Other Communities We're In:

SVP International

January SVPSA Fellowship: Focus on Leadership

Posted by execdirect

The year started strong with the SVPSA Fellowship where we focused on “Impactful Leadership” in January. Lunch guests were our First Ladies of Bexar County and San Antonio, Tracy Wolff and Erika Prosper Nirenberg. We also featured Executive Coach, Cathy Carroll, BCFS President and CEO Kevin Dinnin and Cyndi Mergele, Senior Director at RSM.

The morning began with a presentation from Executive Coach, Cathy Carroll, founder of Legacy Onward. Cathy talked to the Fellows about skills they need to become great managers including prioritization, delegation, leading difficult conversations and how to manage change.

MergeleCyndi Mergele, Human Resources expert and Senior Director at RSM. Cyndi reviewed a mountain of HR information. Her presentation covered compliance issues, matters that are unique to nonprofit organizations, updates on regulations, rules and trends in HR management and a lot more.


During the lunch presentation Tracy Wolff and Erika Prosper Nirenberg each took time to discuss their work in the community. Tracy talked about the importance of community building and collaboration. Her experience dates back to San Antonio community planning in the early 1990s, where she directed Target ’90 for then Mayor Henry Cisneros. She has since led efforts to update the Bexar County Courthouse, led efforts to make improvements for the county children’s courts, and the list goes on and on.

Erika discussed her focus on education and providing opportunity. As a young girl, she worked in the cotton fields in West Texas and learned the value of hard work and education as an opportunity. She focuses on organizations and programs that help youth. For example, in her role as Chairman of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she led the initiative to create Raising and Inspiring Successful Entrepreneurs (R.I.S.E), a curriculum that teaches entrepreneurship skills in early elementary classes. Erika also discussed how measurement plays a critical role in building a nonprofit when you can show how you impact those you serve. Erika is an executive at H-E-B.

Kevin Dinnin, President and CEO of BCFS, wrapped up the leadership day with a discussion about habits he has formed in his years as a CEO that grew from a few dozen employees to more than 6,000 worldwide. He told the Fellows they should focus on remembering that nonprofits should have business mindsets in order to grow and expand their mission. He also discussed books that were influential to him and how his focus on a few of the most immediate needs helps him delegate and prioritize how each day is spent. BCFS, one of the largest nonprofits in the country, is a global system of health and human services non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the U.S. as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa.