Maintaining Strategic Focus as a Nonprofit Leader (Brian Maness)

May 2020

What do you do to stay organized in an ever-changing environment with children and families from across the state depending on you?  Like many nonprofit CEO's right now, Brian Maness has had to navigate both the personal and professional demands of nonprofit leadership despite an uncertain landscape around him.  Brian is the President & CEO of Children's Home Society of North Carolina, providing services ranging from adoption and foster care to parent education and teen pregnancy prevention to post adoption support for families.  Brian and I had a great conversation (episode #37) about how he's applied lessons learned early in his career to shape his current leadership style, and how he's advanced from an initial marketing role to serve as the CEO for a state-wide organization with over 300 employees.  We also talked about journaling practices, strategic planning, fundraising AND the critical importance of succession planning and the practical implications every nonprofit leader should consider.  As always, our guests have great books to recommend, and Brian is no exception!

"We have been successful by allowing our board time and space for generative, long-range and open-ended discussion"


As President and CEO of the Children's Home Society of NC since 2014, Brian is known as a champion for innovation and transformative change on behalf of children and families. He has led the growth and development of CHS from its traditional focus on adoption and foster care to its comprehensive array of child and family support programs today. Following an early career in marketing consulting and project management, Brian joined CHS in 2002 with the desire to improve the lives of vulnerable children. Brian has garnered respect within North Carolina and nationally for his leadership and contributions in organizational strategy, resource development, service innovation, advocacy, and public policy. Brian's vision for the future is for CHS to continue to be a leader in innovative services that create, support and enhance loving permanent families. Brian, a father of four, brings his personal perspective on the importance of family and believes that nothing can replace the role of a loving supportive family in the life of a child.