Group of 10 graduates with instructors from the 2022 Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program

Applications Now Open for the 2023-24 Certificate in Nonprofit Management Graduate Program

Team NLC News

For nonprofit professionals who aspire to be a CEO or senior leadership team member, a graduate certificate in nonprofit management is a powerful step to make that goal a reality. The Nonprofit Leadership Center offers a graduate certificate in nonprofit management in collaboration with the University of Tampa.

Applications are now open for the 2023-24 program.

“I would not be where I am today without the Certificate in Nonprofit Management program at UT. It was truly a game-changer for me. It gave me an incredible network of trusted colleagues, the ability to propel my organization forward and introduced me to concepts I needed to know more about to be effective.”

Certificate graduate

About the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management

The 2023-2024 graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at the University of Tampa will begin in May 2023 and last about 15 months. Courses are delivered as four one-week seminars, representing 12 credit hours of graduate-level instruction. Program participants will develop skills in strategic thinking, leadership, marketing, development and accounting. The required in-person sessions include:

  • Thinking Strategically
    Students will focus on evaluating mission, analyzing board governance and conducting an environmental scan. They will also identify the focus area for their program-long project and business plan.
  • Marketing, Research & Communication
    Students will learn how to conduct market research, explore fund development and develop a marketing plan for their chosen project.
  • Accounting & Financial Management
    Students will learn the fundamentals of accounting, financial performance, analyzing costs and internal controls. They will also develop a budget for their program-long project.
  • Leadership and Innovation
    Students will evaluate their personal leadership and develop an implementation plan.
  • Final Presentations
    The program culminates with students presenting their business plan to a group of nonprofit and community leaders for evaluation as the final step to receiving their certificate.


Join Us for an Upcoming Info Session

Join us for an upcoming info session to discover how quickly you can further your education with our nonprofit graduate program. You’ll receive a general overview of the University of Tampa as well as details about nonprofit management track options. Faculty and staff will be available to answer your questions, discuss the application process and review financial aid options.

January 25, 2023, at Noon ET

February 16, 2023, at Noon ET

“This program has been so insightful and challenging. Working and learning from organizations that are so different from my own has significantly expanded my horizons.”

Certificate graduate

Have questions? Email us at, or contact our friends at the University of Tampa at 813-258-7409 or

Welcome Stacy and Nate

Nonprofit Leadership Center Welcomes Two New Members to Board of Directors

Team NLC News

The Nonprofit Leadership Center is pleased to welcome two new members to its talented and dedicated board of directors: Stacy Baier, Ph.D., and Nathan Penha, CRPS®, AAMS®.

Meet Stacy Baier

Stacy Baier is the CEO of the Pinellas Education Foundation, where she leads all development, educational impact and administrative activities while cultivating a strong working relationship between the business and school communities. Stacy has nearly 30 years of experience in foundation development and capacity building, grantmaking, programmatic design and nonprofit management.

Before joining the Pinellas Education Foundation, Stacy served in leadership roles, including president and CEO of the Florida Philanthropic Network, vice president and program director of college and career readiness for Helios Education Foundation, and the executive director of the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations.

“I believe building the knowledge, skills and talents of leaders within the nonprofit sector is what will make the greatest difference in finding solutions to the community’s most significant challenges. I appreciate being part of an organization like the Nonprofit Leadership Center that assists the sector in maximizing a donor’s investment by leveraging the capacity of the individuals leading and working within nonprofits.”

Dr. Stacy Baier

Stacy received her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Florida, holds a Master of Education from Harvard University and has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Stacy is also a founding board member of the National Schools Foundation Association and author of “From Better to Best: Practical Strategies to Boost Efficiency in Your Education Foundation,” a strategy guide to enhance the effectiveness of education foundations and improve financial return. Most recently, Stacy was recognized for the second time on the Florida Trend 500 Most Influential Leaders in the category of nonprofits/philanthropy.

Meet Nathan Penha

Image of Nathan Penha in a navy suit jacket and white and blue collared shirt.

Nathan “Nate” Penha is a financial professional with more than 11 years of experience specializing in advanced financial strategies and market and economic analysis working with individuals and organizations of all sizes. Nate currently serves as a senior consultant for CAPTRUST. He has previously held roles with Mutual of America, AIG and Edward Jones.

“There are few greater privileges than the ability to serve your community and support those who support others. I have learned, especially these past few years, that representation is critical. It has become of the utmost importance while working with youth and families of color to lead by example and humility. Giving back to my community is at the very core of who I am. It has been such an honor to serve with the Nonprofit Leadership Center as a Key Partner, a mentor through its Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship, and now a board member.”

Nate Penha

Nate has been active in supporting his community while volunteering for Metropolitan Ministries, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Hillsborough Education Foundation, Meals on Wheels, Shriners Children’s Hospital, and as a coach for multiple youth sports organizations. He has served on the boards of the Hyde Park Rotary Club, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Society of St. Vincent de Paul South Pinellas and West Tampa Little League. Nate has three children and enjoys frequenting Tampa Bay area restaurants, parks, beaches and spots for kids with his family.

Please join us in welcoming Stacy and Nate to Team NLC.

Image of a computer open to the Google homepage: SEO Resources for Nonprofits

Become an SEO Pro: SEO Resources for Nonprofits

Team NLC Tips

Google is consistently the top-visited website in the U.S., and search engines drive the majority of all website traffic. Have you ever wondered how to get your nonprofit to rank higher on Google or to show up on the first page of search results? One of the answers lies in mastering SEO.

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by implementing strategies that will help it appear higher on the list of search engine results. It serves to increase the quantity and quality of website traffic by understanding what people are searching for and then delivering answers through quality content.

Unlike search engine marketing (SEM), which uses paid advertising to appear in search results and immediately loses visibility when no longer supported by a financial spend, SEO is one of the only marketing strategies that can continue to drive website traffic and results over time when set up correctly. Not only do organic search results appear more credible and savvy to searchers, they typically receive more clicks than paid ads.

READ NEXT: How to Create Breakthrough Communications on a Budget

How SEO Works

1. Conduct keyword research: Using online research tools like Google’s free Keyword Planner, you can determine the keywords people are using when they search on Google and Bing for information that is relevant to your mission and brand.

2. Develop content that uses keywords: Using the search terms identified during your keyword research, develop content that includes those terms and answer the questions people are asking in their online searches. This may include updating or creating new pages or blog posts/articles on your website.

3. Support your content with the Google Ad Grant: Many nonprofits are eligible for a Google Ad Grant, which provides $10,000 in free search advertising to help boost your organization’s visibility by driving increased website traffic through search.

4. Assess content performance: Using online tools like Google Analytics that track website visitors and the actions they take on your site, review how your content is performing. Are users taking the desired action or another action (e.g., signing up for email, making a donation)? Are they staying on your site by visiting another page, or are they leaving quickly?

5. Update content as needed: If visitors aren’t taking your desired actions on the content pages you’ve optimized, consider testing alternate calls to action, reviewing keyword integration or adding additional elements like a sign-up form or lightbox (pop-up).

SEO Resources for Nonprofits

Mastering SEO takes subject matter expertise and a lot of time to learn and implement. These resources from Community Boost are a great place to learn more about search engine optimization and how to get started.

  • Nonprofit Accelerator: Provides coaches, courses and a community to help nonprofits improve their digital marketing, including SEO and strategic content development

Nonprofit Resources for Hurricane Ian Recovery

Nonprofit Support for Hurricane Ian

Team NLC News

Hurricane Ian devastated cities and homes when it made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. The latest estimates show that 8,700 people have applied for federal aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the economic damage to the state is estimated at as much as $65 billion.

Like in all crises and emergencies, nonprofit organizations step in and step up to help individuals, families and communities recover, rebuild and restore hope.

Community Foundation of Tampa Bay: NLC Funder

Our friends at the Community Foundation Tampa Bay have worked quickly, in partnership with fundholders and other philanthropists, to help address the unexpected needs now facing nonprofits and communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Resources & Support for Nonprofits

Here are several resources now available to nonprofits through Community Foundation Tampa Bay:

Critical Needs List 

Now through October 2022, Community Foundation Tampa Bay has expanded the criteria for its Critical Needs List to include nonprofit needs related to Hurricane Ian, particularly to meet increasing service demands from residents impacted by the storm.

A critical need is defined as unbudgeted, unforeseen and time-sensitive, and one that significantly interferes with a nonprofit’s ability to provide crucial services or presents an imminent threat to the organization’s continued operations.

The Critical Needs List is designed to help nonprofits manage unbudgeted, unplanned and untimely emergencies.

Hurricane Ian-related requests are eligible for a fundholder match. The Community Foundation Tampa Bay will provide a 1-to-3 match to grants made from a Community Foundation donor advised fund or Family Foundation to directly address a need submitted on the Critical Needs List.
The list will be published on the Foundation’s website and shared publicly. See eligibility requirements and submit your needs. 

Hurricane Ian Resources 

Community Foundation Tampa Bay has begun compiling local community resources for individual aid. The initial list of resources is available on their website, and new resources will continue to be added..

Prepare Your Nonprofit for Potential Disasters

Having business continuity and disaster recovery plans is essential for nonprofits.

Join the Nonprofit Leadership Center on October 27 for a half-day session on Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery in an Ever-Changing Business Landscape. During this course, you will learn what a continuity of operations plan is, why your nonprofit needs one and what to consider when developing and reviewing it.

Conference logo next to text that says: Conference will be rescheduled due to Hurricane Ian

Nonprofit Leadership Center Conference to Be Rescheduled Due to Hurricane Ian

Team NLC News

The 2022 Nonprofit Leadership Conference that was planned for Wednesday, September 28, will be rescheduled due to Hurricane Ian to ensure the safety of all guests and their families. The Nonprofit Leadership Center is actively working with the Tampa Marriott Water Street to determine a new date to hold the event this year. 

All registered participants will receive more information in the coming days about the conference once a new date has been set. We will automatically transfer your ticket and registration to the new event date. 

Once the new date has been established, if you have purchased a conference ticket and are no longer able to attend, we will refund your ticket in full or offer program credit based on your preference.

As our sector has been nimble and resilient during the past few years, we will do so once again now. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to announcing our new event date and welcoming you to the 2022 Nonprofit Leadership Conference. Stay safe!

Individual Freedoms Act Webinar: Photo features a gold judicial scale next to a clipboard with paperwork

What the Individual Freedom Act Means for Your Nonprofit

Charlie Imbergamo | Director of Strategic Programs Resources

Florida recently passed the Individual Freedom Act, also known as the “Stop WOKE Act,” which makes it unlawful for an employer to require employees as a condition of employment to attend training on a variety of concepts, including some common elements of diversity training. Litigation to strike the Act’s application to employers as unconstitutional was dismissed.

On August 18, 2022, Chief US District Judge Mark Walker of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Florida blocked the application of the Individual Freedom Act to employers, issuing a preliminary injunction in, Inc. v. Ron DeSantis, et al. Judge Walker found the law to violate the First Amendment. 

During this free on-demand session, you will hear more about what is included in the Individual Freedom Act and what it means for Florida employers. After watching the video, you will understand the statute’s provisions, the recent judicial decision, and the ultimate outlook for this legislation.

Watch the Replay

Download the presentation.

See all free webinars here.

About the Presenter

Scott Silverman

Adept at navigating complex labor and employment matters, Scott Silverman is noted by Chambers USA for being “expeditious” and “excellent at providing all points of view.” His range of experience includes representation of employers in administrative proceedings, federal and state court litigation, and arbitrations. Although he has worked on a variety of labor and employment issues throughout his career, Scott’s practice has emphasized labor-management relations, employment discrimination, non-compete/trade secret, wage and hour, and retaliation claims.

Complementing his litigation practice, he advises employers on day-to-day matters and drafts manuals and contracts for his clients. Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Labor and Employment Law, Scott frequently lectures and publishes articles on current developments in labor and employment law. In addition to Chambers USA,numerous leading industry publications have ranked Scott as a top lawyer in Florida, including The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers Magazine

Photo of a man in a blue shirt taking a photo with a camera next to the words Submit Your Photo

Submit a Photo for the 2022 Nonprofit Leadership Conference Video

Team NLC News

On September 28, 2022, more than 700 nonprofit and business leaders will come together at the 12th Annual Nonprofit Leadership Conference, hosted by the Nonprofit Leadership Center and presented by Bank of America, for a day of inspiration, education and connection.

We invite you to submit a photo that shows your nonprofit in action for a chance to be featured in the opening video at the conference.

Photo Submission Requirements

We’re looking for photos that meet the following guidelines:

  • File type: Images must be formatted as JPG or PNG files.
  • Aspect ratio: We are looking for images shot in a horizontal/landscape orientation. Landscape ratio for video is 16:9 (1920x1080p).
  • Quality: To ensure the best quality, we recommend uploading images up to 2,000 pixels on the longest (horizontal) edge. Please ensure your photos are crisp and not grainy or pixelated. Photos should be well-lit and free from background distractions.
  • Content: Photos should show your mission in action (e.g., staff and/or volunteers working together or with clients/constituents, active in the community, etc.). Photos should feature only a few people where intimate connections and faces are visible. Please avoid large group shots or groups of people smiling directly into the camera.

The deadline to submit your photos is Monday, September 12, 2022.

We look forward to seeing your photos and potentially featuring one of them in our conference communications!

Jamiel Maze Joins Nonprofit Leadership Center as New Resource Development Coordinator

Team NLC News

The Nonprofit Leadership Center (NLC) is pleased to announce that Jamiel Maze, MA, has joined the organization as its new resource development coordinator. In this role, she will support fund development efforts, including grant writing, sponsorship, and recognizing the many people and partners who make NLC’s work possible.

Jamiel joins Team NLC after serving as an educator for more than 15 years. While teaching was extremely meaningful and fulfilling for Jamiel, she found herself eager to volunteer — even on the most exhausting days. 

“When I felt burned out, I still wanted to spend time with the Girl Scout troop I lead or distributing food in the community with local nonprofits,” Jamiel recalls. “I strongly believe in doing fulfilling work and started to question why I wasn’t combining what I love most in my career.”

In addition to her volunteer leadership roles with Girls Rock Camp St. Pete, the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, and the Junior League of Tampa, her experience as a 2022 graduate in the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management program at the University of Tampa drew her to NLC.

“During my 15 months in the nonprofit graduate program, I saw how much work and impact the Nonprofit Leadership Center team has on our community and other nonprofits trying to drive sustainable change. I knew I could be a part of it.” 

In her new role as resource development coordinator, Jamiel says she is most excited to learn. “There is no better place to learn the ins and outs of the nonprofit sector than the Nonprofit Leadership Center. I’m excited to be surrounded by the best of the best trainers and experts here and help advance social impact in the community.”

Jamiel received her bachelor’s degree in English from Allegheny College. She also holds two master’s degrees — one in English and a second in global development and social justice. 

When Jamiel is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her family, visiting national parks and attending the theater. She’s a passionate backpacker and hiker who loves doing anything where she can mix her love of the outdoors and literature.

Please join us in welcoming Jamiel Maze to Team NLC. You can connect with Jamiel at and on LinkedIn.

Leadership Conference Logo with the text Breakout Speakers & Sessions

2022 Nonprofit Leadership Conference Breakout Speakers & Sessions

Team NLC News

The past few years have required nonprofit professionals to dig deep, think differently and work together to support communities. At the 2022 Nonprofit Leadership Conference on December 1, presented by Bank of America, you’ll reignite your calling to nonprofit work and come together with peers and partners to chart the path forward.

This year’s conference breakout speakers address some of the most pressing issues facing nonprofit professionals, from acquiring and retaining top talent and leading like an entrepreneur to prioritizing yourself in a non-stop world and embracing an inclusive culture.

Meet the 2022 breakout speakers below who will join highly anticipated keynote speaker Nataly Kogan to renew your passion and celebrate your commitment to strengthening organizations and our communities.

Breakout Sessions & Speakers

During the 2022 Leadership Conference, attendees will have an opportunity to participate in two interactive breakout sessions. You’ll walk away with ideas, tools and strategies you and your team can immediately implement to address the most critical topics facing our sector and society.

Finding & Retaining Talent in a Changing Hiring Landscape with Cheryl Brown

Headshot of Cheryl Brown wearing a red suit jacket

One of the most pressing challenges facing leaders today is attracting and retaining top talent. Known as the “Great Resignation” or “Great Reshuffle,” the workforce’s shifting expectations since the pandemic require organizations to re-evaluate their culture to inspire employee engagement and loyalty — and ultimately deliver their mission more effectively. 

During this interactive session, you will learn how to use culture as your differentiator to attract and retain top talent and why investing in your culture leads to high performance.

Cheryl Brown, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is passionate about helping organizations relentlessly pursue organizational excellence. With more than 25 years of experience working with nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies to improve cultures, Cheryl is an expert in culture transformation, strategic planning, operational effectiveness, innovation, talent acquisition, diversity, equity, and inclusion, organizational development, performance management, succession planning, and board governance. As an award-winning leader, her P.R.A.I.S.E. Culture™ and P.R.A.I.S.E. Strategy™ frameworks align culture with strategy to achieve measurable results. Cheryl also serves on the NLC Board of Directors and is a key contributor on the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee, Human Resources Task Force, and is serving a second year as a mentor for NLC’s Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards (ARENB) Fellowship.

A Mental Well-Being Playbook for Leaders in a Post-Pandemic Environment with Dr. Nick Dewan

When it comes to supporting performance in a high-pressure environment, we can learn a lot from sports teams. Dr. Nick Dewan applies his experience as an athlete, coach and sports psychiatrist to address the unique needs of a workforce facing chronic stress and burnout.

Naakesh (Nick) Dewan, M.D., is the vice president of behavioral health at GuideWell-Florida Blue. In his more than 30 years of experience as an accomplished physician and health care executive, Dr. Dewan has been an innovator in behavioral health and academic medicine. He has published three books on behavioral health technology and pioneered the use of patient support tools in primary care.

Dr. Dewan holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Wright State University and a Doctor of Medicine from Medical College of Ohio at Toledo. He spent three years in psychiatric residency at the University of Southern California and completed his residency and fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology at the University of California, San Diego. He is a certified physician executive and is board-certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine.

Additionally, Dr. Dewan played and coached tennis at the collegiate level and has worked with amateur and professional athletes worldwide in multiple sports, including tennis, golf, football, baseball, basketball, and soccer.

Social Capital: Building Your Network and Net Worth with Gary Hartfield

Headshot of Gary T. Hartfield wearing a grey suit and blue tie

In today’s ever-changing landscape, leaders are under increasing pressure to demonstrate innovation and impact. For nonprofits, the key may be in thinking and acting like an entrepreneur.

Like every entrepreneur, nonprofit leaders need three kinds of capital: financial, human, and social. While financial and human capital are essential for success, social capital — the connections and shared values that exist between people and enable cooperation — is the key ingredient for long-term growth and impact.

During this session, you will learn how to think more like an entrepreneur as you explore the principles of social capital and the four ways to build it.

Gary T. Hartfield, MBA, is the founder, president and CEO of six residential group homes throughout Florida and an adult day training center, delivering personalized and therapeutic health care services for the elderly and developmentally disabled. Gary is also the founder and CEO of Serenity Village Insurance & Consulting in Tampa, a full-service operation specializing in commercial risk to support individuals and business owners. Gary is the author of “Stand,” and he was recognized by Onyx Magazine’s “Black Men Honors ‘Florida’s Most Impactful and Influential Men.’”

The Spiral of Consciousness: Leading with Intentionality with Margarita Sarmiento

Headshot of Margarita Sarmiento wearing a red jacketAs leaders look toward the future, they face critical choices about organizational culture and sustainability. With the growing need for workplaces to acknowledge and value differences and ensure inclusivity is the norm, not a strategic initiative, leaders must consciously question and seek to broaden their reality. And yet, most thinking happens in the subconscious mind, including how we approach people, problem-solve and make decisions. These involuntary patterns influence our perspectives and behaviors, with no thought to the why.

During this thought-provoking session, you’ll examine a process to take the necessary steps to become a more intentional leader and choose to be the change we wish to see.

Margarita Sarmiento is an award-winning international trainer and speaker, certified leadership coach and author. Three major career shifts due to reorganizations and layoffs gave rise to her more than 30 years of management and training experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Through her company ITK Consultants, Margarita designs and delivers customized programs in leadership, organizational and team development, communication, and DEI to influence positive change and improve results.


Prioritizing Yourself in a Nonstop World with Kristen Lessig-Schenerlein

Head shot of Kristen Lessig-Schenerlein wearing a black sweater

Nonprofit professionals face a high risk of burning out. To effectively care for others, we must first care for ourselves, but that’s often easier said than done.

Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting your well-being, pursuing happiness and being equipped to respond to stress with a positive mindset, so difficult periods don’t become long-term imbalances. In this interactive session, you’ll design a personal roadmap for self-care that can be modeled at all levels of your organization, develop strategies to shift organizational culture to one that prioritizes learning over performance, and identify ways funders can support the mental health and well-being of your nonprofit team(s).

Kristen Lessig-Schenerlein, ACC, CPQC, CTAA, RYT200, is the owner of Koi Coaching & Consulting where she helps nonprofit and small business leaders do the inner work necessary to link their power with their passion. Kristen blends her more than 16 years of experience as a nonprofit founder and executive director with yoga training and Positive Intelligence to help leaders improve their mental fitness and live a life in alignment with their values. She is a Certified Positive Intelligence Coach and Certified Virtual Facilitator will begin her master’s in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania this fall.

Leading Change Through the Power of Reflection with Rebecca J. Watson

Headshot of Rebecca Watson wearing a blue tank topReflection is a powerful tool for learning and leadership, yet it’s often a leader’s least-protected resource. More and more, leaders feel pressured to deprioritize time for reflection to respond to increasing organizational demands. These urgent challenges often require innovative solutions — solutions that can surely be accessed through consistent, intentional, reflective thinking.

During this session, you will renew your understanding of reflection as a driving force of your leadership, learn a simple framework to leverage reflection as a tool for innovative thinking, and practice two reflective strategies to strengthen your personal and leadership adaptability.

Rebecca J. Watson, M.Ed., is a master facilitator and leadership development strategist with a passion for empowering emerging and established leaders. She currently serves as CEO of Limitless Leader Inc., a leadership development consulting firm. For more than 17 years, she has made significant contributions to leadership capacity-building initiatives in Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Texas and Tennessee. She also supports school improvement efforts as a national education consultant and previously served as a principal with Chicago Public Schools.

Leading with Cultural Competence: A Panel Discussion

Leading With Cultural Competence: A Panel Discussion

Leaders from the nonprofit and for-profit sectors will discuss their journeys to better understand how to navigate cultural differences and commonalities in the workplace and nurture a thriving organizational culture. Join Chris Johnson from the Mosaic Company, Beverly Foster representing the Junior League of Tampa, and ReGina Newkirk Rucci from 904WARD for an honest and impactful conversation moderated by the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Meriel Martínez.

Diverse Representation on Nonprofit Boards: A Panel Discussion

Diverse boards are crucial to nonprofit success, but nearly 1 in 3 nonprofits lack any professionals of color on their boards (BoardSource). With nonprofit CEOs reporting ongoing challenges in understanding how to identify and recruit board members of color, this highly engaging panel discussion illuminates where to start and the far-reaching, positive impact of bringing about this long-needed change. 

Moderated by Ernest Hooper, senior vice president for communications at United Way Suncoast, join some of the community’s brightest business leaders who have been part of the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship to explore how to increase diverse representation on nonprofit boards.

Panelists include: Bill Goede, Tampa Bay president, Bank of America; Demmeri Gallon, vice president, community relations manager, Bank of America; and Mike Sutton, CFRE, president and CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties

For Nonprofit CEOs Only: Executive Exchange

Gather with your fellow nonprofit CEOs and executive directors for intentional and inspiring networking time. During this executive exchange designed to spark collaboration and communication, you can choose to participate in lightly facilitated conversation or open networking time with your peers. Remember to bring your business cards.

This executive breakout session is facilitated by Ellen Nastir from Innovative Team Solutions and sponsored by Round Square.

Introducing the Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards 20a22 Fellows

23 Leaders Selected for 2022 Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship

Team NLC News

In response to research that shows nearly 1 in 3 nonprofits lack any professionals of color on their boards (BoardSource) and to foster more inclusive and equitable communities, the Nonprofit Leadership Center launched the Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship in 2021. This transformational, 15-week program is designed to strengthen the board governance knowledge and skills of professionals of color while equipping nonprofit organizations to be genuinely ready to welcome these new members onto their boards. 

During the program’s first year, fellows reported a 40% increase in their board governance knowledge and skills after completing the program, and 95% of fellows were invited to serve on a nonprofit board or are in active conversations with at least one organization about board service. 

“If I could sum up my fellowship in just a few words, I’d describe it as intentional, exciting and life-changing. This fellowship was not just about going through a program and remembering information; it was about living the experience. I will never forget this opportunity and what I learned, and I’m excited about what it has prepared me to take on next.

Paula D., 2021 graduate
Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship

Today, we are thrilled to announce the 23 fellows selected for the 2022 program. After a competitive application process, these professionals of color will participate in intensive and engaging training to learn how to serve as effective nonprofit board members. They will receive mentorship between sessions by other professionals of color who are experienced board members.

Colorful image featuring all 23 fellows' headshots in gold, orange, red and blue.

Meet the 2022 Fellows

Alejandro Ortiz, vice president, commercial relationship manager, PNC Bank

“As a Latino and someone who was not born in this country, I recall the obstacles my family and I faced when we first moved to the United States. I have seen and experienced first-hand what it is like to be a minority in this country. Growing up in a small city in Rhode Island, it was difficult not seeing others of my color leading the community I lived in. Being able to help a nonprofit board understand what works and doesn’t work for the Latino community will help provide better results to the community they serve. I feel it is my duty if given the opportunity to share my story and insightful feedback in hopes of advancing racial equity.”

Andre Curry, registered nurse and certified health coach, Florida Blue

“As professionals of color, we have a crucial role to play in breaking the negative stereotypes that have been placed on our shoulders, and we must work diligently to promote, advance and advocate for the people and communities we serve. Expanding my reach into our communities by being active with nonprofit boards provides the opportunity to be an active participant so our voices will be heard, barriers will be broken and progress will be made.”

Ángela Fernandez, vice president private client manager, Bank of America

“We all need a helping hand and guidance at some point. Helping our community by volunteering, showing compassion, listening and sending out a strong message goes a long way.”

Dr. Angela A. Scott, co-founder and chief operating officer, Growing Human Capital with a S.M.I.L.E., LLC

“I believe when people know they belong, their performance and results are exponential. In participating in this fellowship, I will gain hands-on experience to function as a nonprofit board member and bridge my realities with the organization’s vision to create equitable opportunities to meet the mission.”

Brittainy Joyner, associate attorney, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

“As a community leader, you use your tools and abilities to navigate situations and fix problems. Being a professional of color has shown me that, sometimes, when there is no person of color in any leadership position, our issues sometimes can be misconstrued or left out entirely. Because of this, I always try to look at all angles of a problem and analyze situations for all people who could be impacted. Nonprofit board service gives me a path to intentionally make space for positive outcomes for a nonprofit through diverse ideas and concepts.”

C.T. Harris, CEO, Entrepreneur

“I like to consider myself a devout advocate for the voiceless, underserved and overlooked. Serving on nonprofit boards enables me to not only advocate for others; it allows me to bring resources and ideas to the forefront of those citizens and communities typically forgotten. I strive to do the work that will make an impact and a difference in the lives of everyday people. This is my why.”

Carla Bourne, ophthalmologist — surgeon, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, teaching faculty, University of South Florida, and CEO, OCBRA Advantage, LLC

“As a surgeon in academic medicine, I have participated in admissions panels where minority students with competitive grades were overlooked because they did not graduate from the ‘right school’ or have the connections to have the ‘right person’ make a call on their behalf. This disparity is one of the reasons I feel passionate about mentorship and advocacy. By offering a fresh perspective as a minority female who was raised overseas and has overcome challenges to find her place in a male-dominated field, the vast experience gained through my time spent teaching, mentoring and providing medical care will be the foundation to develop a powerful voice for change.”

Chantel Evans, accounting supervisor, The Bank of Tampa

“I’m excited for the opportunity to be a part of an organization that amplifies BIPOC voices and includes them in spaces that there’s a need. I hope to gain the skills necessary to be an effective board member for a nonprofit. I look forward to contributing innovative ideas and additional insight on how nonprofits can better serve our communities.”

Christopher Butler, director of business strategy and operations, Vistra Communications

“Making sure there are multiple perspectives and voices in the room when ideas and decisions impacting our community are shared and implemented is necessary to have the most inclusive and comprehensive strategies for our community as a whole. I believe my perspective, along with others who are underrepresented, is important to have available and be shared on nonprofit boards, where many of these organizations function and impact those very voices that are underrepresented or not represented at all.”

Christopher Hackney, SVP, SBA regional sales manager, BayFirst National Bank (formerly known as First Home Bank)

“As a professional of color, I am often in spaces where I am the minority, which can be intimidating to some and make you feel not as valuable as the majority. As I grew into my career and as a community leader, my perspective evolved as I realized there is considerable value in being a person of color in these spaces through opening doors for other minorities and unrepresented groups. Community leaders should not look alike because communities are not homogeneous. They are diverse, fluid and ever-changing. Organizations must be open to diverse leadership, leveraging the pool of burgeoning talent of people of color ready to take the lead.”

Cliff Stanley, CEO, Coast to Coast Business Consulting

“Although nonprofits have the best intentions, leaders are often making decisions for problems they can’t personally relate to or have never experienced. To create life-changing impact in under-resourced communities, it is vital to have diversity amongst leadership. Through this fellowship, I hope to gain the opportunity to represent the change we need in these environments to learn and share my experience to benefit our communities.”

Cord McLean, director of leadership development and DEI, Bloomin’ Brands

“Being a professional of color, especially working in the DEI space, has made me acutely aware of the deep work that still needs to be done in our organizations and communities. As a Black man who has achieved success in education and my career, it is my duty to give back and continue pushing for equity across many aspects of difference. If we want to see more representation, we have to be willing to step up and be the representation when the opportunities emerge. I am interested in learning more about how my skills and experiences can be cultivated to be of service in this community.”

Corey Baker, financial center manager, Fifth Third Bank

“Being a professional of color has impacted my perspective on being a community leader because I believe in racial diversity and inclusion and being an example first to direct others in need of information that can guide lives and build those in poverty that their creativity matters “

Dr. Katrina Esau, CEO and president, KE3 Worldwide Enterprises

“Being a professional of color, I see first-hand how opportunities are not always equal. While diversity and inclusion come up often, it’s only in the past two to three years that we are finally seeing traction. We’ve moved from talking about it to taking action. It’s because of this experience I believe there is so much more I can do outside of my job. There is education and exposure that needs to occur in our communities before people even get into the corporate world. I want to be positioned to not only learn about those opportunities but determine how I can contribute to making a difference.”

Erica Sutherlin, director of community engagement, American Stage Theatre Company

“Being a community leader is highly important to me as a professional of color because I believe the community needs to see themselves reflected in leadership. Growing up, when I saw someone who looked like me in positions of leadership, I believed in myself enough that I could achieve those goals. And this act of modeling and reflection must continue to foster new leaders — a necessity for the cycle to continue to truly diversify leadership.”

Karen Lewis, VP of information technology, Franklin Templeton

“Being a professional of color not only requires dedication, knowledge and experience; it requires grit and resilience. We are often not the first selected for the next role, opportunity or the interesting work/stretch assignment. I have learned to never give up and to always find a way to achieve my and my firm’s goals. I’ve had to learn to become a leader and lead with empathy while empowering individual accountability. I believe these skills are critical in a community leader. And though we have many people of color who have these skills, the missing link is being involved in the community and focused on the community. I believe with support of this fellowship, I can leverage these skills to be an effective community leader.”

Kenneshia M. Martin, CEO/real estate consultant, Martin Mortgage Financial, LLC

“There are many great and noble causes and ideas within the nonprofit sector, but organizations must recognize and understand the issues of diversity and equity within our community. This fellowship will equip me with the proper professional tools to not only put me in the room but also allow me a seat at the table where diversity can have a voice for understanding and change. As a woman of color with a daughter who attends an HBCU, diversity and equality are not only a passion; this is my mission.”

Larry Jones, analyst, PNC Bank

“As I child, I was taught the more you give the more receive and to whom much is given, much is required. Being someone who has ‘made it out’ has placed an obligation on me I cannot ignore. It motivates me and is the passion that drives me to serve more, do more and help push the next generation forward, so they too, can experience life’s unlimited opportunities in abundance despite where you start or your current situation in life.”

Nikki Barfield, deputy director of supportive services for veteran families, Department of Veterans Affairs — Homeless Programs Office

“I would like to strengthen my community through nonprofit board service because I am a firm believer in being a part of solutions. Although nothing is perfect, maintaining a solution-focused approach toward dealing with challenges is the only way to bring about change.”

Ottesha Williams, owner/operator, The Harvest of Learning Tutoring Service

“As a professional of color, I know how important it is for all youth to see themselves represented. That representation should show up in community leadership positions. Today, there are still many positions that are not held by people of color and that has a huge effect on relationships in the community. I hope to be a part of the change that creates better and more productive relationships that will help build our local communities in this area.”

Patrick Arthur Jackson, associate artistic producer, American Stage Theatre Company

“As a Black, Queer identifying man, I know the power of visible representation and how it impacts those in the community to ignite their own voices as agents of change. I have always been called to opportunities to be an example and directly engage in my community.”

Raul Renderos, vice president, treasury sales officer, Bank of America

“Growing up, I did not have the same opportunities as everyone else. As a Hispanic professional, I realize the importance of helping advance racial equity and inclusion. I would like to ensure others in my previous situation do not feel that disadvantage.”

Tamika Powe, manager, community benefit and health education programs, Tampa General Hospital

“Leaders of color have the unique perspective to help individuals from communities of color acquire the knowledge and skills needed to lead change and development in their community. It is imperative for professionals of color to be involved as leaders in their communities to foster and direct change.”

READ NEXT: Fellowship Graduate Shares Her Journey to Nonprofit Board Service

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The Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship is possible thanks to the collective support and unwavering commitment of Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Bank of America, Bank of Tampa, Bloomin’ Brands, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Florida Blue, Pinellas Community Foundation, PNC Bank, Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and Vistra Communications.

Learn More About the Fellowship

Diversity among board members is crucial to ensuring nonprofit organizations have the broad perspectives necessary to be more effective, understand those they serve, meet strategic goals, and engage meaningful donors. The Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship will:

  • Advance racial and ethnic diversity, equity and inclusion on nonprofit boards throughout Tampa Bay
  • Deepen the board governance knowledge and skills of professionals of color
  • Equip select nonprofits to genuinely welcome participating board fellows and ensure their organizations are ready and committed to fostering more inclusive and equitable boards and cultures

Learn more about the program and how your organization can get involved.