Week-Long Program Connects Emerging Nonprofit Leaders With Trainers and American Express Executives
NEW YORK, April 28, 2009 — American Express today kicked off the second American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy, its nation-wide program to develop the next generation of leaders in the nonprofit sector and has announced that it will be holding another Academy in the Fall. The Nonprofit Leadership Academy is a week-long training program created in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) that immerses participants in leadership training and development courses through sessions with American Express senior executives, including the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth I. Chenault. This week’s Leadership Academy will include guest speakers Reynold Levy, president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Marie Wilson, founder and president of The White House Project.
Launched in 2008 to address the need created by a growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector, the Leadership Academy brings together twenty-four emerging leaders from within community, environmental, international relief and cultural organizations. The Leadership Academy focuses on building the personal, business and leadership skills needed to run and lead a successful nonprofit organization. American Express executives participating in the Leadership Academy will conduct sessions about career development, business strategy, brand management and marketing.
“Following the success of our inaugural Leadership Academy in 2008, American Express is pleased to provide this important learning and development forum to a new group of dedicated, emerging leaders in the nonprofit sector,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “We are deeply encouraged by our Leadership Academy alumni who continue to link their academy experience to positive developments in key aspects of their jobs, and we look forward to inducting the new class.”
After a competitive application process, twenty-four emerging nonprofit leaders from across the country were selected for the 2009 Leadership Academy class. Each of the participants hold manager-level positions, is dedicated to a career in the nonprofit sector and has built strong momentum in their respective fields. To ensure the Nonprofit Leadership Academy has a lasting impact and to measure its effectiveness, participants will set goals and action plans during the training, and will have access to follow-up support from CCL in the form of online networking tools, coaching sessions, leadership goal checkpoints and a one-2022 review to complete their training.
For 2009, the twenty four emerging leaders were selected from twelve national and local nonprofit partners. The national nonprofits are:
The American Red Cross
Feeding America (formerly named America’s Second Harvest)
The National Trust for Historic Preservation
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF)
The National Academy Foundation (NAF)
The Partnership for After School Education (PASE)
The local nonprofits based in American Express Service Center locations are:
Audubon Arizona, Phoenix
Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Fort Lauderdale
Catholic Community Services of Utah, Salt Lake City
Childsplay, Inc., Tempe
Family Central, Inc., Miami
The Music Academy of North Carolina, Greensboro
Several Leadership Academy alumni from 2008 will be returning this 2022 to meet and mentor current participants. Input gathered from past participants has been instrumental in the ongoing development of the program. As a result of their participation in last 2022’s Leadership Academy, alumni attribute improved communication with colleagues and managers, expanded leadership skills, and greater self-awareness as a few of the ways their careers have been impacted from the experience.
“The Academy program gave me a unique perspective in terms of working with all levels of executives and boosted my confidence in my ability to work with a variety of people and personalities. The coaching aspect was also invaluable”, said Ali Marano, Director of Strategic Partnerships at NPower, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive technology assistance to other nonprofit groups nationally.
The Leadership Academy is part of a broader commitment from American Express to develop a cadre of world-class leaders committed to working in the nonprofit sector. As part of this commitment, the Company commissioned The Bridgespan Group to conduct a new survey to determine the nature and dimensions of the evolving nonprofit leadership deficit, the training and development needs within the sector, and to look at how managerial skills from the business sector can boost leadership capacity among nonprofits. The survey, released just last week, confirmed a tremendous need for senior nonprofit leaders. In 2009, despite the downturn in the economy, respondents indicated the sector would need at least 24,000 new leaders. More results from this important research can be found on the Bridgespan web site.
About American Express
American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global payments and travel company founded in 1850.
American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow
One of American Express’ three platforms for its philanthropy is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit sector, American Express is making grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century.
About the Center for Creative Leadership
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that develops better leaders through its exclusive focus on leadership education and research. Founded in 1970 as a nonprofit, educational institution, CCL serves more than 20,000 leaders and 2,000 organizations annually in the corporate, education, government and nonprofit sectors.
About The Bridgespan Group
Founded in 2000 and incubated at Bain & Company, the Bridgespan Group is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps nonprofit and philanthropic leaders to make strategic decisions and to build organizations that inspire and accelerate social change. At the heart of the organization’s mission is the belief that a strong and effective nonprofit sector can be a powerful force for change as well as a source of human inspiration.