Developing strong, effective leaders in the not-for-profit aging services field

For the eighth consecutive year, generously sponsored by:
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Program Overview
Now in its eighth year, the Academy is designed to help develop leadership skills of managers in the aging-services field. Participants actively explore best practices of leaders, analyze their own leadership, learning and problem solving styles and experience the synergies that result from high performing teams. In order to maximize learning opportunities, space is limited to a maximum of 18 participants.

Click here to read what alumni have said about their experience in the program!

Click here for application details

Applications due by Friday, August 10th

Overall Program Goals

  • Understand personal leadership effectiveness
  • Build competency in leadership skills
  • Add value to the sponsoring organization
Who Should Attend
Those sponsored for the program must be mid-level managers and above at a LeadingAge Massachusetts provider member organization with the potential and desire to make an impact on their organization. At least three years experience managing teams and/or projects is required.

Tuition is $1,100 per participant. Tuition includes all class fees, meals, handouts and a journal.

Program Structure

This seven month program requires your commitment as an interactive participant to eight full-days and one evening session, plus preparation required for each session. Meetings are approximately every four weeks from October 2018 to May 2019. 

The sessions are a mix of intensive group work with the Dean and the cohort, and special LeadingAge Massachusetts events. These events give you a chance to network with not only your cohort, but also the larger LeadingAge Massachusetts membership.

Work required in-between sessions is estimated to be 4-6 hours per month.  As these programs build on one another, missing more than one session can impact your learning.  Please prioritize your attendance to get the most value.


The LeadingAge Massachusetts Leadership Academy is committed to giving participants tools that will improve their day-to-day management, as well as their development as a leader in the aging services field. Here are some examples of tools you will obtain:

  • Ability to think big picture
  • Understanding of self within the larger context of your organization
  • Ability to see inherent values and beliefs underlying actions
  • Developing skills in planning and deep problem solving
  • Understanding various approaches for managing conflict
  • Ability to reflect and observe oneself and others


You will need the following documents ready to upload to start your application:

1. A document that answers the following three questions in three different paragraphs:

  • What do you hope to gain from this program?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What is a challenging leadership situation and how have you grown from it?

2. A letter of support from your manager/organization

3. Memo of Understanding, which must be signed by the applicant and his/her manager

4. A current resume

It is not possible to save your application once you have started, so please plan accordingly.

Applications are due by Friday, August 10th

Dean of the Academy
Jodi Detjen has been a professor of management at Suffolk University since 1999. Jodi teaches management at the MBA, Undergraduate and Corporate Education levels both online, in the classroom and internationally. Jodi writes about the skills required and organizational aspects related to living an integrated life. Jodi is the Co-Author at The Orange Line: A Woman’s Guide to Integrating Career, Family and Life. She is cofounder of a boutique consulting firm, Orange Grove Consulting, focused on developing leaders, building the skills of women to become leaders, and helping organizations to transform their approach to work and talent to foster standout performance. Prior to teaching and independent consulting, Jodi was as an international management consultant based in London, England. Jodi received her MA in International Development Policy focusing on organizational development from Duke University and her BSc from Virginia Tech in Management Science.


Program Description and Schedule

Please note: Session locations are all to be determined. Locations will be set based on the geographical make up of the cohort.

Introductions, Meet your mentor, Town Hall Forum, and LeadingAge Massachusetts Annual Meeting
October 4, 2018 – 12:00pm-7:00pm
This opening session will be an opportunity to meet the cohort and mentors and learn more about the journey ahead. This day will also include two important LeadingAge MA events: LeadingAge Massachusetts Town Hall Forum and Annual Meeting. The LeadingAge Massachusetts Town Hall Conversation is your opportunity to provide input to LeadingAge about ways national public policy is affecting you, the older adults you serve, and how policy could be changed for the better. Then join LeadingAge Massachusetts members to help celebrate the successes of the members during the past year, to acknowledge LeadingAge Massachusetts’ achievements, and to prepare for the year ahead. Meet the leaders in the field and network at this social event.

Goal Setting and Strength Finders
October 25, 2018 – 9:30am-4:30pm
Develop your career vision and goals for the program. Learn how to align your goals with your organization. Examine how input from others and a 360 degree evaluation can help you achieve your goals.

Navigating Conflict
December 4, 2018 – 9:30am-4:30pm
In this workshop, participants will expand their understanding of what conflict is and learn how to use a practical set of conflict navigation skills to advance agendas, promote mutual learning, and enhance relationships at work. We’ve conducted a broad study of the leading approaches to navigating conflict, blended it with fascinating research on the role that the brain plays in successful conflict navigation, and built a workshop that equips participants with a practical, accessible, and expanded toolkit for handling a range of common conflict situations
Guest Speaker: Margie Gozdiff, Edgework Consulting

Mid-Program Check-In 
January 2019
Scheduled 60 Minute Phone Meeting
Cohorts will check on their progress and receive coaching on current issues. Format for this session will be a conference call. Date and time to be determined.

Team Essentials
January 30, 2019 – 9:30am-4:30pm
Utilize the dynamic Team Ready Model for an accessible and applicable framework to understand team roles and performance. Learn how to lead a positive and productive team process and help the team to communicate and solve problems effectively.
Guest Speaker: Lou Bergholz, Founder, Edgework Consulting

Strategic Thinking
February 28, 2019 – 9:30am-4:30pm
Organizations are challenged to develop leaders who can think strategically and solve problems outside their direct area of control. Yet, in eldercare, managers can tend more often to be the “doers” rather than the strategy gurus. How can leaders develop this capability? This session offers a new model that helps to shape strategic leaders using five perspective shifts that move them into a more strategic mindset, understand their value, and increase their impact. This session will help participants shift from a focus on operational details to making a connection with the big picture. Cohort members will learn specific techniques that managers can employ to shift their perspectives and build their personal strategic network.

The afternoon deepens this concept so that you can see strategic thinking in action and apply it back to your daily role.

Live Case Study and Debrief
March 28, 2019 – 9:30am-4:30pm
Use the skills and tools learned in The Academy to work on a live case study. Cohort will be split in teams, analyze the problem, develop a solution and present results to senior leadership of the organization.

Moving Forward
April 25, 2019 – 9:30am-2:30pm
Reflect on what you learned across the year. Refine your goals and plans to further integrate your skills and increase your impact. Work with cohort and the Dean to identify potential challenges and opportunities moving forward. Celebrate Graduation from The Leadership Academy.

LeadingAge Massachusetts Annual Conference
Date To Be Determined
Expand your thinking and your network at the LeadingAge Massachusetts Annual Conference attended by over 300 top leaders in the aging services field. Meet up with the Leadership Academy Alumni for a private educational session on leadership!

Experiencing Leadership

Academy Alumni Network
Over 120 individuals have graduated the LeadingAge Massachusetts Leadership Academy since 2012 and comprise the Leadership Academy Alumni Network. The Academy Alumni Network provides them the opportunity to stay connected with each other and participate in private educational and social events. Alumni have the opportunity to participate as mentors for the current alumni class and participate on LeadingAge Massachusetts committees and task forces. This is an energetic and dedicated group and we look to the Academy Alumni as the next generation of aging services leaders.

Mentor Program for Academy
Every Leadership Academy participant will be matched up with a mentor from the Academy Alumni. Mentors will connect with their mentees to offer support, advice and expand their professional network.


"One of the many takeaways I got from attending the academy was that it gave me the ability to appreciate my strengths and to find ways to look at my weaknesses in a positive way, creating goals around improving them and involving my team in my efforts.”

~ Laura Lavoie, Glenmeadow, Class of 2018

"My experience at the Academy could not have been more rewarding. I learned a lot about myself and the type of leader I want to be. Each class I attended provided me the tools in my everyday life. The program is wonderful!”

~ Ilene Mirabile, North Hill, Class of 2017

“Beyond the practical tools to help me run my department, the program allowed me to meet other professionals with similar challenges. I found that by helping others it made me a better leader. I think the program is an effective guide for any manager who may be stuck in neutral and looking for concrete ways to improve.”

~ David Raider, NewBridge on the Charles, Class of 2017

"Participating in the Leadership Academy has been one of the great highlights of my career. It is a perfect example of taking a group of total strangers and building a collaboration where everyone supports and encourages each other. Everyone has with their own unique skills and circumstances but contributing to achieving the common goal; learning and growing."

~ Dianne Buckley, Goddard Homestead, Class of 2016

"The curriculum was all-encompassing in the area of leadership training both personally and professionally. A dynamic, power-packed nine months and working closely with the other students was grounding. It is a course no leader wants to miss!"

~ Nancy Leefe, Bethany Homes, Inc., Class of 2015

"The structure and content of the Leadership Academy offered a great opportunity to focus on personal skill development and practice using new management tools in a supportive environment. Even seasoned leaders will find the format stimulating and pertinent, with concrete "take-aways" to implement in the workplace after every session."

~ Lori Ferrante, Elizabeth Seton Residence, Class of 2015

"The class for me was a complete success. Jodi opened a line of thinking for me that I wasn't aware I was capable of. I found the case study to be the most fun I have had in years."

~ Jim Dinges, Nichols Village, Class of 2014

"The Leadership Academy has provided her with necessary techniques and methods for critical thinking that are essential leadership tools. She has shown significant development in learning to challenge members of her team to broaden their perspective on alternative solutions to complex problems."

~ Sheila Waxman, NewBridge on the Charles, Manager of 2014 Participant

"The overall content is excellent! The most impressive part is the building process from one month to the next, from one lesson to the next.  It is most noticeable in hindsight, which outlines its brilliance and effectiveness."

~ Francesca Ricci, Rogerson Community, Academy Class of 2012

"Leadership Academy has been an unforgettable and most valuable experience! I am tremendously grateful for the collegial networking and partnerships that have been created, as they will hold steadfast through our careers."

~ Beth Vettori, Rockridge CCRC, Academy Class of 2011

"Attending The Leadership Academy has developed my skills to a level where I see my leadership opportunities opening up to a level I never imagined. Thank you all!"

~ Karen Prest, North Hill, Academy Class of 2011

"She has taken more of a leadership role in the facility. She is now facilitating the monthly nursing meetings and is more comfortable with public speaking. There is an increased confidence in her ability to manage staff conflicts/resolutions since her participation in the Academy."

~ Lisa Kubiak, Executive Director, Mary Ann Morse
Manager of Academy Participant


“The Leadership Academy has given Pam a fantastic view of the Senior Living Community in the Boston Area. She has brought back ideas from her peers and has solidified her leadership skills through the academy by participating in presentations to the residents. She has become my go to person for operational and financial matters at our community.”

~ Deborah Felton, Executive Director, Fuller Village, Milton MA
Manager of Academy Participant


“I have observed Patty become increasingly willing to take risks in meetings, volunteer for more task forces and generally, become more of a recognized leader at our community. Although always a good manager, Patty’s management skills with her team have grown stronger and she shows her passion for mentoring and helping her team members grow in a more visible way. Patty has thoroughly enjoyed this experience. She speaks about it often and has taken full advantage of it. We are grateful to the Leadership Academy for hosting this great program and to Patty for the hard work she has put into it.”

~ Janet Hirsch, Director of Community Life, North Hill
Manager of Academy Participant


“The thing that our administration has noticed is that Joe is more accepting of change and uncertainty. He seems to really have been helped by listening to other manager’s stories and getting an understanding that their problems are similar. He historically has been hard on himself and feeling like some issues were his fault rather than understanding that they are just part of the job. Joe is now more determined and likely to deal with issues head on. I think Joe has really enjoyed and been enriched by the program.”

~ Anne Miller, Assistant Executive Director, Glenmeadow
Manager of Academy Participant

More Information or Questions:
For any questions about The Leadership Academy application process or tuition, please contact:
Lynn Monaghan, Education and Events Manager, LeadingAge Massachusetts
617-244-2999 | fax: 617-244-2995

Upcoming Events

Keep up-to-date with our organization by viewing our upcoming events.
Upcoming Event 1
Month Day, 2016 | 0:00 am
Upcoming Event 2
Month Day, 2016 | 0:00 am
Upcoming Event 3
Month Day, 2016 | 0:00 am
Upcoming Event 4
Month Day, 2016 | 0:00 am