Harvard Business Alumni Program Aims to Help Nonprofit Leaders ‘Serve SA Better’

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DoSeum Chief Executive Officer Daniel Menelly

Courtesy / DoSeum

Daniel Menelly, the DoSeum's CEO, has been selected to attend management training at Harvard Business School.

Local alumni of Harvard Business School are sending a San Antonio nonprofit executive to their alma mater for management training for the third year in a row.

The 60-member group, known as the HBS Club of San Antonio, selected DoSeum CEO Dan Menelly for its annual scholarship to attend the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM) program later this month in Boston.

This is the third year a local nonprofit executive has been selected for the continuing education opportunity. Previous recipients were Richard Aste, director of the McNay Art Museum, and Vincent Michael, executive director of the San Antonio Conservation Society.

The SPNM program provides more than 140 executives per session with strategic perspectives, leadership skills, and practical tools nonprofit leaders can use to lead their organizations.

San Antonio is the only city in Texas with a chapter that funds such a scholarship, said HBS Club President Arturo Burgueño, a private wealth manager with Everest Retirement Planners.

“I spoke to the board three years ago and told them we need to start a scholarship so that when the [executives] come back, they will be better suited to run their organization so San Antonio will be better as a city,” he said.

Arturo Burgueño, president of San Antonio’s Harvard Business School alumni club

Though the board didn’t immediately agree to his proposal, Burgueño persisted and was able to implement a plan that involved raising money from among the club’s membership. He was successful, and in 2017, the group had raised the funds necessary to send their first nominee, Aste, to the program. The following year, the club offered the scholarship to Michael.

This year, the club chose Menelly. “I am honored to have been selected for this special recognition, and deeply grateful to the Harvard Business School Club of San Antonio,” Menelly stated. “Being able to attend [the program] is an exciting opportunity that will better equip me to lead the DoSeum forward as a world-class institution, recognized as a sector leader in informal STEM learning.”

Menelly was selected over another nominee, Anne Krause, executive director of the Hemisfair Conservancy, Burgueño said. “We voted, and it was so, so close.”

For that reason, the club recommended Krause for a partial scholarship from HBS Social Enterprise, the business school’s first established initiative, to attend this year’s session.

Anne Krause, the newly appointed executive director of the Hemisfair Conservancy

Anne Krause, executive director of the Hemisfair Conservancy

“One of our goals at Hemisfair is to create a new model for public-private-philanthropic projects,” Krause said. “I hope the SPNM experience will help me and my team address political and financial complexities inherent to a redevelopment project the scale of ours in a novel way that will drive new approaches, sustainable solutions, and strategic partnerships.”

The cost of SPNM materials, training, lodging, and meals for the weeklong program is $6,500, which is covered by the club scholarship.

The mission of the HBS Club is to foster camaraderie, community outreach, involvement, and education of alumni of the Harvard Business School, Burgueño said.

“My vision is for the HBS Club of San Antonio is to send 20, 30, or more nonprofit CEOs from San Antonio to this program during the next 10 years,” he said. “There is a huge number of people in San Antonio who could benefit from this program. I’m convinced that these executives will be better prepared to better serve San Antonio.”

Both Aste and Michael returned from the program with a stronger ability to deploy their vision for their organizations, Burgueño said.

“Harvard’s SPNM program was game-changing for the McNay,” Aste said. “Nonprofit CEOs rarely have the opportunity to step out of their demanding schedules and read the signals of change together, as one global cohort. The McNay’s challenges are surprisingly universal. And thanks to Harvard, the museum now has an expanded network – beyond the arts and culture sector – to help us serve San Antonio better.”

For 2020, the club plans to open the nominations process so that any organization or individual can nominate a qualified person for the scholarship. To be eligible, a candidate must be heading up a nonprofit organization in the San Antonio area, responsible for an operations budget of $1 million or more, and supervise at least six people.

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