Sandy Hook Promise Partners with Edgility to Source Two Strong Leaders

Nonprofit Dedicated To Preventing Gun Violence Prepares For Growth

Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit organization that arose from the tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012 in which the shooter murdered 28 people, including 20 children. Sandy Hook Promise’s primary goal is to educate and empower adolescents and adults to avoid violence in schools, families, and communities. Their Know the Signs programs teach children and adults how to identify those who may be lonely or in danger of harming themselves or others. To date, over 18.5 million participants have engaged in Sandy Hook Promise programs such as SAVE(Students Against Violence Everywhere), Say Something, and Start with Hello. All of Sandy Hook Promise’s programs are informed by DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives and align with Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) competencies. In addition to these programs, Sandy Hook Promise continues to fight for commonsense, bipartisan school and gun safety legislation. 

Over the past decade, Sandy Hook Promise has expanded its staff and offerings, and as such, they were ready to find the right people for two new roles: Vice President of Strategic Programs and Delivery and Vice President of Business Development and Relationships. 

During Edgility’s discovery process, Principal Hadley Kornacki and Recruitment Consultant Mara Cooper interviewed SHP team members from all areas of the organization to understand how the planned roles would impact their work.  Throughout the search, Edgility actively empowered the hiring team to provide feedback and get to the core of what is truly needed to help everyone thrive. The Edgility team strongly advocates for staff engagement as we know the importance of leveraging staff feedback to inform a strong talent strategy. According to Edgility’s Co-Founder, Allison Wyatt, empowering feedback and assessing your talent is vital to building a successful team and thus, a successful organization. Read more about the importance of feedback in creating and maintaining a plan to attract, retain and develop talent in her article here

Tailor-made for Sandy Hook Promise’s Important Work

Hadley and Mara knew that because SHP’s work is so personal to its team and important for the communities of the United States, they would need to find exceptionally strong, equity-minded leaders. 

  • Learn how to run an objective search with Hadley and Associate Partner Jonathan Howard.

The Edgility team received more than 1,000 applications for these two roles. Taking great care to whittle down the applicant pool, the hiring team interviewed 78 individuals to find the perfect fit for each role. Sandy Hook Promise was delighted to invite Dr. DJ Torres on board as their new VP of Strategic Programs and Delivery and Sondra Cloud, as their new role of VP of Business Development and Relationships. 

Dr. Torres boasts a strong background in education and over his career has engaged in teaching, building and district level leadership, where he led the work on Culturally Responsive Teaching with Denver City Public Schools. After leaving the education sector, he joined local government as the Deputy Chief Equity Officer for the City and County of Denver, Colorado. His Ph.D. research centered on the history and contemporary construction of race, gender, and sexuality-based inequities.

His counterpart Sondra Cloud is a master relationship-builder known for her ability to impact change in large, urban districts throughout the US with a focus on improving outcomes for historically marginalized groups. She nurtured relationships across 25 district partners serving over 1.8M students in the Western region as Strategic Partnership Manager with the MIND Research Institute and continued building strong partnerships through her tenure as Associate Vice President, Strategic Relationships with Curriculum Associates.

The Edgility team is honored to have partnered with Sandy Hook Promise, and we look forward to the wonderful things this organization will accomplish in the future. 

A Partner in the Process

Is your organization preparing for a leadership search? If so, reach out to Hadley and Mara to learn how Edgility can support your process and find the leader your team needs.

Meet the expert:

Hadley Kornacki


“I was privileged to attend some exceptional schools as a child. . . .This experience, led me to a career dedicated to providing equitable and engaging educational choices for all students, families and communities.

Meet the expert:

Mara Cooper

Recruitment Consultant

“Whether in my role as teacher, postsecondary advisor, administrator or in talent and recruitment I have learned that there is nothing more important than forging relationships with people and organizations that are mission driven and equity focused.”

Hadley and Mara can support your organization with:
  • Executive Search
  • Recruitment Campaigns
  •  Hiring Process Design & Implementation Support

Put your values to work. Act on equity.

We believe equity isn’t a box to check. It’s a daily action. Someone’s unique identity isn’t something to overcome–when paired with the right opportunity, it becomes one of their greatest professional assets. We exist to empower social impact organizations to recognize and overcome unconscious bias, racism and sexism so they can build a workforce that reflects and strengthens the communities they serve.