Jonny Woo is a 2020 graduate of the Young Leaders Council Belmont – Massey Cohort and currently serves as a Human Resources Business Partner for Change Healthcare here in Nashville. Jonny currently serves on the Board of Directors for Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center and is the President of the Associate Board for The Nashville Ronald McDonald House. Recently, YLC caught up with Jonny to see what he’s up to and to talk about how his educational journey at Belmont and training from YLC helped to shape his success as a nonprofit board leader.

How did the YLC program help you leverage your learning experience at Belmont to make you a more effective nonprofit leader?

One of the biggest takeaways from my time at Belmont was the power of effective & genuine networking. Networking is one of those terms that is constantly thrown around (which is good) but the key is to have a purpose behind that networking. YLC allowed me to practice that skill by providing plenty of outlets through the different instructors and opportunities to network with alumni. I specifically remember the topic of Fundraising being taught by Kim Carpenter Drake and all of the new strategies I learned about effective ways to align your networking and fundraising skills. This, for me, was a wonderful example of how YLC helps individuals build specific board leadership skills on top of the educational foundation I received at Belmont. Both experiences helped me to become a more effective nonprofit leader.

What did you enjoy most about your YLC experience?

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the participants within my specific Belmont – Massey Cohort. It was fun to be around such incredible leaders who not only had the shared experience of graduating from Belmont’s Jack C. Massey College of Business but also have a passion for serving the many nonprofits around Nashville. Additionally, I enjoyed the specific content that was taught by the instructors in each class, which focused on the specific guidelines on how nonprofit boards should operate. Two classes that stood out to me were “Nonprofit Financials” with Becky Harrell and “Legal Responsibilities of Board Members” with Trace Blankenship. I remember diving deep into some P&L statements and documents, which is an important thing for a nonprofit board member to understand.

What advice would you share with other young professionals who would like to become nonprofit board leaders?  How can YLC help them make that step?

The best advice I can give is to lean into what you are passionate about and utilize your network. Long story short I had no idea that Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center (MWCHC), the nonprofit organization on which I served as a board intern and was eventually voted in as a full member of the board, existed prior to my YLC experience. I was able to leverage the mentor relationships that I have in the Nashville Healthcare industry to connect with MWCHC as a YLC intern and support a mission that aligned with my professional passion of improving healthcare for everyone.  YLC provides invaluable networking opportunities and helps match participants with organizations where they can help build awareness and make a lasting impact.