NELI was on my radar for a while.
It paid off. Every NELI facilitator was phenomenal! Each week I'd say it can't get better, and each week I would leave with additional tools in my toolbox that I knew would make me a better leader.
As a social worker, I was always comfortable with the “feeling nature” of leadership. During my time as a NELI fellow, I used my Action Project to push myself out of my comfort zone by focusing on a process to analyze and improve our financial systems. I successfully engaged our middle management staff in financial training and in the development of our annual budget. Additionally, I worked with the team to revamp the process of reporting, monitoring, and managing budgets. This was a first for them, and I learned how important they are to the process.
As a result, I am much more confident about making strategic financial decisions for our organization. This past year we hired our first full-time Finance Director, which was an opportunity to build off the momentum I initiated. As an organization, we look forward to continuing to build off this project and strengthen the relationship between fiscal management and program delivery.
—Julie Avalos, Executive Director, Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County