Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise receives $10,000 grant from NeighborWorks America to pursue board excellence

I am deeply impressed by the commitment of CNE to help its Board become exceptional. I’ve never been a part of an organization that has poured this much time and resources into building such a strong Board and am grateful for the support of NeighborWorks America to help us get there.
— Board Member Marco Perez
From Left to Right: Christie Cade, NeighborWorks America; Martina Guilfoil, President & CEO of CNE; John Bilderback, Board Member; Ricardo Morris, Board Member; John Bridger, Board Member; Marco Perez, Board Member; Sara Orozco, Board Excellence Coach

From Left to Right: Christie Cade, NeighborWorks America; Martina Guilfoil, President & CEO of CNE; John Bilderback, Board Member; Ricardo Morris, Board Member; John Bridger, Board Member; Marco Perez, Board Member; Sara Orozco, Board Excellence Coach

This was the reaction from one of CNE's board members, Marco Perez, who has served on the Board for three years, after completing the 18-month NeighborWorks Excellence in Governance program, which is designed to build a stronger and more effective board of directors with an emphasis on improving community-level outcomes. In short, the program is designed to move organizations and their boards from “good" to "great.” 

Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE) received a $10,000 grant from NeighborWorks America in recognition of its work in the program. Through the training, we can be even more effective in building a better Chattanooga.

Our Board of Directors created a Leadership Team to participate in the training. The team then worked with the full board to implement the recommendations and tools that were designed to create board excellence. Our leadership team included John Bridger, Marco Perez, John Bilderback, Ricardo Morris, Ralph Woodard, and CNE President and CEO Martina Guilfoil.

CNE was one of only 16 nonprofits from across the country chosen to participate in this round of the NeighborWorks Excellence in Governance program, which launched in 2011. Some of the requirements for the program include the Board of Directors and Executive Director/CEO be committed to the 18-month training, the Board is characterized as responsible, and the Board showing dedication to the focus of board development. 

Sara Orozco, independent consultant

Sara Orozco, independent consultant

Christie Cade, NeighborWorks America

Christie Cade, NeighborWorks America

The team was coached for 18 months by Sara Orozco, an independent consultant with extensive experience in community development and board governance. The training required the board to create a performance challenge designed to improve how the board functions in its governance role to improve organizational outcomes, which we can then use to improve Chattanooga. 

“Board governance is crucial for nonprofit success,” said NeighborWorks America President and CEO Paul Weech. “Excellence in Governance trains boards and executive leadership to excel in their roles so that they can help an organization fully reach its mission and serve its clients.”

NeighborWorks America is one of the nation’s largest community development grant makers and is the largest trainer of nonprofit community development nonprofits in the country.  The NeighborWorks grant will be used to further the board’s work in achieving excellence. 

From Left to Right: Board members Frank Hughes, Marco Perez, Buck Schimpf, John Bilderback, President and CEO Martina Guilfoil, Board Members Ricardo Morris, Ralph Woodard, John Bridger

From Left to Right: Board members Frank Hughes, Marco Perez, Buck Schimpf, John Bilderback, President and CEO Martina Guilfoil, Board Members Ricardo Morris, Ralph Woodard, John Bridger