Nonfamily Staff Peer Network: Succession Planning
NCFP's Non-family Staff Peer Network, co-chaired by Chris Koehn of the Farris Foundation and Kelly Chopus of the Robins Foundation, is designed for senior level non-family staff members who are Friends of the Family of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Build a network of your peers facing the unique challenges, complications, and joys that are inherent in this role.
Succession planning is a top topic that you as a network requested earlier this year. We’re pleased to spend time with the senior team of Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group, who have overseen searches, transition management, training, and talent strategy. Join us to hear confidential lessons learned and stories as we have an engaging discussion.
Kelly Chopus is a social responsibility and philanthropy executive with extensive experience in strategic external relations, corporate giving and community building. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Robins Foundation in Richmond, Virginia, where she is responsible for the operations, management and grant making for the one of the region’s largest family foundations. She has been in the role since September 2013.
Most recently Chopus served as Director of Community Relations for Fortune 500® aerospace and defense manufacturer, Goodrich Corporation in Charlotte, N.C. There, she supervised all global philanthropy, community relations and volunteerism. She also served as Vice President of Business Operations for the former WNBA Charlotte Sting from 2002-2005 and as an Associate Producer for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympiad.
In September 2012, Chopus was awarded the 2012 Mover and Shaker Award by Business Leader Magazine. In 2013, The Mecklenburg Times named her one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte, N.C. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, task forces and committees across the country, including a board membership for Association for Corporate Contributions Professionals and the U S Airways Education Foundation. Most recently she was elected to the board of directors for the Southeastern Council on Foundations in Atlanta, Georgia and to the Friends of the Family Committee of the National Center for Family Philanthropy in Washington, DC.
She is the proud wife of a non-profit executive and the mother of three smart, funny and compassionate teenagers.
Christine Koehn serves as Executive Director of the Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation and provide oversight for the Foundation’s administration and grantmaking. Christine has worked in Palm Beach County’s nonprofit arena for nearly 20 years, including stints at the United Way of Palm Beach County for nearly three years in the role of Vice President of Community Impact. Prior to that, she worked at the Quantum Foundation for more than nine years, finishing her tenure there as Vice President for Programs. Christine currently serves as co-chair of NCFP's Non-family Staff Peer Network.
Allison Kupfer leads a national search practice that spans philanthropy at all levels, direct service providers, and a range of nonprofits advancing solutions through policy, advocacy, evaluation and learning, and other innovative approaches to social change. She brings a particular interest in the talent dimensions of bringing evidence-based program models to scale, particularly with respect to issues of equity, access, and opportunity, and the use of technology and data to drive impact. At NPAG, she leads strategic business development efforts, refinement of best practices and systems to support excellence in all aspects of our work, and internal talent development functions.
Allison began her career in policy evaluation as an analyst in the education practice of Abt Associates, a global research and evaluation firm, where she focused on measuring the effectiveness of early literacy interventions in low-income urban and rural settings across the United States. Pursuing an interest in the role of leadership, in combination with what science tells us is effective in addressing systemic inequities, she began her career in search as a Senior Associate at Isaacson, Miller. She was drawn to join NPAG in 2009 because of the firm's commitment to serving a broader spectrum of organizations in a flexible and responsive way.
Allison received a B.A. in American Studies from Skidmore College and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has been active in local, statewide, and national political campaigns, with a particular interest in promoting increased representation of women, people of color, and a diversity of lived experience in the ranks of public service. She serves as treasurer of the board of directors for Island Readers & Writers, a nonprofit that provides innovative author and illustrator-driven programs designed to foster a love of reading and experiential learning among children in rural Maine, where she is based on the southern coast.
Katherine Jacobs leads a global portfolio of executive search and talent strategy engagements and manages the strategic development of our firm’s business lines and structures.
As a trained psychologist, teacher, researcher, and consultant with twenty years of experience both in the U.S. and abroad, Katherine guides organizations through change with particular expertise in founder and longtime leader transitions, facilitation of Board and executive level decisions, and the implications for organizational growth and talent development.
Katherine’s executive search experience ranges from CEO & President searches for large foundations, academic institutions, and nonprofits to Director-level and C-suite talent strategy and recruitment for small, grassroots organizations in their start-up phases. Katherine was initially recruited to Isaacson, Miller, another leading search firm, from an academic career, and never looked back. Since joining NPAG in 2007, Katherine has distinguished herself and the firm as an innovator in the search business and a leader in the national conversation about organizational diversity and equity and inclusion in hiring processes.
A Fulbright Scholar and recipient of the Herbert L. Zimmer Award for excellence in psychological research, Katherine received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Rochester while training at the Eastman School of Music as a classical cellist. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in Psychology from Georgetown University. Katherine continued her international travel both living and working in 5 countries before settling into the DC metro area. She speaks conversational German and basic Russian and Greek.
Katherine’s doctoral research focused on the psychological foundations of policy for managing cultural diversity and, in her consulting work, Katherine has brought her research to bear in NPAG’s distinguishing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as meaningful and distinct elements of talent strategy for a healthy mission-driven workforce.
What participants said:
NCFP consistently and brilliantly presents the very best education to family foundations and donor advisor funders. Though I actively participate in educational opportunities with many organizations in the philanthropic center it is those offered by NCFP that drill deeper into issues, savor the nuances of family grantmaking and produce products that motivate and inspire in an all embracing understanding of families and the dynamics that challenge them.
The Family Philanthropy Webinar series is a wonderful resource, allowing us to "attend" sessions from all over and to share materials with other members of our foundation. The transcripts of the sessions are also a valuable resource. Thank you for these Webinars.
NCFP webinars are an effective way for me to be stimulated and educated. I always expect excellent presenters and up to date information from NCFP, and have not been disappointed with these webinars. The recent one discussing women and philanthropy was very timely as women grow in their capacity and leadership roles in philanthropy. Thank you NCFP!
The National Center has been an indispensable source of wisdom, tools, and best practices for my clients on matters ranging from advancing intergenerational leadership transition strategies to building effective websites to creating discretionary grant making guidelines.
These webinar events are the most valuable as part of our SECF membership... we access current experts on the topics pertinent to family foundations...and we remain in our office!.... no travel expenses or conference fees... and we can access this information at a future time for our Board. A win-win for all of us who are so busy but are eager to stay current and networked.
I have attended many of NCFP's webinar and always walk away with new ideas that expand my knowledge of family philanthropy. The content is always amazing, well-structured and full of different perspectives. I especially love the stories told by presenters of their families journey within philanthropy and how they are impacting communities.
Creating Effective Next Gen Boards was by far the best webinar I have experienced. The material was well put together, well presented, easy to follow, and very engrossing! The youth on the webinar were very articulate and experienced and provided a unique insight into the benefits and pitfalls in involving 8 year-olds and up in family philanthropy, i.e. the younger we start, the better and easier it is for everyone! Thanks for this webinar!
I have participated for years in the Family Philanthropy Webinar Series, which has been a tremendous value-add for our subscription to NCFP Friends of the Family! This just keeps getting better and better with each passing month, and I'm so very impressed with the caliber of presentations and the organization behind them! Best webinar series in the field!