PHOENIXVILLE – Much has been written on the aging baby boomers and the leadership drain as they retire – both in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. The Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) is a partnership with the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation, the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO), and Arcadia University. It is designed to address the need for leadership training for the emerging leaders of the non-profit community within the greater Phoenixville region.
A graduation celebration attended by students, faculty members, Foundation staff and Board members, as well as representatives from Arcadia Universitywas recently held at Arcadia University’s King of Prussia Campusto honor the achievement of the eleven students making up the ELI Class of 2013: Emily Black, Program Coordinator, Chester County OIC; Anne Catlin, Director, Bournelyf Special Camp; Ariana Giraldi, Manager, Gateway Employment Services; Edie Hartman, Executive Director, Phoenixville Area Senior Center; Nate Hoffer, Executive Director, Good Samaritan Shelter; Steve Kambic, Executive Director, Petra Community Housing; Jeannie Knowlton, Executive Director, Hope Springs Equestrian Therapy; Jennifer Kriesel, Executive Director, Foundation at Great Valley; Milena Lanz, Program Director, Maternal & Child Health Consortium; Louisa Pieri, Executive Director, Spring Ford Counseling Center; and Wendy Walsh, Community Outreach & Education, Surrey Services.
Curriculum components included a personal self-assessment through the well-recognized Myers/Briggs psychological instrument. From there students were guided through various aspects of leadership and assisted in the development of their personal leadership style as well as the practical application of leadership skills. For their final assignment, students presented their own personal leadership plans and goals. There was a two-level evaluation of the program. Dr. John Kelley, formerly Director of Institutional Research at Villanova University, designed an evaluation strategy that included behavioral outcomes as well as quality of instruction. Additionally, there will be follow-up with each student at six months and then one year to assess progress on their personal leadership plan.
ELI was designed, implemented and funded by the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. Its mission is to provide executive-level and management-level staff within the non-profit sectors an opportunity to gain self-awareness, knowledge and experience to become more effective leaders within their professional and personal lives. PANO provided technical assistance and fiduciary oversight, and Arcadia University provided curriculum advice and a Certificate of Non-Profit Leadership from the University’s College of Continuing Education.
Initial feedback from students included comments like: “I have changed my leadership style to be less task oriented and more people oriented. I am also better able to understand the dynamics of the organization and where it needs to change.”; “Personal development to grow in your career. It was an extraordinary experience.”; “ELI is an opportunity to purposefully think of your leadership style and grow.”; and “Profound. Powerful. Enriching.”.
For more information on the Executive Leadership Institute, contact Lynn Pike Hartman, Vice President-Programs, Phoenixville Community Health Foundation: 610-917-9890 or LPHartman@pchf1.org.