Nonprofit Executive RoundTable (NET)


The third cohort will be held at lunchtime on the second Thursday of the month. Apply now for the April 13th start!


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.

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 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 two experienced ESC consultants (see bios below).
  • 10, two-hour monthly meetings.
  • Sessions are held in Downtown Boston, easily accessible by public transportation.
  • Bring topics of interest to monthly meetings and leave with input from your peers’ experiences.
  • 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 nine meetings per year


Session format

  • First hour: Participants share and discuss current issue/problem to be addressed by group
  • Second hour: focus is on a broader, more general topic of interest to participants as identified the previous month; outside experts may participate to address specific topics. 
  • Close monthly session with sharing resources among participants

Cost per participant is $925; scholarships are available.

Contact Julie Crockford with questions at jcrockford@escne.org 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.