Amy Ledbetter Parham
Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Texas
With twenty years’ experience in construction, Texas government and nonprofit management, Amy Ledbetter Parham works with the 83 Habitat for Humanity affiliates as executive director of Habitat Texas. After graduating the University of Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in government and from Texas State University – San Marcos with a degree in design, Amy was a political campaign manager and as a design professional for an architectural firm that specialized in public buildings and school districts. Her first foray into nonprofit management began when she was hired to launch a new nonprofit which brought together multiple nonprofits to provide wrap-around services to people in need on a single campus. Starting from scratch, within three years the project involving seven nonprofits was launched on a 29-acre campus in San Marcos, TX. From there, Amy worked with dozens of nonprofits around the state as a consultant, bringing best practices to small and mid-sized organizations.
Recently, Amy was appointed to the Texas Nonprofit Council, created by 2013 Texas Legislature, to help direct the work of the Interagency Coordinating Group and provides guidance on faith-based and community-based initiatives. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the Austin Community College Center for Nonprofit Studies.
Brief statement why you have accepted appointment and what you would consider to have been a successful tenure when your term:
Strengthening the nonprofit sector is the driving force behind my work in nonprofit organizations. Following the belief that we are only as strong as our weakest member, then we must work together so each organization, each volunteer, each staff member has the resources they need to be successful. Only then, as successful organizations, are we able to make the most impact in the lives of those we serve.
The Center for Nonprofit Studies (CNS), created 15 years ago, helped guide me to best practices and a commitment to the highest level of accountability when I began in nonprofit work about 12 years ago. It is an honor to be able to return a small measure of what I have received, so I very much appreciate the honor of being offered this appointment.
At the end of my term, I hope that more nonprofit professionals take advantage of the programs offered at CNS and that the reach of CNS’ services expand. Having worked with nonprofits across the state of Texas, I can unequivocally say that nonprofits in Central Texas are some of the best managed around. I believe this is in no small part due to the Center. It has trained many hundreds of nonprofit professionals and volunteers, and the multiplier effect of people and decision-making surely means the impact of the Center far exceeds what we can even imagine.
Brief statement on your sense of the Center’s impact for its first 15 years and its potential for future:
The first 15 years of the Center has been, no doubt, a true labor of love for its founder, Barry Silverberg. Few people have the knowledge of best practices to be able to almost single-handedly steer the nonprofit ships of Central Texas. Later, with added staff, the Center was able to add more programs and more resources. Now, a new phase begins which brings more expertise to the Center from the nonprofit community in the form of the CNS Community Leadership Council. Many, like myself, owe our own careers and successful nonprofit management to the Center…and Barry.
Of course, the wisest thing a person can do is listen more than talk, so I hesitate to offer any suggestions for the future of the Center without listening first…to those at the Center and the nonprofit community it serves, but I would like to ask if the Center is something that we could begin replicating in other parts of the state, perhaps working with other community colleges. Having seen the value of the Center, I believe it would be extraordinarily useful.