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The First Year: How to Hire, Inspire, and Empower a New Family Foundation CEO

Thursday, January 10, 2013
9:00am PST
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Hiring a new family foundation CEO is one of the most important transitions that any family foundation must go through. The role of a family foundation chief executive is unique running a philanthropic enterprise in partnership with a family. This webinar, based on the first-ever guides for hiring and orienting a family foundation CEO, will help any family thinking about how to achieve their shared dreams for family philanthropy, and how to find the right person to take you there. Featuring the perspectives of two family foundations that have recently hired a first-time CEO, this call will address topics such

  • How can you best take stock of where your foundation is now and what you want for its future?
  • What are the steps in a good search process, and should you hire outside help to recruit and vet candidates?
  • What is the board and board chair’s role in hiring and orienting the new CEO?
  • How can new CEOs develop strong board/staff relations while also learning about the foundation, the grantees, and the community?
  • How can new CEOs learn to set boundaries and cope with family dynamics, while finding and building a peer support network?


Register online through the National Center for Family Philanthropy Knowledge Center. 


Tom Adams
President and Co-Founder, TransitionGuides
Tom Adams is president and co-founder of TransitionGuides is president and co-founder of TransitionGuides, a national consulting firm based in Silver Spring, Maryland that advises nonprofits on leadership succession, executive search and transition management, and related capacity-building projects. Through TransitionGuides, Tom and his colleagues offer executive transition and sustainability planning services around the country and are national leaders in the development and growth of Executive Transition Management and Leadership Sustainability and Succession Planning as organizational capacity building strategies. Tom and the TransitionGuides team have provided leadership to launch a collaborative of nonprofit leaders in the Baltimore-Washington area committed to increasing the number and roles of leaders of color in the nonprofit sector.

Tom is a national thought leader, speaker and trainer on leadership and leadership transition topics. He is the author of, The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide: Proven Paths for Leaders and Organizations published by Jossey-Bass/Wiley and has extensively published articles in the Nonprofit Quarterly, the Stanford Journal for Social Innovation and three monographs. Prior to launching his consulting practice, Tom directed a five year national field research project for Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (now NeighborWorks America, a national organization in the community development field), focused on executive and board leadership changes in community-based nonprofit organizations.  Earlier in his career, he was the first executive director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore.  Tom received his BA from St. Mary’s Seminary and University and his MSW from the University of Maryland. 

Leah Gary
President and CEO, William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation
Leah Gary is the President and CEO of the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. Previously she was the Vice President for Program and Evaluation at the Saint Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio. Ms. Gary was vice president for Community Health, Workforce Development and the Northeast Ohio Trauma Foundation at the Center for Health Affairs where she focused on community health policy. Ms. Gary is a nurse and has been director of inpatient nursing, clinical nurse specialist, nursing instructor and staff nurse. She received a bachelor's diploma in nursing from the Fairview General Hospital School of Nursing and master degrees in nursing from the Case Western Reserve University.

Eden Werring
Eden Werring has dedicated her professional life to helping young people reach their full potential. She has more than sixteen years of experience in the non-profit sector with leadership and youth development, strategic planning, non-profit management, grantmaking, and philanthropy.

An advocate for the arts and arts education, Eden began her career in the Education Department of the San Francisco Opera. She then spent ten years working at Summer Search, a non-profit that develops confidence, character, and skills in resilient, low-income high school students. During her tenure at Summer Search, Eden took on various leadership roles, including Executive Director of the North Bay office and Founder and Executive Director of the New York City office.

Beginning in 2007, Eden served for three years as Executive Director of Steamboat Foundation, a private foundation that operates a summer fellowship for talented undergraduate leaders and makes international grants, namely in Rwanda, Haiti, and South Africa. She has also served as an organizational development consultant for Kucetekela Foundation, an education program for secondary school students in Zambia.

In 2010, Eden was honored to become the first non-family Executive Director of the Tauck Family Foundation, working with every generation of the Tauck family and leading the foundation’s strategic initiatives, operations and staff oversight, board relations, financial management, knowledge sharing, and communications with the broader community. Eden has been certified as a trainer and consultant by 21/64, a non-profit consulting division of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies specializing in multi-generational strategic philanthropy for families. She is a member of several affinity groups for grantmakers, including the Fairfield County Funders Network, Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, Hedge Fund Philanthropic Alliance, and the Alliance for Effective Social Investing. She is a board member and Secretary of Edible Schoolyard NYC. Eden received her BA in English Literature from Yale University. A native of Westport, Connecticut, she now lives in Redding, Connecticut with her husband and their two young children.


As a membership benefit, SCG members have complimentary access to NCFP teleconferences and webinars.

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