Executive Leadership Institute for VPs

Executive Leadership Institute for VPs
The 2018 cohort (and spouses) unwinding on a Napa Valley wine tour after their third ELI meeting.
We created the Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) for community foundation leaders in response to growing recognition in the field that the practice of community leadership requires specific skills and strategies.

As communities across the country face increasing challenges and competing needs, community foundations are stepping up, leveraging their many assets to work with residents and partners across sectors to tackle tough issues. 

ELI is a year-long learning opportunity that focuses exclusively on community leadership for community foundation VPs. Over the year, ELI cohorts meet three times for two-day small group meetings which includes time for structured peer advising – always a big hit with our participants! 


“This has been the most on-target, impactful professional development experience of my career. CFLeads continues to challenge me and my foundation to step up our game for bigger community impact.”
Chris BargeVice President of Strategic Initiatives, The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County

ELI creates the space for VPs to learn from their peers while working towards their own community leadership goals. This program is a great fit for any community foundation leaders who are:

  • Looking to step up their game and deepen their foundation’s impact
  • Seeking information on the practices that have shown promise elsewhere
  • Interested in exchanging ideas with their peers and getting advice from colleagues who understand their challenges

We also offer ELI for community foundation CEOs. Separate cohorts are created for community foundation VPs and for CEOs to create an intimate peer-to-peer environment.


“I came to every meeting eager to hear about the progress of my peers and grateful to share the steps in my journey.”
Isaiah M. OliverPresident and CEO (participant in former role as Vice President of Community Impact), Community Foundation of Greater Flint

2019 – 2020 Cohort

Our current ELI for VPs cohort includes:

  • Jackie Hanton, Community Foundation of St. Clair County
  • Kelley Barnes, Oklahoma City Community Foundation
  • Dr. Leila DeAndrade, Maine Community Foundation
  • Sarah Grunewald, Delaware Community Foundation
  • Sue Peters, Community Foundation of Greater Flint
  • Patricia Mejia, San Antonio Area Foundation
  • Laura Simmelink, Community Foundation of Collier County

The cohort is supported by ELI for VPs alumni and special advisors Isaiah Oliver, Community Foundation of Greater Flint and Rose Bradshaw, North Texas Community Foundation. Visit our Events Calendar to find upcoming ELI for VPs meetings.

View our previous ELI for VPs cohorts by visiting the page below.

ELI for VPs Alumni

Previous cohorts of the Executive Learning Institute for VPs.