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Local Nonprofit Leaders Graduate From Leadership Program

Erika Maberry with Cohort Coach Beth Oakes at the May 10 celebration. Submitted photo

Ten local nonprofit leaders have graduated from a six-month coaching cohort that helped them learn to grow in leadership and collaboration.

This coaching cohort was an offering of Ally Co, a local venture studio, and was coached by Beth Oakes, the current executive director of the Child Advocacy Program. It was funded by The Capacity Lab. Participants included: Zach Agett of Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care, Carey Lee of Family Services, Erika Maberry of Chautauqua Striders, Hillary Meyer of the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Alisha Perry of Prevention Works, Cherie Rowland of St Susan Center, Amanda Telford of Jamestown Community Learning Council, Jessica McKeever of Arise Chautauqua, Daryl Simon of Sukanya Burman Dance, and Kellie Roberts of the Chautauqua County Humane Society.

Those involved in the cohort gathered at Northwest Arena to celebrate those who participated in and completed the cohort. Katie Castro, founder and CEO of Ally Co,said this was the first time this cohort has been done, and they anticipate it to continue in the future.

Learning topics of the cohort included several leadership topics such as boardsmanship, difficult conversations, trust in the workplace, communication, community leadership, the six box evaluation model, maximizing business partnerships, change vs transition, reframing resistance, peer consultation, performance evaluation and improvement, giving and receiving feedback, strength-based leadership, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Castro said the celebration of the end of the year for the cohort went well.

Erika Maberry with Cohort Coach Beth Oakes at the May 10 celebration. Submitted photo

“The graduation celebration was great,” Castro said. “Each graduate was supported by board members and/or their Executive Director and members of both the Capacity Lab and Ally Co were present as well. I gave the introduction, Noah Goodling, the Director of the Capacity Lab, gave an address extending his congratulations, and Beth Oakes, the cohort coach, provided a narrative of the experience. Certificates were awarded and then we celebrated with chocolate chip cookies and cold brew from Crown Street Roasting Company.”

During the cohort, leaders also formed new collaborations, including a grant application for shared services, the pooling of volunteers, and program partnerships. Castro said the next six month cohort will be in the fall, and encouraged any local nonprofit leaders who might be interested to apply.

“Nonprofit leaders, both emerging, new directors, and experienced directors, are encouraged to apply for our next cohort launching in the fall,” Castro said. “This six month experience is designed for accelerated growth and capacity building in a peer learning context that is local and contextualized for best practices in Chautauqua County.”

Additionally, Castro said the benefits to cohort coaching include; eliminating isolation, reigniting the spark of leadership, cultivating health habits or patterns, growing in self-awareness, relocating as part of a whole, not a lone wolf, strengthening staff and board relationships, encouraging mentorship of others or fortifying internal structures, building colleagueship with other nonprofit directors, creating a safe space for confidential conversations on leadership blockers and obstacles, introducing new tools and concepts to use, activating horizontal learning or peer consultation, and encouraging internal promotion.

The next coaching cohort is open for ten to 12 applicants. For more information visit www.allyco.org/np-coaching-cohort.

Graduates of the cohort, including; Zach Agett, Carey Lee, Erika Maberry, Hillary Meyer, Alisha Perry, Cherie Rowland, Amanda Telford, Jessica McKeever, Daryl Simon, and Kellie Roberts. Submitted photo

Cindy Saxton, Cherie Rowland and Beth Barnes from St Susan Center at the graduation ceremony on May 10. Submitted photo

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