Nonprofit Executive RoundTable (NET)

The next cohort will run on the second Tuesday of the month* starting September 12, 2017. Apply now to reserve your space!

It can be lonely at the top. Nonprofit executives are peerless within their organization, with no one to talk to about sensitive issues and challenging situations. ESC of New England is pleased to announce a new program to address this professional support gap.  The ESC Nonprofit Executive RoundTable (NET) provides a confidential and risk free forum for nonprofit chief executives to share challenges and get real-time constructive feedback from smart, connected leaders outside their organizations who understand the unique challenges of the job.

The monthly facilitated roundtable creates a consistent community of peers where nonprofit chief executives are able to openly present issues of concern and get support from peers who have experience successfully resolving similar issues.

What current participants have told us:

  • My staff asked where I was going and I replied, ‘to my ED therapy group. I wouldn’t miss it!‘”
  • “It’s a great sounding board, a really good reality check for me on professional norms, and a terrific place for idea generation on all kinds of organizational and program material.”  
  • “Do we have to wait a whole month to meet again?”

Topics may include:

  • How to stay strategic in the clutter of a 24/7 world
  • Providing incentives for high achievers beyond salary
  • Which board recruitment options have been rewarding
  • What to do when an employee isn’t performing yet has support from key constituents
  • How to recruit, train or retain staff and volunteers
  • How diversity and inclusion improve organizational results
  • How to engage millennials
  • How to explore the potential for collaborations and mergers
  • When/how to talk about succession planning

Features and benefits:

  • Limited to 10 Executive Directors; enrollment closes when the group is filled.
  • Professionally facilitated by experienced ESC consultants
  • 10, two-hour monthly meetings
  • Sessions are held at ESC in Downtown Boston, easily accessible by public transportation.
  • Bring topics of interest to monthly meetings and leave with input from your peers’ experiences.
  • Share resources in a Dropbox for members only
  • Learn and grow as a leader by having your own group to serve as a sounding board.

Expectations (essential in building trust and creating a safe environment for sharing):

  • Agree and commit to strict confidentiality (“what is said in the room stays in the room”)
  • Attend at least eight of the ten monthly meetings


  • Apply here for the new cohort that will run on the second Tuesday of the month beginning in September.
    • Dates: 9/12, 10/17*, 11/14, 12/12, 1/9, 2/13, 3/13, 4/10, 5/8, 6/12. (*third Tuesday in October because of the holiday in the second week)
    • Time: 8:30-10:30 a.m.
    • Location: ESC Offices, 176 Federal St., Ste. 5-C, Boston, MA, 02110
  • Cost per participant is $925; scholarships are available—ask Julie.
  • A refundable $50 deposit is required of all new applicants. If you rescind your application by 8/1/17, your deposit will be returned to you.
  • Contact Julie Crockford with questions at or 617-357-5550.

Facilitator Bios

Judith Kidd
Judith Kidd has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and governance as a board president, organization leader, university instructor, college dean, fundraiser and director of community foundation and corporate philanthropy. She was most recently the Associate Dean of Harvard College for Student Life and Activities. Prior to assuming that position she was: Vice President for Development and Co-Chief Operating Officer of City Year; Manager of Donor Relations for the Boston Foundation; and, Manager of Corporate Contributions for Bank of Boston. She has taught graduate courses in fund-raising and nonprofit management for Radcliffe Seminars, the Harvard University Extension School and the Boston University School of Management MBA program. She has also been lead governance trainer for the Executive Service Corps and a frequent consultant on governance issues. She holds a BA from Williams College, a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from the Gestalt International Study Center, and a Certificate for Advanced Studies in Management from Radcliffe Seminars.

Julie Mairano
Julie Mairano is an experienced nonprofit executive. As Executive Director of the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation for over 22 years, she led the organization through a period of substantial growth. Julie has a deep understanding of the challenges of integrating the realms of mission, resource acquisition and strategy. She has successfully developed and implemented strategic fundraising plans and public relations campaigns. In addition, she has experience with succession planning and has served as a mentor and executive coach to several nonprofit leaders. In addition to her work with ESC and her involvement on a number of nonprofit boards, she is an active volunteer with a major gifts program of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Marianne Mortara
Marianne Mortara is an organization development and human resources professional with significant expertise developing staff and leaders and managing organizational change.  She has held senior HR positions with Shire Human Genetic Therapies, most recently as Talent Management Director and previously as Human Resources Director and Senior Business Partner. While at Shire, she co-designed and implemented an ongoing executive development program, which resulted in dramatic increases in executive engagement. Prior to this, she held the position of Human Resources Manager with Fidelity Investments, and also served as a Human Resources Consultant to Lotus Development Corporation during M&A by IBM. Marianne is a member of the Human Resources Leadership Forum and the Boston Facilitators Round Table.  She has also served on the boards of Simmons Graduate School of Management Alumnae Association, Handel & Haydn Society, Slow Food Boston, and American Institute of Wine & Food.