Emily H. Benham has more than 30 years 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 to a for profit entity. Prior to the sale, she was a member of Bayfront Medical Center’s senior leadership team, and directed its philanthropic arm (Bayfront Health Foundation) for more than 20 years, raising millions of dollars for capital improvements for the hospital. Bayfront Health Foundation’s signature event “Bayfront on Vine” and the record breaking “Extreme Team Challenge” employee campaign became well known nationally throughout the industry as Emily was asked to present frequently on these “best of breed” fundraisers. In 2008 she achieved the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy’s highest level of certification, FAHP.
Prior to her work in healthcare philanthropy, Emily led fund development efforts at the Florida Orchestra, American Stage, and the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami.
Early in her career, following a fellowship in orchestra management, she was the Executive Director of the Evansville (IN) Philharmonic and the South Dakota Symphony.
She is a native of Reading, Pennsylvania, and received her B.A. in Music from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is married to James Connors, Principal Cellist of The Florida Orchestra. They are proud parents of a 15 year old son, Joshua, who attends Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High. Emily is also an avid equestrian and competes regionally in dressage with her equine partner, Current Affair.