Executive Director Academy graduates look to apply new knowledge

On November 19, JVA Consulting and friends celebrated the graduation of the Fall 2009 Executive Director Academy (EDA). Students from a variety of backgrounds in the nonprofit world—all desiring to reach their potential as nonprofit leaders—were recognized for completing the fifth installment of the 13-session, intensive course.

Throughout the ceremony, graduates reflected on their EDA experiences. Some marveled at the amount of information they had absorbed, while others were amazed that through EDA, they had been able to transform areas of weakness into areas of strength. “Whatever your challenges are,” said Julissa Soto, “in here you’re going to find some answers.”

Samantha Johnston has 10 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. After developing her own idea for a nonprofit organization, Samantha decided to learn more about the leadership role of an executive director. “EDA helped me hone in on the skills that I needed to grow in as well as the skills that I already have,” said Samantha. “It was an excellent time to get together with my peers who are in similar situations, get input from them, as well as understand what the executive director position is and what is needed to make an organization run well.”

EDA graduates developed a unique bond over the course of their seven weeks together. Following the ceremony, graduates exchanged business cards and promised to turn to each other as resources in the future. The safe, candid environment that EDA creates helps foster close networks of peers in the nonprofit community. Although some graduates were sad that they would not be back next week to see each other, others were excited to implement the knowledge and skills they had gained.

“I’m going to take away a lot from this experience, “ said Julie Gutman. “Armed with that knowledge, I feel like I can do what I want to do and grow in my career.”

The sixth EDA begins April 13, 2010, and runs through May 27. Classes will be from 3-6 p.m. at JVA. Students who register and pay in full before January 1, 2010, will receive $100 off the price of the course. To learn more about EDA or to register, click here.

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