Nine Leaders of the Greater Phoenixville Region Non-Profit Community Graduate PCHF’s 2018 Executive Leadership Institute

Nine Leaders of the Greater Phoenixville Region Non-Profit Community Graduate PCHF’s 2018 Executive Leadership Institute

July 25, 2018

Phoenixville: “The investment in this course will give me skills that will last a lifetime, both in my personal and professional life.”  The 2018 graduates of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation’s Executive Leadership Institute included nine up and coming leaders of the non-profit community, were recognized on June 18 at Freedoms Foundation Valley Forge for their dedication. This is now the 6th graduating class with a total of 58 graduates. The mission of the Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) is to provide executive-level and management-level staff within the non-profit sector, an opportunity to gain self-awareness, knowledge, and experience to become more effective leaders within their professional and personal lives.

This years’ leadership program assisted the following evolving leaders in understanding leadership principles and developing their own personal style of leadership:  Colleen M. Gawlas, Program Director at Mom’s House; Erica L. Kinedinst, Executive Director at Activate Phoenixville Area; Kelly Lynch, Community Education & Volunteer Manager at Maternal & Child Health Consortium; Kristen L. McGee, Executive Director at Ann’s Heart; Jane P. Moss, Director of Development at People’s Light & Theatre; Melissa Shanaman, Director at Stepping Stone Education Center; Brian Simard, Director of Development at The Community Coalition; Erin J. Slight, Direct Services Supervisor at Victim Services Center of Montgomery County; and Melissa C. Threadgill, Program Director at Phoenixville Area Community Services. See attached photo: Back L/R:  Brian Simard, Melissa Shanaman, Colleen Gawlas, Erica Klinedinst. Seated L/R: Erin Slight, Kristen McGee, Jane Moss, Melissa Threadgill, Kelly Lynch

This ten-month leadership program began with a personal self-assessment through the well-recognized Myers/Briggs psychological instrument.   From there, each class had two sessions on aspects of leadership presented by individuals from the for-profit/non-profit, academic, and philanthropic sectors.  The students’ final assignment was to present their own personal leadership plans and goals.  At the end of the program, there was an evaluation of the program. This evaluation recognizes that to be truly successful, enduring behavioral change is essential. It’s not just the learning, it’s the doing.

The 2018 evaluation showed that 86% of students felt that ELI training had a major, pronounced, positive change upon them as persons; 100% of students felt that ELI training had both a major, pronounced, positive change upon them as a professionals in the non-profit world; and 100% of them said ELI training prompted them to initiate significant changes in their organization.

Stunning results …each year we administer a brief questionnaire during the focus group to determine is ELI makes a difference in personal change, professional change, and changes to the organization. Positive results were evident each year, but this year’s results were off the charts. This is very compelling testimony to ELI’s efficacy on the personal, professional and organizational impact of ELI.” Dr.’s John & Nancy Kelley, Independent Evaluators.

Some of the feedback from students included: “As a professional, I have significantly grown in my role as a leader since the beginning of ELI. I have adapted my leadership style and learned new techniques in important areas such as team development, effective networking, public speaking, and mission-driven leadership.” Another student stated thatThe class allowed me to reflect on my strengths and also to consider, in a positive way, what I could do better. It was a confidence builder for me.” Additionally, I completed ELI at a time of great personal change – professionally and at home. As I entered this course at the end of my first year of my job, it allowed me to reevaluate my skills, needs, personal values and vision of my future self.” In regards to their organization one stated, “ELI prompted me to reinvent our organization’s presentation format, design a team-specific mission, and also adapt my leadership style when working with others.” Lastly, one student stated “The investment in this course will give me skills that will last a lifetime, both in my personal and professional life.”

ELI has a maximum capacity of 12 students and is comprised of a 10-month curriculum, meeting monthly at the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation building.  This program is open to Executive Directors, Program Managers, and those staff identified by organizations as potential future non-profit leaders. The 2019 ELI will begin in September but all applications must be received by August. For more information on how to apply, please visit

The mission of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation is to improve the health and quality of life for people in the greater Phoenixville region by increasing access to quality healthcare services and promoting healthy communities through grant-making and collaborations with health, civic, business and community partners.