Alumni Spotlight: Jonny Woo

Alumni Spotlight: Jonny Woo

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.

Young Leaders Council Announces Fall 2021 Participants

Young Leaders Council Announces Fall 2021 Participants


Young Leaders Council is proud to announce the fall participants in the Nashville Class 77 and Williamson County Cohorts, two of five cohorts hosted this year. YLC also facilitates board leadership training in the spring through the Nashville, Junior League of Nashville, and the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University Cohorts. Seventy-nine young professionals from diverse professional and ethnic backgrounds are represented in the program this fall, which kicked-off officially on September 8 with a celebratory opening session and inspirational keynote address from Derek Young, YLC alumnus and president/CEO of Young Motivation Group.

Meet The

2021  Fall Cohorts

Alumni Spotlight: Catching up with Abby Bass

Alumni Spotlight: Catching up with Abby Bass

Abby-Bass-HeadshotYoung Leaders Council is honored to have trained over 2700 dynamic community leaders since 1985. Our remarkable alumni have taken the knowledge gained through the program and used their skills to make a lasting impact for the Middle Tennessee community. This month we are spotlighting Abby Bass, graduate of the YLC 2016 Williamson County Cohort. We recently caught up with Abby and asked her to share what she’s currently up to and reflect on her YLC experience.

What is your current role with Williamson, Inc. and what do you enjoy most about your work?

As Vice President of Events and Communications, I love creating meaningful events for the business community and finding business professionals with incredible leadership lessons to share. I am most energized when I get to create and collaborate on brand-new events like developing Williamson Forward, Leadership YP, Outlook Williamson and coming soon Leadership DEI to name a few.

As a 2016 graduate of the YLC Williamson County Cohort, how have you used the knowledge and connections gained through that experience to further your community leadership goals?

I understand and appreciate the important role that non-profits and volunteerism has in the community. I continue to serve Williamson County, outside of work, through Friends of Franklin Parks, 100 Women Who Care, Center Stage Society of TPAC, and PTO at Winstead Elementary.

What did you enjoy most about your time in the YLC program?

I thoroughly enjoyed my internship on the board of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC). As a board intern, I was able to see the inner workings of a large operation non-profit that serves the entire region through the visual arts. The experience was priceless! TPAC is a community asset that will have my continued support for all they do for middle Tennessee. Also, I attended the TPAC Gala 2018 as their silent auction chair, and that event is 10 out of 10 if you ever have a chance to attend. I highly recommend it!

What advice would you share with young professionals interested in participating in the YLC training program?

Be sure to select a non-profit that you are passionate about. That passion will allow you to leave board meetings energized. Also, get to know your classmates. Several of my classmates and I stay connected even now – five years later! It is an experience you won’t regret.

YLC and Williamson, Inc. have partnered since 2013 to host the Williamson County Cohort. Through this partnership, YLC has effectively trained over 180 young professionals that reside or work in the Williamson County area since its inception.  Matt Largen (President & CEO) and Cortni Beardsley (Communications & Events Manager) of Williamson, Inc. are also YLC alumni. Click here to learn more about the YLC training program or to apply for the Fall Williamson County Cohort.

Young Leader Spotlight: Erica Rivero

Young Leader Spotlight: Erica Rivero

Erica Rivero, Director of Inventory and Systems Management at Thistle Farms, is a member of the Young Leaders Council Nashville Class 76. In a recent discussion, Erica shares how participating in the YLC program, where she received training on how to be an impactful board member at a non-profit, enhances her capabilities as a professional in the non-profit sector.

Kate: Thank you for sitting down to share your experience with the YLC, Erica! How did you first learn about the Young Leaders Council?

Erica: Glad to be here! I first heard about the YLC because Thistle Farms, my employer, hosted a YLC intern. I am someone who is passionate about leadership and the non-profit sector, so the program sparked my interest.

Kate: We are glad that you got involved! What has been the most valuable part of the YLC program to you?

Erica: Many of my class members are new to learning about non-profits and the types of community-based organizations that we have here locally. I have worked in this space since my time as a student at Belmont so I came to the program with a different lens.

The best thing about the YLC program for us all is that the YLC instructors all have deep experience in non-profit management. They have all worked in the space for a long time. They understand the problems that non-profits face; for instance, the challenges associated with growth. We are learning from experts in the YLC program.

Through the YLC, I have gained a better understanding of how my own organization functions, which strengthens my leadership capacity as an employee. For instance, Noah Spiegel’s session on board member responsibilities included a discussion of the life cycles of non-profits. This session provided context that situated my understanding of the growth of the non-profit social enterprise where I work within the broader non-profit sector.

Kate: Thank you for sharing – and congratulations on recently completing the program! What are your hopes for what’s next, now that you’re a YLC alum?

Erica: On a practical level, I love that this program allowed me to learn about other non-profits in our community. The community response to the COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the importance of partnerships between non-profit to meet community needs. No one organization could do everything alone. I will take the knowledge and relationships gained through YLC to continue to connect with other non-profits for partnerships moving forward.

I love how Nashville welcomes immigrants, and I will serve as a board intern at Conexión Americas starting this fall. I am excited to play a larger role in connecting immigrants to resources right here in Nashville. I am passionate about leadership and social justice and I will find ways to continue contributing in this space.

A Resource for Nonprofit Boards During This Time

A Resource for Nonprofit Boards During This Time

We find ourselves in uncharted waters – as businesses, individuals, families, and nonprofit organizations. As we navigate the coming weeks, it is crucial to create a strategic plan for your organization to weather the storm. The resource below is not produced by YLC, but we want to share it with any nonprofit friends who might be looking for wisdom during this time.

Article from Board Source Blog:

“What Nonprofit Board Members Should Be Doing Right Now to Address the COVID-19 Situation”

City Lights 2020 | Family & Children’s Service Spring Event

City Lights 2020 | Family & Children’s Service Spring Event

City Lights 2020 | Family & Children’s Service March 28, 2020 – 6:30PM

We love our nonprofit friends at Family & Children’s Service! In fact, they hosted our most recent Opening Class Session for Young Leaders Council! They are hosting a spring event, City Lights 2020 – honoring Hunter Atkins & John Steele.

The party will feature a 70s Disco theme with live music by legendary funk band Delicious, dancing, and catering by Johnny Haffner. John Steele and Hunter Atkins will be honored for their community service and support of FCS. It’s a cocktail supper (open buffet; no tables). This makes it easy for partygoers to mingle all night. 70s costumes are encouraged (but not required), and there will be fun surprises throughout the evening.

The event benefits Family & Children’s Service, which serves more than 50,000 of our community’s most vulnerable children and families each year.

If you or your business would like to sponsor the event, please contact Beth Hall at 615.340.9718