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Greenville Literacy Association (GLA) Announces Leadership Transition

Posted By Ashlee Tolbert, Chair Greenville Literacy Association Board of Directors, Monday, August 20, 2018
Greenville Literacy Association’s Board of Directors announced the acceptance of the voluntary resignation of Executive Director Jocelyn Slaughter effective August 24, 2018.
“Jocelyn has accepted a local opportunity that will not only allow her to continue to serve those needing a second chance but also to spend more time with her family,” said Ashlee Tolbert, Greenville Literacy’s board president. “I would like to thank Jocelyn for her hard work and commitment while at GLA. I have enjoyed working closely with her and I wish her nothing but success in all of her endeavors. She will be missed.”
In a statement, Slaughter said, “I am honored to have been chosen in 2016 as the Executive Director of Greenville Literacy Association, an organization dedicated to changing lives through the power of adult education and literacy. I am confident that the organization is in good hands and will continue to serve those needing its services.”
Tolbert added, “There is never a perfect time for transition, but our organization is equipped to navigate this change. Our donors, partners, staff and board of directors appreciate Jocelyn’s service to GLA and our community.”

GLA’s Board of Directors, under Tolbert’s leadership, will begin a search for a new Executive Director and will announce its Interim Executive Director in the near future.

ABOUT GLA: Greenville Literacy Association (GLA) has served Greenville, South Carolina and surrounding areas for over 50 years. GLA is the largest community-based adult literacy program in South Carolina and is one of the most highly developed in the nation. GLA recruits and trains community volunteers to provide instruction for adults who need help with basic education, GED studies, WorkKeys/WIN test preparation, and English as a Second Language (ESL). The organization operates three fully-equipped and staffed learning centers across Greenville County and assists church and neighborhood literacy programs near these centers. For more information, call 864-467-3456 or visit the GLA website at

Tags:  executive director  Greenville Literacy Association  leadership 


Just For Board Chairs!

Posted By Shayne Kinloch M.A., Together SC, Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Just for Board Chairs

If you are reading this because you were just elected board chair of a nonprofit, first: Congratulations for the recognition by your peers, and thanks for your service to the community. Next, you may be thinking, ‘Whoa, now what?’


Don’t worry, you’ve got this. If you love the mission of the nonprofit and are willing to put in the time to build a strong, trusting relationship with the executive director, as well as your colleagues on the board, you’ll be a rockstar board chair. But just in case you’d like to remind yourself about HOW to be that rockstar board chair, you may want to read Joan Garry’s post sharing a “Five-star board chair checklist.” Yes, you should familiarize yourself with the roles a board chair is expected to play, such as managing/facilitating meetings and overall good governance (here and here). But you’ll also benefit your organization and yourself by spending time thinking about why a board chair is even needed and how that relates to the importance of having a great relationship with the executive director.

 Consider how hard it is for an executive director to hold the full board accountable, when the executive director is simultaneously accountable to the board. It’s more natural for the board chair to hold the rest of the board’s feet to the flames. And in order for that to happen, the executive director has to be able to candidly, honestly, and fearlessly share concerns when it seems that the board is dragging its feet, distracted, or not engaged. Similarly, the board chair has to candidly, honestly, and fearlessly share the board’s concerns relating to the executive director or the organization’s performance. Unless there is a trusting relationship, those important conversations won’t happen productively.

In case it’s not altogether clear, the role of board chair is all about building positive, trusting relationships, because it also falls to the board chair to develop a trusting relationship with each other board member. You can do that by – among other things – making sure the board has time together outside the board room to get to know one another. (See Leading with Intent, “The role of social time,” page 26, and “Invest in a Board’s Culture,” page 51.) You will be respected as a leader when you show respect for your peers by making sure that all board members feel valued and have the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas during meetings.

In sum, it’s the time and effort that board chairs, executive directors, and other board members commit to building relationships between meetings that create the foundation for strong, trusting, and honest relationships all around. These honest relationships are assets that your organization will be very grateful for whenever the board faces difficult decisions – and when everything’s humming along, too!

Practice Pointers

Should the board chair vote? There is no universally correct answer and no external requirements or limitations. That decision differs from one nonprofit to another since it’s reflective of the organization’s culture – although sometimes the answer is set forth in the nonprofit’s bylaws. In some nonprofits, the board chair only votes to break a tie, which reinforces that the board chair is a consensus-builder facilitating the meeting and decision-making process. At other nonprofits, the board chair – as a duly elected or appointed board member – participates fully in the decision-making process and votes on all motions (unless s/he abstains due to a conflict of interest, such as may happen if the vote is to approve the CEO’s compensation).  

Just finding time to meet with the executive director/board chair around and among your already busy calendar commitments can create unnecessary (but understandable) stress that can sabotage the relationship. Committing to a regular time to meet may take that stress off the table. Perhaps share with each other in advance the issues you want to explore together so that you can each do some preliminary thinking on your own. 

Crafting the board meeting agenda together is an activity that executive directors and board chairs find gets smoother with time. Consider checking in after meetings to evaluate what worked well and what could use a little improvement. Have you considered using a consent agenda? Interested in more meeting tips? Here are 10 tips for effective meetings.

Additional Resources

Tags:  Board Governance  Board Retreats  Executive Director  Leadership  Member News  nonprofits  Together SC 


CVSC Announces New Executive Director

Posted By SCANPO, Friday, September 9, 2016

We are pleased to share that the Conservation Voters of South Carolina recently announced John Tynan as their new executive director! Ann Timberland, the current director, shared the news in the following letter: 

When I took on the task of leading CVSC and “building a bipartisan majority for conservation” in 2003, we had a budget under $60,000 and the challenges ahead of us were great.

Over the last 13 years, I have worked with dedicated board members, exceptional staff, and a community of talented professionals and volunteers. Together, we have grown CVSC to where it is thriving and stronger than ever.

Our annual budget surpassed $600,000 this year – a ten-fold increase. Average scores on our Conservation Scorecards more than doubled from 41% in 2004 to 87% in 2016. CVSC has endorsed Republicans and Democrats in every election since 2003 with a success rate over 70% - including the defeat of three low scoring incumbents in 2016. We have formalized collaboration within the conservation community and raised our collective voices through the South Carolina Conservation Coalition.

Through this work, Conservation Voters has become a force in both the State House and in elections across the state. With these successes in mind, I believe that the time is right for CVSC to grow and expand under new leadership, and I notified the CVSC Board of my resignation earlier this summer.

I am pleased to announce that John Tynan will assume the position of Executive Director in mid-October. John joined our team in February as Political Director and together we launched a sophisticated voter engagement strategy, doubled our expenditures over past cycles and spent more than $145,000 to support conservation minded candidates.

With a background that includes non-profit conservation work, election to local office, and service as a government employee, John has the right set of skills and passion to expand CVSC’s impact. Having hired John and worked alongside him for the last six months as we expanded our political efforts, I can think of no better person to lead this organization into its next phase.

I look forward to working with John and the CVSC team through the end of the year while I consider new career challenges. Post-transition, I will remain a strong supporter of CVSC’s work and encourage you to do the same.

I will be forever grateful for the amazing friendships formed within the conservation community and with elected leaders. Thank you for your encouragement and for your support for Conservation Voters. Together we will continue to protect the South Carolina we love.


Ann Timberlake

Executive Director, CVSC

Tags:  CVSC  Executive Director 

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