Our mission

NextGen Center is on a mission to create and sustain a community that fosters deep, challenging, and transformational awareness of self for the next generation of leaders so that they are better prepared to navigate their lifelong personal and professional journeys, as well as the journeys of those whom they touch.

We believe…

How we do it

NextGen Center provides development programs for young professionals that teach vital tools and create experiences for transformational growth.  These programs help participants develop the “soft skills” of business – the people side of things.

The emphasis of the program is experiential and relevant learning through a series of workshops spanning an extended period of time. Participants are divided into “cohorts,” a group of individuals with whom they share the experience. We expect participants to bring matters of significance in their professional endeavors to the table. By addressing these real matters in a confidential setting, participants benefit from being a part of the process and create an authentic environment.

We know that the soft skills of business are often considered more “art” than “science.” But here’s what we also know:


Providing development opportunities for young talent demonstrates commitment and investment in their personal future.


Providing development opportunities for young talent provides them with new insights and tools to develop themselves, and then the others they manage, more effectively.


Providing development opportunities for young talent helps them tap into their abilities, helps them grow, and ultimately improves performance – for themselves and their organizations.

NextGen Center is determined to provide talented young professionals as well as their organizations with transformational development experiences that last a lifetime.

Meet the Team

Brian Alvo
Founder & Co-Instructor

Brian realized early on in his professional journey that there is more than one way to find “success.”  As a young professional, he navigated career moves and challenging work situations primarily with his internal compass and found that the transitions from contributor to manager to leader were often harder than they needed to be.  It was through these experiences that Brian recognized a huge opportunity for organizations to support and invest in emerging leaders.  These realizations were the seeds for what would become NextGen Center.

Brian has over ten years of diverse professional experience spanning multiple industries, and he earned his MBA from Duke University.  With a wide array of experiences domestically and abroad, he developed an innovative understanding of professional development and an ability to recognize and cultivate potential in others.

Throughout his journey Brian has always made it his mission to pay it forward, using his experience to help others achieve their goals.  He founded NextGen Center with a similar mindset – to help individuals and teams develop and get clear on who they are, provide a resource for organizations to manage transformation, and to ultimately improve performance and experiences.

Sackeena Gordon-Jones, PH.D.
Instructor & Advisor

Sackeena Gordon-Jones has been training and coaching professionally since 2003 in transformational leadership development, executive effectiveness, and strategic thinking and planning. She has trained and coached hundreds of leaders, high potentials, and professional women in the private sector and federal government. She currently serves as the Chief Coaching Officer of Transformation Edge, as well as Director of the Business Coaching Certificate Program at NC State University – specializing in helping leaders and organizations transform the way they think, lead, and live.

Sackeena helps leaders to develop their authentic presence, to have effective conversations and a coach-like style that leads to improved collaboration, engagement, and performance. Her approach gives leaders the edge to articulate vision, champion change, and execute strategically. With Sackeena’s services, leaders are able to create a strategy-focused organization with trust, collaboration, and engagement.

An award-winning leader in the coaching field, Sackeena has also served as two-time president of the International Coaching Federation (Raleigh Chapter), leading the chapter to winning the Internationally recognized ‘Breaking Barriers’ award.  In addition to her training and coaching experience, Sackeena has over 20 years of relevant executive level business, leadership, and board experience in private, public. and nonprofit sectors.  She was head of Learning and Development for SAS, where she had oversight of leadership development in global regions such as EMEA, Asia Pacific, and North and South America.

Samantha Dikolli

Samantha is currently an undergraduate student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pursuing a degree in Media and Journalism along with a minor in Hispanic Studies. She is specializing in multimedia studies with focuses on web development and visual/audio production with the goal of one day earning a job in digital storytelling.

Samantha is actively involved on campus in groups such as the Marching Tar Heels, Relay for Life of UNC, and Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity. She also serves as a student ambassador for the School of Media and Journalism and has earned Dean’s List at UNC-CH.


Carl Baumann

Carl Baumann retired in 2005 after 34 years in business. He spent 6 ½ years in commercial banking with First Citizens Bank and 27 ½ years with the Miller Brewing Company in numerous financial positions including Brewery Controller, Corporate Controller and Group Director – Sales & Marketing Finance. Carl is a volunteer Certified SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) Mentor and specializes in business planning, strategic planning, general business management and management finance & accounting. In the last 5 years, Carl has had 39 clients launch businesses creating over 192 new jobs. Carl also teaches business and business planning courses and seminars for SCORE. Carl received a BS in Business Administration from UNC Chapel Hill and an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA.