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Rhode Island Foundation Blog


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Creating a pipeline of nonprofit leaders for the future
By Chris Barnett / January 15, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
We have selected 14 people to participate in a program that will prepare them for leadership positions in the state’s nonprofit sector. Our Nonprofit Emerging Leaders Program provides unique learning opportunities for promising individuals with less than 10 years of experience in the field.

“We believe strong leadership is a cornerstone for nonprofit success. This is an intensive course for people who are looking to hone their leadership abilities and enrich their network of peer support,” said Jill Pfitzenmayer, vice president of our Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence.

Participants in our Emerging Leaders program are paired with experienced mentors for 10 months of self-directed learning, through which they will create their own customized professional development plans. They also will have access to optional technical trainings provided through the INE. Additionally, participants will develop a support network through monthly peer-led discussions as well as through access to an on-line discussion forum and semi-annual networking events.

"I hope to gain a deeper sense of what it means to be a leader in the nonprofit sector in Rhode Island. I'm excited to learn from the leading movers and shakers and gain inspiration from them to forge my own highly meaningful career path,” said Corinne Hursh of Cranston, operations specialist with Year Up.

The other participants are Corinne Barber of Providence, development coordinator for WaterFire Providence; Aeran Baskin of Pawtucket, managing director of development at Teach for America; Rebecca Bertrand of Newport, director of development at Newport Art Museum; Erica Busillo of Providence, membership and individual giving manager at Save The Bay; Kristen Costa of Somerset, MA, assistant curator at the Newport Restoration Foundation; Thomas Kerr-Vanderslice of Providence, Rhode Island site director at Generation Citizen; Allendre McGovern-Siembab of Tiverton, senior internal controls analyst at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island; Zack Mezera of Providence, executive director of the Providence Student Union; Carole Ann Penney of Providence, director of operations for the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; Vimala Phongsavanh of Woonsocket, director of programs for the Center for Southeast Asians; Marlon Ramdehal of Providence, site leader for Year Up; Billy Watterson of Providence, executive director of Beat the Streets Providence; and Xong Yang, program director for social services at the Center for Southeast Asians.

The mentors are Kate Brewster, executive director of the Economic Progress Institute; Sarah Dinklage, executive director of Rhode Island Student Assistance Services; Angelo Garcia, director of operations at Segue Institute for Learning; Meghan Hughes, executive director of YearUp; David Karoff, David Karoff & Associates; Joan Kwiatkowski, CEO of Carelink; Michael Lichtenstein, executive director of Wood River Health Services; Peter Mello, managing director of Waterfire Providence; Sunshine Menezes, executive director at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting; Jim Nyberg, director of LeadingAge RI; Fred Ordoñez, executive director of Direct Action for Rights and Equality; Chris Stephens, president and CEO of Horizon Healthcare Partners; and Lori Urso, executive director of the Old Slater Mill Association.

Since 2008, INE has provided training, technical assistance, funding, and support to more than 3,000 program participants representing more than 1,100 organizations. The initiative supports nonprofits by sharing best practices, providing tools, doing good research and encouraging leadership. It provides tools and information to promote good governance, sound management, cross-sector collaboration and reliable research.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2013, the Foundation made grants of more than $31 million to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising, and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.
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