Opening Plenary: Lessons from Leaders


The conference will kick-off with a panel conversation featuring prominent leaders in the sector who will share creative and effective strategies to attract, retain and develop a strong and stable workforce.

Led by moderator Tammy Dowley-Blackman, VP of CFLeads and Principal of tdb group, panelists John Bradley, COO of Year Up (named a 2014 & 2015 Best Place to Work by the Nonprofit Times), Nonprofit HR CEO Lisa Brown Morton, and Stewart Lanier, Director of Consulting & Executive Transitions at Third Sector New England, will discuss emerging trends, tried and true best practices, and creative methods to support your organization’s human capital to better meet your mission.

The opening session will set the tone for the day and set you on track to gain skills and tools to strengthen yourself, your staff, and the sector.



Tammy Dowley-Blackman
Tammy is an author, entrepreneur, leadership expert, nonprofit executive, philanthropic leader and professor. She is the Vice President of CFLeads where she supports community foundation leadership development and is assisting the organization to build its consulting practice. In addition, she is the Principal of the consulting firm tdb group, which specializes in organizational and infrastructure development with projects as varied as board development, program design, strategic planning and research and analysis. In addition, Tammy served as the Director of the Proteus Fund Diversity Fellowship and is the former Executive Director of two nationally-affiliated nonprofits. To date, Tammy has given over 150 presentation and workshop trainings. She also serves as a professor of Nonprofit Management at Cambridge College and Lesley University and is a former Senior Fellow at the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Tammy is a graduate of Oberlin College and Harvard Graduate School of Education.


John Bradley
John joined Year Up as Chief Operating Officer in July 2015, after serving as a member of the National Board of Directors and chair of its Human Capital Committee for six years. Before joining Year Up, John served as the Global Head of Human Resources at UBS AG. He provided global support to businesses whose employee base comprised about 60,000 staff. Prior to taking this role at UBS, John served as Chief Human Resources Officer at JPMorgan Chase and was a member of the firm’s Operating and Executive Committees. He has served as Non-Executive Director of the London-based Coalition Development Corporation and was formerly the Board Chair of INROADS/NYC. He was also a member of the South Orange/Maplewood, NJ Board of Education from 1991 to 1997, and served as its Chair from 1992-1994. John earned a B.S. from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations as well as an MBA at Cornell’s Johnson Business School.

Stewart Lanier
As the Director of Consulting and Executive Transitions at Third Sector New England, Stewart has worked with numerous clients over the last eight years, leading executive searches, serving as an interim executive, leading strategic planning and organizational assessment processes. He has provided a wide range of consulting and interim leadership services to nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations for over 20 years. He is a United Methodist pastor, and maintains his ordination in good standing in the New England Conference of that denomination. Stewart is a member of the White People Challenging Racism facilitator group and co-facilitates this anti-racism class at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and other locations each year. Stewart holds a Master of Science degree with distinction from American University’s NTL program in Organizational Development, as well as the M.Div. from Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Lisa Brown Morton
Lisa is the President and CEO of Nonprofit HR and has spoken all over the world on the subject of human resources.. Under her direction, Nonprofit HR has served some of the most prominent organizations in the country, including Amnesty International, Independent Sector and NeighborWorks America. With more than two decades of human resource management experience working with nonprofits and for-profit organizations, Lisa has proven that better HR can play an integral role in nonprofit success. She serves on the board of directors of the DC Rape Crisis Center and the Prince Georges Cultural Arts Foundation. Lisa is a graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C., a member of the Society for Human Resources Management and serves on the board of directors of the DC Rape Crisis Center and the Prince Georges Cultural Arts Foundation.