Young Leaders Council Graduates 125 Members

Young Leaders Council Graduates 125 Members

Young Leaders Council, the only nonprofit in Middle Tennessee committed to broadening and strengthening Nashville’s volunteer leadership base, has completed training for 125 young professionals as part of the 2024 Spring Cohort, which is composed of the Nashville Spring 2024, Junior League of Nashville and the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University classes.

Participants will now transition into board internships and serve as nonvoting members of local nonprofit boards and immediately put their newfound knowledge and skills to use.

The YLC mission is to train diverse, committed individuals to effectively participate on the boards of nonprofit organizations and make a difference in the community by replenishing the volunteer leadership base. Founded in 1985, Young Leaders Council has more than 3,500 alumni who have made a lasting impact through board service for local nonprofit organizations.

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Alumni Spotlight (Dr. Kyla Stripling and The Well Coffeehouse)

Alumni Spotlight (Dr. Kyla Stripling and The Well Coffeehouse)

Dr. Kyla Stripling Dr. Kyla Stripling, Ed.D., is the Senior Director of Strategy and Transformation for Amsurg and a graduate of the YLC 2023 Junior League of Nashville Cohort. Kyla is currently serving her YLC board internship with The Well Coffeehouse, an organization committed to Turning Coffee Into Water and focused on finding sustainable solutions to poverty. The Well Coffeehouse turns profits into hope by using its revenue to make a difference in local and global communities.

We recently caught up with Kyla, who also serves as a board member for a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council, to learn more about her experience as a board internship work for The Well Coffeehouse and how it differs from the work of the for-profit board she supports.

In what ways has your YLC training helped prepare you for success as a nonprofit board member?

YLC helped hone my leadership abilities, deepen my understanding of nonprofit operations, and enhanced my community engagement skills. Through YLC, I learned valuable project and volunteer management techniques and how to foster effective teamwork and collaboration. The training emphasized adaptability, problem-solving, and reinforced a strong commitment to ethics and social responsibility as a board member. These skills are critical for navigating the challenges of nonprofit governance and help to ensure that I effectively contribute meaningfully to the organization’s mission.

You also serve as a for-profit board member for the DEI Advisory Council. How has that experience been different or similar to your experience as a nonprofit board member for The Well Coffeehouse?

Serving on a mission-driven nonprofit board differs from a for-profit company’s DEI board mainly in focus and objectives. Nonprofit boards are dedicated to advancing specific social, environmental, or humanitarian goals, measuring success by their impact and community service. In contrast, DEI boards within for-profit entities balance promoting inclusivity and equity with achieving business goals, aiming to enhance performance through diversity. Thus, the nonprofit board experience centers on mission fulfillment, while DEI board service intertwines social justice with business outcomes.

How can other YLC alumni support the mission of The Well Coffeehouse?

I encourage YLC alumni to support The Well Coffeehouse by following the organization through social media, patronizing one of its five Nashville area locations, shopping in the online store, or donating to support an upcoming water project.

Congratulations Fall 2023 Graduates! 

Congratulations Fall 2023 Graduates! 

Congratulations to the graduates of the YLC fall 2023 Nashville and Williamson County Cohorts! Eighty-six talented young professionals participated in YLC’s fall training program, where they convened over the course of 11-weeks to advance their knowledge of topics deemed essential for successful nonprofit board leaders. The fall 2023 semester was the first fully in-person training season since spring 2020, and offered participants the opportunity to engage weekly with other likeminded individuals looking to elevate their capacity to effectively serve.

As participants prepare to transition into their yearlong board internships, YLC is excited to witness another generation of phenomenal young leaders, poised to support the growth and success of our local nonprofit community. To view a full listing of the fall 2023 graduates, please click on the appropriate roster below:

YLC Hosts 2023 Leadership Luncheon

YLC Hosts 2023 Leadership Luncheon

On November 9th, Young Leaders Council hosted its annual Leadership Luncheon fundraising event, featuring a dynamic keynote conversation with Butch Spyridon (Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp) and Kevin Lavender (Fifth Third Bank). The conversation was moderated by YLC alumna and Assistant Dean of External Relations & Strategic Partnerships for the Jack C. Massey College of Business, Jill Robinson. The discussion focused on the importance of building community connections through volunteer leadership.

Over 300 guests registered to attend the Leadership Luncheon, which serves as YLC’s largest fundraising event of the year. During the event, YLC celebrated the lasting legacy of former Executive Director, Diane L. Hayes by renaming the Legacy of Leadership Award in her honor. YLC also announced Sydney Ball (NFP) as the 2023 Young Leader of the Year and recognized Jill Robinson as the Diane L. Hayes Legacy of Leadership Award recipient.

The Leadership Luncheon was presented by Amazon and Tractor Supply Company and received generous sponsorship support from the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University, Nashville Electric Service, Deloitte, LBMC, HCA Healthcare / TriStar Health, PwC, and Fifth Third Bank.

Alumni Spotlight: Madison Ayers

Alumni Spotlight: Madison Ayers

Over the years, YLC has facilitated training for more than 3,000 individuals, many of whom continue to serve and support our local nonprofit community as board leaders. As participants graduate from the program, many of them transition into a one-year board internship, where they can put their newfound knowledge and skills to use and immediately make an impact in the community.

We recently received an inspiring note from Sarah Lingo, Executive Director for Sister Cities, a nonprofit organization focused on promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation by connecting individuals in Nashville to other people around the world. Sarah shared her experience with one of YLC’s recent alumni, Madison Ayers, a YLC Nashville Class 78 graduate who completed her one-year board internship with the organization. Please see Sarah’s note below.

“Madison has become an important part of our board and our organization. She has participated in many events including helping us prepare for our largest fundraising gala, donating homemade macarons for the event, donating a personal yoga instruction class for our silent auction, and regularly participates in all things we do.  In May, she accompanied an official delegation visit to Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq as we explored a possible new sister city relationship between Erbil and Nashville.  This was a huge endeavor and one where Madison, as our youngest delegation member, showed an incredible amount of professionalism, cultural competency, and leadership. Madison has consistently shown an effort to reach out to our Kurdish brothers and sisters here in Nashville as well as forge connections with those living in Erbil.  I am continuously impressed with her and have come to lean on her as a vital member of our organization, as well as a friend. Though she technically could not vote on the Erbil relationship, she was a strong voice of recommendation for our board to look to when making this major decision.  Her participation in this delegation visit was, in simple terms, a really big deal.” 

Sister Cities plans to offer Madison the opportunity to become a full board member this fall and expressed sincere gratitude for the work she has done to support the organization over the past year. YLC is truly proud of Madison and her commitment to advancing the mission and global work of Sister Cities.

We love to hear from our alumni and community partners! If you would like to share your stories with YLC, please email Rachel Reyes at

Young Leaders Council announces spring graduates

Young Leaders Council announces spring graduates

Nashville’s Young Leaders Council has recognized 112 young professionals through its 2023 spring cohort.

According to a release, the group is comprised of the Nashville Spring 2023, Junior League of Nashville and the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University classes. Spring training began in early March with an opening session and address from Derek Young, YLC alumnus and president/CEO of Young Motivation Group.

Training concluded on May 17 as participants transitioned into their board internships, where they serve as non-voting members of local nonprofit boards. 

YLC seeks to train a diverse group of individuals to participate on the boards of nonprofit organizations. Founded in 1985, Young Leaders Council has more than 3,000 alumni.

“YLC has the honor of ensuring that the nonprofit community has direct access to bright, well-trained  young professionals who have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively serve as board leaders,”  Kim James, YLC executive director, said in the release.

Young Leaders Council’s philanthropic partners include The Frist Foundation, HCA Healthcare Foundation, Truist Foundation, The Marlene and Spencer Hays Foundation, The Memorial Foundation and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.