Fifteen individuals graduated November 4 from the 2022 class of Cenla Boardbuilders, a program aimed at developing emerging leaders for service on boards of local nonprofit organizations. The annual program is administered by The Rapides Foundation’s Community Development Works program.
Cenla Boardbuilders is open to professionals identified by their employer as up-and-coming leaders with a desire to become involved in their community, to nonprofit board members wanting an orientation to their new role on a board, and to individuals who are looking for higher-level volunteer opportunities.
Participants choose between two learning tracks: Track I is for newly seated board members with limited service experience who are only seeking training; Track II is for individuals with no previous board service who are seeking training in preparation for nonprofit board service and help to connect with local nonprofits.
The 2022 program ran from August through October and consisted of sessions about the roles and responsibilities of being an effective board member: Nature of Nonprofit Board & Responsibilities; Fund Development; Fiduciary Responsibilities; and Leadership.
The program included a networking lunch and a recruitment session that gave Track II participants and nonprofit leaders a chance to connect. These networking opportunities allowed participants to learn about different organizations that meet their interests, and it gave nonprofits the chance to recruit new, energetic board members.
“The Rapides Foundation believes it is absolutely necessary that nonprofits have board members who are trained in their roles and responsibilities, and who have the skills needed to contribute to the board,” said Joe Rosier, President and CEO of The Rapides Foundation. “The community leaders who graduate from this program will immediately bring valuable skills to the table for the nonprofits they serve.”
The following individuals completed the 2022 Cenla Boardbuilders Program:
Track I: Currently serving on a board
- Kabi Boothe, Board Member, Nonprofit Partner: Harrisonburg Service League.
- Patrick Braquet, Vice President, CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Health System, Nonprofit Partner: Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition.
- Susan Ward, Inventory Maintenance, Ward Ace Hardware, Nonprofit Partner: Montessori Educational Center.
- Selinsky Whitehead, Military Veteran, Nonprofit Partner: Enrich Louisiana.
Track II: Seeking board service
- Taylor Dauzat, Director of Mental Health & First Year Experience, Louisiana Christian University.
- Clarice Franklin, Owner, New Season Salon and Day Spa.
- Kay Harris, Self-Employed.
- Steve Maltempi, Retired.
- Trey Mayeux, Manager-MISO Policy & Rates, Cleco.
- Michael A. Moto, CEO, Healing Hands & Hearts Behavioral Health.
- Lisbeth Pollock, Owner, Peruvian Delight.
- Martha Powell, Executive Director, The Extra Mile Region VI Inc.
- Meredith Rennier, Executive Director of the Center for Calling and Career, Louisiana Christian University.
- Karen Slatten, Program Director, Cenla Voices.
- Brandon D. Wilkinson, Operations Manager, Cameron Ashley Building Products.
The 2022 graduates join a group of 239 Cenla Boardbuilders alumni.
Brandon Wilkinson of Alexandria works a full-time job and serves as co-founder and deputy director of operations of Enrich Louisiana, a nonprofit that brings specialized job training, resources, and aid to communities and residents in Louisiana. He enrolled in Cenla Boardbuilders because he is interested in board service, and he wanted to gain a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the individuals who serve on the Enrich Louisiana board.
“I wanted to learn more about what they are responsible for because that will allow me to have a better working relationship with them and understand some of the challenges they have. On the flip side, I do want to do more in the community. I think Boardbuilders will help me in my growth,” he said.
One of his board members is also taking the class, so Wilkinson and the board member compare notes after each session. “It gives us talking points on a lot of different things. We come to the class together and after class we meet with each other and kind of pick each other’s brains based on how we understood and received the message, and then bring that back to the rest of the staff and the rest of the board. It has helped us all grow.”
Kabi Boothe serves on the board of the Village of Harrisonburg Service League, a nonprofit that promotes the well-being, personal growth and enlightenment of its residents through health and wellness initiatives, youth participation programs, community involvement, enjoyment programs and other general activities.
Boothe took a CDW grant writing webinar last spring after seeing it advertised on Facebook. After the class, she started getting correspondence about other CDW offerings and jumped at the opportunity to become part of the Cenla Boardbuilders Class of 2022. The Village of Harrisonburg Service League is the first board she’s ever served on, so the sessions are providing her with added knowledge she can bring back to the nonprofit, and that will ultimately benefit residents of the small town of Harrisonburg.
She appreciates the networking opportunities and plans to take advantage of future CDW training sessions and opportunities. “I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in being in the nonprofit sector,” Boothe said. “Most nonprofits are trying to do what we can to improve people’s lives. Louisiana is not a place overflowing with extra income, so all of these resources can help make a difference.”
For more information about Cenla Boardbuilders or to learn how to participate in the 2023 program, call CDW at 318-443-7880 or toll-free at 800-803-8075, or email Felicia Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.