, Salem, MA


March 17, 2014

Column: Good leadership doesn't just happen


These attributes of effective leadership require patience, networking and a lot of input. And though there are a number of good leadership training programs accessible online or across the country, there’s one more thing Essex County can add to its list of distinctions: the Institute for Trustees.

Each year for the past five years, the Essex County Community Foundation has sponsored the Institute for Trustees, a one-day conference that addresses tough issues in practical workshops and helpful presentations. Over 400 board members and executive directors from nonprofits gather to share their experiences and learn from one another.

With a keynote presentation from Billy Starr, founder of the Pan-Mass Challenge, this year’s Institute for Trustees will be held Saturday at Pingree School in South Hamilton. It’ll include workshops on what the best boards do to ensure exceptional governance, how to manage finances in ways that inspire donors’ trust, and how to measure charitable work’s impact.

The ECCF takes seriously its task of developing leadership skills and strategies for those who work so hard to improve the quality of life for the 750,000 people of Essex County. There’s no substitute for learning from others who live nearby, who understand the dynamics of a local organization. The Institute for Trustees is another regional first, because the people here have made service to others a priority.


Dave Welbourn is CEO and executive director of the Essex County Community Foundation. For information on ECCF or the Institute for Trustees, visit or follow on Twitter @ECCFGives.

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