Episode 1: Transition to CEO, Partnerships and Philanthropy with Courtney Harrness
Welcome to Community Voices, a platform for voices of the community recreation industry.
In Episode 1 of the Community Rec Podcast, Courtney Harrness, the CEO of the Attleboro Norton YMCA, talks about his new role as CEO, establishing and growing partnerships, philanthropy and family.
- On the transition to CEO, Harrness said part of being new in a role like this is leaning on others, asking questions, and understanding how their experience and learning can help you. “It’s been fun to continue to uncover potential opportunities with partners, get more involved in community conversations, and really dig in and listen to what it is my neighbors want to see over the next few years,” he said.
- Harrness pointed out that thousands of years ago, the Greeks used the word philanthropy – or something similar – to mean “love and humanity.” At some point along the way, it was turned into a word based on transaction. To Harrness, philanthropy is still rooted in love and humanity in hopes and dreams. “Philanthropy to me means an infinite goal of uniting communities, gathering support and investment, and moving those around us ever closer to the community they want for all involved,” he added.
- Harrness’ advice on leadership includes listening, asking, listening more and asking again. “Start to understand common themes and leverage the strength of partnerships to support the hopes and dreams of your community,” he said.