NCAP's Shared Leadership Journey

Bumblebee perched on a pink zinnia, amid a field of zinnias

We recently bid farewell to Co-Directors Ashley Chesser and Dominica Navarro Martinez. Both were pursued to work for wonderful organizations in the environmental field. We cannot thank Ashley and Dominica enough for the passion and dedication they have brought to NCAP! With that staff transition, we wanted to share an update on how our use of shared leadership is evolving in the absence of Co-Directors.

As a team, staff recognize the value of a more “leaderful” approach (leading together, collectively) rather than consolidating power into the hands of one or more executive leadership staff. We are currently exploring an even more distributed leadership model—with all staff stepping up in important ways to be leaders in their own domains. While this is still a work in progress and any leadership changes will ultimately be decided by our board of directors, we wanted to be open with you about the journey that we are on and what could come out of it. 

Everyone here at NCAP recognizes a need for the nonprofit sector to innovate in order to address long standing critiques of extraction and burnout. We are currently learning from other organizations with distributed leadership to glean best practices and insights, and we’re carefully discussing and fine-tuning how we could operate successfully as a collaborative team.  Our employees are enthusiastic, passionate, nimble, open-minded and creative as we imagine how we could work together to further the pesticide-free movement in new ways and also contribute to a paradigm shift in how nonprofits operate.

NCAP’s shared decision making process and move to Co-Directors developed over the past year has been instrumental in identifying a staff-wide interest in a new organizational structure where the unique skills and experiences of individuals are utilized in driving our mission. We have been learning and growing each step of the way, continually refining our internal processes to be well positioned as a strong and innovative organization. More people and experiences involved in decision-making allows for more creativity, equity and success in achieving our yearly program goals as well as advancing our strategic initiatives and mission. We thank you for continuing to support NCAP as a leader in the pesticide-free movement, and we will keep sharing important updates throughout this journey with you.

Background History: NCAP has several years of history using different shared leadership models. In 2018, NCAP moved from a traditional Executive Director (ED) model to a collective shared leadership model when our previous ED resigned. With support from a consultant, we created our first collective leadership model with leadership duties spread out among staff. In 2020, after some key staff left the organization, NCAP transitioned back to an ED model. After careful discussion and planning among all staff and board, in October of 2021 NCAP moved to a model with two Co-Directors and greater empowerment of all staff. 


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  • Tamara Sloviaczek
    commented 2022-06-29 16:44:11 -0700
    It’s a big move! Thanks for leading the way in addressing the need to find alternatives to pesticide use and supporting human health and development both in NCAP programs and in your own non-profit organization.
  • Ncap Staff
    published this page in BLOG 2022-06-23 14:09:37 -0700