We look forward to the CEO Retreat every year and can't wait to have you join us.

This gathering of Elkhart County nonprofit leaders is intended to connect and recharge those leading organizations that serve our community.
The Learning Center offers this free two-day session to care for those who provide so much for others, including their staff and those they serve. All meals, lodging and expenses are covered for those who lead Elkhart County nonprofits or nonprofits that serve Elkhart County through The Learning Center of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County.

Register now to save your spot at this great event at Oakwood Resort, 702 E Lake View Rd, Syracuse, Indiana.

Our agenda:

Wednesday, August 24 8 to 9 a.m. — Registration and Breakfast

9 to 9:30 a.m. — Introduction activity by CFEC staff

9:30 a.m. to noon — “Proactive change” by keynote speaker Darrell “Flash” Gordon, including time for small group activities and discussions

Noon to 1 p.m. — Lunch and room check-in

1 to 3 p.m. —  “Out of This World Connection” with Julie Cotton, Next Level Improv, and Ritch Hochstetler, ULEAD.

Join Julie Cotton from Next Level Improv and Ritch Hochstetler from ULEAD as they navigate an exploration into deeper connection. As local nonprofit leaders, we can often feel like we are lifting an enormous weight up an insurmountable mountain. Take a brief experiential journey into ways we can improve our willingness to support and be supported by our fellow nonprofit leaders, organizations and communities. See how Connection, Shared Resource Opportunities and Vulnerability can be door openers to creating greater impact in our community overall.

3 to 5 p.m. — Relaxation activities, including massages, kayaking and walking

6 to 8 p.m. —  Dinner cruise

8 to 10 p.m. — Fireside time and sharing of talents

Thursday, August 25

8 to 9 a.m. — Breakfast

9 a.m. to noon — “Five Dysfunctions” session by Darrell “Flash” Gordon

Noon to 1 p.m. — Lunch

1 to 1:30 p.m. — “Coaching: What It Is and What It Is Not” by Mike Garty

1:30 to 3 p.m. — CFEC staff updates

3 p.m. — Dismissal


Our speakers:

Darrell Gordon was a former starting outside linebacker on the 1988 National Championship Notre Dame Football Team. In addition to the 1988 National championship Fiesta Bowl, Darrell played in the 1989 Hula Bowl Football all-star game with prominent NFL athletes including Deion Sanders, Derek Thomas and Troy Aikman. Darrell’s accomplishments on the gridiron can only be matched by his accomplishments off the field.
Darrell earned a bachelor's degree in Economics and Business and a master’s degree in Administration from Notre Dame, a Juris Doctorate from Northern Kentucky University's Chase College of Law, a Certification in Fund Raising Management (CFRM) from Indiana University School of Philanthropy, and Strategic Perspective in Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School Executive Education Program. He has won numerous awards and honors in his career.
Since 2001, Darrell has served as Chief Executive Officer of a multi-million-dollar youth organization. Before that he served as an adjunct Sports Law Professor for the graduate school at Ball State University and worked for the NCAA for five years in their legislative and student athlete advisory department. Darrell also serves as a national public speaker on the topics of Character Development, Diversity Training, Leadership Empowerment for Change. In September 2018, Darrell became an author when his first book hit the shelves entitled, “Change Does Not Occur In A Flash.”

Julie Cotton has been an actor/improviser for 35-plus years and wellness practitioner since 2007. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, she is an avid student of life with lots of letters and certificates in many of the things she loves: master’s in fine arts in Acting, and a bachelor’s in Theater Education with a minor in Vocal Performance. She also has degrees and certifications in improv, massage therapy, pilates and yoga. She is a second degree black belt in kickboxing and is a graduate of Trainer Designs Global in Transformational Leadership Trainings. She has served on the board of her local chamber of commerce and is currently president-elect of the Elkhart Rotary Club. She is the founder of Next Level Improv where she uses improv to empower individuals and companies to create their highest and best realities.

Ritch Hochstetler has created, innovated, and facilitated training experiences for students, educators, youth workers, nonprofit and corporate teams for over 30 years.  As an aspiring mystic and servant leader, Ritch thrives on engaging individuals and teams in playful exploration, learning, and growth that leads to dynamic change. When Ritch isn’t dreaming up new ways to stretch people’s comfort zones, he loves to engage in adventures with his grandchildren, paddle a kayak, and write songs accompanied by a vintage Martin guitar. Ritch is a graduate of Goshen College and Fuller Seminary, with additional certifications in Talent Optimization, Appreciative Inquiry, True Colors Personality Temperament, and Servant Leadership.

  Michael Garty has demonstrated history of working in the management/leadership development consulting industry. He is skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Coaching, Crisis Intervention, Clinical Supervision, and Conflict Resolution. He is a strong business development professional with a Master of Arts (MA) focused in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor from Asbury Theological Seminary.  
Event Agenda

The Community Foundation of Elkhart County is focused on improving the quality of life in Elkhart County by inspiring generosity.