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Valerie F. Leonard
Valerie F. Leonard is an expert in community and organizational development with a mission to strengthen the capacity of organizations to make a positive impact on the communities they serve through technical assistance, specialized workshops and organizational development. Her clientele is diverse, and includes institutions, emerging organizations, small businesses and churches.
Valerie’s projects span a wide range of community and organizational development, including strategic planning, board development, comprehensive organizational assessment; developing organizational budgets, financial management systems, policies and procedures; proposal writing and resource development; preparing cash flow projections, new organization startup; performing regulatory compliance reviews; development of specialized workshops, online courses, webinars and podcasts and providing technical assistance for organizations seeking federal funds. Valerie brings her extensive range of experiences to every engagement in which she is involved.
Valerie is the host of Nonprofit “U” blog radio talk show, an online forum where nonprofit stakeholders can discuss the latest developments in the sector and increase their capacity to serve their clients and build sustainable communities. Topics include nonprofit management, community development, capacity building and organizational development.
Valerie has considerable experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Prior to starting her consulting practice, she spearheaded the spin-off of a community-based grant making organization from a family foundation and became its founding executive director; managed site planning and development activities for Jewel- Osco stores in Chicago and the six collar counties; coordinated financing in excess of $100 million for construction, renovation and major capital equipment purchases for a healthcare system on Chicago’s west side; and developed marketing strategies for New York City’s $6 billion general obligation bond program.
Valerie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Spelman College and a Master of Management with concentrations in finance and marketing from the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She is also the Vice Chairperson of the Cook County Commission on Social Innovation’s Social Capital Committee.