Board of Directors


2023 Board of Directors

Board President - Lindsay Smith
Board Vice President 
- Kat Salazar
- Stephanie Cook
Secretary - Leah Firebaugh
Programming Co-Chairs - Mayra Hernandez & Lindsay Smith
Programming Board Members - Sahlee Benton
Marketing Co-Chairs - Ashley Carbonell & Leah Firebaugh
Membership Co-Chair - Stephanie Cook & Sara Ruth

Learn more about our amazing Board members! We look forward to meeting you!

Lindsay SmithLindsay Smith, MPA, GL Smith Consulting

Lindsay has over a decade of nonprofit experience in the fields of youth, housing, homelessness, public health, domestic violence, and women's health. She began her career in San Francisco, CA working with clients experiencing homelessness, housing insecurity, and economic instability. After San Francisco, she moved to Portland and began her work in public health and youth development. Her focus was on prevention programs to help youth be mentally and physically healthy while staying in school.

Throughout her work in Oregon, she oversaw youth projects totaling over $3.5 million. Lindsay's work and advocacy helped inform legislation that provided protections for youth and their healthcare. She also served as the nonprofit representative to the Washington County Public Health Advisory Council and as a board member to Family Promise of Washington County.

Her most recent role was serving as the Executive Director of Girls Inc. of the Northern Sacramento Valley before moving to San Diego and co-founding GL Smith Consulting with her husband Greg.

Lindsay holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in political science from Saint Mary's College of California.

“I joined YNPN SD to connect with nonprofit professionals and be a part of creating positive changes in the SD nonprofit community.”

Kat Salazar

Kat SalazarYMCA of San Diego County

Kathryn “Kat” Salazar currently works as the Community Health & Well-Being Director at the YMCA of San Diego County. Kat supports the community by providing access to health education, immunizations, resources, and nutrition. Kat earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Health at California State University, Fullerton. Since 2012, Kat has worked and volunteered for the nonprofit sector internationally and nationally. After finishing her service with AmeriCorps, she began to advocate for health equity in marginalized communities.

Driven by her passion for helping others, Kat joined the YNPN’s Board of Directors. She believes this role will not only satisfy her desire to make a difference in the lives of the young nonprofit professionals in the community but also enable her to gain the valuable experience she needs to accomplish her future goals – to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all on a global level.

One of Kat’s personal goals is to collect a variety of hobbies and enjoys checking off items on her bucket list. Ultimately, Kat hopes to inspire others to always be kind, passionate, and resilient.

Stephanie CookStephanie Cook, San Diego Women's Foundation

Stephanie is the Executive Director of The San Diego Women’s Foundation (SDWF) where she oversees the organization’s strategic direction and mission to connect, educate and inspire women to engage in collective philanthropy. In this role Stephanie is responsible for directing staff and operations, board and financial oversight, creating connections and partnerships in the community, and acting as SDWF’s spokesperson.

Stephanie’s previous work experience includes program and event management, marketing, communications, and membership growth strategies in the nonprofit sector. Stephanie has a background in gender studies and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago, where she studied changing notions of community and empowerment in Cuban women’s movements throughout the 20th century. In her free time Stephanie adventure sports and explores the National Parks.

Leah FirebaughLeah Firebaugh, Vistage

With a lifelong passion for the arts, Leah Firebaugh has dedicated much of her personal and professional time to working with leading arts organizations. With a Bachelor's of Music in Music Management from the Hartt School, Leah's resume includes marketing and fundraising/development roles with San Diego Theatres, the nonprofit organization that manages the San Diego Civic Theatre and historic Balboa Theatre, as well as The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center. Leah is a member of San Diego Leadership Alliance, is a Board Member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network San Diego, and serves on the Steering Committee of Rising Arts Leaders San Diego. In her free time, Leah can be found playing the piano, screening films for the San Diego International Film Festival, cooking and hiking.

Ashley CarbonellSahlee Benton, YMCA Youth and Family Services

Sahlee Benton is a Social Work Case Manager at Housing Our Youth program, with the YMCA Youth and Family Services in San Diego. In this role, Sahlee provides youth-centered case management, independent living skills, housing and resource navigation to young adults who are at risk or experiencing homelessness. Sahlee is passionate about positively impacting and helping youth and young adults achieve their goals in life.

Sahlee earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Health and minored in Spanish at San Diego State University. Her professional journey includes behavioral interventionist working with children on spectrum, behavioral aide for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, residential services coordinator for families and single women who were experiencing homelessness and peer support specialist for transitional aged youth. By joining the Young Nonprofit Professional Network of San Diego, as one of the Programming Board Members, Sahlee hopes to expand her community and to learn from any nonprofit professionals that she connects with.

In her spare time, Sahlee enjoys the company of her two dogs, spending time with family and exploring everything San Diego has to offer with her friends.

Ashley CarbonellAshley Carbonell, Forever Balboa Park

Ashley is currently Database and Donor Relations Specialist at Forever Balboa Park, the city’s nonprofit partner in sustaining, enhancing and envisioning Balboa Park. In her role, she manages data entry and reports in the CRM, gift processing, donor relations, and administrative support to the Botanical Building and Gardens campaign.

Born and raised in San Diego, she has made her roots in the community. Ashley coordinated educational outreach programs with local high school students as an undergraduate at UCSD. Her previous nonprofit job experience includes working at La Jolla Playhouse on their house management team, and Lawyers Club of San Diego as Administrative Coordinator and Communications Specialist.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her loved ones, going to the zoo, and playing board games. She’s excited to get to know fellow young nonprofit professionals!

Ashley CarbonellMayra Hernandez, 80th Assembly District

My name is Mayra Hernandez and I grew up in San Diego, California. One of my first internships was at the San Diego Zoo and that is when I developed my passion for the nonprofit sector. I have gotten the opportunity to volunteer with other nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Club and Voices for Children. Just as I have also had the pleasure to work in the nonprofit sector in my previous years. I am in the process of earning my Master's Degree at the University of San Diego in the Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program. I am a Field Representative for the 80th Assembly District. I look forward to serving on this board to help connect individuals to the nonprofit sector and help provide tools and resources.

Ashley CarbonellSara Ruth, San Diego Foundation

Sara Ruth is the Gift & Data Entry Administrator for San Diego Foundation, processing all gifts received by the Foundation, as well as aiding in membership management and financial audits. Additionally, she has volunteered with the Dressember Foundation since 2019, fundraising to fight human trafficking through prevention, intervention, and survivor empowerment programs around the world.

Sara is currently working on her B.A. in Accounting at Colorado State University – Global with the goal of moving to the finance department of the San Diego Foundation after graduating. In her free time Sara enjoys going to concerts, visiting National Parks, and exploring San Diego’s local outdoor spaces to hike, play tennis, and standup paddleboard.