Leadership program joins not-for-profit organizations, students for year-end service learning celebration


BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University students and not-for-profit agency leaders will gather to recognize a semester’s worth of hard work at 6 p.m. Friday, May 13, at the Roberson Museum and Science Center, located at 30 Front Street, Binghamton.

The event will celebrate the efforts of students in Binghamton University’s Leadership Program, who over the course of the past few months, have been partnering with local organizations in a range of projects. Through LEAD 353, a service learning course, teams of students were partnered with nine not-for-profit organizations including the Broome County Council of Churches, the City of Binghamton Youth Bureau, Mom’s House of Endicott, the Humane Society, the Broome County Urban League, A Room to Heal, the Roberson Museum and Science Center, and the Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments (VINES).

From a project to increase financial efficiency at the Humane Society to strengthening volunteer management efforts through A Room to Heal, students were able to provide valuable skills and know-how to local organizations while gaining important hands-on experience. The teams reviewed each organization’s strengths and weaknesses culminating in a strategic plan for future plans or activities. The event at Roberson will offer agency leaders and students the opportunity to celebrate their respective collaborations.

After a rigorous end-of-year review, one of the projects will be selected to receive a $2,000 award, allowing the winning team to implement their plan. Support for this annual service learning experience is provided by Manley’s Might Mart, which over the course of the program’s 10-year history, has committed over $150,000.

Note: During the course of their studies, several thousand Binghamton University students engage in volunteer experiences, clinical practice and course pratica experiences. During 2009-10, these experiences had an economic impact of $3.4 million in Broome and Tioga counties.

This year’s Leadership program projects include:

Broome County Council of Churches
The team: BC3 Consulting - Michael Callery, Kathryn Ferrara, Anna Mallette, Matt Ryan, Yue Yu

About the organization:

The Broome County Council of Churches oversees nine not for profit programs in the area, including CHOW, CHOW Farm, Broome Bounty, Faith in Action volunteers, Jail Ministry, Reentry Project, Ramp it Up, and the Hospital Chaplaincy.

About the project:

The team worked with the program’s executive director, Reverend Dr. Joseph Sellepack, in evaluating the Council’s current strategic plan (from 2009, it is in year 2 of implementation). The project involved the implementation of specific operating metrics stated in the plan to identify and communicate to the director the organization’s current position.

The team also focused on strengthening goal alignment within the organization. In addition, the team conducted surveys to examine ways in which to reduce volunteer turnover and increase mission adherence.

City of Binghamton Youth Bureau
The team: One Network - Howard Bloomfield, Brittany Bory, Maggie Fitzmaurice, Stephanie Legarda, Kevin O’Hanlon, Sarah Sullivan

About the organization:

The City of Binghamton Youth Bureau facilitates and coordinates youth development activities.

About the project:

Current youth development programs are disjointed, affecting cumulative impact and would benefit from a stronger strategic focus. The team developed a roadmap of available services that the organization can utilize and adapt over time. Key ties to the community were identified to link youth interests with existing services that focus on achieving academic and developmental outcomes. Organizations with similar goals were examined in an effort to model successful initiatives and structures.

Mom’s House of Endicott
The team: MACSUS Consulting - William Chang, Katelyn Heiman, Derek Pender, Joshua Sailar

About the organization:

Mom’s House provides safe, secure, and totally free childcare to low-income single parents continuing their education.

About the project:

The primary goal is to increase graduates, strengthen the organization’s commitment to their mission and strategy, encourage greater structure within Mom’s House, and nurture existing marketing strategies while embracing new options. An internal audit was conducted using surveys, observation and interviews. The team also did an external review of competitors and case studies. The team is providing detailed recommendations to Mom’s House regarding potential revisions to the strategic plan and a marketing plan.

The Humane Society
The team: AAA Consulting - John Bonhomme, Kyle Cooper, Jenny Leon, Dani Raske, John Torres

About the organization:

The Humane Society is an animal welfare non-profit organization that is dedicated to locating homes for animals and preventing/investigating animal cruelty.

About the project:

AAA Consulting will help increase financial resources and allocation as well as enhance the Humane Society’s current organizational and technological facets.  The team conducted a financial analysis of current and past balance sheets, income statements and annual audit reports, The team also surveyed local community members and examined other prosperous animal shelters, such as The Lollypop Farm in Rochester, NY, Foothills Animal Shelter in CO, Tompkins County SPCA, and North Shore Animal League America. A thorough analyses and research has resulted in a series of recommendations that will help The Humane Society maintain a high level of success.

The Broome County Urban League (BCUL)

The team: Prism Consulting Group- Natalia Dudek, Allison Kim, James Men, Mike Nocerino, Chain Rothman

About the organization:

The Broome County Urban League enables the community to secure economic self-reliance, civil rights and parity. The organization provides services to people ranging from ages 5-75, and specifically stresses empowerment and self-sustainability for individuals.

About the project:

BCUL has been on the road to implementing a new strategic plan, which incorporates a sense of reorganization, and a new definition on organization values and mission. Like many of the non-profit organizations in the area, the League has been seeking new ways to gain financial support.

The team worked with the BCUL to identify funding and publicity opportunities, as well as incorporate recommendations to revise the strategic plan. They also reviewed ways to revitalize the organization’s brand development campaign and public image. To implement the proposal, the team conducted research and a variety of analyses on the BCUL, its surrounding organizations and the industry. Surveys were conducted to reflect on the community that the BCUL seeks to serve and a host of new ideas were developed that will renew the BCUL and empower its stakeholders and the community as a whole.

A Room to Heal
The team: GPE Consulting - Daniel Bessel, Ruby Chirackal, Justin Pierce, David Simel

About the organization:

A Room to Heal is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to create a healing environment in the homes of children affected by serious medical conditions in the Broome county area.

About the project:

The team developed recommendations for the organization in three areas: volunteer management, strengthening organizational structure, and long-term sustainability. A complete analysis of the entire organization was conducted using industry-standard models on strategic planning. By studying both the internal and external operations of A Room to Heal, the team has been able to help with the utilization of volunteers, organizational structure, and operations alignment with the core mission.

Roberson Museum and Science Center
Team: Symmetry Consulting - Julie Chambers, Luke Forster, Jimmy Orband, Adam Sabol

About the organization:

Roberson Museum and Science Center, located on Front Street in Binghamton, NY, is an historic museum seeking to serve the community as a center for both education and entertainment with a focus on science, art and history.

About the project:

The Roberson Museum is in a unique position having recently hired a full-time marketing manager who has worked to attract new patrons to the museum. Roberson has also experienced a financial turn-around over the past two years, which has helped to revitalize the organization and has given it renewed energy.

The team built on the organizations’ recent financial recovery and looked for ways to increase attendance numbers, memberships, and donations. The project identified ways to maximize effective partnerships and marketing incentives to further the organization’s mission and vision of becoming a “hub of community activity.”

A thorough examination of the organization’s internal structure was conducted as well as complete review of the role that the external environment plays on business operations.

The team conducted analyses of the organization’s financial data, marketing strategies, attendance figures, memberships, current partnerships, industry trends, and consumer opinions. The result was a concrete strategy for future growth and sustainability that uses the tools and knowledge acquired throughout the course of the Leadership 353 class. The project concluded with a detailed report of the team’s analyses, strategic recommendations, and implementation guidelines for Roberson’s staff and Board of Directors.

V.I.N.E.S. - Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments
The team: Luella Cheng, Mike Fedorenko, Russell Heiman, Brian Marullo, Erica Romero

About the organization:

Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments (V.I.N.E.S.) is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit group founded in 2007. Its mission is to develop, promote, and sustain an urban food system and to encourage youth and community involvement by developing community green space.

About the project:

V.I.N.E.S. faces issues including volunteer recruitment and retention, community awareness, and funding. The team helped the organization identify the most effective marketing strategy in order to increase general awareness and improve overall volunteer involvement. They also assisted the organization in developing a more efficient system for keeping financial records, as well as building a more concrete volunteer database. A thorough survey of constituents was conducted, including groups of students, past and present volunteers, and people living in the community where these gardens exists. The resulting data allowed the team to get a better understanding of the organization’s current impact and reputation. The team also examined similar organizations, both locally and nationally, to generate new ideas for V.I.N.E.S.

Jewish Community Center (JCC)
The team: Mallory Lawes, Michael Meade, Justin James, Spencer Mendelson, and Taylor Roth

About the organization:

Binghamton’s JCC is dedicated to providing educational, cultural, recreational, social and physical fitness programs to enhance the quality of life for all ages, from infants to senior citizens.

About the project:

The team worked alongside the JCC to help the non-profit organization ‘grow’ into its vision.   Elements of the project included the development of various aspects of the organization, including the enhancement of the capital campaign, an improved marketing strategy, and strengthened customer service. In order to accomplish these goals, the team analyzed metrics by employing an array of case studies and models.

Last Updated: 9/17/13