Continuing Education

NPM: What You Need to Know from a Top Executive Director Panel

Chris Cable, Sarada Leavenworth,
Liz Mora, and Vaughn Morris 
     Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
     October 29
          $  59 single class
          $354 8-class Series
           (Two classes free!)

This panel of dynamic local Executive Directors will give you insights into what it takes to run a nonprofit. They will share how they became an E.D., what career path they chose to work in nonprofits, what drives their passion, and what keeps them engaged in the challenging pressures they face. Current challenges and wisdom from their long-term perspectives will be discussed, and how to keep a life-work balance—in a position that can easily become 24/7—will be emphasized. There will be optimal time for questions and answers once the presenters offer an overview of their unique and strong recommendations for nonprofit aficionados, from staff to board members.

Chris Cable serves as Executive Director of the Powerhouse Science Center (formerly the Durango Discovery Museum) and is widely respected in the science center industry as an innovator, particularly in science outreach programming. Chris previously served as CEO of the Mobius Science Center in Spokane, Washington; as Executive Director of The Imaginarium, an interactive science center in Anchorage, Alaska; and managed other municipal and non-profit organizations. Chris has been successful at securing large federal and foundation grants, having served as Principal Investigator on three National Institutes of Health grants and two Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants, where he developed science outreach programs for underserved, underrepresented, and largely indigenous populations. Chris has two sons and two granddaughters and is a graduate of Idaho State University (B.S. Biology). Chris says he’s excited about joining the Durango Discovery Center team and especially about the opportunity to expand its hands-on learning environment for Durango and the Four Corners region. He joined the Durango Discovery Museum in August 2012.

Sarada Leavenworth
is the Division Director for Volunteers of America, providing five distinct programs in Southwest Colorado, including the Southwest Safehouse, Durango Community Shelter, Back Home Program for Veterans, GPD Transitional Housing Program for Veterans, and service coordination for seniors at Cedar View Apartments. Sarada has served in the Director capacity for five years, prior to which she managed the Durango Community Shelter since 2006. As Director, Sarada and her team have doubled the size and service capacity of the Division, as well as adding Veteran services where none existed prior. Sarada oversees a staff of 31 employees and a budget of a little over $1 million. Over the past eight years Sarada has served on two Boards, including the United Way of Southwest Colorado Board of Directors (2011 – 2013), and the Axis Health System Board of Directors (currently). Sarada adores the Southwest Colorado region, and the exceptional community we all share.

Liz Mora is the Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Center. She joined the Center in February 2007 to support the development and implementation of programs and events as well as Resource and Referral. She was promoted to Executive Director in July of 2009. Liz has a strong background in grant writing and project management, and is a former assistant director of Housing Solutions for the Southwest where she worked with a client base similar to that of WRC. She also worked for the Southwest Conservation Corps (formerly the Southwest Youth Corps). Her most recent work was in the private sector working for Verint. Mora holds a B.A. in social services from Fort Lewis College.

Vaughn Morris
is the Chief Professional Officer (CPO) of the Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County. He has been in the nonprofit field since 1997 and has served in a variety of roles and professional capacities during that time. He has been the Executive Director for two start-up organizations and also served as a Social Recreation Director, Athletic Director, Program Director, and Area Director. Vaughn’s experience working in small, start-up organizations in rural communities as well as large, multi-million dollar organizations in urban communities, has given him the ability to recognize the similarities and differences of both. He has served on a variety of nonprofit boards and brings a unique perspective to the trials, tribulations, and opportunities that exist in the nonprofit arena.

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