Reflections On Board Leadership and Transformation with Kristy Trautmann and Michele Rone Cooper

Reflections on Board Leadership and Transformation with Kristy Trautmann and Michele Rone Cooper, Interview
December 1, 2022

In 2022 we had the privilege of working with the board and staff of Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania (GWP) as they embarked on a strategy process amidst the transition of a long-time leader. We were struck by the exceptional leadership of strategy committee co-chairs, Kristy Trautmann (current board member of GWP and executive director of FISA Foundation) and Michele Rone Cooper (former board member of GWP and retired executive director of McAuley Ministries) and the way that they led transformative work by the committee in service of the organization’s evolution at large.   

Below, Kristy and Michele share an inside look at some of the key elements of the strategy process that ignited ideas, learning and momentum as the organization shaped its future vision.  


Screenshot image of Teams video call with Nina, Rachel, Leslie and Aya

Above: Video call with Michele and Kristy of GWP (top left and top right) and Lisa and Mark of TGP (bottom left and bottom right).


Thank you, Michele and Kristy, for your perspectives and insights.  

What are your overall reflections on the strategy process?


What do you think makes the resulting strategic framework effective?

Learn more about the Evolutions Exercise (From What, To What) that Kristy mentions above in this short video!


There was an explosion of energy when we did talk about values and culture — and specifically board culture and leadership. Can you share more about that experience?


What do you think enabled or empowered board members to engage deeply throughout the process?


How do you see the role of boards evolving, both at GWP and for philanthropy serving organizations (PSOs)? 


You can learn more about Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania’s work here 

If you are looking for support in your strategy or governance work, please reach out to us at

Mark Sedway and Lisa McGill are Senior Advisors at the Giving Practice. You can learn more about them on our team page here

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