Business on Board Intensive


The Business on Board Intensive (BOBI) is a new program by the Arts + Business Council (ABC) that will investigate the complexities, nuances and realities of the nonprofit leadership relationship between board and staff in an intimate experiential space.

Organizations will participate in pairs with one participant from the staff and one participant from the board. 

BOBI is derived from ABC’s signature leadership and professional development program, Business on Board (BOB). BOB trains professionals on the fundamentals of nonprofit board service and matches them with arts and culture nonprofits seeking board candidates. With almost 900 alumni across 25 seasons, and approximately 70 organizations that participate each year, BOB has a proven track record of success. While BOB is a meaningful introductory experience and connector, it does not offer ongoing support to the organizations and participants involved. Recognizing a need, ABC aims to bridge the gap by offering a space for next level nonprofit leadership exploration through BOBI. A similar program does not exist in the Greater Philadelphia area or nationally.

This program is designed and led by the Arts + Business Council’s Program Manager, Creative Community Leadership Development Elizabeth (Liz) Thompson. Please visit the facilitator section to learn more about her background.




Get to know the cohort and program objectives and approaches. Experiment with ways to meaningfully foster trust organizationally and among colleagues.

October 8, 8:30 – 3:00PM | In person (note longer session)



Investigate the complications and unspoken factors around power and influence between board and staff. Recognize when to share power, empower, and relinquish control.

October 12, 4:00 – 6:00PM | Virtual
October 15, 8:30 – 12:00PM | In person



Understand sources of conflict on the structural and interpersonal levels and how to reframe it to move the organization forward.

October 19, 4:00 – 6:00PM | Virtual
October 22, 8:30 – 12:00PM | In person



Explore healthy accountability practices around executive leadership and board engagement. Walk away with an action plan to effect change at your organization.

October 26, 4:00 – 6:00PM | Virtual
October 29, 8:30 – 12:00PM | In person 


Each pair will bring to the program one challenge the organization is currently facing. Examples of challenges organizations may consider include how to:

  • Address disengaged board members.
  • Diversify the board and organization.
  • Activate the board to effectively fundraise.
  • Strengthen the executive director/board relationship.
  • Move from day-to-day management to strategic thinking and planning.
  • Reach new communities.
  • Transition to post-pandemic culture and operations

Through a framework focusing on building trust, power dynamics, accountability and navigating resistance, organizations will examine their current practices and how they work to both resolve and perpetuate their challenge. Organizations will apply their learnings to an action plan and receive feedback and support from the program cohort.

Fall 2021 Faculty

Sam Chenkin Hedshot

Sam Chenkin (she/they) is a nonprofit professional, community organizer, and community builder. She is a trans woman, white, Jewish, and was raised with upper-middle-class privilege.

Reclaim the Sector is Sam’s consulting and organizing project. It is her profession, her activism, and her personal struggle. She wants a better world for herself and others deemed disposable by society. She believes nonprofits can be part of that change.

Sam helps nonprofit leaders build equitable organizations by changing power and governance structures. She addresses unhealthy imbalances between organizational leaders and staff, between nonprofits and their communities, and between funders and those they fund.

Peter Mostachetti Headshot

A 24-year IBM veteran, Peter Mostachetti started out as a storage specialist, and eventually followed his passion to Leadership Development, and Talent Transformation. With experience engaging audiences in the U.S., South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, Peter specializes in engagement, feedback, managing dilemmas, fostering collaboration, transformational leadership, and using Agile techniques to drive cultural transformation. Peter is an accomplished actor having performed in and around the Hudson Valley and Off-Broadway. He is a sought-after speaker at both national and international conferences, and a four-time speaker at the United Nations. As a NYS Licensed Master Social Worker, he has always been committed to mentoring, coaching, leading teams; helping people to find their hidden strengths and values with a mind toward moving forward. In his spare time, he’s an executive coach, and works with local area schools through the Gay, Lesbian, Education Network (GLSEN) to develop students and educators, making schools safer for all.

Shavon Norris Headshot

Shavon Norris is an artist, educator, and facilitator. She uses movement along with text and sound and imagery to reveal and highlight the stories living in our bodies. Her work explores our relationship to our identities, our experiences, and to each other. An examination and celebration of what we feel, think, and believe. She received a BA in Biology from Manhattanville College and an MFA in Dance and Choreography from Temple University. Presently she teaches at Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University, and Pig Iron Theater School. As an artist her work has been presented at venues in New York City and Philadelphia. As a performer, she has participated in performances for Silvana Cardell, Leah Stein, Merian Soto, Jumatatu Poe, David Brick, and has toured nationally and internationally with Pig Iron Theatre Company. As an educator and facilitator, Shavon has worked with Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Need in Deed, and Arts and Business Council for Greater Philadelphia. In partnership with these organizations, as well as others, Shavon has offered short and long-term learning to diverse communities on topics of Intentional Inclusivity, Creativity, Wellness, and Healing Centered/Trauma Informed Practices. Shavon’s artistic and educational philosophies are rooted in the desire to offer herself, learners, performers, and audiences, opportunities to deepen the understanding of self and the collective. To explore ways to light us up, lift us up and shift what needs transforming. She loves all of living and working she gets to do in the world.

Elizabeth Thompson Headshot

Elizabeth (Liz) Thompson is an arts and culture leader and process investigator forever seeking aha moments in personal growth, for herself and others, while traversing mixed-race identity. Liz leads professional leadership development programs at the Arts + Business Council; is a current board member of the Arts Administrators of Color Network; and a founding member of the Arts & Culture Jawn, a burgeoning BIPOC arts administrators group in Philadelphia. Her nonprofit management experience is with grassroots and small nonprofits, most recently with Asian Arts Initiative and the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL).

Additional Information

Interested organizations will consist of pairs from different arts and culture organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area. One representative is a senior staff member from an organization who engages on a regular basis with their board. The other representative should be from the organization’s board who serves as the board chair or on the governance committee, or a similar group. Participating board members must have at least one year of experience serving on the organization’s board.

The unique program pairings of BOBI offer a new learning environment for nonprofit board dynamics:

  • The mixed cohort of staff and board representatives calls in the dynamics between the two groups, allowing facilitators to creatively play with exercises among the groups and pairs in novel ways;

  • Fosters camaraderie and learning between the pairs as they work together, problem solve and contextualize program content throughout the program; and

  • Provides deeper accountability and support between the pairs.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and based on the forming diversity of the cohort. Applications will remain open until full. Priority is given to ABC program alumni. Each individual must commit for the full program. If one individual is no longer able to participate once the program begins or is absent from more than one session, both participants may be asked to step down from the program.

ABC recommends a $1,750 program fee for organizational pairs. A 10% discount is available to ABC program alumni. Philanthropic grants enable ABC to provide financial assistance. If an organization or business is interested in participating but the fee poses a hardship, ABC may be able to accommodate different budgets.

Supported In Part By

PNC Arts Alive

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