New Executive Directors Need a Great Vision and People Skills

New Executive Directors Need a Great Vision and People Skills 1

Joseph Smooke

Rachel Ebora (right), of Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, says that a charity leader’s job often entails being an “evangelist” for a cause.

Annemarie Grassi says it wasn’t until she was seven years into her 10-year tenure as the leader of Open Doors Academy that she became totally comfortable in the CEO chair.

“You have to show confidence to inspire staff and donors, so at first I faked being confident on the outside while I was shaking on the inside,” says Ms. Grassi, 34, whose Cleveland charity provides out-of-school educational and leadership programs to middle- and high-school-age students. But with