Why Healthcare CEOs Make Sense for Corporate Boards

By Jena Abernathy

Corporate boards are more diversified than ever. As someone who works extensively in recruiting for board leadership, I would like to offer an additional perspective on this trend – ideas that I explored in a  recent article for Directors & Boards highlighting some untapped (some may say “unlikely”) resources for corporate boards. My advice for finding a new and valuable source of for-profit board…



Health Conversion Foundations: How (and When) to Slice the Pie?

By Wayne Luke

Health conversion foundations are not new to healthcare but they are increasingly a by-product of the current era of mergers and acquisitions. These foundations are created to ensure that proceeds from the sale of nonprofit healthcare entities to for-profit organizations are funnelled into core community needs.

What is usually a significant initial endowment for a new foundation can present dilemmas for its leaders and board: How do we spend the money? How much now, how much later?…



Do Values Still Matter in Recruiting Healthcare Executives?

By Donna Padilla, Senior Partner and Vice Chair, Healthcare Practice

“Leadership selection has a greater impact on an organization than any other single activity,” wrote ethicist and theologian John “Jack” Glaser in 1989. Dr. Glaser, who passed away in 2012, was an icon in Catholic healthcare circles and in the industry in general, and his words still ring true today. As an executive search consultant (who regularly serves major faith-based healthcare systems), I may be a little biased…



Power Principles: Nonprofit Leadership through an Entrepreneur’s Lens

Perkins Nonprofit Leadership Case StudyIn 2013 when the recruitment began for a new president and CEO for Perkins – known best as the parent organization for the Perkins School for the Blind – Dave Power did not consider himself a candidate. The more he thought about the job, however, the more it made sense. He was a successful corporate executive and venture capitalist always looking to make a mark, and…



10 Great Articles on Nonprofit Leadership

By Wayne Luke, Not-for-Profit Practice Leader

What’s the latest in nonprofit leadership? It’s always helpful to scan major media outlets and nonprofit-oriented publications to see what issues are front and center for executives today. Below are 10 articles—all of which have been published since the start of the New Year—that highlight key non-for-profit industry leadership and industry trends.  They emphasize the importance of mission,…



Does Nonprofit Leadership Need a Dose of For-Profit Expertise?

Private-sector executives who make the leap into nonprofit leadership positions are often viewed with a jaundiced eye. Are they really committed to the not-for-profit world? Will they fit into a nonprofit’s culture? Will their for-profit ideals somehow tarnish their new organization’s mission?

These are legitimate questions, says Wayne Luke, managing partner of Witt/Kieffer’s Not-for-Profit practice, and yet in most cases the concerns are unfounded. Most “bridgers”—corporate executives switching careers into the nonprofit sector—know…



Sports Foundation Leadership: Ten Tips for Sustainability

By Gregory Santore, Managing Director, Sports Leadership Practice

Sports foundation leaders have become a lot more sophisticated and savvy than in the past, as nonprofit and charitable organizations multiply yet compete with each other for limited resources. Sustainability must be a key focus for all foundations if they are to fulfill their missions over time.



Higher Education Institutional Advancement: Finding Opportunity in Leadership Transition

Few things stress advancement and development professionals as much as turnover at the top of their organizations. In higher education institutional advancement offices, entire campaigns and carefully nurtured relationships can be dashed if the transition of a new president, provost, or dean isn’t managed smoothly or the new leader has other, unanticipated priorities. The best way to respond to the uncertainty of leadership turnover is for the chief development officer and colleagues to be proactive, and positive, says Witt/Kieffer…



Nonprofit Executive Search: A Scientific Success Story

Finding successful leaders for not-for-profits is no easier than for corporations—all top executives today need broad skill sets combined with the ability to think strategically and with vision.

When the Union of Concern Scientists (UCS) set out recently to find a Director for its new Center for Science and Democracy, it sought someone who was a demonstrated leader, proven scientific intellectual, a specialist in public policy, and PR/communications expert. It…



Who Will Lead Health Conversion Foundations?

Guest post by Marvene M. Eastham, Witt/Kieffer Senior Vice President

As nonprofit hospitals and health systems struggle to maintain access to capital to reinvest in their organizations, they may turn to acquisition by for-profit healthcare organizations. In theory it is a win-win: the for-profit expands its reach and gains access to a larger market share, which is attractive to shareholders, while the former nonprofit pays debts and has ready access to capital in…