Leadership Guide Newsletter from TransitionGuides
In This Issue
Succession Planning
Sustainability Planning & Expanded Search
Executive Transition Management & Search
Other Services
Founders & Long-Term Executive's Exclusive Peer Workshop
Open Searches
Next Steps Workshop
Upcoming Events
Quick Links
Next Steps Workshop

Next Steps Ad Final

A Two-Day Workshop
Exclusively for Nonprofit
Founders & Long-Term



July 14-15, 2011 
Annie E. Casey Foundation 


Baltimore, MD
(Both Days)
 Seats are Limited
Take a Journey!
Explore Personal and Organizational Goals!

Discover How Succession Planning, Transition Planning and Sustainability Planning Can Launch a
Successful Legacy!
Congratulations to Bob McMahon 

Congratulations to Robert "Bob" McMahon on his retirement from Executive Director of St. Christopher-Ottilie Family of Services (SCO Family of Services) in New York. He provided 37 years of outstanding leadership and service to over 40,000 children and families through family support, education, special needs, foster care and homeless shelters.  

Bob McMahon Image

Bob McMahon

McMahon is the recipient of the David Roth Leadership Award, presented by the Child Welfare League of America in recognition of a leader who demonstrates exemplary commitment to children and families and who intentionally influences and facilitates a body of work by an organization, team or person that has resulted in positive outcomes for children and families. McMahon received the award based on his leadership in advocacy, best practice, research and excellence and innovation in service delivery; as well as his overall commitment to emerging leadership and workforce development to strengthen the overall future of child welfare. 


McMahon is one of ten national recipients of the Lewis Hine Awards for Service to Children and Youth for his remarkable and longtime leadership of SCO Family of Services focusing on the well-being of vulnerable children and youth. The award recognizes unheralded leaders who have dedicated themselves, as professionals, to health, education and well-being of young people. 


Full Story: NY Nonprofit Press Article
See the Award Ceremony: YouTube


Blogs & News 
Philanthropy Chat:
Tom Adams on Leadership Transition and Development Podcast

In this 21-minute interview, Tom Adams talks about his book and discusses several topics including the special challenges related to founder transitions, diversity in nonprofit leadership development, the "ugly truths" of nonprofit leadership, and other issues. Podcast Download  




Capital Development Strategies 

Nonprofit Chat - Blog 




Philanthropy News Digest

Article: The Sustainable Nonprofit 


The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide: Proven Paths for Leaders and Organizations,
by Tom Adams
Available from TransitionGuides

Chief Executive Transitions: How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO,

by Don Tebbe
Available from

Founder Transitions:

Creating Good Endings and New Beginnings,
by Tom Adams
Available from TransitionGuides

Building Leaderful Organizations: Succession Planning for Nonprofits,

by Tim Wolfred
Available from TransitionGuides  

Managing Executive Transitions: A Guide for Nonprofits,

by Tim Wolfred
Available from

Resilient Leadership by Bob Duggan and Jim Moyer Available from
Books on the Web

The Executive Director's Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader 
by Mim Carlson and Margaret Donohoe

Available from
Leadership in Transition

2010 Annual Report  

Welcome to the 2010 Annual Report edition of the Leadership Guide.

Throughout 2010,
almost without exception, every leader TransitionGuides  worked with faced challenges and reported working harder to stay in existence and remain sustainable. This was a sobering wake-up call.


The results in our opinion are mixed and include:

  • Higher risk of burn-out among leaders, particularly long-serving ones.
  • Delayed and deferred decisions among executives and managers about retiring or cutting back due to financial uncertainties, impacting the executive, those looking to move up and in some cases the overall vitality of the organization.
  • Boards responding by either stepping up and becoming more effective or becoming overwhelmed and pulling back or withdrawing.
  • Leaders and organizations becoming more focused on what is central to their mission and letting go of nice but not necessary activities.

TransitionGuides responded to the needs and goals of our clients by diligently focusing on working with and supporting leaders and organizations along the continuum of personal and organizational preparation for succession, sustainability planning, executive transition, and search. As a result, our three most important innovations for 2010 include:  

  1. Combining our sustainability and succession planning for organizations with executives planning to leave in 2-5 years  
  2. Expanding our executive search service to include senior executives  
  3. Working with clients to reduce the cost of executive search

Leadership will always be the key to achieving the changes we seek. Our Annual Report highlights how some of the leaders and organizations with whom TransitionGuides had the privilege to partner with in 2010, exemplified resilience, focused attention on their mission, ensured their sustainability and made the best of the truly challenging times.

Best wishes for a thriving and leaderful 2011!

Tom Adams
Tom Adams
Don Tebbe
Don Tebbe


Succession Planning 

TransitionGuides had the privilege of assisting several executives and their executive teams with succession planning by developing Emergency Backup Plans identifying designated personnel to carry out daily responsibilities in the event of an unplanned absence and Succession Policies, adopted by the Board of Directors, to outline and obtain agreement on navigating through an executive transition. An example to share with you, among many, is Mary's Center. 


Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care (Mary's Center) is a critical part of the safety net for low-income children and families in the Washington, DC region. The current President/CEO, Maria Gomez, founded Mary's Center in 1988 to provide maternal and child care for immigrant women from Central America living in the predominantly Latino area of Washington, DC's Ward One.  


Today, Mary's Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary care, comprehensive social services and family literacy and job training to a diverse group of individuals in the region while keeping an emphasis on the immigrant populations from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.  It is unique in that all social and educational and training services are provided at no cost, and no one is turned away from medical services for lack of payment.


Like many founder-led organizations, the identity of Mary's Center is closely tied with CEO, Maria Gomez.  Given the role of the founder, the Center's unique and essential role in the community and the rapid growth, the Board and Maria decided to undertake succession planning. While Maria has no immediate plans to leave Mary's Center, she now has written emergency backup plans for herself and her nine senior managers, and the  Board-adopted Succession Policy. Succession planning has provided Mary's Center a solid foundation from which to work on bench strength; as well as leader and management development, which will reduce reliance on the founder and increase long-term sustainability.


Other Succession Planning clients we served:  

  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities (Maryland
  • Better Housing Coalition (Virginia
  • Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc. (Florida
  • Connectinc. (North Carolina
  • DC Vote (DC)
  • Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation (North Carolina
  • International Primate Protection League (South Carolina
  • Mountain States Group (Idaho
  • North Carolina Community Development Initiative, Inc. (North Carolina)
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County  (California)
  • Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma (Oklahoma
  • SCO Family of Services (New York)   
  • Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (Texas

Founders and long-term executives learn the value and importance of personal and organizational succession planning up to 5 years in advance. Consider attending the upcoming Next Steps workshop on July 14-15, 2011at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information go to Next Steps. 

Sustainability Planning and Expanded Search  

In 2010, TransitionGuides expanded search services to include senior management positions in addition to executive positions. Many of these searches were a direct result of our Sustainability Planning services which include an organizational review and audit. One example, among many, is Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. (HOME). 








Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. (HOME) is the premier organization in Virginia working for equal access to decent housing for individuals and families of all economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld HOME in a fair housing case and set the national precedent in expanding fair housing enforcement nationwide. For Richmond and Virginia, HOME is a valued and critically important organization.  


Founded in 1971, HOME has been led by Connie Chamberlin and an active and involved Board. In 2010, the Board and Connie decided to focus on succession and sustainability planning. Through a six-month process, emergency backup plans for Connie and the managers, and a succession policy were developed. TransitionGuides assisted HOME in recruiting a new Chief Financial Officer. The results of the succession and sustainability planning were the focus for a Board retreat in January (2011) and resulted in a specific action plan to increase sustainability and prepare the organization for leadership transition whenever it occurs. HOME uses its strategic plan as an active reporting tool in every Board meeting. Adding the sustainability action plan to this regular report ensures ongoing attention to sustainability and success.   


Other Sustainability Planning and/or Expanded Search clients we served:   

  • Chimes International, Ltd. - Chief Operating Officer (Maryland)  
  • Columbus Symphony Orchestra - Development Director (Ohio
  • Equal Justice Works - Director of Development (DC)  
  • Global Rights - Director of Development & Communication (DC)
  • Greater Rochester Health Foundation, Sr. Program Officer (New York)

Founders and long-term executives gain an in-depth understanding of sustainability and the personal and organizational impact of sustainability planning  up to 5 years in advance of an executive transition. Consider attending the upcoming Next Steps workshop on July 14-15, 2011at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, MD. For more information, see Next Steps. 

Executive Transition Management and Search  

TransitionGuides is known for the three-phase Executive Transition Management and Executive Search process. Although, TransitionGuides expanded its search services to include senior management positions,  executive transitions have been increasing by leaps and bounds as baby boomers leave the nonprofit sector. Two examples to share with you, among many, are as follows:


National Housing Conference (NHC)

Conrad Egan is a long-serving, well-known and highly respected housing activist and policy leader. He served the National Housing Conference in various roles over 20 years, most recently as President/CEO. In 2009, TransitionGuides was selected to assist the Board in planning for and completing a transition in leadership when Conrad retired. The key steps in the process included: planning a positive ending and hand-off with Conrad; defining the key elements for NHC's future success, and therefore the key criteria for the new leader's skills and abilities; and recruiting and successfully launching a new executive. Board Chair Dan Nissenbaum and Allan Kingston, NHC Board member and California housing advocate, led the Board through this process. Maureen Friar, former executive of the Supportive Housing Network of New York, was selected and began as President/CEO in February 2010.


Maureen commented, "This has been an exciting first year. The board stepped up to ensure the success of the transition and we are moving forward in a very positive way. TransitionGuides brought a thoughtful and well-honed process, and transition and search expertise which served NHC well."



Faith & Politics Institute

Working to support members of Congress and their staff in being reflective and connecting with their spirituality and faith traditions is the mission of Faith & Politics.  Working for racial healing in America and increasing the possibility of compromise and civility in Congress is the current focus of the Institute. Founded in 1991 by a minister, Reverend Doug Tanner, and concerned leaders, Faith & Politics has just completed an executive transition. Founder Doug Tanner left the organization in 2005 to return to parish ministry. He was succeeded by Reverend Clete Kiley, a Catholic priest. In 2009, Father Kiley was invited to provide leadership around immigration reform and responded to that invitation. The board, under the eldership of Rob Liberatore, Amy Upton, and Reverend Larry Hayward decided this was a critical transition, and to seek outside assistance. TransitionGuides was retained in early 2010 to assist with transition planning, the executive search and new executive on-boarding. Discussions with the board and staff resulted in a commitment to a strategy of growing resources and impact and the search sought an executive to lead and manage that growth. In January 2011, Reverend Mark Farr, former executive of faith-based initiatives for the Points of Light Foundation, was selected. Reverend Farr will join the Faith& Politics Institute on February 28, 2011.


Other Executive Transition and Search clients we served:    

  • Advocates for Children and Youth (Maryland
  • American Association of Woodturners (Minnesota)
  • ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. (Florida)
  • Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation (California
  • Community Design Center of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)
  • Experience Corps of Baltimore City (Maryland)
  • Friends Committee on National Legislation (DC
  • Georgia Options, Inc. (Georgia)   
  • Michigan League for Human Services (Michigan)
  • Mobile Medical Care, Inc. (Maryland
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (Illinois)
  • Park Heights Development Corporation (Maryland)
  • Shalem Institute (DC

Founders and long-term executives who may be thinking about a transition within the next twelve months to 5 years, should begin preparing themselves personally, and preparing their organization for a smooth executive transition. Consider attending the upcoming Next Steps workshop on July 14-15, 2011at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information go to Next Steps. 

Other Services   

TransitionGuides provides other services. These services include but are not limited to board retreat facilitation, strategic planning, candidate sourcing, interim placement, coaching, salary studies, executive evaluation and capacity building.  


Other services to clients we served:    


  • Baltimore City Public Schools (Maryland)
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc. (North Carolina
  • Free the Slaves (DC)
  • Heartly House (Maryland
  • Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (New Jersey)
  • Housing Development Fund (Connecticut
  • Intergenerational Center (Pennsylvania
  • Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds (Maryland)
  • Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth (Maryland)
  • Maryland Disability Law Center (Maryland
  • Nat'l Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations(DC
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City (New York)
  • Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (Pennsylvania)
  • Public Health Management Corporation (Pennsylvania
  • United Methodist Health Ministry Fund (Kansas
  • Voices for Children in Nebraska (Nebraska)   

Founders and long-term executives who may be thinking about a transition within the next twelve months to 5 years, should begin preparing themselves personally and preparing their organization for a smooth executive transition. Consider attending the upcoming Next Steps workshop on July 14-15, 2011at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information go to Next Steps . 

Founder and Long-Term Executive's Exclusive Peer Workshop
Next Steps Workshop
For Founders, Long-Term Executives and Boards
Presented by TransitionGuides
Next Steps Participants
What's Your Next Step?
Founders and long-term executives are personally invited to attend our upcoming Next Steps workshop on July 14-15, 2011 at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, MD.

For more information and to register: Next Steps.
Open Searches
 All Open Searches


Advocates for Children and Youth
Executive Director
(Baltimore, MD)  



Asian American Justice Center 
Deputy Director
(Washington, DC)


ASPIRA of Florida
President & CEO
(Miami, FL)


Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation
Chief Executive Officer
(Ventura, CA)   


Chimes Maryland Residential Director 
(Baltimore, MD)  


Community Design Center of Pittsburgh
President and CEO
(Pittsburgh, PA)


Interfaith Works Community Ministry of Montgomery County
Executive Director

(Rockville, MD)


National Children's Center - Coming Soon

Chief Executive Officer
(Washington, DC)  


Neighborhood Housing Services of Silicon Valley
Executive Director
(San Jose, CA)



Ohio Association of Independent Schools
Executive Director
(Sunbury, OH)

Founders and Long-Term Executives Workshop

 Next Steps Ad 2011 


TransitionGuides presents a two-day intense workshop exclusively for  Founders and Long-Term Chief Executives 

July 14-15, 2011 (Baltimore, MD) Registration fee: $375.00 (only $295 before 5/31/2011)

Sessions include: Session Materials and a Comprehensive Resource CD
*Also includes: Continental Breakfast and Lunch (both days)
Seats Are Limited! 
Upcoming Events

Calendar of Events  


Maryland Nonprofit's Annual Conference
March 2, 2011 (8:45am-4:45pm)
Annapolis, MD

June 14-15, 2011 (9:00am-5:00pm)
Baltimore, MD

Clients who contracted our facilitation services for annual conferences, breakout sessions, 90-minute to full-day workshops in 2010:
  • Arc of the United States (DC)
  • Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. (Virginia)
  • Central Conference of American Rabbis (New York)  
  • Christian Appalachian Project (Kentucky
  • Columbus Foundation (Ohio
  • Housing Assistance Council (DC
  • Independent Schools Association of Northern New England (Maine)
  • Kansas Head Start Association (Kansas)
  • Midwest Community Foundations' Ventures (Michigan)
  • NeighborWorks America (DC)  
  • New York State Community Action Association (New York)
  • Nonprofit Management Center of the Permian Basin (Texas)
  • Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (Oklahoma)
  • Wichita State University: Center for Community Support and Research (Kansas)
TransitionGuides provides workshops across the country. If you would like to schedule any of the above workshops for your organization, customize a workshop for your members, or learn more about other workshops we offer, visit our website and call our TransitionGuides office (301) 439-6635 today!

We hope you found this issue useful and will forward it to others who may benefit from the ideas, lessons, and stories. As always, we value your feedback and comments. Let us know what topics you would like to read about or personal experiences and insights gained through your work that we could feature in a future issue. Feel free to contact Melody Thomas-Scott at mthomasscott@transitionguides.com.   
TransitionGuides is a consulting firm committed to leadership excellence. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable consultants helps find, support, and guide nonprofit leaders to build and sustain effective, vital organizations. Since 1995, TransitionGuides team has led over 500 executive search, transition, succession and sustainability projects for nonprofits across the country. Clients include local and national nonprofits, foundations, associations, and select government agencies. TransitionGuides offers the wisdom and experience that leading organizations need to identify and harness the power of change.

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