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El Pomar Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Development program makes updates in support of Southern Colorado’s leaders of color

By Will Keyse

New Name, New Mission and Enhanced Values Aim to Improve Opportunity and Community Impact

At the milestone of 20 years, El Pomar Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Development (ELD) program is undergoing a re-vamp to update its name and mission, and enhance its core values. For 20 years, ELD has “facilitated the process for developing diverse leadership potential with a strong commitment to broad-based community involvement, civic engagement and service on non-profit and public sector boards and commissions.”

While the acronym (ELD) remains the same, the new name, Elevating Leadership Development, is an updated reflection of the mission, focused on advancing the skills, knowledge and network of leaders of color and celebrating leadership diversity. The new mission states:

“ELD advances the skills, knowledge and network of leaders of color by providing access to leadership development and civic engagement opportunities, and by celebrating ethnic diversity.”

With the updated name, refined mission and enhanced values, ELD places greater emphasis on expanding access to leadership development opportunities and professional growth experiences, while continuing to elevate the voices of leaders of color through board service and increasing community leadership diversity. Since its inception, ELD has issued more than 330 scholarships for leadership development training totaling more than $445,000 in scholarship grants. Scholarships remove barriers to access for programs such as Leadership Pikes Peak Signature and LNOW! programs, Leadership Pueblo, Center for Creative Leadership’s Community Leadership ProgramColorado Springs Leadership Institute (CSLI), Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Board Governance workshops, and El Pomar’s LeadershipPlenty course.

“ELD participants and alumni regularly share profound stories of increased knowledge, networking, confidence and opened doors because of their engagement with the program,” said Zuleika Johnson, Vice President of Opportunity and Outreach. “As an ELD alumna, and in addition to my own professional growth, I’ve seen the benefit the program brings to our region through increased community leadership diversity. We’re excited to support the future success of program participants and their impact in the community.”

Caroline Trani, the Pueblo Latino Advisory Council Co-Chair, added, “The ELD program provided me the opportunity to meet and convene with other Pueblo professionals and participate in many leadership programs such as Leadership Pueblo, board governance training, transitional leadership training and many more diverse professional development opportunities. Being a part of this great group of ethnic minority and community leaders who work in many capacities to empower our community while providing critical leadership support is not only rewarding as a professional but personally as an individual.

ELD’s Online Civic Engagement Profiles have also undergone an overhaul, now providing an easier interface for nonprofit boards, civic leaders, executive directors and CEOs to identify and connect with potential leaders of color for board service, commissions, and positions of leadership. Profiles are searchable by individuals’ interest areas and professional specialties, and can be accessed at To learn more about this resource, you can view a tutorial video prepared by our ELD team:

Johnson added, “We continue to convene, empower and inspire our participants to take action. Our program updates simply enable us to deepen and grow our partner relationships in an effort to reach more ELD participants, provide more value to participants in their training experiences, and build the size and profile of diverse leadership potential in benefit to the community. Our Online Civic Engagement Profiles help us reflect that.”

“We know it’s critical for nonprofits, businesses and civic commissions to reflect communities they serve,” said Kyle H. Hybl, El Pomar President & CEO. “We hope nonprofit, business and civic organizations see ELD and its online profiles as meaningful resources for leadership development and pipeline searches. El Pomar, its Trustees and staff look forward to continuing to support people, nonprofits and civic organizations in Southern Colorado through Elevating Leadership Development.”

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