PEDA - Pennsylvania Economic Development Association

Best Practices in Succession Planning for Nonprofits

  • 04/29/2013
  • 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Hilton Harrisburg & Towers, Harrisburg, PA


Click here to download the registration brochure.

This session is recognized by the Pennsylvania Economic Development Institute and by the EDP certification program of the Northeastern Economic Developers Association (NEDA).

As the “baby boomer” generation is nearing retirement, many nonprofit leaders will be leaving their organizations in the next few years.  In addition, every nonprofit should have an “Emergency” succession plan for their Executive Director/CEO.  This highly interactive session educates nonprofit board members and organizational leaders – current and future – on the elements of good succession planning and how to conduct the process in your organization.

Objectives of this session will include:

  1. Provide participants with an overview of the succession planning process, based on best practices
  1. Outline a framework/process for succession based on the timing of the succession
  1. Understand Critical Success Factors in Succession Planning
  1. Develop an Implementation Action Plan/Follow Up Next Steps

Nonprofit professionals, board members and anyone whose work involves interaction with a board or organizational leaders would benefit from attending this program.  Regardless of the processes your organization utilizes or the time range in which a key transition is expected to take place, you will benefit from this session and are encouraged to register your organization’s current and future leaders as well as your board members.


Debra Thompson, BS, MBA, is President of Strategy Solutions, Inc. In this position she provides strategic planning facilitation, training and planning and research project management services to organizations and communities who want to grow and thrive.  The company grew out of her previous community health leadership role as she served as Director of Planning for Hamot Health Foundation.  During her 10 years there she was responsible for strategic planning, market research, marketing information systems, as well as community planning support for the organization, its joint ventures and affiliates. 

Throughout her tenure at Hamot and work with a consortium of prominent experts, Debra created a unique approach to data collection, analysis and facilitation that is successful for individual organizations, systems and communities. Her project work and clients have been recognized by the International Economic Development Council, the International Association of Facilitators, US News and World Report, US Department of Health and Human Services and by the Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Welfare and Education. A graduate of Villa Maria College with a B.S. in Marketing, Debbie received her Master of Business Administration from Gannon University. She has also completed advanced training in Strategic Planning, Quantitative and Qualitative Market Research, Total Quality Management and Leadership Development, Systems Thinking & Facilitation (through affiliates of MIT) and is a 1993 graduate of Leadership Erie. She was a member of the 2003 inaugural class of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership “Women in Leadership” program in Pittsburgh, and is also a Coro Certified Trainer. 

Debra is on the adjunct faculty of Duquesne University where she teaches organizational development and program development/evaluation in the Masters of Organizational Leadership program.  She was also an adjunct professor at Gannon University for 10 years where she taught Strategic Planning, Research Methods and Program Development.  She has also completed the BoardSource Board Governance Training program and is a trainer for the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations Standards for Excellence Program.  Chosen as one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business 2001, she was honored as one of Erie’s “Dynamic Dozen” of Women Making History in 2003 and was a finalist for the International Stevie Award for Women in Business in 2006 in the Technology Innovator category.  Debra was also a finalist for the Woman of the Year in Erie, 2008.

Attention Certified Providers: This course is approved to provide 3.0 organizational PDUs (Organizational Management) as explained in the Guidelines for Certification of Economic Development Organizations issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and in the Institute’s Policies and Procedures.

*Note: We reserve the right to reschedule or cancel this offering.  In the event of a cancellation, a refund will be provided to registrants.

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