Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), the preeminent one-to-one youth mentoring organization in the United States, has announced two senior leaders on its executive team, naming Julie Novak as Chief Youth Protection Officer and Tawanna Myers as Chief People & Culture Officer.
For 18 years, Novak has successfully led youth protection, child safety and trauma-informed strategies with Big Brothers Big Sisters professionals, Bigs, Littles, and their families. Her leadership in providing training and consultation on child protection and risk management has reached more than 5,000 communities across all 50 states. As Chief Youth Protection Officer, Novak will lead the long-term planning and advancement of effective child protection strategies with an emphasis on promoting local program quality and new nationwide initiatives focused on youth well-being, in fulfillment of the National Office’s responsibility to support Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies.
As Big Brothers Big Sisters’ leading expert and spokesperson on child safety & youth protection, Novak has also served in an advisory capacity to international, national, statewide and local organizations, including Johns Hopkins Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, the CDC, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and then-Vice President Biden’s Gun Violence Task Force. She is a Board Member of the U.S. Center for SafeSport since its inception in January 2016. She was appointed to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Board of Directors Program Advisory Council in 2019. In 2018 she led the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation as President.
In addition to Novak’s promotion, BBBSA announced Tawanna Myers as Chief People & Culture Officer. Myers joined the organization in January to develop and lead human resources strategy, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) and culture initiatives across the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America employee life cycle, including talent acquisition, onboarding, employee engagement, employee relations, talent development, executive coaching, as well as change management and organizational culture. She brings over 18 years of expertise across HR, DEI, and change management, most recently as VP, Talent Management, DEI for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national office.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Norfolk State University and received certifications from Cornell University for Diversity & Inclusion, the former American Institute for Advancing Diversity’s Diversity Leadership Academy under Dr. Roosevelt Thomas, Prosci© as a Certified Change Practitioner, Korn Ferry© in Leadership Architect Global Competency Framework, and the Human Capital Institute© as a Talent Acquisition Strategist. Myers is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
“Both Julie and Tawanna bring a level of expertise and dedication to our mission that we are honored to call our own. Their leadership will continue to take us even further with our impact in communities and with the young people we serve,” said Artis Stevens, president and CEO, BBBSA. “I am excited to collaborate with both leaders on how we best engage and support our organization and build on the resources and support for our entire network and counterparts in the youth development sector.”