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O2 Initiatives Announces 2015 Sabbatical Award Recipients

Sunday, November 22, 2015

In July, we told you about NCG member O2 Initiatives launching their annual O2 Sabbatical Awards. The O2 Sabbatical Award honors the commitment and accomplishments of exceptional nonprofit executive directors in San Francisco and Alameda Counties with a rare gift of time. They have announced this year's winners!

O2 Initiatives has announced the recipients of their second annual O2 Sabbatical Award:

  • Sam Cobbs, Chief Executive Officer, First Place for Youth
  • Diane Dodge, Executive Director, East Bay College Fund
  • Erica Kisch, Executive Director, Compass Family Services
  • Dorsey Nunn, Executive Director, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
  • Jeremy Madsen, Chief Executive Officer, Greenbelt Alliance
  • Patricia Murillo, Executive Director, Alternatives in Action
  • Lance Toma, Executive Director, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center

The O2 Sabbatical Award honors the commitment and accomplishments of exceptional nonprofit leaders in San Francisco and Alameda Counties by rewarding them with the rare gift of time for personal and professional reinvigoration. Through a three-month paid sabbatical, awardees have the chance to re-energize while strengthening the leadership of their entire organization. In addition, they become part of a long-lasting peer network of program alumni collectively shaping the sector to drive even greater impact for the Bay Area and beyond.

When O2 Initiatives launched the Sabbatical Award in 2014, their goal was to not only provide executive directors with a well-deserved break, but also to help others in the organization grow their skills and responsibilities during the absence, ultimately creating greater shared leadership and more resilient organizations.

Each grant includes $40,000 toward the cost of the executive director’s three-month sabbatical, plus a $3,000 stipend for the interim leader (or leadership team). O2 Initiatives also offers coaching in partnership with CompassPoint to help organizations prepare for the sabbatical, assist interim teams during the leave, and provide support with re-entry and organizational learning once sabbaticals are completed. In addition, awardees are invited to request up to $7,500 to support ongoing professional development for their teams.

As last year's awardees complete their sabbaticals, O2 Initiatives is excited and encouraged by reports of just how transformational the experience has been for them and their organizations.

Please join O2 Initiatives in congratulating this year's Sabbatical Award recipients. The work of these extraordinary leaders makes the Bay Area the place we all want to live. And if you know a nonprofit executive director who could benefit from a sabbatical, encourage them to visit O2Initiatives.org to learn more. O2 Initiatives will begin accepting applications for the next O2 Sabbatical Award program cycle in summer 2016.


O2 Initiatives believes that when nonprofit leaders have time to recharge and refocus, they are better prepared to ignite positive change. Sabbaticals are a tried and tested tool to support high- performing leaders, while strengthening their organizations. The O2 Sabbatical Award was inspired by the Durfee Foundation and their learning about the value of Creative Disruption for their grantee organizations. The result is stronger leaders, smarter teams, and more resilient organizations.