Former AmeriCorps National Director Chester Spellman is returning to Florida after more than three years leading the nation’s top service program.
Spellman doesn’t yet have a new gig lined up in the Sunshine state, but that’s likely to change quickly as he returns his two decades of nonprofit leadership experience to Florida.
“I am tremendously excited to return to Florida and give back to the state that I love. I’m looking for just the right fit so I can apply my skills and what I’ve learned at the national level to help Florida gain the most from the opportunities that lie ahead,” Spellman said.
President Donald Trump appointed Spellman to the AmeriCorps top job in 2017 after Spellman spent more than five years as CEO of Volunteer Florida, a statewide service and volunteerism nonprofit similar to AmeriCorps. Former Gov. Rick Scott appointed him to that position in 2012.
As AmeriCorps National Director, Spellman oversaw significant policy and program changes streamlining the program. He also managed more than $450 million in grant awards to support 65,000 AmeriCorps members in their service to the country.
Spellman left AmeriCorps with high praise from his peers and agency partners.
“His problem-solving nature – always striving to ‘get to yes’ – never ceased to impress and inspire me,” AmeriCorps CEO Barbara Stewart wrote in a letter to staff announcing Spellman’s departure. “AmerChester has truly strengthened the AmeriCorps State and National program during the last few years. The improvements he helped create will benefit AmeriCorps and the communities we serve for years to come.”
America’s Service Commissions CEO Kaira Esgate cited more than three dozen actions taken under Spellman’s leadership that have helped AmeriCorps’ mission and state service commissions.
“We hope these improvements will continue…. and serve as a model for how the state service commission network can partner with the AmeriCorps agency on an ongoing basis around our shared goals to reduce barriers, make national service resources more accessible for organizations, and ensure all Americans have the opportunity to serve,” she wrote.
Spellman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in pastoral ministries from Southeastern University in Lakeland and a Master of Arts in organizational leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Stanford University Center of Social Innovation.
Spellman is a member of Leadership Florida and the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network. He was recognized as the 2016 Young Floridian of the Year by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida.