From Homelessness to Home Ownership – Karen Marsdale’s Mission at Hannah’s Hope

Next Gen Nonprofit Leadership Podcast - Karen Marsdale

“I’ve learned the hard way.  When I rush the hiring process and hire a B-level candidate because I was impatient and wouldn’t wait for the A-level candidate, typically, down the road, we have a parting of ways.” -Karen Marsdale

[00:00:00] Karen Marsdale: I might be a little bit averse to risks, but because I learned so early on by being really naive and thinking that my husband and I could run a business that really needed a lot more cash flow and ready cash that we just didn’t have.

[00:00:13] Karen Marsdale: But because I failed and from that failure, we created success. And when I say success, we were able to get back on track and work hard and buy a house and send our kids to college. And, that early failure made me feel that if I could do that and come back from it, I’m not really afraid to fail.

[00:00:38] Tommy Thomas: This week, we’re resuming the conversation we started last week with Karen Marsdale, the co-director of Hannah’s Hope in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Hannah’s Hope is dedicated to helping women with children who are facing homelessness in Berks County. The primary focus is on women, who despite their current situation, sheltered potential and determination to rebuild their lives. Karen will also explain how she and her co-director have split senior leadership duties to play to their individual strengths. While this sometimes leads to complications, it’s working wonderfully at Hannah’s Hope. Let’s pick up where we left off last week.

[00:01:25] Tommy Thomas: Give us a thumbnail sketch of Hannah’s Hope and the trust that y’all have there in Berks County.

[00:01:31] Karen Marsdale: Okay, so I’m just going to give a little bit of an educational piece here for about two minutes in the world of homelessness. And we see it of course now. It’s front and center everywhere we go in terms of, media or, in seeing people on the street. There’s a continuum of homelessness.

[00:01:51] Karen Marsdale: And we teach people all the time that when you see one homeless person, there are people in the continuum that are chronically homeless. Those might be people who are addicted and they don’t want to give up their addiction. They’re going to be on the street. They’re going to be in tent camps.

[00:02:06] Karen Marsdale: They’re not going to be moved into the next .They’re not somebody who has had one thing happen. And now they have become homeless. Then you have people who are homeless because of an incident or something that’s happened in their life and they need a certain amount of care.

[00:02:23] Karen Marsdale: What we do at Hannah’s is very focused on women with children who are in that place where they have abilities. And we have a very robust application process, three interviews. One of the interviews usually encompasses our trauma therapist, because she’s getting from the where is this person in their mental health?

[00:02:48] Karen Marsdale: How do we check their mental health? We look at where they’ve been in terms of, have they ever had a job? So women that come to us and I say this, and it might sound a bit on feeling, but we’re looking for women who you would say would be the advanced placement or the A+ women who find themselves in a homeless situation who really have the ability, the grit.

[00:03:12] Karen Marsdale: And again, when I say ability, it’s not just the want to, but do they have the ability to learn skills that can help them to get a a job or go to classes that they can get training, some sort of basic training so that they can get a living wage job. So our goal is to take women for 12 to 18 months, teach them life skills.

[00:03:35] Karen Marsdale: Business skills, all the skills that they need. It can be things like even how to clean, how to cook. Essentially they might not have some of these skills, but they have some of them and they’ve not learned all of them. But we want to get them to a place ultimately where they can live independently for the rest of their lives with their children without necessarily having a mate. And one of the biggest problems that we see, particularly with women with children, and this is why there’s domestic violence and abuse, is the fact that they’ve never had the background, or they’ve never had the family environment where they’ve been loved, nurtured, and cared for.

[00:04:24] Karen Marsdale: So they’re always looking for love, as the saying goes, in all the wrong places. And it really, in the world of trauma, is called a trauma bond. So when people say, why does she keep going back to a domestic issue? It’s because that’s a bond she has, and to some degree, a woman feels comfortable there.

[00:04:42] Karen Marsdale: And she very well could have seen her mother, her grandmother. It is now generational, probably three generations of homelessness. And when I say homelessness, it’s, it could be, I’m living with an aunt. I’m living with somebody who acts as a relative in the Hispanic community, especially which we deal with a great deal of, there’s always these extended family people who are not really relatives.

[00:05:07] Karen Marsdale: So I’m living on my aunt’s couch. I’m living with my cousin. That is homelessness. So they may have been living that way, all their lives with a parent. So we’re very selective. If a woman has an addiction issue, we are not a facility to be able to help them with that.

[00:05:28] Karen Marsdale: We try to guide them to the right places in our community, but we have a very narrow band of what we’re looking for in Hannah’s Hope, because we really want you to be a success, and we’re looking for those who can be successful. So it’s vetting. It’s a vetting process. I like to say, and when I talk briefly about this, I’ll say, three women in the past 12 months have bought their own homes.

[00:05:52] Karen Marsdale: And these are women who would say, I never thought I could even own a car. Or even get a license. Our program is, like I said, it’s very robust. They have to be in programming four nights a week, in other words, classes, budgeting, parenting, trauma therapy, Bible study, and spiritual growth.

[00:06:16] Karen Marsdale: And then there’s always things going on beyond that. They have responsibilities like cooking for the house. So that could be up to 18 to 20 people that they’re cooking for a couple times a month. Taking turns, they have to clean, they have to clean the entire home, which is two levels.

[00:06:32] Karen Marsdale: It’s not easy. And then they have to go to work and then they have to be in class and their children are in classes. We feel that one of the problems in the whole shelter movement that has happened is sometimes it’s been more about the women than the children.

[00:06:50] Karen Marsdale: So children are just drug along and they’re in as much trauma as the parent. So we help the children if they need extra services through school or through some of the resources in the community. We just had a little guy who came in who was nonverbal. He is now getting extra help.

[00:07:07] Karen Marsdale: We found out he was actually tongue tied, literally. So he has to have the tongue snipped to be able to really speak. And he’s doing fabulously. But I would say in most shelters, he would just be sitting in the room, maybe going to get daycare or whatever, but he wouldn’t have a case manager, at his age.

[00:07:27] Karen Marsdale: So we try to, because every child that comes to us is always below what they should be in terms of their age range. So they’re navigating and learning at a much lower level than they should be. And that’s just because they’ve been homeless and drugged from one couch to another for their lifetime.

[00:07:46] Tommy Thomas: In your current work and probably back at the chamber you had some experience in developing the next generation of leaders. Give me, from your perspective, give me some keys to bringing this next generation along.

[00:07:59] Karen Marsdale: That’s a good question. And, again there’s I think I, this was just intuitively who I was.

[00:08:08] Karen Marsdale: I want to give opportunity to folks, and particularly in the work I’ve done, it’s been primarily women, although I’ve had men who’ve worked under me. I want people to grow and to learn how to lead themselves, meaning I want to give them responsibility, according to what their skills are right now, and give them the opportunity to feel like they can make some of those decisions that they need to make to become a leader that I know they could be.

[00:08:45] Karen Marsdale: And if I hired somebody that wasn’t up to that kind of skill level, maybe they were great at doing another type of job. And I was always looking for those who probably didn’t know within themselves that they had the ability to do much more than they thought they could.

[00:09:02] Karen Marsdale: So I’m looking at what I always said. I don’t want you to come to me with a problem. I want you to identify a problem and then come to me with a solution. And then you will then exercise on that. And that problem will be solved because you solved it.

[00:09:22] Karen Marsdale: And then you could execute according to what you’ve uncovered and discovered.

[00:09:28] Karen Marsdale: Even if somebody fails, a few times of doing this and they come back and say I thought that this was the answer. You say let’s go back and relook at what went wrong in the process. And I just, I’m going to have to do this right.

[00:09:40] Karen Marsdale: Currently with a situation that I just found out about this morning. And I’m thinking in my mind of how I’m going to go to this individual and say, you jumped the gun on this and this is the outcome. And I had to step in and take care of it. But how could we have, how could you have done it differently next time?

[00:09:59] Karen Marsdale: And I always felt, and years later, people will say, to do it. You are such a mentor to me and I take that so that’s such a compliment. I take that with a lot of humility because, you have an expectation as a leader from whomever you’re reporting to. And so those behind you, you really have an expectation for them and if they don’t deliver, it’s on you, it’s not on them.

[00:10:23] Karen Marsdale: But I just think like that, that confidence that they have, that you have their back. You are loyal and especially, they’ve earned it, so you have to earn it, but it’s that loyalty, it’s that humility, it’s leading from behind, making sure they have the opportunity. I’ve had women go on to do much more complicated things and in larger companies than I did.

[00:10:49] Karen Marsdale: But they said, you were the one that gave me this feeling of confidence that I could do it.

[00:10:56] Karen Marsdale: Does that make sense?

[00:10:58] Tommy Thomas: It does. And it reminds me of an article I read on team building. And the writer said, identify your evangelist, those people in your obsession who love to work, work for them is not a job, but a source of excitement, reward them, give them a platform.

[00:11:13] Tommy Thomas: So you would resonate with that?

[00:11:16] Karen Marsdale: Absolutely. And you know what, is a leader born or do you make a leader? And I think it’s a bit of both. But someone has to come with an innate desire that work is a passion and they don’t watch the clock. And it’s not that you ever take advantage of people, but you’ll sense them.

[00:11:38] Karen Marsdale: You’ll sense who they are. You’re evangelists. And then you work with them. There’s nothing, there’s no greater reward or feeling to see those evangelists do really well.

[00:11:50] Tommy Thomas: Do you have a favorite interview question or an interview question that’s really worked to help you get below the surface?

[00:11:59] Karen Marsdale: When I get below the surface, I will ask somebody, why would you want to come to work here?

[00:12:04] Karen Marsdale: Is there something about this place? When we get into ministry work, I think it’s a little bit different because there is absolutely no denying that people have to come. Because this is a calling. It’s not a job, but they also have to have the skills. If you’re a case manager, you have to have those skills, but then you come because there’s something here.

[00:12:31] Karen Marsdale: And I’ve had people say that there is something here that is different from where I’ve worked in the secular world and at the chamber. I think, again, because we were so much part of the community and people knew us, saw us. Were involved with us, whether it be my company’s involved and I bond and they people I’d love to work at the chamber and I think oftentimes they would think it’s just, oh, you could just go to meetings and you meet with people and your network is let me tell you about the work that happens behind the screen.

[00:13:03] Karen Marsdale: There again, I would ask somebody, why would you, why do you really want to come here to work. And that answer is very important. Very important.

[00:13:14] Tommy Thomas: Let’s go to employee turnover for a minute. What have you done over time to reduce or mitigate employee turnover?

[00:13:23] Karen Marsdale: I’m going to say, and I feel very how can I say, I didn’t have a lot of employee turnover, either at the chamber.

[00:13:33] Karen Marsdale: We’re now at Hannah’s Hope and I’ve been at Hannah’s for about five to six years in this position of first interim director and now co-director. And I think it’s because I feel I have a pretty good ability to hire well. And when I’ve not, when I’ve had a, okay, we really have to have someone in this position.

[00:13:54] Karen Marsdale: I’ve not found my evangelist. I have not found my A player, but I’m going to hire B. It typically, down the road, it’s, we have to have a parting of the ways. And the turnover primarily, I will tell you in the chamber for me was because we were such a unique organization that people got so much exposure in the community, in the business, and even the nonprofit community that when someone came in and they started to develop and people would see who they were and what they were doing, people just picked them off.

[00:14:34] Karen Marsdale: And I had more, there were more times that I’d have somebody come into my office, particularly women, close the door and start to cry and say, Karen, I got this great offer from, and I’m like, that is wonderful. That is great. That’s what I want for you. Make sure they pay you what you’re worth, so that I think and at Hannah’s we’ve had very little turnover.

[00:14:54] Karen Marsdale: I’ve had to say goodbye to one individual, but I gave this person a lot of, I wanted to coach and mentor, and she didn’t want that. And we came to a place that just, it wasn’t going to work.

[00:15:08] Tommy Thomas: It’s been said that we learn a lot when we fail. And if that’s the case, why are most of us so afraid to fail?

[00:15:16] Karen Marsdale: I think it’s ego. I think it’s fear. I think it’s what will I ever do if I fail? And so that, therefore I think people don’t take risks. And I might be a little bit averse to risks, but because I learned so early on by being really naive and thinking that, my husband and I could run a business that really needed a lot more cash flow and ready cash that we just didn’t have.

[00:15:40] Karen Marsdale: But because I failed and from that failure, we created success. And when I say success, we were able to get back on track and work hard and buy a house and send our kids to college. And, that early failure made me feel that if I could do that and come back from it, I’m not really afraid to fail.

[00:16:04] Karen Marsdale: I really have really very little ego. The biggest challenge I will tell you, in my years of both in chamber work a little bit in corporate work, small business. And now in the world that I’m living in at Hannah’s is my almost fear of failure.

[00:16:23] Karen Marsdale: Because Hannah’s Hope, about six and a half, seven years ago was not in a good place financially. We knew what we were doing in terms of what our mission was, but we relied too much and this is so non profit, this can be the case.

[00:16:46] Karen Marsdale: Leaning on a few people financially and not worrying or not doing the work that you always have to do, which is knock on a thousand doors and ask a thousand people to help you do this work together, and so we weren’t very well known. We didn’t have a lot of income coming in on a routine basis, like monthly donors, etc.

[00:17:06] Karen Marsdale: And we had to start from scratch with that, and, my name is behind it, and I know a lot of people, so I will not fail. We cannot fail at this. And it’s a little bit challenging for me right now. I think I have a little bit of PTSD, and we’re doing very well and  we’ve got great outcomes.

[00:17:27] Karen Marsdale: We’d like to have a hundred percent, but we’re dealing with people and people in very critical places in life. So you’re not going to, not every woman is going to want to stick with this program and become and they want independence, but they don’t want to work hard enough for it.

[00:17:42] Karen Marsdale: But fear of failure is, I think the thing that has, it has led some people to not have, not do the things that they really, that God has given them the gifts to do. Because they’re just too comfortable.

[00:18:01] Tommy Thomas: If you were writing a book on the burdens of leadership that only the CEO can bear, what would be some of the chapters in your book?

[00:18:15] Karen Marsdale: I think the first would be and you’ve heard this, but it’s lonely at the top or how, what does it mean when the buck stops with you? What does that really mean? Do you want that? Or, like a whole chapter on when things happen, it rolls downhill and you’re going to have it.

[00:18:40] Karen Marsdale: I think another, and I, my mother always said to me, and it’s scriptural, like there’s nothing new under the sun. So when you look at things, you need to understand that a leader is one who can, how can you find your evangelist? And then how do you know when to get out of the way and let them lead?

[00:19:05] Karen Marsdale: I have seen more people because of ego and self importance. So this is really a lesson for a leader and a CEO. How do I make sure that I’m hiring people that could be smarter than me and be secure with that, be secure to hire better people than yourself. So those are a couple chapters that I would have.

[00:19:33] Tommy Thomas: You have the current role of current director at Hannah’s and I’ve seen that work before and and I’ve seen it not work. Sure. How are y’all doing it?

[00:19:44] Karen Marsdale: We just incorporated this model as of January. And I will tell you really, again a young woman was, everyone’s young to me.

[00:19:53] Karen Marsdale: So she’s in her forties. She’s primed to want, this is a passion of hers. She’s got a lot of skills that she probably didn’t even realize she had. And so really what I’m doing, Tommy, is we’ve fallen into this where she works. She works really in the clinical, I might say, like managing the case manager.

[00:20:15] Karen Marsdale: And again, we’re small. The org chart isn’t very deep. So I try to find myself being her mentor. And she’ll make a decision or she’ll make a suggestion or, and she’ll be, and it’ll be more in the clinical sort of the mom’s suggestion, like how are we managing this individual?

[00:20:36] Karen Marsdale: And every day, because we’re so deep with these families in every aspect of their lives, that things will come up that we have to discuss and make a decision on but I will let Mary, even if we disagree slightly, I’ll let her make that decision. And I’m trying to stay in the world of development, making connections.

[00:20:59] Karen Marsdale: Doing what I naturally did at the chamber. I just did all of that, but staying away from her area of having made decisions about them. When I say clinical, that’s talking about case management and what the area that is not my wheelhouse. Some of it you become to know, you come to know pieces because it’s just logical and intuitive with an application but we work very well together because ultimately, and this is where I think there’s a little bit of a difference between, in there’s another nonprofit in our area, which is quite large.

[00:21:34] Karen Marsdale: And they have co directors, and I actually met with the one gal, the one co director, a couple of months ago, and I was actually on some things that we were, I wanted to get clarity on what they were doing, because they sent a woman to us, and it was not a good ending. And so I said, Peggy, how does it work with you and your co director?

[00:21:53] Karen Marsdale: And she said they had an executive director for years, she and this other woman were doing parts of the in parts of the organization, which were very different parts. And she said when the executive director retired, the executive director came and said, I think you two would make great co directors because you work well together.

[00:22:12] Karen Marsdale: You both have your own areas of expertise and it’s worked well. And the one is most definitely the face of that organization. And that often happens too. And particularly in nonprofit work, and I’ve said this to our board when they would say your interim now, isn’t about time we get a director.

[00:22:31] Karen Marsdale: And I said, first of all, we’re faith based. I believe that God brings the fruit. God will bring the right person. I may not be able to find them. It’s not like that, I’m looking for an accountant and I’m in an accounting firm. When Mary came, it was a, God, this is the next executive director, or the next director, when I really can move into, or, again, I want her to be the director, and I think that, that is what we’re doing, we’re very open.

[00:23:00] Karen Marsdale: Mary, you’ll need to take the helm and run this organization. Whether I’m behind you doing some work for you or whether the Lord takes me home or whatever, it’s our plan. And this is our succession plan really.

[00:23:21] Karen Marsdale: And boy, you know what, it’s like when people don’t have a succession plan in a business, particularly small to midsize family owned businesses. So that’s why I look at the co director and we keep saying we’ve got to sit down. We’re running with scissors. But we’ve got to sit down and say, okay, this is really my area.

[00:23:39] Karen Marsdale: Karen’s area. This is Mary’s area, but we just intertwined so well. And she really feels and says, because people will come up and say, you’re very fortunate to have Karen as your, you know, mentor. And she knows it. And I’m not saying that. Please know I’m not bragging.

[00:23:56] Karen Marsdale: So does that make sense to you? It’s really a succession plan. But in order to have her seen in the community as my equal, I felt we needed co directorship titles.

[00:24:14] Tommy Thomas: It sounds like you got, yeah, your example and your friend’s example, you got two of them in the area that seemed to be working.

[00:24:21] Tommy Thomas: So that’s good news.

[00:24:24] Karen Marsdale: Yes, it doesn’t always work. And because honestly, and truly, I, very rarely would I ever say that I’ve seen the only time I’ve seen businesses where they won’t make a decision, particularly in family owned businesses where succession planning, and nobody wants to say, where my husband worked for a company like this, and actually our last governor of the state was, it was his family owned business, they could not make a decision on who would be president so they rotated two brothers and a brother in law.

[00:24:54] Karen Marsdale: That was a disaster and of course it would be. And so I would be more leery of that than I am. You know when it’s right. But most times it’s not up to say that.

[00:25:06] Tommy Thomas: Yeah. So you serve obviously at the chamber, you work with boards. You report to a board. Now you serve on several boards. How did your first nonprofit board come to pass? 

[00:25:15] Karen Marsdale: The first nonprofit board and because the chamber is nonprofit, I did a stint for about a year and a half as the interim president of the chamber because we had a CEO that left through marriage and a move and nobody was in place when this all happened. So the search committee took about a little over a year to find some of them.

[00:25:45] Karen Marsdale: So that was my first board, the chamber board.

[00:25:49] Karen Marsdale: It was pretty overwhelming. It was a good board. And the reality was the chamber was very well run. And the role of the board versus the role of the staff was very defined. So there was not an issue there.

[00:26:02] Karen Marsdale: So I think I sailed into a place where it was just, I needed to make sure that everything was being kept very much in alignment with what had been done well for so long. And I think it was really the first CEO that I worked for who really made that happen.

[00:26:24] Karen Marsdale: And working at the chamber, we also did a lot of work with nonprofits. We partnered on a lot of things with others like universities in the area who do nonprofit courses and our community foundation that does a lot with, how do you create a good board?

[00:26:38] Karen Marsdale: How do you manage? What’s the role of a board? So I had seen terrible situations. And seeing nonprofits dissolve, that’s probably the biggest issue. And especially today because people don’t want to volunteer. Going to paid boards is a whole different ball game, but too many nonprofits are not training their board of directors to know this is what you do. And this is what you don’t do. And the two should not be confused. With the chamber board, I was a little, I just was always just hyper vigilant when it came to, okay, what needs to be done, get that agenda and all the notes out on time, make sure that everything is everybody’s ready to report.

[00:27:35] Karen Marsdale: It was a couple million dollars in operating budget and so it was not complicated, but for me, I just stepped into the role. I wasn’t mentored into the role.

[00:27:51] Tommy Thomas: Yeah, give me, maybe give me some words and phrases that would describe a good board chair.

[00:27:57] Karen Marsdale: First of all they know that they are the major advocate for this organization.

[00:28:03] Karen Marsdale: They represent the organization to the public. They’re also in the role of being a board chair, you want every one of your board members to understand and make sure that they clearly understand. Their position, their role. And this is very hard.

[00:28:20] Karen Marsdale: It’s volunteers. Don’t like to tell other volunteers, when you pay somebody, you can tell them they’re not doing a good job and they better do it or else, there’s going to be consequences. It’s hard for a volunteer to tell another volunteer, but I think they have to have the ability to say, you know what, Joe, you’ve missed three meetings, do you feel like perhaps you don’t have enough time for this board?

[00:28:39] Karen Marsdale: Because this is not acceptable. So a good board, a good chairman of the board makes sure that the board is doing what a board does. You don’t do the job of the staff. You never call a staff person directly. You talk to the executive director or the director.

[00:29:02] Karen Marsdale: And a good board chair person always protects. And this is when things are running well and everybody’s really doing their job. You always protect your executive director, president whatever the lead person is in your organization. Now, I will tell you, Tommy, this is where we have not, the thing that we’re doing, and again, we’re a young organization, Hannah’s Hope.

[00:29:26] Karen Marsdale: We are constantly looking for, I would say, more qualified people on our board. And I actually act as the board president too, which really is not the best scenario. So I’m always cognizant of making sure that our board, which is only seven people, is very much aware of everything that I’m doing.

[00:30:10] Karen Marsdale: I want to make sure that they’re aware of everything that we’re doing and so that they can feel very comfortable that they don’t have to get involved. And it’s really, it’s an art and a skill to create a really good working board.

[00:30:29] Karen Marsdale: And there’s a difference between the working board and an advisory board. And some of our folks think they’re just advising. And so I’ve had to very diplomatically say we’re going to expect some action on your part when it comes to, say an event or something of that nature, or fundraising, and every board member should be able to make an ask for your organization and not say I don’t know anybody.

[00:30:58] Tommy Thomas: So let’s bring this thing to a close. I got 2, 3, 4, shorter questions. Maybe. What’s the best compliment anybody’s ever paid you?

[00:31:10] Karen Marsdale: I think the compliment I’ve been paid from an individual was I am just so grateful that you stepped in to Hannah’s Hope and turned the ship around.

[00:31:29] Tommy Thomas: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

[00:31:34] Karen Marsdale: There was a man who ran a steel company here. They had probably about 5,000 employees. And one time, this is just so simple, but it’s so true. And he said, you get in trouble for what you say. Not for what you don’t say. And that might just sound very basic. But when you think about people will say things, and if you move that down the path, sometimes it can be very, you don’t mean to do it, but you’re gossiping, you’re throwing someone under the bus.

[00:32:09] Karen Marsdale: This man happened to be a believer and he was just so well respected in our community. But he was speaking at the chamber. He said, I learned a long time ago, you get in trouble for what you say and not for what you don’t say.

[00:32:21] Karen Marsdale: So if you think it’s not worth saying, if you think I shouldn’t say this, don’t say it. And that’s easy, it can be a big part of life.

[00:32:33] Tommy Thomas: If you could go back in time and tell a younger version of yourself one thing, what would you say?

[00:32:40] Karen Marsdale: I guess I would say have confidence in yourself.

[00:32:44] Karen Marsdale: You’re going to be something that you never thought you were going to be, or could be. And, so there again, it goes back to the fear of failure. And never giving up.

[00:32:58] Tommy Thomas: Thank you for joining us today. If you are a first-time listener, I hope you will subscribe and become a regular. You can find links to all the episodes at our website

If there are topics you’d like for me to explore, my email address is [email protected].  Word of mouth has been identified as the most valuable form of marketing. Surveys tell us that consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising.

If you’ve heard something today that’s worth passing on, please share it with others. You’re already helping me make something special for the next generation of nonprofit leaders. I’ll be back next week with a new episode. Until then, stay the course on our journey to help make the nonprofit sector more effective and sustainable.

“An effective Board Chair ensures that the Board stays focused on its designated responsibilities, without encroaching on the responsibilities reserved for the staff.” -Karen Marsdale

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