Henry Sanders - CEO
Henry started his career with the City of Madison, and later served as outreach coordinator for labor, education and environmental issues for U.S. Representative (now U.S. Senator) Tammy Baldwin. He subsequently worked as a community relation officer at the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), all leading to an exciting and rewarding career in the private sector.
Henry’s private sector experience includes founding several organizations to meet critical needs. Henry is the founder and CEO of Madison365, a non-profit online media outlet focused on reaching people of color and allowing all voices to be heard and Madison365 Enterprises a for-profit media and strategic communications company. Henry has led Madison365 to become the leading online magazine for reaching people of color in Wisconsin, and among the top five in the Midwest, reaching approximately 1.1 million people per month. Henry served as Vice President of Economic Development and Public Policy at the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, where he built that organization's Economic development & public policy departments. In his position as VP he started its Small Business Advisory Council and its economic development entity MadRep. Henry also helped launch the African American Black Business Association and the Latino Chamber of Commerce. Henry founded the Madison Area Growth Network (MAGNET) in 2004, which works to attract and retain skilled young professionals in the Madison, Wisconsin area, and Madison Network of Black Professionals (MNBP), which connects African American to each other and the community. Sanders In 2013, helped develop the curriculum and program design for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) UpStart Program- to help aspiring women and minority entrepreneurs gain the skills needed to conceive, fund, and test business ideas. Henry started his own business, Capacity-360, with the initial goal of helping to grow companies in the bioscience and biotech industries. He worked to connect these companies with funding for technology transfer, research and development and commercialization. His efforts brought about $15 million into the Wisconsin economy.
Andy Czerkas - Tutoring Manager, and Jenny Czerkas Operations Director
Jenny Czerkas grew up on a farm in the Sun Prairie area, received her bachelor’s degree and worked for 20 some years at a number of local businesses as an IT analyst. Andy and Jenny met at MATC where she was working and he was a student in 1984. In her 12 plus years as Executive Director at The River Food Pantry Jenny developed a deep understanding of food insecurity and comprehensive knowledge of local food systems and food needs.
Andy Czerkas was born in Germany. His family immigrated to the United States in the late fifties and moved to Ohio. He has been a teacher for most of his life. Positions included high school in Ohio, two years as an instructor at Bowling Green State University, also in Ohio, several years as a teaching assistant at the UW Madison and finally, 16 years as an information technology instructor at Madison College.
Andy & Jenny’s faith inspired them to get involved with a couple low income neighborhoods on the north side in Madison. For six years they organized monthly dinners, back to school and Christmas events. Over time they developed meaningful relationships with the residents. In their interactions they learned much about the residents struggles with not having enough resources to make it through the week. Andy & Jenny were led to provide assistance with a basic human need. Food and hot meals.
In 2005, Jenny and Andy founded The River Food Pantry, a faith based non-profit, on Madison's north side and worked as Directors there, turning a small startup into the largest food pantry in Dane County. Jenny worked at The River full time while Andy was part time at The River and full time at Madison College. In 2012 he retired from MATC and joined Jenny working full time. They left The River in December of 2017.
As they worked tirelessly to battle hunger, they became ever more concerned with childhood nutrition and its effect on learning. In 2016, they successfully conceived a lunch program, MUNCH, which would make and deliver nutritious lunches to nine of the north side low income neighborhoods on every non-school day in order to supplement the missing school lunches. The program is wildly successful.
Jenny and Andy joined CEO, Henry Sanders, at Selfless Ambition in March of 2018. They see SA as a focused and vital organization to help erase the “achievement gap” existing in the Madison schools between white children and children of color. In that effort they will focus on tutoring and mentoring children and organizing food pantries in many of the Madison schools with an enrollment of 50% or more of low income students.
Henry Sanders, President
Pastor Marcio Sierra, Vice President
Pastor Breanna Illene, Treasurer
Phil Haslanger, Secretary
Pastor Marcus Allen
Pastor Adam Clausen
B Marcell Williams