From the beginning, ACT has been committed to building the capacity of nonprofit organizations and strengthening the sector as a whole. Part of the focus of our programs and activities is centered on Smart & Effective Leadership.

ACT launched LEAD (Leadership, Excellence and Development) in May 2013, a pilot program designed to offer Alexandria’s executive directors tailored professional development opportunities to get better results for their organizations and serve the community more effectively. Over a 10-month period, the selected program participants will receive executive coaching from Leigh Shields, executive coach and leadership consultant, and join a network of other nonprofit executives for intensive peer sessions to think and plan more strategically, share best practices and identify solutions to shared problems.

“We know that highly successful nonprofits must invest in leadership development,” said John Porter, President & CEO of ACT. “But too many just don’t have the resources or support to make it happen like they should. As part of our commitment to supporting Alexandria’s nonprofit community and improving services for people in need, LEAD will help put our nonprofits in a better position to sustain their success.”

View the LEAD Infographic

The LEAD 2015/2016 class included: 

Diane Charles, ALIVE
Brooke Curran, RunningBrooke
Dawnielle Miller, Casa Chirilagua


The LEAD 2014/2015 class included: 

Courtney Kissell, The Reading Connection
Lynn Thomas, Community Lodgings


The LEAD inaugural class included: 

Lissette Bishins, Carpenter’s Shelter
Kari Galloway, Friends of Guest House 
Leigh Hoyer, Wright to Read
Gwen Mullen, Alexandria Tutoring Consortium
Linda Odell, Space of Her Own

Please contact Brandi Yee at   If you have any questions about LEAD.