The world is changing fast, community problems seem bigger than ever and the competition for resources can feel overwhelming. The lines between nonprofit, business, civic and policy impact grow increasingly blurred, as more organizations recognize the need for partnerships and strategies that value both people and sustainability to create systemic change.
These changes are making way for leaders with courageous visions to forge new partnerships and strategies that will create change in communities felt for generations. Leaders and organizations already have the internal drive and expertise to make big impact. Next Stage partners to fuel this drive and make these visions a reality.
We are called to this work.
We achieve ambitious goals together.
We say the stuff that needs to be said.
We’re committed to inside-out solutions.
We are mindful of how we deploy resources.
We hold ourselves to a high standard.
Josh Jacobson, Chief Executive Officer
Josh Jacobson specializes in strategic positioning and tactical implementation, helping private sector companies and nonprofits develop the strategies and platforms necessary to advance their goals.
Over the last nearly 15 years, Josh has directly managed engagements with more than 250 organizations. His expertise is in business planning, strategic planning, social impact design, volunteer development, annual and capital fundraising, case strategy and succession planning. As a consultant, Josh has worked in-depth with every sector, bringing new ideas and approaches into every engagement.
Before relocating to NC, Josh worked in NYC – first as Senior Officer at The Juilliard School where he worked on the $150 million Campaign for Juilliard, and later as a Senior Resource Development Director with Manhattan Theatre Club on Broadway. Josh is actively involved in the civic life of Charlotte and is Board Chair for Tosco Music, a Charlotte-based music nonprofit.
Janet Ervin, Chief Marketing Officer
Janet Ervin brings a depth of experience in strategic positioning, brand development and communications to her role as Chief Marketing Officer at Next Stage.
Prior to joining the team in 2019, Janet spent more than 13 years working with Charlotte-based nonprofit organizations, including the 24 Foundation (formally 24 Hours of Booty). Her expertise includes strategic planning, brand development, fundraising, grant writing, marketing and communications, volunteer development and organizational culture. She also has experience in the corporate sector, including the development of social responsibility and impact strategy and programs. She is passionate about bringing new ideas to social good in the Queen City and making sure that every client is positioned for success.
A North Carolina native and graduate of Appalachian State University, Janet spends her time outside of work volunteering with several nonprofits focused on children and students. She lives in Charlotte with her family, a dog and four chickens.
Tanya Varanelli, Director of Operations
Tanya Varanelli serves Next Stage as Director of Operations with a background in firm management, talent recruitment and operations. At Next Stage, she is focused on ensuring operational integrity and team cohesion while also leading the firm’s talent recruitment efforts.
Tanya spent several years working for Koya Leadership Partners, a national executive search firm serving nonprofits, where she recently served as Director of Research and Special Projects. Prior to joining Koya, Tanya was Associate Director of Recruitment at The Broad Center, where she helped recruit and train executive leadership talent to become urban school district leaders. Tanya’s previous recruiting experience includes positions with DIRECTV, and Bain & Company.
Tanya is a member of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits and volunteers with nonprofits focused on healthcare advocacy and environmental issues. Tanya holds a B.A. in Human Development/Organizational Studies and Human Resources Management from Boston College. She lives in Huntersville with her family.
Candice Latham, Marketing Specialist
Candice Latham is Next Stage’s Marketing Specialist, bringing five years of ad agency experience. Her expertise includes digital graphics, publications and marketing collateral.
Prior to joining Next Stage, Candice consulted purpose driven business owners in the finance space with their branding, marketing and content. That work ignited a spark for social good and a desire to join forces with companies and organizations that are making a positive impact on the world.
Candice holds a B.A. in New Media Design & Imaging with a minor in Communications from RIT. Before relocating to Charlotte, Candice spent her days bundled up in Boston. When she’s not working you can find Candice creating content for her Youtube Channel, working out, being in nature or enjoying a good meal with her fiancé.
Helen Hope Kimbrough, Consultant
Helen Hope Kimbrough is a Consultant at Next Stage Consulting LLC where she is responsible for Project Management, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Thought Leadership, and other key initiatives. Helen’s experience in community engagement, program implementation, partnership development, volunteer recruitment, and diversity, equity, and inclusion add significantly to the Next Stage team.
Prior to joining Next Stage, Helen held roles with Augustine Literacy Project-Charlotte and Reading Partners. Her extensive experience in reading and literacy initiatives provides a valuable knowledge base in the educational sector and acknowledges the challenges facing economic mobility.
As a servant leader and racial equity champion, Helen serves on the board of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation, Out Teach, and Parent Child Plus, and is a charter member of the South Charlotte Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Helen is also an author of four multicultural children’s books and founder of an independent publishing company of numerous titles highlighting children’s, motivational, and spiritual genres.
A graduate of Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, Helen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. Additionally, she has certifications in Systems Thinking from Cornell University and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace from the University of South Florida.
One of Helen’s favorite quotes is by Dr. Martin Luther Jr. which states, “Everybody can be great – because anybody can serve.” She is purpose-driven, mission-focused, and devoted to making an impact.
Helen resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and is a proud mother of two sons.