Executive Director Intensive


March 8, 2022

On February 8, 2022, 28 executive directors (ED) in the nonprofit sector completed this year’s Executive Director Intensive, powered by Chevron. The program supports nonprofit leaders in sharpening their skills in leadership, financial management, fundraising, and board relations. With the generous support from our partners at Chevron, the Greater New Orleans Foundation has held this popular cohort program since 2016. 

2022 EDI Cohort Participants Al Page, Kimberly Novod, and Melanie Richardson

The potential to thrive as a new Executive Director is essential to the overall growth of an organization. Dasjon Jordan recently became the Executive Director of Broad Community Connections and believes that this program was pivotal to his growth as an ED. He shares, “Being an executive director is a very unique, trailblazing, and often lonely experience in the nonprofit world. But the amazing training, comradery, and real-time application provided by the Foundation’s ED intensive offered our cohort a glimpse into how our nonprofit ecosystem could center wellness, social justice, and community by investing in our local collective leadership capacity.”

The Executive Director Intensive program has been generously supported by by our partners at Chevron since the program’s inception. “By partnering with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Chevron is working to grow the capability of local nonprofits,” said Leah Brown, Public Affairs Manager for Chevron Gulf of Mexico. “The participants who graduated from the program work tirelessly to better our community each day. We’re proud to support them in their regional efforts, and proud to support the Foundation in its mission to create a thriving community for all.”


2022 EDI Cohort Member Dasjon Jordan and one of EDI trainers Marla Cornelius
2022 EDI Cohort Members Tai Teamer and Chad Sanders

In any nonprofit setting, making the right connections can help organizations grow. After four months of virtual learning sessions, this year’s cohort was finally able to meet in-person at the culminating session. Plans have been made for the participating EDs to remain connected in the future through affinity groups organized and hosted by our Nonprofit Leadership and Effectiveness team. Steffany Alecon, Executive Director of Youth Run NOLA, emphasized the importance of connections: “The Executive Director Intensive was great for many reasons. It taught me how to better communicate with my board, manage our finances, and become a better supervisor. But the best thing this program gave me was a community. Being a new Executive Director can be lonely, but by being part of this program, I was able to meet amazing nonprofit leaders throughout the city who are doing their part for a better New Orleans. I am grateful to have these connections and new relationships.”

Steffany Alecon, Executive Director of Youth Run NOLA and 2022 Executive Director Intensive Participant

This class of Executive Directors is one of the most diverse – regionally and racially – that the Foundation has seen. Half of this year’s cohort are people of color and the group represented Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Terrebonne Parishes. 

“As a relatively new ED, I completed the Executive Director Intensive program feeling more knowledgeable, more connected and supported, and better prepared to tackle the challenges that we executive directors take on,” said Terri Gage, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West. “For me, highlights included the quality of the content and seeing the diversity of nonprofit leaders and the communities they serve. From us here on the Northshore to the Southshore and the Bayou, it was invaluable to connect with so many like-minded people who can reach out to one another long after the program has concluded.”

The group, pictured below, was able to join Chevron representative Caitlin Hunter and Greater New Orleans Foundation President and CEO Andy Kopplin and Vice President for Programs Kellie Chavez Greene at the final session. 

2022 Chevron x Greater New Orleans Foundation Executive Director Intensive Cohort

Al Page – ISLA Kenneth Hoffman – Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience
Caroline Durham – St. Charles Center for Faith + Action Kimberly Novod – Saul’s Light
Chad Sanders – First 72+ Leah Sarris – NOCHI
Dasjon Jordan – Broad Community Connections Lowery Crews – The 18th Ward Sports Club
Dionne Graham – East St. Tammany Rainbow Child Care Center, Inc. Meaghan McCormack – St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation
Donna Paramore – Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans Melanie Richardson – Training Grounds
Erin Wheeler – College Beyond Nellie Catzen – Committee for Better New Orleans
Gaynell Brady – Lower Ninth Ward Homeownership Association Nicole Shure – St. Tammany Hospital Foundation
Ge’ron Tatum – Teach For America Steffany Alecon – Youth Run NOLA
J. Celeste Kee – New Orleans Arts Education Alliance Tai Teamer – The Beautiful Foundation
Jamie Hornberger – Community Center of St. Bernard Terri Gage – Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West
Jasmine Brown – The Green Project Todd Wackerman – STEM Library Lab
Jason Serrano – Bayou Country Animal Foundation Vannessa Spinazola – Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana
Julie Olsen – Plaquemines Community C.A.R.E. Centers Foundation, Inc. Victoria Bourque – Restore or Retreat