Taking It From The Top: Diverse Cohort Completes Area Foundation Executive Leadership Program

By Cecilia Martinez

SAN ANTONIO — Congratulations to this year’s slate of local CEOs and senior-level managers for completing this year’s HOLT Advanced Leadership Program! 

This year’s 28-member cohort was the largest and most diverse group in the program’s five-year run. Participants completed assessments to identify their behavioral styles, understand how they manage conflict and get feedback from supervisors and peers around their emotional intelligence.

The exclusive 2021 HOLT Advanced Leadership Program was designed for nonprofit CEOs – established or new – as well as for senior-level leaders poised for executive leadership. It was created in 2016 through a partnership between the Area Foundation and HOLT CAT.

Guy Clumpier

“I’m proud to note that our fifth year of partnering with the San Antonio Area Foundation has produced one of the most impactful nonprofit leadership cohorts we’ve had the pleasure to work and learn with,” said Guy Clumpner, President of HOLT Development Services, Inc. 

One program participant expressed great indebtedness after completing the course.

“The tremendous experience gained from this Advanced Leadership Program, along with your guidance and expertise, has been simply life changing. I’m beyond grateful to know and learn from you,” noted Rachel Trevino, Head of Communications and Marketing at McNay Art Museum.

Another participant that completed the program, Curtis Lindesay – retired Lieutenant Colonel with 28 years of service in the U.S. Army and the President and Executive Director of the Cibolo Enrichment Foundation – described it as a “safe space” where participants could share and learn from each other.

“The connection that our class made during this experience empowered all of us to be stronger and better leaders. While being in a leadership position is sometimes lonely, this cohort found a ‘safe space’ to share without being judged,” said Lindesay. “That’s what made the difference in this program. The relationships we have created will last longer than the course ever will. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to evolve as a leader.”

One other participant appreciated the real-life impact of the material she learned, foreseeing being able to implement improvements at her organization.

“Participating in the HOLT Advanced Leadership Program helped bring my vision for promoting an inclusive and relationship-focused nonprofit into focus,” said Lauren Geraghty, Chief Strategy Officer at Communities In Schools San Antonio. “The arc of the curriculum provided me with frameworks, strategies, and approaches that I immediately translated into practice, ultimately benefiting not just myself, but my team and agency.”

The Area Foundation couldn’t be any prouder of this year’s HOLT Advanced Leadership Program cohort and we wish them the best of luck in their careers. You can meet the program graduates by clicking here. The program is now into its fifth year and has trained over 200 nonprofit leaders.

Sandie Palomo Gonzalez
Sandie Palomo-Gonzalez

“We are deeply grateful to our friends at HOLT CAT for supporting this program that introduces local leaders to their Values-Based Leadership™ model and other leadership concepts,” said Sandie Palomo-Gonzalez, Ph.D., Manager with the Area Foundation’s Learning & Development Department. “This leadership program focuses on strengthening our greatest resource, ourselves. At the close of the program, participants verbally committed to continue to grow as leaders.”

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Cecilia Martinez is the Communications Specialist with the Area Foundation’s Marketing and Communications Department.