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Emily Benham to Retire as CEO of the Nonprofit Leadership Center

Nonprofit Leadership Center

Today, the Nonprofit Leadership Center announced that Emily H. Benham, CFRE, FAHP, will retire as CEO on June 30, 2023.

Emily joined the Nonprofit Leadership Center (NLC) in September 2014 after a long and successful fund development career with Bayfront Health System/Bayfront Health Foundation. Her career in the nonprofit sector spans four decades, with service in Tampa Bay, Miami, South Dakota and Indiana.

“I am so proud of the extraordinary staff and board members we have assembled at the Nonprofit Leadership Center,” says Emily, reflecting on her time at NLC. “This talented group of individuals is not only passionate about strengthening the nonprofit sector; they are highly skilled and deeply committed to our work and each other. I know they will continue to take NLC and the nonprofits we support to new heights.”

During nearly a decade as the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s CEO, Emily doubled the organization’s staff and total revenue, opened a new training center in 2018, built strong relationships with community partners and helped mentor the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

“I’m immensely grateful for Emily Benham’s leadership and all she has done to advance our nonprofit sector and community,” said Sheff Crowder, board chair of the Nonprofit Leadership Center and CEO of the Conn Memorial Foundation. “Emily’s passion and leadership catapulted NLC forward to the organization it has become today. The organization is now poised for continued growth and impact.”

Among Emily’s many contributions to the Nonprofit Leadership Center, several have helped transform the organization and Tampa Bay’s nonprofit sector:

Lifelong Learning & What’s Next

Fostering a learning culture is at the heart of the Nonprofit Leadership Center. It’s no surprise that as a self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Emily says she has learned so much during her time at NLC.

“At NLC, we believe in living by the education we deliver. That means if we teach it, we do it, too,” Emily says. “We test drive new tools and assess ourselves regularly. I’ve learned so much about our organization and myself through experiences like the TCC Group’s CCAT (Core Capacity Assessment Tool) and PeopleMap assessment.”

Always striving to model best practices at NLC, Board Chair Sheff Crowder says the organization has a comprehensive CEO succession plan:

“We have appointed Mariana Bugallo-Muros as the chair of our CEO Transition Committee to oversee the selection of NLC’s next CEO. They are already at work, and we will inform the community of next steps and progress throughout this process.”

As for what’s next for Emily, she plans to take some time off to travel and spend time with her family for a few months. She will continue consulting for nonprofits as she builds her dream of owning a horse farm someday.

“My hope for the Nonprofit Leadership Center in the next 10 years is that it is regionally and nationally recognized for the quality, scope and depth of its capacity building and that both nonprofit professionals and funders seek out deep and meaningful partnerships with the organization to strengthen our communities,” Emily shares.

If you have questions about NLC’s executive transition plan or know a leader who should be considered as the next CEO, please email

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