​Sprinting with Virginia Mentoring Partnership

It’s astounding that mentoring in our public schools has been so visible for more than a generation – but the Virginia Mentoring Partnership (VMP) remains so invisible to the public. If you’ve ever worked with a kid in a formal mentoring program, you probably benefitted from VMP. The organization provides training and support for mentoring programs around Virginia.

For the next several months, we’ll be taking VMP staff and board through a round of our new “strategic sprint” process – or, SEAL Team Training for Nonprofits, as we jokingly call it. The process starts with a focus – in this case, a few key areas of emphasis developed by the board. For five months, we’ll work with each board committee to hone in on specific, actionable work that supports that focus. In between sessions, we huddle with the executive committee to check alignment and process.

At its best, the strategic sprint process helps board committees make measurable progress around key areas of work. It clears the decks of extraneous reporting, or well-intended new work for staff, and puts the board’s talent to work in action-oriented ways.

Creating a New Museum Along the River

ACWM logo

The merger of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar and the Museum of the Confederacy more than a year ago isn’t exactly old news. But the new American Civil War Museum’s (ACWM) vision for its riverfront property at Tredegar is an exciting story.

Plans call for the opening of a major new museum on the Tredegar site – along with a robust education center and outside exhibits – in the spring of 2017. Our team is working with the ACWM management this spring on anchoring the new institution’s long-term vision with a clear, shorter-term operational plan. Three campuses, two collections and a huge amount of new, heavy lifting make the case for alignment and collaboration.

Floricane and the Blue Sky Fund Are a Natural Fit

The founders of Floricane and the Blue Sky Fund met at a Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce event in 2006. Blue Sky’s Lawson Wijesoorija made John’s “business crush” list. 

Floricane has worked with Blue Sky before, but we’re stoked to be helping the nonprofit dream big about its opportunity to expose urban youth to the outdoors. At the center of this process – two back-to-back days with their board and staff to dream big, plan big and anchor everything to actionable plans.

Investing in Ideas with the Virginia Bankers Association

When the Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) wanted to add some energy and dimension to their strategic planning process, their CEO reflected on his experience at an association CEO retreat last fall. Floricane’s John Sarvay facilitated the two-day retreat, and Bruce liked John’s approach.

Fast forward four months and we’re starting on the first phase of a five month strategic planning process with the VBA. We’ll wrap up the process as we engage the staff in an implementation exercise at their annual retreat in May.


Year Two with VCU


One of our biggest projects this year is a second phase of work with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Development and Alumni Relations team – more than 170 folks representing every school, college and center at VCU. We dive into the work this week with a kick-off session, and then shift gears into leadership, team and individual effectiveness training. This is one of those great projects where we can pull our whole team together to deliver training, coaching and organizational change consulting.

We’re still waiting on the basketball tickets…

Taking a Global View with ChildFund, International

Our third significant engagement with ChildFund, International, is focused on working with the global nonprofit’s senior leadership. In addition to some serious organizational effectiveness work – strengthening alignment and work flow between key teams – we’re unleashing the leadership coaching power of Debra Saneda! Seriously, this is the sort of work we have a deep passion to deliver – having an opportunity to help an organization deliver on a mission centered around child development is big.

Roll the Credits with the Byrd Theatre Foundation

We spent an evening last fall dreaming about the future with the Byrd Theatre Foundation. Over the next four months, we’re building a strategic plan to make those dreams a reality.

The exciting thing about our work with the Byrd Theatre Foundation has everything to do with the ubiquitous nature of the iconic building the foundation supports. Engaging in a conversation that dreams big about what the Byrd Theatre can become – that dreams beyond its status as the perfect college date night – is going to be fun.

A Day in Harrisonburg with the Arts Council of the Valley

ROOOOAD TRIIIIIIIIP! John and I spent Monday in Harrisonburg, VA with staff and board members from the Arts Council of the Valley, which included a tour of the Court Square Theater (pictured above). I had never been to Harrisonburg before-- and I've been missing out! The historic downtown is beautiful, the small town is overflowing with arts and culture, and the Arts Council of the Valley is right smack dab in the middle of it all.

Floricane is helping ACV transform a lengthy, broad strategic plan into a concise document full of realistic action items. This will mean a clearer vision for the next 18 months and a simpler plan for making positive changes. We hope the entire staff and board will be relieved and excited when they see the final product!