We’re proud to announce the project outcomes of the Encore Louisville program, now in its fifth year. Participants are members of the Leadership Louisville Center and graduates of other programs, who are retired or transitioning in their careers. The class worked in teams to provide strategic guidance to local nonprofits who requested help with specific issues.

The Encore Louisville Class of 2019

Here are a few examples of the work they’re doing – all probono – with local nonprofits.

Waterfront Development Corporation

Encore Louisville team with Waterfront Park leaders

(left to right) Deb Bilitski, president of Waterfront Development Corporation, David Karem, retired president WDC, with Encore Louisville team members: Harold Butler, Nancy Gordon Moore, J-R Curtin. Team members not pictured: Tom Monahan, Doug Butler, Donna Zapata.

Encore Louisville team members: J-R Curtin (EL ’15-’19, BF ’91, LL ’85), Doug Butler (EL ’15-’19, BF ’10, LL ’93), Harold Butler (EL ’18, ’19, FL), Donna Zapata (EL ’15, ’16, ’19, LL ’84), Tom Monohan (EL ’15 – ’19, LL ’92), Nancy Gordon Moore (EL ’19, LN ’07, LL ’06)

The Waterfront Development Corporation (WDC) has been struggling to provide the ongoing funds for operation.  When the Corporation was originally incorporated the Commonwealth of Kentucky assumed responsibility for a third of the ongoing budget.  The City of Louisville assumed a third and Jefferson County assumed a third.  When the City and the County merged, the new Metro Government agreed to provide two-thirds funding as the new entity.  Over the last several years the Commonwealth has reduced and then withdrawn its funding.  The Metro Government has continued to reduce its share of its commitment.  The result is that the WDC has had to deal with ongoing financial stress and reached out to Encore for an independent assessment of its position and possible short- and long-term plans for financial stability.

The Encore team in partnership with the staff and Board of the WDC identified three main goals: 1) Financial Stability; 2) Growth in Strategic Areas; and 3) Increase Public Awareness. The Encore team developed concrete plans for achieving each of these goals.

Volunteers of America – Beaded Treasures Integration

Beaded Treasures Project is a program of Volunteers of America that empowers women and families while promoting economic independence.

Encore Louisville team members: Janet Sims (EL ’15, ’17, ’18, ’19, LL ’14), Beth Dlutowski (EL ’15-’19, BF ’13, FL ’12), Marty Bell (EL ’15-19, BF ’07, ’96, LL ’82), Jim Gravitt (EL ’18, ’19, FL ’14), Linda Valentine (EL ’16-’19), LL ’11, FL ’09)

Volunteers of America (VOA) sought assistance from a Leadership Louisville Center team to fully merge Beaded Treasures Project, a successful social change enterprise, into their organization and programming, ensuring: long-term sustainability and succession planning for this innovative enterprise; successful transfer of vocational/creative skills to agency clients; and retail market expansion through development of an online presence and retail storefront in a prime downtown location.

The Encore team helped facilitate alignment on the goals VOA Leadership had for Beaded Treasures inside VOA and helped the organization understand and create a realistic financial plan for the new retail organization. The team also provided an assessment of current jewelry production and retail operations and recommended a transition plan for the Beaded Treasurers founder.

The de Paul School

Encore Louisville team members: Joe Mitchell (EL ’18-’19, FL ’18), Mimi Zinniel (EL ’19, BF ’10), Susan Zepeda (EL ’18-’19, FL ’18), Diane Kyle (EL ’18-’19, FL ’17), Gail Becker (EL ’15,’17-’19, LL ’93), Edie Nixon (EL ’16-’19, LL ’94)

The de Paul School requested assistance from an Encore Louisville team on issues relate to leadership succession planning as part of the school’s upcoming accreditation process.

The Louisville Cardinal

Encore Louisville participant Tom Monahan was part of the team helping the Louisville Cardinal newspaper.

Encore Louisville participant Tom Monahan, retired publisher of Louisville Business First, worked with the Louisville Cardinal staff.

Encore Louisville team members: Tom Monohan (EL ’15 – ’19, LL ’92), Marty Bell (EL ’15-19, BF ’07, ’96, LL ’82), Steve Ellis (EL ’18-’19), Gail Lyttle (EL ’19, LL ’11), Mike Smith (EL ’18-’19, LL ’84)

The Louisville Cardinal is a weekly independent student newspaper at the University of Louisville available in print and online during the school year.

The printed and online newspaper is staffed by two paid part-time employees and 45-60 student volunteers at a university without a journalism program. The University is ending its financial support and advertising revenue is diminishing.

The Encore team developed several dozen suggestions to increase revenue and reduce costs, increase visibility and image of the paper on campus, and develop better and more formal relationships with the university community.  It also developed job descriptions for the paid staff and suggested revisions to the Board by-laws and board governance.

Three of the five team members had previous journalism experience. Their suggestions were based on seasoned knowledge of journalism, trends in the newsprint media, and specific knowledge of the university community.

Implementation of strategic suggestions will be up to the board which will have almost half new members and a new Chair when newspaper operations resume after the annual summer shut down.

Serenity House

Encore Louisville participants J-R Curtin and Beth Dlutowski (above), along with teammates Lynn Ashton and Ken Middleton, worked with leaders of the Serenity House.

Encore Louisville team members: Beth Dlutowski (EL ’15-’19, BF ’13, FL ’12), Lynn Ashton (EL ’16-18, BF ’08, ’00, LL ’98), J-R Curtin (EL ’15-’19, BF ’91, LL ’85), Ken Middleton (EL ’15-’19, LL ’00)

Serenity House is a 48-bed residential halfway program for men in Jeffersonville, Indiana established in 1974.

An Encore Louisville team helped develop a plan to strengthen its appeal to major funders to help sustain its ongoing operations and complete an adjacent building designed to provide recreational space for the men and host meetings of alcohol and drug support groups in the community.

Working with the Executive Director and key board members, the Encore team recommended and the Board agreed to:

— recruit a prominent community leader to join an ad hoc board leadership team to lead necessary changes and then transition the group to an executive leadership group within the board with the expertise needed to guide the organization long-term;

— create a strong “story” about the mission and success of Serenity House, the need for its services, and proof of its sustainability and recruit a local marketing firm to help;

— develop a succession plan for the Executive Director who is nearing retirement and evaluate the need for additional management support;

— transform financials into a format more easily understood by funders including a multi-year forecast that demonstrates sustainability

— meet with local foundations to demonstrate its plans and commitment to sustainability.

U of L Family Business Center

The University of Louisville Family Business Center staff explained their project to Encore Louisville participants Kevin Wardell, Michelle Wells, and Steve Rungwerth.

Encore Louisville team members: Michelle Wells (EL ’18-’19, LL ’13), Gail Becker (EL ’17-’19, ’15, LL ’93), Stuart Goldberg (EL ’16-’19, LL ’92), Michael Shaikun (EL ’17-19, FL ’94)

The University of Louisville Family Business Center (FBC) has almost 100 members and represents many of the region’s strongest and most reputable family business leaders.  Business-owning families can exchange strategies and experiences, safely explore challenging issues, and learn from leading experts in areas that are unique to family businesses.

The FBC had been operating with an Interim Executive Director since the fall of 2017.

With the impending hiring of an executive director in the fall of 2019, FBC requested recommendations that would benefit the on-boarding of the new hire while rebuilding the reputation of FBC in Louisville and Southern Indiana and help increase its membership and influence.

The Encore team members represented a broad background of businesses — family-owned, not-for-profit, and Fortune 250 corporate so the team able to offer diverse perspectives on responding to FBC’s need.

The team provided (1) recommendations of more than 80 local organizations that could help with enhancing the profile/brand while continuing to grow FBC’s membership: government agencies, community service organizations, business and professional associations, media outlets, and foundations. (2) Suggestions that could improve the integration and visibility of FBC within UofL and (3) Ideas to support the on-boarding of a new Executive Director.

The Encore Louisville Class of 2018

The class provided guidance to 19 nonprofits in 2018. Their assistance amounted to an estimated total value of $250,000.

Featured 2018 projects:

The Healing Place

Doug Scott, Director of Giving, The Healing Place, a nationally-recognized recovery program for men and women with addictions. Doug talks about the value of working with an Encore Louisville team.

American Cancer Society

Jan Walther, former Executive Director of American Cancer Society Louisville, shares how the organization benefitted from partnering with an Encore Louisville team.

Other nonprofits who worked with Encore Louisville teams in 2018 are:

Alley Cat Advocates

Camp Hendon, Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children

Children Have Options in Choosing Experiences (C.H.O.I.C.E.)

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Down Syndrome of Louisville

Encore Toolkit- Leadership Louisville Center

Jewish Family and Career Services

Mom’s Closet Resource Center

Nearly New Shop, National Council of Jewish Women

One Plus One Equals U, Inc.

Simmons College of Kentucky

Sowing Seeds with Faith

Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky

Steam Exchange

TreesLouisville, Inc.

University Club

Women 4 Women

Camp Hendon, Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children

Project ask: Camp Hendon indicated these needs:

  • Staffing: Identify the next position(s) to be filled on the staff
  • Strategic Growth: what to consider regarding growing the organization
  • Funding: provide feedback on establishing/securing reliable funding sources

Project outcomes:

  • Outside thought leaders; all of the team members had worked within organizations experiencing growth opportunities and provided a thought framework for the Camp Hendon team
  • Introductions to contacts within the community who are potential partners and funders
  • A structured approach to addressing the key issues facing the organization
  • An outside perspective on the board functions which the Encore Louisville team presented to the Board of Directors

Comments from Camp Hendon:

“This was an amazing experience and we are so grateful to have had the opportunity to engage with the caliber of individuals in our Encore Louisville partner team.” – Megan Cooper, KY Diabetes Camp for Children

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Jewish Career and Family Services

Project ask:

Jewish Family and Career Services provides a wide range of counseling and career services to a socioeconomically diverse client base.  Some services are grant funded and provided to disadvantaged clients at no-cost; others are fee-based.  They asked for the Encore Louisville team’s help in increasing fee-for-service revenues to enable JFCS to continue to meet the growing needs of vulnerable clients in an uncertain funding environment.  Specifically, they asked for help with a market analysis defining and providing a more in-depth profile of the target market for their proposed College Grad Job Search Bootcamp.  The team also provided input that helped them redesign the curriculum in a way that will make it more marketable as well as more valuable to both participants and the employers who will support the program and also provide potential job opportunities.

Project outcomes:

The team provided feedback and suggestions on JCFS’s target market and made suggestions to enhance their marketing plan.  Additionally, they provided suggestions that led to a redesign of the bootcamp curriculum that enhances the value for both prospective participants and the employers that will also participate in the program.

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Simmons College of Kentucky

Project ask:  Simmons College’s challenge is that they do not have a campus student bookstore which hinders students from having a “real” campus feel.  Many students can not afford books or the means to get them, so an on-campus site would help with student retention and recruitment as well.

Project outcomes: Following meetings with Dr. Kevin Cosby, President, and Dr. Ken Jobst, ProvostVon Purdy, Director of Development, and Franklin Smith, Accreditation Liason, the team initiated a survey of the students to determine whether a bookstore is a student-driven desire.

Comments from Von Purdy, Director of Development, Simmons College of Kentucky:

“The Encore team was one of the most professional groups I have ever worked with. They came in eager and mission-centered and helped focus us on what we needed to do to get the desired results. The experience of the team led to the planning and execution of our project and helped us reach the final goal. We needed their direction to help get results – the survey of the students was vital to help us focus and help us get feedback from the key constituents- our students. As a result, we are moving in the right direction and have taken the first steps to get a bookstore and the materials students want.”

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Trees Louisville, Inc.

Project ask: Help TreesLouisville develop a 5-year plan – a strategic roadmap that can be executed by a two-person staff.

Comments from Cindi Sullivan, Executive Director, TreesLouisville:

“Our Encore Team helped us produce a comprehensive two-year strategic plan for our organization. Along the way, they affirmed the good work we are accomplishing and gave us sage advice on pitfalls to avoid and opportunities to embrace. The process was eye-opening and provocative.”