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Photo credit: Prospanica

Daniels’ Executive Education and Prospanica to resume Board Leadership Program in September

Executive Education at the Daniels College of Business has announced it will resume its Board Leadership Program with Prospanica, the association for Hispanic MBAs and business professionals, this coming September.

The Prospanica Board Leadership Development Program is a top-tier, intensive course developed jointly by Executive Education and Prospanica. A cohort of leaders meets regularly over three months, gaining confidence and capability to serve on Boards of larger influence.

The two organizations began working together in 2018 after Prospanica learned from a report by the Alliance for Board Diversity and consulting giant Deloitte that minority men made up only 11.5% of the Fortune 500 board seats, that minority women held just 4.6% seats and that only 3.8% of those seats were filled by Hispanics.

Prospanica set out to raise those numbers by creating a board leadership program that would prepare Latino business professionals for service on boards.

Prospanica’s director of programs, Evan Cleveland, said Prospanica sought proposals from three universities to create a program and chose Daniels Executive Education because it “carried not only the scope of topics and activities we thought were important, but also the passion for influencing board diversity.” 

The program launched in 2019 with 11 participants that included on-campus meetings and workshops, six webinars and a retreat at a Prospanica conference in Orlando, Florida.

David Worley

David Worley

Cleveland said the program has been well received and that participants said that they felt better prepared to serve on nonprofit, university or corporate boards.

David Worley, executive director of Executive Education at Daniels, added that post-program surveys reported participants found the program highly valuable.

“One participant said after the program she was asked to fill in as chair on a nonprofit board,” Worley said. “She told us the program made her feel ready and that she was able to lead with confidence.”

Another graduate, Yorka Velasco-Caballero, a national sales manager at Keurig Dr. Pepper, called the program “a game changer.”  

“The program allows you to really craft your next steps and lean in where your passion and purpose align,” said Velasco-Caballero, who today serves on three nonprofit boards. “The DU program helped me focus on my mission and to be clear on goals and expectations while aligning myself with organizations whose mission I believe in. The program takes a holistic approach, and as such, one takes proper inventory of all the skillsets and experiences that can be of service in nonprofit or for-profit organizations.”

Cleveland added that the connections made between the students and faculty were invaluable. “It’s a unique opportunity to connect with subject matter experts and faculty that students can confide in and learn from,” Cleveland said. “That’s very valuable because mentors then support your next career aspirations.”

Worley said the program, which includes 37 hours of a core curriculum and essential topics, offers three key elements: leadership development, business acumen and board preparation.

“Many times, people hear the words executive education and think that we only serve C-suite types from major for-profit ventures,” Worley said. “While that is a portion of what we do, we also serve many other communities and attempt to make a tangible difference in our world by developing better leaders. The Prospanica program is a great example of this.”

Prospanica and Executive Education put the program on hold during 2020 due to the pandemic but Cleveland and Worley are eager to restart their work together.

“Having a break allowed us to prioritize restarting in-person where participants can make important personal connections,” Worley said. “The program in 2019 was clearly successful and it also laid the groundwork for the partnership to continue this year.”

Worley called the excitement and energy surrounding the restart “inspiring.”

“This is a group of leaders that has so much to offer, and the simple reason for that is diversity matters,” Worley said. “The voices of Prospanica leaders are the voices that need to be included in board leadership across North America.”

 

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