Terry Fernsler, MNPL, PhD, has 38 years of professional experience in the nonprofit sector, in a variety of organization types and a variety of roles within them. He has served as the executive director in several nonprofit organizations, and as a volunteer, has been on seven boards of directors; he was the board chair for five of them. His experience includes all-volunteer, medium-sized, and large multi-national organizations—giving him multiple perspectives about leadership in nonprofits.
He draws on extensive experience and observation, including:
- Organizational and departmental planning and financial management
- Staff supervision, coaching, mentoring, and development
- Public policy advocacy
- Building and sustaining networks
- Strategic thinking
- Experience in all types of fundraising
Terry was instrumental in the establishment of 10 nonprofit organizations, including one of the most successful new rural Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the United States, and has advised staff and volunteers in nearly 200 small nonprofit organizations. He has a long history of cultivating collaborative initiatives, included the establishment of many new programs to benefit low-income families while an economic development district director in a high-poverty rural region.
Terry minored in Nonprofit Leadership as an undergraduate student at Seattle University, earned a Master of Nonprofit Leadership degree at Seattle University, and a Ph. D. in Strategic Leadership Studies from James Madison University, with a concentration in Nonprofit and Community Leadership. He is currently an advisor and instructor at James Madison University in the Nonprofit Studies minor program. He also teaches Management and Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations and Leadership in Public Service courses at Texas A&M University.