USITT a Finalist for 2014 Prudential Leadership Award

by Jacob Coakley
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USITT was nominated for the award by a consultantUSITT is one of three finalists for the 2014 Prudential Leadership Award for Exceptional Non-profit Boards. BoardSource, a national association for non-profit boards, will give the winner $15,000 (along with $3000 for the two honorable mentions). The award honors boards that are seen as models of good leadership. USITT was nominated by consultant Leslie Marqua, who helped USITT’s 32-member board develop their strategic plan.

USITT a Finalist for 2014 Prudential Leadership Award

 USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is a finalist for the 2014 Prudential Leadership Award for Exceptional Non-profit Boards.

The winner will be announced Oct. 10 at the 2014 BoardSource Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. BoardSource is the national association for non-profit boards.

“This award acknowledges non-profit boards that have made great strides in governance,” said USITT Executive Director David Grindle.  “It’s quite an honor.”

USITT is among three finalists for the award. The other two are the Society for Neuroscience and the Atlanta Master Chorale.

USITT was nominated by consultant Leslie Marqua, who helped USITT’s 32-member Board of Directors develop a Strategic Plan this year. BoardSource and Prudential founded the award in 2011. It offers a Grand Prize of $15,000 and two $3,000 Honorable Mentions.

Grindle said being a finalist puts USITT in a league of non-profit boards seen as models of good leadership. Past winners include the San Diego Youth Symphony & Conservatory, the American Camp Association, and OneJustice, a legal aid group.

In recent years USITT made the challenging move from an operations board to a governance board, Grindle said. That means instead of the board running daily operations, it delegates a staff and volunteers to do that while it oversees the big picture. USITT’s national office is based in Syracuse, NY.

Four years ago, USITT’s board hired Grindle as its first executive director and plunged into the governance model. That let its directors from across the country focus on mission and policy-making rather than “the color of the carpet,” Grindle said.

One resulting accomplishment is a Board Mentorship Program that gives young professionals a chance to serve as non-voting board members – bringing fresh perspectives to the board and training non-profit leaders of the future. Another is USITT’s Diversity Initiative, a project to mentor underrepresented groups in USITT and live entertainment design and technology.

USITT is the national association serving the backstage artists of the performing arts and live entertainment industry. For information, please visit www.usitt.org.