Health Foundation of La Porte

La Porte County leaders graduate from leadership academy

A cohort of 13 leaders from La Porte County recently completed the Health Foundation of La Porte’s Nonprofit Leadership Academy.

The academy is funded by the Health Foundation of La Porte through a partnership with Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The nonprofit leaders attended 10 full-day classes at the Health Foundation of La Porte’s Conference & Learning Center from September 2023 through February 2024. Practitioners and educators taught a range of topics, including nonprofit management, leadership and marketing.

“I am so grateful for the Health Foundation for connecting me with the incredible professors and curriculum at IU for their Nonprofit Leadership Academy,” said Betsy Maher, executive director of Save the Dunes in a press release. “I walked into the academy anxious to see if I was doing things correctly, and walked out assured and with promising ideas for how to drive my organization forward.” 

The 2024 graduates include:

  • Erica Boyd, E Marie Project 
  • Jackie Dermody, Family Advocates 
  • Amanda Fowler, La Porte County Meals on Wheels 
  • Stacey Garcelon, Anam Cara 
  • Abby Hinch, Social and Learning Institute 
  • Bill Harmon, SHARE Foundation  
  • Steve Hobby, Paladin 
  • Harry Holtkamp, Nest Community Shelter 
  • Julia Kanestrom, Arts in the Park 
  • Erica Kanney, Health Foundation of La Porte  
  • Emily Yiannias, La Porte County Symphony Orchestra
  • Sally Riffer, Boys & Girls Clubs of La Porte County 
  • Tammy Rosebaum, Citizens Concerned for the Homeless 

During the classes, academy members shared ideas and struggles. They networked with each other and joined forces on new projects. For example, SHARE Foundation will partner with Nest Community Homeless Shelter and Dunebrook for upcoming activities for its villagers.

“This leadership experience has been one for the books. Not only was the information helpful and encouraging, the networking was outstanding,” Sally Riffer, COO at Boys & Girls Clubs of La Porte County, said. “It is not very often that you can gather this high-quality knowledge in one room, but it happened.” 

The graduates were invited to a celebratory event on Feb. 23.

The Health Foundation of La Porte has hosted two previous sessions of the leadership academy. The nonprofit organization promotes health and wellness for residents of La Porte County. The foundation was funded in 2016 with proceeds from the sale of IU Health La Porte Hospital.


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