New Leaders for the Future

“I cannot be halfhearted about the organization or I will be unlikely to invest in its future” - outcomes of our third Nourishing Tomorrow's Leaders program. Learn More »

The pool of potential nonprofit board members and community leaders in Central New York expanded by 26 individuals on May 25, when the most recent class of the Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders program graduated. Starting March 30, these individuals met weekly to study a variety of topics including Board ABCs, organizational lifecycles, group dynamics, networking and conflict resolution.


“Among many valuable lessons, I learned vision determines the direction of the organization,” states NTL graduate Ken Wells, who was one of two students invited to speak at the ceremony. “I cannot be halfhearted about the organization or I will be unlikely to invest in the organization’s future.”

NTL is designed and coordinated by the Gifford Foundation, in partnership with the Central New York Community Foundation, Leadership Greater Syracuse, the Human Services Leadership Council and City of Syracuse residents. The purpose is to expand inclusiveness and diversity on non-profit boards; increase and enhance the pool of effective board members and new leaders; educate and inspire those who participate and provide quality training to individuals in the community. The 26 graduates represent diversity of thought and background through a mix of race & ethnicity, physical ability, age, economic class and geography. Since its inception in the fall of 2014 the NTL program has graduated 78 community leaders and connected them with over 30 local boards.

The graduation celebration concluded with a speed networking activity, where the graduates met with 18 representatives from 13 nonprofits. “When my board president and I left the meeting on May 25, we had 4 people who had expressed an interest in Open Hand Theater,” notes Andrea Wandersee, managing director. “Several of these have already agreed to join our board. Each of the candidates asked excellent questions – and wanted to know what they were bringing. Because Open Hand is in such a transitional period, having well-trained board members with a fresh perspective is invaluable to us.”

To learn more about Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders or how to connect with potential board members, contact Sheena Solomon.

The 2017 graduating NTL class

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