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O’Connor Mentors Next Generation of Leaders through Marsellus LeadUp Program

Nov 1st 2022

For the 5th year, Cynthia O’Connor, in partnership with Katie Doucette from The Leading Element, is providing mentorship, support, and instruction to the next generation of leaders of nonprofit agencies in Onondaga and Madison Counties in Central New York.

The Marsellus Family Fund at the Central New York Community Foundation created LeadUp to invest time and resources in future leadership development. Cynthia and Katie work with the program’s annual cohort of ten to twelve participants selected from small or mid-sized organizations with limited professional development resources. They help each participant create an individualized development plan to allow for demonstrated growth toward their goals.

Through one-on-one coaching, half-day group learning sessions, panel discussions, and networking with key community leaders, participants gain exposure to many perspectives within the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Cynthia and Katie bring their unique real-world experiences and a genuine and straightforward approach to the program’s activities. The participants provide glowing reviews each year:

LeadUp changed us all for the better and in doing so presented Syracuse with ten leaders more able to lead with compassion, confidence, and connections. LeadUp changes the community for the better.

LeadUp gave me the opportunity to take the goals I’ve had in my head, get them down on paper in an achievable format and finally execute on them! The networking with other local, like-minded leaders was so valuable. That coupled with the individual coaching sessions made for one of the best professional development opportunities I’ve had the pleasure to take part in. I would recommend this to anyone looking to grow their networks, achieve new goals and sharpen their leadership skills

The coaching sessions were amazing. I am not sure that I would have accomplished some of my personal and professional goals this year without Katie and Cynthia's mentorship.