Conferences + Intensives

Emerging Leaders

Emerging Leaders is an interactive and innovative program that prepares younger professionals from across all sectors to serve as nonprofit board members, committee members, and/or skilled volunteers.

Program Goals

  • Create a network of skilled, resourceful young leaders. Participants establish strong and lasting relationships that are personally and professionally beneficial and founded on a shared commitment to the common good.
  • Prepare young professionals for board, committee and skilled volunteer positions with local nonprofit organizations. Research shows that younger leaders are underrepresented on nonprofit boards, and boards report challenges in identifying and attracting young leaders. Over the past nine years the program has matched more than 200 young professionals with more than 100 community organizations!
  • Develop young professionals’ sustained commitment to their communities. Studies also show that young leaders who are actively involved in their communities are two to three times more likely to stay and contribute to the economy and well-being of our state.
“Regardless of whether you were familiar with the nonprofit sector or had served on a board, it was an empowering experience that made me (and everyone else I spoke with) feel prepared to serve in a board capacity. Beyond that, the opportunity to meet and collaborate with such an impressive group of peers was amazing and filled me with optimism for the future of local nonprofits and our community.”
-Emerging Leaders Graduate, 2016

Program Format

Each year 25-30 applicants are accepted to complete the program, which takes place between September and December and includes a combination of hands-on and classroom learning. Led by skilled facilitators, guest experts, and leaders in the nonprofit field, the curriculum weaves together leadership skill development, training on board roles and responsibilities, and (optional) matching to boards and committees.

The program has been designed with special sensitivity to the schedules of its participants, who are often juggling many personal and professional commitments. The majority of the sessions are designed so that employees do not miss a lot of time on the job. All meetings take place in the Greater Portland area.

Review the full Emerging Leaders Program Overview.

Congratulations to the 2019 Class of Emerging Leaders!

  • Adam McHugh, Maine Community Health Options
  • Alaina Cellini, WEX
  • Ally Rosenberger, Avesta Housing
  • Allyson Fulton, Unum
  • Ariel Linet, Disability Rights Maine
  • Bob Zager, Greater Portland Health
  • Bradley E Page, MaineHealth
  • Craig Baldino, Martin’s Point Health Care
  • Daniel Strader, Pierce Atwood
  • David Rodgers, MEMIC
  • Erin Ludwig, Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals
  • Heather D’Ippolito, Baxter Academy for Technology and Science
  • Heather Lauridsen, Northeast Delta Dental
  • Hogarth Stanton, MaineTransNet
  • Jennifer Bernstein
  • Jill McLaughlin, ReVision Energy
  • Joseph Happnie, MEMIC
  • Justin Burkhardt, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Justin St. John, Baker Newman Noyes
  • Katie Mauro, MaineHealth
  • Kayla Gagner, Pemberton & Associates
  • Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
  • Kyle Noonan, Pierce Atwood
  • Laura Rigby, L.L.Bean
  • Lindsey Lombardo, Norway Savings Bank
  • Mallory Brooks, PGM, LLC
  • Matteson Nadeau, ProsperityME: The Center for Financial Education
  • Nathaniel Marcet, Baker Newman Noyes
  • Peter Genova, Martin’s Point Health Care
  • Rachel Dee Spinner
  • Rebecca Bass, MEMIC
  • Samuel Dunkel, Bank of America

Nominate or Apply to Participate

The application cycle for the 2019 program is now closed. To be notified when applications are open for the 2020 program, please email Molly O’Connell.

Be a Nonprofit Match

By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be Millennials. Younger nonprofit board and committee members add vital diversity to nonprofit boards. They bring different perspectives, ask fresh questions, and provide new skillsets. Yet, according to BoardSource, younger leaders are often underrepresented on nonprofit boards. Emerging Leaders is focused on reversing that trend.

Each year a pool of nonprofit organizations is selected through an application process to serve as potential board/committee matches for the class participants. Applications to be part of the 2019 class are now closed. If your organization is interested in being notified when applications for the 2020 program are available, please email Molly O’Connell.


Thank you to our 2019 program sponsor, Wright-Ryan Construction!

Sponsorship of the Emerging Leaders Program is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to community engagement while increasing your brand’s visibility among rising leaders. Contact Jennifer Hutchins at JHutchins@NonprofitMaine.org for details on sponsorship opportunities!

Program History

Emerging Leaders launched in 2010 as Young Emerging Leaders and was seed-funded by Norton Insurance and Financial with WEX sponsorship. The Emerging Leaders program has now matched more than 200 young professionals with more than 100 community organizations in Maine. After eight years with Lift360, the Emerging Leaders Program moved to MANP beginning in 2018. Current partners include Rippleffect and Portland Symphony Orchestra.