Thursday, January 18, 2007

NY event: The Board's Role in Managing a CEO Transition - 1/24

Brown Bag Lunch Roundtable

"The Board's Role in Managing a CEO Transition"

The transition of a nonprofit CEO is a time of great vulnerability for a nonprofit organization, especially if the outgoing CEO is a founder or long-term CEO. Risks include donor and funder apprehension, staff bail-out and loss of morale, loss of momentum on new projects, and the potential for significant reduction in client and/or community services. The Board's role in ensuring organizational stability during the transition is critical.

Join u s for a panel that will explore:

  • The benefits of engaging an Interim CEO and the board's role in securing an appropriate Interim
  • The Board's role in Succession Planning and the benefit of having an emergency succession plan
  • The key activities a Board must assume responsibility for to minimize the risks

Don Crocker, CEO, Support Center for Nonprofit Management
Bill Falahee, CFO, JM Kaplan Fund
Regina Podhorin, President, The Leadership Group

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Noon to 2 PM
Support Center for Nonprofit Management
305 Seventh Avenue (bet. 27th & 28th Sts.), Suite 1100, NYC 10001

Cash/Check/Money Order (payable to Governance Matters) are also accepted at the Event. Please email us at with ALL PARTIES' Last Names, First Names, Organization/Company/Affiliates and Email Addresses (req'd).

Please bring your lunch. Water will be provided.

Don Crocker, CEO, Support Center for Nonprofit Management
Don is recognized nationally for his work in board development, program planning, and funding development. He has led numerous organizations including a community development corporation in Brooklyn, and a community-based agency serving developmentally disabled people in Queens, New York.

Don formerly was an affiliated consultant with BoardSource in Washington, DC and is a trained facilitator for their Board Self-Assessment process. Don is an adjunct professor in the graduate studies department at Manhattanville Col lege and holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Leadership and Strategic Management. Don's Master's thesis focused on executive transitions in the nonprofit sector and explored strategies that grantmakers can take to assist nonprofits through transitions.

Bill Falahee, CFO, JM Kaplan Fund
The Fund is a family foundation with approximately $160 million in assets. Bill has been the Controller of the Fund since August 1995.

Bill is currently Vice-Chair/Treasurer of The Support Center for Non-Profit Management, after serving as Chair in 2003 and Treasurer in 2002. He has also served as a member of the Foundation Financial Officers Group (FFOG) from 1997 to present. Bill is currently Treasurer for NYRAG, from 2004 to present, and is chair of the NYRAG Finance Committee. NYRAG are currently going through a full transition.

Bill came to the Fund with an accounting background specializing in found ations and non-profits.

Regina Podhorin, President, The Leadership Group
Regina Podhorin completed an interim executive director assignment with New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) from January to September of 2006.

Ms. Podhorin brings 25 years experience in the nonprofit sector including 11 years as an Executive Director and 10 years as a consultant. With a BA in Sociology from Rutgers University and MA in Public Administration from Rider University she combines state and local experience as both a funder and program evaluator. Primary areas of specialty are behavioral healthcare, domestic violence and sexual violence, crisis response and prevention services.

Who is invited:
This meeting is designed for anyone who has an interest in promoting an effective, ethical, and honest nonprofit sector.

Member: charge is $10
Non-member: charge is $15
Student with valid Student ID: charge is $5

Please contact Suet Batten at should you have questions and/or concerns.

Next Roundtable: "Term Limits", Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at Noon.
Annual Meeting: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 5:00PM

Please visit our Event Calendar for upcoming exciting events.

My article: To proliferate or not to proliferate

My recent column in the Pakistani paper I write for went online earlier this morning and I am copying it below. Many thanks to my friend Christina Madden who provided some latent inspiration for it. Thanks, Christina!

To proliferate or not to proliferate

Nuclear energy is fast becoming a commodity the developing world wants to get its hands on. Iran, much to the chagrin of the rest of the international community, is well on its way to developing power plants to harness power from nuclear energy. And quick to follow suit is India. While both cases differ radically, India’s, much to the surprise of many of us, might prove to be the one to keep a watchful eye on.

This December, American politicians voted in favor of providing the Indians with “civilian nuclear technology”. This event has effectively reversed the US policy where the government would not provide any nuclear technology or know-how to anyone, irrespective of prior track record. While there will obviously be checks and balances every step of the way, the very fact that a country like India will be receiving this technology is cause for concern not only for Pakistan, but also for the entire world.

India has neither signed nor ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It has conducted numerous nuclear tests and the last time it received nuclear technology it proceeded to use it in preparation for a nuclear bomb under Indira Gandhi’s reign. While India is correct in arguing that it is in dire need of hefty power supplies to keep pace with its stupendous economic and industrial growth, it is incorrect in relying on the US for these “civilian” uses. Such a move on the part of the US government can single-handedly trigger an arms race the like of which was witnessed during the Cold War.

Taking advantage of the situation, the Chinese were quick to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pakistan’s government wherein exchange of nuclear technology would take place between the two Asian countries. China has long been an ally of Pakistan and arriving at this current juncture was not difficult for either country. What remains to be seen is how the two countries proceed from here.

What interests me, though, is the use of public relations methodologies by the Indian authorities to garner support for this endeavor. While many recognizable people like US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice did the public bidding for the US-India civilian nuclear energy agreement, the deal was actually sealed behind closed doors with much assistance from lobbying firms and PR agencies. According to Subrata Ghoshroy, who is a research associate in the science, technology and society programme at MIT and directs a project to promote nuclear stability in South Asia, $ 1.3 million was spent on two lobbying firms. He mentions that one of the firms hired was Barbour, Griffith, and Rogers, which is headed by Robert Blackwill, a former US ambassador to India.

Needless to say, the Indian lobby is making its political power quite apparent by flexing its lobbying muscle. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on travel expenses of American political leaders shuttling between India and the US. To add to the pressure being exerted, the American Jewish community also played a leading role in promoting India’s cause.

A lot can be learnt from this whole experience. It is not only representative of the American political process whereby lobbies garner power and exert influence, but also where one can clearly see that the US no longer plays a role where it safeguards the interests of the international community. Today, that same country harms many millions the world over while allowing a minuscule number of them the opportunity to see the “American dream” come true. Today’s America cares, at best, only for itself, or at worst, for its closest allies in the dirty games it plays in the name of “civilization”, “development” and “modernity”.

Tomorrow’s world will be one where states compete for “civilian nuclear technology” while their own populations die for want of food, water and clothing. A shelter from their leaders is what they actually need. Their greed and vanity knows no bounds. At this very moment, I can imagine a child’s eyes closing for one last time as I type these final words. Perhaps, with sustained efforts, a future of non-proliferation can give that child one more chance at a life of peace and prosperity.