a story about H. Roe Bartle, founder of American Humanics (now the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance). When asked what career advice he would give, Bartle said, "Find your passion, pick a place and stay a while."

Ashcraft said, "I have known Michelle her entire professional life and know first-hand that, in the mission of the Boys & Girls Club, she found her passion. In her geographic choice, she has found her place; and, as she progresses into her third decade of nonprofit service, she has stayed a while."

"Among the hundreds of graduates of ASU's Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, I place Michelle as one of those few at the top."