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New Strategies Forum in Charleston

On April 15-18, I was in Charleston, South Carolina for the New Strategies Forum, a three-day training session on governance, direction and development for nonprofit organizations. Organizations must have corporate sponsorship to attend. SkillsUSA’s nomination came from Newell Rubbermaid, thanks to Jackie Parker of the Newell Rubbermaid Foundation.

Only 30 top nonprofit organizations were invited to participate. The training was led by Curt Weeden, a former executive with Johnson & Johnson. Curt led Johnson & Johnson’s philanthropy arm, and then became an advisor to several Fortune 500 companies. He now works with nonprofits nationwide and conducts training on building better corporate relations, board leadership and strategic direction. He reviewed SkillsUSA’s financials and our FY11 IRS Form 990. He also reviewed our annual report. I’m rather proud to say that Curt told the entire group how impressed he was with SkillsUSA and our business model.

Among the organizations participating: Junior Achievement; The Arbor Day Foundation; Feed the Children, Komen for the Cure; Project Lead the Way and many others. The networking opportunities were incredible, and I took home ideas on how to make a stronger and more dynamic case for corporate support.

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