Third Sector Leadership Program

Our Chapter is making a difference for Charlotte's nonprofit leaders.

Coaches want to make a difference, and they certainly are through our Chapter's community outreach program called the Third Sector Leadership Program.
Now in its third year, the program provides nonprofit leaders in our region a unique, 9-month experience that combines individualized, professional coaching with participation in a series of nine leadership development workshops. Up to 12 nonprofit leaders can participate each year.

Nonprofit leaders participating in the program's first year came from a variety of organizations:

Sonja Gantt, Executive Director, CMS Foundation Karen Parker, President/CEO, Safe Alliance;
Sharron Harrington, Executive Director, Reading Partners, Charlotte; Amanda Prothero, Executive Director, Jimmie Johnson Foundation
David Jessup, Founder & CEO, Digi-Bridge; Kelly Rogers, Executive Director, Harris YMCA.

Karen Parker, President/CEO of Safe Alliance, had this to say about her program experience:

"It is rare that I pull myself back to plan strategically around my own professional development, My coach has kept me focused with "assignments" and timeframes that increase my accountability to myself. I also very much appreciate getting to know Executive Directors with whom I might not interface otherwise. We share many similar challenges as well as passions, and it's wonderful to have the opportunity to build supportive relationships and strategize creatively together!"

The second year's cohort has an equally impressive group of participants:

Kristina Cruise, Founder, Executive Director, Promising Pages Aisha Strothers, Executive Director, Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund
Kim Lanphear, Executive Director, Apparo Jim Warren, Executive Director, Carolina Raptor Center
Devlin McNeil, President, Executive Director, Community School of the Arts Mallory Walsh, Executive Director, 24 Foundation
Jimmy McQuilkin, Executive Director, Urban Promise Shelly White, Executive Director, Children & Family Services Center, Inc.

In addition to the professional coaching program participants receive, they benefit from eight, three-hour leadership development workshops spread out across nine months. Sample topics include:

  • "Finding your Edge as a Nonprofit Leader"
  •  "Maintaining Your Leadership Balance & Resiliency"
  • "The Unique Challenges of Nonprofit Leadership"
  • "Sustaining the Leadership in Your Nonprofit."

Participant feedback has been exceptionally positive and encouraging for the TSL Project Team members who have been responsible for getting the program up and running. Here are just two examples:

"I'm incredibly grateful to have been in the first cohort of the Third Sector Leadership Program, said Amanda Prothero, Executive Director, Jimmie Johnson Foundation. "The opportunity to connect with fellow ED's was really valuable, and I enjoyed the safe space to talk things through with my peers.  The one-on-one coaching was fantastic. I gained honest feedback, but more importantly, I was coached on how to turn that feedback into actionable steps to improve relationships and life overall."

"I feel incredibly connected to my counterparts in the Third Sector Leadership program," said David Jessup, Founder & CEO, Digi-Bridge. "The intimate cohort model and the one-on-one coaching provided me with opportunities to listen and learn, question and consider, and, quite honestly, rest and reflect."

The Third Sector Leadership Program would not be possible without the partnership of The Lee Institute, the generous support of the Chapter's participating coaches and the financial support it receives from Bank of America, The Duke Endowment, Foundation For The Carolinas, The Knight Foundation, and Wells Fargo.

The program is guided by a Board of Advisors comprised in equal parts of representatives
from our local Chapter, our region's nonprofit leaders, and our funding community:

Melissa Buchanan, Senior Vice President, Global Volunteerism Manager, Wells Fargo Eric Law, Former Executive Director, HandsOn Charlotte
Ryan Taylor leadership Development Executive for GT&O/Staff Support, Bank of America Susan McConnell, Director of Higher Education/Director of Human Resources, The Duke Endowment
Sarah Hyche, PCC, Leadership Coach & Consultant, Executera, LLC Andrea Stevenson, Executive Director, The Lee Institute
Mary Howerton, PhD, PCC/BCC, Principal, Mary Howerton Consulting, Inc. (Board Chair, 2017-18) Patrick Vaca, MA, ACC Patrick Vaca Consulting, LLC
Lee Keesler, CEO, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Alanson Van Fleet, PhD, ACC, President, The Van Fleet Group, LLC (Founding Board Chair, 2016-17)

A special thanks goes out to the TSL Project Team responsible
for getting the program up and running:

  • Jessica Bronzert
  • Sarah Hyche
  • Mary Howerton
  • Alanson Van Fleet

For more information about participating in the program as a nonprofit leader contact Mary Howerton.
For more information about our program's leadership workshops contact Jessica Bronzert.
For more information about serving as a coach contact Sarah Hyche.