The John R. Oishei Foundation was delighted to welcome twelve nonprofit professionals as new Oishei Leaders at its winter celebration event, hosted by our community partners, the Partnership for the Public Good and Cornell ILR on Thursday evening. The Oishei Leaders program, created in 2007, brings together nonprofit leaders for conversation, collaboration, and relaxation and as a means to recharge and share the challenges of nonprofit life.
Our newest Oishei Leaders include:
• Alexander Wright, African Heritage Food Co-op
• Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, Partnership for the Public Good Buffalo
• Daniel Robertson, Say Yes To Education
• Ekua Mends-Aidoo, Evergreen Health Services
• Jonathan McNeice, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.
• Justine David, Neighborhood Health Center
• Kathryn Franco, Western New York Law Center
• Kristin Szczepaniec, Buffalo Commons/Cornell PPG
• Maiko Tanaka, Squeaky Wheel
• Seamus Gallivan, Slow Roll Buffalo
• Teresa Bianchi, Habitat for Humanity Buffalo
• Yuki Numata Resnick, Buffalo String Works
The group represents the eighth cohort of leaders since the program began which now includes nearly 100 professionals. They were chosen based on recommendations from Oishei Foundation staff and partners as emerging leaders who are committed to making a positive change in the Western New York Community.
Unlike most other networking or professional development groups, the Oishei Leaders program is famously unstructured. The Oishei Foundation convenes the group several times a year for a full day or overnight retreats without a specific agenda other than to relax and get to know one another. It is up to the group if they want to discuss or tackle a particular issue or if they prefer a more relaxed social gathering. The result? Friendships, collaboration and time away from the office that helps to encourage needed “down time” and the opportunity to connect with other nonprofit leaders facing similar challenges in balancing professional and personal lives.