“We have been partnering with Venture Leadership Consulting on implementing our Theory of Change. Their support has added clarity, strategic acumen, and bandwidth to our work."CITY YEAR SAN JOSE/SILICON VALLEY
We’re strategic thinkers and we join you in the trenches. It’s leadership that is invested in your organization, working together to create new models, implement never-before-seen programs, and handle existing workload. Each Venture Leader is engaged, enthusiastic and experienced. The result is results: together we will make an impact, deliver new skills, and move forward. You are an organization of believers; you know you can perform bigger than your size and bring great things to even more of the people you serve.
Each Venture Leader works within your organization to achieve and exceed your goals by venturing with you and providing group coaching and in-person learning forums. We vet each Venture Leader for five characteristics that will compliment your team and enhance your organization’s capabilities.
Each Venture Leader has years of executive leadership experience in either the non-profit or for-profit field (or both!). These seasoned executives plug in at any leadership level as seamlessly as possible.
A Venture Leader is a project manager as well as an executive. Each Venture Leader has a proven track record of setting goals then establishing milestones and checkpoints on the way to achieving them.
Emotional resistance to change is one of the highest barriers to implementing new programs and models within an organization. A Venture Leader has the emotional intelligence to read an organization, understand the macro- and micro-dynamics at play, and develop thoughtful strategies for managing emotional resistance.
A Venture Leader knows how to implement data-driven programming. Donors, stakeholders, and system partners are increasingly demanding quantifiable results backed by concrete data. Each Venture Leader has experience designing and guiding teams through implementing high-quality, data-driven models.
A Venture Leader knows how to enhance your organization without taking the focus away from your leadership. Leading by example and guiding from behind the scenes, the Venture Leader helps you to let your organization shine its brightest by immersing into your business, to quickly understand and enhance your strengths.
“We have been partnering with Venture Leadership Consulting on implementing our Theory of Change. Their support has added clarity, strategic acumen, and bandwidth to our work."CITY YEAR SAN JOSE/SILICON VALLEY
Targeted Project leadership is a custom engagement, turning ideas and the conversations around them into system-wide improvements. Engage a Venture Leader to design and implement Targeted Projects such as executive and staff coaching sessions. Projects include retreats, training periods, and keynote speaking, as well as articulating theory of change and seeing through to implementation, protocols, manuals, RFPs, and more. We focus on action and measurability to meet our simple end-goal: take your mission to the next level!
We offer interim leadership—based on clear goals such as building relationships among key funders and stakeholders, supervision, implementation, and expansion—that won’t leave you with a dependency. Your organization can engage a Venture Leader for short, 6-12 month programs that focus on strategy and on-the-ground support organizations can maintain after the program is completed. We’re not interested in the status quo: through talent development, implementation, and willingness to work beside you to meet the day-to-day, we will see sustainable, measurable growth.
Readiness to achieve true impact in the world can be an uncomfortable space to claim. When faced with critical organizational transitions, the future catalysts, champions, and rainmakers need access to well-tailored expertise and personalized solutions. We provide individual and group coaching, and in-person learning forums through a flexible system of inquiry-based learning and creative strategies that build on strengths and address limitations in service of authentic leadership.
We invest in your time
Our leadership search function emerged at the request of clients as a natural extension of our other services. We respect that the search for your next senior leader is the most important item on the Board agenda right now, and we know the catalytic power of the right person in the right role. As experienced Bay Area nonprofit executives, we understand the context of your work, and true to our vision, we get into the trenches alongside you. We aim for our search process to feel like less of an “engagement” and more like a deeply integrated champion is working alongside you during a time of need. We only conduct Bay Area searches, because this is where we have built our networks, honed our craft, and choose to live. We leverage a deep knowledge of local issues, the webs of organizations tackling issues, and the developing leaders already in our midst.
“Our work with Venture Leadership Consulting was a pleasure from start to finish. They brought the energy and passion of a full-time staff member and delivered a strategy that completely met our needs and hopes for the engagement."iMENTOR
Aila is an experienced leader who collaborates with venture-ready organizations to re-imagine their places within the education, correction, and community-based organization sectors. She specializes in launches, expansions, process design and implementation, and development coaching for high-performing executives.
Aila has dedicated over 20 years to supporting and educating youth in many contexts including: homeless shelters, mentally disabled homes, juvenile justice system, foster care and mainstream public schools. In that time, Aila has served as a non-profit executive for high performing non-profits, an experienced trainer in the community-based organization, education, and correction sectors, an adjunct lecturer for Juvenile Justice courses at both Santa Clara University School of Law and Lincoln Law School, and recently a children’s author (www.pocketmommy.org). Aila is well-versed in international not-for-profit work and has extensive experience in supporting international efforts in the areas of conservation, employment, and poverty alleviation.
She holds a BS in Environmental Science from UC Santa Barbara, earned her JD at Santa Clara University, and is a member of the California Bar Association. Among other accolades, she was a recipient of the 2011 ABA Child Advocate of the Year Award and was a Berkeley Law Foundation fellow.
Aila’s greatest motivation for social change is her desire that her three kids grow-up in a world where disparity does not limit people’s access to opportunity; that ALL people have opportunities to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Andrew Niklaus is passionate about helping organizations fulfill their missions. In his consulting practice he is inspired by working across sectors, helping philanthropy, government agencies, and direct service organizations craft strategic plans, design intentional programming, assess and coach talent, and promote the importance of performance management as a cornerstone to sustainable and intended impact. Before founding Pivot Andrew was most recently the Director of Impact and Learning at Tipping Point Community, a San Francisco Bay Area foundation that funds organizations in the fight against poverty and inequality.
Prior to Tipping Point Andrew worked at several nationally recognized organizations, spearheading efforts to design and implement theories of change, replicate and scale services throughout the state of California, and lead efforts to secure and maintain funding for innovative and impactful programming. Andrew has been active in the performance management field, first as a member of Social Solutions’ National Advisory Board, and later as a part of Charity Navigator’s Advisory Panel, which was charged with helping to improve the way high-performing nonprofit organizations are evaluated and rated for excellence. Andrew is also a member of the Leap Ambassadors Community, whose members are from social, public, and private sectors, which focuses on the importance of high performance in the pursuit of lasting impact and a more just and sustainable world.
David Cattivera brings extensive knowledge and expertise in nonprofit leadership to his role as Principal at Venture Leadership Consulting (VLC).
With a social sector career spanning nearly two decades, David has worked in organizations in every capacity, from volunteer to executive director, giving him unique insight and experience in managing the day-to- day priorities and strategic objectives of organizations.
Additional experience includes supporting youth and families in the following contexts: housing, mentoring, literacy, service learning, education, and juvenile justice. This coupled with a track record of developing meaningful relationships with school districts, private foundations, government officials, and nonprofit leaders allows him to seamlessly immerse and support organizations addressing critical community needs.
A classically trained pianist, David holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Business from the University of the Pacific and is a proud AmeriCorps alumnus. In addition to his work with VLC, David is an active community volunteer and dedicated husband and father to two children.
Claudia Miller brings extensive experience and understanding fundraising for nonprofits, leading successful fundraising teams, and building strategic vision, to Venture Leadership Consulting.
For more than 12 years, she worked in various fundraising roles on behalf of foster youth at First Place for Youth. During her tenure there, the organization grew from raising less than $1 million to more than $7 million annually. Her leadership has included developing the strategic vision for private fundraising, donor events, communications and branding as the organization grew from a Bay Area-based nonprofit to a statewide organization, and now a network of national affiliates in four states.
Her work included launching the organization’s first-ever Growth Campaign, which expanded from $5 million to more than $16 million in four years. Prior to her work at First Place, Claudia was a reporter and freelance writer with the San Francisco Chronicle, and various other publications. She has a BA in Latin American Studies and Political Science from Duke University. When she’s not fundraising for issues she’s passionate about, Claudia enjoys spending time with her family and walking her dog in the Oakland hills.
Gary Chapman has been leading social impact and harnessing the power of people, purpose, and opportunity for over 20 years. He has driven change management and quality improvement initiatives across a network of over 200 local and state non-profits, developed and implemented human capital strategies for supporting leaders and school-based professionals, and secured millions of dollars to empower vulnerable students and communities to thrive with demonstrated impact on school readiness and success, economic development, and diversified revenue generation.
With a passion for human capital development, organizational growth and equity, Gary is known for his collaborative style, results-orientation, participatory management approach, business acumen and deep industry knowledge in education, resource development, human services, professional development, and nonprofit management. In his most recent leadership role, Gary secured private and public funding and built a revenue generating team for the organization to scale supports to thousands more vulnerable students across America. Gary’s education includes a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in social work, and a specialist in educational leadership. Gary and his partner of over 15 years, Ronnie, have a beautiful daughter and reside in Alexandria, Virginia.
Well-versed in database implementation, program design, and codification, Venture Leader Andrew Lopez excels at creating and leading teams through periods of organizational change.
Andrew specializes in program and systems development, program codification, and performance management. He brings a strategic, big picture approach to his work, while always maintaining an “on the ground” perspective for what it truly takes to get challenging work done effectively and efficiently.
Andrew comes with extensive database implementation experience, having led data collection and evaluation practices at several nonprofits. With over a decade of experience in development of logic models, program manuals, and staff trainings, Andrew brings a data informed mindset and focus to ensure more efficient workplace practices, and ultimately, continuously improving client services and outcomes. Andrew’s experience includes implementation of both case management software (Efforts to Outcomes) as well as certified Electronic Health Record (Welligent) software.
Additionally, Andrew has executive experience in the areas of talent, operations, and philanthropy. Because Andrew is a teacher at heart, he loves to connect with others while helping them see why and how improved processes, data, and an eye toward continuous improvement can help make their lives and the lives of their clients that much better.
Andrew received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in accounting from Arizona State University and his Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University.
Experienced Senior Program Manager with demonstrated capacity creating change and impact within the education non-profit organization industry. Kenn excels at helping construct adaptive leadership environments to promote and generate systems change.
He comes with experience in program data management, school-based non-profit organization programming, along with youth leadership and community development.
Kenn has facilitated in-person professional development trainings through the Communities in Schools RampUp Initiative. This included a series of trainings focused on giving school and youth-serving organization teams the training and tools to address the non-academic barriers that can keep students from succeeding in the classroom.
He earned his B.A. in Chicana/o Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and his M.A. in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding from CSU Dominguez Hills.
Katrina is a strategic advisor, leadership coach, and facilitator. She has dedicated her career to strengthening values-driven organizations, effectively translating organizational vision into day-to-day operational processes and collaborative employee engagement initiatives.
As Chief Operating Officer and Head of People at RSF Social Finance, she led the organization through more than a decade of program expansion, change processes, and asset growth from $60M to over $200M. She developed the organization’s Integrated Capital approach to supporting social entrepreneurs and led RSF’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative, prioritizing organizational learning about social justice, systemic racism, and gender bias.
Previously, she was a Research Associate in the Ethnic Studies Department at UC San Diego, ran a small co-op food business, and worked as an intern and community organizer for the Environmental Health Coalition of San Diego. She has served on the boards of GirlVentures, Yggdrasil Land Foundation, and the Scandinavian School & Cultural Center, contributing to fundraising, risk management oversight, and capacity building projects.
She has a Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco, a B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning from UC San Diego, and an International Business Certificate from Niels Brock Business School in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is also a trained leadership and executive coach through the Co-Active Training Institute.
Colleagues describe Katrina as authentic, heart-centered, and a resourceful bridge-builder. Katrina lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children. She loves to run, bike, and explore the beauty of California’s wilderness.
Pati is a bicultural leader with ample knowledge in the public and nonprofit sectors. She grew up in Venezuela, where her time was spent engaging in philosophy, political activism, community development, child welfare, and public administration. These are still her passions. Since moving to the United States over a decade ago, Pati has worked directly with communities and government to understand the challenges in education and human services.
With experience in program design and program implementation, Pati supports organizations’ ability to materialize their missions into outcomes through the lens of collective action, improved governance, and results-based strategic planning.
Her familiarity in both worlds- systems change and direct services- allows her to successfully engage leaders from all altitudes and align stakeholders behind a common vision that leads to solutions that impact individuals, families, and communities.
Most recently, Pati worked in the Redwood City School District equalizing educational opportunities for the region’s most underserved communities. Pati is very excited to help organizations improve their organizational effectiveness, stakeholder engagement, as well as unlock a true understanding of their work’s impact.
As Operations Manager, Shelby supports the day-to-day operational needs for the organization, while also providing administrative support to the team as they engage with clients. Shelby enjoys being behind-the-scenes, helping ease the workload of her team and finding solutions to operational deficiencies. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Cultural Anthropology, Shelby knew she wanted to work with people in a meaningful way, and help contribute to solving injustices in her community. Shelby joined VLC in the Fall of 2019 to learn the ins-and-outs of the sector, and find where her heart and interests are within nonprofit work. A people person to the core, she loves connecting and learning from others, and serving where it is needed – something that was instilled in her by her parents, who volunteered in their local community through various efforts in the public school system.
Shelby currently resides in the Bay Area and enjoys being outdoors, listening to live music, and taking on interior design projects with her sisters and mother.
Charlie O’Donohue (they/them) has been involved in nonprofit work throughout the past decade, focused on their passions such as community-based legal assistance, youth education, mental healthcare, and the accessibility of the arts. Charlie graduated from Stanford University with an M.A. in Sociology ’22 and a B.A.H. in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity ’21. They ground their work and way of being in the world in values and practices of community care and collective liberation, centering their role in solidarity work. Charlie looks forward to joining in Venture Leadership’s purpose to elevate the nonprofit sector and maximize impact by following the leadership of community members directly. Charlie strives to align their work in the nonprofit sector with their upbringing and learning in community organizing spaces, specifically in queer and transgender liberation movements, and looks forward to continuing this journey as VLC’s Community Impact Fellow.
Originally from the Midwest, Vanetta’s passion to service began while volunteering with her mother a local community center. That passion has led to service-oriented careers from an AmeriCorps member to Independent Consulting and everything in between.
Vanetta possesses expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods of which she has used to aid in organizational, city, and county-wide strategic planning processes; conduct evaluations of community health, policy change, and positive youth development programming; provide trainings on consumer-centered evaluation and foundations of participatory action research; and support nonprofit development efforts. She recently served as Development Manager for Community Works West and a Capacity Building Consultant for the San Francisco Public Health Department. Vanetta holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from Emory University and a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University.
Outside of work, Vanetta serves as Co-Director of the children’s ministry and small group leader at her church, loves being outside (bonus points if it’s near the ocean), reads, works on her bench press PR, and testing new recipes she finds on Pinterest and TikTok.
Prior to joining VLC, Farah worked with various nonprofits that are focused on disrupting educational barriers in both public and higher education. Throughout her career, Farah became known as a jack of all trades, able to take on any role or project. She has extensive experience in developing programs from the ground up, as well as strategic planning, and developing organization-wide operations and partnerships that infuse both mission and values. With over a decade of experience, Farah has exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills, and takes on any challenge with energy and passion.
As the daughter of immigrant parents — and the first person in the family to graduate from college — Farah is deeply committed and motivated to use her skills and talent to work alongside organizations that are addressing undeniable systemic issues.
Farah graduated from UC Riverside in 2011 with a degree in Public Policy, and currently lives in her hometown of Los Angeles, California. In her free time, Farah enjoys reading, running and watching movies.
Mecca Billings has worked at the highest levels of fundraising for nearly 30 years. She began her career at her alma mater in the Harvard College Fund, where she worked as a class officer managing annual and reunion campaigns, and ultimately in a custom position to manage a $25 million capital campaign and identify new major donor prospects on the West Coast. Her extensive travel to the West Coast, coupled with a Boston winter that ended with a snowstorm in April 1997, persuaded her to relocate to sunny California.
In 2011 she founded a full-service fundraising consulting firm that has supported a wide range of nonprofits focused on wildlife, animal welfare, environmental stewardship, performing arts, youth empowerment, education, and documentary film. Her counsel has consistently increased the capacity of her clients to execute major fundraising campaigns, and her consulting work has also encompassed strategic planning, communications, and interim development management. She was a subcontractor with VLC for five years before joining its team in 2023.
A lifelong devotee of the performing arts, she has been a student of Spanish flamenco for nearly two decades. She also enjoys travel, is conversational in French, Spanish and Italian, and is currently learning Portugese.
Jeffrey Franco has over 25 years of experience in leading and managing a large-scale nonprofit, and providing strategic consulting, business development and change management for both corporations and nonprofit organizations.
As CEO of Camino Consulting Group, Jeffrey has worked with local and national nonprofit CEOs to provide strategic plan support, board development, executive coaching and fundraising guidance. Outside of Camino Consulting Group, Jeffrey serves as Adjunct Professor at American University and University of Maryland where he designed and currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in nonprofit management.
Jeffrey served as Interim Executive Director and Vice President of City Year Miami after serving over 12 years as Executive Director of City Year Washington, DC. Under Jeffrey’s leadership, City Year Washington, DC tripled the size of its staff, tripled the number of schools served, and quadrupled the number of students served. Since his arrival at City Year, Franco more than tripled the organization’s fundraising capacity from $2.3 million to $8.6 million. During this time, Jeffrey worked directly with the CEO of the United Way of the National Capital Area to establish its first direct six figure multiyear grant to support for City Year’s work in Washington D.C.’s most underserved schools.
Directly prior to joining City Year, Franco served as the Director of Global Business Development and Project Manager at Voxiva, Senior Consultant at Deloitte Consulting, Associate Director of Marketing and Sales at Corporate Executive Board, and Consultant at the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group.
Outside of his professional work, Franco was named 2013 American University Kogod School of Business Alumni of the Year, is an alumnus of the Aspen Institute Socrates Program, and is a 2016 graduate of the Co-Active Teaching Institute Leadership Program and 2010 graduate of Leadership Greater Washington. He graduated with a B.A. from Fairfield University, and has a Masters degree in International Affairs and M.B.A. from American University. Franco is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, enjoys traveling, has completed 5 marathons and an Ironman triathlon, walked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago in Spain in 2013 and completed the 150 Mile Annapurna Circuit in Nepal in 2017.
Sheryl brings deep educational experience and expertise in K-12, higher education, and the non-profit sector to her consultancy role in Venture Leadership. Her decades-long career has been characterized by helping individuals and organizations increase educational equity and access by improving practice, clarifying values and goals, creating theories of change, and defining and measuring success.
Sheryl has served as a high school special education and English teacher, a Professor of Education, an elementary school principal, and the Vice President for National Program Design at a high performing education non-profit. She has presented, nationally and internationally, and published on a wide range of educational topics including the principalship, gender in schools, the superintendency, professional development schools, instructional leadership, effective partnerships between non-profits and foundations, curriculum, educational policy and teacher voice, educational research, assessments, and pedagogy.
She holds a BA in English and Elementary Education from Hofstra University, a Master’s degree in Special Education and Literacy from Boston College, and a Master’s degree and Doctorate in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Sheryl’s lifelong passion for social, economic, and racial justice have driven her teaching, writing, research, and leadership and have kept her, regardless of role, highly focused and values-driven. When not working, Sheryl practices pursuits she does expertly, fairly well, and not well at all. In no particular order these include hiking, gardening, knitting, playing tennis, traveling, practicing yoga, creating recipes, selecting paint colors, and writing a memoir.
Matthew’s non-traditional path and experiences opened several extremely valuable doors and gave him opportunities to serve in ways he could never have imagined. His undergrad studies in Anthropology introduced him to people and cultures of the world which led him to join the Peace Corps in Cameroon, West Africa where he worked with local communities to provide assistance with micro financing for small businesses and developing community health programs.
His later graduate studies in Public Administration with a focus on industrial psychology and computer science led him to working with several of the top public and private sector companies in the world. Matthew is a highly successful executive who has designed and implemented enterprise solutions for digital health companies, insurance providers, multi-national companies, academic medical centers, non/for-profits and health systems globally.
Silicon Valley, California
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