Welcome! I’m glad you’re here!
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.
Cindy Leonard joined the YWCA Westmoreland County as Executive Director in September 2018, bringing over 20 years of nonprofit leadership and management experience. The YWCA endeavors for social justice by working to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Previously, Cindy spent 12 years at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, working with the director and consulting team to enhance the Center’s consulting and technology programs. She also performed community organizing around technology through the Center’s popular Bagels & Bytes meetups and annual TechNow conference. Before that, she managed IT for Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
An experienced speaker and trainer with a highly engaging, interactive style, Cindy has successfully worked with groups as small as 10 and as large as 200 on a wide variety of topics. She has presented and trained at over 100 conferences and classes, including conferences by Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Nonprofit Technology Network, Nonprofits LEAD, Alliance for Nonprofit Management, Association of Fundraising Professionals of Western Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Library Association.
Cindy presently serves on the board of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Education, all from Seton Hill University.
Raised in Blairsville and Derry Township, Cindy has had a lifelong love affair with the Laurel Highlands, and currently resides in Youngwood with her husband Rob and a handful of very spoiled felines. She blogs about nonprofit management and technology at www.cindyleonard.org.
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 where I managed the consulting program and technology program. While part of my job was program management, I also consulted with nonprofits in the area of technology, spoke at conferences and other events on a variety of topics, and designed and taught non-credit classes.
In September 2018, I left the Bayer Center to work as the executive director of YWCA Westmoreland County. The YWCA endeavors for social justice by working to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. It has been my dream for many years to lead a nonprofit organization and I enjoy every minute of the work!
Of all the consulting work I have performed over the past 20 years, I love website development most of all. I build strictly using the WordPress platform.
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 feline fur babies. I’ve been rescuing cats since I was 21 years old. You know that whole thing where computer geeks seem to be cat people…well, I was a cat person long before I became a computer geek.
- I love to read (mostly sci-fi, fantasy, classics and 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. I also am a extreme couponer, though I’ve been finding it difficult to find the time lately.
- 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.