Leadership Transitions at CompassPoint

March 5, 2021
CompassPoint staff in 2020

Pictured above: The CompassPoint Team in 2020

Dear CompassPoint Community, 

We’re writing to let you know that after three years as CompassPoint’s Co-Director, Lupe Poblano is stepping down from executive leadership and stepping away from CompassPoint to focus on his role as a parent with his growing family. His last day at CompassPoint will be March 19, 2021.

Many of you know Lupe as a coach, facilitator, and frequent writer for CompassPoint’s blog. He first orbited into the CompassPoint constellation as a participant in our Next Generation Leaders of Color Program, and later joined our team as a full-time Project Director in 2014.

We’re so grateful for the many gifts he’s contributed to CompassPoint (all the way from program participant to Co-Director): his genuine care for others, his deep pride in his roots, his calls to challenge white-dominant leadership, his dedication to this community of leaders, and of course, his devotion for the Oakland A’s. 

It goes without saying, but the last few years have presented no shortage of challenges, and we’re thankful for Lupe’s willingness to step into Co-Directorship and embody shared leadership—together with interim Co-Director Shannon Ellis—during a critical time for CompassPoint’s growth and evolution. Lupe will share a closing reflection in an upcoming blog, but for now, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating the close of this chapter with us.

If we’re not careful, executive transitions can easily become a time when we slip into old narratives of “single heroic leaders.” We’ve intentionally cultivated a culture and structure of shared leadership over the years at CompassPoint and this transition is an opportunity to deepen that stance.

We want to reaffirm that this work is very much a team effort and that investing time, energy, and resources into growing each other’s leadership means that executive transitions can be opportunities for new growth and possibility, not setbacks to endure. Transitions can be an opportunity to focus on the people and structures that will best support us as we continue to adapt and grow to meet the needs of the community of leaders we serve.

So, what’s next for executive leadership at CompassPoint? Our board and staff have come together to reaffirm our commitment to shared leadership at the executive level. Liz Derias-Tyehimba (who has been Director for our Public Training Program for the past two years) and Shannon Ellis (who partnered with Lupe as interim Co-Director) are serving as new interim Co-Directors as we transition fully into our next executive team. We’ll share more about our evolving model as the year unfolds.

Our priority is to deepen our model of shared leadership at the executive level to promote sustainability and well-being, represent our growing principle of centering Pro-Blackness, and most importantly, support the entire CompassPoint community so that we can continue to be a resource to nonprofit and social change leaders pursuing a vision of leadership development that centers liberation. 

In partnership and solidarity,
The CompassPoint Team



Recent Posts

Project Director Lupe Poblano challenges readers—white and people of color—to confront white dominant culture within your nonprofit as the best way to move your organization toward equity. Lupe also provides practical, real suggestions on steps you can take to initiate change.

How can an organization build equity in its compensation process through distributed leadership? This piece will share how CompassPoint empowered a peer-led group to provide review and oversight to a compensation process that was designed to build more equity into our system.

As we all find ourselves being pushed, challenged, and transformed by this moment in time, it should be no surprise that dominant culture habits may be creeping back into our work, our teams, and our organizations. 

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