Leadership Institute

Leadership Institute

The Leadership Institute offers educational modules on critical leadership, management, technical and governance topics and a Nonprofit Management Certificate. The Institute was planned and implemented by a committee of nonprofit executive directors, Fox Valley Technical College, consultants and others active in the nonprofit sector.

It is a year-long series of seminars led by experts in their particular competencies and enhanced with peer-facilitated discussion groups for new and seasoned executive directors, those in the pipeline, or senior leaders such as development directors, program managers and volunteer engagement managers. The program focuses on leadership and skill-development topics.

  • Personal Leadership
  • Board Orientation & Leadership
  • Finances & Financial Management
  • Fundraising & Resourcing the Mission
  • Operational Excellence
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Ethical & Legal Issues
  • Capstone & Graduation

applications are no longer accepted for the May 2021 through April 2022 program. 

Watch for the May 2022 – April 2023 application and materials in late fall 2021.


Both an online application from the candidate, and an online referral from a board representative must be submitted for consideration. Questions email [email protected]

View testimonials and photos from prior year Leadership Institute graduates by clicking on the links below.

2021-2022 participants

  • Jen Ainsworth  Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Executive Director
  • Meherrnaz Balaporia  IndUS of Fox Valley, President/Executive Director
  • Brad Creighton  Volunteer Fox Cities, Community Engagement & Events
  • Cindy Flauger  Neenah Animal Shelter, Executive Director
  • Ernesto Gonzalez Jr  Casa Hispana Inc., President
  • Marci Hoffman  Trout Museum of Art, Education Manager
  • Laura Jones  African Heritage Inc., Social & Community Outreach Service Director
  • Megan Koehler  Thern Farm/New London Heritage Historical Society, Director
  • Wendy Krueger  Be Well Fox Valley/United Way Fox Cities, Executive Director
  • Emily Lewis  Fox Cities Victim Crisis Response Team, Executive Director
  • Barb Mendoza  The FRESH Project, Executive Director
  • Harper Smith  Fox Valley Memory Project, Program Coordinator
  • John Timmer  BergstromMahler Museum of GlassAssistant Director
  • Kristen Trimberger  Reach Counseling, Executive Director/CEO
  • Leah Wojnowiak  The Compassionate Connections Center, Board


2020-2021 participants

  • Trina Doxtator Catalpa Health, Director of Development and Marketing Communications
  • Ashley Gustafson SOAR Fox Cities, Director of Community Engagement
  • Heather Hope One Love: Harmonizing Mind, Body and Spirit, Director
  • Lori Jensen Family Services of NEW-Parent Connection, Program Manager
  • Zay Lenaburg Appleton Boy Choir, Choir Manager
  • Brian Leone Tracy Fox Valley Literacy, Executive Director
  • Annette Look Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, Program Manager
  • Vicki Prey Fox Valley Humane Association, Outagamie County Humane Officer
  • Brittany Rewolinski Covey, Program Director
  • Lyssa Schmidt Positive Every Day Cancer Foundation Inc., Founding Member
  • Kim Stevens Dyslexia Reading Connection Inc., Executive Director
  • Leah Thibodeau CASA of the Fox Cities, Advocate Coordinator
  • Todd Vander Galien Unity Recovery Services, President 


2019-2020 Graduates

  • Jenny Anger (while in the program: Thompson Center on Lourdes, Operations Manager)
  • Kelli Clussman (while in the program: Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director)
  • Julie Filapek Goodwill NCW/Neighborhood Partners, Program Leader
  • Nikki Hessel Future Neenah, Inc, Executive Director
  • Elaine Krizenesky (while in the program: Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Ltd., Office Director)
  • Jen Parsons Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley, Wellness Screen Program Director
  • Jonathan Pylypiv Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2278 Council Member
  • Hope Schaefer Girls on the Run of Northeast Wisconsin, Executive Director
  • Erin Schultz-Wege SOAR Fox Cities, Executive Director
  • Randy Tuma Fox Cities Environmental Learning Campus at Bubolz Nature Preserve, Executive Director
  • Christina Turner The Trout Museum of Art & Fox Cities Building for the Arts, President

2018-2019 Graduates

  • Stephanie Bowers Jake’s Diapers, Executive Director
  • Brett Devine Seed Inc, Executive Director
  • Jessica Fleek Goodwill NCW, Director of Business and Partnership Development (while in the program: Habitat for Humanity, Family Services Manager)
  • Mike Goodwin Memorial Presbyterian Church, Common Ground Co-Chair & Memorial Presbyterian Head Pastor
  • Jill Grambow (while in the program: Fox Valley Memory Project, Executive Director)
  • Katy Hopp (while in the program: Makaroff Youth Ballet, Executive Director)
  • Lisa Jones Community Clothes Closet, Executive Director (while in the program: Community Clothes Closet, Administrative Director)
  • Jaime Kriewaldt Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Wisconsin, Chief Program Officer
  • Anne Muller Pillars Inc., Organizational Development Director
  • Ryan Roth Habitat for Humanity, Community Development Director
  • Luke Schiller Heckrodt Wetland Reserve, Public Program Coordinator/Naturalist
  • Susan Vanden Heuvel Volunteer Fox Cities, Executive Director
    Jolie VerVoort Apricity, President Residential Services
  • Rachel Youngquist Pillars Inc., Stable Housing Director

2017-2018 Graduates

  • Sri Buddi IndUS of Fox Valley, President
  • Maria Costello Paper Discovery Center/Paper Industry International Hall of Fame, Executive Director
  • Kathy Fehl Weyauwega Arts, Artistic Director
  • Lindsay Fenlon Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Wisconsin, Executive Director
  • Dan Haak Apricity, President Contract Packaging and Recovery Support
  • Diane MacDonald Old Glory Honor Flight, Executive Director – (while in the program: Community Clothes Closet, Executive Director)
  • Vicki McAuliffe Valley VNA Senior Services, Inc., Chief Financial Officer
  • Debbie Nowak Friends of 1000 Islands Environmental Center, Naturalist
  • Nik Shier (while in the program: Fox Valley Literacy Council, Executive Director)
  • Lisa Strandberg Pillars, Community Engagement Director (while in the program: Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley, Development and Communications Director)
  • Rhonda Strebel Rural Health Initiative (a program of ThedaCare), Executive Director
  • David Weiss Boys’ & Girls’ Brigade, Development Director
  • Alice Zarda Youth Go, Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Oliver Zornow  Building for Kids, Executive Director – (while in the program: Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, Director of Community Engagement)

2016-2017 Graduates

  • Hilary Armstrong (while in the program: Appleton Boy Choir, Executive Director)
  • Rosangela Berbert Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley, Executive Director
  • Jarrad Bittner (while in the program: Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Executive Director)
  • Michael Green COTS, Deputy Director
  • Denise Martinez (while in the program, Financial & Information Services (FISC), Operations Leader)
  • Jennie Moore Goodwill NCW, Vice President- Mission Services
  • Kelly Nutty Foundations Health and Wholeness, Development Director – (while in the program: Riverview Gardens, Director of Resource Management)
  • Maren Peterson NAMI Fox Valley, Executive Director
  • JJ Schauske Tri County Dental Clinic, Assistant Director
  • Kristopher Ulrich (while in the program: newVoices, Executive Director)
  • Bee Yang (while in program: Hmong American Partnership Fox Valley, Executive Director)