Achieving Your  Nonprofit Career Goals

The Center for Healthy Nonprofits is offering a 6-session series for leaders who report to a nonprofit ED or CEO and/or aspire to senior leadership roles in the sector, possibly including serving as an ED or CEO in the future. This will be the third year that this program has been offered.

This program is open to all types of staff, including those early in their careers or in entry-level positions. 

Hosted by Paula Van Ness, Director of the Center, and a roster of local nonprofit leaders, all drawing upon decades of experience in senior staff and CEO roles, this series is designed to provide practical information about the roles, responsibilities, and skillsets of well-rounded and successful CEO/Eds and senior managers.

The program will consist of six two-hour sessions primarily offered over Zoom.  The first and last sessions are scheduled to be in person on the CF Campus in Tucson.

Facilitated conversations will feature guest presenters/personal stories of their career journeys, including being a mission advocate, partner in board leadership, strategic analyst, fund development professional, and organizational and workplace culture leader.  Each session includes opportunities to network with your counterparts.  Whether you are planning your career path or want to learn how to be more successful in “managing up” and helping your executive be more successful, you will learn useful information and tips that can be applied immediately.

The Center for Healthy Nonprofits is a program of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona working to strengthen the nonprofit community by offering free and reduced-cost capacity-building workshops and training for nonprofit professionals and volunteers.

Applications for the 2024 cohort are now closed. 

Structure: Six two-hour sessions with one 1:1 coaching session per participant available

Trainers/Coaches/Guest Speakers: Lead trainer is Paula Van Ness, with a featured guest presenter at each session (See brief bios below)

Location: In-person anticipated on CF Campus for Session 1 and Session 6; Zoom for the rest

Fee: $450 co-pay per participant.  Full and partial scholarships are available.

Format:  Facilitated conversations using topical training outlines and resource materials; small group breakout sessions

Schedule and Topics:

  • Session #1: Thursday, May 23, 2024 | 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM | In-person, includes lunch
    • Shapes, getting to know each other, intro to leadership topics/working in partnership with boards with Amiee Graves and Rose Snyder
  • Session #2: Thursday, June 27, 2024 | 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM | Zoom
    • Fundraising with John Fung and Paula Van Ness
  • Session #3:  Thursday, July 18, 2024| 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM | Zoom
    • Public policy/advocacy with Mark Clark and Paula Van Ness
  • Session #4: Thursday, August 15, 2024| 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM | Zoom
    • Strategic analysis/being a thought leader with Tony Simms and Paula Van Ness
  • Session #5, Thursday, September 19, 2024 | 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM | Zoom
    • Workplace culture/team leadership and supervision, DEI with Paula Van Ness
  • Session #6 Thursday, October 17, 2024| 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM | In-person, includes lunch
    • Wrap-up Potpourri: Change management, building resilience, conflict resolution, transition management, and career planning advice with Rose Snyder and Paula Van Ness

Coaching sessions are TBD, as requested by participants.

About the Facilitators

Rose Snyder, Consultant/Coach and Program Coordinator for the Center for Healthy Nonprofits

Rose Snyder is passionate about helping leaders discover their own unique gifts and how to use these gifts to live an integrated and authentic life.  She has her own consulting and coaching practice and works part time for the Center for Healthy Nonprofits at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

Rose has a Master of Organizational Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Rose has trained extensively with Board Source, formerly the National Center for Nonprofit Boards, and is one of only a handful in the world trained to conduct Psycho-geometrics® (Shapes) communication seminars. In 2020, Rose received her ACC credential through the International Coaching Federation.

Aimee Graves, MA, Executive Director of The Haven

Aimee joined The Haven in February 2022 as our Executive Director. She brings over 15 years of executive-level positions and a career spanning over 23 years in community-based nonprofit organizations that serve people recovering from addiction and mental health disorders. Her experience encompasses a broad range of prevention, early intervention and treatment services for children, adolescents, adults, and families.

John B, Fung, MBA, CFRE.

John immigrated from Hong Kong to the United States when he was 12 years old. John graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. John worked in property and casualty insurance, then in the pharmaceutical and medical industries for 27 years. In 2014, John joined the University of Arizona Development Team and has raised more than 16 million dollars for research, scholarships, and faculty support. In 2021, John joined the Gospel Rescue Mission in Tucson, which serves the homeless population with recovery, housing and workforce assistance. In January 2023, John became the Major Gifts Officer at the El Rio Health Foundation, which serves close to 130,000 patients at its 14 locations throughout Pima County.

In his spare time, John serves on the University of Arizona Asian American Faculty and Staff Alumni Club. John was the past advisor for the University of Arizona Asian Corporate Entrepreneur Leaders (ACEL) Collegiate Chapter, has served as a mentor since its inception, and currently serves as the president of ACEL Tucson. John is a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy Tucson Class of 2019 and a graduate of the Greater Tucson Leadership Lead Class of 2021. In 2020, John was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Kappa Sigma Fraternity at the University of Arizona. John is also an avid soccer referee and has officiated over 3500 matches at all amateur levels of competition, including the WPSL.

Mark Clark, MSW, President and CEO of Pima Council on Aging (PCOA)

Mark Clark is President & CEO, a position he has held since 2014. He has more than thirty-five years of executive leadership in behavioral health, aging, human service, housing, and faith-based organizations. From 2011 to 2013, he served as Associate General Minister of the Cleveland-based United Church of Christ. Prior to this position, Mark served for twelve years as the President & CEO of CODAC Behavioral Health Services. He is currently a board member of the Rotary Club of Tucson, TUSD Benefits Trust, and Presidio San Agustin. He has been active in a number of community and professional organizations, including the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Old Ft. Lowell Neighborhood Association, the National Organization of Social Workers, and United Way. He is honored to have been selected to be Arizona Social Worker of the Year in 2009 and to have received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness.  Mark holds a Masters in Social Work from ASU and an undergraduate degree from NAU. He was a 2002 Fellow of the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He has taught at both the graduate and undergraduate levels at the ASU School of Social Work and Pima Community College.

Tony Simms, PhD Chief Strategy Office at Gospel Rescue Mission (GRM)

Tony has spent the past 28 years working in nonprofits. He started his career as a counselor at an adolescent shelter care center for boys ages 10-17. From there, he began building his knowledge and skills by working for various types of nonprofits, including working as a Youth Pastor for a church, a Recreation Counselor for a mental health corporation, the Operations Director for a mentoring organization, and a Grants Manager for a mental health agency. In 2005, Tony took on his first executive-level position as the Executive Director of a youth mentoring organization. In 2007, Tony founded a nonprofit agency, Good Neighbor Ventures, which worked directly with neighborhood groups to build neighborhood capacity.

Tony currently works as the Chief Strategy Officer for Gospel Rescue Mission (GRM). In his current role, he is responsible for taking a long-range view of how to accomplish GRM’s mission and vision. This includes focusing on Research, Business Analysis, and Data Analytics. Prior to this role, Tony served as GRM’s Chief Financial Officer and focused on managing the organization’s Financial Planning and Analysis. These activities included working with senior management on budgeting, financial reporting, reducing debt, and increasing the organization’s financial assets.

Tony holds a Doctorate degree in Human Services with an emphasis on Management of Nonprofit Agencies from Capella University. He also possesses an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a BA in Human Services from the University of Denver.

Robert Jensen, CEO of Mobile Meals

Robert Jensen has been the CEO of Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona for the last two years. Prior to this, Robert was a Sales Consultant for Shamrock Foods for four years. Robert worked for Eegee’s Inc. for thirty-four years, starting as a front counter worker in his senior year in high school and eventually working his way up to president/CEO from 2012 to 2016.  Robert graduated from the University of Arizona and was a four-year letter winner and Team Captain for the Men’s Gymnastics Team. Robert has initiated numerous start-up companies and still operates Sign Watch, a thirty-four-year-old real estate sign installation company.  Robert is married and has five children and two granddaughters.

Paula Van Ness, Director of the Center for Healthy Nonprofits

Paula Van Ness, MS is a seasoned nonprofit executive with more than 40 years in CEO/Executive Director positions locally and nationally. Previously, she served in the chief executive position for Family Planning Centers of Greater LA, AIDS Project Los Angeles, National AIDS Fund, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Make-A-Wish America, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and Connecticut Community Foundation.

She has served in leadership roles for several national and local nonprofit boards including Independent Sector where she was the treasurer, Gift of Adoption Fund which she chaired, and SafeParking LA which she chaired. She currently serves on the board of the Pima Community College Foundation board, where she chairs the audit committee, and her church council, where she chairs the finance committee.

She possesses a master’s degree in organizational development from the University of San Francisco, a BS from the University of Arizona, and currently directs the Center for Healthy Nonprofits at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

For more information, contact Paula Van Ness, Director of the Center for Healthy Nonprofits, at