What's Next Testimonials

Here's what participants of What's Next: Leading a Thriving Transition have to say:

Karla Nicholson


"I am able to provide my organization with everything necessary to ensure a successful transition, while delving into creating a pathway for my personal future plans.

A very wise mentor once told me that a leader has a responsibility to create a vision for an organization within a projected timeframe, and while moving toward fulfilling it — to train and develop the leadership of others.

I live by this very valuable advice, and promote it widely. As a Black woman, I know that opportunities for other People of Color to lead are limited. It is my sincere desire to not only realize the realistic aspects of my vision for my organization, and to simultaneously and intentionally develop the leadership of my potential successor.

The movement for societal change is possible, and ensuring a pipeline of dynamic people the opportunity to lead and move us toward this dream will take a concerted effort.

Through TSNE's program, I am able to provide my organization with everything necessary to ensure a successful transition, while delving into a creating a pathway for my personal future plans. I enthusiastically recommend this program to all founders and leaders, so we will know the future is in good hands."


Kim JOnes

Kim Jones

"As a nonprofit capacity builder I have assisted small nonprofits with their transitions, recommended interim executives, and hired consultants to assist in training organizations on the importance of a transition strategy. When I was able to take part in the 2019 cohort of What's Next, I was excited about the executives I met, the facilitators I learned from, the experiential learning that took place and the practical materials that led me to work with my own board in planning my transition and building a solid succession strategy. What's Next was a comprehensive program that helped me define the steps that would support my organization, help me work in lock-step with my Board as I started my transition, provided the deep questions all Boards should be prepared to answer in creating its succession plan, and allowed me to work with ongoing coaching to ensure I built my own strategy for my future plans. This program was supportive in every way. As a Black CEO, it was particularly important to have facilitators and colleagues that understood the unique challenges we face as women and leaders of color; What's Next ensured that our voices and experiences were understood. I enjoy keeping in touch with some of my fellow executives to continue to learn and celebrate each others' successes. I highly recommend this program for long-time and founding executives that need a roadmap that allows the person and the organization to continue to grow beyond the transition."


Cynthia Chavez

Leadership Coach and former Executive Director of LeaderSpring

Cynthia Chavez

"This program helped me gain the confidence I needed to navigate my transition after nearly 17 years as a founding ED. I also gained practical tools and tips to coach nine other long-term ED's, all of whom have both successfully transitioned from their agencies, and consistently voiced strong appreciation for the benefits they, too, gained from the What's Next program. I could not recommend it (or this fellowship) more highly."


Nora Allen-Wiles

Nora Allen-Wiles

"I have immense gratitude for TSNE, LeaderSpring, the facilitators, and cohort members for creating a welcoming space for me to show up and grow in the What’s Next program. The tools, supports, and structures that were provided in the program allowed me to look towards the future and understand how to leave the organization in a strong and sustainable state. I was able to support our board of directors and share with them frameworks and tools to move forward with clear intentions, strategic timelines, and defined roles to make the search and transition as smooth as possible. Perhaps most importantly, the cohort and peer network helped me realize that I wasn’t alone in my complex feelings around transition and figuring out what was next for myself. The group continues to be a network of support after the sessions have ended. The impact will be felt on my life and GRCB for many years to come."


Santiago ”Sam” Ruiz


"To me this process helped me realize this goes beyond planning, it’s about ensuring our community continues to thrive."


Lathran Woodard


"The team was great and forced me (in a gentle way) to really think about some areas of succession planning and my personal readiness to exit."


Jude Goldman


"Open, transparent, masterfully and thoughtfully done. I appreciate everything that goes into it — the reading, the masterful facilitation, attention to relationships among cohort, through the exercises, and presentation — all extremely helpful. Really like the balance between board, organization, and self."

Linda Noonan


"It was easily one of the most useful and actionable professional development training programs I've attended.

The program exceeded my expectations. I would have a hard time singling out any one component that was most helpful since all were very useful. I think the actual writing of the plan and discussing it with a peer was probably one of the hardest — yet most impactful — components."


Liz Kinchen


"Being in a structured community of EDs in a similar situation and sharing issues is invaluable.

This course is a great resource for long-term EDs who are considering leaving their job, either to retire or to continue working somewhere else. The materials are very useful for both myself and to share with my board. The leadership is experienced, thoughtful, professional and caring all at the same time."


Cheryl Opper

"I feel more energized and challenged, instead of feeling this sense of sadness. I know the most important thing that I can do now is be a part of this program to really learn how I can best prepare the organization as well as myself for leaving."


Beatriz Zapater

"The coaches are superb and I got support with dilemmas I was facing, useful tools to help my organization plan for my succession and I learned that there is life and more work after you leave."


Cathy Levine

"The greatest benefit I got was after I did the best I could to lead a successful transition, when it was time to leave, I could give myself permission to go."


Lonnie Powers

"It’s hard for anyone to get outside of themselves and be as objective as you need to be both about your own choices for the future, as well as the choices for the organization."

Return to the What's Next homepage