The Mazzoni Center announced that it will restructure its leadership to an executive leadership team (ELT) model led by a President, Executive Officer. The announcement comes after several years of staff changes and negotiations following the departure of former CEO Nurit Shein in April 2017.
Since late 2018 Mazzoni has been led by an interim leadership team consisting of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nancy Brisbon, Chief Operations Officer Alecia Manley, and Chief Financial Officer Racquel Assaye. All three will retain their positions in the new ELT, whose members will no longer be referred to as “Chief” out of respect for the Indigenous and First Nation communities. Other members of the new executive leadership team will include an Executive Human Resources Officer, Executive Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Executive Advancement Officer, and Executive Legal Officer and General Counsel.
The board of directors hopes to identify a search firm for the President, Executive Officer position by mid-November. The President will serve as the face of the organization and manage its strategic vision.
“The interim leadership team has done a great job of creating the organizational healing where we are today,” Board President Nu’Rodney Prad told PGN, “and we have an expectation that the next person that comes in will excel above and beyond as well.”
The organization looked at several different leadership models and organizations, including Philadelphia FIGHT, and considered feedback from all staff before deciding on the consensus-based decision-making ELT model.
“We took the best things out of a traditional singular CEO model and from a shared model,” Prad said. “We’ve been doing a lot of observational research with the interim leadership team in place and we took a lot of the great components of each of these models and kind of combined them together.”
Aside from President, Executive Officer, recruitment for the remaining positions on the executive leadership team will be led by Mazzoni’s human resources department. For the position of Executive Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Prad said the organization hopes that elevating the role will lead to greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion throughout all levels of staff.
“This person will create a strategic diversity plan for the organization and talk about what we might be lacking and what we can do better with, and advise not only the president and other executive officers but even the board of directors on next steps as well. We believe in being an organization that is focused on identity and supportive of marginalized communities, so it only makes sense to have someone on a senior leadership level who is focused on diversity and inclusion.”
Regarding what’s next for the organization, which has 148 full-time employees and serves 7600 clients, Prad is hopeful that the leadership restructure will allow Mazzoni to continue to serve the community for a long time to come.
“This new leadership model I believe will create 40 years-plus in addition to what we have now for the center. I believe we will be able to refocus and come back and do all the mission-driven projects, services and resources that we have provided to the community.”