Mar 13, 2019

More Reasons to Join the Board Accelerator

Let Sada and Andy tell you why…

When Sada Tadesse moved to Toledo a few summers ago for an administrative fellowship at Mercy Healthshe wasn’t expecting to find a leadership position on a nonprofit board within a few short months.

But then she heard about the Board Member Accelerator Series (BMA) from one of her colleagues who also happened to sit on the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce Board.

Sada said she wanted to join the series as a new member of the community seeking to impact the Toledo community for good.

As a direct result of participating in the course with Aly Sterling Philanthropy and EPIC Toledo, Sada identified a local organization whose mission was interesting and relevant to her personal mission. Following the process learned during BMA, Sada requested a meeting with the executive director and a tour of the organization’s space. Very impressed with what she saw, that initial meeting led to further conversations and Sada ultimately joined the board!

“The most impactful thing that that I took away from this course was to not just fill a seat. I need to make a huge difference, make an impact.”

– Sada T.

Sada explored many things about herself throughout the course and was even able to take some of what she learned back to her workplace. Sada and many other participants agree that BMA has the potential to significantly impact Toledo’s vibrant nonprofit sector in a positive way.

“Getting millennials and young professionals involved is so important because we are a different culture. Meshing the two [generations] and finding common ground benefits everyone.” – Sada T.

According to Sada, any future board service will always go back to the “why.” Why are we here and why are we doing this? And she credits BMA with providing her with important information about how boards operate and how she can make a difference in her new community.

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Andy Hudak participated in the Board Member Accelerator Series (BMA) around the same time as Sada and he offers an interesting perspective because he has already served on a couple of boards in the Toledo area, including the EPIC Advisory Council.

Andy is an investment advisor representative for TransAmerica Financial Advisors and we had the opportunity to catch up with him and capture his thoughts on the success of the program. From personal revelations to implementing new organizational policies, Andy took what he learned and made the most of it.

EPIC ToledoYou’re already on a board or two in the community. Tell us about your role.

Andy Hudak (AH): I’m currently involved with the Ballet Theatre of Toledo and a member of the EPIC Advisory Council.

EPIC: How have you been able to use some of what you’ve learned in the Board Accelerator Series within these organizations?

AH: Many ways, but I’ll give you one tangible thing: We have developed a binder for the Ballet Theatre of Toledo board based on best practices learned from BMA. This resource will be VERY IMPORTANT for two reasons. First, board recruitment AND board performance! One of the hardest things about board service is nailing down just exactly WHAT you are supposed to do and HOW you can make an impact. This binder will clearly outline both of those things for board members.

EPICWhat is the single most impactful thing that you’ve taken away from this course so far?

AH: It’s okay to have high expectations of a board and an organization. Just because it’s a nonprofit organization doesn’t mean your standards aren’t high.

EPIC: Have you felt in some way that you are exploring a deeper commitment, or are there things that you’ve discovered about yourself?

AH: I need to REDUCE my involvement with some aspects of my life, step aside and let others lead in other situations, and take on a larger role in another.

EPIC: Do you agree with the sense that this course is shifting the nonprofit operation within the Toledo community?

AH: Absolutely. This course teaches that our community should want STRONG nonprofit organizations led by young professionals. More importantly, it stresses that it’s up to the organizations THEMSELVES to BE STRONG!

EPIC: Are there any takeaways from this course that you’ve found relevant in other areas of your life?

AHAbsolutely…there is so much carryover to my business (having a strategic plan, understanding roles, finances, understanding people, etc.). It’s common sense once you learn about it, but running a nonprofit should be very similar to running a business in many ways.

Join us for the next series, scheduled for September 24-25, 2019. You can register HERE.

Contact Sara Swisher for more information at

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