Guiding Harbor, Maria Lessnau
Guiding Harbor is a private, non-profit organization founded by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Michigan (GFWC-MI) that provides child caring and child placement services for abused and neglected children. Its services include foster care, supervised independent living, and a residential program.
Guiding Harbor provides children and young men and women and their families with a safe and nurturing environment and specialized services. Guiding Harbor prides itself in providing services with dignity, respect, and professionalism to help each client to reach their full potential.
Guiding Harbor executive director Maria Lessnau reports that E. Craig Lesley worked with the Guiding Harbor team to develop a revised mission statement that would clearly and concisely present the organization’s goals. Over the course of about six meetings, Lesley guided the team through the completion of its strategic plan. “He really helped us to launch our strategic plan,” she says.
“We have a small staff size, so any time we have turnover it is felt across the agency,” Lessnau says. “Meeting our strategic goals has been difficult as we do not have the fundraising capabilities that we need to grow and expand.”
Lessnau and her team have worked with SCORE in the past to develop Guiding Harbor’s strategic plan. “This is our third time,” she explains. “I know that SCORE members are professional and educated… I know SCORE will assist us in meeting our goals.”
Lessnau reviewed volunteer mentor profiles and discovered that Lesley had both nonprofit and for-profit experience. “Mr. Lesley is a very smart, driven, and task-oriented member of SCORE,” Lessnau reports. “He assisted us in developing a strategic plan that was within our capabilities as a small agency.”