D7: Strategies to Engage Nonprofit Leaders in Design and Implementation
Wed Mar 14 2012, 11:00am–12:30pm, Cascade C (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Lee Draper, Draper Consulting Group
Session Description
Efforts to incorporate community stakeholders in a grantmakers’ work are rare. However, nonprofit leaders and board chairs can be strong assets in the design and implementation of grantmaker programs and initiatives, making our work more effective and impactful. Their participation can provide valuable professional development for individuals and positively impact their organizations and communities.
In this session, you will learn about a model that enables nonprofit directors and board chairs to play a meaningful role in program design, mentoring nonprofit leaders, advising grantmakers and facilitating training sessions. Participants will discuss engagement methods, online tools and how to trouble-shoot the common concerns around involving nonprofit leaders in the development of grantmaker programs.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
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Sylia Obagi, Annenberg Foundation
Title:
Director of Operations
Speaker Biography:
Sylia Obagi serves as the director of operations for the Annenberg Foundation, one of the largest family foundations in the US. With assets of $1.7billion, the Foundation distributes approximately $80million in grants annually. Obagi’s responsibilities include leading responsive grantmaking and capacity building initiatives and overseeing the Foundation’s day-to-day operations. She was the principle architect of Alchemy, the Foundation’s capacity building program serving 200 nonprofit organizations annually. She also leads Alchemy “Gold” a collaborative that engages 17 funders committed to increasing nonprofit capacity throughout Los Angeles County.

Prior to joining the Annenberg Foundation, Obagi served as vice president of the Community College Foundation serving 50 community colleges across the state of California. For five years, she worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen. Obagi serves on the Southern California Grantmakers board of directors. She earned her master's of business administration from UCLA’s Anderson School and bachelor's from CSU Northridge.
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Thyonne Gordon, CoachArt
Title:
Executive Director
Speaker Biography:
Thyonne Gordon is an accomplished professional with a background in human and organizational development who has worked for over two decades bringing innovative and productive transitional programs to nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Gordon currently serves as the executive director at CoachArt, providing "living wishes" to chronically ill youth. CoachArt challenges professionals to mentor chronically ill children and their siblings in the arts and athletics. Gordon consults nationally in nonprofit management working with a variety of organizations including the HollyRod Foundation and Coalition for At-Risk Youth. Acknowledged with awards and accolades for her work with youth, Gordon promotes the idea that individuals and organizations should "bloom where you're planted." When she is not working to change lives for the better, she focuses on her passions of writing short stories and producing events.

Gordon serves on the board of directors of Pacific Graduate Institute, Reach Back LA and Project MuszEd.
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Diane Brigham, Ryman Arts
Title:
Executive Director
Speaker Biography:
Diane Brigham has over thirty years experience in art education, beginning her career as a public school art teacher. Since 2002, Brigham has served as executive director of Ryman Arts where she has raised its profile as the leading training program for teen artists, strengthened the organization’s fundraising capacity and recently launched The Big Draw LA, a regional initiative to celebrate the value of drawing with over 60 public activities. Previously, Brigham was head of education at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Prior to moving to California, she was assistant curator of Education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Brigham has served on the board of directors of National Art Education Association and Museum Educators of Southern California. She earned her master's of education and bachelor's of science from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and has completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Leaders in the Arts.
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Michelle Torgerson, Draper Consulting Group
Title:
Vice President
Speaker Biography:
Michelle M. Torgerson has broad experience as a funder, nonprofit leader and consultant. She currently serves a wide range of grantmakers and nonprofit organizations as the vice president at Draper Consulting Group, providing capacity building services including program design, strategic planning, fundraising and board development.

Previously, Torgerson served at Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Center for Venture Philanthropy providing technical assistance to Raising A Reader national affiliates and expanding the social enterprise. Her career began in St. Paul creating Admission Possible, a college access organization, now scaling across the country. Torgerson is on the board of directors at College Access Plan, chairs EPIP-LA and Terry McAdams Book Award committees and serves on numerous proposal review boards. In 2011, she was named Los Angeles’ Emerging Leader in Philanthropy by the EPIP-LA chapter.

She earned her master's of public administration from Baruch College as a National Urban Fellow and her bachelor's of science from Arizona State University.
Session Materials
  • Engage for Impact! (File; 5.63 MB)
    Creating Successful Strategies to Involve Nonprofit Leaders in the Design & Implementation of Grantmaker Programs