Essential Considerations for Today’s Nonprofit Leaders

Addressing both the operational and emotional challenges during this time of service disruption, the Regional Nonprofit Leaders Series will be hosting a 2-hour virtual workshop for nonprofit leaders and board members titled Managing Through a Complete Service Disruption – Essential Considerations for Today’s Nonprofit Leaders, from 10am-12pm on Friday, September 18 and again from 10am-12pm on Thursday, September 24.

The impact of the “shut-down” changed everything about how we do our work—our day-to-day physical presence in an office or other facility, how we interface with clients or the public, how we dispense supplies, how we communicate with others in and outside our organization, how we conduct business meetings—and live our lives as we strive to maintain our connections to others.

“All of us (nonprofits) would like to come out of this pandemic stronger and smarter,” comments Huron Pines Program Assistant Jill Scarzo, who is organizing the workshop for the Regional Nonprofit Leaders Series. “Presenter Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran will give us a lot to think about and prepare for as the pandemic plays out.”

Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran has an extensive history of developing and implementing crisis response programming for nonprofit organizations. She has helped organizations through natural and human-made disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation with the ultimate goal of minimizing interruptions to nonprofit services and reducing the impact of a crisis on a community.

Founder of Blackbird Nonprofit Consulting, Julie Ann holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida State University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College, and an Executive Certificate in Transformational Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. She is also a certified Field Traumatologist and Compassion Fatigue Educator.

Julie Ann will present on her own experience and education as well as findings from crisis experts to break down phases, commonalities and unforeseen opportunities that often arise when normal operations are disrupted. She will cover strategies for remote operations and communications as well as mechanisms to support the mental health and well-being of staff and directors.

“It’s been amazing to see how well our local nonprofits have dealt with the problems they’ve had to face so far during this unparalleled time. It has been uplifting to watch how they have come together to learn, share and help each other, but we’re all still in need of more guidance,” remarks Karin Beyer, Community Liaison for the Otsego Community Foundation.

Patrick Heraghty with the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan remarked that this workshop bringing professional insight to the situation should really help encourage our community organizations. “There is always much to be learned from the experiences of nonprofits who have been through a crisis, and that insight can help other nonprofits navigate through this new territory.”

The online workshop will be offered twice, on Friday, September 18 and Thursday, September 24, from 10am-12pm. Registrants can expect a virtual presentation of material during the first hour, then after a short break they will participate in virtual break-out sessions guided by the presenter.

Advance registration is required at and is $25. For questions or registration assistance contact (989) 448-2293 x21 or

This workshop is part of the Regional Nonprofit Leaders Series, offering unique training opportunities that support capacity and leadership building and address emerging challenges. The program is delivered by Huron Pines through a partnership with Otsego Community Foundation, Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan with additional support from CFNEM’s affiliate foundations, and the Michigan Community Service Commission’s Volunteer Generation Fund.

Huron Pines is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1973 to conserve and enhance Northern Michigan’s natural resources to ensure healthy water, protected places and vibrant communities. Huron Pines strives to improve economic, environmental, educational and recreational opportunities throughout Northern Michigan. To learn more, visit