Hodges University Welcomes New Director of Nonprofit Excellence

Hodges University’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence is a valuable resource for professional development in the Southwest Florida nonprofit community, and as it continues to grow and evolve, the center is doing the same with a new mission and new director at the helm. In spring 2017, the center welcomed Dr. Noreen Thomas as its new director. With more than 40 years of experience working in higher education, she is actively involved in Southwest Florida’s academic and nonprofit communities.

As the former executive vice president of Edison State College (now Florida SouthWestern State College), she retired in 2010 but continues to teach in the doctoral program at National American University. Bringing a wealth of experience in nonprofit governance and leadership, Thomas is diligently working to grow the center in a way that will encourage collaboration among key stakeholders from various nonprofit agencies in the area, as well as continue to provide valuable programming at Hodges’ Fort Myers and Naples campuses.

“Dr. Thomas’ extensive academic and collaborative background is a great gift to the CNE at Hodges University. We are pleased to have her expertise in engaging both top level nonprofit leaders and organizing a broad spectrum curriculum that will provide tools for all of our nonprofit professionals to succeed,” said Katherine Caskey, chief development officer of the Marco YMCA and president-elect of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Collier-Lee Chapter.

Adhering to its new mission, “to support excellence in the leadership and management of nonprofit enterprises through professional development opportunities, research and mentoring,” Thomas’ focus is to provide leadership development for boards and executive directors, as well as stewardship and operations, and a service component for emerging and accelerated nonprofits in the area.

Catherine Bergerson, director of communications and marketing at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, remarked of Thomas’ leadership skills, saying, “I have known Dr. Thomas professionally and personally for almost 10 years, and we have spent time together on a variety of
projects. She has a proven ability to lead in the classroom, in large organizations and throughout the community. The positive energy she brings to each project motivates and inspires those around her to excel.”

“Our vision is to enhance the nonprofit community within this region by providing training and development opportunities, as well as providing
services to help nonprofits launch their missions,” Thomas said. Throughout the 2017-2018 season, the center plans to host a variety
of programs on its Naples campus, focusing on a wide range of topics. The schedule is as follows:


Seminars and Institutes
• Indiana University’s Overview of Developing Major Gifts
August 24 & 25, 2017

• Strengthening Nonprofit Board Leadership,
Governance and Accountability
October 6, 2017

• Advanced Leadership Institute
April 12 & 13, 2018

• Management Institute for Nonprofit Managers                                                                                                                                                                                   June 7 & 8, 2018

Topic-Specific Morning Series ($35 per session)
• What’s Your Story…Tell it to Your Donors with Focus and Ease
September 14, 2017

• The Basics of an Annual Campaign
October 12, 2017

• Special Events Designed with a Strategic Purpose
December 7, 2017

• The Why and How of Strategic Planning
January 26, 2018

The Professional You Series ($35 per session)
• Being at Ease with Public Speaking                                                                                                                                                                                            November 16, 2017

• Leadership: Aligning Your Values and Finding Your Voice
February 15, 2018

All sessions possess continuing education units (CEUs), certified fund raising executive (CFRE) certification and/or lead to a Hodges
University Certificate in Nonprofit Excellence. To view the entire schedule, visit www.hodges.edu/cne/

For more information about the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, contact Dr. Noreen Thomas at nthomas2@hodges.edu
or call 239.405.7687.

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