The Foellinger Foundation is premiering a documentary that chronicles one of its most crucial programs.
“The Journey, a Leadership Lab Documentary” will be shown at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, according to Foellinger officials. The group originally planned to show the film both virtually and live in a theater setting (at the Arts United auditorium), but surging Coronavirus cases led them to offer the documentary online only.
“We were originally going to make this a hybrid premier,” said Jodi Zahm, a grants and communications associate with Foellinger, “but with the virus getting worse and worse, we thought that wasn’t such a good idea.”
To watch the film, just go to the foundation’s website, www.foellinger.org and click the link to the documentary.
Foellinger’s Leadership Lab is a program that aims to help leaders of local nonprofits by teaching them leadership skills. Each year’s classroom group is kept small, allowing leaders in the course to “be vulnerable and unguarded with each other.”
The program began in 2015 with classes that went for 18 months, and now has courses that last about a year, Zahm said.
“The Journey” documentary chronicles the process of the students, and provides insight into the “transformative nature of the Lab, from four unique perspectives.”
This year’s class — the students recorded for the film — includes leaders from local groups such as the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne, the Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA and the Positive Resource Connection.
The premier also will include a panel discussion after the movie with the students featured in the film, also to be shown virtually.
The Foellinger Foundation is a private, nonprofit group that “invests in excellence” by giving out grants, as well as providing leadership training, conferences, workshops and speakers to nonprofit organizations that serve Allen County.
The foundation was created in 1958 by Helene Foellinger, who served as publisher of the News-Sentinel from 1936 to 1980, and Ester Foellinger, her mother.
Ed Kominowski, current president of the foundation, noted that developing effective leaders for local nonprofits is critical to their ultimate success.
“The Foellinger Foundation is convinced that a portion of its resources should be directed toward non-profit leadership’s development,” Kominowski said. “Nonprofit leaders wear many hats and rarely have available resources for professional development. The Leadership Lab, fully funded by Foellinger Foundation, recognizes the gap in available local leadership training and capacity-building opportunities.
“The Leadership Lab provides development in key areas of leadership, such as innovation, decision-making, culture, influence and negotiation, emotional intelligence and self-leadership. The curriculum is designed to develop the next generation of nonprofit leaders. Data has proven that organizational sustainability is directly influenced by effective and adaptive leadership.”