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The Third Cohort of the Nonprofit Leadership Academy Wrapped up with 13 La Porte County Leaders Receiving Certificate

Updated: May 7

The third cohort has completed the Nonprofit Leadership Academy, funded by Health Foundation of La Porte (HFL) through a partnership with the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.  


The Academy consisted of ten full-day classes, held at HFL’s Conference & Learning Center, from September 2023 through February 2024. Nineteen local nonprofit leaders participated in the Academy, and 13 received a certificate of completion from IU for attending all 10 sessions. 


All participants were invited to a celebration event on Friday, February 23, 2024, following the last course. HFL President and CEO Maria Fruth and Sara Johnson, Director of Executive Education at IU’s O’Neill School, each shared a word of congratulations to the entire cohort. Certificates were then presented to the graduates.  


The 2024 graduates who have earned a certificate of completion from Indiana University are:  


Erica Boyd, E Marie Project 

Jackie Dermody, Family Advocates 

Amanda Fowler, La Porte County Meals on Wheels 

Stacey Garcelon, Anam Cara 

Abby Hinch, Social and Learning Institute 

Bill Harmon, SHARE Foundation  

Steve Hobby, Paladin 

Harry Holtkamp, Nest Community Shelter 

Julia Kanestrom, Arts in the Park 

Erica Kanney, Health Foundation of La Porte  

Sally Riffer, Boys & Girls Clubs of La Porte County 

Tammy Rosebaum, Citizens Concerned for the Homeless

Emily Yiannias, La Porte County Symphony Orchestra 


“I am so grateful for the Health Foundation for connecting me with the incredible professors and curriculum at IU for their Nonprofit Leadership Academy. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes and networking that came from sharing a classroom with my La Porte County peers. I walked into the academy anxious to see if I was doing things correctly and walked out assured and with promising ideas for how to drive my organization forward,” shared Betsy Maher, Executive Director of Save the Dunes.    


Throughout the Academy, participants learned from practitioners and educators on a range of nonprofit topics, including  

  • Nonprofit Management for the 21st Century 

  • Strategic Planning and Nonprofit Leadership 

  • Planning for Fundraising Success 

  • Financial Analysis for Nonprofit Leaders 

  • Nonprofit Marketing & Communications 

  • Program Evaluation for Mission Success 


Additionally, Academy members shared ideas and struggles with one another, networked, and even joined forces on new projects. For example, because of a relationship formed during the Academy, SHARE Foundation is working to partner with both Nest Community Homeless Shelter and Dunebrook for upcoming activities for its villagers. All participants look forward to connecting in the future through monthly lunches and volunteer opportunities, as well.  


Before this cohort was formed, HFL hosted two previous sessions of the Academy. The first, in 2018, celebrated 15 graduates while the second, in 2019, saw 18 leaders graduate.  


Sally Riffer, Chief Operations Officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of La Porte County, stated, “This leadership experience has been one for the books! Not only was the information helpful and encouraging, the networking was outstanding. It is not very often that you can gather this high-quality knowledge in one room, but it happened! I am so grateful for the experience and opportunity given to me.”   

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