b'IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIFE ACROSS THE REGION W short-staffed and time-starved. As the bi-weekly series e wanted ended in January 2018, Giovannelli, along with three a networkingother attendeesEndicott Reindl, executive director of the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra; Mandy Welty group specificallyZalich, executive director of Westmoreland Community Action; and Jessica Kadie-Barclay, chief executive officer for nonprofits.of the West Overton Village and Museumstold Koch that they found the camaraderie and networking as We wantedimportant as the training. They wanted to create a way to sustain and expand relationships it. They were thinking big about the needs of the nonprofits of the whole county.among groups,Zalich says businesses have networking groups such as chambers of commerce. But nonprofit managers education andhave been convinced that they dont fit into those struc-tures. We wanted a networking group specifically for collaboration. nonprofits, she says. We wanted relationships among groups, and education and collaboration.With Koch, they created WestCo to do that. The four Mandy Zalichnonprofit leaders now serve as a steering committee. WestmorelandThey survey nonprofit directors to determine what Community Action sorts of programs they want and then work with Koch to produce them. They schedule the events at various locations around the county to accommodate far-flung organizations. The network also empowers executive directors to spin off their own groups. So, for example, a group of relatively new executive directors formed a breakfast club, which meets monthly to reduce alienation and CFWC offers training and professional devel- isolation. The executive directors of behavioral health opment to the sprawling countys diverse nonprofitorganizations created their own group to communicate organizations. It was from one of those programs,and coordinate. attended over several months by Giovannelli and theIn April, the Network sponsored a forum that directors of 19 other groups, that WestCo emerged.enabled executive directors to meet with the elected Giovannelli says speakers at the seminars askedofficials whose decisions affect the communities the the directors to think big, something small nonprofitnonprofits serve. Five Westmoreland County state directors rarely get to do because they are perenniallyrepresentatives and two state senators answered 26'