My guest today is Denise Brosseau. After an early career in the technology industry, Denise co-founded and was the founding CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (now Watermark), the first trade association for high growth women entrepreneurs. She built the organization to 1200 members and from one office in Silicon Valley to 7 cities across the US and one in Europe.

She was also the co-founder of Springboard Enterprises, hosting the first venture capital conference for women entrepreneurs. Springboard has since helped women-founded and women-led companies raise over $10B in funding for their businesses over the last 20 years.

More recently, Denise was the founding COO of Futuro Health, a non-profit funded by $130M from Kaiser Permanente to support the next generation healthcare workforce. Through her non-profit career, Denise developed an expertise in thought leadership and today she is a thought leadership consultant working with entrepreneurs, trade association executives and corporate leaders and their teams. She is the author of Ready to Be a Thought Leader? and has two very popular courses on LinkedIn Learning on thought leadership.

A Wellesley graduate with a Stanford MBA, Denise has been honored as a Champion of Change by the White House.

Here’s what to expect during the episode:

  • What is thought leadership? Why should nonprofit leaders care about being one?
  • How do you become a thought leader? How about working with a board around thought leadership?
  • Building on what you’ve already done.
  • The value of reaching out to other people as a thought leader. You learn just as much as you teach!~

Connect with Denise:

Twitter: @thoughtleadrlab

Free resource from Denise:

Message Template –

Message Template Completed Example –

Go to to get your free Effective Board Orientation Checklist from Mary.

Mary’s book is now available on Amazon or wherever books are sold: Love Your Board! The Executive Directors’ Guide to Discovering the Sources of Nonprofit Board Troubles and What to Do About Them.

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