Nonprofits face many challenges today that are unique to the sector; however, they are not as different from their for-profit counterparts as one might think. Both require strong governance and oversight by the board and management to accomplish their goals. While they may not earn profit for shareholders, they do create enormous public profit with the nonprofit sector employing over 15% of Pennsylvania’s workforce. Viewing nonprofits through a business lens will create dramatically healthier and sustainable communities.
Join the NACD Philadelphia Chapter and Drexel LeBow Raj & Kamla Gupta Governance Institute for this provocative discussion on the impact and role nonprofits play.
Patricia Q. Connolly is an executive with notable success guiding discussions on how to lead and govern in the 21st century. While supporting and contributing to multiple Boards of Directors, she has brought energy and transparency to the task of corporate governance.
Ms. Connolly’s background is a rare blend of corporate and nonprofit leadership. During her early career, she advanced through a series of positions at financial services firm PNC Financial Corp. This culminated with her role as Vice President for the firm’s retail and private banking group. Here, she gained a firm grasp of the various principles that underpin the corporate world.
Ms. Connolly then applied her business acumen to the nonprofit sector, holding executive roles at prominent institutions such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She was able to infuse nonprofit operations with a new efficiency and cost-effectiveness that streamlined processes and positioned long-term success. Her contributions during this period included driving a 60% increase in annual donations to the country’s oldest natural history museum.
Since 2008, Ms. Connolly has served as Executive Director of Drexel University’s Raj & Kamla Gupta Governance Institute (formerly the Center for Corporate Governance). Although situated in the academic arena, she has been heavily involved with the for-profit sector while consulting various Boards of Directors. She established two new flagship programs that have strengthened the discourse and education on new corporate governance areas. She secured a $5 million naming endowment to ensure a sustainable, long-term future for the Institute. Ms. Connolly is presently engaged as Chairman of the Nominating & Governance Committee for a 1500-employee, 370-physician medical center.
Through her varied record of experience, Ms. Connolly has gained unique perspective on the critical role that a Board of Directors has in steering an organization to success. Regarded as an influential thought leader, she enjoys the chance to guide companies through pivotal decisions and periods of major change.
Robert N.C. Nix, III, Founder and President of Pleasant News, Inc (PNI), is an airport concessionaire and management services operator with over 20 years of diversified project management, distribution, food and beverage operations and retail operations. Mr. Nix continues a legacy in Philadelphia as a third-generation innovator and ground-breaking leader in the Philadelphia community. PNI started as a small entity in 1995; Mr. Nix has grown the company into an airport concessionaire business that operates in 15 states. PNI is currently involved in over $10 million of projects under construction, including Philadelphia Airport.
Duty-Free Shops in the Philadelphia International Airport, a multi-million dollar project, is perhaps PNI’s most prominent and visible project. Mr. Nix’s experience operating in airports makes him a desirable partner, specifically his understanding and adherence to the stringent guidelines for airport operations. PNI has an established human resources team that is practiced in overseeing rigorous background and reference checks.
Mr. Nix also serves as Board Member for Franklin Square Investments (FSIC), a business development company providing second-tier lending services to fortune five-hundred companies. Additionally, he is on the Board’s Audit and Nominating and Governance Committees.
In 2018, Mr. Nix joined the Board of Hyperion Bank, a community bank focusing on the highest level of customer service and being an active member of its neighborhood, not just a bank.
Mr. Nix serves as counsel for the Law Firm of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell and Hippel. Mr. Nix also serves as Board Chairman for Merakey USA, a non-profit corporation that provides education and autism, behavioral health, and intellectual and developmental disabilities services to children and adults across the nation.
For the past 30 years, Mr. Nix also has a seat on the Board of Revision of Taxes, and currently serves as the Secretary for the board.
Mr. Nix has been honored by the Philadelphia Business Journal as an Outstanding Director. He has also received the Philadelphia Bowl for his services rendered during his tenure as a member and later as the President of the Fairmount Park Commission, the Award for Distinguished Service, Proclamations from the United States of Representatives, Governor of the State of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia City Council.
Mr. Nix holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the Nova Law Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Patricia D. Wellenbach was named Strategy Advisory to the CEO of Please Touch Museum in November of 2015 as part of a planned leadership succession, and in March 2016, she assumed the helm of the Museum as its President and CEO. Founded in 1976, Please Touch Museum is an internationally recognized leader in integrating play and early childhood learning. She was selected as the incoming CEO based on her demonstrated experience in managing complex organizations undergoing transformational change and creating a business model that assures long-term sustainability for the business.
From 2013-2015 Wellenbach was CEO of Green Tree School & Services (GTSS), an Approved Private School and Behavioral Health Agency serving over 350 children age 5–21, diagnosed with a severe emotional disturbance or on the autism spectrum. In 2015, after restructuring the business, she completed a merger with a multi- state, mission-aligned organization with an annual budget of $85MM.
Wellenbach served as Founder and President and CEO of Sandcastle Strategy Group, LLC, from 2007-2013. The company provided management consulting services to clients focused on strategic planning and strategy implementation, organizational realignment, capacity building, succession planning, and governance.
From 2005–2007, Wellenbach was Managing Director for Business Development and Strategy for Granary Associates, an international master planning, architectural design, and project management company, focusing on health care facilities and higher education. A member of senior management reporting directly to the CEO, her responsibilities included corporate strategy, business development and marketing, recruitment and retention, evaluation of emerging markets, and developing national and international expansion opportunities. Prior to joining Granary Associates, she was the Executive Director of The Wellness Community of Philadelphia (TWCP), and held a concurrent position as the Vice President of Corporate and Community Relations for The Wellness Community National (now the Cancer Support Community).
Wellenbach’s board appointments include,
• StoneMor Partners LP (2018-present) as a member of the audit and trust and compliance committees.
• Thomas Jefferson University (2015-present) where she is an officer of the board and member of the executive and compensation committees, and chairs the clinical affairs committee. She was the lead director representing Abington Health in the 2015 merger with Thomas Jefferson University, which resulted in the creation of a health system with $2.5B in annual revenue.
• Reinvestment Fund, (2010-2017) audit committee chair and a member of the executive and governance committees.
• Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Board (2016-present).
Wellenbach awards include: 2018 City and State PA Above and Beyond Award, honoring women of public and civic mind, in 2016 she received the Women of Tomorrow Distinguished Leader award and the Girl Scouts Take the Lead award, and was named a Philadelphia Business Journal Woman of Distinction.
She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, Women Corporate Directors, The Forum of Executive Women, and the Pennsylvania Women’s Forum.
A cum laude graduate of Boston College School of Nursing, Wellenbach also holds a certificate from the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Healthcare Executive Program.
Maud became President of the Alliance in January 2015, and is expanding its scope with a focus upon individual giving for arts and culture and seeking ways for the cultural community to play a greater role in education.
From 2007 to 2014, she founded and led CultureSource, a professional association of arts and culture nonprofits in Detroit and southeast Michigan. Maud has broad experience in organizing collaborations and in forming strategic alliances with diverse organizations.
Maud has a broad perspective on arts and culture, on what it takes for nonprofits of various disciplines to thrive, and on the role that culture plays in the community. She began her career in history museums, and from 1990-99 she was the Executive Director of the Detroit Historical Museum. She led Detroit’s Tricentennial celebration, which occurred in 2001, organizing year-long activities that involved hundreds of organizations, attracted millions of participants and created legacies of public art and an urban park. As Senior Vice President for Community Relations for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 2002-2003, she worked on a public tax campaign and the launch of a new performing arts center. She has consulted with a wide range of cultural institutions on development and strategic planning. She facilitated the merger of four nonprofits to form the Belle Isle Conservancy to support Detroit’s 985 acre island park, guiding the Conservancy through merger, launch and start-up phases.
Maud has a BA in history from Cornell University, a MA in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, and a post-graduate certificate in museum administration from the Museum Management Institute of the Getty Trust.