Meet Joan Garry

I’m delighted that you are exploring our Nonprofit Leadership Lab. It is one of my most personally rewarding endeavors – having the opportunity to support, mentor and champion board and staff leaders of small nonprofits.

 

 

 

 

Meet Joan Garry

I’m delighted that you are exploring our Nonprofit Leadership Lab. It is one of my most personally rewarding endeavors – having the opportunity to support, mentor and champion board and staff leaders of small nonprofits.

My path to becoming a successful author, consultant, blogger and just a big ol champion for the nonprofit sector began when I took the leap and left corporate America to become a CEO of GLAAD, one of the largest gay rights organizations in the country. The work was so very hard and at the same time a joy and a privilege. And during my decade there, the LGBT community was more visible in the media, more fairly represented and hearts and minds were changing.

I left to head home to chaperone our three kids through high school (and I thought being a nonprofit CEO was hard). I secured a teaching gig at U Penn where I introduced college seniors to the nonprofit sector as a legitimate career and I am proud to say that I added some excellent firepower to the sector with a few wonderful alums.

And then I chose to consult. I wanted to do what I could to help expand the leadership capacity of the sector. For me it wasn’t just something to do – I felt compelled to be a champion for board and staff leaders.

And I began to write. My blog (joangarry.com) became quite successful and with that, I began to get so many emails. Most of these were from folks who ran small nonprofits – folks for whom a consultant or executive coach was cost prohibitive. A bit of homework and I realized that 2/3 of the 1.5 million nonprofits in America have budgets under $500,000. I wanted to do something to help them. And thus the idea for the Nonprofit Leadership Lab was born.

I suppose a bio of this sort is incomplete without a few important things to know about me.

 

  • I grew up in Amityville NY but I am not the Amityville Horror
  • I won a precedent setting case in New Jersey (my home state now) and secured the right to adopt my partner’s biological kids, the family we created together. We like to say that our three kids legally have two moms whether they like it or not. J
  • My first job out of college landed me right on the management team that launched MTV (how lucky was I?)
  • I was the first female singing member of the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus (249 men and me). I’m told they were short on high tenors.
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