the telos leadership foundation Appoints Board Members, Emerging Leaders Fellows

Foundation Focused on Development of Diverse, Young Leaders

CLEVELAND, OH (April 20, 2021) – the telos leadership foundation has appointed 11 young professionals as Board Members and 14 college students to the foundation’s 2021 Emerging Leaders Fellowship. The foundation is focused on providing opportunities for the development of diverse, young leaders to guide our community’s future.

“Addressing challenging issues requires diverse perspectives and deep insight from multiple angles to result in strategic solutions,” said Rick Simmons, CEO, the telos institute and Board Member of the telos leadership foundation. “Through their work on the board and participation in our Emerging Leaders experience, we will help prepare these young men and women to develop as our next generation of business and community leaders.”

the telos leadership foundation Emerging Leaders Fellowship is an annual, yearlong program consisting of primarily under-resourced 19 to 24-year olds, diverse in race, gender, and economic circumstance. The Fellows will participate in a series of leadership development experiences, including individual and team coaching, a community service project, and a week-long catalyst event at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in June. The program will be designed by Consultants from the telos institute, a leading global organizational development firm.

“The majority of these young men and women would traditionally not have access to these types of leadership development experiences,” said Ron Soeder, Director, the telos leadership foundation. “Using all of the knowledge and assets of the telos institute, these experiences will allow them to arise onto the leadership scene as positive, emotionally and socially aware leaders prepared to contribute to our world today.”

The 2021 Emerging Leaders Fellows were recruited through telos foundation partners and community organizations, including: Bank of America Student Leaders Program, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, graduates of Saint Martin de Porres and Benedictine High Schools, Tri-C Mandel Scholars Program, Esperanza Inc., Hillel Chapters, The Jewish Federation, Sherwin Williams Management Trainee Program, Minds Matter Cleveland and NewBridge Cleveland.

In addition, the foundation’s first-ever board will consist primarily of young professionals, with an average age of 32, to provide opportunities to learn how to work on a board, to successfully lead a nonprofit organization, to manage and run board meetings, and to provide a diverse voice to direct the telos leadership foundation.

According to a recent study, less than 2 percent of nonprofit board members are under the age of 30, while 57 percent are over the age of 50. Less than 15 percent of nonprofit board members are made up by people of color. In terms of America’s largest corporations, only a third of companies in the S&P 500 have at least one director younger than 50 who is not also the company’s CEO.

“To address our most challenging societal and economic challenges, it is important that we identify a pathway for a more diverse group of young people to serve in these leadership roles,” Soeder said. “We want them to come away from this unique experience ready to emerge as leaders within our community organizations and businesses. This is a rare opportunity among most organizations and companies.”

the telos leadership foundation board will include: Amy Washington, Executive Director, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation; Janella Blanchard, High School Career Coach, Youth Opportunities Unlimited; Alexis Oatman, Reporter,; Richard Starr, Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio; Peyton Tatonetti, telos Venture Alumnus 2015; Luis Cartagena, President, Cartagena CPA & Consultants; Arleesha Wilson, Law Office of Arleesha Wilson; Samantha Daugherty, Audit Senior Associate, Grant Thornton; Chris Nguyen CEO, Dunbar Health; Rick Simmons, CEO, the telos institute; and Amy Simmons, Chief Experience Officer, the telos institute.

About the telos institute
the telos institute, a leading global organizational development firm founded in 2006, is where the world’s leaders in business and industry come to hone their leadership skills, optimize their business strategy, and embrace change as a strategic advantage. Crossing all industries and geographies, telos brings deep, functional expertise as well as broad insights and perspectives. From large-scale global interventions to smaller, targeted initiatives, telos is experienced in working with CEOs and executive leadership teams or starting in the middle of organizations and building momentum. To learn more about the telos institute, visit

For more information, contact Ron Soeder, Director of the telos leadership foundation, at