Leadership Dynamics

A Fed Fellow reflects on some recipes for success

Earlier this month, our Fed Fellows cohort was lucky enough to hear the Federation’s CEO, Danny Grossman, and board chair, Richard Fiedotin, speak about their roles and relationship. Through this panel-like session, we were truly able to understand some of the nuances behind the CEO/Chair dynamic.

Listening to Danny and Richard speak was an enlightening experience, and, even with their different careers, the two leaders hold a few key similarities. These qualities and experiences helped guide them to their current successes, including:

  1. Private Sector Experience: both Danny and Richard attended business school, and both held (or currently hold) leadership roles in the private sector. While this experience is certainly not a necessary prerequisite for becoming a leader of a nonprofit, it is very apparent that they both use a variety of different business-related skills on a daily basis.
  2. A Passion for Judaism and Jewish Life: Danny and Richard both had key experiences in their early lives that served as catalysts for their current Jewish involvement. For example, Danny served on the board of his local Zionist youth group in high school. His passion for Jewish life and Israel persists to this day.
  3. Board Experience and Local Knowledge: Lastly, and probably most importantly, both Danny and Richard were on the board for many years before assuming their current roles. They have also worked together extensively and are familiar with the local Jewish community. These strong and active ties with each other and the Bay Area demonstrate how important local Jewish life is to both of them.

As future leaders in the Jewish world and beyond, it's important as Fed Fellows to keep in mind that leadership is not just a quality – it's a skill that is honed through years of experience.

Marla Goodman is the manager of family engagement at the Oshman Family JCC. Currently living in Palo Alto, Marla loves traveling, swimming, scuba diving, and pilates. She is a member of the 2016-2018 Fed Fellows cohort.

Federation Fellows is a two-year leadership building program that develops the next generations of leaders for the Jewish community. Learn More

Categories: Leadership


October 28, 2016


Marla Goodman