Meet Our 2015 “Leadership Development Program of the Year”

Photo by Allegra BovermanPhotography.

Describe what you were thinking when the Hoffman-Haas Fellowship was announced as the “Leadership Development Program of the Year.”

It is rewarding to be recognized for this vital program, mostly because winning raises the visibility of the Fellowship, which is a win, not only for the program, but for the future of NH.

For those that aren’t aware of your program, provide a brief description of its mission.

The Hoffman-Haas Fellowship strives to populate NH nonprofit boards with inspired, prepared and ready-to-engage new leaders who can bring a solid grounding in board essentials and serve as an infusion of energy for existing boards. Along the way, participating Fellows, individual nonprofit organizations, Mentors, and business partners will experience multiple leadership and enrichment goals. In the long run, benefit will be felt by communities and people.

What’s your favorite success story from the program thus far?

My favorite success story came from a business leader I met with a few weeks ago. He is on the board of a nonprofit devoted to preserving the history of a particular industry. They had never considered electing a board member from outside of their industry, but at the recommendation of a Hoffman-Haas Fellowship Mentor, they did just that. The Fellow they elected to their board brought an important skill set that was needed to achieve one of their strategic goals and has changed their thinking about board recruitment.

Share a surprising outcome for the program.

A key component to the Fellowship is the Mentors. Mentors are community leaders and experienced board members who are matched with Fellows to provide their unique guidance and expertise. Many of the Mentors have expressed to us how much they had gotten out of the workshops, even though they had been serving on boards for many years.

There have been several cohorts throughout the state, what areas are next in line for the fellowship?

We will be launching a cohort in Central NH in the fall of 2016.

What do you hope will be your long-term impact on the Granite State?

The Fellowship responds to a critical need in NH, as many Baby Boomers are set to retire: the need for an expanded and diverse pool of community leaders who are ready to bring their talent, passion and commitment to volunteer board service. As stated by John Hoffman, one of the philanthropists whom the program was named after: “Board service is probably one of the most meaningful ways to take part in civic leadership, but it does require passion, practice and care. This program will be a boost to many new board leaders and to the nonprofits they serve.”

We know you love the Granite State, so tell us:

What’s your favorite ‘hidden gem’?

Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum.

What’s your favorite local watering hole?

Copper Door.

Where’s your favorite place to getaway for the weekend?

Mountain Club on Loon – great during any season.

Which is the best season and why?

We love them all! And love that you can experience all of them at the Mount Washington Observatory.

Which city/town in NH have you yet to visit but look forward to when time presents itself? What do you want to do once you get there?

Cornish – Saint-Gaudens.

Do you prefer the sunrise of the sunset? And where in NH do you catch the best?

Sunset at Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center is amazing, because you’re elevated, looking over their land and there’s a tree that adds an artistic element to the picturesque landscape.

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