Greater New Orleans Foundation Launches New Leadership Program

May 6, 2014

The Greater New Orleans Foundation announces the launch of Emerging Leaders, a leadership training program providing mid-level managers in nonprofit organizations with the management and financial skills they need to excel.   Nineteen professionals working at organizations in the human service sector were selected to participate in the inaugural program which includes 65 hours of training by national experts in nonprofit management.

Because they work in the human service sector, they are touching someone’s life every day. Their organizations are sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, and providing child care for working families. “They are constantly being called upon to address our community needs,  which is why we want to be sure they’re equipped with the necessary skills to face any challenge,” said Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans.

The Emerging Leaders program is the latest initiative of the Organizational Effectiveness program at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Designed in partnership with Compass Point Nonprofit Services, a nationally renowned leader in nonprofit management and consulting, and the Kresge Foundation,a national foundation that invests in our region’s nonprofits,  the Emerging Leaders program is designed to foster next-generation leadership.

“The benefits of the Emerging Leaders program will have a multiplying effect,” explained Joann Ricci, vice president for organizational effectiveness at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “Not only will it impact the organizations where the leaders currently work, but it will strengthen the entire human service sector.” In addition to eight days of classroom-style instruction, participants will engage in peer-to-peer exchanges and learn from each other’s experiences and expertise. “We anticipate that the relationships will continue long after the program ends,” added Ricci.

Because human service organizations in the Greater New Orleans area operate on modest budgets and with razor-thin margins, participants will learn essential nonprofit finance concepts including the budgeting process and how costs are estimated and income is forecasted.

Many human service organizations in the New Orleans metro area are also relatively young.  According to a recent Urban Institute report, one in four was founded since Hurricane Katrina. “There is plenty of opportunity to equip these new leaders with the tools of nonprofit management which in turn will have a profound impact on our community at large,” said Ricci.

After a highly competitive process, 19 individuals were accepted into the program:

  • Kelley Allenspach, Boys Hope, Girls Hope of Greater New Orleans
  • Ronald Avila, Puentes New Orleans
  • ToniAnn Chetta, Community Works of Louisiana
  • Catherine Crowell, Rebuilding Together New Orleans
  • Shannan Cvitanovic, YMCA of Greater New Orleans
  • Emily Danielson, UNITY of Greater New Orleans
  • Davis Qasim, Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools
  • Keisha Dubuclet, Center for Development and Learning
  • Seema Gai, NO/AIDS Task Force
  • Lisa Gentry, Louisiana Public Health Institute
  • Terrell Haynes, Kingsley House
  • Michael Kantor, Second Harvest Food Bank
  • Jolon McNeil, Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana
  • Lauren Narcisse, Urban League College Track
  • Rudy Rayfield, Reconcile New Orleans
  • Chris Sang, VAYLA
  • Amanda Schroeder, Communities in Schools
  • Sean Tate, Partnership for Youth Development
  • Emilie Tenenbaum, New Orleans Business Alliance

For more information on the Emerging Leaders program and the application process, please visit,

About the Greater New Orleans Foundation:

The Greater New Orleans Foundation is one of the oldest and largest philanthropic organizations in the region. Its mission is to create a thriving community for all. Every day, GNOF joins other foundations, nonprofit organizations, community leaders, and government officials to address the needs of the community and build consensus for solutions. Together with a family of donors, the Foundation has invested over $100 million in the region since it opened its doors over 30 years ago to respond to community needs.