SAY Appoints New Executive Director

For Immediate Release:

NEW YORK, New York (March 8, 2024) – Following a national search, SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young has appointed Russell Krumnow as incoming Executive Director. Krumnow succeeds long-time Executive Director Noah Cornman who will step down in June to provide for a seamless transition. Cornman has made an extraordinary difference in the lives of children who stutter across his 12 years as Executive Director and SAY and the stuttering community are indebted to his service. Cornman will remain an advisor and Trustee of the organization. He said, “My love for SAY runs deep, and I will remain very involved with the community, through this transition and beyond. I’m thrilled that such a talented person is joining the SAY family! Russell is an incredible fit to take the reins of the organization – he’s got a huge heart, a brilliant brain, and a genuine passion for the work. He will work tirelessly for the entire community of SAY.”

SAY is a national non-profit organization that empowers, educates, supports, and advocates for young people who stutter and the world that surrounds them. For 23 years, SAY has provided support, advocacy, and life-changing experiences for young people who stutter.

Upon his acceptance of the position, Krumnow shared…

"I'm honored and thrilled to step into this leadership role at SAY and can't wait to start collaborating with Taro and this talented team, board, and the entire community that makes SAY such a special place.

Russell Krumnow

A theme of my career has been empowering youth and young adults to reach their full potential as they seek out jobs and education and as they participate in our civic life. We are all better off when young people thrive. So, I’m excited to begin this new chapter building on SAY’s strong legacy and making sure every kid and teenager who stutters can experience friendship, support, and the chance to flourish.”

Founder and CEO Taro Alexander stated, “Russell has been dedicated to improving the lives of young people and their families for his entire career. He is extremely knowledgeable about the challenges facing young people today. He has done extensive work in the youth mental health space which has always been a priority for us with our holistic approach to supporting young people who stutter. We are delighted to welcome Russell to the SAY family and are confident in his ability to take SAY to the next level.

Krumnow is a collaborative and entrepreneurial leader with a distinguished track record in non-profit leadership. He brings 20 years of experience building and leading organizations and campaigns with a strong focus on youth and young adults. From his earliest roles, he led civic engagement programs for high school students, overseeing a program that brought thousands of young people to Washington, DC, each year for experiential learning opportunities. He’s written and implemented curriculum for young people; oversaw speakers and programs for a conference of thousands of students at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration; and with the non-profit Partnership for Public Service he launched a new effort encouraging youth to seek out public service opportunities and solve problems in their communities. Later, he helped start and eventually lead Opportunity Nation, a cross-partisan, cross-sector campaign focused on expanding access to education and employment for all young people, especially those facing barriers to opportunity where they live. Finally, he led a diverse array of programming for a consensus-building organization convening leaders across fields to forge solutions on issues like youth mental health, economic opportunity, and better supporting working families. An experienced fundraiser, team leader, and relationship builder, all of his past work centered around real people’s lives while seeking to improve systems so everyone can thrive.

Krumnow will officially join the SAY team on April 8, 2024 and will be working alongside SAY’s founder & CEO Taro Alexander and the Board of Trustees to chart SAY’s future. Also welcoming him to the role will be a stellar leadership team which includes Artistic Director Travis Robertson, Camp Director Kendra Perkins, and Director of SAY: Speech Brooke Leiman Edwards MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-SCF.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and search committee, we are pleased to welcome Russell Krumnow to the SAY team and look forward to seeing his entrepreneurial track record in action on behalf of the stuttering community,” said Board Chair Justin Waller.  “Out of a talented, sizable pool of candidates, Russell stood out for his heart of service for young people, significant experience driving both impact and financial results in non-profits, and his passion to serve those who stutter. The Board looks forward to working with Russell closely to help SAY continue to grow and thrive as one of the world’s largest non-profit organizations serving the stuttering community.”

On Monday May 6, SAY will be hosting its 22nd Annual Benefit Gala in New York City, honoring luminaries who have been instrumental to the success of the organization. Noah Cornman, outgoing Executive Director of SAY will be the 2024 SAY: Hall of Fame Inductee, and Freestyle Love Supreme will be the recipient of the SAY: Budd Mayer Advocacy Award. The Gala will be hosted by Kelli O’Hara and Brandon Victor Dixon with Gala Chairs Thomas Kail, The Moglia Family Foundation, Fred Ragucci & Maria Sarath Ragucci, and Jenny Steingart.

SAY was founded to ensure that every young person who stutters has a chance to be heard. Its groundbreaking camp & after-school programming use theater, music, visual arts, and youth development approaches to enable kids and teens who stutter to develop the confidence and communication skills they need to thrive. SAY raises awareness of stuttering nationally and internationally; offers direct speech therapy with leading Speech-Language Pathologists who specialize in stuttering; and offers crucial support and resources to families and professionals, including educators, speech-language pathologists, and pediatricians.

Stuttering is a complex and often-misunderstood communication disorder that causes interruptions in a person’s speech. Over 80 million people in the world stutter – including 1 in every 5 young children. Although no two people who stutter are exactly the same, we generally understand stuttering in three connected parts: surface behaviors; impact on attitudes and emotions; and impact on everyday life. It is important to recognize that stuttering is much more than what we can see and hear.

Camp SAY was the subject of the award-winning 2019 documentary, My Beautiful Stutter. The film follows five kids who stutter, ages 9 to 18, over the course of a year and through their visit to camp. It bears witness to the incredible transformation that happens when young people from different backgrounds experience the revolutionary idea at the heart of Camp SAY: that it’s okay to stutter (Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video and Discovery +).

For Media Inquires, please contact: Joe Trentacosta,, 646-481-6583

SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young


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