By Jill H Grambow

Friday, April 26, 2019, was graduation day for the 14 leaders in Cohort 3 of the Leadership Institute. The morning was filled with spirited remarks from the graduating class who shared stories of their personal and professional journeys along with their love for the Leadership Institute experience. The audience was made up of their colleagues and peers, board members, steering council members, and many funders who help make the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative (NPLI) possible. Scott Borley, FVTC Dean of Business, Kim O’Brien, NPLI Executive Director, Nancy Heykes, Leadership Institute Coordinator, and Marti Hemwall, NPLI Steering Council Chair extended their gratitude and communicated the importance of NPLI and its programs. The Leadership Institute is just one facet of the Initiative, but arguably its flagship program.

The Leadership Institute is a unique and meaningful voyage that required collaboration, action, brilliance, and risk taking in order to make it successful. The year-long program is designed as a cohort that comes together eight hours nearly every month. The group combs through learning modules rooted in the organizational and operational structures of nonprofit management – everything from board function to human resources to finance to resource development and more. There are also opportunities to attend supplemental presentations and workshops sandwiched between the monthly classroom meetings. An online toolbox,, is a click away, creating the gift of efficiency in the work of executive directors, nonprofit staff, and board members.

Cohort 4 begins their Leadership Institute journey in May. Along the way, they will be challenged by content experts and by each other to think differently and to stretch their leadership. This challenge, if they choose to accept it, will generate an exceptional learning experience that creates profound awareness and personal growth. It is the kind of growth that can be uncomfortable, but transformational. Best wishes and welcome to the club, Cohort 4!