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Great Nonprofit Bosses in RVA Nominees 2016


The Young Nonprofits Professional Network RVA (YNPN RVA) believes that a great boss or supervisor supports, inspires and pushes others towards excellence; is an effective communicator, passionate, intuitive and resourceful; and finally, is truly committed to developing the careers of the people they supervise.  Over the past several weeks, YNPN RVA sent out a call to young nonprofit professionals all over Greater Richmond to nominate their boss to be recognized as a part of our “Great Nonprofit Bosses” Initiative.  In total, 37 bosses were nominated by 57 different young nonprofit professionals;  from that group, a YNPN RVA panel selected the top 9 outstanding and compelling nominations (top 9 denoted in orange).  Below are all of the nonprofit bosses who were nominated, along with an excerpt from the accolades they received from the person they supervise!

Amanda Kennedy, Chief Advancement Officer, St. Andrew’s School       

“She is our advocate; she is our cheerleader; she is our teacher. Because of her, I am becoming a stronger nonprofit professional. Because of her, our entire nonprofit community in Richmond is enriched.”

Anne McCaffrey, Director of Development & Scholarships, Virginia Foundation for Community College Education  

“Anne is the kind of boss who makes you feel valued and like you are an important part of the team, no matter your role.  She is encouraging, caring and supportive. “

Anthony Mijares, Founder, Lightbulb Organization         

“He is very unselfish, a leader, and just loves everyone. He goes out of his way to help others.”

Beth Weisbrod, Executive Director, Virginia Capital Trail Foundation     

“She is a trailblazer in her field and definitely one of the best bosses and friends I’ve ever had.  From getting the Trail completed to being an amazing working mom to two great boys, her tenacity never ceases to amaze me!”

Bethanie Constant, Senior Director of Development, VCU College of Humanities and Sciences                 

“She always has a reasoned approach and strategy that’s communicated clearly to her team. She’s open, accepting, encouraging, but ambitious for herself, those around her and the organization she represents. She knows when to push and be creative but also takes time to reflect and plan.”

Brenden Folmar, Head of School, Virginia Home for Boys and Girls         

“Brendan is not afraid to make mistakes and does not hesitate to try new ideas.  If something doesn’t work then he calls it” a learning experience”.  Our group is a team because of his leadership.”

Chris Hairston-White, VP of External Affairs, Better Housing Coalition   

“Chris leads by example. She’s creative, energetic, hardworking, and expects excellence from all team members. She’s a coach, an obstacle remover. She innately understands each team member’s strengths and capabilities, and uses these insights to draw the best from us.”

Cory Richardson-Lauve, Director, Organizational Excellence, Virginia Home for Boys and Girls              

“She has a great personality and presents with excellent leadership skills.  She is always searching for resources for development of our staff.  She has a religious and therapeutic nature.”

Dr. Shantell Malachi, Executive Director, Dress for Success Central Virginia         

“She motivates us daily to pursue our passions and walk in our purpose. She is selfless and humble. It is so refreshing to know that when I have a problem, whether personal or professional, that I have a boss that is willing to listen, offer honest advice, and help me follow through with my decisions.”

Elizabeth Bass, Executive Director, Virginia Mentoring Partnership         

“She is genuine in speech and actions.  She supports her staff in professional development, future goals, and personal triumphs and challenges. Elizabeth empowers her staff to have creative ownership over projects and the future of the Virginia Mentoring Partnership making everyone feel included no matter what position or role you hold in the organization.”

Fran Bolin, Executive Director, Assisting Families of Inmates      

“I truly feel blessed to have Fran Bolin as a boss and a colleague.  Her passion for social justice and her commitment to the work that we do is truly inspiring.”

Gigi Amateau, Chief Impact Office, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg        

“She does an amazing job of ensuring the team environment is supportive and inclusive.  Gigi brings so much joy and energy to the work that she does, and that energy is felt among our team.”

Honesty Liller, Chief Executive Officer, The McShin Foundation 

“She is a living embodiment of the hope and positivity that can lead to a beautiful life in recovery. Honesty has created a work environment where the seriousness of the disease we fight against is balanced with laughter, joy and an understanding of self-care.”

Hunter Leemon, Executive Director, Sportable  

“He truly cares for his team and wants to see them succeed. He takes the time to catch up with each of us individually once a week as well as a team at weekly staff meetings. He is very passionate about what Sportable does for its athletes.”

Janet Starke, Executive Director, Richmond CenterStage             

“Janet is deeply involved in the community and actively finds ways to ensure that she is both bringing external resources to the table for her team as well as connecting us externally to important initiatives that help us build coalitions.  Her inclusive nature sets the tone for the type of organizational culture that we all want to have, and her vision for the organization inspires us all to work toward common goals.”

Jessica Lacks, Program Manager – CHIP of Greater Richmond, Family Lifeline      

“Most of us work in the helping profession because we care about social injustice and want to empower the vulnerable and oppressed. While this is the core of our belief, some days it feels like we never make a difference and change is not happening. It is on these days that Ms. Lacks feels like a rare gift in management; she listens, validates and encourages. She encourages self-reflection and doesn’t flinch if we push back against it.”

Jessica Philips, Vice President/COO, Commonwealth Autism      

“She not only empowers and encourages her staff to do great work, she models this behavior herself.  She confronts challenges and encourages all staff to do the same.  She models a work/life balance and respects and encourages staff in this manner as well.”

Joanne D. Nattrass, Executive Director, Commonwealth Catholic Charities          

“She is a respected leader in the community, and continually challenges us to provide the best service possible to folks in need. Joanne’s the best.”

Julie Carden, Founder, Grace Home Ministries   

“She’s bold and confident and because of her modeling a genuine care for the growth of others, I am continuously inspired to be a better leader that takes into account people and everything they have to offer. Leadership like her has navigated our organization through difficult times. Because of her belief in not giving up, our organization is better and stronger than ever before.”

Ken Seward, Headmaster, Good Shepherd Episcopal School       

“Ken’s greatest strength is his willingness to listen without judgement and problem-solve with diplomacy. We all feel like he hears us when we express concern or make suggestions, and he truly values our opinions. He sincerely cares about the well-being of the school, its teachers, and students.”

Kerry Blumberg, Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond     

“Kerry has the passion and vision to truly motivate our staff to work to our highest potentials while highlighting the importance of work-life balance. Kerry encourages open communication and creates a work atmosphere of respect, critical thinking, and collaboration.”

Kindall Stevenson, Director of Strategic Communications, HomeAgain  

“Kindall made sure I felt welcomed and as a part of a team. We worked closely together in organizing special events for our agency and throughout the entire time, she kept good communication and delivered honest feedback. She always goes above and beyond for her job and her peers.”

L. Robert Bolling, Chief Executive Officer, ChildSavers

“Under Robert’s leadership a defined career path was implemented to provide employees with opportunities for advancement and professional development.    He also believes in a “living” strategic plan with well-defined strategic initiatives that are attainable.   He is a very good communicator and he values employee’s thoughts and opinions.  Robert has made a difference at ChildSavers.”

Laura Pitts, Foster Care Adoption Program Manager, Children’s Home Society of Virginia              

“She regularly recognizes her staff for their accomplishments and motivates them to do their best work on behalf of the youth and families that they serve. Laura’s availability as a supervisor, regular check-ins and communication, organized work style, and strong administrative skill set make her an amazing leader of the Foster Care Adoption Program.”

Lee Householder, CEO, project:HOMES 

“Our staff thrives in an environment driven by rolling up our sleeves and getting the job done. Lee fosters this approach by focusing his energy on strategic goals, and avoiding the always dreaded micro-management.  This philosophy and Lee’s leadership style allows us to achieve a maximum impact in our community.”

Margaret Nimmo Holland, Executive Director, Voices for Virginia’s Children       

“Margaret makes sure there is open communication and creates an environment where we are empowered to make changes to improve processes and procedures. There was never a moment where I felt that she is the boss and I am just an employee in the organization.”

Mary Dunne Stewart, CEO, Greater Richmond Fit4Kids  

“Mary Dunne Stewart works tirelessly to support and improve the work of Fit4Kids. No matter the task, Mary is willing to get her hands dirty and work across all programs.  This work ethic is part of the culture that Mary has created at Fi4Kids that the juice is worth the squeeze!”

Max Hepp-Buchanan, Director of Bike Walk RVA, Bike Walk RVA, Sports Backers            

“We are frequently encouraged to step into new opportunities, and he is always there to help if things get to be a little too much. He’s easy to communicate with and is understanding that his staff are real people with real lives living in a real city. Through him we accomplish our most.”

Melanie Seiler, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Communications, Virginia Commonwealth University         

“She provides her staff with the tools, resources and support to do their jobs while allowing them the freedom, creativity and autonomy to grow in their respective areas. She supports new ideas and training and job development opportunities that build new skills. She is well-known across the university as a strong and strategic.”

Nadine Marsh-Carter, President & CEO, Children’s Home Society of Virginia       

“She advocates and creates programs to address changing needs for children. She has a great sense of humor and is compassionate, the workplace environment is supportive and the outcomes rewarding.  She is working 24-7 for the children who need permanent families.”

Sara Conlon, Executive Director, OAR of Richmond        

“Not only does she work to ensure everyone feels that they have value and a voice here at OAR, she opens the door for all of our staff and clients to access greater opportunities to grow in our professional and personal lives, ensuring that we work hard to accomplish our goals, but also make time for ourselves outside of the office.”

Sarah Kim, Deputy Director, The Valentine         

“Sarah wants everyone on our team to unleash their creativity with all of our projects at work. She helps us succeed by challenging us to make the ordinary extraordinary and the mundane fun. She encourages us to not only meet but surpass our potential every day.”

Thelma Bland-Watson, Executive Director, Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging   

“She is a true advocate of the customers we serve, working with community partners to improving their quality of life. As our director she creates a working environment that is friendly, caring, respectful and balanced.”

Thomas Gelozin, Controller, BBB serving Central Virginia

“I believe I am a better employee because Tom challenges me to think outside the box and work towards the answer instead of telling me what it is. He embodies every quality that any leader would need. His interpersonal skills are impeccable!  Anyone within our organization can and does go to Tom with problems they may be having or ideas they may have.”

Tracy Causey, CEO, Capital Area Health Network             

“He creates a team environment while also remaining the lead on the future of Capital Area Health Network and always amazes me with how skilled he is at not making a big deal of issues that are minute. I feel that I am able to succeed by meeting the expectations of my boss but am able to take risks and feel secure in my job even if the outcome is not as expected.”

Vanessa Reyes, VISTA Supervisor, Virginia Mentoring Partnership

“Every meeting with her involves active listening, collaborative working, and respect. I feel valued in every project I work with her on. She actively considers my professional development and work-life balance through open and honest conversation and sharing of resources.  She adapts well to challenges and is flexible with changing our approaches to difficult tasks to foster the most constructive outcomes possible for all involved parties.”

Veronica Fleming, Executive Director, Partnership for Families  

“Ms. Fleming is hands down the best at what she does. She not only cares a tremendous amount about the population in which she serves but also does her employees.”

We want to thank all who sent in nominations for their supervisor, and we especially want to thank the leaders in our community who are pivotal in making our local sector thrive!

Please join YNPN RVA in a celebration of great nonprofit bosses on November 30th at Postbellum from 5:30pm- 7:30pm.  For event registration (it’s open and free to all), click here



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