Cenla Execbuilders Class of 2023 graduated in September
Four Central Louisiana nonprofit leaders joined the ranks this fall as graduates of the 2023 Cenla Execbuilders class. Their goal is to take the skills learned through Cenla Execbuilders and improve their individual organizations, while also benefiting the community as a whole.
Cenla Execbuilders, a program of Community Development Works, provides a unique opportunity for executive directors in Central Louisiana, no matter their experience level, to become more effective leaders of their local nonprofit organizations. The seven-session program uses a combination of intensive training, professional coaching and peer networking opportunities grounded in adult learning methodologies. While developing their leadership skills, participants also have the opportunity to become part of a close-knit community of skilled leaders and increase their capacity to lead high-performing organizations.
These participants join a group of 63 existing Cenla Execbuilders alumni.
Cenla Execbuilders began in 2012 as a complement to Cenla Boardbuilders, a successful training program for individuals who are interested in becoming nonprofit board members or for sitting board members seeking additional training.
- Christina A. Lord, M.D., 2023 Chair of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and Regional Medical Director for the Region 6 Office of Public Health
- Daren Dauzat, Executive Director, The Extra Mile Region VI
- Chasity Cole, Executive Director, Avoyelles Society for the Developmentally Disabled
- Shay Hardison, Executive Director, Sickle Cell Anemia Resource Foundation
Both programs are free to the Central Louisiana community and are part of The Rapides Foundation’s Social Environment Initiative, which provides an integrated approach to enhance civic and community opportunities for more effective nonprofit leaders and organizations. The goal of the initiative is to improve the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations as they work to achieve their missions. Community Development Works implements most of the activities under the initiative.
Felicia Walker, Training Specialist for CDW, welcomed the group at the graduation ceremony held on Friday, September 29. “Our 2023 Cenla Execbuilders graduates embody hope, ignite change and exemplify compassion. They have committed themselves to careers driven by purpose with a steadfast dedication to affecting positive change in Central Louisiana,” she said.
Guest speaker Martha Powell, Regional Director for Volunteers of America and a Class of 2022 Cenla Execbuilders graduate, challenged the graduates to take advantage of every resource and networking opportunity available to them. She also commended the graduates for taking time out of their busy schedules to commit to Cenla Execbuilders, a program that would typically cost thousands of dollars if taken outside of The Rapides Foundation’s nine-parish service area. “Our area is so blessed to have this resource,” she said.
Topics for 2023 included: Understanding Leadership Roles and Responsibilities; Nonprofit Operations and Financial Implications; Strategic Thinking and Planning; Fund Development and Public Relations; Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution; Team Building and Mentoring; and Leading and Managing Change.
In addition to the seven scheduled training sessions, participants were able to take up to 12 hours of personal coaching services from expert trainers.