Letesha Nelson, CEO / Executive Director
Letesha Nelson joined the Goodman Community Center as its CEO and Executive Director on Jan. 25, 2021. Letesha brings more than 20 years of nonprofit experience that ranges from working directly with program participants all the way up to leading an organization as its Executive Director.
Prior to joining the Goodman Center, Letesha was the Executive Director of Children and Family Enrichment at Idlewild, in Memphis, and before that, she held a number of positions with the Girl Scouts that spanned more than 17 years and a range of responsibilities. Thanks to this breadth of experience, Letesha brings expertise in operational efficiency, fiscal responsibility, donor relations, grant writing and programming to the Goodman Center.
A naturally authentic person, Letesha’s greatest strength may be the compassion and transparency she brings to every leadership role she’s held. In her career, she has demonstrated a level of direct but caring communication with staff, colleagues, donors and the community. Letesha couples this with a demonstrated ability to think creatively and pragmatically to ensure budgets are optimized to their greatest effect while members of the community receive the services they need.
Perhaps this strength of leadership and caring comes more naturally to Letesha because for her, this work is personal. As a young, single mother, she relied on services like those the Goodman Center provides to balance taking care of her children and getting her degree. She understands just how important the work GCC does is – because she was once in the very same shoes many of our families are in right now.
Dani Luckett (she/her/hers)
Chief Development Officer
Dani has a passion for education and lifelong learning, and she brings more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience to the Goodman Center. Prior to joining GCC, Dani was the Director of Development for Madison Children’s Museum, where she oversaw all of the museum’s development and fundraising efforts. She also led the Our Future in Play campaign that helped sustain the museum through the COVID-19 crisis and rallied community support to build Wonderground, a new 10,000 square foot outdoor play exhibit. Additionally, Dani was a past leader of United Way of Dane County’s workplace giving campaign and loaned executive program, as well as the University of Wisconsin Foundation's $20M matching gift campaign to establish the Great People Scholarship program that supports UW undergraduate students with financial need.
Dani is a past recipient of In Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Award and past board president of Madison Youth Choirs. She currently serves on Destination Madison’s Community Relations Committee.
Dani is originally from Louisville, KY where she started her development career working with nonprofit arts and culture, and theater companies. She holds a master’s in business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Bolz Center for Arts Administration, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky.
Heidi Deininger (she/her/hers)
Chief Operations Officer
Heidi Deininger brings 30 years of experience as a nonprofit leader to the Goodman Community Center. Born and Raised in Hawaii, she began her work with the YMCA in Honolulu. After moving to Wisconsin in 2001, she worked for the Y in a number of locations, including Dane County, where she spearheaded the Y Kidzfit initiative, aimed at enhancing the health and fitness of youth throughout Dane County. Heidi is passionate about innovative partnerships, and she worked with a number of local organizations through Kidzfit, including the Madison Metropolitan School District, UW Pediatric and Fitness, Physicians Plus and more. After leaving the Y, Heidi joined Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast as its Chief Operating Officer. While there, Heidi worked to expand programs to girls in urban and Latina populations in Milwaukee. Under her leadership, GSWISE was the third fastest growing membership in the nation, and experienced success growing membership nationally.
Heidi brings this passion to her work at the Goodman Center, leading our programs and operations teams. The Center’s first ever COO, she was brought on to streamline processes, manage overall operations throughout the organization and grow our programs to serve even more people throughout Madison and Dane County. She applied her expertise immediately and continues to find new ways to improve operational efficiency.
Heidi has a BA in Organizational Communication and a BA in Exercise Physiology from the University of Hawaii. She has more than 1,000 hours of leadership training with Y professionals across the United States, and holds certificates of completion from the Fund Raising School at Indiana University, YMCA-IDEO Collaborative Program Development Innovation and YMCA Multicultural Executive Development Program.
Dewayne Powell (he/him/his)
Senior Director of Business Services
Dewayne Powell has been serving the Goodman Community Center for more than 10 years, growing in his role and capacity in financial services to oversee all of the Center’s finance and technology operations. And, he was a Goodman kid himself, participating in Center activities for more than eight years. Dewayne holds a Master of Professional Accountancy and brings with him more than three years of auditing experience as well as a drive to solve problems through research and collaboration with colleagues and community partners.