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

Christian-MendelsohnLEAD grew a true leader out of a staff member who had an underlying skill-set that needed to be expanded, strengthened and realized. – Christian Mendelsohn, Executive Director of Loaves Fishes & Computers and supervisor of 2014 LEAD participant

  • 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

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

2016 Seminar Dates

Date Activity
December 11, 2015 Self-Assessment Due
January 4, 2016 Tuition Due
January 15, 2016 Homework begins for Opening Seminar
February 12, 2016 Opening Seminar – Friday
February 13, 2016 Opening Seminar – Saturday
March 11, 2016 Seminar
April 8, 2016 Seminar
May 13, 2016 Seminar
June 10, 2016 Seminar
July 8, 2016 Seminar
July 9, 2016 Seminar – Saturday
August 12, 2016 Seminar
September 9, 2016 Seminar
October 14, 2016 Seminar
November 11, 2016 Seminar
December 9, 2016 Graduation (tentative date)

Leadership Coaching

lead-details-2Work 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 2015

Thank you to our 2015 pro bono LEAD coaches:
Anne Auburn
Molly Doty
Jennifer Hanlon
Patti Hiramoto
Denise Kaku
Sarah Lightfoot
Tobi Marcus
Brooks McChesney
Lisette Miles
Diane Mouradian
Rebecca Perry
Christine Silver
Kelly Sorensen
Carol Tisson
Ron Wormser
Nicole Young



Deadline to Apply is October 15, 2015*

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 October 1, 2015

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 1, 2015 Early Bird Deadline (10% discount)
  • October 15, 2015 Final Deadline
  • October – November, 2015 – Interviews
  • Final decisions by Thanksgiving.

2016 Seminar Dates

Date Activity
December 11, 2015 Self-Assessment Due
January 4, 2016 Tuition Due
January 15, 2016 Homework begins for Opening Seminar
February 12, 2016 Opening Seminar – Friday
February 13, 2016 Opening Seminar – Saturday
March 11, 2016 Seminar
April 8, 2016 Seminar
May 13, 2016 Seminar
June 10, 2016 Seminar
July 8, 2016 Seminar
July 9, 2016 Seminar – Saturday
August 12, 2016 Seminar
September 9, 2016 Seminar
October 14, 2016 Seminar
November 11, 2016 Seminar
December 9, 2016 Graduation (tentative date)



LEAD Alumni and Participants

LEAD Graduates

2014 LEAD Graduates

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

  • Alex Amezcua, Interim, Inc.
  • Betsy Andersen, Museo Eduardo Carillo
  • Isabel Bjork, Mandell Gisnet Center for Conflict Management
  • Germaine Caldwell, YWCA Monterey County
  • Lisa Corpuz, Interim, Inc.
  • Paris De La Rosa, Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra
  • Ava Ferguson, Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Rochelle Fischer, Pinnacles Partnership
  • Vicki Fortino, United Way of San Benito
  • Philip M. Geiger, Legal Services for Seniors
  • Iris Diana Jehle-Peppard, Everyone’s Harvest
  • Vicente Lara, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
  • Emelia Leon, YWCA of Watsonville
  • Adriana Melgoza, Watsonville Law Center
  • Theresa Merendon, Salud Para La Gente
  • Mayra Perez, United Way Monterey County
  • Ana Rasmussen, Mesa Verde Gardens
  • Jodie Wells, Community Connection

Monterey County Nonprofits & Alumni

  • 2nd Chance Family and Youth Services (Laura Tinajero)
  • Ag Land Trust (Virginia Jameson)
  • Alisal Center for the Fine Arts (Willow Aray & Juan Carlos Gonzalez)
  • ARIEL Theatrical (Samantha Barnes)
  • 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)
  • 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 (Christina Barnes, Carmen Torres, Lara Stahl, Judith Gonzalez & Maritza Allen)
  • iResult, LLC (Niña Magsaysay Rosete)
  • The Literacy Campaign for Monterey County (M. Crystal Macias-Diaz)
  • Loaves Fishes & Computers, Inc. (Elizabeth Panetta)
  • Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley, Inc. (Claudia Aguilera)
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium (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 (Marciano Huerta & Eddie Hathcock)
  • Turning Point of Central California (Pearl Sanchez)
  • United Way Monterey County (Kate Mitchell Mehle)
  • Volunteer Center (Gilda Estrada)
  • Youth Music Monterey County (Vanisha Evans Douvon)

San Benito County Nonprofits & Alumni

  • CASA of San Benito County (Esther Curtice)
  • Chamberlain’s Children Center, Inc. (Krystal Jones, Gracie Lucatero & Patrick Ellis)
  • Community Vision San Benito Co. (Colleen Johnson)
  • Emmaus House (Mary Lou Coffelt)
  • Hollister Youth Alliance (Zenedith Espinoza)

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 (Salina Nevarez & Uriel Mendoza)
  • Easter Seals Central California (Stephanie Flores & Stella Lauerman)
  • Encompass Community Services (Maria Sanchez & Leigh Guerrero)
  • Homeless Garden Project (Darrie Ganzhorn)
  • Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance, Inc. (Silvia Diaz)
  • Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (Lea Haratani)
  • Salud Para La Gente (Rosalba Contreras & Rachel Sandobal)
  • Save Our Shores (Ginaia Kelly)
  • The Watsonville Law Center (Monica Pereira & Henry Martin)
  • Watsonville Volunteer Center (Blanca Carrillo)
  • Watsonville Wetlands Watch (Jonathan Pilch)
  • Women’s Crisis Support – Defensa de Mujeres (Lucila Sanchez)

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