A Radical Approach to Nonprofit Leadership (Tom Vozzo)

May 2022

How do you balance capitalistic skills and passion for a cause? Tom Vozzo, who left a highly successful corporate career to become an unpaid nonprofit CEO of the internationally acclaimed Homeboy Industries, is eminently qualified to answer such a question. In episode #158 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, you'll hear Tom share many of the lessons he's learned by leading this Los Angeles-based organization, and how he advocates for more social impact awareness in the for-profit community. He know it's the nonprofit sector that can employ many individuals once thought unemployable, and has clear, pragmatic advice for how nonprofit leaders can best support people on the margins of society who are trying to move into the workforce. As a committed capitalist himself, he knows leaders can be mission-driven yet combine that with business knowledge informed by past experiences. Tom shares what he sees are the biggest differences between nonprofit and corporate cultures and the lessons we can all learn to bridge these sectors.

"I'm often asked if I was to ever go back to the corporate sector what lessons I would bring from nonprofit leadership? There are many, and that's why I wrote a book about it."



Thomas Vozzo left a lucrative career in corporate America convinced there had to be a better way to define success. In 2012, Vozzo became the first-ever CEO of Homeboy Industries, the largest and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. Vozzo's journey goes from billion-dollar revenues--his last corporate role was as CEO of the $1.8 billion ARAMARK Uniform and Career Apparel Group--to a volunteer unpaid CEO of a nonprofit built on compassion, kinship, empathy and social justice. In Vozzo's first book, The Homeboy Way: A Radical Approach to Business and Life, he gives readers practical ways to address some of our most vexing social issues and provides a new path for personal and business leadership. Vozzo shares lessons learned both in secular business as well as faith-based pursuits to help readers from all walks of life thrive.



About PMA Nonprofit Leadership 

As a firm, PMA Nonprofit Leadership is constantly developing content and programs to help you in three distinct ways.  The first way is to help you be a thought leader in the nonprofit sector by producing weekly content through our podcast Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership. The second way is through individual coaching, training and our unique Mastermind Nonprofit Leadership program. The third way is to help your nonprofit organization through support of its strategic planning, board & staff development, and fundraising. Through our exclusive partnership with the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership, we also  guide aspiring nonprofit leaders through the virtual New Development Professionals cohort training program, as well as the annual Leadership Gift School, now entering its 10th cohort season.  Let us know how we can help you! Join our community by signing up for our free resources here, and schedule a call if you'd like to learn more about ways we can help you on your journey to nonprofit leadership.