JVA’s Executive Director Academy provides new and learning executive directors with the skills they need to succeed

By Amber Alarid, JVA Consulting

2011 EDA graduate Coby Gould (left) and Adam Brock of The GrowHaus.

As a new executive director in a new organization, Coby Gould found himself seeking answers and tools to prepare for his newfound leadership role at The GrowHaus, a North Denver nonprofit that focuses on food access and education and provides regular classes open to the community. For Gould, finding a training that gave background information on what it means to be an executive director, and was offered in a succinct format, was very important.

“I liked the format of the class being one solid week,” says Gould of JVA Consulting’s Executive Director Academy (EDA). Taking a weeklong course rather than meeting periodically over an extended period made attendance easier on the busy executive director. He also welcomed the opportunity to network with other leaders during his week in the JVA training. Having previously partnered with JVA for The GrowHaus’ strategic planning session, Gould had confidence in JVA’s knowledge of Colorado nonprofits and the nonprofit field in general. “It was a wonderful experience, very beneficial.”

EDA welcomes new, aspiring and learning nonprofit executive directors from throughout Colorado and the country to its intensive, weeklong course, consisting of 38 concentrated hours of training. Each session includes an overview of relevant trends in the sector, interactive activities and the opportunity to ask questions of JVA staff who are experts in the field.

Participants can also now use the course for graduate credit through Adams State College (call JVA at 303.477.4896 for more details), and all attendees walk away with a binder including hundreds of pages of resources and handouts to refer to after EDA ends: “The binder has been a lifesaver,” exclaims 2010 EDA graduate Aisha Young, of African Americans in Gerontology.

Fall 2011 EDA graduate Stacey Hiatt of HOPE for Longmont at the EDA graduation celebration.

Stacey Hiatt, who was offered the executive director position at Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement (HOPE) for Longmont, which is an afterhours outreach program that provides lifesaving supplies to the community’s most vulnerable, signed up for EDA to expand her knowledge of the nonprofit sector, having no previous nonprofit management experience. Like Young, Hiatt also found the manual a great take-home resource and said of the course, “I think it’s a great program and everyone should do it.” Hiatt found the difficulty level just right, saying, “I was looking for a basic knowledge of the sector and what I got was much more than that.”

Whether you are a current executive director seeking formal training and a supportive peer network, or an aspiring executive director searching for the tools to advance your career, JVA invites you to join us for the 10th EDA, February 13–17, 2012. For more information and to register, click here. Monthly payment plans are available to make this training accessible to you no matter what your organization’s budget.


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