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Upcoming Events

Amplifier Workshop: Succession Planning and Leadership Transitions: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

February 15, 2023 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Sammons Center for the Arts
3630 Harry Hines Blvd
TX 75219
Anne Kogan
Succession Planning & Leadership Transitions: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Presented by TACA, Sammons Center for the Arts, and Social Impact Architects

Changes in organizational leadership can bring both tremendous opportunities and challenges. Many founders or long-time leaders struggle with the decision to leave, with worries about their legacy and the organization’s future. For Board Members, identifying the qualities they need in a new leader and managing search can be daunting. Every organization eventually has to confront the decision of how to change leadership, and thoughtful planning can ease that transition, whether it’s in six months or five years.

In this workshop, Suzanne Smith, Founder & CEO of Social Impact Architects and Adjunct Professor – UTA/SMU, will present some best practices for succession planning, followed by a fireside chat with three organizations that are in the process of very different leadership transitions. We will learn about how they decided to take this important step, the strategies they employed, the pitfalls they encountered, and the successes they earned.

Panel participants include Joanna St. Angelo, Sammons Center for the Arts, Robyn Flatt, Dallas Children’s Theater, and Mara Richards Bim, Cry Havoc Theater Company.

All attendees are also eligible for a 30 minute consultation with Suzanne Smith to discuss your organization’s specific needs and plans for a leadership transition.


Meet the Panelists

Suzanne Smith has a deep belief that everyone is a changemaker. As a serial social entrepreneur, she strives to harness the powerful force of organizations, including nonprofits, foundations and socially responsible businesses, and individuals, especially students and young entrepreneurs, to maximize the potential of the social sector to create real, scalable impact.

In 2009, Suzanne founded Social Impact Architects, a registered Benefit Corporation, to reshape the business of social change. She combines her MBA know-how with two decades of experience as a nonprofit innovator to serve as a consultant, advisor and thought partner. She is also a highly sought-after public speaker at conferences nationwide, including being selected as a featured speaker at TEDxTurtleCreekWomen. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. In this work, she has pioneered open-source frameworks for the creation of better social solutions, including layered logic models, ecosystem mapping and social alchemy. For her outstanding work as a leading thinker, she was recognized with the Next Generation Social Entrepreneur Award by the Social Enterprise Alliance. Since 2015, Social Impact Architects was recognized as one of the “Best for the World” small businesses by B Corp.

Joanna St. Angelo has served the Executive Director of the Sammons Center for the Arts from opening day, March 1, 1988 and has 34 years’ experience in nonprofit management. She is one of the pioneers of nonprofit shared-use facilities.  She is also the President and Founder of the Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition which advocates for arts groups of all sizes and disciplines to promote recognition of the importance of arts and culture.  She is a prominent consultant on arts and facilities management and has served on a number of nonprofit boards for a variety of organizations. In addition to her role as CEO of Sammons Center for the Arts, Ms. St. Angelo is a sought-after consultant and expert on the development of shared-use cultural facilities and redevelopment of historic buildings.


Robyn Flatt, the Founder and Executive Director of Dallas Children’s Theater, co-founded DCT in 1984 with start-up funds of $500. Under her artistic leadership, the theater’s creative and operational stature has grown over the past 39 years to reflect its current annual budget of more than $4 million. Ms. Flatt has nurtured DCT into one the top theaters for Youth and Families in the United States. To learn more of Ms. Flatt’s legacy visit https://dallasweekly.com/2022/11/robyn-flatt-elevated-childrens-theater-to-new-heights-thank-you-robyn/. 


Mara Richards Bim is an award-winning playwright and director, and the founder of the nationally recognized Cry Havoc Theater Company. Mara’s Dallas directing/devising credits include Endlings (upcoming February 2022); The Art of Broken Things (July 2021); Committed: Mad Women of the Asylum (July 2021) Once Upon a Moon (January 2021); Endlings (October 2020); Crossing the Line (July 2019, co-directed with Tim Johnson); Babel (July 2018); A History of Everything (January 2018), The Great American Sideshow (August 2017); Shots Fired (January 2017 and July 2017, co-directed with Ruben Carrazana); Shut Up and Listen! (January 2016) and The (out)Siders Project (August 2015). In 2019 she was commissioned by the University of North Texas to devise The Memory Project, a verbatim piece created from interviews with residents in assisted living facilities.

Mara is a recipient of 2018 and 2019 Special Projects Grants from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs for public art installations to accompany Cry Havoc Theater Company productions. In 2020 she received the Holloway Family Foundation’s Visionary Leadership Award, and in 2021 Mara was named one of D Magazine’s “78 Women Changing the Face of Dallas.”


Special thanks to our partners for this program!