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North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Beyond the Crisis - Leadership & Governance


Wednesday, May 13, 2020


10:00am - 11:00am - Webinar (BigBlueButton Web Conferencing)

Free Session - RSVP Required

About this session:  Over the past two months, the nonprofit sector has been deeply disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and a corresponding economic outlook that is in decline. As nonprofit board members and chief executives, you are in a unique position to react and provide leadership during this time of crisis. Together, we will explore four areas in which both board members and chief executives can show up and support their organizations, right now and into the future: 1) counseling and supporting the CEO, 2) managing financial implications and scenario planning, 3) mitigating disruption in programs and services, and 4) doubling down on resource generation. .

About the Presenter(s): Robert B. Acton, Principal & Founder at Cause Strategy Partners | BoardLead and BoardLearn,  Laura Zumdahl, BoardLead Trainer at Cause Strategy Partners and President and CEO of New Moms, Erin Pierson, MPA, Director of Strategic Growth, Cause Strategy Partners

With more than two decades of experience founding, leading and scaling social good organizations as both a nonprofit chief executive and board leader, Rob previously led Taproot Foundation in both New York City and Chicago, as well as Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) in Chicago. Rob is vice chair of the board of directors of Nonprofit New York, a membership organization serving 1,500 nonprofits in the New York City region. Rob also serves on the advisory boards of CGLA and Parkes Philanthropy. A member of the Bar of the State of New York, Rob attended Michigan public schools, Spring Arbor University and Brooklyn Law School.  

Cause Strategy Partners is an award-winning consulting social enterprise that provides strategic counsel and high-impact programming to Fortune 500 companies, global professional services firms, private foundations and nonprofit organizations with a focus on building both board and executive leadership. Cause Strategy Partners’ signature program, BoardLead has placed, trained and supported professionals for board service at nonprofits across the country. BoardLearn is BoardLead’s innovative good governance e-learning platform.  

Laura Zumdahl is a BoardLead Trainer at Cause Strategy Partners. She currently serves as president and CEO of New Moms, a nonprofit agency working with homeless and impoverished young moms and their children in Chicago. She is also the CEO of Bright Endeavors, a social enterprise that provides job training to young moms while producing soy candles that are sold nationally.

Prior to joining New Moms, Laura served as vice president at Donors Forum (now Forefront), where she provided leadership to collaborations between nonprofits and funders and capacity-building efforts to strengthen nonprofits in the sector. She received a PhD focused on nonprofit leadership in 2010.

Laura earned a BA in sociology from Trinity Christian College, an MA in social work from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, and a PhD in leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.

Erin leads Cause Strategy Partners’ (CSP) strategic partnership development, relationship management and new market growth. She works with CSP’s corporate, foundation, and nonprofit strategic partners to build and curate each BoardLead round. In addition to growth, Erin also manages CSP’s communications, helping to tell the story of BoardLeaders and the impact they create through service.

Erin has previously worked in corporate social responsibility consulting and nonprofit development. In her prior role at CECP, the CEO Force for Good, Erin worked with the executive engagement team, helping Fortune 500 CEOs develop their company’s social strategy, and sharing their successes and challenges through the Board of Boards CEO Forum. Earlier, Erin worked in grants management, fundraising, and membership at SculptureCenter, a NYC-based contemporary art space.

Erin holds an MPA in public and nonprofit management from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and a BA in art and art history from Colgate University.

NeonCRM by Neon One