By Carol McCracken (Post # 341)
Tom Leonhardt retired to the Hill this past spring. After numerous visits to the area in different seasons of the year, he decided the Eastern Promenade was where he wanted to live. Tom moved from Washington, D.C. where he’d lived for years and had established his own 30 year old consulting business. Fortunately, for this community he’s been able to find outlets in which to volunteer his services – as a consultant in the non-profit sector.
Through a friend here, he discovered the Maine Association of Non-Profits – an organization that helps associations and boards understand each other so they can work well together and not at cross-purposes as can happen. “Strong boards are needed especially in these times,” he said recently at the Hilltop Coffee Shop. “When a new board member comes on, he takes cues from other board members and follows their behavior. That works when conditions are good and finances are good. However, it might be time to do things differently,” said this charismatic expert in the consulting business. Tom plans to teach several courses for the Association this Spring. He has the highest regard for the organization. Its “way ahead of the curve and very sophisticated,” he said.
Working with non-profits requires that the two acknowledge that the non-profit does indeed have problems and then work together to solve these problems. Often, when Tom interviews employees of the clilent organization, the leadership is surprised to learn that others are not on the ‘same page’ with him/her. Tom and the leadership need to decide what they want to do. “Some will take action and some won’t. We like our dysfunctional ways,” some say according to Tom. Obviously, most don’t say that. By the time they talk to Tom they are pretty desperate for help. A lot of his job is listening to people and collecting the information needed to make necessary changes.
Tom graduated from Bucknell College in Pennsylvania with a degree in psychology. He taught school for a few years. But he was restless for something more than teaching. He actually started up his own consulting business when he joined the Job Corp in 1978 and has enjoyed a long and successful career in the consulting business. He still retains seveal of his clients although he lives on the Eastern Promenade; one is the prestigious United States Tennis Association. At one time the USTA was a major client of his. It is still an important client of his and an association he thoroughly enjoys to this day.
Tom is pretty enjoyable himself to be around and clearly an asset to the community which he now calls home. Welcome..!