Securing the Future Logo

March 1, 2023  |  7:30am-12:30 pm


About the Conference: 

Securing the Future is an annual, half-day conference dedicated to building the strategic, leadership and resource development skills of the board, staff and donors of Greater Cincinnati nonprofits. This educational conference is designed to address the needs and concerns of board members and senior leadership. We are delighted to announce Vu Le, Nonprofit AF as our Keynote Speaker.  In addition to the keynote address, participants will have a chance to interact with peers and attend breakout sessions led by local speakers for a deeper dive into the keynote topic.


Are you a new ED/CEO who needs some mentoring? This might be a fit for you!

Leader to Leader Mentoring Program - for NEW Executive Directors/CEOs as mentees and experienced Executive Directors/CEOs as mentors 

This exclusive benefit for Leadership Council members pairs new Executive Directors/CEOs with seasoned volunteer ED/CEOs. This opportunity is designed for executives new to their role, new to Greater Cincinnati, new to the nonprofit community or new to Leadership Council. Let someone who has walked in your shoes help guide you.

If interested, please reach out to

12:00pm Registration and Exhibits
12:30pm Welcome, Leadership Legacy Awards
1:00pm Keynote: Pearl Alexander: Courageously Shaping the Future: Daring and Doing
2:15pm Breakout Sessions #1
  • Rebounding with Resilience
    Patrice Borders, Founder & Principal, Prevention Strategies LLC
  • Unraveling Race: Re-Righting the Stories we Tell
    Joan Ferrante, Professor of Sociology, Northern Kentucky University
  • Giving it Away: Realizing trust, leadership power and organizational impact in the "We"
    Teresa Gonzalez
  • Values Light the Way to Daring Leadership
    Diane Kinsella, CEO, Journey to Hope
3:15pm Breakout Sessions #2
  • Rebounding with Resilience
    Patrice Borders, Founder & Principal, Prevention Strategies LLC
  • Unraveling Race: Re-Righting the Stories we Tell
    Joan Ferrante, Professor of Sociology, Northern Kentucky University
  • Giving it Away: Realizing trust, leadership power and organizational impact in the "We"
    Teresa Gonzalez
  • Values Light the Way to Daring Leadership
    Diane Kinsella, CEO, Journey to Hope
4:10pm Endnote:  Kim Anthony
4:30pm Closing Remarks, Annual Meeting Vote - followed by Happy Hour!

Our programming is designed for your mission and challenges. From small to large nonprofits organizations across the spectrum of our region, we have something for you!

Some of our programs are open to anyone and some are exclusive to Leadership Council members - learn more about the benefits of membership here.

woman speaking at a microphone
Miyah Byrd

Breakout Session 1: From Exploitative to Ethical: Crafting Stories That Stick

Miyah Byrd
Director of Program & Communications, School Board School

Will your nonprofit survive the next few years? One of the most powerful tools in the nonprofit world is storytelling. Stories move people to action, connect our work with others, and drive our funding. They also have a profound impact on whether we attract and retain talent. A recent McKinsey & Co survey showed 39% of job applicants noted that they would turn down a position should the company they’re applying to show a lack of inclusivity and diversity. Nonprofits have to move from exploitative to ethical storytelling to survive and serve. This session will help participants identify the determining factors and contributors to exploitative storytelling in their communications and create a 3-step action plan for developing people first, justice-oriented communications

Miyah Byrd is currently the Director of Program & Communications for School Board School, a nonprofit focused on civic change by empowering communities to be involved in their local education system. She’s a Contributing Writer to Berkeley Now, Soapbox Cincy, and various online publications. She’s also the founder and host of the podcast, “We Don’t Talk About That!,” featuring deep conversations about oft-ignored topics in justice.

2023 Securing the Future Steering Committee

A conference like this needs lots of help! We could not put on Securing the Future each year without the help of a steering committee from across our community. Please thank these volunteers for their help!

Kevin Corey Wesley Chapel Mission Center
Megan Fischer Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank
Sandy Hatmaker Association Connection
Dan Hurley Retired Leadership Cincinnati 
Linda Kean Jewish Family Service
Kaytlynd Lainhart Women Helping Women
Leslie Mitchell Planned Parenthood
Amy Pelicano DCCH
James Johnson Ignite Philanthropy
Rosemary Schlacter 25th Hour
Beth Schwartz HER Cincinnati
LaTonya Springs Housing Opportunities Made Equal
Veronica Tollefson Pro Bono Partnership of OH
Celia Werner Association Connection
outdoor photo of man holding large unicorn stuffed animal
Vu Le poses with an unreal unicorn, symbol of the mythical expectations of nonprofit staff.

Vu Le (“voo lay”) writes the blog He is the former executive director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by supporting leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. Vu is a founding board member of Community-Centric Fundraising, a movement that aims to ground fundraising practices in racial equity and social justice. Vu was born in Vietnam. He and his family came to the US when Vu was eight. He spent several years in Seattle, attending elementary and middle school, before moving to Memphis, Tennessee for high school and St. Louis for college and graduate school. He has a BA in Psychology and a Master in Social work. He is a vegan, a father of two kids (ages 10 and 7), and a staunch defender of the Oxford Comma.

You can stay up to date with Vu here:







Become a 2023 Securing the Future Conference Sponsor!

We are pleased to offer a range of sponsorship opportunities for the 2023 Securing the Future Conference, featuring keynote speaker Vu Le, breakout sessions, and exhibitor space.

Sponsorship is a great way to promote your product or services before, during, and after the conference to more than 350+ nonprofit executives, fundraisers, board members, funders, and community leaders. 

If you are interested in becoming a Securing the Future Conference sponsor, please download the Sponsorship Opportunities document or contact Beth Benson.

Leaders Circles


3-Day Leadership Challenge®
October 2 at 8:30 AM thru October 4, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Camp Joy (two-night stay)

Leadership Council members-only exclusive opportunity

The Leadership Challenge® is an intense and interactive three-day program that helps you tap into your personal leadership skills through a variety of activities. As you'll come to learn through The Leadership Challenge, leadership isn't about titles. It's not about the position you hold. It's about the way you behave, the way you influence and the way you inspire. And each of you needs to serve as leaders as you work toward your shared vision. 

The past two years have been extraordinarily challenging for everyone, and especially nonprofits. You had to figure out dramatic new ways to serve people, obtain necessary funding and resources, and keep employees. Burnout and fatigue took their toll. Hopefully, the road ahead will be less COVID-impacted, but the number of and intensity of challenges will only continue to grow. 
This is why The Leadership Challenge is so important for you as a nonprofit leader right now. It will help you develop ways to find success in spite of the increasing difficulties you face.
4 things:
  1. The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership you will learn are understandable, relevant, and applicable. Those who have already attended the program will tell you that they were able to immediately start leading in better ways.
  2. The 30-plus years of research supporting this model of leadership continues to this day. There are decades of evidence proving that the program leads to higher results.
  3. You leave the program with a number of options on how to lead more effectively, not simply with more work to do. It can actually reduce the feelings of overwhelm, which many are facing today.
  4. It is regarded as one of the premier leadership development programs, available around the world.
The Leadership Challenge® includes a 360 assessment, the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), which is a simple, 30-question inventory. The feedback it provides is very understandable and usable. It actually provides people with a solid roadmap for change. 
This is a great program for a few team members to participate in. Studies show that leadership development helps with employee experience and retention.
We encourage you to respond promptly as the program is limited to 24 participants and a max of 3 people per organization. We are proud to keep the program affordable for our members - this same program goes for upwards of $2,000 by other providers! This program is made possible by Wiley Publishing, International Leadership Associates, and Camp Joy as part of a “Gift of Leadership” program.
October 2-4, 2023 (includes two overnights)
Camp Joy
10117 Old 3-C Highway
Clarksville, OH 45113
$650 (includes all food and beverage, lodging, and workshop facilitation and materials)
Leadership Council nonprofit organization members only - please check with your organization or email if you're not sure of your membership status.
Deadline to Register: 
September 15, 2023


Cancellation Policy:
Deadline to cancel is September 15, 2023. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after the deadline. Payment is due prior to the event. No-shows will be billed. Note: If you are unable to attend you may send someone in your place.

Annual Nonprofit Leadership Summit

Leadership Council is pleased to partner with sponsor Barnes Dennig and Association for Fundraising Professionals to host an informative, educational and engaging nonprofit summit. Sponsorships still available!

image of speaker and description of Nonprofit Summit Program
photo of a person standing in an office
Jai'La Nored

VUCA Leader:  Vision, Understanding, Clarity, & Agility
This award recognizes an early-career leader in the Greater Cincinnati nonprofit sector who is positively impacting their organization and the community through demonstrated:

Vision, Understanding, Clarity & Agility (VUCA+)
while operating in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous (VUCA-) world

Jai’La Nored, Council on Aging, Senior Innovation Designer
In her role as Senior Innovation Designer at Council on Aging, Jai’La has managed development — in conjunction with the University of Cincinnati’s Live Well Collaborative — of two game-changing, original technologies that have the potential to be scaled and adopted for statewide or national use to make a notable difference to older adults and caregivers who require the support of help at home but aren't able to secure it due to a nationwide aide shortage. As a result of this partnership, Live Well has tapped COA as a subject matter expert to inform their other endeavors, including a project with Procter & Gamble related to older adults, hygiene and personal care.

Jai'La has also led the development and implementation of COA’s employee intranet and other projects that have touched all COA’s programs in some way. She has become a sought-after resource within COA when a creative solution is required to fix a problem or launch a new service.

Jai’La is actively engaged in volunteer leadership roles where she organizes and advocates on behalf of those whose needs aren’t being met and at-risk individuals and communities, including Xavier University, Community Matters, Rosemary's Babies Co., and Girls with Grit.

formal portraits of two women
Emily Lewis & Kristen Pozzoboni

Breakout Session 2: Merging Vision + Purpose: Focus on an Impact-Driven Strategy to Create a Successful Merger 

Emily Lewis
Chief of Staff, Learning Grove

Kristen Pozzoboni
Senior Impact Advisor, ResultsLab

When organizations come together with different tools, practices, methodologies, people, cultures, etc., there can be confusion and frustration. When teams are stuck, or grappling with differences, it’s often because they focus on what they are going to do or how they are going to do it. There are many strategies to think through when putting a merger together, but the most important first step is starting with why and aligning the two organizations on a shared purpose, together. In this session, you’ll hear from Learning Grove, who completed a merger. Emily will share opportunities and challenges that were faced along the way and share her experience with ResultsLab, an organization that launched an Impact Accelerator focused on meaningful impact and outcomes for all teams. Kristen will share ResultsLab’s ACTTM Model that set Learning Grove up to create a culture of learning that embraces data. 

Emily is Chief of Staff for Learning Grove, the largest community provider of early childhood education in the NKY/Cincinnati region. Learning Grove’s programming encompasses early childhood education, before and after school care, family engagement and family outreach, and college and career prep. Emily has 10+ years’ experience with local community-based early childhood education initiatives, including Cincinnati Preschool Promise. She oversees evaluation and several operational areas, and led Learning Grove’s recent work on the impact accelerator with ResultsLab.

ResultsLab is a woman-owned social enterprise that propels organizations, communities, and networks to the next level of impact through quality design and effective use of data. Kristen specializes in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs and systems in education, community-based, and government settings. With over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, facilitation, teaching, learning design, and research she has led initiatives to elevate youth and community voice, promote health and wellbeing, improve access to quality education, create innovative professional learning, and develop strategies for inclusive and equitable engagement.

formal portraits of two women
Rosie Santos & Leslie Stevenson

Breakout Session 3: Strengths-Based Wellbeing: “Me, We and Us” Interventions

Rosie Santos
Leslie Stevenson
STRONG Workplace Solutions, Mayerson Academy

Activate your character strengths to explore wellbeing factors and evidence-based interventions. The session will introduce the PERMAH wellbeing framework as strategy for nonprofits to set meaningful wellbeing goals, take necessary action towards reaching and measuring progress along the way. Participants will understand the basics of the PERMAH wellbeing framework, create a “me” strengths-based wellbeing plan, and preview “we” team and “us” interventions. The session is designed for nonprofit executives, as well as HR and operations professionals interested in setting strengths-based workplace goals and measuring wellbeing, engagement, and performance as a retention and culture transformation strategy.

Rosie Santos is an expert facilitator and planner with 10+ years of leading organizational strategy, project management, development, and fundraising for some of the most prominent nonprofits and government agencies in Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Her expertise is in fusing the goals of an agency with social and environmental justice principles to create responsive action plans in politically complex environments. She leverages out-of-the-box thinking and creative problem solving that is grounded in data and best practices. This reveals unconventional approaches that challenge the status quo resulting in impact that can be felt, measured, and seen.

Leslie N. Stevenson is an experienced public and private sector leader who loves to create connections so that individuals learn to harness their skills for the greater good. Motivated by increasing the quality of life in our region, Leslie has activated her strengths of prudence and spirituality to address food access in Avondale, early childhood education throughout Hamilton County, and inclusion of Black women’s leadership in historically and predominantly white organizations ranging from higher education to elected leadership in the City of Norwood. She has been acknowledged for her work in grassroots communication, people process, and group facilitation.

Vu Le
Vu Le

Keynote Speaker: Vu Le

Vu Le (“voo lay”) writes the blog He is the former executive director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by supporting leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. Vu is a founding board member of Community-Centric Fundraising, a movement that aims to ground fundraising practices in racial equity and social justice. Vu was born in Vietnam. He and his family came to the US when Vu was eight. He spent several years in Seattle, attending elementary and middle school, before moving to Memphis, Tennessee for high school and St. Louis for college and graduate school. He has a BA in Psychology and a Master in Social work. He is a vegan, a father of two kids (ages ten and seven), and a staunch defender of the Oxford Comma.

formal portraits of two people
Vashti Rutledge & John Scott

Breakout Session 4: Why Building a New Table Was the Right Answer

Vashti Rutledge
Executive Director, Madisonville Education and Assistance Center
Co-Founder, Table Initiative

John Scott
Chief of Engagement, Community Engagement Partners
Co-Founder, Table Initiative

What is the question? There are many but the underlying theme is why, in a community so rich with resources, nonprofits, and good-willed people, do the stark inequities continue to persist and negatively impact Cincinnati’s Black community. This session will explore the opportunity that eight Cincinnati leaders are undertaking to address the systemic issues that continue to vex most of our mission-oriented organizations. Building Transformational Advancement of Black Leadership and Excellence requires a new way of thinking about what is possible and what we can achieve when we forge new partnerships with those closest to the issues. Transformational impact is best achieved when solutions are generated from and led by those with lived experiences or most impact by the issues.

Vashti is Executive Director of MEAC, a small neighborhood-based nonprofit, and co-founder of the Black-led community collaborative Table, which focuses on democratizing power and removing barriers for current and future generations of Cincinnati’s Black leaders. Her experience working with families and nonprofits to provide services, funding, and capacity-building keeps her grounded to the challenges communities face working with inadequate access to social and financial capital. She has previous experience launching innovative community solutions like Cincinnati’s UpTogether work (formerly FII) and has held previous roles as a funder at local and national organizations in Florida and New Jersey, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

John is a native of the Cincinnati, Ohio area where he has 22 years of experience in working alongside community leaders to drive positive change in their communities. He’s held leadership roles at United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Accelerate Great Schools and now as Chief of Engagement with Community Engagement Partners. As a result of John’s work, thousands of families have been impacted and hundreds of organizations have received funding and resources to improve community, racial, educational and economic conditions in Cincinnati. He holds a BS in Urban Affairs from Wright State University and a master's degree in public administration (MPA) from Northern Kentucky University.John is a member of Class 21 of the Urban League’s African American Leadership Development Program and is also recipient of numerous leadership and service awards including the MLK Humanitarian Award, ASPA Public Administrator of the Year, and Cincinnati Business Courier Forty under 40. He serves on several boards including the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, Most Valuable Kids, and was a founding member of the Covington Independent Public Schools Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council. He currently resides in Covington, KY, with his beautiful wife Sophia, who also is a leader in the non-profit community. Together they have three children: Jackson, Joy, and Justus.

headshot photo
Jack Geiger

Visionary Board Leader
This award honors an established and proven board member of a nonprofit organization in the Greater Cincinnati region who has led their organization through transformational change, weathered difficult circumstances, or demonstrated outstanding vision and achievement.

Jack Geiger, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, Immediate Past Board Chair
Like many organizations, CYC was impacted by COVID. CYC also experienced the loss of a significant grant that led to the layoff of 8 people (16% of the organization) and went through a challenging leadership transition. During a vacancy in the CEO role, Jack jumped in as the interim CEO to help lead the organization through this difficult time. He went way above and beyond as a volunteer to help stabilize relationships with critical partners, donors, and staff members.

His nominator, CYC CEO Amy Thompson said, “Jack has role modeled and taught us about: conflict resolution, relationship building, employee development, improving the culture, donor connections, follow up, embracing a strategic mindset and focus, and so much more. CYC is a mentoring organization and Jack embraces this to the core. Jack has mentored younger board members including a future board chair. Jack has enhanced board members, staff and students’ leadership capabilities. Jack is constantly making connections to other organizations to help the organization collaborate and have greater community impact. and impact.”

Program Overview

  • Monthly meetings (generally 90 minutes) September through May
  • 6-10 nonprofit leaders grouped by role or responsibiilty
  • Participants commit to meeting real-time challenges and creating solutions
  • Meeting time and location (including virtual options) determined by each group and facilitator
  • Skilled facilitation by a professional volunteer

NOTE:  this program is an exclusive benefit for Leadership Council nonprofit organization members - please verify your 2023 membership before registering.

Partner Level Sponsors

Conference Registration

  $75 Leadership Council Members*

$100 Non Members

*PLEASE NOTE: The "Member Rate" is for Leadership Council for Nonprofits Member Organizations, and their staff.  If you are not sure if your organization is a member, please send an email to: and we’ll gladly check for you or click HERE to see a list of current member organizations.

Deadline to Register:  February 24, 2023
Cancellation Policy: The deadline to cancel and receive a refund is February 24, 2023.  There will be no refunds issued for cancellations received after February 24, 2023.  You may send someone in your place.  To substitute, send email to

ArtWorks logo

Inclusive Culture
This award recognizes a nonprofit organization that is welcoming at every level to every individual.

To support its first formal board-approved DEIA plan, ArtWorks formed a DEIA committee, engaged an outside practitioner to help staff heighten cultural awareness, and in 2022 participated in the Ellequate Equity Certification Program which is focused on equity-centered action plans and data-driven insights. ArtWorks’ participation in the Ellequate program resulted in a silver level certification award which signified that the organization achieved significant progress in creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

Through the Ellequate program ArtWorks assessed policies and practices and engaged staff to identify core strengths and growth areas. They created an individual and family leave policy to promote flexible support to help employees thrive professionally without sacrificing important and essential obligations. The policy includes paid maternity and paternity leave up to 12 weeks, medical leave up to 12 weeks and family care leave up to 6 weeks. Priorities for 2023-2024 were established that include standardized recruiting and interviewing processes to eliminate unconscious bias, articulation of flexible work options that are perceived as equitable for all roles, development of a transparent, standardized, and objective promotion policy, set leadership diversity targets, and enhanced internal and external communications that use inclusive and accessible language that welcomes all.

Since the implementation of the plan, there has been an increase over two years in BIPOC board representation from 13% to 33% and an increase over two years in BIPOC administrative staff representation from 7% to 38%. Both seasonal and year-round staff participate in cultural awareness training, with a cultural assessment and 1:1 coaching for all new year-round administrative hires. Seasonal employment includes the employment of 55% BIPOC young artists and 50%+ BIPOC teaching artists over a three-year period. Mental health 101 training is required for all staff working with young people and professional mental health resiliency training is provided to young people participating in ArtWorks programs.

Leaders Circle quote

Circles available:

  • Executive Director/President/CEO
  • CFO or equivalent
  • COO, VP of Operations, or equivalent
  • CDO, Development Director, or equivalent
  • CHRO, Human Resource Director or equivalent
  • CMO, Communications/Marketing Director, or equivalent
  • Volunteer Manager or Coordinator
  • IT Director or equivalent
  • Program Director/Manager

We do our best to match similar positions and similarly sized organizations. Please select the group that most aligns with your current position or area of responsibility, regardless of your title.

Typically, we only form a Circle if at least six participants register. If you request a group that does not fill up, we will offer the opportunity to join a different type of group, or refund your registration fee.

Registration Fee

Like membership dues, Leaders Circle fees are on a sliding scale to keep them affordable for all sizes of organizations, and is based on annual revenue from the most recent IRS Form 990 or 990EZ. 

Annual Revenue Fee per participant
< $250,000 $50
$250,001 - $500,000 $75
$500,001 - $2,000,000 $100
$2,000,001 - $5,000,000 $125
$5,000,001 - $10,000,000 $150
$10,000,001 - $20,000,000 $175
$20,000,001 + $200


Leaders Circle quote

Attendance Policy

Consistent attendance is a crucial element to the trust built in Leaders Circles. Please ensure that you can commit to a meeting a month for nine months. The meeting time will be determined by each Circle with their facilitator before meetings begin. Refunds will not be issued after meetings start. If you miss more than two consecutive meetings, you may be asked to step away from the Circle.

Contact with questions


Check out this article from Harvard Business Review on the value of a peer to peer coaching program.

Interested in facilitating?

Each year, we need a few new volunteer facilitators for our Leaders Circle program. You can find out more about the role here. If this is something that interests you, please reach out to our Executive Director at


The Leaders Circle program is made possible through the generous sponsorship of

Sponsorship Opportunities:
Interested in being a sponsor for the event? Check out our Sponsorship Opportunities!

Call for Breakout Presenters:
Seeking presenters for breakout sessions! Learn more and submit here (deadline Jan. 18, 2023)

Leadership Level Sponsors

more available!

Community Level Sponsors

more available!

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