Excellence in Governance


Pathfinder Services is proud to be a 2014 graduate of NeighborWorks America’s Excellence in Governance program.  Their board of directors has tremendous responsibility in leading the human services organization. Through the program, the board learned the importance of setting time aside at each meeting to discuss the generative issues facing the organization as well as the strategic implications for the individuals and communities served.

In 2014, Pathfinder Services, Inc. completed NeighborWorks America’s Excellence in Governance program and received a $10,000 grant from NeighborWorks America in recognition of its work to build a stronger and more effective Board of Directors. Effective Boards have been shown to be an essential part of a nonprofit community development organizations’s ability to efficiently deliver services and sustain business operations on behalf of the community over the long-term.

The Excellence in Governance program involved a small team of board members and the Executive Director to lead the process with the full board.  The Pathfinder Services, Inc. Leadership Team members were Bob Burnsworth, Steve Schenkel, Chant Thompson, Seth Whicker and President, John Niederman.

NeighborWorks America

“We are pleased to have partnered with NeighborWorks America on this important initiative and we are honored to be the first agency in the State of Indiana to receive this distinction,” stated John Niederman, President of Pathfinder Services Inc., “As a comprehensive human and community development organization, we are dedicated to strengthening our communities by enabling people facing physical, developmental or economic challenges to achieve independence, inclusion, and stability. Our Board of Directors has a tremendous responsibility in leading the organization into the future and has learned through the Excellence in Governance process the importance of setting time aside at each Board meeting to talk about the generative issues facing the organization and look at the strategic implications for people we serve and the community as a whole. Research has shown that the more engaged the Board members are in such substantial dialogue, the more their talents and passion are utilized to assure the organization’s future direction and sustainability.”

Pathfinder Services, Inc. is one of 42 nonprofits to participate in the NeighborWorks Excellence in Governance program launched in 2011. Excellence in Governance is an 18-month training program designed to help executives and board members of nonprofits increase collaboration internally and effectively develop new partnerships outside the organization, all with an emphasis on improving community-level outcomes. In short, the program is designed to move organizations and their boards from “good to great”.

“The Excellence in Governance program has brought great vitality to our Board interaction. We spend more time in the heart of each meeting on the strategic visioning that a Board member needs to give attention to as we look to becoming the best serving organization to all of the individuals we impact. Our generative discussions have been invigorating. We are grateful for the encouragement we as an organization have received as a participating team in this outstanding program,” expressed Chant Thompson, Board Chair for Pathfinder Services, Inc.

NeighborWorks America is one of the nation’s largest community development grant makers and is the largest trainer of nonprofit community development organizations in the country. Learn more about NeighborWorks America at www.NeighborWorks.org.