Center for Nonprofit Excellence
LEAD Institute

LEAD Institute


LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) builds the skills of successful nonprofit managers serving the diverse communities of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, preparing them for organization-wide leadership roles.

Transform Yourself, Your Team, Your Community

LEAD Testimonial Thumbnail

How LEAD benefits you as a leader

Gain the practical tools, knowledge and confidence you need to work with your executive director and organization for greater impact.

  • Multicultural learning environment
  • expanded professional network with ongoing connections
  • individualized support from a leadership coach
  • learn in the Monterey Bay Area – no travel to San Francisco Bay area required

Read more about what you will learn.

How LEAD benefits your organization

Barbara MitchellWe have had (at least one) staff member in each LEAD class since inception. Our LEADers have moved to more responsible positions in the agency. I think that LEAD has done wonders for their skill building as well as developing their confidence. – Barbara Mitchell, Executive Director of Interim Inc.

  • An affordable investment in promising managers. Scholarships available
  • Staff attend LEAD seminars one work-day per month (10 months)
  • New tools and skills can be shared throughout the organization immediately
  • Graduates understand the complexities of running an entire organization, not just a department or program.


LEAD is jointly certificated through the Community Foundation for Monterey County and CSU Monterey Bay’s Extended Education program in coordination with the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County and the Community Foundation for San Benito County.

We Gratefully Acknowledge Our Partners, Advisors and Funders

Sponsors, Partners & Funders

Location Sponsor

The Harden Foundation

Educational Partner

CSU, Monterey Bay, Extended Ed and & International Programs

Program Design Partner

LeaderSpring, Initial Program Design Support (2008-2010)
CompassPoint NonProfit Services
Community Resource Center, Denver, CO
Local Initiative Support Corporation

Initial Funding Support (2008-2012)

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
The James Irvine Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Advisory Committee

Kaki Rusmore, Community Foundation for Monterey County
Nina Alcaraz, LEAD Alumna, Monterey County Rape Crisis Center
Gary Byrne, Community Foundation for San Benito County
Karen Csejtey, Leadership Monterey Peninsula
Christina Cuevas, Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County
Laura Kasa, Save Our Shores
Barbara Mitchell, Interim, Inc.
Stella Lauerman, LEAD Alumna, Easter Seals Central California
Reyna Navarette, Supervisor Simón Salinas’ Office
Sue Parris, Nonprofit Alliance of Monterey County & National Coalition Building Institute
Jan Phillips Paulsen, LEAD Alumna
Joy Rubey, CSU Monterey Bay
Blanca Tavera, Matrix Consulting Institute



What You Will Learn

lead-details-pGain an executive’s perspective and essential information on key topics. We integrate an approach of cultural competency and collaboration in all aspects of LEAD.

Add to your nonprofit management toolkit:

  • program management and evaluation
  • strategic planning
  • fund development
  • human resource management
  • public communications and much more
  • LEAD Institute Topics Covered

Develop as a leader personally, in your organization and community, with a focus on

Leadership Coaching

LEAD coaching

Join our pool of LEAD Coaches. Apply by March 17, 2017.

LEAD Coaching Flyer 2017
Online application


Work one-on-one with an experienced leadership coach.

  • Develop confidence and advance your LEAD goals and projects
  • Customize a learning plan for your specific situation
  • Practice peer coaching skills as you support fellow participants

LEAD Coaches 2016

Thank you to our 2016 pro bono LEAD coaches:
Anne Auburn
Gary Byrne
Marie Earl
Grace Hammond
Jennifer Britton
Denise Kaku
Windsor Lindor
Tobi Marcus
Lisette Miles
Evelin Montes
Christine Silver
Chrysta Wilson
Ron Wormser

Seminar Dates & Assignments

Implement new skills throughout the year and practice greater leadership.   LEAD can help you become more efficient and effective with your time.

  • February-November – 12 full-day seminars – ten Fridays and two Saturday sessions
  • Assignments and a project with immediate workplace application (6-10 hours per month)
  • Make connections with your peers in the nonprofit community while learning together

2017 Seminar Dates

Date Activity
December 12, 2016 Self-Assessment Due
January 6, 2017 Tuition Due
January 17, 2017 Homework begins for Opening Seminar
February 10, 2017 Opening Seminar – Friday
February 11, 2017 Opening Seminar – Saturday
March 10, 2017 Seminar
April 14, 2017 Seminar
May 12, 2017 Seminar
June 9, 2017 Seminar
July 14, 2017 Seminar
July 15, 2017 Seminar – Saturday
August 11, 2017 Seminar
September 8, 2017 Seminar
October 13, 2017 Seminar
November 10, 2017 Seminar
December 8, 2017 Graduation (tentative date)



Applying to LEAD

Apply OnlineApplying to LEAD is a partnership between you and your employer. We recommend you discuss your goals, the benefits to the organization and commitment required to participate. Nonprofits based in Santa Cruz, Monterey or San Benito Counties are eligible.

Tuition and Scholarships

Alfred-Diaz-Infante[LEAD] really gave us an excellent return on investment. Alfred Diaz-Infante, President/CEO of CHISPA Supervisor of 2011-12 LEAD Participant

We are committed to working with all accepted applicants and their organizations to coordinate tuition funding.

  • $1,500-2,400 based on your nonprofit’s annual operating budget; valued at $5,000-8,000
  • Partial scholarships and payment plans are available
  • *10% tuition discount for complete applications received by Friday September 30, 2016

Application and Selection Criteria

Successful candidates demonstrate:

  • Support from their organizations to take on greater leadership in the next 6-12 months
  • Experience supervising others
  • Understanding of community dynamics and critical thinking
  • Integrity and a commitment to life-long learning

LEAD Key Deadlines & Dates

LEAD is a full-year commitment, with seminars held from February through November in Salinas.

  • October 14, 2016 FINAL Deadline to Apply
  • October – November, 2016 – Interviews
  • Final decisions by December 1, 2016.

2017 Seminar Dates

Date Activity
December 12, 2016 Self-Assessment Due
January 6, 2017 Tuition Due
January 17, 2017 Homework begins for Opening Seminar
February 10, 2017 Opening Seminar – Friday
February 11, 2017 Opening Seminar – Saturday
March 10, 2017 Seminar
April 14, 2017 Seminar
May 12, 2017 Seminar
June 9, 2017 Seminar
July 14, 2017 Seminar
July 15, 2017 Seminar – Saturday
August 11, 2017 Seminar
September 8, 2017 Seminar
October 13, 2017 Seminar
November 10, 2017 Seminar
December 8, 2017 Graduation (tentative date)



LEAD Alumni and Participants

LEAD Alumni

LEAD Alumni

LEAD is an opportunity to engage with the extensive network of alumni in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. We support alumni-led activities to stay connected, continue learning, and renew energy for leadership growth. LEAD has over 80 alumni from over 70 organizations.

Mireya Gomez ContrerasThe new tools and support network of other leaders helps me feel consistently hopeful even through challenging times. – Mireya Gomez-Contreras, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County

Current LEAD Participants

  • Amy Mascareñas, El Pajaro Community Development Corp.
  • Anna Patterson, Point Lobos Foundation
  • Beth Bowman, Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay
  • Carolina Cortez, Interim Inc.
  • Cindy Storrs
  • Dail Vannerus, Salud Para La Gente
  • Jennifer Rigney, Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Jonathan Bohorquez, CHISPA Housing Management Inc.
  • Juan Luis Romero, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc.
  • Juliet Pool, MEarth
  • Kimberly Willison, The Carmel Foundation
  • Luis Rodriguez, Urban Arts Collaborative
  • Michael Gomez, YoSal (Youth Orchestra Salinas)
  • Patterson Emesibe, Door to Hope
  • Priscilla Amao, Hartnell College Foundation
  • Rene Casas, MILPA
  • Vanessa Garcia, Chamberlain’s Children Center

Monterey County Nonprofits & Alumni

  • 2nd Chance Family and Youth Services (Laura Tinajero)
  • Access Support Network (Daniela Mejia)
  • Ag Land Trust (Virginia Jameson)
  • Alisal Center for the Fine Arts (Willow Aray & Juan Carlos Gonzalez)
  • ARIEL Theatrical (Samantha Barnes)
  • Arts Council for Monterey County (Berniz House)
  • Building Healthy Communities – East Salinas (Carmen Gil)
  • California Breastfeeding Coalition (Robbie Gonzalez-Dow)
  • Camp SEA Lab (Amity Wood)
  • The Carmel Foundation (Aimee Cuda)
  • Central Coast HIV/AIDS Services (Katie Murphy)
  • Central Coast YMCA: South County Branch (Leti Bocanegra)
  • CHISPA (Ruth Rodriguez)
  • Coalition of Homeless Services Providers (Jocelyn Brady)
  • Community Foundation for Monterey County (Aurelio Salazar, Jr.)
  • Community Human Services (Rob Rapp & Valerie Catania)
  • Community Partnership for Youth (Benjamin Bruce)
  • Door to Hope (Denise Felix)
  • Environmental Justice Coalition for Water (Vicente Lara)
  • Everyone’s Harvest (Iris Diana Jehle-Peppard)
  • Family Connections – MPUSD/First 5 (Jan Phillips Paulsen)
  • First 5 Monterey County (David Dobrowski)
  • Food Bank for Monterey County (Melissa Hartman)
  • HOPE Services (Greg Dinsmore)
  • Housing Resource Center of Monterey County (Jennifer Rego)
  • INTERIM, INC (Idalia Matthews, Alejandro Amezcua, Christina Barnes, Carmen Torres, Lara Stahl, Lisa Corpuz, Judith Gonzalez & Maritza Allen)
  • iResult, LLC (Niña Magsaysay Rosete)
  • Legal Services for Seniors (Philip M. Geiger)
  • The Literacy Campaign for Monterey County (M. Crystal Macias-Diaz)
  • Loaves Fishes & Computers, Inc. (Elizabeth Panetta)
  • Lyceum (Joyce Breckenridge)
  • Mandell Gisnet Center for Conflict Management (Isabel Bjork)
  • Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley, Inc. (Claudia Aguilera)
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium (Ava Ferguson & Ileana Ortega Brunetti)
  • Monterey County Office of Education Head Start and Early Head Start (Isabel Valtierra)
  • Monterey County Rape Crisis Center (Nina Alcaraz)
  • Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History (Ann Wasser)
  • Parents’ Place, Pacific Grove Adult School, PGUSD (Elizabeth Olney)
  • Peacock Acres (Nathan Jones)
  • Rancho Cielo Youth Campus, Inc. (Trish Alcocer)
  • Restorative Justice Partners, Inc. (Jennie Burciaga)
  • Return of the Natives Restoration and Education Project (Emily Howard)
  • The Salvation Army, Service Extension (Amelia Gomez)
  • Shelter Outreach Plus (Leticia Bejarano)
  • Soledad Unified School District (Cristina Sotelo)
  • Special Kids Crusade (Laura Harris)
  • Sun Street Centers (John Bokanovich, Marciano Huerta & Eddie Hathcock)
  • Support Access Network (Paris De La Rosa)
  • Turning Point of Central California (Pearl Sanchez)
  • United Way Monterey County (Kate Mitchell Mehle & Mayra Perez)
  • Volunteer Center (Gilda Estrada)
  • Youth Music Monterey County (Vanisha Evans Douvon)
  • YWCA Monterey County (Germaine Esquivel)

San Benito County Nonprofits & Alumni

  • CASA of San Benito County (Esther Curtice)
  • Chamberlain’s Children Center, Inc. (Krystal Jones, Gracie Lucatero & Patrick Ellis)
  • Community Foundation for San Benito County (Raul Ceja)
  • Community Vision San Benito Co. (Colleen Johnson)
  • Emmaus House (Mary Lou Coffelt)
  • Hollister Youth Alliance (Zenedith Espinoza)
  • Pinnacles Partnership (Rochelle Fischer)
  • United Way of San Benito (Vicki Fortino)

Santa Cruz County Nonprofits & Alumni

  • Arts Council Santa Cruz County (Megan Searcy & Nabil Ghachem)
  • Break Away College Access Project (Carol Schimke)
  • Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (Jessica Frye)
  • Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County Inc. (Mireya Gomez-Contreras)
  • Community Restoration Project (Javier Diaz)
  • The Shelter Project (Norma Sanchez)
  • Community Alliance with Family Farmers (Kathryn Spencer)
  • Community Bridges
    • Beach Flats Community Center (Reyna Ruiz)
    • La Manzana Community Resources (­­­Gabriela López Chávez)
    • Community Connection (Mark Vasquez, Jodie Wells, Salina Nevarez & Uriel Mendoza)
  • Easter Seals Central California (Stephanie Flores & Stella Lauerman)
  • Encompass Community Services (Maria Sanchez & Leigh Guerrero)
  • Homeless Garden Project (Darrie Ganzhorn)
  • Mesa Verde Gardens (Ana Rasmussen)
  • Museo Eduardo Carillo (Betsy Andersen)
  • Pajaro Valley Arts Council (Norma Villaron)
  • Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance, Inc. (Silvia Diaz)
  • Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (Lea Haratani)
  • Salud Para La Gente (Michelle De Anda, Rosalba Contreras, Rachel Sandobal & Theresa Merendon)
  • Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (Diana Kapsner)
  • Save Our Shores (Ginaia Kelly)
  • Tandy Beal & Company (Jennifer Radakovich)
  • Watsonville Film Festival (Consuelo Alba-Speyer)
  • The Watsonville Law Center (Adriana Melgoza, Monica Pereira & Henry Martin)
  • Watsonville Volunteer Center (Blanca Carrillo)
  • Watsonville Wetlands Watch (Jonathan Pilch)
  • Women’s Crisis Support – Defensa de Mujeres (Lucila Sanchez)
  • YWCA of Watsonville (Emelia Leon)

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