The Council of Agency Executives (COAE) is an important resource network for nonprofit leaders, bringing together some of the most dynamic and forward thinking community leaders in the Greater Rochester region. Members are challenged and called to meet the needs of the agencies they represent, as well as the constituents they serve.
Our members include a variety of nonprofit organizations making significant impact in the community. During these challenging times, nonprofit agencies and the services they provide, are more vital than ever. Managing issues and activities surrounding COVID have been a high priority, but no less important than the challenges our community faces with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
It is the obligation of nonprofit leadership to engage with each other around best practices, as well as addressing both chronic and emerging issues that Rochester is facing. The COAE board has committed to a strategic priority of engaging in DEI education and systemic change in order to support a healthier community.
Ultimately, the COAE also gives the nonprofit sector a voice. Programs have drawn community leaders from government and transportation, to funders, policy-makers and business leaders. These groups often seek counsel from the COAE, and use the forum of meetings to ensure there’s a pipeline of information from our members to the community and vice-versa.
Our monthly programs include sharing expertise from key community members, and are developed with CEO/Executive Director level information relevant for their organization. CEOs/Executive Directors also network in peer groups. Our Affinity Groups (human resources, finance, operations, and compliance) are forums for staff sharing of solutions and discussions on critical issues.
Members are also resources in themselves. They are experts in their respective disciplines, making productive, contributing partners in community planning efforts. The Council provides an access route for planners who are seeking the kind of experience and expertise our members have.
We regularly interface and collaborate with the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, St. John Fisher College’s Center for Community Engagement and other partners. Members receive the benefit of state-level representation and advocacy of the New York Council of Nonprofits.
There is power in our numbers. COAE member organizations represent an annual economic impact of more than $1 billion in our community, and employ more than 25,000 residents, not including hospitals or higher education. All told, our members serve more than 1.7 million of our friends and neighbors every year.
Our community as a whole benefits from the alignment of nonprofit providers. Collectively we commit to being good employers, improving service delivery, and engaging with our partners in business and government to lift up Greater Rochester. And, as our tagline says, “together is better”!
Council of Agency Executives President
President & CEO Mary Cariola Center
Presidents through the years with their organization at the time of their service:
2018 – 2020 Donna Dedee, Holy Childhood and Special Touch Bakery
2015 – 2017 Greg Soehner, East House
2012 – 2015 Ann Marie Cook, Lifespan
2010 – 2012 Bill McDonald, Medical Motor Service
2008 – 2010 Colin Garwood, LDA Life & Learning Services
2006 – 2008 Germaine Knapp, Sojourner House
2004 – 2006 Carolyn Portanova, Catholic Family Center
2002 – 2004 Jean Carroll, YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County
2000 – 2002 Alan Harris, Legal Aid Society of Rochester
1999 – 2000 Jim Sorrentino, East House