From Our Team
Posted on April 18, 2022 by Dr. Michael Kelly
Leadership can be taught, and leadership can be learned. Using this premise, the REALIZE executive experience takes already good leaders and, over the course of ten months, helps them become transformational leaders for the benefit of the region’s health.
The Health Foundation’s REALIZE Executive program is a world-class experience established in 2010 and tailored specifically for the Paso del Norte region to inspire and train a cohort of 20 high-level leaders at a time to build upon existing leadership qualities and skills. Offered every 2 to 3 years, the more than 100 REALIZE leadership graduates include nonprofit executives, chief financial and operations officers, school district central staff, chief nursing officers, academic deans, and many more established leaders. Nominations for the fifth REALIZE Executive cohort are open now through May 13, 2022.
“REALIZE was an eye-opening experience for me,” said Andrea Gates-Ingle, a graduate of REALIZE and executive director of Creative Kids.
Creative Kids is a community-based art nonprofit that positively affects El Paso and the region’s youth population through visual art education, providing children with valuable afterschool programs out-of-school time and access to the arts in areas that are underserved.
“I’ve been a nonprofit executive for over 20 years, and I still don’t know it all,” Gates-Ingle said. “There are things you realize you may not have been doing. This program helped open my eyes to a few of those things. You also get to connect with other people in the same field, with the same leadership journey, and get that support.”
Gates-Ingle said the REALIZE journey helped her understand the importance of the techniques for clear and open communication from top to bottom within the organization, including communicating with staff, volunteers, parents, and kids. Communication was just one of the skills that she took away from the experience that helped her strengthen personal leadership and the entire organization for community benefit.
REALIZE participants complete a customized 360-degree assessment, develop individualized leadership goals, and work privately with an executive coach. Participants also take part in two off-site experiences, six learning sessions delivered by world renowned leadership experts, networking opportunities, and receive assessments to measure individual growth.
“My executive coach was very helpful in getting me to rethink the way Creative Kids functioned,” said Gates-Ingle.
The REALIZE program is dedicated in honor of Robert H. Hoy, Jr. Mr. Hoy was a founding board member of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. His leadership, support and advocacy and his role as a leader and mentor to countless young leaders are among his many wonderful contributions to health and well-being in our region. The Health Foundation is pleased to offer REALIZE program to build health leaders across region in honor and furtherance of Mr. Hoy’s legacy.
Using a model of thinking, doing, and being, REALIZE achieves targeted and marked changes within cohort members. The thinking part of REALIZE emphasizes strategy and vision. The doing elements build skills for leading teams, communications, and driving quality. Finally, the being elements address how a leader shows-up and overall presents themselves.
“Especially in the last two years, during COVID, we’ve seen there are still things to learn and things we can change to improve our nonprofits,” said Gates-Ingle. “REALIZE can help you shake up the way you do things, help you think through your day-to-day operations and the way you work with your board, staff and clients. In the last five years, we’ve reworked the way we do things from top-to-bottom for the better of Creative Kids and it started with this program.”
To nominate an executive for the program, email the nominee’s name, telephone number, email address and a brief paragraph about the nominee to REALIZE@pdnhf.org by Friday, May 13. The nominee will receive a package to apply. If you have any questions, please call 915-218-2619 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PDNHF Initiative: REALIZE Executive
Foundation Staff: Michael Kelly
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