New E.D. 360

Mentorship, training, and peer support for new Executive Directors/CEOs

About New E.D. 360

The New E.D. 360 program is a unique mentorship, training, and peer support model that will provide new Executive Director / CEO mentees with a facilitated dialogue designed to build participants’ operational and leadership capacity and gives participants the ability to seek peer support during Executive Director (ED) onboarding in a safe, nonjudgmental atmosphere.

Experienced ED mentors offer their knowledge and expertise in a 1:1 context to help the new ED learn and grow. Experienced EDs have committed to a relationship where mutual learning and support is expected. The program includes:

Affinity Group meetings—One year of facilitated, monthly new ED peer support and peer-learning Affinity Group meetings

Training—Get training on a range of relevant topics to strengthen your skillsets and gain a deeper understanding of the local nonprofit sector

Mentorship—The opportunity to be paired with experienced Executive Director mentors for free 1:1 coaching

Reverse Mentorship—Experienced EDs get new ideas and new energy from their relationship with a new ED

New ED Mentees benefit from:

Applications are now open! The due date to apply is Tuesday, April 2. 

Apply for the 2024 Cohort!

We are also looking for experienced Executive Directors to mentor New Executive Directors!
Learn more about mentor expectations and eligibility on the mentor FAQ/Application.

Meet the 2023 Cohort

The 2023 New E.D. 360 Cohort represents a wide array of nonprofits and nonprofit subsets from wraparound support and organizing to arts & culture organizations.

Maria Noel Fernandez

Working Partnerships USA

Maria Noel brings over a decade of organizing experience to the movement for a just economy.  As Deputy Executive Director and Campaign Director for Silicon Valley Rising from 2017-2022, she led a coordinated regional effort that led to over 10,000 service workers in the tech industry organize for better wages and a voice at work. As Working Partnerships USA’s organizing director from 2014 to 2017, Maria Noel was instrumental in developing organizing and campaign strategies that won a $15/hr minimum wage in eight Silicon Valley cities, the first-in-the-nation Opportunity to Work ballot initiative, and other policies that are improving the lives of working people and their families. She also spent three years teaching English and Social Studies in Bogota, Colombia after having spent several years working for then-City of San Jose Vice Mayor. Maria Noel lives in Gilroy with her husband, sons Tadeo and Diago. She is a board member of Powerswitch Action.

Susan Frazer

Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley

As the CEO of Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, Susan Frazer leads the agency to meet the diverse psychosocial needs of Santa Clara County's newcomer refugees, holocaust survivors, older adults, adults and families. Susan's 35+ years in the nonprofit sector has allowed her to be a leader in the aging services sector, impacting policies and and creating programs to fill the unmet needs of the County's older adult population. Susan is passionate about JFS SV's ability to serve the community, regardless of age, color, religious beliefs or sexual orientation and building the agency's scope of work through the lens of Jewish values which include welcoming the stranger and repairing the world. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Susan holds a master's degree in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a Social Work degree from San Francisco State University.

Rhonda Nourse

Happy Hollow Foundation

Combining a passion for philanthropy and fundraising, Rhonda has made a career of matching donor values to missions that are meaningful through creativity and conviction. Rhonda is currently the executive director of Happy Hollow Foundation and previously worked at Via Services and Sacred Heart Nativity Schools. She is a participant of the 2023 cohort of Leadership San Jose, a board member for National Charity League and former board member of Bellarmine Mother’s Guild. She holds two degrees from the University of San Diego: bachelor of arts degree in communications; and a bachelor of arts degree in political science.

Angelina Rodriguez

Concrete Rose Coalition

Angelina Rodriguez founded Concrete Rose Coalition stemming from her passion of community work with youth having upbringings similar to her own. Angelina's background in community organizing, paired with personal experiences, naturally allows trusting relationships to be built within her community. A proud Chicana with indigenous roots in Chihuahua, Mexico, she whole-heartedly believes youth need to see individuals with similar backgrounds making positive community impacts. Angelina is a member of SCC's Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, as well as SCC's Juvenile Justice Gender Responsive Task Force. She is working towards becoming an attorney and will be taking the baby bar in 2024.

Jose "Tony" Romero

Latinos United for a New America (LUNA)

Born in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. At the age of 10, Tony moved to San Diego county with his family. As a first-generation college student, he knows the importance of mentorship, guidance, and support. He served as an academic advisor for college-bound high school students with Trio Educational Talent Search. Also, he served as a mentor to middle school students with AmeriCorps and served in the Peace Corps Ecuador program as a Youth and Family Development volunteer. ​Now as a community organizer, he has worked to engage the Latinx community in policies and to bring educational resources to the East Side. He is currently working with the Bonita & 24th chapter to working to engage families in social justice activities.  He looks forward to implementing his all his knowledge to help LUNA grow. Tony has two master's degrees in Public Administration and International Education Management.

Tonya Suker

Playful People Productions

Tonya Suker is the Executive Director of Playful People Productions and serves on its board of directors. Before being named E.D. in August 2022, Tonya worked as a Theater Arts Teacher, Director, and Performer with PPP on over 25 productions since 2010. She enthusiastically shares her love of arts education with people at every stage of their journey, fosters creative talent in a digital world, and prioritizes creating kind, inclusive spaces where people are welcome to (re)experience the arts as their authentic selves. She moved to the Bay Area after earning a BA in Drama from UC Irvine.

Sujatha Venkatraman

West Valley Community Services

Sujatha has twenty-five years of cross-cultural experience working in areas of social welfare, training, and educating people on life skills. She has developed and implemented strategies for welfare and developmental policies for nonprofit organizations. She has experience as executive leadership managing large programs with huge community impact and implementing sustainable fundraising strategies. Sujatha has in-depth working experience in behavioral therapy and child welfare systems and has deep involvement with many school districts bringing services to homeless and low-income families.

About the Cohort Facilitator, Nelson Layag

Nelson’s passionate about working alongside people and organizations who fight for justice. His understanding and love for the power a group of individuals have when they find a way to work effectively together is evident in his organizational development work with nonprofit organizations, teams, and leaders. In his 25+ years of work in organizational development, he has supported organizations in a wide range of issues that include performance management/staffing, coaching and communications, project management, organizational change, boards of directors, strategy, and leadership development. At the core of all his consulting, facilitation and training engagements is equity and justice.

Nelson is also a certified leadership coach through Leadership That Works and not only bring his coaching to individuals but also with teams. Before starting his own consulting firm in 2018, he spent 24 years at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and served in various roles including directing the public training program, leading consulting projects, and designing and leading leadership development initiatives. He co-designed and cofacilitated CompassPoint’s Fundraising Bright Spots Program. He also provided fundraising coaching for the program’s participants. Some of his recent clients include Surge Institute, Earthjustice, ABADÁ-Capoeira, SOMA Pilipinas, Grid Alternatives, Dolores Street Community Services, the Ford Foundation, and Changelab Solutions.

2023 Cohort Sponsors