News: Featured Stories

June 30, 2016

15th Emerging Leaders Program Cohort Presents Nonprofit, Corporate Solutions


  • Boston
Fellows Strategize, Perform Analysis for Seven Project Sponsors

Fellows in the 15th cohort of the Center for Collaborative Leadership’s Emerging Leaders Program last week presented the research, marketing, and analysis work they’ve done for seven nonprofit and government organizations over the last nine months.

Sponsored by their organizations, the cohort’s 41 fellows come from an array of backgrounds, including finance, information technology, and marketing. Centered around the theme “Benchmarking, Brokering, and Branding: Resources for Success Across Sectors,” projects ranged from research around a professional compensation system for teachers in Boston Public Schools to marketing ideas to raise awareness of the Boston Athletic Association’s community programs outside of the Boston Marathon to digitally preserving the history of the Italian Home for Children.  

“These projects offer the fellows a safe space to practice the leadership skills they are learning in the program sessions,” Center for Collaborative Leadership Director Lisa DeAngelis said in her opening remarks on June 22. “The exercise of working in cross-sector, leaderless teams on significant projects where you likely have little expertise to offer, truly does allow the teams to learn collaborative leadership.”

Nicholas Lombardi, a general sales manager of Greater Media Boston station 92.9 WBOS, presented his team’s ideas for the Boston Athletic Association.

“Our recommendation was designating a charity team in the Boston Marathon for the Boston Athletic Association. They would use these bibs to generate funds for that charity, so they could do more programs in and around Boston for the school system, really embracing what it means to be active,” Lombardi said.

Stephanie Maneikis, the senior director of fan services & entertainment for the Boston Red Sox, and her team focused on the archival of digital information, software application and support, written policies on recording and storing of images, and funding sources for Italian Home for Children. The team identified the online library Digital Commonwealth, the Boston Public Library, and the Red Sox Foundation as potential partners and supporters.

“In creating our goals, our team saw ourselves as brokers, connecting Italian Home with opportunities,” Maneikis said during her presentation. “Thanks to the generosity of the Red Sox Foundation, a targeted grant has been secured to purchase necessary items to aid in the preservation of important historical materials.”

Kristen Koch, the administrator for the Bretholtz Center for Patients and Families at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and her team researched an executive training program for UMass Boston’s Center for Social Policy.

“It was an amazing year. Besides the relationships that I built with my cohort, I brought many different leadership and management practices back to my institution, and it was an honor and privilege to be a part of this,” Koch said.

Following the students’ presentations, Ellen Clegg, the editorial page editor for The Boston Globe; David Leonard, the president of the Boston Public Library; Cynthia Orellana, the new director of UMass Boston’s Office of Community Partnerships; and Fred Ramos, who manages the Structured Products Group at State Street Bank provided their own feedback about the fellows’ presentations.

“You mentioned honesty being an important piece, you mentioned cross-functional – that teams need to divide and conquer, and that communication isn’t always fluid. There’s always this need to be changing direction,” Orellana said. “Community partnerships, in order for them to be successful, they need to have those components.”

“What has also struck me about this presentation is you are modeling a new way of public-private partnerships. That is one of the most important models in bringing more resources to bear. In some ways that’s about corporate sponsorship and community organizations, and in some ways, you are offering your time,” said Leonard, an ELP alumnus.

Deborah Elizabeth Finn, senior strategist for project sponsor Tech Networks of Boston, said TNB learned a lot from the ELP team tasked with determining demand for a shared-services data analytics and business intelligence vendor for Greater Boston’s nonprofit organizations.

“The ELP fellows were so great about asking really probing questions and really sticking with us as the question changed for their project, and their flexibility was great,” Finn said. “We learned a lot about flexibility from what we were getting from our team of fellows.”

Following the panel discussion, S. Atyia Martin, Boston’s chief resilience officer, talked about the regional impact of collaboration.

“We do need each other,” Martin said. “The most resilient communities after disasters are ones that have social connections that can help them navigate to come on the other side into recovery.”

The next ELP cohort starts in September.