Executive Management Team

Sonja Banks

Sonja Banks, Chief Executive Officer

Sonja has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit administration with a diverse background in organizational leadership, capacity building and human relations. She is coming to us from a Senior Advisor position at the National Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA) serving as an expert and liaison in community relations, program development and strategic relationship management. She has also been the Principal Investigator for the organization’s $17.4 million Newborn Screening Program overseeing fiscal & contractual management, outreach development, as well as a 15-state capacity building project.


David Holste

David Holste, Chief Financial Officer

David joined IDA as Chief Financial Officer in February 2013. He is responsible for the finance and operations of the organization, which include accounting, audit, human resources, payroll, facilities/operations and compliance. As CFO, he has implemented a new accounting system with hosted services, making IDA one of the top 1% of companies to use this technology. He proactively works with auditors to ensure IDA is consistently up to date with regulations and code, as well as work with IDA’s Board and Committees to ensure IDA is financially healthy and growing. David has over 20 years of extensive experience in finance and operations. His past experience includes work in corporate, government, and non-profit sectors.



Dr. Monica McHale-Small

Dr. Monica McHale-Small, Director, Program Accreditation

Dr. Monica McHale-Small joined IDA as Director of Program Administration in December 2018. Dr. McHale-Small holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania and has recently retired from public education after twenty-seven years of service in Pennsylvania, most recently in the role of Superintendent. Dr. McHale-Small is deeply committed to promoting evidence-based language and literacy practices across the P-20 continuum. Her responsibilities include developing training resources and infrastructures to support the launch of IDA’s refined Program Review and Accreditation initiative, and ultimately, to support IDA’s accreditation outreach and expansion initiatives.


Dana Nwoye

Dana Nwoye, Human Resources/Office Manager

Dana joined IDA as Bookkeeper/Human Resources in March of 2016. In the fall of 2017, she moved to the role of IDA Office and Human Resources Manager, which includes maintaining office services, payroll and benefits management, as well as employee on-boarding and off-boarding. Working collaboratively with the CFO, Dana ensures compliance with local, state and federal labor regulations, in addition to implementation of necessary updates to office and personnel policies and procedures. Dana brings 10 years of extensive payroll, benefits and human resources experience to IDA, gained through both non-profit and public sectors.



Cyndi Powers, CMP, Director, Conference

Cyndi joined IDA in 2012 as the office administrative assistant. In early 2015 she joined the conference department and quickly moved to the Director, Conference position in January 2016. Her responsibilities include complete oversight of the organization’s Annual Reading, Literacy & Learning Conference. In May of 2019, she earned the designation of Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). Prior to joining IDA, Cyndi was a stay-at-home mom and remained very active in the community, organizing community events and fundraisers for an all-volunteer nonprofit organization.


Kara Schoenberg

Kara Schoenberg, Conference Coordinator

Kara joined the IDA team in 2018 as the Conference Coordinator. Her event planning experience allows her to make a significant contribution to the logistics, marketing, communications, and partnership development activities surrounding our Annual Reading, Literacy & Learning Conference. Kara previously worked at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, where she fine-tuned her event planning skills.


Media and Communications

Denise Douce

Denise Douce, Director, Media/Communications

Denise joined IDA as Director of Media and Communications in 2015. Prior to joining IDA, she provided writing and editorial services as a consultant to businesses, nonprofits, including IDA, and professionals in education, technology, medicine, and law. With more than 20 years of experience in the field, Denise provides leadership, vision, strategic direction, and oversight for all aspects of IDA’s media and communications.

Megan Davis

Megan Davis, Media/Communications Coordinator

Megan has worked with IDA since 2012 and was hired in 2015 as the Media/Communications Coordinator. She manages the IDA bookstore and provides support, creative input, and logistics for IDA’s media, communications, and social networks. Megan previously worked at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Public Health where she learned communication and outreach skills that she brought to IDA.


Helen Germanakos

Helen Germanakos, Membership Coordinator

Helen joined IDA as a Membership Coordinator in August 2017. She is responsible for data entry, renewals, and acknowledgements. Her past experience includes work in customer service, gift processing, and event planning.

Aimee So

Aimee So, Membership Coordinator

Aimee joined IDA in September 2015 as a volunteer, assisting the Director of Special Projects in the Conference Department. In November of 2015, she was hired as the Conference & Meetings Coordinator, assisting the Conference and Publications departments, and performing some of the administrative tasks for the bi-annual Board and Executive meetings. In April of 2017, she transitioned into the Membership department as a Membership coordinator, handling data entry and processing memberships, providing assistance with membership questions from constituents, and assisting with administrative tasks pertaining to the Membership department.