About This Site
Well hello there. Thanks for stopping by!
After nearly two decades of working in the nonprofit sector, I’ve got all kinds of information and thoughts banging around inside my brain. Combine that with many friends and colleagues over the years asking “why don’t you have a blog?” and here we are.
Let’s get the “official” bio out of the way first:
Cindy Leonard is the Consulting Team Leader at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University. She manages the consulting program and technology program, working with the consulting team to maximize client satisfaction and identify areas for growth. Her own consulting specialty is helping nonprofits leverage technology to meet their missions. In addition to technology assessments, planning and decision support, she specializes in website development on the WordPress platform. Cindy convenes monthly Bagels & Bytes meetups and organizes the annual TechNow conference. She holds a B.S. in computer science, an M.B.A. and a M.Ed. in instructional design technology, all from Seton Hill University.
I began my nonprofit career after a layoff from a telecommunications firm back in the late 90’s. I started nonprofit life as a part-time administrative assistant with an environmental organization while getting an associate degree in computer programming at my local community college. Over the next decade or so, I got three more degrees (see bio above) and was promoted a few times so I was eventually managing that organization’s technology full time before long.
In 2006, I began working at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University and have been there ever since. I love what I do – I have wicked smart co-workers, clients and students that are passionate and dedicated to their organizations (and generally a joy to work with) and a great working space in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.
While part of my job is program management (consulting program and technology program), I also consult with nonprofits in the area of technology, speak at conferences and other events on a variety of topics and regularly design and teach mostly tech-related training classes. Of all the consulting work I perform, I love website development most of all.
I’ve also volunteered for a number of organizations over the years in a variety of capacities. If you visit my LinkedIn profile and scroll down to the Volunteer section, you can see what I’ve done in the past and what I’m up to lately.
Finally, some personal trivia:
- Though I enjoy working in the city, I still live in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania about 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. I grew up in the shadow of the mountains and am still in love with the area. Though I don’t live as close to Chestnut Ridge as where I grew up, it still makes me happy that I can see the ridge in the distance from the second floor of my house.
- I live with my husband of over a decade, Rob, who works in retail by day and is a budding fiction author by night. He’s been working on his first book for the last two years and if he ever finishes, I’ll let you know.
- We have no human children, but we do live with and love eight feline fur-babies. To answer the usual question “how did you end up with eight cats?!?” – we originally had two and adopted a female who turned out to be a week pregnant. We kept her and the entire litter – four boys. That got us to seven, which was our number for many years. We lost a cat in November 2016 to old age and adopted a stray mama cat and kitten who started living on our front porch that same month. That’s how we got to eight.
- I love to read (mostly sci-fi, fantasy, classics and young adult dystopian fiction), play computer games (mostly simulation, time management and adventure, garden and watch Netflix. I also play the violin (not as often as I’d like) and just acquired all of the gear to begin oil painting. I crochet too, but usually only in the winter months and usually while watching Steeler games, and I do extreme couponing shopping trips on a weekly basis with my best friend, Rhiannon.
- We purchased a 1920 Colonial style house in 2015 and are in the slow process of remodeling it to suit our tastes. Being neither rich nor having a lot of free time on our hands, this is a long-term project. It’s such fun though!
- While I’m nowhere near perfect at it, I do believe in and do my best to adhere to a minimalist lifestyle. I love clean, clutter-free surfaces and walls and not owning stuff I don’t use or need. My guru is Leo Babauta of the Zen Habits blog, which I highly recommend to anyone wanting to simplify and de-clutter.