Featuring insights from leading nonprofit experts, including Vu Le, Joan Garry, Domonic Rollins, and Susan Decker, this conference will present nonprofit leaders with a variety of diverse perspectives and provide concrete tactics to help them build and manage boards that are nimble, resilient, and effective.
Conference participants will engage in robust discussions and explore different approaches to board governance and engagement. By envisioning new ways of “being,” attendees will create a roadmap and action steps toward transformative board leadership.
* Please note that registrations to this conference are non-refundable.
11:00 AM – 11:15 AM | Registration
Coffee and refreshments will be available.
11:15 AM – 11:45 AM | “Back To The Future” – A 1963 Board Meeting
11:45 AM -12:30 PM | Opening Keynote: Vu Le
Reimagining Boards: How Boards of Directors Can Be More Joyful and Effective
Boards, and board members, play a vital role in nonprofits. However, they are also constant sources of stress for many nonprofit leaders. Let’s be honest, many boards are ineffective if not downright destructive to their missions. What philosophies and practices are holding us back? Why do we use Robert’s Rules? Must we be so hierarchical, rigid, and money-focused? It is time to reimagine new board models, one that’s grounded in values of community, equity, and justice.
12:30 PM – 1:10 PM | Working Lunch
Discussing current board challenges and brainstorming solutions.
1:15 PM – 2:00 PM | Signature Presentation: Domonic Rollins
Holding Up A Mirror: Designing for Inclusion Starts with the Board
Today, diversity, equity, and inclusion is a sustained and ongoing conversation. No sector can escape the buzz. And few tables are as important as the boardroom table where the very design of organizations takes shape and is codified. While often untapped and not thought of, boards have the power to (re)consider the very design of how organizations run, what they prioritize, and where they direct resources. This session will focus the conversation on understanding the board’s role and power to design for inclusion within itself and the organizations they serve.
2:00 PM -2:45 PM | Signature Presentation: Susan Decker
Building a Governance Legacy
The most successful nonprofit boards have a collaborative team culture, working in partnership with the executive and leadership team. The starting point for building this culture involves a shared understanding of the work and the line between management and governance. As we consider a new mindset of purpose-driven board leadership, we challenge the board to deliberate differently and consider the ecosystem in which they work and govern. What will your governance legacy look like and include?
2:45 PM – 3:00 PM | Break
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Breakout Groups
Facilitated by Susan Decker, Rose Snyder, and Paula Van Ness
- Recruiting, developing, and sustaining a diverse board
- Creating a more engaging and rewarding board experience
- Building a successful board & Executive Director/CEO partnership
3:30 PM – 3:45 PM | Break
3:45 PM – 4:00 PM | Breakout Group Reports
4:05 PM – 4:50 PM | Closing Keynote: Joan Garry
The Power, Responsibility and Joy of Nonprofit Leadership
Broad, informative and inspiring, this topic creates a snapshot of what it takes to be an effective leader in the nonprofit sector and reminds participants of the privilege of service.
4:50 PM – 5:00 PM | Closing Remarks
Meet Our Presenters
Susan Decker is the principal for Decker Consultants. She has served as a senior governance consultant with BoardSource, a nonprofit governance sector leadership organization, for two decades. Susan has become a trusted partners to nonprofit organizations, helping to guide and support boards across a spectrum of leadership initiatives, such as strengthening essential governance practices that ensure proper oversight and accountability. Just as important, she has helped organizations cultivate a culture of leadership and ongoing development that challenges individuals to continuously strive for stronger performance and better outcomes. As the lead trainer for BoardSource’s Certificate in Nonprofit Board Consulting and the previous Certified Governance Trainer program, Susan has developed curriculum and facilitated train-the-trainer programs for hundreds of consultants across the globe.
Joan Garry is an internationally recognized champion for the nonprofit sector and a highly sought after executive coach for CEOs of some of the nation’s largest orgs. She is called upon by large organizations to tackle substantial change management/crisis management/leadership transitions requiring a compassionate truth-teller, a hands- on strategy advisor, a communications expert and a focus on strong internal and external messaging.
Vu Le (“voo lay”) writes the blog NonprofitAF.com. He is the former executive director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by supporting leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. Vu is a founding board member of Community-Centric Fundraising. He has degrees in Psychology and Social Work. Vu has two kids, ages nine and six, and watches way too much television when not causing trouble.
Domonic is an expert facilitator of inclusive organizational change. With a specific focus on creating the conditions where marginalized people can thrive, Domonic aids leaders and organizations in engaging in difficult conversations about race, identity, and difference. He has served as the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at The Dalton School located in New York City. In this role, Domonic provided leadership and oversight to develop a comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy to support the fundamental Dalton principle that diverse beliefs, ethnicities, cultures, and lifestyles are a critical underpinning of a successful education in today’s global society.
He also served as the inaugural Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In that role, Domonic provided leadership and vision for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at HGSE, in alignment with school-wide priorities. Domonic executed a broad range of strategic and tactical activities related to the identification, development, and delivery of diversity and inclusion initiatives for faculty, students, and staff. A hallmark of his work there and presently is translating big ideas about diversity and inclusion into practical solutions and considerations for organizations and interpersonal relationships.
Prior to joining HGSE, Domonic was the senior education and training specialist in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Maryland. He earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education Policy from the University of Maryland–College Park, where his dissertation research investigated how Black male administrators navigate racism in higher education.