What Recent Graduates are Saying About YLC!

What Recent Graduates are Saying About YLC!

There are so many wonderful components of the YLC program, but what stands out the most to me is the opportunity to engage with a multitude of passionate nonprofit leaders and organizations in the Nashville area. I have been an active volunteer in the Nashville nonprofit community for 15+ years, but was introduced to numerous outstanding organizations that I didn’t know about that are doing inspiring and impactful work. 

I would recommend YLC to any young professionals who are eager to expand their nonprofit skills, multiply their impact in the Nashville nonprofit space, and develop community with like-minded individuals. I found my cohort members to be sagacious, open-minded, curious, empathetic, and lots of fun! 

I loved many aspects of the Young Leaders Council training, but what stood out to me most was the pure excitement and engagement of the leadership team and YLC board members. When you walk into any meeting or event, you can feel the energy in the room – these leaders are eager to share their knowledge and expertise simply in the hopes of you fulfilling your dreams to serve your purpose.  

The YLC training program is extremely beneficial for a number of reasons. Overall, young leaders will benefit from the program because it offers a safe space to obtain the knowledge needed to become a successful board member and a well-rounded young professional with access to numerous resources beginning on day one. 

I enjoyed the YLC training program because it gave me the opportunity to learn from current nonprofit board members. YLC taught us to not be afraid to ask all of the questions and encouraged us not to be followers.  

Experiencing this program with other likeminded individuals made me feel like I had a team to fall back on and kept me from feeling out of place. I loved hearing different perspectives from future board members. One of the best parts of the program was knowing that the YLC team are always willing to help and guide you along the way. 

Thank You for Your Leadership – Sarah Rochford Benfield

Thank You for Your Leadership – Sarah Rochford Benfield

For more than six years, Sarah Rochford Benfield has donated her time, talents and treasure as a Board Member for Young Leaders Council and has spent the past two years as Board Chair for the organization. Sarah has been a constant source of support and encouragement for the YLC team throughout her tenure, helping to build partnerships and sharing her passion for the organization throughout the community. Sarah is a member of the Junior League of Nashville and is a Human Resources Operations – Business Analyst with HCA Healthcare. Sarah will continue to support the YLC Board for an additional year, providing guidance and assistance to the incoming Board Chair, Julia Bonner Zade, Founder and President of Pierce Public Relations. YLC is truly grateful for Sarah and her and leadership in service to YLC.  

A Holiday Note from Kim James….  

I am excited to report that 2022 proved to be a phenomenal year for Young Leaders Council! One that allowed us to finally convene for in-person training and events; reconnect with YLC alumni; develop new partnerships; and find innovative ways to accomplish our mission. We are also excited to welcome Rachel Reyes back to the YLC team! Rachel will serve as program manager, playing a key role in managing the logistical planning, outreach, and communications efforts necessary to successfully facilitate the YLC training program. 

Over 37 years ago, some truly exceptional leaders saw an opportunity to create this unique organization. They intended for YLC to be a bridge that would train talented young professionals to effectively serve the local nonprofit community. Because of these visionaries, YLC has facilitated training for more than 3,000 individuals – many of whom have made an indelible contribution to the growth and success of local nonprofit agencies. These founders changed the Nashville landscape and paved the way for the important work that YLC continues to do today. 

YLC is truly thankful for them and for the opportunity to equip and empower the next generation of nonprofit board leaders. Whether you supported YLC this year by making a financial contribution, by participating in our training program, attending a YLC event, or by keeping us in your thoughts as we transitioned back to in-person training this year – we are grateful for you! And as we close out 2022 and prepare for the new year, I hope that you will continue to support and invest in the future of this great organization. None of this important work happens without YOU! 

Happy Holidays! 

Kim James 

Executive Director l Young Leaders Council 


Leadership Luncheon 2022

Leadership Luncheon 2022

Young Leaders Council hosted its 2022 Leadership Luncheon on Thursday, November 17th at the Music City Center, welcoming over 300 alumni, corporate partners, and community leaders. The Luncheon featured an inspiring and thought-provoking conversation moderated by Erika Glover (Fox17 News) with Marcus Whitney(Jumpstart Nova), Courtney Ross (Amazon), and Tiffany Kerns (CMA Foundation) on leadership and innovation.

The 2022 recipient of the Young Leader of the Year Award, Gary Gaston, was announced during the event as well as YLC’s Legacy of Leadership Award Winner, Hal Cato. Both Gary and Hal are YLC alumni and highly accomplished leaders who have made an indelible contribution to the growth and prosperity of the Nashville nonprofit community.

The Leadership Luncheon was presented by Asurion and Amazon and received generous sponsorship support from Tractor Supply Company, Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University, The Memorial Foundation, HCA Healthcare / TriStar Health, Turner Construction, people3, LBMC, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Dollar General, and FirstBank.

YLC is truly grateful for everyone that joined us for the Leadership Luncheon and for your continued investment in its mission and programming over the years.

Photos provided by Emanuel Roland with Roland’s Photography and Padrion Scott with P. Scott Photography

YLC Hosts Inaugural Legacy Council Reception

YLC Hosts Inaugural Legacy Council Reception

Young Leaders Council recently hosted an invitation only reception for members of the Legacy Council on Wednesday, November 16th at Sinema Nashville. The Legacy Council is part of a new alumni engagement initiative focused specifically on leveraging and reinforcing existing relationships with individuals that have a heightened connection to the impact and mission of YLC, including past board members, major donors, and recipients of the Young Leader of the Year Award.

The Legacy Council Reception was sponsored by Amazon, LBMC, and Joshua Livingston – YLC’s former Board Chair who played an instrumental role in laying the groundwork for the Legacy Council initiative. Thank you to all who attended this monumental event.

Photos provided by Emanual Roland with Roland’s Photography