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Executive Director Forums

Each Executive Director Forum is comprised of 10 to 12 executive directors facilitated by two experienced ECofOC counselors in monthly meetings using a proven process to guide the group to practical solutions for issues brought to the table by each participant.
Members have the opportunity to:

  • Hear from peers who have experienced similar problems and concerns
  • Gain better insights into their organizations by having knowledgeable, unbiased peers present their perspectives
  • Get fresh ideas to solve difficult or complex issues
  • View their situations and organizations strategically
  • Learn tips to solve everyday problems from similarly situated peers

This program responds to the typical executive director concern that “it’s lonely at the top”. EDs typically have few opportunities to interact with peers about specific issues facing their organizations.  

Executive Director Kari I says: “I believe the ED forum is a dynamic environment to discuss challenges and brainstorm program solutions. I’m gaining insight from my peers that I would otherwise not receive. This is valuable time well spent!” 

Sessions are held monthly from 8:15 to noon and include a continental breakfast and snacks throughout the meeting. The cost is $20 per month, paid each six months in advance.

Membership Criteria
Executive Director Forum candidates must be in an executive director or similar position on a full-time basis. The nonprofit must have:

  • A Board of Directors
  • At least two employees (ED +1)
  • An annual budget of at least $150,000
  • A commercial-based (non-home-based) office

Member Commitments
To ensure the success of each forum, members must commit to:

  • Attend all of the Forum monthly meetings (exceptions for travel and vacations)
  • Participate as an active Forum contributor and good listener
  • Demonstrate a sincere interest in the success of the Forum and its members
  • Maintain the confidentiality of all Forum discussions
  • Follow the Forum process

Executive Director Forum Members
Following is a sampling of our Executive Director Forum member firms:

  • 2-1-1 Orange County
  • Algalita marine Research Foundation
  • Breast Cancer Solutions
  • Habitat for Humanity Orange County
  • Institute for Women Entrepreneurs
  • Junior Achievement of Southern California
  • Women Helping Women/Men2Work

Forum Meeting Leaders
Our Executive Director Forum meeting leaders are: 

John Benner is a volunteer coach with the Executive Coaches of Orange County providing consulting services to not for profit organizations principally in the area of Strategic Planning.  He has enjoyed extensive experience serving on Boards of Directors of not-for-profit organizations and is currently serving on the Board of Hoag Hospital. John has also provided strategic planning consulting services internationally. John has over 30 years of business experience managing all facets of administration, strategic planning, and corporate finance. His experience includes direct planning and implementation of major financial transactions (acquisitions, divestitures, financings, and corporate restructurings).  John spent 24 years of his business career with American Stores Company (ASC), the nation’s 3rd largest food/drug retailer, where he held the positions of Senior Vice President Administration, Lucky Stores Division;  Senior Vice President Finance and Treasurer, ASC; Vice President & Controller, Jewel Companies Inc. (acquired by ASC); and Vice President Finance and Administration, Osco Drug Division.  John is a Certified Public Accountant formerly with Price Waterhouse LLP.

Robin Noah has over 40 years experience in Human Relations specializing in Human Resources.  Throughout her career with fortune 500 companies she managed a variety of business positions including Director of Human Services, Systems sales, business marketing and leadership training.   She has been providing consultant and coaching services to the nonprofit sector for 10 years. She has a wide range of expertise in nonprofit management, fund development, program development and evaluation, technology solutions, communications strategies, and event management, to name a few. Robin is an Executive Coach who provides services to nonprofit organizations in nonprofit leadership strategies including: board education, self-assessment, leadership transitions and meeting facilitation. 
Robin currently sits on the advisory board of the E-Academy at Century High School, is a member of the Orange County SCORE Chapter board and is on the Leadership Team for the Executive Coaches of Orange County.

Martha Ryan has over 30 years experience as a proven leader in all phases of Information Technology, focusing on strategic planning, project management, business re-engineering and system implementation. Martha served on the Board of Directors for the non-profit The Women’s Building while working in San Francisco. Most recently she served for 7 years on the Board of Directors for WISEPlace, in Santa Ana. She was Chair of Fund Development for 2 year and then served as President of the Board for 2 year. During her professional career, she provided no-fee coaching for corporate high achievers through the Mentium 100 organization. Martha currently is coaching seven non-profits through the Executive Coaches of Orange County. Since joining the organization, she has helped her clients through personal coaching in the areas of professional development, fund development, board development and marketing. Martha is on the ECofOC Board of Directors and Leadership Committee and is a member of the Marketing Committee. In addition, she provides speakers for their monthly meetings….aimed at both educating the coaches and highlighting their client’s accomplishments.  Since 2003, Martha has provided volunteer management counseling services through Orange County SCORE, is a member of their board, is the Chair of the Women in Business Program, and is Chair of the Membership Committee.

Larry Tucker is a business consultant who was a part owner of an international consulting firm until his recent retirement. During his tenure, he developed and grew a West Coast practice, then took on the role of managing consultant, responsible for relationships with several major California companies. His role included consulting with the firm’s leadership and managing teams within the consulting firm. Since his retirement, Larry has focused his efforts on helping nonprofits and small businesses become more successful. As a member of the Executive Coaches of Orange County, Larry works with nonprofit executive directors to help their firms fulfill more of their mission. In addition to his ongoing clients, he often helps other nonprofits in setting their strategic directions, frequently leading planning sessions with the organizations’ leaders and directors. Larry serves on the Advisory Board for the Institute for Women Entrepreneurs, the Executive mentoring Program Committee at UCI’s Paul Merage Business School, the ECofOC Board of Directors and board committees at Hoag Hospital. As a member of SCORE, Larry counsels small businesses and is the Chairman of SCORE’s CEO Forum program.

Interested in Learning More?
By completing and submitting the following information, you are indicating that you are interested in ECofOC’s Executive Director Forum program and would like to learn more. You will be contacted by one of our coaches to discuss the program and consider which of the forums best suits your needs. Submitting this information indicates only that you are interested and does not bind you to participation. 

* Required Field

1. Are you the Executive Director (or in a similar role) with a nonprofit organization? *
Select One
2. Does your nonprofit organization have at least two full-time employees (ED +1), an annual budget of at least $150,000 and a board of directors? *
Select One
3. Is your nonprofit commercial-based, that is, not home-based? *
Select One
4. Have you read and do you agree to the member commitments? *
Select One

Name: *
Email: *
Work Phone:
Cell Phone:
Non-Profit Name & Address:
Non-Profit Mission:
Your Non-Profit Website:
Year Non-Profit Founded:
Number of Employees:
Non-Profit Annual Budget: 
Your Job Title:
Job Duties:
Months at Job:
Years in the Non-Profit Sector:
Who Told You About Us: