Optimizing Your Board: Moving to Change Leadership and Greater Generativity 
The 2019 Alliance Executive Leadership Conference will provide a safe place for chief executives to delve into change leadership, with a focus on the critical role of governance. Chief executives wanting to keep up with the pace of change, navigate disruption, and seize opportunities in our sector must be agile, innovative, and results driven. And your board can be a great asset to achieve your long-term goals and vision. 

Accelerate the knowledge and resources necessary to take the next step with your board, moving out of operations, beyond strategy, and into the space of generativity. Whether a new or seasoned executive, you will leave better prepared and inspired to cultivate a real partnership with your board. This unique event will allow participating executives to have the candid discussions that can be so valuable, yet so rare in everyday life.


Head Honcho: How to Survive—and Enjoy—the Loneliest Job on the Planet
There’s no question about it. The role of the chief executive is a tough, stressful, and very lonely balancing act. There’s the staff that needs monitoring, the board that needs managing, the money that needs finding and the many, many people who consider themselves to be the top priority. Through it all, you must have the savvy, grace, and stomach to keep it under control—and smile. This is what makes the job so hard. What makes it so lonely is the fact that you can’t really talk about how hard it is. Because the only one in your organization who gets it … is you.

But we can talk about it here. Deirdre Maloney, a former executive director herself, will facilitate this highly interactive session, where you will discover creative ideas to stay effective, forward-thinking and—yes—happy, all while managing a set of challenges that others can’t possibly understand.

Facilitator: Deirdre Maloney, president, Momentum LLC

Governing for the Future: From Tweaks to Transformation
In today’s rapidly changing market, how organizations create, deliver, and capture value must be reimagined. Leaders must be good at pedaling the bicycle of today’s business model while simultaneously exploring new ones. Governing for the future requires organizations to make transformation safer and easier to manage. The biggest barriers to transformation are humans and our institutions—both stubbornly resistant to change—impeding our ability to explore new ways to network people, resources, and capabilities to change the value equation and increase our community impact. Boards need to transform too, better balancing oversight and support of today’s operational objectives and the generative governance required to enable transformation.

  • Tweaks to Transformation (45 minutes) 
  • Table Discussion: What does transformation mean for your board? (30 minutes) 
  • Group Report Out: Implications for the Future of Governance (15 minutes) 

Facilitator: Business Innovation Factory

CEO & Board Relationship: Sharing the Transformation Story
Every organization has a story to tell. Learning how to share your transformation story with board members will invite them into a conversation in ways that engender empathy, participation, and co-creation. Sharing the story with your board builds a strong and impactful relationship together and helps them understand the implications on governance in the future. Storytelling is a strategic imperative and you will practice building this muscle with your peers.

  • The Strategic Imperative of Storytelling (20 minutes) 
  • Table Activity: Share your Transformation Story with the Table, “Your Board” (40 minutes) 
  • Group Report Out: Examples and Insights from Colleagues (30 minutes) 

Facilitator: Business Innovation Factory

Leading for Transformation: Build-a-Board
As organizations transform themselves, boards must transform too. Let’s get to work and build a board. What does governing for the future look like? What will an ideal board structure look like, and how will it best support and govern an organization committed to transformation? How big will it be? Who will be on it? What competencies and experience should board members bring? How will board meetings be different? How will board committee work and ongoing support be different? What steps will we take to transform our board? How will we measure progress toward governing for the future? 

  • Governing for the Future: Build-a-Board (20 minutes) 
  • Table Activity: Develop an ideal governance model for the future (40 minutes)
  • Group Report Out: Build-A-Board (30 minutes) 

Facilitator: Business Innovation Factory

Frank—and at Times Humorous—Discussion: What’s Keeping You Up at Night  
Sparked by real examples of executive challenges, this open forum session will allow for idea sharing and insight among some of today’s greatest sector leaders.

Facilitator: Don Goughler, executive in residence, the Forbes Funds

Why We Do What We Do
This closing panel will be comprised of Alliance network chief executives and special guests from their communities. To begin the session, the chief executives will speak briefly about their own transformation journey, highlighting the challenges, motivation, and breakthroughs they encountered along the way. After they have shared their personal stories, they will ask people from their communities to share how their organizations have made a real difference in their lives. This session is designed to remind participants why we do what we do, the immenseness of the challenge, the imperative for transformation, and the amazing rewards through the difference we make for people and community.


  • Margaret Holland McDuff, CEO, Family Service of Rhode Island
  • Martin M. Sinnott, president & CEO, Child & Family Services of Newport County
  • Invited guests

Facilitator: Don Goughler, executive in residence, the Forbes Funds



Headshot of Saul KaplanSaul Kaplan 
Founder and Chief Catalyst 
Business Innovation Factory 

Saul Kaplan is the founder and chief catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) and author of The Business Model Innovation Factory: How to Stay Relevant when the World Is Changing. Kaplan started BIF in 2005 with a mission to enable business model innovation. BIF makes transformational change safer and easier to manage for institutional leaders by helping them explore, test, and commercialize next practices and new business models. 

Prior to BIF, Kaplan served as the executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and as the executive counselor to the governor on economic and community development. Prior to his state leadership role, Kaplan served as a senior strategy partner in Accenture’s Health & Life-Science practice and worked broadly throughout the pharmaceutical, medical products, and biotechnology industry. Kaplan also spent eight years working for the pharmaceutical division of Eli Lilly and Company. As a marketing plans manager, Kaplan assisted in developing the launch strategy and successful introduction of Prozac into the U.S. market. 

Kaplan shares his innovation musings on Twitter (@skap5) and on Medium (@skap5). Kaplan holds a master’s in business administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute focusing on the strategic management of technology and a bachelor’s in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island. 

Headshot of Tori DrewTori Drew 
Business Innovation Factory 

Tori Drew is COO of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), overseeing the company's day-to-day operations, as well as finance, staffing, project management, and technology. She has over 10 years’ experience scaling the organization, which has more than tripled its size during her time at BIF. 

Prior to BIF, Drew was director of production, online and emerging technologies for Columbia Records a division of Sony Music. She executive produced over 50 websites a year for Columbia artists and labels, working with designers and programmers. Artists included, Aerosmith, Fiona Apple, Destiny’s Child, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Fugees, and Billy Joel. Drew also acted as a liaison between Columbia, Sony Music creative services, artists and management. 

Drew holds a bachelor’s from Ohio Wesleyan University in theatrical production. 

Kay Barkley 
Senior Experience Designer 
Business Innovation Factory 

Originally from Rhode Island, Kay Barkley is excited to apply her anthropology background as an experience designer at BIF.

She is interested in coming to deeper understandings about human motivations and behaviors and has performed research on populations living with HIV/AIDs, food systems, community development, and microfinance organizations. 

Her worldview is influenced by her background in ethnographic research methods and passion for looking at how morals and values impact people’s decision-making processes.

Barkley holds a bachelor’s in anthropology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a master’s in anthropology, with a concentration in globalization, development, and culture, from the University of Memphis.  

Headshot of Emily McGinnisEmily McGinnis
Experience Designer
Business Innovation Factory

Emily McGinnis is an experience designer, a role in which she helps grow and engage an actionable network of innovators and organizations working to transform communities and promote transformative new experiences.

McGinnis comes to the Business Innovation Factory from the international development field after spending four years with the Peace Corps in Peru, working first as a grassroots community development facilitator promoting youth leadership in a small, rural community for two years, and subsequently as a volunteer coordinator for the Youth Development program, and supporting national level education and gender equality programs at both CARE Peru, an international NGO, and the Peruvian government’s Ministry for Women and Vulnerable Populations. She is a progressive millennial and an intersectional feminist, passionate about global poverty reduction, gender equality, social justice, environmental conservation, cultural diversity, community development and human rights of all kinds.

McGinnis has a bachelor’s in foreign service from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service where she graduated cum laude, majoring in international politics and receiving a certificate in Latin American studies (the equivalent of a minor at other institutions). She studied abroad at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso in Valparaíso, Chile, and also completed a summer social justice immersion program in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and was very involved in various campus clubs and volunteer activities serving on the leadership board of EcoAction, an environmental club, writing for the university newspaper The Hoya, working as a research assistant for the Institute for the Study of International Migration, and volunteering in several education-related programs.

Headshot of Don Goughler

Don Goughler 
Executive in Residence 
The Forbes Funds 

Since 2014, Goughler has served as executive in residence for The Forbes Funds, coordinating an executive coaching program that has provided coaching in nonprofit management and leadership to more than 220 executive directors and board leaders in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. During the past year, Goughler has also developed and coordinated a program in peer learning with 16 local agencies in partnership with the national Venture Philanthropy Partners and the Marino Institute. 

From 1999-2014, he served as the president/CEO of Family Services of Western Pennsylvania. During this time, the organization won the Wishart Award for excellence in nonprofit management and the national agency of the year award from Ways to Work, a Community Development Financial Institution. Prior to that, he was employed for 22 years by Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services and was the executive vice president/CEO for that organization from 1988-1999. 

Goughler received a bachelor’s from Westminster College and a master’s in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, where he has been an adjunct faculty member for 25 years, teaching graduate courses in social work management. He has served on several nonprofit boards and advisory groups locally, regionally, and statewide and chaired the national gerontology project, New Age of Aging, from 2006-13 for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. He also served on the national board of trustees for Ways to Work from 2006-2013. Goughler has published articles on social services management in several juried journals and also served on the editorial board of the national social work journal, Families in Society. Among his honors and recognitions, he received an Alumni Achievement Award from Westminster College in 1988; a Lifetime Achievement Award in Social Work Practice from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work in 2018; and lifetime achievement awards from CLASS, in 2012 and the Westmoreland chapter of Mental Health America in 2014. 

Headshot of Deirdre Maloney

Deirdre Maloney
Momentum LLC

Deirdre Maloney helps organizations exceed their goals and helps their people sleep better at night. She does it through her work as a published author, international speaker, and proud president of her training, facilitation and marketing company Momentum LLC.

Maloney has used her brand of “mild audacity” to inspire positive change around the world, presenting keynotes and workshops for organizations like the Boeing, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National Association of Women Business Owners, and Vistage International. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Inc. Her books include Bogus Balance, The Mission Myth, and the Tough Truths series. Maloney's popular blog is a hit with anyone who likes a direct, authentic style with their morning coffee.

In addition to running her own company, Maloney's experience includes serving as CEO of a multi-million dollar nonprofit organization, serving as a broadcast news producer, and teaching marketing at the University of San Diego. She is a member of San Diego Rotary and, in her spare time, teaches boot camp for Gut Check Fitness.


Effective Board Chair-Executive Director Relationships: Not About Roles!
Mary L. Hiland
Nonprofit Quarterly, August 2018

Commitments for High-Impact Nonprofit Organizations
Navigator Commitments
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

The Power of Possibility: Exploring Greater Impact through Strategic Partnerships: A Discussion Guide for Boards