10 Questions with Habitat for Humanity’s Mike Sutton

Team NLC Stories

At the Nonprofit Leadership Center, we believe the best lessons in nonprofit leadership come from nonprofit leaders themselves. Our 10 Questions With Series celebrates and elevates nonprofit and business leaders across the Tampa Bay region each month who are making an enduring impact on our communities. Today, we’re pleased to introduce you to Mike Sutton, CFRE, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties.

Mike Sutton, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties | Nonprofit Leadership Center Spotlight

Mike has led Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties since March 2014, partnering with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. Since becoming CEO, he has helped his affiliate become the second-largest in the U.S. based on new home construction out of more than 1,300 affiliates, double the number of families served and increase revenue from $6 to $19 million. Prior to his current role, Mike spent time as the executive vice president and chief development officer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County, director of development for Habitat for Humanity in Bryan/College Station, Texas, and has experience working for the YMCA. Mike is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and a University of South Florida graduate.

Here’s what Mike had to share about the power of community partnerships, lessons learned from overseeing a nonprofit merger and what he has been collecting since he was a kid.

Q1. As the CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, tell us a little bit about your organization and what drew you to serve this nonprofit.

Mike: Habitat for Humanity partners with low-income individuals and families to provide affordable housing solutions. Homeowners purchase the home from Habitat with a zero-interest mortgage, after completing 350 to 450 sweat equity hours building Habitat homes and their own home and 20 homebuyer education classes. The program provides them the opportunity to build generational wealth while breaking the cycle of poverty. 

I’ve worked for Habitat for more than 11 years (more than five years in Pinellas and West Pasco and another five in Texas). The fact the program is a true “hand up, not a hand out” is so appealing. The homeowners we partner with keep me coming back day after day.

Q2: You’ve experienced significant organizational growth since becoming CEO. What do you believe has most contributed to your success that other nonprofit leaders could benefit from knowing?

Mike: When I was hired, our board of directors was clear with me on two things: Serve more families and build long-term sustainability. The four-year strategic plan we developed kept us laser-focused on these priorities. It continues to be at the forefront of every decision we make. The deeper and wider we go in our service area, the deeper the impact we will have. 

The other factor I believe was critical is the team we’ve developed. This has come with lots of struggles along the way, but I truly feel we have the best team in place at Habitat. Our executive team is amazing; they work hard, and are here for one reason and that’s to serve more families. 

Mike Sutton and Alfredo Anthony from Habitat for Humanity on Nonprofit Leadership Center
Mike Sutton with Board Chair Alfredo Anthony

READ NEXT: 6 Ways to Improve Team Dynamics

Q3. Your organization went through a merger in 2019, combining two Habitat for Humanity offices into one brand. What were the biggest lessons you learned from this merger? What issues or questions should nonprofit leaders think about when considering a merger with another nonprofit?

Mike: The merger has been a great step toward a regional approach for Habitat for Humanity. It also provides a huge resource in Pasco County that was lacking. Looking back at what we learned, I think we rushed the process a bit because the leadership was changing. If I could go back in time, I would have slowed the process down and ensured we did more due diligence, just so we knew of any unknowns in advance. 

I also was honored to lead a second merger last year, as the Board Chairman of the Clearwater Regional Chamber. The number one driver behind both mergers was around the impact and outcomes on the clients. We moved egos and history out of the way and stayed focused on the goal. 

Q4. Community partnerships are critical to our sector’s success. You’ve experienced significant growth in community partnerships between Habitat and the business sector in recent years. What have you found to be the most effective strategies to deepen engagement with corporate and/or community partners?

Mike: Habitat is just one solution to the affordable housing crisis. History shows that Habitat in most markets tries to do it alone. We’ve focused on being a part of the discussion and having a place at the table. We’ve also focused on impact and solutions, not just talk. We hold our organization to a high standard and expect the community to also hold us to a high standard. Collaboration has been key and we are proud to work alongside the business and nonprofit sectors to advance our community. 

Q5. What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to new professionals or emerging leaders today?

Mike: Actions speak louder than words, and performance does not need to speak at all. High performance and dedication will advance your career, so find something you are passionate about and that drives you to be better each day. Be sure to surround yourself with people who lift you up and make you better. Without mentors, you will only grow so much.

Q6. Last year, you participated in NLC’s sustainability cohort, which is a small group learning environment where 10 nonprofit organizations worked together to strengthen their strategic decision-making models by aligning impact and profitability. Tell us about your experience and how you and your team are thinking differently about planning as a result.

Mike: The cohort will no doubt impact the future of Habitat for Humanity. The information we’ve learned about our organization has already impacted our business model and approach toward the future. We plan to use the matrix map and information gathered to develop our next strategic plan. 

Q7. What’s the best book on leadership or professional development you’ve read that you think every nonprofit leader should read?

Mike: I’d recommend three:

  1. “Winning with People” by John Maxwell
  2. “5 Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lincioni
  3. “What Got You Here Will Not Get You There” by Marshall Goldsmith

Q8. What’s the best movie or show you’ve watched recently?

Mike: Homeland! I watched all seven seasons in just a few months. I became a bit obsessed! 

Q9. Finish this sentence: If I wasn’t the CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, I would be ________________.

Mike: A federal agent.

Q10. What’s something interesting about you that most people don’t know?

Mike: I have a huge baseball collection. Something that started as my father and I collecting autographs when I was a kid has resulted in more than 400 autographed baseballs. Now, I just focus on Hall of Famers, but each one has a unique story.

Would you or someone you know be a great leader to profile for an upcoming 10 Questions With Series article? Email us at info@nlctb.org with your recommendations.

READ NEXT: 10 Questions with Patricia J. Langford, CEO of Dawning Family Services

READ NEXT: 10 Questions With Emily Benham, CEO of the Nonprofit Leadership Center

Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter to get more great advice from nonprofit leaders, along with the latest tips, tools and trainings for nonprofits.

4 Ways to Break Bad Habits at Work

Margarita Sarmiento Tips

We all know a coworker who is consistently late for meetings, a colleague who takes days to respond to emails or the team member who has a negative response for everything. Bad habits at work aren’t just common; they’re harmful to every nonprofit or business. By making simple changes, we can break bad habits at work and increase our efficiency and effectiveness.

One of the reasons breaking bad habits is so hard is because habits often happen subconsciously. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40% of our behaviors on any given day. Only when we make a conscious decision to do something differently — and commit to doing it differently — will things change. The best way to break a bad habit is to consciously work to develop a new one.

How to Break Bad Habits at Work | Nonprofit Leadership Center

Here are four tips for breaking bad habits at work.

4 Ways to Break Bad Habits at Work

1. Use paper clips to take control of your daily goals.
Yes, you heard that correctly. Here’s how it works: Need to reach out to 20 donors every day? Start by placing 20 paper clips on your desk. Toss one into a drawer each time you send a donor email, make a call or mail a hand-written note continuing to cultivate the relationship. Want to read 10 articles every day to stay informed on the latest news and data on philanthropy and changing donor expectations? Start with 10 paper clips on your desk. Drop one into a cup each time you finish an article. This tactic works for any daily goal you need to accomplish with any number of paperclips.

Why does it work? You’re two to three times more likely to follow through with a habit if you make a specific plan for when, where and how you’re going to implement it. Using paperclips as visual cues, you can set daily goals and work to achieve them, breaking bad habits at work, such as disorganization or lack of focus.

2. Stop procrastinating.
What are the daily tasks you often avoid until the last minute? Perhaps it’s replying to emails, working on your budget, writing a blog post or doing employee reviews. Whatever you’re most likely to procrastinate doing is what you should get done first. To make it happen, follow these steps:

  • Identify a block of time to accomplish the tasks.  
  • Schedule the tasks on your calendar, treating them just as you would an appointment with your top donors or funders.
  • Reward yourself when the task is complete.

READ NEXT: 3 Ways to Increase Your Productivity at Work without Working More

3. Master your daily calendar.
Sometimes breaking bad habits at works starts with understanding what they are in the first place. Track how you spend your time at work for one week. Identify items that eat up your time by “popping up” throughout the day, and develop and commit to a system to effectively prioritize your workload.

  • If you realize that keeping up with notifications, social media and/or responding to “quick” emails eats up two hours each day, batch these tasks together and block off time, so you’re not checking them all day long. Perhaps use the first 10 minutes at the top of each hour or several specific times during the day to attend to these activities.
  • Identify three to four hours a week to block off on your calendar as personal Focused Work Time — for instance, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Let others know that you prefer not to be interrupted during these times, shut off notifications and send calls to voicemail.
  • Instead of creating a “to-do list,” create a “to-do schedule.” When adding something to your workload, don’t just add it to your list, find a time to schedule it into your day.

4. Support your success.
Breaking bad habits at work and establishing better ones takes time and commitment. Here are some final tips to help ensure you create lasting behavior change.

  1. Commit to 30 days. Experts tell us it takes a minimum of three weeks to establish a new habit. Once you get over the initial hump, it will be a little easier to sustain.
  2. Set reminders. Don’t depend on your yet-to-be trained memory. After the first few days, you are more likely to fall back into what’s comfortable. Set calendar reminders, your phone alarm or other prompts to help you remember to follow through with your new habit.
  3. Find an accountability partner. Ask someone you trust and will listen to, to help keep you on track. Set up times to check in with him or her, so you’re sure to be successful.

Automating behaviors in the form of habits is one of the best ways for your brain to conserve energy. You don’t have to expend effort when prompted to do things by your subconscious. Creating healthy, positive habits and learning to break bad habits at work will free up your brain to handle more complex, creative and innovative tasks.

READ NEXT: 5 Common Misconceptions about Organizational Culture

Better Habits Start Here

If you want to improve your leadership skills and habits to strengthen your nonprofit organization and community, register for an upcoming nonprofit training at the Nonprofit Leadership Center. From leadership, volunteer management and grant writing to finance and organizational culture, we’ve got the personal and professional development support to help you succeed and accelerate your mission. Learn more and register HERE.

Margarita Sarmiento has more than 25 years of management, training and facilitation experience in professional development, team building, leadership, organizational planning, board development, cross-cultural communication and diversity. She has worked in corporate management and training with Progressive Companies, Busch Entertainment Corporation and the National Conference for Community & Justice — Tampa Bay. She’s also an active trainer and facilitator for NLC.

A Day-in-the-Life of a Student Pursuing Her Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Jessica Dvoracsek, Fellow at NLC Stories

“Accounting is the language of business.” Although I’ve heard this phrase many times throughout my career, it has always scared me. I’m not a finance person and I have zero accounting experience. So you can imagine how nervous I felt as accounting week approached in my Certificate in Nonprofit Management graduate program at the University of Tampa. While I came in with an open mind, I expected to be lost. I’m happy to report that I not only survived but I now actually understand accounting … well, at least some of it. 

Jessica Dvoracsek talks about her experience in the University of Tampa Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership program
Me (Jessica Dvoracsek) with my NLC colleague Charlie Imbergamo

Accounting is just one of the many focus areas covered as part of the Certificate in Nonprofit Management program at UT in collaboration with the Nonprofit Leadership Center. The program is an 18-month journey in which we’re required to be on campus four times for a five-day period and then working on an innovative project for a local nonprofit organization with fellow students in between sessions. The program is designed to strengthen the effectiveness of leaders in social sector organizations in the Tampa Bay area.

John H. Sykes College of Business at the University of Tampa
Our classes are held in the John H. Sykes College of Business at the University of Tampa

I believe the beauty of this program is the way it’s taught. Each week has multiple instructors, including academic professors and practitioners in the field. Not only do students like me receive theory and the academic side of learning, but we also benefit from real-life experiences. Accounting week was taught by Dr. Maureen Butler and Sheff Crowder.

Program instructors include James Lee, Emily Benham, Jessica Muroff, Amy Harris and Sheff Crowder
Professors and professionals teach side-by-side to provide broad and deep knowledge on the nonprofit sector (From left to right: Professor James Lee, Instructor Emily H. Benham, FAHP, CFRE, CEO of NLC, Guest Speaker Jessica Muroff, CEO of United Way Suncoast, Professor Amy Harris and Instructor Sheff Crowder, president of the Conn Memorial Foundation)

READ NEXT: Is a graduate certificate in nonprofit management right for you?

What’s a week on campus like?

During our most recent week on campus, we began with a brief overview of what to expect from the week ahead, including an overview of accounting, financial reporting, budgets and cost analysis, and functional expenses (which is specific to nonprofits). Throughout the rest of the week, we covered cost accounting, management tools, evaluations and accountability, and internal controls. We also presented to a panel of experts to discuss the financial considerations associated with our innovative projects. 

Here is an example of some of the things we discussed that week:

  1. The difference between cash and accrual accounting — We learned to recognize revenues and expenses when cash is exchanged versus recognizing it when it’s earned or the benefit is received.
  2. Debits versus credits — “Debits on the left, credits on the right, for complete satisfaction balance all of your transactions.”
  3. Functional expense reporting
  4. Different ways to use excel

Probably one of the statements I appreciated most was: “We aren’t trying to make you CPAs or accountants. We are trying to give you the tools to read budgets and cash flow, functional expense reports, and other critical documents so you can ask the correct questions when something looks off.” The Certificate in Nonprofit Management graduate program is designed to strengthen the effectiveness of nonprofit leaders, not create experts. While we didn’t learn four years of an accounting degree in five days, we did learn how to read spreadsheets and understand the information to be able to ask the correct questions as future nonprofit leaders. Other focus areas of the program include effective board governance, strategic planning, marketing and fund development, developing a business plan and growing your leadership potential.

Tom Peters said, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” As a student in the Certificate in Nonprofit Management program at UT, I believe this is exactly what I’m learning. Participating as a student is helping me foster the leadership skills that will allow me to contribute to the continued growth and impact of our sector and community.

I’m sharing a little more about the experience and benefits I’m already receiving (and so you can get to know me a little better). Watch now.

Take Your Career to the Next Level with a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management

If you’re ready to grow in your career or are an emerging nonprofit leader, getting your graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Tampa can prepare you to lead courageously and competently in our dynamically changing nonprofit sector.

Find out if a graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management is right for you and what other students are saying here.

Learn more about the program and how to apply here.

New Certificate in Leadership Program Will Prepare Nonprofit Leaders for Greater Success and Impact

Team NLC News

The greatest threat to the future of our nonprofit sector is leadership. It’s also our greatest opportunity. Culture, performance, morale and impact are all dependent on strong leadership. Yet very little exists in our community today to cultivate and equip nonprofit professionals who are transitioning into new leadership roles. That’s why we’re pleased to announce a bold new initiative that will prepare nonprofit leaders to move our sector and community forward — capably and courageously.

Today we gathered with dozens of nonprofit and business leaders at the Nonprofit Leadership Center to announce our new Certificate in Leadership.

This 10-week program, made possible with generous support from Florida Blue, will prepare and empower nonprofit professionals who are new to managing people or programs to effectively lead in our dynamically changing sector.

Visionary partnerships drive innovation solutions at NLC.

More than a learning and networking program, the Certificate in Leadership is a true experience through which participants will embrace the qualities and skills necessary to lead their organizations and our community with authenticity and impact.

Nominate a Leader Now for the Certificate in Leadership Program

Closing the Leadership Gap

Research shows that nonprofit professionals want to grow their leadership skills, yet more than half don’t feel they have the knowledge, experience and resources to be successful (ProInspire). Organizations often promote individual contributors to manage others and oversee programs based on excellent performance — without receiving the training, development and support necessary to do so effectively.

Last year, we interviewed local nonprofit leaders to better understand their current realities and needs. A resounding theme was the gap that exists in supporting nonprofit professionals who are transitioning into leadership and executive roles.

There is a great need to focus on emerging leaders in this community.

The Certificate in Leadership will help bridge the gap in Tampa Bay by providing aspiring leaders who are new to managerial or executive roles the support they need to be effective.

Powered Through Partnership

NLC’s new Certificate in Leadership program was made possible with generous support from Florida Blue — a strategic NLC partner and health insurance provider that’s committed to helping people and communities achieve better health.

NLC and Florida Blue logos: A partnership to develop emerging nonprofit leaders in Tampa Bay

“To make the biggest impact in our communities, nonprofits need strong leaders who understand the importance of strategic thinking, collaboration, empathy and innovation. Florida Blue is excited to partner with NLC to create a program that instills these values through courses that delve into self-awareness, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, data analytics, conflict resolution and more.”

David Pizzo, Market President, West Florida
Michelle Hamilton, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Florida Blue, Mary Lallucci, NLC Board Chair, David Pizzo, Market President, West Florida at Florida Blue, and Emily Benham, CEO of NLC
From left to right: Michelle Hamilton, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Florida Blue, Mary Lallucci, NLC Board Chair, David Pizzo, Market President, West Florida at Florida Blue, and Emily Benham, CEO of NLC

Together with Florida Blue’s support, NLC will offer a Certificate in Leadership cohort each year for the next three years, equipping 100 total nonprofit professionals with the content and skills necessary to lead with a mission heart and a keen focus on innovative, creative and collaborative solutions to advance organizational and systems change.

David Pizzo acknowledges the strength and support the NLC Certificate in Leadership will bring to Tampa Bay's nonprofit sector

More Details & How to Apply

Learn more about the new Certificate in Leadership here, including the nomination and application process, timeline and class schedule, trainers, requirements and more. Here’s what you need to know at a glance:

WHAT: Consists of five half-day training sessions, four virtual group coaching sessions, two follow-up classroom trainings and a virtual follow-up coaching session. Upon receiving the Certificate in Leadership, nonprofit leaders will:

  • Understand their leadership style, learn how to manage their organizational responsibilities and develop a plan to enhance their skills
  • Identify and improve their leadership capabilities and people management skills while developing varying methods to overcome day-to-day obstacles
  • Respond authentically to the changes and challenges facing today’s nonprofit leaders and organizations

WHEN: The 2020 Certificate in Leadership program begins on May 5 and runs through July. Here are the key dates:

  • February 5-28: Organizations nominate leaders to participate
  • March 6-27: Nominees complete applications
  • April: NLC and Florida Blue select and announce participants
  • May 5: Program begins with Session 1: The Conscious Leader 
  • May 19: Session 2: The Emotionally Intelligent Leader 
  • June 16: Session 3: The Connected Leader
  • June 30: Session 4: The Data-Driven Leader 
  • July 14: Final Session and Graduation

WHO: Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be new to their position (three years or less) in managing people or programs. Examples include a CEO or executive director who has just joined an organization, a first-time manager who’s learning how to supervise and mentor others or a professional who has recently assumed oversight for a program or department.
  • Commit to attending all sessions on the published dates.
  • Have the support from executive staff and senior leaders to attend, practice and implement what they’re learning through the program.


For More Information

For questions and more information about the new Certificate in Leadership, contact us at info@nlctb.org or 813-287-8779.

Be the first to know about new events and news for nonprofit leaders by signing up for our email list and following us on FacebookLinkedInInstagram and Twitter.

A Fresh Face at NLC: Meet Carina Kleter

Team NLC News

“Everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have. Not only should we show ourselves and others compassion, but we must consistently strive for better tools and help those around us do the same.”

This is Carina Kleter’s mantra in life, but it also describes the work she’ll be doing to support our nonprofit community as NLC’s new program associate.

Carina Kleter, Program Associate, NLC

In her role as program associate, Carina will coordinate and optimize the delivery of our professional development offerings, including classroom trainings, conferences, custom training solutions and peer-based cohorts. If you attend any NLC events or call our office, chances are that Carina will support you in some way.

Carina is a skilled project coordinator with a personal and professional passion for nonprofit organizations. She comes to NLC from a Brooklyn-based nonprofit where she served as grants coordinator, raising funds to support arts-based diversion programs for teens. She has also managed projects in higher education, architecture and IT consulting.

“Nonprofit organizations are a lifeline for communities — sometimes the only lifeline they have. It’s critical that our nonprofit community has the organizational resources and strength it needs to deliver services to individuals and families. I feel truly honored to be part of a team that supports the development of nonprofit leaders, and through them, strengthens the communities we serve.”  

Carina Kleter

Carina’s academic background and personal interest in psychology and philosophy drive her ability to meaningfully connect with people and critically facilitate projects with a solutions-oriented eye. In addition to her professional commitment to our nonprofit sector, she volunteers in her personal time with local organizations, including the University Area Community Development Center.

Outside the office, you’re likely to find Carina on the mat practicing yoga. She’s a 200-hour registered yoga teacher who is passionate about peacebuilding and compassionate or Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

Please join us in welcoming Carina Kleter to the Nonprofit Leadership Center team.

To reach Carina, contact her via email or call 813-287-8779.

Striving for MOMENTUM in 2020

Emily H. Benham, CEO, NLC Stories

Research shows that our human attention spans are less than that of a goldfish — about eight seconds. True story! As our share of mind continues to shrink, it’s no surprise that the idea of New Year’s resolutions are shrinking as well. Somewhere along the way, Americans started trading our once lengthy resolution lists in for one-word mantras to define our year. Guilty as charged.

As lifelong learners at NLC, we had to find out where this tradition originated. While the answer remains somewhat of a mystery, we did uncover that selecting a word of the year (a word that defined public use or culture during the year) is a German tradition that started in 1971. (You can thank Wikipedia for that trivia answer.)  Today, we choose all sorts of sentiments to define our desired intentions, behaviors and actions.

At our first 2020 board of directors meeting, our volunteer leaders decided to adopt a word for NLC. Our new board chair Mary Lallucci, the executive vice president of talent management and an executive coach with Right Management’s Florida/Caribbean Region, asked everyone to think about the word that should define our organization this year — something we can all embrace and work toward together, not just as individual parts.

NLC Board Chair Mary Lallucci leading her first meeting of 2020
Mary leading NLC’s first board meeting of 2020

Many words came out of this discussion, as you can see from this lovely word cloud that summarizes the comments.

NLC's word cloud of 2020 intentions

But the word that rose to the top was MOMENTUM. As a nonprofit that exists to support other nonprofits, Mary emphasized our responsibility to be relentless in our commitment to increase our impact and build on our great successes from 2019 to strengthen our sector and community.

“We are excited to take all the work we have done and keep up the momentum to continue to raise the bar at NLC!

Mary Lallucci

So what does “momentum” look like? Here’s what we pledge to do as your nonprofit partner in 2020 to keep up the momentum:

  • Increase our presence in Pinellas County, while enhancing the robust training classes we offer at our training center in Tampa
  • Lead courageously by bringing nonprofit leaders the best content, programming and speakers at the 10th anniversary of our Leadership Conference in June
  • Establish new partnerships and enhance existing ones with funders like Florida Blue, Conn Memorial Foundation, the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, United Way and more to bring new opportunities and possibilities to nonprofits to strengthen our community
  • Focus even more deeply on building relationships and listening and responding to our community’s needs
  • Increase our board’s engagement with our mission
NLC CEO Emily Benham with Board Chair Mary Lallucci excited about momentum
Mary and me (Emily Benham, CEO, NLC) during NLC’s first board meeting of 2020

In addition to thinking about your word for 2020, we encourage you to think about the word that will define your team and organization — the intention you can rally around together to improve our lives, organizations and communities. We’re excited for all that’s in store for nonprofits in Tampa Bay during the year and decade ahead.

 Be the first to know about trainings, events, resources and news for nonprofit leaders. Sign up for our email list and follow us on FacebookLinkedInInstagram and Twitter.

Announcing the 2020 NLC Leadership Conference

Team NLC News

Drum roll please … (cue energetic finger tapping on our desks and a quick toss of confetti). Registration is now open for NLC’s 2020 Leadership Conference, presented by Bank of America. We have an impressive line-up of speakers, breakouts and surprises prepared for you as we celebrate our 10th anniversary of this unprecedented gathering of nonprofit leaders.

Today, we’re sharing all the important conference information and unveiling this year’s conference theme and keynote speaker. (Excited is an understatement.)

If you only have 30 seconds, watch this video. Otherwise, continue reading for all the juicy details.

The Details

When is the conference?
The 2020 NLC Leadership Conference is on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

Save the date for the 2020 NLC Leadership Conference

Where is the conference?
We’re pleased to host the 2020 Leadership Conference at a new venue this year — the Tampa Marriott Water Street — a beautifully redesigned waterfront hotel that’s just steps away from the Tampa Riverwalk (with plenty of parking).

Tampa Marriott Water Street
505 Water St. | Tampa, FL

Who should attend?
The NLC Leadership Conference is the premier event in Tampa Bay for anyone who works for a nonprofit, wants to work for a nonprofit, serves as a nonprofit board leader or partners with nonprofits. Join 700 nonprofit and business leaders to learn from and connect with each other as we work to strengthen our skills, our organizations and our communities.

If you’re on the fence or not sure what to expect, check out the highlights from last year’s conference.

How can I register?
Register on our Website here. Register by April 1, 2020, to take advantage of early-bird pricing. There are ticket options for individuals as well as nonprofit and for-profit table pricing.

This conference will sell out, so be sure to secure your spot now!

Register for the NLC 2020 Leadership Conference Now

What does my conference ticket include?
Your ticket includes parking, your choice of two breakout sessions, lunch, dessert, a presentation from our keynote speaker and a FREE copy of his newest book (keep reading to see who it is and the book you’ll receive).

How can I learn more about sponsorship opportunities?
Thank you for your interest in supporting this year’s conference. Find all 2020 Leadership Conference sponsorship opportunities here. For more information, contact Jess Dvoracsek.

Now that we’ve gotten all the details and fine print out of the way, it’s time for the exciting announcements.

2020 Leadership Conference Theme Revealed

Our sector and society are experiencing unprecedented change and uncertainty. Donor needs and expectations have evolved. Technology is advancing at lightspeed. Corporate partners want to see a return on investment for every dollar they contribute. Fundraising is a completely new ballgame. And the communications channels to reach today’s supporters are more crowded than ever before. Strategies that worked in the past will not work in the future if we want to advance our collective missions and acquire and inspire the next generation of donors. The status quo simply won’t stand. That’s why this year’s conference theme is LEAD COURAGEOUSLY.

Lead Courageously at NLC's 2020 Leadership Conference

Thinking differently and acting boldly requires courageous leadership — the kind of leadership that will define the best nonprofit leaders in our region and across the nation. Leading courageously is about adapting to our changing environment and resource constraints, moving from knowing to doing and growing from good to great. It means modeling the change we want to see in the world — from creating healthy workplace cultures, championing diversity, equity and inclusion and articulating our impact in terms of outcomes, not just outputs. Change and growth take courage. The 10th anniversary NLC Leadership Conference will tackle how to be and become courageous nonprofit leaders, facilitated by leading experts and change agents. Stay tuned for a full list of speakers and breakout sessions we’ll be announcing soon!

Are you ready to lead courageously? Secure your spot now.

READ NEXT: 4 Essential Skills to be a Courageous Leader in 2020

And the Keynote Speaker Is …

We’re thrilled to announce that the keynote speaker for the 2020 NLC Leadership Conference is Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of six books, including “The Book of Awesome” (gratitude), “The Happiness Equation” (happiness) and “You Are Awesome” (resilience).

Neil Pasricha

Neil is a positive psychology researcher who focuses on the relationship between happiness and leadership in business and is touted as one of the world’s leading authorities on intentional living. 

In 2008, Neil’s world unraveled after a sudden divorce and death of a close friend. These events inspired him to start a blog called 1,000 Awesome Things where he documented one small pleasure — like finding unexpected money in your coat pocket — every single day for 1,000 straight days. While writing his blog, Pasricha was working as director of leadership development at Walmart, where he spent a decade after graduating from Harvard with his MBA.

Neil Pasricha speaking

Years later, Neil got remarried and learned from his wife that she was pregnant. Neil began writing a letter to his unborn son. The result was 300 pages that became his book “The Happiness Equation,” sharing nine secrets to find true happiness.

Today, Neil shares his wisdom with hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, speaking everywhere from Fortune 100 companies and Ivy League schools to royal families. His first TED Talk — “The 3 A’s of Awesome” — ranked as one of the 10 most inspiring of all time.

Yes, Tampa Bay … you’re in for a real treat.

And if that’s not amazing enough, Neil is giving a FREE copy of his most recent book “You Are Awesome” to everyone who attends this year’s conference. Run, don’t walk, to register now.

You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha

Thank You to Our Sponsors

NLC’s Leadership Conference would not be possible without the generous support of our passionate partners who believe in the importance and impact of our nonprofit community. We’d like to extend a special thank-you to our presenting sponsor Bank of America, our lead conference supporter every year since the conference began in 2011.

We can’t wait to introduce you to all the conference sponsors in the coming weeks.

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10 Questions with Patricia J. Langford, CEO of Dawning Family Services

Team NLC Stories

At the Nonprofit Leadership Center, we believe the best lessons in nonprofit leadership come from nonprofit leaders themselves. Our 10 Questions With Series celebrates and elevates nonprofit and business leaders across the Tampa Bay region each month who are making an enduring impact on our communities. Today, we’re pleased to introduce you to Patricia J. Langford, the CEO of Dawning Family Services (formerly the Alpha House of Tampa).

Patricia J. Langford, CEO of Dawning Family Services in Tampa, Florida

Pat has been at the helm of Dawning Family Services since 2010, responsible for overseeing programs and services for pregnant homeless women and homeless families with minor children. Most recently, she led the organization through a multi-pronged brand transformation and mission expansion, including a physical move and construction of a new shelter. 

Pat is an experienced and proactive leader with more than 25 years of experience in the design, management and administration of housing programs and support services for youth and homeless individuals and families and victims of domestic violence.

Here’s what Pat had to share about how to engage today’s donors, what nonprofit leaders should consider before a brand revitalization and the moment that changed her life in 2001.

Q1: As the CEO of Dawning Family Services, tell us about your organization and what drew you to serve this nonprofit.

Pat: Dawning Family Services provides short-term emergency shelter for families with at least one minor child that are seeking refuge from the storm of homelessness. To our knowledge, we are the only known low-barrier and Equal Access Rule compliant family shelter in Hillsborough County. (The Equal Access Rule was established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — HUD — in 2016 that requires shelter owners/operators/managers who receive HUD Community Planning and Development funding to grant equal access to their facilities in accordance with an individual’s gender identity.)

Every family deserves an opportunity to redefine their future. For me, this is all about social justice. That’s a big part of what drew me to Dawning Family Services. Your present situation does not have to define your future. Your future is what you’re willing to work hard to achieve. Our families deserve a shot at success. Moving into our shelter from living in a car or sleeping on a park bench and then quickly moving into permanent housing offers opportunities that so many of us take for granted.

Patricia Langford says that your present situation doesn't have to define your future.

Dawning Family Services recently expanded our services to include families and not just pregnant women and mothers with young children. By expanding our mission to serve entire families, we’re taking a holistic approach to ending homelessness. The families we serve in shelter receive essential services, including case management, financial assistance to quickly move into permanent housing (e.g., benefits, rent, utilities) and post-shelter supportive services to ensure self-sufficiency. We also have two Rapid Re-Housing programs. The first serves clients in our emergency shelter and the second is for families who are on the Hillsborough County’s Coordinated Entry List. Through partnership-building with landlords and property managers, we’ve become adept at finding permanent housing opportunities for families who have the extra challenge of one or more evictions in their history and for those who have non-violent felonies. 

Q2: Your organization recently underwent a significant rebranding effort, including a new name, logo and revitalized mission focus. What lessons did you learn from this experience, and what advice would you share with other nonprofits considering an organizational rebrand?

Pat: It’s labor-intensive to take on so much at once, but it’s also exhilarating! In a nutshell, we completely refreshed an organization that has been in the Hillsborough County community for more than 35 years. For other nonprofits considering an identity revitalization, I would recommend the following:

  1. Stay laser-focused on the “what” and the “why” behind your rebrand. What do you hope to accomplish by rebranding? What messages are you trying to convey? Why should you rebrand, and why now? 
  2. Allow adequate time for the necessary due diligence when selecting a communications partner/firm. We were incredibly fortunate to have been at the right place at the right time with our rebranding efforts. We met SPARK through our board’s Public Relations Task Force when researching PR firms. SPARK mentioned STOKED, a pro-bono nonprofit rebrand competition. Every year, the SPARK team selects a nonprofit to rebrand for free. A board member completed the STOKED application, and we were overjoyed that they chose us as the 2018 recipient. Although we won the pro-bono competition, SPARK really understood us — who we are, what we do and what we provide.
  3. Ensure your entire organization understands why you are rebranding, the steps along the way and receives communications throughout the process, including your board, staff and supporters.

Q3: Dawning Family Services recently announced a capital campaign to raise $8 million to expand the care and support you provide to the families you serve. As donors’ needs and expectations continue to evolve in our ever-changing world, what do you think are the most important ways to secure major gifts today? 

Pat: I believe nonprofits must provide as many opportunities as possible for individuals in the community to hear about the project and to connect in a way that is personally meaningful to them. Donors need to know how and why families benefit from our unique services and the pressing need to expand our shelter capacity and ancillary services. I want our donors to feel a strong connection to who we are and what we offer and to understand that they can be part of ending a family’s homelessness and the potential impact that will have on future generations. The community engagement process must cover multiple facets, as access to information must be presented in numerous ways — from social media and website updates to personal property tours, customized letters and board member connections. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to donor engagement.

Q4. What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to new professionals or emerging leaders today?

Pat: Allow yourself the time to discover what truly ignites your passion.

Q5. Last year, your organization participated in NLC’s sustainability cohort, which is a small group learning environment where 10 nonprofit organizations worked together with their leaders to strengthen strategic decision-making models by aligning impact and profitability. Tell us about your experience and how, if at all, you and your team are thinking differently about planning as a result.

Pat: Participating in the sustainability cohort through NLC has been a fantastic opportunity. We’ve already made decisions based on what we’ve learned. Moving forward, it will impact future decisions about the programs we offer, the services we provide, funding streams we pursue and more. It forced us (in a good way) to think critically about the financial viability and mission impact of our current programs and services and how those elements must be at the forefront as we plan for the future. We’re embedding the strategic decision-making model we learned through the program in our organizational goals for 2020. I also had the opportunity to attend Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program last summer, and we’ve added what I learned there to our current planning efforts.

Q6. When you’re not working with your team to help women and families in need, what are you most passionate about in your everyday life?

Pat: I’m passionate about physical activity and strive to integrate cardio exercise into my schedule at least five days a week to improve my physical and mental health. Throughout my long career in the nonprofit sector, exercise has always been a huge stress reliever. Plus, as an introvert, taking those long solitary walks is how I re-energize. 

Additionally, my husband and I head to Longboat Key whenever we can get a few days away. It’s our happy place. We also enjoy a round of golf when time allows.

Q7. What’s the best book you’ve read recently? 

Pat: I’m an avid reader, mostly fiction mysteries or fun beach reads. I just finished reading “The Less They Know About Us” by Axton Betz-Hamilton. It’s a true-crime memoir about how a devastating and mysterious identity theft affected a woman and her parents.

Q8. What’s the best movie or Netflix/Amazon Prime show you’ve watched recently?

Pat: I’m mostly watching whatever is on TV to get me through a workout on the stationary bike or rowing machine.

Q9. Finish this sentence: If I weren’t the CEO of Dawning Family Services, I would be ______________.

Pat: I would be the owner or general manager of a professional sports team. I grew up watching sports with my Dad, and being connected with a sports team as an owner or general manager is a fun fantasy. 

Q10. What’s something interesting about you that most people don’t know?

Pat: I am an only child, a former lifeguard, a Pastor’s wife, a dog lover with a 165-pound English Mastiff named Boo, and a native New Yorker who lived in Brooklyn, the Lower East Side, Greenwich Village and the Bronx, as well as “upstate” Chester. 

I also spent several years living and working in New Jersey. In 2001, I was working on West 14th Street in New York City, where I watched the 9/11 terrorist attack unfold from my office window. My office was about one mile away from the World Trade Center and I can remember exactly where I was and who I was speaking to when the first plane hit. I watched the buildings collapse. It was surreal and something that only those who personally witnessed the attack can fully understand. The terrifying events from that day and the tragically sad and scary days that followed have left an indelible mark on my life. 

Would you or someone you know be a great leader to profile for an upcoming 10 Questions With Series article? Email us at info@nlctb.org with your recommendations.

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Why Nonprofits Must Think Differently About Measuring and Reporting Impact

Sheff Crowder & Jesica D'Avanza Tips

In 2008, author and renowned philanthropy expert Dan Pallotta challenged nonprofits to find a better way to communicate organizational impact. More than a decade later, our sector continues to struggle with communicating how our work truly makes a difference.

Thinking differently about nonprofit impact | Nonprofit Leadership Center

How should nonprofits measure and articulate their impact? How do we communicate what social returns on investment look like? As a sector, we must begin answering these questions differently than we do today. By understanding our current challenges, we can chart a better path forward.

3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Communicating Nonprofit Impact

As a nonprofit funder and communications strategist, we see three common mistakes most charities make when it comes to demonstrating community impact:

1. Equating impact with activities.
Many nonprofits report impact by counting heads and dollars — sharing the number of events held, people served, volunteers engaged, dollars raised or other similar metrics. While it’s great that your organization may have served 100,000 people last year, funders and donors want to know not just what you did but why it matters. Of the individuals or families you served, how is your support changing and improving lives? How are those outcomes contributing to more significant improvements to our local economy and community? Instead of thinking about organizational impact in terms of listing tactical activities accomplished, funders want to know that you’re tracking meaningful metrics and driving programmatic outcomes that lead to enduring, positive change.

2.  Mistaking aspirations for outcomes.
Another common trend we see when it comes to nonprofit impact reports is elevating aspirations over actual results. For instance, we often see impact reports that showcase lofty visions, such as “we’re developing kids to be good global citizens.” While that’s certainly a noble and necessary cause, it isn’t a concrete result, nor does it demonstrate how you’re making progress toward that outcome with your current programs and services. While communicating aspirations through your mission and vision are important, nonprofit organizations must connect programmatic specifics to those larger goals.

3. Assuming the packaging can carry the message.
In some cases, organizations showcase beautiful infographics for their impact reports. While donor-centric and aesthetically pleasing packaging is important, your report design shouldn’t be superior to the content itself. A report that looks good but doesn’t answer the critical questions about why your work matters is just a prettier way of listing activities that doesn’t move your organization or our sector forward.

3 Ways to Think Differently About Reporting Your Nonprofit Impact

So how can nonprofits think differently about measuring and reporting impact? Here are three things we can all do as a start.

1. Identify and measure the right performance metrics.
While the nonprofit sector has excellent resources for evaluating finances, including tax returns, audited financial statements and third-party evaluation resources from organizations like Charity Navigator and GuideStar, we lack a North Star when it comes to defining what lives changed and saved looks like. The first step to ensure meaningful impact reporting is to identify the right metrics to measure. Rather than counting activities, such as program participants, events, calls responded to, food distributed, etc., ask yourself more profound questions about why what you’re doing matters.

  • How is what we’re doing changing lives?
  • How is our work contributing to positive changes in the overall community?
  • If we were to put ourselves out of business because we accomplished our mission, what does success look like? What are the milestones we can measure and control to get there?

For example, Metropolitan Ministries — a nonprofit that cares for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in our community — reports its activities accomplished but then connects them back to broader implications for why it matters. In 2018, they reported helping more than 31,000 families, serving more than 1.6 million meals and providing nearly 200,000 nights of safe shelter for children and their parents. They then connect that back with how it is making a real difference, showing that almost 93% of families maintained their housing for at least one year after graduating from their self-sufficiency program, and that 98.5% of families have not returned to homelessness. Combining both activities with transformational impact is essential to go from highlighting what your nonprofit organization does to why it matters.

2. Tell the right story.
Once you’ve identified what you’re going to measure and how, telling your story clearly and compellingly is critical to inspire confidence and continued support among donors and funders. What should you highlight? Where do you begin?

Charity watchdog groups like Charity Navigator and GuideStar offer some helpful suggestions for what to include when you’re creating a community impact report. Both recommend several vital questions that every nonprofit should answer transparently for donors.

Charity Navigator advises donors to ask nonprofits these questions:

  • What is your organization’s mission?
  • What are your organization’s goals?
  • What progress is your organization making toward its goals?
  • What sources are available to increase my confidence in your work?

Guidestar, a platform for nonprofits to tell their stories, suggests five questions every charitable organization should answer when it comes to charting their impact:

  • What are you aiming to accomplish?
  • What are your key strategies for making this happen?
  • What are your organizational capabilities for doing this?
  • How will you know if you’re making progress?
  • What have you accomplished so far, and what’s next?

Making sure answers to these questions are appropriately reflected in your impact communications is a helpful place to start.

3. Convey your story in a way that will resonate with your audience.
Finally, while understanding what success looks like and tracking your performance is critical, communicating and packaging your story in a way that is validating and motivating to your key audiences is crucial. It’s not enough to list long paragraphs about how great your organization is and all you’re doing. Nonprofits must think about impact in terms of what it means to their target audiences, how it is of value to them and why they should care. As you craft your impact report and determine how to best package it, here are a few considerations:

  • When it comes to messaging and content, be sure to position your impact in terms of your audience, making it more about them and less about your organization.
  • Think through the best format for your audience. If you’re going to be presenting a progress report, a PowerPoint deck might be best. If it is primarily read online, something short and visual with graphics and limited text may be ideal. In other instances, a video may be best.
  • Make your impact real. In addition to quantitative data, share stories and/or quotes from real people or organizations that have benefited from your work. An impact report shouldn’t just convey progress; it should inspire pride in your audiences and motivate their continued support.

As leaders in Tampa Bay’s nonprofit community, we challenge our sector to do the hard work of better communicating our impact. Our neighbors, constituents, donors and participants deserve our best when it comes to making a difference.

Sheff Crowder, President, Conn Memorial Foundation, NLC board member and trainer

Sheff Crowder has served as the president of the Conn Memorial Foundation since 1993. His foundation provides leadership and grants to organizations in Hillsborough County that support the educational achievement of children and youth in low-income neighborhoods and strengthen the capacity of leaders in preschools, schools and social service organizations. He was the founding chair of the Nonprofit Leadership Center and is a current board member and trainer. He is also an instructor at the University of Tampa in nonprofit management. Sheff has a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. 

Jesica D'Avanza

Jesica D’Avanza, MPA, APR is an award-winning communications leader who works at the intersection of brand and business strategy to enhance our lives and improve our world. As owner and chief strategy officer at Round Square, she applies nearly two decades of experience in brand and communications strategy to transform nonprofits and organizations that make our world a better place for greater relevance, resonance and results. Her consultancy supports clients across health care, wellness, education, environmental and nonprofit arenas.

Jesica has served in a variety of VP-level roles, overseeing communications strategy and brand revitalizations for some of America’s largest nonprofit health organizations. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Florida State University and her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).

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Four Skills Nonprofit Leaders Must Embrace to be Successful in 2020

Emily H. Benham | CEO, NLC Tips

After more than 40 years as a nonprofit leader, turning the page to a new calendar year is always a sobering moment for me because everything resets to zero — success metrics, revenue performance and participation impact. The pace of change in our society and nonprofit sector is dizzying. The one thing I know for sure is that our plans must continually evolve to achieve our goals. While change is constant, it’s our response that matters.

In the spirit of operating in an ever-changing landscape, I believe there are four essential skills nonprofit leaders must embrace to be successful in 2020.

Four Skills Nonprofit Leaders Must Embrace to be Successful in 2020

1. Master the pivot.

Author and NLC facilitator Steve Zimmerman recently wrote that innovation happens through continuous learning. He said that creating an innovative strategy can’t be a one-time or episodic practice, but rather it must be a continual process of trying, observing, refining and trying again.

Just as a strategic plan can’t sit on a shelf, successful nonprofit leaders must think strategically every day, using program assessments to drive real-time decision making and adapting to resource changes nimbly. Having an adaptive mindset and the ability to think strategically on your feet is a non-negotiable in 2020.

2. Find your voice.

The Nonprofit Leadership Center partnered with the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg in 2018 to assess the capacity of 31 nonprofit organizations in Pinellas County. Using the Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT), certified facilitators worked with teams of leadership staff and board members to pinpoint specific areas to strengthen to ensure organizational growth. While there were many “aha” moments from the collective findings, one of the most striking was the need for nonprofit leaders to find their voice to tell their story. Not only was this the case for fundraising effectiveness, but also for community outreach and board leadership.

In 2020, successful nonprofit leaders will recognize the value of having a clear and compelling brand story and will invest in a communications plan to help potential donors, community leaders and their peers understand what their organization does and, most importantly, why it matters. What tools (human and financial) do you already have in your toolbox or need to acquire to make that a reality? Even with a limited budget, nonprofit leaders can utilize staff and board resources as well as external consultants who are willing to contribute to their mission to inspire audiences to care and act.

READ NEXT: How to create breakthrough communications on a budget

3. Be relentlessly curious.

Learning is a lifelong endeavor. The status quo is what happens when we stop seeking new and better ways to accomplish our work. No matter how seasoned or successful one may be, the best leaders are hungry to learn more — to read about industry best practices, to stay abreast of what peers and partners are doing, to listen to and ask questions of others and to go out of their comfort zone to hone new skills. Past performance won’t dictate future success in our ever-changing world and sector. The best leaders in 2020 will be those who are relentlessly curious, seeking information, education and innovation to adapt, grow and thrive.

Here are a few ways NLC can help nonprofit leaders stay relentlessly curious this year:

  • Obtain a new professional certification: Whether you want to brush up on your skills or learn completely new ones, a professional certification is a great way to continue your education and enhance your professional reputation. NLC offers a graduate certificate in nonprofit management with the University of Tampa as well as numerous certificates in areas like grant writing, board governance, volunteer management and financial management.
  • Join a leadership peer group: The best learning happens when we connect with and learn from others. Sharing struggles and triumphs as well as problem-solving with peers is often where the most powerful learnings — and new opportunities — are born. Consider joining a leadership peer group, like one of NLC’s CEO Circles or another local leadership networking community. Email me to learn more.
  • Take a class: Strengthening our skills and our organizations is a never-ending process. We have an opportunity to grow and hone our skills in every area. Commit to take several nonprofit training classes throughout the year and empower your staff/team to do the same. Consider strengthening your skills in an area that feels less natural or comfortable to you — perhaps financial management, dealing with conflict, avoiding bias in the workplace, enhancing your social media presence or countless other areas.

READ NEXT: Why face-to-face learning is better than online learning

4. Embrace the pause.

What does productivity look like to you? Is it an empty inbox, a grant application submitted, a client’s issue resolved? Yes, of course. But being productive also means giving yourself time to reflect. Too often, I allow reflection to drop to the bottom of my list. A nicety. Something that’s optional. I recently changed my thinking on that topic. It’s not an either/or — it’s a both/and.

READ NEXT: 3 Ways to Increase Your Productivity at Work Without Working More

Team NLC recently held our staff retreat at Quantum Leap Farm as part of their Equine Assisted Self Exploration (EASE) program. Our staff retreats have historically consisted of packed agendas and discussions around strategic goals and growing resources. This past year, however, we ditched the overwhelming list of conversation topics to explore the expression of our individual leadership styles and to learn more about each other. Working as a team with our equine partners and master trainer Ellen Nastir, we learned how to better work together to accomplish our big audacious goals. We learned to celebrate who we are and what we bring to the team.

Team NLC at Quantum Leap Farm in December 2019

In this moment, I learned to embrace the power of the pause and to make it a priority in everyday life. A pause will look different for each of us. It could be a five-minute walk outside your office during the day. It might be eating lunch together with other team members and not talking about work issues. It may be a 10-minute meditation first thing in the morning. This year, successful nonprofit leaders will make personal reflection and intentional pausing a must-do rather than a might-do. I’m certain you’ll notice a difference.

Emily H. Benham has nearly four decades of experience in the nonprofit field. Before taking on the role of CEO of the Nonprofit Leadership Center in 2014, Emily was the interim president for Bayfront HERO (Health, Education and Research Organization), a health legacy foundation formed in 2013 with the net proceeds of the sale of Bayfront Medical Center. She also served as a member of Bayfront Medical Center’s senior leadership team, directing its philanthropic arm for more than 20 years.

Prior to her work in health care philanthropy, Emily led fund development efforts at the Florida Orchestra, American Stage and the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami.

Emily is a native of Reading, Pennsylvania, and received her bachelor’s degree in music from Amherst College in Massachusetts. She’s an avid equestrian and competes regionally in dressage with her equine partner, Current Affair.

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