Board Academy and Beyond

November 02, 2017

Periodically, we’ll be featuring a thought piece from one of our CNE board members. This piece was written by Carolyn Burnett, the newest addition to CNE’s Board of Directors. Carolyn is a Senior Business Banking Relationship Manager and Vice President at Wells Fargo.

I first came to CNE when I was encouraged by a colleague to participate in CNE’s Board Academy.  Having no experience serving on a nonprofit board at that time, I came to the table uncertain as to what I might encounter.  I was nervous that I did not have experience in the nonprofit world or a skill set that would allow me to add value as a board member.  I worried that my Academy cohort would be comprised of experienced board members fine-tuning their skills, and that I would be alone in my relative inexperience.

To my delight, the Board Academy led me step-by-step in understanding the roles and responsibilities of a board member.  We discussed nonprofit best practices (and how they can sometimes deviate from reality) and we worked through how to navigate challenging conversations.  I found that my cohort had a wide range of experience levels — some new like me, and others well-tenured but seeking ways to improve.  I learned an incredible amount both during the classes and also from my cohort.

The most surprising thing I gained through the Board Academy and my board services is the revelation of how much I can contribute. I have the confidence and the tools to make a difference for the nonprofit I serve. Beginning my board service journey with CNE’s Board Academy has set me up with a solid foundation to more effectively serve organizations that I work with in the future.


Carolyn Burnett
CNE Board Member


We believe that nonprofit boards play an integral role in the success of an organization. Strengthen your nonprofit’s board and its individual members through CNE’s Board Academy. To learn more, please contact Andrew Robinson.

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