have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.– Langston Hughes
My career path has taken many twists and turns, but it has always led me to engage with passionate people making a difference and driving change. These engagements fostered my interest in coaching, and I am proud to be a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) working towards my Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential.
As I coach, I take a strengths-based approach to help people use their inherent skills and talents to drive the change they want in their lives, careers, or communities. I work with clients to identify clear objectives for their coaching work that will lead to actionable plans. These plans can help advance goals, remove barriers to progress, and experiment with new behaviors and approaches built on strengths. I am versed in the StrengthsFinder system developed by the Gallup organization and enjoy working with these types of assessments to help clients aim their strengths at their goals.
Through coaching, I have helped clients:
In addition to coaching, I currently serve as Executive Director of Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona where I steward the organization’s major relationships with board members and donors. For many years, I led business development, fundraising, and relationship management efforts in the arts and culture sector and in global higher education. I am interested in public-private partnerships, using art as an agent of social change, and sustainability/capacity building in the social sector.
I have an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts from Arizona State University. I am a Fellow in the Chief Executive Program with National Arts Strategies and a participant in their inaugural Leadership Coaching Training Program in partnership with the Goldvarg Consulting Group.
Alexandria, Virginia Eastern Time Zone (UTC−05:00)
As leaders you carry a heavy load: ranging from managing team dynamics, unsustainable financials to building equitable and inclusive organizational cultures while maintaining your own health and well-being. As a coach, I facilitate growth, awareness, and confidence among emergent and experienced leaders managing personal, organizational, or systemic change.
My clients have been able to:
My approach as a coach is guided by my doctoral training as a social psychologist and my 15 years of experience as a program evaluator, educator, and nonprofit strategic consultant. During coaching sessions, I use powerful questioning to generate awareness of the assumptions underlying clients’ behaviors and beliefs. I encourage clients to think critically about their own behaviors and actions, to reflect on mistakes and to identify the mental roadblocks hindering them from moving forward.
Coaching sessions are safe spaces where leaders can navigate complex problems and work to find effective and sustainable solutions. I partner with clients to create a strategic action plan and I provide the support, accountability and guidance to help them make progress towards their goals.
I am a member of the International Coach Federation, with an anticipated accreditation date of December 2020; pursing my training through the NAS Leadership Coaching training program in partnership with the Goldvarg Consulting Group. If you would like to learn more about my professional experience please visit me on LinkedIn. If you are feeling stuck, need a thought partner, someone to support and guide you toward your success my coaching services may be the steppingstone to your goal.
Jaclyn Roessel was born and raised on the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona. An alumnus from Arizona State University, she was the inaugural recipient of the Arizona Humanities Rising Star Award, which is given to young professionals whose work elevates the importance of humanities in the community. She’s been named one of Phoenix 100 Creatives You Should Know. Over the past 15 years as a museum professional, Roessel confirmed her belief in the power of utilizing cultural learning as a tool to engage and build stronger Native communities. Most recently, as the director of decolonizing initiatives at the San Diego Museum of Man, she worked to operationalize decolonized methodologies into museums practice.As the president of Grownup Navajo, Roessel shares through presentations and trainings, how Native American teachings and values are tools to help build greater cultural equity in our society. As a consultant working with the UCLA Getty Conservation Program, the Field Museum, Arizona Humanities and Museum of Northern Arizona, she is committed to centering Indigenous perspectives in museums and non-profits.
Roessel is a co-founder/content curator of Native Women Lead, a 2017-2018 National Art Strategies Creative Community Fellows and a graduate of the Native Entrepreneurs-In-Residence program.
Through all her work, Roessel aims to further inspire Native people to use their traditional knowledge as a catalyst to create change in our communities today. She lives with her husband and son in Santa Ana Pueblo.
I work with both established and emerging leaders in arts and culture, public humanities, community development, and social justice. I love coaching clients who are ready for change at both the personal and social levels.
Coaching provides a uniquely powerful learning space. It is built around co-creating, deep listening, asking questions, holding space for reflection, and identifying action steps. Your personal growth and your work to make a better world are interrelated – and coaching challenges you to go deeper. It draws out your inner wisdom and your core values to help you embody your own, authentic leadership.
As a coach, I draw on my background in facilitation, teaching, and other practices of listening and collaboration as well my experience as a white person working on issues of social justice, civic engagement, and equity.
Growing up in a low-income household in a rural community, living with a disability, and my background in higher education have led me to become a student of many different fields that shape my approach to coaching, including somatics and other healing modalities, humanities, social justice, and cultural strategy (using arts and culture for social change work). I am committed to equity and social justice, undoing white supremacy and the intersectional systems of oppression that bind us. Currently I split my time between rural New England and the San Francisco Bay Area.
You can learn more about my professional background on my LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kategriffin12
I love coaching because I love learning and co-creating with others. Through conversation and questioning, coaching provides an opportunity to reflect, learn, and make conscious decisions about what to do next. I struggle with the same challenges my clients face—I am very familiar with the pressure of the job, misalignment with co-workers, feelings of inadequacy, and lack of clarity around mission, purpose, or even just what the next step should be. By providing a supportive space to give voice to those feelings and explore different approaches, coaching can make us feel less lonely and give us more focus and self-confidence in our work and in ourselves.
I enjoy coaching with professionals of all experience levels, not just executives, and I coach individuals from many fields of work. I am, however, mindful about systemic economic injustice and know from experience that many promising leaders who work in the nonprofit sector often lack access to professional development like coaching. Because of this, I dedicate a good portion of my coaching practice to these individuals. I am nearing the completion of a yearlong coaching accreditation program with an emphasis on practical experience.
Prior to coaching and consulting, I spent almost 20 years in the arts and nonprofit sectors as a designer and manager of arts education, leadership development, nonprofit management, and innovation and change management programs. In my free time, I am an arts and culture addict, a volunteer for social impact organizations, an ultimate frisbee enthusiast, a choral singer, and an eager traveler.
During her undergraduate degree, Sanae served as a Teaching Fellow for the Ear Training Department, worked as an Administrative Assistant and Mentor for the Music Advancement Program, and performed at health care facilities in New York City as a Gluck Community Service Fellow. Her involvement with social impact and community engagement programs led her to pursue a graduate degree in Arts Management at American University, where she served as the AU Symphonic Band Manager and continues to assist the Performing Arts Department under her Graduate Fellowship.
One of Sanae’s favorite activities is teaching cello and chamber music. Outside of music, Sanae enjoys going on long walks with her dog Yuki and practicing loving-kindness meditation.
Finance & Executive Assistant
Had Matt not gone into music or the arts, he would have pursued mathematics with career aspirations to get into theoretical physics or astrophysics. He would like to become fluent in French and spends his spare time baking and spoiling the dogs of all his friends. He currently plays in the Manassas Symphony Orchestra.
NAS Board Chair
Angel Ysaguirre is the Executive Director of the Court Theatre, the professional theatre at the University of Chicago and the only LORT theatre on Chicago’s south side. The Court Theatre is dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. Court’s productions re-examine classic texts that pose enduring and provocative questions about the human experience. Previously, he served as the Executive Director of Illinois Humanities from 2014 to 2018. From 1999 to 2005, served as Illinois Humanities’ Director of Programs, creating programs and series that include The Odyssey Project, Einstein’s Revolutions, and Brown v Board 50 Years Later: Conversations on Race, Integration, and the Law. He was Deputy Commissioner at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events from 2012 to 2014, where he managed the City’s public art program, creative industries offices, and arts programming. From 2005 to 2012, he was Director of Global Community Investing at The Boeing Company, overseeing the company’s grantmaking program in 60 offices throughout the globe. He began his career in Chicago as a program officer at the McCormick Foundation.
Sunny joined the NAS team in 2009. Prior to that she served with the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa as a Girls Education and Empowerment volunteer, where she planned a Take our Daughters to Work Week and started a women’s community group focused on literacy, health and micro-lending. She completed her undergraduate studies at Butler University and holds a graduate degree in Arts Management from American University. Her work has been published in the Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society.
She has served as co-chair of the Steering Committee for Emerging Arts Leaders DC and as a grant panelist for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Sunny is a longtime employee of Past Tense yoga in Mount Pleasant, where she supports stressed out Washingtonians with a few moments of zen.
In these roles, Alexis was responsible for ensuring the seamless production for events and programs for artists and audiences, and through doing so realized her passion for building partnerships and supporting artists and other arts administrators to create dynamic creative experiences. Outside of the office, Alexis is a “retired” violinist, an avid baker, and enjoys spending time outdoors hiking the local trails here in the DMV.
Sunny Widmann: Director at NAS, certified coach, nationally recognized facilitator and leadership program designer.
As a coach, I am passionate about helping leaders live out their values at work, contributing to healthier workplace cultures, more powerful relationships and higher performing teams. I partner with clients – from entrepreneurs to executive leaders – to work through transitions and establish a clear vision for the future.
My love of coaching stems from my over ten years of experience as a nationally recognized facilitator and designer of learning experiences. In these capacities, I’ve seen firsthand how deep listening and thoughtful process can create “aha!” moments that transform lives.
This is the same approach I bring to my coaching. Through our work together, my clients have:
I’ve had the honor of working with hundreds of leaders in the arts and culture sector over my time as Director at NAS. In this role, I’ve co-designed leadership programs with institutions such as Harvard Business School, University of Michigan – Ross School of Business, Stanford Graduate School of Business and University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy.
Given my vocation, it’s no surprise that learning and growth are two of my deepest held values. My degrees are from Butler University and American University, with additional training from the Interaction Institute for Social Change, Race Forward, Equity in the Center and the NAS partner institutions listed above. I integrate the many frameworks and tools I’ve learned on this journey into my coaching to offer more value to my clients.
I am a member of the International Coach Federation with an anticipated accreditation date of July 2021, pursuing my training through the NAS Leadership Coaching Training program and Goldvarg Consulting Group.
Minneapolis, Minnesota Central Time Zone (UTC−06:00)
I am a warm and empathic coach who believes in the power of deep listening and inquiry to assist you to find your own answers as part of your unique path and lived experience.
My clients have represented leadership from healthcare, arts, governance, and human service sectors spanning across the globe from Hong Kong to Appalachia. This has provided me with a rich practice to journey with each of them to support their visions and dreams for their communities.
I would love the opportunity to work with you and unlock your greatest potential!
Green Bay, Wisconsin ,Central Time Zone (UTC−06:00)
I approach coaching with the same values that I’ve depended on during my twenty-five year career in the arts and culture sector: respect, kindness, humor and honesty. I am a member of the International Coach Federation with an anticipated accreditation date of Spring 2021, having completed my training through the National Arts Strategies Leadership Coaching training program.
With my experience in small producing organizations, large presenting institutions, higher education and plenty of years spent in the hustle as a freelance artist, teaching artist and consultant, I have intimate knowledge of the unique challenges and rewards that we face in our field. Areas of exploration for you might be:
Chances are, if you have dedicated time and energy to working in the creative sector, you have no shortage of vision and excellent ideas. But we can all use the support and space to figure out how to execute those ideas, how to bring our best selves to the vision and to get clarity on what the moment is calling for now.
Our leadership styles and proficiencies change over time. Acquiring new knowledge, experience and perspective all result in an evolution of personal leadership that needs periodic examination. From emerging leaders and social entrepreneurs in the creative sector…to those in transition…to those who are just feeling overwhelmed, coaching can be a powerful tool to reflect, clarify, evaluate, build vision and strategy.
“The partnership with Kelli has been transformational in both a personal and a professional sense. Each session frames a discrete area of inquiry facilitated by her skilled approach to collaborative learning. Kelli has a honed ability to articulate my questioning into concise areas of focus and to present questions which allow for a deep dive into my perspective, perceptions and principles. All of which are key to growth for myself, and the organisation I administer. The coaching relationship with Kelli has ensured a confident alignment of my actions and values, while also providing guidance as I assess how my strengths are best utilized in my work as an arts leader. “ – Catherine Stewart, Artistic Director, New Hampshire Theatre Project
New York, New York ,Eastern Time Zone (UTC−05:00)
I am entering the field of professional coaching, having recently retired as President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras (the national association for America’s orchestras,) where I worked for the past 22 years. Prior to joining the League, I held executive positions at the New York Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony. I currently serve on two nonprofit boards.
Drawing on my experience in the field, I am now coaching clients to support their personal growth. I have worked extensively with the issues of governance, strategy, management, staff and labor relations, and leading change. I have counseled individuals in all career stages as they work to be their best selves amidst continuous change and uncertainty. The global pandemic and America’s reckoning with racism have added extraordinary challenges to both individual and organizational life. This is no time to go it alone.
I value the opportunities I have had to collaborate with some of the leaders in organizational development, including Ron Heifetz and Jim Collins, and invested in my own professional development through the Leadership Coaching Program of National Arts Strategies and the International Coaching Federation, as well as through the Harvard Program on Negotiation and the Center for Creative Leadership.
The leadership journey is neither two dimensional nor linear. Each of us brings our own unique gifts and histories, which can be leveraged to overcome the barriers that invariably arise as we strive to become fully ourselves. Coaching is about that exploration, and I am dedicated to helping others discover their best path forward.
“Working with Jesse has helped me manifest a new sense of agency in my professional life. He is a nuanced and compassionate listener who truly sees me and helps me see myself in ways that are otherwise difficult for me to achieve on my own. Jesse has helped me work through major challenges with confidence and clarity, and I am grateful for the growth he’s helped me achieve.”
Non-profit music professional
“I’ve been working with Jesse regularly for nearly a year, and his coaching has helped me clarify both professional and personal goals. His ability to listen, distill, and synthesize are some of his core strengths as a coach. I would recommend him without reservation for anyone looking to improve and excel in all facets of their life.”
I hold to the fact that everyone is able to find their own path. My methodology is simple. I listen, listen some more, ask questions. I do not give opinions or suggestions. My role is to encourage reflection and thoughtfulness in the client. I strive to be humble in my work.
I have a background in non profit community development consulting, currently holding a full time position at NeighborWorks America as a relationship manager. In this position I have used a wide range of practices to address community and housing issues. Most importantly, I have learned that the client always has the answer they need within their own experience; my best role is as a coach helping them formulate their goal, identify what expanded capacity they need, and then develop a plan to meet the challenge. Many of my current clients are also in the not for profit sector, either as leaders, work teams or board members. They are passionate, committed and caring.
In the past I worked as an institutional chaplain so I draw on that experience by encouraging my clients to lean on their own beliefs and values in facing the challenges in front of them. When not coaching, I am a stone sculptor. As with my coaching, my goal is always to uncover what lies beneath.
If interested, you can see more details of my work experience on LinkedIn.
Steven Raider Ginsburg
If you are looking for a coach to help you strategize to reach your full potential, build a joyful practice with a justice oriented, anti-racist lens let’s connect.
“Steve helped lift up themes out of all my ramblings—all the different projects I juggle in my work and life. I was able to re-find, name, and re-center the thing I love the most in my work— my design process— and start a plan to reorganize my days so I can amplify this core creative practice.” —Megan Bullock, Creative Director & Founder, Studio Mesh
“Working with Steve was incredibly valuable.” – Scott Burkholder, Burkholder Agency, Baltimore, MD
“Steve helped me concentrate on the smaller steps without losing sight of the larger whole.” – Sharon Fantl, Redfern Arts Center, Keene State College
President & CEO
Gail Crider is President & CEO of NAS. She facilitates strategy, program design and organizational alignment to values. She consults on strategy, leadership, planning and governance. Gail was Vice President and COO for over a decade and was instrumental in our transition from the National Arts Stabilization Fund to National Arts Strategies and providing the range of services offered today.
Over the course of her career, Gail has been an entrepreneur, worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations and spent a decade in philanthropy. Prior to NAS, she was as a program officer for a private foundation where she worked on inner-city redevelopment and community building in Washington, D.C. Gail has also worked for the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, the National Endowment for the Arts and Key Bank. She co-chaired the Community Development Support Collaborative in Washington, D.C., and has served as a senior fellow for the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania, on the audit committee for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and on grant panels for the Corporation for National Service (AmeriCorps), the National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Treasury, CDFI Fund. She holds a B.S. in theater from Lewis and Clark College and continues to learn formally and informally through her work at NAS, including continuing education at Stanford University, Harvard Business School and University of Michigan – Ross School of Business.
New York, New York
NAS Board Vice Chair
San Francisco, California Pacific Time Zone (UTC−08:00)
I am a coach and writer, with more than 15 years of professional experience in the arts, culture and higher education fields.As a coach, I partner with clients working across culture, social change, education and public life to facilitate generative inquiry, transformative processes and meaningful results. I bring a lens influenced by engagement with artist communities, cultural organizers and creative strategies to my approach, and draw upon my background in performance and pedagogy to facilitate a coaching experience which integrates client vision with emotional, embodied and relational awareness.
By balancing supportive resourcing and challenging provocations, I hold space for clients to create outcomes consistent with true values and connection to what’s happening inside and environmentally. I am passionately curious and will meet you where you are with care and focus.
I am accredited by the International Coach Federation as an Associate Certified Coach and was trained as part of the NAS Leadership Coaching Program in partnership with the Goldvarg Consulting Group. In addition to cultivating learning environments and leadership development, clients work with me to build regenerative and creative practices.
I currently work at Central European University, part of the Open Society University Network. Previously, as the Director of ODC Theater in San Francisco, I provided executive and artistic leadership for season programming, public engagement and artist residencies. At the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, I designed and led innovative programs at the intersections of art and wellness, creative practice and social change. I earned my MA from Wesleyan University and my teaching includes Stanford University’s Arts In Context course.
He currently serves as the President & CEO of Arts Midwest. Formerly, he was the director of development at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He was chief officer of development and marketing at Alaska Public Media from 2012 to 2016 and executive and artistic director of Anchorage Opera from 2006 to 2012. Prior to joining Anchorage Opera, he served as the director of the National Patrons Council at Americans for the Arts.
Allen has served as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the WallaceFoundation. Also, he has provided volunteer leadership support for numerous organizations including the World Affairs Council (Alaska), University of Alaska Advisory Board, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Community Commander Program, Arts & Business Council of New York, American Repertory Ballet, Russian Chamber Chorus of New York, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Anchorage Museum, Anchorage Symphony and Alaska State Council on the Arts.
His professional performance credits include Opéra National de Paris; Teatro Real Madrid; Bregenz Festpiel. Austria; Rudolfinum, Prague; Carnegie Hall; St. Petersburg State Symphony, Russia; Metropolitan Opera and the Aspen Music Festival.
Allen holds degrees from UCLA and the Boston Conservatory. He is a Fellow of the NAS Chief Executive Program through Harvard Business School, University of Michigan and University of Texas at Austin.
Resnick is an expert in the history of American graphic design and his background in the visual arts includes: authoring a book surveying the history of the American poster (The American Image: U.S. Posters from the 19th to the 21st Century, now in its second edition); co-curating a major exhibition at the Rochester Institute of Technology; extensive lecturing at universities and cultural institutions; and editing a book on the history of social and political art. For many years he has been an active collector of American graphic design spanning the 1850s to present. The collection has led to exhibitions drawn exclusively from it (e.g., at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), accompanying publications, and loans of works to institutions across the United States.
Ingram holds a Master in Business Administration from University of Nebraska Omaha and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Duquesne University. She is also an alumna of the League of American Orchestras’ Orchestra Management Fellowship Program. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University in its Music Management Program and has been a guest lecturer for the University of New Orleans Arts Administration program. Ingram has also served as a grant review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and Colorado Creative Industries.
Ingram was recently elected to the Board of Governors for The Broadway League and also currently serves on the boards of Arts Midwest, Association of Performing Arts Professionals and National Arts Strategies.
From the late 1980s to the late 1990s, he worked as a record producer at EMI Classics in London, where he initiated and produced recordings at Abbey Road Studios and on location with many of the world’s foremost classical artists and ensembles.
From 1997 to 2004, he was Artistic Administrator and later Vice President of Artistic Planning & Operations at The Philadelphia Orchestra. From 2004 to 2005, he was President & CEO of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, before moving back to the UK in 2005 to become Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, one of the United Kingdom’s leading symphony orchestras.
Returning to the US in 2011, he became President & CEO of the Seattle Symphony, a post he held for seven years. During this period, he led the organization through a period of unprecedented artistic success, institutional growth, and fiscal stability, and built the organization’s distinctive community presence and commitment to social impact.
In November 2017, Woods was appointed CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a post he held for almost two years until leaving in September 2019. During this time, he oversaw the organization’s Centennial celebrations, relaunched the organization’s recording program, and instituted a significant new focus on collaborative culture, professional development, and equity and diversity.
In February 2020 Simon Woods joined the Grand Teton Music Festival, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as Interim Executive Director.
Passionately committed to nurturing the next generation of arts leaders, Woods has for two decades contributed to the League of American Orchestras’ professional development programs. He is Faculty Director of the League’s signature annual immersive training program, Essentials of Orchestra Management, and is known throughout the sector as a highly trusted mentor to orchestra management professionals, emerging leaders, and conductors.
Woods and his wife were honored to become American citizens in 2018.
Steven Raider Ginsburg is an executive leadership coach, artistic and executive director with extensive experience developing and delivering community engaged arts programs focused on change-making.For over two decades Steve has provided executive leadership to non-profit arts, higher education, civic and philanthropic organizations. Today Steven leads the forward-thinking and globally curated Autorino Center for the Arts at the University of Saint Joseph, serving over 30,000 guests a year with acclaimed arts and humanities programs. From 2001-2015 as the co-founding Executive Artistic Director of HartBeat Ensemble (Hartford, CT) Steven created award-wining theater work which championed under-heard and under-seen narratives with a highly developed aesthetic. Steven’s experience has focused on developing diverse, equitable and sustainable structures of leadership embedded in staff, board, and community with a realistic eye towards funding. Always motivated to expand his skill set Steven attended advanced programs for arts leadership and curation at Harvard Business School, Ross School of Business and Wesleyan University.
development working at the intersection of arts, culture and community change. Two career highlights were stewarding Creative Citymaking, a successful arts-based innovation pilot to advance racial equity in the City of Minneapolis; and the Creative Community Leadership Institute, a cross-sector leadership program that she co-founded and facilitated for 17 years, now a network of 250 changemakers forging arts-infused partnerships across the Upper Midwest region. She is an Associate Certified Coach through ICF, the International Coach Federation.
Somewhere between performing with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and teaching at cutting-edge leadership centers in Asia, Europe and North America, Wendy discovered she had a gift for helping leaders come more agile, adaptive, effective and whole. She partners with global networks for change (Human Systems Dynamics / HSD Institute, Presencing Institute and Art of Hosting network), has an MA degree in Human Development, and is affiliated with two research and training centers at the University of Minnesota (Center for Spirituality and Healing and Humphrey School of Public Affairs Center for Integrative Leadership). She recently launched a new systems thinking learning program ( hsdessentials.com ) designed for leaders and changemakers working in conditions that you can’t predict or control.
Wendy’s life and work are informed by 19,000 hours of mindfulness training and somatic/embodiment practice. A Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory/IDI, she has coached philanthropic leaders who are committed to more equitable funding outcomes. Her work has been recognized by 25 awards in leadership, artmaking, and interdisciplinary practice including fellowships from the Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. Wendy is dedicated to setting conditions for an equitable, creative and thriving future.
“Wendy is working at a master level…People breathe when Wendy’s around…Her ease in her own skin makes other people be at ease in theirs.”
-Patricia Neal, Center for Purposeful Leadership, President & Co-Author of The Art of Convening
“Wendy is a master integrator. She’s part of that rare breed of people who have a deep knowledge of a particular domain, the ability to make strong connections across domains, and a graceful way of leading others to find those connections for themselves.”
-Colin Funk, Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Leadership Development (Former) Programming Director
Marángeli Mejía Rabell
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Eastern Time Zone (UTC−05:00)
My schedule is flexible.
“The honoring of those that are now spirit is essential as is honoring their work to assure that their work continues to be expanded upon generation after generation.”– Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega, Afro-Puerto Rican. Founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute.
Marángeli Mejía Rabell is a Puerto Rico-born, Philadelphia-based connector, cultural organizer & producer, arts & culture curator and programmer whose work is centered on co-creation, capacity building, leadership development, cross sector collaborations and honoring our roots as a tool for social change and community self actualization.
Currently, Marangeli is a Coach with the National Arts Strategies working towards her International Coaching Federation certification. Serving as part of this community of practice provides her with the opportunity to partner with others to navigate the complexities of our landscapes, develop strategies through self reflection and design actions to drive positive change.
Marangeli’s practice is focused on community media practices, cultural organizing, intersectionality, accessibility and diversity. As Director of the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival and Co Founder/Creative Partner of AFROTAINO she co-curates, designs and executes arts & culture programming, collaborations and multidisciplinary projects. She has served as the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival Director for seven years supporting the groundbreaking work of Latinx filmmakers. Under Marángeli’s leadership, PHLAFF has evolved into an international film festival that brings the best of US-based Latinx and Latin American stories to wide audiences. Throughout Marángeli’s career, she has centered Latinx creators, stories and culture to bring about positive change and new representation.
These experiences have supported her to expand her skills in developing and leading projects, campaigns and programs that combine business and community objectives and over three decades of experience establishing systems and metrics to measure collective impact.
For more information on my work, please visit
Director, Learning, Evaluation, Engagement
Deryn Dudley, Ph.D., has over 12 years of experience evaluating complex programs and initiatives, at the national, state, and local level. Deryn’s expertise is in research and evaluation of leadership development programs, community change initiatives, civic and community engagement programs, and education. She has managed the design and implementation of quantitative and qualitative data collection activities to evaluate multiple initiatives designed to shift thinking and attention, catalyze action, and coordinate players in an effort to drive systems change. Before joining the NAS team, Deryn worked as an independent evaluation consultant for non-profit organizations and foundations on program monitoring and evaluation, strategic planning and provided technical assistance to help build organizational capacity.
Before branching out on her own as an independent consultant, Deryn worked at Community Science where she led the evaluation of the Bush Foundation’s Change Network leadership program and Groundwork USA’s Green Team youth development program. Prior to joining Community Science, Deryn worked as a senior research analyst in the Research and Evaluation Unit at Special Service for Groups, a California nonprofit that is focused on community engagement and provides capacity-building and technical assistance services to community-based organizations, hospitals and clinics, and grantmakers.
Deryn received both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology and Program Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University and has published and presented her work related to leadership development, collective action, pro-social behaviors, and student engagement.
Born and raised in Reston, Virginia, Kyle has a deep appreciation for the arts. He grew up performing in community theater and possesses deteriorating skills in several instruments. In his free time he enjoys hiking, painting, and forming strong opinions about movies. Kyle holds a degree in Marketing from James Madison University.
Born and raised in northern Virginia, Carla grew up as a competitive dancer. During her time at Virginia Tech (go Hokies!), she was a member of their prestigious dance team, the HighTechs, performing at football and basketball games and competing yearly at nationals in Daytona Beach.
After graduating in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Communications, she decided to move home to the metro area. Carla worked at a Montessori Preschool, concentrating on early childhood development. Her performance background eventually drew her back and she worked with the contemporary ballet company, Chamber Dance Project in DC as the administrative assistant while also working on the company’s social media and communications. During which time she also had an internship in Communications for Dance/USA.
Carla loves the arts and performance and still tries to dance when possible. When she’s not dancing, she loves to read, pretend she can sing and practices for her Broadway debut (a girl can dream).
Deron has developed and led multi-million dollar social impact strategies executed by schools, nonprofits, philanthropies and others. A french hornist turned arts administrator, he began his arts admin journey as a senior leader of Cincinnati Outreach Music Project, a creative youth development initiative that served nearly 800 students each school day.
Following his work in Cincinnati, Deron directed partnerships, operations, and research as the Director of Partnerships and Operations for the Memphis Music Initiative, a 5-year, $25-Million creative youth development initiative. He then served as the Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Boston Symphony Orchestra leading education and community partnerships for the brand. Following BSO, Deron served as Assistant Director for Youth Programs at Carnegie Hall where he directed Carnegie’s NYC-based teen strategy, Future Music Project. There, he led a team of Grammy Nominated and Award-Winning Teaching Artists to build content and experiences for youth from all 5 boroughs.
He is a proud graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM, Music Education, French Horn) and the Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania with National Arts Strategies, where he routinely serves as a teaching fellow for the Strategy And Positioning course.
Teaching Fellow for Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy
George Nunes returns in 2018 for his third year as a teaching fellow for the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy. During 35 years working in the public and private sectors, George Nunes has collaborated successfully with volunteers and staff to build thriving organizations.
George has held leadership positions at ACT Theatre, Dance/USA, Ballet Arizona, Seattle Art Museum, and the Tateuchi Center, and in his family’s business. Through Captacion Fundraising Consulting, Nunes collaborates with clients to create stable, long-term revenue streams. Current and past clients include the Arizona Community Foundation Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy, U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership, The Sonoran Institute, and the Mesoamerican Reef Fund, among others. He has generated close to $50,000,000 in contributed and earned revenue.
In addition to his teaching fellowship with NAS, Nunes is a faculty associate for the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation. His academic and professional education includes certification as a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy from the American College of Financial Services, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington, a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Golden Gate University, and Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Dominican University of California.
George Nunes is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement, Grant Professionals Association, and the Planned Giving Roundtable of Arizona. George has served on grant review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, other government entities, and private foundations.
Born in California, Nunes resides in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. George is an avid hiker and a published travel writer about Mexico. He has walked the Inca Trail in Peru, the Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and throughout more than 100 archeological sites in North and South America and Asia.
Teaching Fellow for Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy
Horst Abraham is a faculty partner of the Center for Executive Development. His skills as a process consultant and coach were developed first in working with high performance athletes. From 1971 to 1984 he served as the education vice president of the Professional Ski Instructors of America. From 1980-1984, he helped coach the National Alpine Ski Team during a time when America’s skiers rose from perennial also-rans to world class. He is a visiting faculty member in the executive education programs of the University of Michigan and Boston University.
Since 1984 he has worked with top executives at many Fortune 200 firms to support a variety of organizational change interventions, including building and managing high performance teams. His innovative thinking in the domain of Learning and Teaching earned him an honorary assignment to the Education Commission of Japan. He holds a Masters degree in Education and the Behavioral Sciences from the University of Vienna and the University of Cologne. He also graduated from the National Ski- and Mountaineering Institutes in France and Austria. He is an avid rock climber and a nationally ranked, competitive sailor. He splits his residence between Vail, Colorado and Punta Gorda, Florida.
Faculty for The Chief Executive Program, 2011 – present; Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders, 2012; Day of Learning with the Association of Art Museum Directors, 2015
Warren Boeker earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Past academic appointments have included Columbia University (1987-96), London Business School (1996-98) and the University of Washington, where he is the Douglas Olesen Professor and Chair of the Department of Management and Organization.
Professor Boeker has been involved in teaching and advising in the areas of governance and organizational strategy for the last 20 years, first as the Strategy Director of Columbia University’s Institute for Non-profit Management, and most recently as an advisor to non-profit organizations undergoing strategic change and board transitions. He is also actively involved in research investigating for-profit organizations, including the effect of founders on new ventures and alliance activity between biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. His major publications/papers include articles in Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, and chapters in books, and he has presented research seminars at a number of universities, including Harvard, INSEAD (France), London Business School, New York University, Northwestern, Stanford, University of California (Berkeley, Irvine, and Los Angeles), University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale, among others. He has consulted with numerous organizations, and has been an active designer, participant and leader in more than 25 executive programs across numerous universities, both domestic and international, including the University of Zurich, Ecole Polytechnique (Paris), Australian Graduate School of Management, and Hebrew University.
Faculty for Strategic Governance, 2008 – present
Diane Burton is a Professor and Department Chair in the Human Resource Studies Department at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations where she teaches courses in entrepreneurship, business strategy, and research methodology. Professor Burton studies employment relations, organizational change and white-collar careers. She has published articles in a number of academic journals including American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, and the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization Science. Prior to joining Cornell, Professor Burton taught at MIT Sloan School of Management, Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Professor Burton earned degrees from Carnegie Mellon and Harvard Universities before receiving her Ph.D. in Sociology at Stanford University.
Faculty for Managing People, 2004 – present, Day of Learning with the Association of Art Museum Directors, 2015
Paula J. Caproni serves on the faculty of the Management and Organizations Department at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She is also the Director of the Day MBA Program and the Professional Development Coach for the Executive MBA Program. Professor Caproni teaches courses in leadership, interpersonal skills, and team development both in the U.S. and internationally with the Ross Executive Education. In addition to extensive teaching, she consults with organizations in public, private, and non profit sectors and has presented her research at several conferences in the U.S. and abroad, including the Academy of Management Meetings, the Organizational Behavior Teaching Conference, the Academy of International Business, the European Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism, and the European Group for Organizational Studies. Professor Caproni’s book, “Management Skills for Everyday Life: The Practical Coach” is now in its second edition, and she is currently writing a new book called “What Predicts Success: What Researchers Know That You Don’t Know.” The Ross faculty honored Professor Caproni with the Victor Bernard Leadership Teaching Award in 2008. Professor Caproni holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Yale University.
Faculty for Sustainable Power and Influence, Fall 2009, The Chief Executive Program, 2014 – present, Leadership Training Program for Senior Cultural Executives, 2014
Little Rock, Arkansas Central Time Zone (UTC−06:00)
Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, 9am-6pm CST are my preferred availability times.
“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”–Steve Jobs
Leaders in arts organizations want to change the world. We want to make it a brighter, more inspiring place for all of us to live, but even in the best of days, leaders and creators of arts organizations have challenging moments. I became a coach because I feel passionately that leaders need a safe space to think, brainstorm, and talk through a key idea so we can push through and move the organization or our personal lives closer to our vision. Sometimes, we need to reflect from a different perspective to get “unstuck,” so we can move forward and change the world faster.
Through coaching, I can hold that confidential space for leaders. By asking powerful questions that help you think through strategies and ideas, you discover your own path over, around or through what is blocking you. For example, in our work together, we can efficiently co-create paths for such topics as:
The experience I draw from when coaching includes 25 years of leading orchestras in different cities, a sense of humor, being a parent, running two marathons with the help of my friends, a background in journalism and cello performance, and an MBA and MA. Following is a testimonial about the coaching experience from a fellow arts leader: My NAS Coaching experience was top notch with just the right mix of meaningful discussion, informing, feedback, posing challenging questions for me to ponder, and creating manageable and appropriate action steps for implementation. This experience has helped me become a more effective and confident leader, which in turn has created a more effective and confident organization as we work together to meet – and exceed! – our strategic goals.
If you’re feeling a bit stuck, would like to work with a person whose only interest is to support your success, or would simply like to discover how coaching might help you be your best, please reach out to the NAS Leadership Coaching team to learn more. I am a member of the International Coach Federation and completing my studies through the National Arts Strategies’ Leadership Coaching Training Program in partnership with the Goldvarg Consulting Group. For more information on my professional experience, review Christina Littlejohn at LinkedIn.com.
Jeannette Colyvas is assistant professor of learning and organizational change at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. Her research interests include organizations and entrepreneurship, comparing public, private, and non-profit forms of organizing, and the study of networks. Professor Colyvas teaches the course Tools for Organizational Analysis at Northwestern and while at Stanford co-taught graduate courses on the nonprofit sector with Professor Walter W. Powell. Her published work has appeared in the journals Management Science and Research in Organizational Behavior. Professor Colyvas’ current research addresses university-industry relations, scientist collaboration networks, and the development and commercialization of academic research. Professor Colyvas has a Ph.D. from Stanford University, with M.A. degrees in Sociology and East Asian Studies.
Faculty for Creative Alliances, 2006 – 2012, Extending Your Reach, 2013 – present
Jed Emerson is originator of the concept of Blended Value, Jed Emerson has extensive experience leading, staffing and advising funds, firms, social ventures and foundations pursuing financial performance with social/environmental impact. Jed currently focuses on working with families exploring how to ensure a long term legacy by managing their full net worth for impact and engage in family processes which bring multiple generations into that effort. He is an internationally recognized Thought Leader in sustainability and sustainable finance, impact investing, social entrepreneurship and strategic philanthropy. Emerson has played founder roles with some of the nation’s leading venture philanthropy, community venture capital and social enterprises.
Faculty for Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy, 2018 – present
A graduate in design and visual communications, Hannah started her career in the advertising and photography industries before moving her focus to work with non-profit organizations. For the past 18 years Hannah Fox has developed and delivered creative projects for education, culture, heritage, and health clients in the UK. Her current role as Director of Projects and Programmes at Derby Museums has seen her lead the vision for the Silk Mill – widely regarded to be the site of the world’s first factory – as the UK’s new Museum of Making, securing commitments of $24m for the project. The Museum of Making is being co-produced with communities and partners as citizen curators and makers, in a fully participative approach that puts people and place at its heart.
Hannah consults on human-centered and co- production methodologies with people and organizations internationally. She sits on a number of museum advisory boards, including the Museum of Homelessness, and is a board member for FIGMENT Global, a participatory arts festival based in New York. Hannah is a proud alumna of the Creative Communities Fellowship (2014), which she credits with giving her the focus and confidence to take the Silk Mill project to the next level. She has an accent that can be hard to pinpoint…
Faculty for Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy, 2017 – present
Peter Frumkin is Professor of Social Policy and Faculty Director of the Center for Social Impact Strategy, both at the University of Pennsylvania. His research and teaching focus on philanthropy, nonprofit management, and social entrepreneurship.
Frumkin has written articles on all aspects of philanthropy, including the formulation of grantmaking strategy, the changing profile of major individual donors, theories of philanthropic leverage, the professionalization movement within foundations, and other topics. His book, Strategic Giving: The Art and Science of Philanthropy, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2006. It has been touted by reviewers as the “benchmark text for the field” and “the most penetrating exploration of contemporary philanthropy now available.” He has lectured on philanthropy at meetings of grantmakers in the U.S. and abroad, and served as a consultant to foundations and individual donors on strategy and evaluation.
Frumkin is the author of Building for the Arts (co-authored with Ana Kolendo; University of Chicago Press, 2014), which considers the management challenges associated with the recent cultural building boom in America. Frumkin’s On Being Nonprofit (Harvard University Press, 2002) won the best book award from the Academy of Management’s public and nonprofit section. This book considers the changing roles and responsibilities of nonprofit organizations in American democracy and the evolution of public policies shaping the sector’s growth. He has also authored numerous articles on topics related to nonprofit management, including ones focusing on compensation policies in nonprofit organizations, the effective deployment of volunteers, the impact of fundraising strategies on nonprofit revenue generation, nonprofit accountability systems, and the effects of public funding on nonprofit mission definition.
In 2010, two books by Frumkin were published: Serving Country and Community co-authored with JoAnn Jastrzab (Harvard, 2010), which examines the effectiveness of the national service programs AmeriCorps and VISTA, and The Essence of Strategic Giving: A Practical Guide for Donors and Fundraisers (University of Chicago Press, 2010), which provides a roadmap for how to improve the effectiveness of philanthropy. The Strategic Management of Charter Schools (Harvard 2011), which Frumkin co-authored with Bruno Manno and Nell Edgington, develops a systematic way of thinking about and handling the many management challenges associated with starting and sustaining a charter school.
Prior to coming to Penn, Frumkin was Professor of Public Affairs and Director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. He has taught at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and served as a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. Before academics, Frumkin worked as a foundation program officer, a nonprofit manager, and as a program evaluator in both nonprofit and public agencies. Frumkin received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.
Faculty for The Chief Executive Program, 2011; Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy, 2014-present; Arts & Culture Strategy, 2014-present; Creative Community Fellows, 2014-present.
Brea M. Heidelberg is an arts management educator, consultant, and researcher focusing on the intersection of the arts and other fields of study. She is currently a member of the faculty and serves as Assistant Director of the Entertainment & Arts Management program at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media, Arts and Design. She sees arts administrators as intellectual translators and works to instill a respect for both theory and practice in her students and clients. She is a board member of the Association of Arts Administration Educators and currently serves as Co-Chair of Americans for the Arts’ Emerging Leaders Council. She is also on the editorial board of the American Journal of Arts Management. Dr. Heidelberg earned her PhD in Arts Administration, Education and Policy from The Ohio State University. Her research interests include professional development issues facing arts administrators, arts advocacy rhetoric, and (inter)national cultural diplomacy. In addition to earning a MA in Arts Policy and Administration from The Ohio State University, she also earned a MS in Human Resource Development from Villanova University. Her current research interests involve the professionalization of the field of arts management, the training and development of arts managers, and management issues unique to small and midsized nonprofit arts organizations. Past projects include investigations into arts policy and advocacy rhetoric at the state and federal levels.
Gray Garmon is a Clinical Professor of Design and Innovation at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He has a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science of Architectural Studies from the University of Texas in Austin. Gray served in Peace Corps Ghana from 2007-2009 where he worked on various projects, including teaching, HIV/AIDS, empowering women, and building concrete latrines. After Peace Corps, he started a social venture called the Global Latrine Project to develop pre-fabricated composting latrines for the developing world. He is a recipient of the American Institute of Architects Henry Adams Medal, and a University of Pennsylvania Social Impact Fellow. He has facilitated workshops in Human-Centered Design for the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, Startups, non-profits and large corporations like Southwest Airlines, Fossil, and JCPenney.
Gray is a practicing designer in Dallas, TX, leads a public design initiative called Design Future Dallas, and is a founding member of the Offset Collective.
Veronique Le Melle
Veronique Le Melle began concentrating much of her professional energy on consulting projects in 2018. Her services range from general administration and interim management to executive coaching. In addition to her executive coaching, Ms. Le Melle studied Integrative Health Coaching at Duke University’s Institute of Integrative Medicine and is a nationally certified health and wellness coach. Much of her health coaching practice focuses on helping artists and arts managers to navigate wellness and selfcare effectively.
Before becoming an independent consultant, Veronique was the Executive Director of Artpace, Inc. from January 2016 until April 2018. During her tenure, she built on the organization’s rich history to develop new programmatic directions and established an enhanced community outreach to more than double its exhibition attendance. Additionally, Ms. Le Melle focused on identifying diversified earned income streams to create long-term stability for the organization.
Previously President and CEO of the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) from 2009 through the end of 2015, Veronique revitalized BCA programs, spearheaded initiatives to increase services for working artists, and explored ways to connect with youth and community organizations in Boston’s vibrant South End.
Prior to her work in Boston, Le Melle directed a number of arts and cultural organizations including the Louisiana Division of the Arts. As the Division’s Executive Director, she successfully restructured Louisiana’s Grants Program and implemented a streamlined grant application process.
As Director of Cultural Affairs & Tourism for the Queens Borough President’s Office, her responsibilities included the oversight of cultural policy, grants administration and the development of tourism strategies for the Borough of Queens. Her charge was to support and advise both the established cultural institutions in Queens and new community-based arts groups who provide vital services within their neighborhoods.
Veronique holds an MPA in Public Policy & Administration from Columbia University-School of International and Public Affairs, an MFA in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College, and a BA in Economics/Business Administration from Colorado College.
Eileen R. Heisman, ACFRE, is the President and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust. She is a nationally recognized expert on charitable and planned giving. She was among the first fundraising professionals to earn the distinguished ACFRE certification. In both 2011 and 2014, she was named by NonProfit Times as one of their Power and Influence Top 50, an annual listing of the 50 most influential executives in the philanthropic sector. Ms. Heisman is currently a member of the faculty at Leadership Philadelphia, as well as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work graduate program and at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She is a regular lecturer for the Nonprofit Board Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a member of the Governance Committee for the Nonprofit Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Central Time Zone (UTC−06:00)
I prefer to meet Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm.
My focus as a coach is on uplifting the individual. I provide a safe space in which we can co-create your place in the world, be it a career path or a new position, by using your vision. Together we will explore achievable steps towards your goal.
I love coaching clients who are open to new experiences of personal growth and professional advancement. My genuine style builds trust and keeps clients at ease. Listening is the most important part of coaching because we are not always truthful with ourselves. My observations will challenge you and encourage new modes of reflection and thoughtfulness.
As an award-winning documentary filmmaker, coaching is a natural extension of my work. My career in television has led me to the highest levels of PBS (Public Broadcasting System). I have found the competency and mental toughness it takes to work with a variety of institutions, personalities and economic models. I draw from this background in communications and as a coach I work with organizations and individuals looking to create meaningful change, develop potential and achieve success.
New Haven, Connecticut,Eastern Time Zone (UTC−05:00)
Suzan E. Jenkins is a CEO, advocate, leadership coach and strategic consultant. Suzan’s expertise is in leading teams and spearheading organizational and programmatic development in the national and international arts and culture sector.
A New York native, Suzan’s deep understanding of critical and complex cultural norms, is informed by her upbringing in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Suzan’s vast professional experiences – in the performing and visual arts, retail, banking, the recording industry, the federal government and higher education – inform her keen interests at the intersection of business, innovation, equity and impact.
A critical voice in the movement towards operationalizing racial equity in the arts and culture sector throughout many facets of her career, Suzan’s advocacy work in the music industry towards royalty-reform, her work in the development and implementation of Racial Equity Principles at National Arts Strategies, and her work as a member of the Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission in her community bolsters this commitment. Suzan is dedicated to anti-racist work that is both organizationally and individually bound.
Suzan’s education includes Harvard Business School’s Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture; University of Michigan’s Ross Business School; Certification in Leadership and Team Effectiveness from the National Leadership Institute; a BS in Psychology and an MBA from the University of Maryland.
As leaders, we are always searching for ways to strategically problem solve and forge new ground. If you are a race-conscious leader grappling with current issues in multinational, multicultural settings, let’s talk. Contact Suzan at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary exploratory session.
“I have never had a professional coach before and the experience was life-changing. My coach was incisive and also challenged me in all the right ways. I came out of our sessions with tools that I will be able to use throughout my career and I can’t thank her or NAS enough for this experience.”
–Roberta Pereira, Client, Producing Director, The Playwrights Realm
“Working with Suzan was hugely impactful. When we started the process, I was coming out of a toxic Board situation, and heading into a pandemic. I was also dealing with some challenges with my staff. Since January 2020, I have recruited four new (fantastic) Board members, replaced my bookkeeper with a Finance Manager that is helping taking a huge load off of me, started the hiring process for a new Development team member, and best of all…stayed in the black. All while maintaining sanity. The thinking tools Suzan provided and the perspective she encouraged are a large part of that.”
–Chandra Stephens-Albright, Managing Director, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company
Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson’s expertise is in comprehensive community revitalization, systems change, the dynamics of race and ethnicity and the roles of and arts and culture in communities. She is Senior Advisor, Arts and Culture at the Kresge Foundation and consults with national and regional foundations and government agencies on strategic planning and research. In 2013, with U.S. Senate confirmation, President Obama appointed Dr. Jackson to the National Council on the Arts. She is on the advisory board of the Lambent Foundation and on the boards of directors of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and LA Commons. Previously she was on the boards of the Association for Performing Arts Presenters, the National Performance Network, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Cultural Alliance for Greater Washington, Fund for Folk Culture and the Dunbar Economic Development Corporation. She also advises a number of national and regional projects focusing on arts leadership, arts organizations and changing demographics and arts and health. Dr. Jackson has been adjunct faculty at Claremont Graduate University where she has taught cultural policy. She is adjunct faculty in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California where she teaches in the Arts Leadership Program. Dr. Jackson is also the James Irvine Foundation Fellow in Residence at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Previously, for almost 20 years, Dr. Jackson was based at the Urban Institute, a public policy research organization based in Washington, D.C. There she was a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center and founding director of UI’s Culture, Creativity and Communities Program. At UI, she led pioneering research on arts and culture indicators, measuring cultural vitality, the role of arts and culture in community revitalization, development of art spaces, and support systems for artists. She also was a senior researcher on studies of public housing programs, use of urban parks, handgun violence prevention and teacher training initiatives for urban schools.
Dr. Jackson earned a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California.
Elizabeth (“Liz”) Keating is well known as a nonprofit finance researcher and educator. Her research has looked at nonprofit financial performance, reforming the nonprofit reporting system, overhead, financial distress and fraud. She is perhaps best known for her Boston Foundation report, “Passion and Purpose: Raising the Fiscal Fitness Bar for Massachusetts Nonprofits” which documented the lack of funding in the sector, as well as for her pamphlet “How to Assess Nonprofit Financial Performance,” used in many nonprofit finance courses. She has taught nonprofit finance and accounting in executive as well as degree-granting programs at the Harvard Business School, Kennedy School at Harvard, Kellogg School at Northwestern, and Columbia University. She is presently an Affiliated Scholar at the Urban Institute and a Lecturer at Boston University. She holds an M.B.A. in Finance from the Stern School at NYU and a PhD in accounting from the Sloan School at MIT.
Esther Grisham Grimm
I am a coach-in-training with the National Arts Strategies’ Leadership Coaching Training Program, on my way to becoming certified through the International Coach Federation. Coaching is a natural offshoot of my career in the arts, which spans museum education, arts education, social justice, advocacy, and philanthropy.
In addition to coaching, I am the Executive Director of 3Arts, a nonprofit grantmaking organization that supports women-identified artists, artists of color, and Deaf and disabled artists working in the performing, teaching, and visual arts in the Chicago area. I am driven by the conviction that arts leaders and artists have the ability to point humanity in the right direction, or, as Toni Cade Bambara put it, that “The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.”
I have worked in, learned from, and advocated for the arts for decades. In a pivotal moment in my career, I had the great fortune of re-inventing and rebuilding our 109-year-old organization from the ground up. That transformation included creating a grantmaking mission centered on gender, racial, and disability justice; designing unprecedented artist-centric programs; developing the Board of Directors and fundraising efforts; and establishing organizational policies and procedures—and everything in between. With a commitment to advocating for our field, I serve on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Cultural Advisory Council and am the immediate past Chair of the Alliance of Artists Communities.
This experience dovetails with my coaching practice as I help clients define and navigate evolution in themselves and their organizations while strengthening their visionary work in the world. My own work as a coach begins with your goals and passions, progresses through an inquiry-based exploration and discovery process, and culminates in actions and insights that lead to the results you seek.
My belief that arts and culture are essential to the endurance and soul of our planet fuels my work as a coach with an emphasis on supporting both established and emerging leaders and advocates who are propelling transformation(s). The interrelated personal and professional growth and wellbeing of my clients are paramount. I know from my own experience that change doesn’t always come easily and that the voyage can sometimes be stormy. Working with you toco-create a way through those storms—or even just a cloudy day—is my mission as a coach.
“I wanted to make a shift in my life. I was stuck. And frustrated as heck. When I sought out coaching from Esther, I didn’tknow what I was asking exactly. What Esther did was to help me to see who I am and what I want. She gave credence to my own thought process. Her gentle reflection, kind validation, deep listening and unconditional positive regard pushed me out of a self-defeating cycle. And onto a path that is clearer and more directed. I am so grateful to her and give her my highest recommendation, no matter where you are in your process of building a better life.” -S.M.
Katie is the director of the SMU Maker Education Project at the Lyle School of Engineering at SMU. Previously at SMU, she directed the Deason Innovation Gym, the Lyle School’s makerspace.
Before directing the Deason Innovation Gym, Katie was most recently working to bring design thinking to K12 education at the Hasso Plattner Institute for Design (d.school) at Stanford University. During her time at the K12 Lab Network at the d.school, Katie contributed to a diverse array of projects, including a mobile maker education initiative called SparkTruck, a series of introductory and advanced design thinking workshops for educators, school-based design projects and School Retool, a principal professional development program designed in collaboration with IDEO and the Hewlett Foundation.
Recently, Katie has brought the SparkTruck project to SMU to further her work in developing maker-based instructional strategies to support teachers authentically integrating maker-based learning experiences into their classrooms. Called the SMU Maker Education Project, Katie is partnering with Professor Rob Rouse of the Simmons School of Education to develop these materials.
Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D. is an educator, author, speaker and Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications at New Jersey City University. She holds a Ph.D. in Mass Media and Communication from Temple University, a Master’s degree in Communication from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from The Johns Hopkins University. Her most recent book is The Social Media Survival Guide for Nonprofits and Charitable Institutions (January 2011).
Margaret A. Neale is the John G. McCoy-Banc One Corporation Professor of Organizations and Dispute Resolution at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. She is the Graduate School of Business Trust Faculty Fellow for 2009-2010 and serves as the faculty director of two executive programs: Negotiation and Influence Strategies and Managing Teams for Innovation and Success and the faculty co-director of the Executive Program for Women Leaders. Professor Neale’s major research interests include bargaining and negotiation; power and status; distributed work groups; and team composition, learning, and performance. She is the author of over 70 articles on these topics and is a co-author of three books and one research series. She has served as the associate editor of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and currently serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Conflict Management, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Applied Psychology and Human Resource Management Review. Professor Neale has conducted executive seminars and management development programs internationally for public agencies, city governments, and Fortune 500 corporations. She holds Masters’ degrees from the Medical College of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Texas.
Faculty for Leading Collaborative Change, 2013
Meredith has served as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania since 2009, working within the Wharton School, the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), and the Positive Psychology Center. Meredith has won excellence in teaching awards in the Wharton School and SP2’s Nonprofit Leadership Masters Program.
In her research and consulting, she has coached international leaders, executives and board members in non-profits, foundations, and industry on how to forge healthier relationships for more sustainable business results. Key subject areas include: the science of human flourishing, leadership, collaboration, bias in decision-making, emotions at work. She also has helped develop and execute training programs to build problem-solving and collaboration capacity within mission critical teams such as those within the New York Fire Department, Navy Special Warfare and US Army Special Operations Command.
Outside of her university-based roles, Meredith is the Executive Director of Job Crafting LLC, which leverages cutting edge research on the workplace to help people construct their work in ways that promote a greater sense of purpose and engagement while enhancing business results.
Meredith holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania / the Wharton School, in the dual-degree Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business.
Faculty for Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy, 2018 – present; NAS Summit, 2019
Andrew Nelson is the Randall C. Papé Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Associate Professor of Management at the University of Oregon. He also serves as the University of Oregon’s Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and as Academic Director of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship. Andrew received his PhD in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, where he subsequently served as a Lecturer. He also holds an MSc (with distinction) from Oxford University and a BA (with honors and distinction) from Stanford.
Andrew’s research explores the development and commercialization of technological innovations. His ongoing research projects focus on the fields of music synthesis, information technology, green (sustainable) chemistry, and biotechnology. Among other outlets, his work appears in the Academy of Management Journal, Research Policy, Organization Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, and in his book, The Sound of Innovation: Stanford and the Computer Music Revolution (MIT Press, 2015), and has been featured in numerous national outlets including The Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, and NPR. Andrew also serves as an Associate Editor of the Academy of Management Journal and on the editorial board of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.
An award-winning teacher, Andrew leads undergraduate, MBA, PhD and executive education courses in entrepreneurship and in organization theory. With colleagues at Stanford University and UC Davis, he also is the author of Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise (McGraw-Hill), now entering its 5th edition in multiple translations and used in entrepreneurship courses worldwide.
Faculty for Extending Your Reach, 2013 – present
Gregory Northcraft, Ph.D., is Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Business Administration, Harry J. Gray Professor of Executive Leadership and Director of the Office of Research at the College of Business at Illinois, where he teaches courses in management and organizational behavior, behavioral aspects of decision-making, negotiation and conflict management
Dr. Northcraft’s research interests include conflict management, managerial decision making, process of collaboration and employee motivation and job design, particularly in high technology manufacturing settings.
Faculty for Leading Collaborative Change, 2013
Sara Olsen is Founder and CEO of SVT Group, an “impact accounting firm” whose systems have been used to account for the social and environmental value of some $9Bn in assets since 2001. Recognized twice by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs, Sara holds professorships at Hult International Business School and the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where she teaches social impact assessment and management for entrepreneurs and investors, and she serves as Methodology Committee co-chair for the International SROI Network (soon to be Social Value International). She is also the co-founder of the Global Social Venture Competition, which has engaged over 13,000 students and professionals in measuring social value. Sara was a studio art major at Dartmouth College, and holds MBA and MASW degrees from UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago.
David A. Owens is professor of the practice of management at Vanderbilt’s Graduate School of Management, where he also directs the Executive Development Institute. Specializing in innovation and new product development, he is known as a dynamic speaker and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards. He provides consulting services for a wide range of clients around the world, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Guardian and San Jose Mercury News, as well as on NPR’s Marketplace.
Owens has consulted for NASA, The Smithsonian, Nissan LEAF, Gibson Music, American Conservatory Theater, Alcatel, Tetra Pak, Tennessee Valley Authority, Cisco, LEGO, The Henry Ford Museum and many other organizations. He has done product design work for well-known firms including Daimler Benz, Apple Computer, Dell Computer, Coleman Camping, Corning World Kitchen, Steelcase and IDEO Product Development. He has also served as CEO of a large consumer electronics firm, Griffin Technology.
Owens earned his Ph.D. in management science and engineering through a joint fellowship program between Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and its School of Engineering. He holds an M.S. in engineering product design and is a registered professional electrical engineer (P.E). In his current work, Owens focuses on concrete strategies for creating positive change in all types of organizations.
Faculty for Leading Innovation, 2006 – present; Designing Experiences that Stick, 2009; Leading Innovation in Arts & Culture, 2014- Present; The Chief Executive Program: Community & Culture, 2015.
Affiliated Professor of Sociology, Organizational Behavior, Management Science and Communications Walter W. (Woody) Powell is Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Sociology, Organizational Behavior, Management Science, and Communication at Stanford University. Professor Powell is also an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1999, after previously teaching at the University of Arizona, MIT, and Yale. Professor Powell works in the areas of organization theory, economic sociology, the sociology of culture, and science and technology studies. He has written dozens of papers on inter-organizational collaboration and the growing salience of networks and alliances to the innovation process. In the area of nonprofit studies, he edited The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook (Yale Univ. Press, 1987), referred to by reviewers as “the bible of nonprofit scholarship.” The new edition of the handbook was recently published by Yale Press. Professor Powell is also co-editor of Private Action and the Public Good (1998), and is an associate editor of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Professor Powell is currently engaged in two large-scale research projects. In the first, he is studying the circulation and translation of managerial ideas in the Bay Area nonprofit sector, examining how the influence of consulting firms, new forms of high-engagement philanthropy, and business initiatives are influencing the nonprofit world. In the second, Professor Powell and his students are studying the origins and development of the field of the life sciences. They focus on the role of universities in transferring public science into commercial development by science-based companies, the consequences for universities of their growing involvement in alliances with for-profit enterprises, and the evolution of complex patterns of collaboration among companies, public research organizations, and financiers.
Faculty for Creative Alliances, 2004 – 2012Founding faculty for Extending Your Reach, 2013
Greg Reilly is Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Connecticut School of Business. Professor Reilly currently teaches Strategy, Planning and Policy in the MBA program, has served as part of the faculty for the University of Michigan Business School executive education course – Corporate Performance Measurement, and has spoken at performance measurement conferences and workshops around the country. Professor Reilly’s research activities are focused on strategic risk-taking, executive team goals and incentive compensation, and financial decision-making. His research is currently exploring these issues in the healthcare and electric power industries and he has authored both academic and practitioner articles on these subjects. Professor Reilly provides strategy development and performance measurement consulting services to a broad range of organizations. His consulting work supports the further development of the Measure Network, a framework and process for analyzing, assessing and improving performance measurement systems. The framework provides structure and insight into complex measurement systems. Professor Reilly earned his Ph.D. in Corporate Strategy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He earned both his MBA, concentrating in Finance and Accounting, and his BA in Mathematics from The University of Michigan.
Faculty for Finance, 2009 – presentFaculty for Applying Finance, 2009
Violina Rindova is the Zlotnick Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and the Herb Kelleher Chair in Entreprenuership at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. She is also a Fellow of the IC2 Institute of University of Texas at Austin. Her research focusing on how firms develop intangible assets and manage perceptions of value has been published in the leading journals in management and strategy and has been covered by various business media including Business Week and the Economist. She has received numerous awards including the Thought Leadership Award from the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management and the Best Paper Award from the Centre for Corporate Reputation of Oxford University. Dr. Rindova has taught courses in entrepreneurship and strategic management at the undergraduate, graduate and executive levels while on the faculty of University of Washington and University of Maryland. She holds a JD from University of Sofia, Bulgaria, MBA from Madrid Business School-University of Houston and a Ph.D. from the Stern School of Business, New York University.
Faculty for Strategy, 2006 – present; Cultural Leadership Convening, 2014.
Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts is a Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Laura’s research and consulting focus on the science of maximizing human potential in diverse organizations and communities. She has published over fifty research articles, teaching cases, and practitioner-oriented tools for strategically activating best selves through strength-based development. She has also edited three books: Race, Work and Leadership; Positive Organizing in a Global Society; and Exploring Positive Identities and Organizations. Her influential publications on diversity, authenticity and leadership development have been featured in Harvard Business Review and several other global media outlets.
Laura earned a BA in Psychology (highest distinction & Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Virginia, and an MA and Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan. She has served on the faculties of Harvard Business School, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, and Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change. She has also taught courses in organizational behavior, psychology, negotiations, group dynamics, diversity, leadership and career development as a faculty affiliate of the University of Michigan, the Wharton School of Finance, Tuck, Georgia State University, UCLA Anderson, Simmons School of Management, and AVT (Copenhagen).
Jim is the founder of Workbench Services where he works with mission-driven organizations on innovation, strategy, and new ventures. Jim has extensive experience in both nonprofit and commercial organizations, including startups, mission-driven nonprofits, and Fortune 500 corporations. Jim was a Vice President at NAS from 2005 to 2013 with responsibility for market strategy, new business development, and our Strategic Marketing, Digital Strategies and Leading Innovation seminars. He holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. You can read more about Jim’s background at workbenchdc.com.
Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks is a Michael R. and Mary Kay Hallman Fellow and Associate Professor of Management and Organisations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a Faculty Associate at the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan with graduate training in Cultural Anthropology. Previously, he was on the faculty at the University of Southern California and has had visiting appointments at universities in Singapore, France, Turkey and Russia.
Professor Sanchez-Burks is an award winning scholar, writer and educator. His work focuses on the unique challenges of leading in a global economy where traditional boundaries are fuzzy and culture-free models of leadership break down. His research provides a fresh perspective on what it takes to negotiate and collaborate across cultures, link creativity to innovation, and foster high performing teams and transformational leadership via emotional intelligence capabilities. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organisation Science, Psychological Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Research in Organisational Behavior and other scholarly outlets.
His work has been featured in the TED* series, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and The Harvard Business Review. Dr. Sanchez-Burks serves on the editorial board of Organisation Science, is an elected Fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and is a member of the Association for Psychological Science, and the Academy of Management. Dr. Sanchez-Burks is the Director of the EMBA Professional Development Program at the Ross School of Business and the Co-Director of the Michigan Ross Executive Education course on Negotiations, and teaches custom and open-enrollment Executive Education courses on design thinking, creativity and innovation, leadership, cultural intelligence, influence and high performing teams. He has experience coaching and training managers and executives across East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, the U.S., Turkey, Russia, Northern and Western Europe. Within the Day MBA program, he teaches a popular elective on negotiating in a global economy.
Faculty for The Chief Executive Program, 2014-present, Leadership Training Program for Senior Cultural Executives, 2014
Center for Social Sector LeadershipFounder and Faculty DirectorUniversity of California Berkeley-Haas School of BusinessAdjunct Professor
Nora Silver is Founder and Faculty Director of the Center for Social Sector Leadership and Adjunct Professor at University of California Berkeley-Haas School of Business. She led the Center to be ranked third in the country (US News & World Report, 2016). Berkeley-Haas was also ranked first among business schools in social impact (Business as Unusual, 2014).
Nora is a serial entrepreneur, having founded a number of nonprofit social enterprises. She was founder of a unique collaboration of corporate, community and family foundations united to strengthen and diversify volunteerism in the United States. She also founded a groundbreaking enterprise that examined traditional notions of community service and taught a broad range of organizations to better engage volunteers. Early in her career, she served as executive director of a domestic violence organization, taught Spanish in an inner city school, and worked as a psychotherapist in private practice. She has also authored papers on multi-sector leadership, nonprofit networks, and next generation social sector leadership.
Faculty for Leading Large-Scale Social Change
Jesper B. Sørensen is Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has taught core courses in strategic management and corporate strategy, including an innovative course on the intersection of organizational and strategic issues, drawing on insights from sociology and economics. He is a sociologist who specializes in the dynamics of organizational and strategic change, and their implications for individuals and their careers. His research on firm outcomes has focused on the impact of organizational structure and culture on organizational learning, performance and innovation. His work on the dynamics of teams has led to new insights concerning how people respond to changes in the racial composition of their workgroups. Professor Sørensen earned an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University.
Faculty for Managing People, 2004 – 2008
Ms. Shmavonian is an independent consultant who most recently served as president of Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) from January 2010 – July 2012, where she presided over the closure of the organization. She provides strategic direction and counsel to private foundations and a broad array of local, national and international nonprofit organizations. She has extensive foundation management experience, having served as vice president for strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation, and executive vice president at The Pew Charitable Trusts where she also worked as director of administration and as a program officer in health and human services. Ms. Shmavonian serves on the Boards of the Center for Effective Philanthropy; the Partners for Seed in Africa Fund, an initiative for South Sudan supported by Howard Buffet; and the Lenfest Foundation. She helped found and served on the board of The Alliance for A Green Revolution in Africa (a joint partnership of the Rockefeller and Bill and Melinda Gates foundations). She has served on the Advisory Boards of the National Philanthropic Trust and the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was one of the first two non-family members of the Surdna Foundation Board, where she served for six years. Ms. Shmavonian holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago, and an M.B.A. in healthcare management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was awarded the Kathleen McDonald Distinguished Alumna Award from Wharton Women in Business in 2011.
Dr. Wiltbank is Associate Professor of Strategic Management for the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University, a program dedicated to management principles that are core to creating value in for-profit, not-for-profit, and government organizations. He teaches courses on Industry Analysis, Entrepreneurship, Strategy, Governance, and Venture Finance.
Dr. Wiltbank’s research focuses on strategy making under uncertainty, particularly as it relates to growing new organizations. He is a leading researcher in the field of angel investing, and has published research in top tier academic journals covering topics from change in top management teams, to non-predictive strategies; from entrepreneurial expertise in marketing, to formal venture capital investment practices. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Business Venturing.
He is also a partner with Montlake Capital, a growth stage venture investment firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington. He serves on the board of directors for Veriwave Inc. as well as the Angel Capital Education Foundation.
Rob is co-author of the 2009 book The Catalyst from Crown Publishing, based on his research as a Batten Institute Research Fellow with the Darden School at the University of Virginia, selected by Business Week as one of the top 10 books on innovation and leadership in 2009. He is also co-author of a new book from Routledge Publishing titled Effectual Entrepreneurship, based on 15 years of academic research into entrepreneurial expertise. He holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the University of Washington, and a degree in finance & accounting from Oregon State University.
Faculty for Strategic Governance, 2008 – present; Strategy, 2008 – present; Cultural Leadership Convening, 2014.
I have partnered with leaders who are tightening alignment between values and work, testing new ideas, building or changing organizational culture, and working through times of great ambiguity.
In my career, I have navigated change and challenge in many different circumstances. I’ve been an entrepreneur, worked for banks, my mother, nonprofits and public and private funders. So far, I’ve lived in eight states – both rural and urban areas and traveled to 14 countries. I hold to my values of curiosity, courage and persistence, fairness and justice.
Currently, I am President & CEO of NAS. Prior to NAS, I was a program officer for a private foundation where I worked on inner-city redevelopment and community building in Washington, D.C. In that role, I co-chaired the Community Development Support Collaborative. I hold a B.S. in theater from Lewis and Clark College and continue to learn formally and informally through my work at NAS, including continuing education at Stanford University, Harvard Business School, University of Michigan – Ross School of Business, RaceForward, and CommonSense Consulting@Work (intercultural agility training).
I am a graduate of the NAS Leadership Coaching Program, am a current member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and anticipate my upcoming accreditation.
Dr. Ayden Adler
Houston, Texas Central Time Zone (UTC−06:00)
With nearly three decades of experience as an arts administrator, performer, professor, and author, I am a nationally recognized leader and sought-after speaker and advisor on best practices in arts administration and leadership. My vision is to sustain the arts through robust inclusivity and diversity, superlative artistry, and innovative approaches to audience engagement and retention. My forthcoming book, Orchestrating Whiteness: Arthur Fiedler, Serge Koussevitzky, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, addresses the historical roots of systemic racism in classical music, and emerged from my experience performing and programming concerts, engaging donors, building audiences, and negotiating strategic community partnerships at four major American orchestras. I am a Chief Executive Global Fellow of National Arts Strategies, a Grammy voter, and a research affiliate of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project. I serve on the boards of the College Music Society and the Chumir Foundation.
As a leadership coach, I call upon my creative arts background to inspire and support leaders who envision meaningful personal and organizational impact and who seek to serve as change agents cultivating diverse and inclusive cultures.
My goal as a coach is to provide a powerful and safe space to encourage reflection, learning, and growth. I am an experienced and empathetic thought-partner; I provide unwavering support, guidance, and accountability as my clients progress toward their goals. Through honest conversation and respectful inquiry—and a dose of good humor—coaching provides an opportunity for my clients to gain new perspectives, embody their own, authentic leadership, and drive change. My client list includes small and large nonprofit organizations as well as individual employees, board members, artists, academics, and entrepreneurs—at every level of experience. In addition to leadership coaching, I provide expertise in strategic planning and execution, project/program development, social justice and equity, resource acquisition, assessment, and accreditation.
I currently serve as Assistant Professor of Arts Administration at the University of Houston, where I also teach in the Masters of Arts in Nonprofit Management program. I hold degrees from Princeton University (B.A.), the Juilliard School (M.M.), and the Eastman School of Music (M.A., D.M.A., Ph.D.). Highlights of my career include performing for ten years as a tenured member of the Rochester (NY) Philharmonic Orchestra while teaching at the Eastman School of Music; serving as Executive Director of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra after leading the Education and Community Partnerships departments at the Atlanta and Philadelphia Orchestras; and serving as Dean of the Conservatory at Michael Tilson Thomas’ New World Symphony and as Dean of the School of Music at DePauw University.
I would love the opportunity to work with you!
“I can’t say enough good things about my experience working with Ayden as a leadership coach. Ayden is a lovely combination of no-nonsense clarity and compassionate, kind, and experienced counseling. I had an overall excellent experience at a very trying time during the COVID pandemic. Ayden was instrumental in helping me to gain perspective on the many challenges our company and I was facing. She became a partner in problem-solving under the trying conditions.”– Christopher V. Edwards, Artistic Director, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Boston, MA
“Ayden helped me cull places where I was stuck and was using my “busy-ness” to avoid addressing personnel challenges. Of particular note, Ayden made me more effective as a manager, by providing a methodical and memorable approach to conflict management. I continue to use this knowledge today with great success. Thanks Ayden!”– Shannon Forsell, CEO, The Cabaret, Indianapolis, IN
“Call Ayden. She helped me, and she will help you break through barriers and find a common-sense vision for yourself, your organization, and your life—with meaningful and achievable metrics.”– Jeff vom Saal, CEO, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Spokane, WA